Iron Flame by Rebecca Yarros
Everyone expected Violet Sorrengail to die during her first year at Basgiath War College―Violet included. But Threshing was only the first impossible test meant to weed out the weak-willed, the unworthy, and the unlucky.
Now the real training begins, and Violet’s already wondering how she’ll get through. It’s not just that it’s grueling and maliciously brutal, or even that it’s designed to stretch the riders’ capacity for pain beyond endurance. It’s the new vice commandant, who’s made it his personal mission to teach Violet exactly how powerless she is–unless she betrays the man she loves.
Although Violet’s body might be weaker and frailer than everyone else’s, she still has her wits―and a will of iron. And leadership is forgetting the most important lesson Basgiath has taught her: Dragon riders make their own rules.
But a determination to survive won’t be enough this year.
Class by Stephanie Land
When Stephanie Land set out to write her memoir Maid, she never could have imagined what was to come. Handpicked by President Barack Obama as one of the best books of 2019, it was called “an eye-opening journey into the lives of the working poor” (People). Later it was adapted into the hit Netflix series Maid, which was viewed by 67 million households and was Netflix’s fourth most-watched show in 2021, garnering three Primetime Emmy Award nominations. Stephanie’s escape out of poverty and abuse in search of a better life inspired millions.
Maid was a story about a housecleaner, but it was also a story about a woman with a dream. In Class, Land takes us with her as she finishes college and pursues her writing career. Facing barriers at every turn including a byzantine loan system, not having enough money for food, navigating the judgments of professors and fellow students who didn’t understand the demands of attending college while under the poverty line—Land finds a way to survive once again, finally graduating in her mid-thirties.
Class paints an intimate and heartbreaking portrait of motherhood as it converges and often conflicts with personal desire and professional ambition. Who has the right to create art? Who has the right to go to college? And what kind of work is valued in our culture? In clear, candid, and moving prose, Class grapples with these questions, offering a searing indictment of America’s educational system and an inspiring testimony of a mother’s triumph against all odds.
Bookshops & Bonedust by Travis Baldree
Viv’s career with the notorious mercenary company Rackam’s Ravens isn’t going as planned.
Wounded during the hunt for a powerful necromancer, she’s packed off against her will to recuperate in the sleepy beach town of Murk―so far from the action that she worries she’ll never be able to return to it.
What’s a thwarted soldier of fortune to do?
Spending her hours at a beleaguered bookshop in the company of its foul-mouthed proprietor is the last thing Viv would have predicted, but it may be both exactly what she needs and the seed of changes she couldn’t possibly imagine.
Still, adventure isn’t all that far away. A suspicious traveler in gray, a gnome with a chip on her shoulder, a summer fling, and an improbable number of skeletons prove Murk to be more eventful than Viv could have ever expected.
My Name Is Barbra by Barbra Streisand
Barbra Streisand is by any account a living legend, a woman who in a career spanning six decades has excelled in every area of entertainment. She is among the handful of EGOT winners (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony) and has one of the greatest and most recognizable voices in the history of popular music. She has been nominated for a Grammy 46 times, and with Yentl she became the first woman to write, produce, direct, and star in a major motion picture. In My Name Is Barbra, she tells her own story about her life and extraordinary career, from growing up in Brooklyn to her first star-making appearances in New York nightclubs to her breakout performance in Funny Girl (musical and film) to the long string of successes in every medium in the years that followed. The book is, like Barbra herself, frank, funny, opinionated, and charming. She recounts her early struggles to become an actress, eventually turning to singing to earn a living; the recording of some of her acclaimed albums; the years of effort involved in making Yentl; her direction of The Prince of Tides; her friendships with figures ranging from Marlon Brando to Madeleine Albright; her political advocacy; and the fulfillment she’s found in her marriage to James Brolin.
No entertainer’s memoir has been more anticipated than Barbra Streisand’s, and this engrossing and delightful book will be eagerly welcomed by her millions of fans.
A Death in Malta by Paul Caruana Galizia
An archipelago off the southern coast of Italy, Malta is a picturesque gem eroded by a climate of corruption, polarization, inequality, and a virtual absence of civic spirit. In this unpromising soil, a fearless journalist took root. Daphne Caruana Galizia fashioned herself into the country’s lonely voice of conscience, her muckraking and editorializing sending shock waves that threatened to topple those in power and made her at once the island’s best-known figure and its most reviled. In 2017, a campaign of intimidation against her culminated in a car bombing that took her life.
Daphne was also he devoted and inspiring mother to three sons, who with their father have carried on the quest for justice and transparency after her death. Spellbindingly narrated by the youngest of them, the award-winning journalist Paul Caruana Galizia, A Death in Malta is at once a study in heroism and the powerful story of a family’s crusade for accountability in a society built on lies, with reverberations far beyond their homeland.
A Grandmother Begins the Story by Michelle Porter
Carter is a young mother, recently separated. She is curious, angry, and on a quest to find out what the heritage she only learned of in her teens truly means.
Allie, Carter’s mother, is trying to make up for the lost years with her first born, and to protect Carter from the hurt she herself suffered from her own mother. Lucie wants the granddaughter she’s never met to help her join her ancestors in the Afterlife. And Geneviève is determined to conquer her demons before the fire inside burns her up, with the help of the sister she lost but has never been without. Meanwhile, Mamé, in the Afterlife, knows that all their stories began with her; she must find a way to cut herself from the last threads that keep her tethered to the living, just as they must find their own paths forward.
A Power Unbound by Freya Marske
Jack Alston, Lord Hawthorn, would love a nice, safe, comfortable life. After the death of his twin sister, he thought he was done with magic for good. But with the threat of a dangerous ritual hanging over every magician in Britain, he’s drawn reluctantly back into that world.
Now Jack is living in a bizarre puzzle-box of a magical London townhouse, helping an unlikely group of friends track down the final piece of the Last Contract before their enemies can do the same. And to make matters worse, they need the help of writer and thief Alan Ross.
Cagey and argumentative, Alan is only in this for the money. The aristocratic Lord Hawthorn, with all his unearned power, is everything that Alan hates. And unfortunately, Alan happens to be everything that Jack wants in one gorgeous, infuriating package.
When a plot to seize unimaginable power comes to a head at Cheetham Hall―Jack’s ancestral family estate, a land so old and bound in oaths that it’s grown a personality as prickly as its owner―Jack, Alan and their allies will become entangled in a night of champagne, secrets, and bloody sacrifice . . . and the foundations of magic in Britain will be torn up by the roots before the end.
Above the Salt by Katherine Vaz
John Alves, son of a famous Presbyterian martyr on the Portuguese island of Madeira, spends his childhood in jail and in poverty. When he meets Mary Freitas―though the adopted daughter of a master botanist, her true lineage is the subject of dangerous rumor―a spark kindles a lasting bond. But soon their families must confront the rising blood tide of warfare between Catholics and Protestants. Fleeing with only what they can carry, John and Mary are separated and arrive at different times and places in a rapidly growing and changing mid-nineteenth-century Illinois.
Years later, John settles into his life as an educator at Jacksonville’s nationally renowned school for the deaf, and Mary is a gardener in Springfield for handsome, wealthy Edward Moore. After John and Mary reconnect, the home of rising politician Abraham Lincoln provides a prime setting for their courtship. But conflict looms on the horizon, and John is torn. Should he join the Union army to prove his loyalty to his new country, or should he stay to fight for the chance to make a life with the one he loves?
And should Mary accept Edward’s marriage proposal since he is a partner in her business of selling the miracle-berry fruit she transported from Madeira, or should she choose her passion for John? Social jealousies and betrayals compound the obstacles unleashed by the Civil War.
Again and Again by Jonathan Evison
Eugene “Geno” Miles is living out his final days in a nursing home, bored, curmudgeonly, and struggling to connect with his new nursing assistant, Angel, who is understandably skeptical of Geno’s insistence on having lived not just one life but many—all the way back to medieval Spain, where, as a petty thief, he first lucked upon true love only to lose it, and spend the next thousand years trying to recapture it.
Who is Geno? A lonely old man clinging to his delusions and rehearsing his fantasies, or a legitimate anomaly, a thousand-year-old man who continues to search for the love he lost so long ago?
As Angel comes to learn the truth about Geno, so, too, does the reader, and as his miraculous story comes to a head, so does the biggest truth of all: that love—timeless, often elusive—is sometimes right in front of us.
Baumgartner by Paul Auster
Baumgartner’s life had been defined by his deep, abiding love for his wife, Anna, who was killed in a swimming accident nine years earlier. Now 71, Baumgartner continues to struggle to live in her absence as the novel sinuously unfolds into spirals of memory and reminiscence, delineated in episodes spanning from 1968, when Sy and Anna meet as broke students working and writing in New York, through their passionate relationship over the next forty years, and back to Baumgartner’s youth in Newark and his Polish-born father’s life as a dress-shop owner and failed revolutionary.
Rich with compassion, wit, and Auster’s keen eye for beauty in the smallest, most transient moments of ordinary life, Baumgartner asks: Why do we remember certain moments, and forget others?
Blood Betrayal by Ausma Zehanat Khan
In Blackwater Falls, Colorado, veteran police officer Harry Cooper is hot on the heels of some local vandals when the situation turns deadly: believing one of them has a gun, Harry opens fire and Duante Reed, a young Black man, is killed. The “gun” in his hands was a bottle of spray paint. Meanwhile, in nearby Denver, a drug raid goes south and a Latino teen, Mateo Ruiz, is also killed.
Detective Inaya Rahman is all too familiar with the name of the young cop who has seemingly killed Mateo: Kelly Broda. Kelly is the son of the police officer John Broda, who led a violent attack on her when they were both in Denver. No one is more surprised than Inaya when John turns up on her doorstep, pleading for her help in proving the innocence of his son.
With the Denver Police force spread thin between the two cases, protests on both sides of the cases begin. Inaya and her boss Lieutenant Waqas Seif have their work cut out for them to consider the guilt of the perpetrators and their victims. Harry was by all accounts an officer dedicated to the communities he served: was this shooting truly a terrible mistake? Duante was, to some, a street artist with no prior record, but to others, he was a vandal. Mateo was either in the wrong place at the wrong time, or a dangerous drug dealer. In either case, was lethal force truly necessary?
Data Baby: My Life in a Psychological Experiment by Susannah Breslin
When Susannah Breslin is a toddler, her parents enroll her in an exclusive laboratory preschool at the University of California, Berkeley, where she becomes one of over a hundred children who are research subjects in an unprecedented 30-year study of personality development that predicts who she and her cohort will grow up to be. Decades later, trapped in what she feels is an abusive marriage and battling breast cancer, she starts to wonder how growing up under a microscope shaped her identity and life choices. Already a successful journalist, she makes her own curious history the subject of her next investigation. From experiment rooms with one-way mirrors, to children’s puzzles with no solutions, to condemned basement laboratories, her life-changing journey uncovers the long-buried secrets hidden behind the renowned study. The question at the gnarled heart of her quest: Did the study know her better than she knew herself?
At once bravely honest and sharply witty, Data Baby is a compelling and provocative account of a woman’s quest to find her true self, and an unblinking exploration of why we turn out as we do. Few people in all of history have been studied from such a young age and for as long as Susannah Breslin, but the message of her book is universal. In an era when so many of us are looking to technology to tell us who to be, it’s up to us to discover who we actually are.
How to Build a Boat by Elaine Feeney
Jamie O’Neill loves the colour red. He also loves tall trees, patterns, rain that comes with wind, the curvature of many objects, books with dust jackets, cats, rivers and Edgar Allan Poe. At age thirteen, there are two things he especially wants in life: to build a Perpetual Motion Machine, and to connect with his mother, Noelle, who died when he was born. In his mind these things are intimately linked. And at his new school, where all else is disorientating and overwhelming, he finds two people who might just be able to help him.
How to Build a Boat is the story of how one boy and his mission transforms the lives of his teachers, Tess and Tadhg, and brings together a community. Written with tenderness and verve, it’s about love, family and connection, the power of imagination, and how our greatest adventures never happen alone.
Something About Her by Clementine Taylor
Aisling and Maya’s connection is unexpected. Maya has recently returned to the University of Edinburgh for her second year, confident in her place there and in her first proper relationship with her childhood best friend, Ethan. Finally, she is one of them, those happy couples, self-satisfied in the knowledge that they are one half of something solid.
Aisling is a first-year student from Ireland, ready to leave her controlling family behind. But despite the distance, she still feels claustrophobic, still feels watched. Reeling from her break-up with her ex-girlfriend, she struggles to make friends and finds herself isolated. That is, until Aisling joins the Poetry Society. That’s where she meets Maya, and everything changes.
Sweet Thing by David Swinson
In a red brick house on a tree-lined street, DC homicide detective Alex Blum stares at the bullet-pocked body of Chris Doyle. As he roots around for evidence, he finds an old polaroid: the decedent, arm in arm with Arthur Holland, Blum’s informant from years ago when he worked at the Narcotics branch.
But Arthur has been missing for days. Blum’s only source: Arthur’s girl, Celeste—beautiful, seductive, and tragic—whom he can’t get out of his head. Blum is drawn to her and feels compelled to save her from Arthur’s underworld. As the investigation ticks on and dead bodies domino, Blum, unearths clues with damning implications for Celeste. Swallowed by desire, Blum’s single misstep sends him tunnelling down a rabbit hole of transgression. He may soon find the only way out is down below.
The Beautiful and the Wild by Peggy Townsend
It’s summer in Alaska and the light surrounding the shipping-container-turned-storage shed where Liv Russo is being held prisoner is fuzzy and gray. Around her is thick forest and jagged mountains. In front of her, across a clearing, is a low-slung cabin with a single window that spills a wash of yellow light onto bare ground. Illuminated in that light is the father of her child, a man she once loved. A man who is now her jailor. Liv vows to do anything to escape.
Carrying her own secrets and a fierce need to protect her young son, Liv must navigate a new world where extreme weather, starvation, and dangerous wildlife are not the only threats she faces. With winter’s arrival imminent, she knows she must reckon with her past and the choices that brought her to the unforgiving Alaskan landscape if she is ever going to make it out alive.
The Future by Naomi Alderman
When Martha Einkorn fled her father’s isolated compound in Oregon, she never expected to find herself working for a powerful social media mogul hell-bent on controlling everything. Now, she’s surrounded by mega-rich companies designing private weather, predictive analytics, and covert weaponry, while spouting technological prophecy. Martha may have left the cult, but if the apocalyptic warnings in her father’s fox and rabbit sermon—once a parable to her—are starting to come true, how much future is actually left?
Across the world, in a mall in Singapore, Lai Zhen, an internet-famous survivalist, flees from an assassin. She’s cornered, desperate and—worst of all—might die without ever knowing what’s going on. Suddenly, a remarkable piece of software appears on her phone telling her exactly how to escape. Who made it? What is it really for? And if those behind it can save her from danger, what do they want from her, and what else do they know about the future?
Martha and Zhen’s worlds are about to collide. An explosive chain of events is set in motion. While a few billionaires assured of their own safety lead the world to destruction, Martha’s relentless drive and Zhen’s insatiable curiosity could lead to something beautiful or the cataclysmic end of civilization.
The Happy Couple by Naoise Dolan
Meet Celine and Luke. For all intents and purposes, the happy couple. Luke (a serial cheater) and Celine (more interested in piano than domestic life) plan to marry in a year.
Archie (the best man) should be moving on from his love for Luke and up the corporate ladder, but he finds himself utterly stuck. Phoebe (the bridesmaid and Celine’s sister) just wants to get to the bottom of Luke’s frequent unexplained disappearances. And Vivian (a wedding guest) is the only one with any emotional distance and observes her friends like ants in a colony.
As the wedding approaches and their five lives intersect, these characters will each look for a path to the happily ever after—but does it lie at the end of an aisle?
The Liberators by E.J. Koh
At the height of the military dictatorship in South Korea, Insuk and Sungho are arranged to be married. The couple soon moves to San Jose, California, with an infant and Sungho’s overbearing mother-in-law. Adrift in a new country, Insuk grieves the loss of her past and her divided homeland, finding herself drawn into an illicit relationship that sets into motion a dramatic saga and echoes for generations to come.
The Madstone by Elizabeth Crook
Texas, 1868. As nineteen-year-old Benjamin Shreve tends to business in his workshop, he witnesses a stagecoach strand a passenger. When the man persuades Benjamin to help track down the vanished coach—and a mysterious fortune left aboard—he is drawn into a drama whose scope he could never have imagined.
The missing coach has a surprise in store: its other passengers include Nell, a pregnant young woman, and her four-year-old son, Tot, who are on the run from Nell’s brutal husband and his murderous brothers. After learning of their plight, Benjamin offers Nell and Tot passage to the distant Gulf of Mexico, where they can escape to safety. This chivalrous act will prove more dangerous than he could have expected, as buried secrets—including a cursed necklace—reveal themselves.
Even as Benjamin falls in love with Nell and imagines life as Tot’s father, vengeful pursuers are on their trail. With its vivid characters and expansive canvas, The Madstone calls to mind Larry McMurtry’s American epics. The novel is full of eccentric action, unrelenting peril, and droll humor—a thrilling and beautifully rendered story of three people sharing a hazardous and defining journey that will forever bind them together.
The Manor House by Gilly Macmillan
Childhood sweethearts Nicole and Tom are a normal, loving couple—until a massive lottery win changes their lives overnight. Soon they’ve moved into a custom-built state-of-the-art Glass Barn on the stunning grounds of Lancaut Manor in Gloucestershire. They have fancy cars, expensive hobbies, and an exclusive lifestyle they never could have imagined.
But this dream world quickly turns into a nightmare when Tom is found dead in the swimming pool.
Nicole is devastated. Tom was her rock. And their beautiful barn —with all its smart features that never seem to work for her—is beginning to feel very lonely. But she’s not entirely by herself out there in the country. There’s a nice young couple who live in the Manor itself along with their middle-aged housekeeper who has the Coach House. And an old friend of Tom’s from school has turned up to help her get through her grief.
But big money can bring big problems and big threats. Was Tom’s death a tragic accident, or was it something worse? And is her life in danger as well?
The Mantis by Kōtarō Isaka
Kabuto is a highly skilled assassin eager to escape his dangerous profession and the hold his handler, the sinister Doctor, has over him. The Doctor, a real physician who hands over Kabuto’s targets as “prescriptions” in his regular appointments with him, doesn’t want to lose Kabuto as a profitable asset, but he agrees to let him pay his way out of his employment with a few last jobs. But the most lucrative jobs involve taking out other professional assassins, and Kabuto’s final assignment puts him and his family—who have no idea about his double life—in danger.
The Vulnerables by Sigrid Nunez
Elegy plus comedy is the only way to express how we live in the world today, says a character in Sigrid Nunez’s ninth novel. The Vulnerables offers a meditation on our contemporary era, as a solitary female narrator asks what it means to be alive at this complex moment in history and considers how our present reality affects the way a person looks back on her past.
Humor, to be sure, is a priceless refuge. Equally vital is connection with others, who here include an adrift member of Gen Z and a spirited parrot named Eureka. The Vulnerables reveals what happens when strangers are willing to open their hearts to each other and how far even small acts of caring can go to ease another’s distress. A search for understanding about some of the most critical matters of our time, Nunez’s new novel is also an inquiry into the nature and purpose of writing itself.
Today Tonight Forever by Madeline Kay Sneed
When thirty-three-year-old Athena Matthias is asked, yet again, to be a bridesmaid, she’s not exactly enthusiastic about the idea. Still reeling from a messy divorce from her wife, she’s never felt less inclined to celebrate love. But Athena can’t say no, especially to one of her oldest friends, and at least it’s a destination wedding, which means three days of sun and sand.
As the wedding weekend commences on the gorgeous beaches of Watercolor, Florida, for the first time in ages, Athena finds herself surrounded by people who know and love her. There’s the bride, nervous about an old relationship; a groomsman grappling with a big mistake; Athena’s mother, ready to date again; and even a potential new romantic interest.
But just as Athena begins to feel herself opening up again, an unexpected guest from the past throws the entire wedding party into chaos. By the time the cake is cut and the ultimate betrayal is revealed, Athena must find the courage to forgive—both others and herself—and embrace the beauty of a chance to move forward.
World Within a Song by Jeff Tweedy
What makes us fall in love with a song? What makes us want to write our own songs? Do songs help? Do songs help us live better lives? And do the lives we live help us write better songs?
After two New York Times bestsellers that cemented and expanded his legacy as one of America’s best-loved performers and songwriters, Let’s Go (So We Can Get Back) and How to Write One Song, Jeff Tweedy is back with another disarming, beautiful, and inspirational book about why we listen to music, why we love songs, and how music can connect us to each other and to ourselves. Featuring fifty songs that have both changed Jeff’s life and influenced his music—including songs by the Replacements, Mavis Staples, the Velvet Underground, Joni Mitchell, Otis Redding, Dolly Parton, and Billie Eilish—as well as Jeff’s “Rememories,” dream-like short pieces that related key moments from Jeff’s life, this book is a mix of the musical, the emotional, and the inspirational in the best possible way.