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22 (!) new titles to add to your TBR pile.

Katie Yee

March 9, 2021, 5:59am

With the weather getting slightly warmer and spring just around the corner, I have vaguely thought about the concept of “getting back into shape.” In college, my friends and I used to go to the Rec Barn to exercise (read: read) on the stationary bikes. If this is the kind of exercise you too are thinking about, dear reader, then this is the list for you.


Megan Nolan, Acts of Desperation

Megan Nolan, Acts of Desperation
(Little, Brown)

“Nolan’s portrait of a relationship warped by obsession and low self-worth excavates our private hearts … Subverting traditional love stories, it illuminates the fragile tension between power and desire.”
–The Evening Standard

 Cosmogony, copyright © 2021 by Lucy Ives

Lucy Ives, Cosmogony
(Soft Skull)

“Through juxtaposition and collage, these stories illuminate the trickier fringes of life right now.”
–Publishers Weekly

My Heart by Semezdin Mehmedinovic (trans. Celia Hawkesworth)

Semezdin Mehmedinović, tr. Celia Hawkesworth, My Heart

“Bosnian writer Mehmedinović returns with a powerful autofictional gut punch of a novel.”
–Publishers Weekly

Marguerite Duras, The Impudent Ones

Marguerite Duras, tr. Kelsey L. Haskett, The Impudent Ones
(New Press)

“Most notable is the psychological intensity of the central figure, mercilessly observant Maud, who boldly refuses to comply with familial or social expectations, and Duras’ ravishingly descriptive passages contrasting the stifling monotony of human struggles versus the glory and freedom of nature.”

Michelle Nijhuis, Beloved Beasts

Michelle Nijhuis, Beloved Beasts
(W. W. Norton)

“Michelle Nijhuis’ spirited and engaging Beloved Beasts tracks the not always predictable course of species protection from the flora and fauna classification system developed in the 18th century by the Swede Carl Linnaeus to the present day.”
–The Boston Globe

Hala Alyan, The Arsonists' City

Hala Alyan, The Arsonists’ City
(Houghton Mifflin)

“Tenderly and compassionately told, and populated with complicated and flawed characters, the Nasrs’ story interrogates nostalgia, memory, and the morality of keeping secrets against the backdrop of a landscape and a people in constant flux.”
–Publishers Weekly

Takis Würger_Stella

Takis Würger, tr. Liesl Schillinger, Stella
(Grove Press)

“Würger skillfully intertwines fact and fiction. This subtle, thought-provoking narrative is worth a look.”
–Publishers Weekly


Sam Cohen, Sarahland
(Grand Central)

“A bold collection that explores how we might break free from or reimagine ourselves and our places in the universe.”

Jessica Zucker, I Had a Miscarriage

Jessica Zucker, I Had a Miscarriage
(Feminist Press)

“Zucker’s story is a profound personal reflection, and her remarkable storytelling sheds new light on a difficult topic.”
–Publishers Weekly

Elon Green, Last Call

Elon Green, Last Call

“Rather than focus on the killer—who has all the allure of a wet cocktail napkin—he foregrounds the lives and milieus of the victims. It’s a reparative act that doubles as an extended elegy for the decades of closeted or bullied queers who encountered similar demons.”

Diane Wilson, The Seed Keeper

Diane Wilson, The Seed Keeper
(Milkweed Editions)

“A thoughtful, moving meditation on connections to the past and the land that humans abandon at their peril.”

Imbolo Mbue, How Beautiful We Were

Imbolo Mbue, How Beautiful We Were
(Random House)

“Readers who enjoyed Behold the Dreamers will be pleased that Mbue persisted to tell this powerful story of the fateful clash between an American oil company and the tiny African village forced to live with the consequences of its environmental destruction.”

Kevin Brockmeier, The Ghost Variations

Kevin Brockmeier, The Ghost Variations

“Varied, inventive, uncanny, and playful: a gifted fabulist’s cabinet of curiosities, his book-length memento mori.”

Sarah Coolidge (ed.), Elemental: Earth Stories
(Two Lines Press)

“A fantastic and deeply philosophical addition to Two Lines’ Calico series of collected works in translation.”

Reality and Other Stories_John Lanchester

John Lanchester, Reality and Other Stories
(W. W. Norton)

“These entertainments are brisk, vinegar-sharp satires that horrify and amuse in equal measure; an alarming reality check. Like a lesson in etiquette, it’s good medicine.”
–The Guardian

Donna Leon_Transient Desires

Donna Leon, Transient Desires
(Atlantic Monthly)

“Leon’s beloved series shows no signs of aging.”

Walter Isaacson, The Code Breaker

Walter Isaacson, The Code Breaker
(Simon & Schuster)

“A vital book about the next big thing in science—and yet another top-notch biography from Isaacson.”

Jess Zimmerman, Women and Other Monsters

Jess Zimmerman, Women and Other Monsters
(Beacon Press)

“A sparkling and perceptive critique of ancient ideas that still hold women back.”

Rebecca Handler, Edie Richter is Not Alone

Rebecca Handler, Edie Richter is Not Alone
(Unnamed Press)

“Handler’s affecting and darkly funny debut explores the impact of euthanasia on a family.”
–Publishers Weekly

Victoria Shorr_The Plum Trees

Victoria Shorr, The Plum Trees
(W. W. Norton)

” Written with urgency, elegance, and grace, Shorr’s novel is a deeply moving account of a family’s suffering.”

laurie elizabeth flynn_the girls are all so nice here

Laurie Elizabeth Flynn, The Girls Are All So Nice Here
(Simon & Schuster)

“Alternating between Amb’s time at college and the present day, Flynn reveals the darkness girls are capable of, building toward a thrillingly unsettling ending.”
–Electric Literature

Amanda Dennis_Her Here

Amanda Dennis, Her Here
(Bellevue Literary Press)

“An experimental, psychological debut about selfhood, fiction, and memory.”

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