• The Hub

    News, Notes, Talk

    26 new books out today!

    Gabrielle Bellot

    June 13, 2023, 4:42am

    As we approach the middle of June, it is difficult not to think that it has been a curious month, a peculiarly mixed bag of beauty and terror. Depending where you are, you may have gotten to celebrate Pride month in some way already, or begun to enjoy sunny weather at the beach, or both; depending where you are, you may also have had to face apocalyptically hazy skies from wildfire smoke. Whatever the case may be, and even under portentous glows in the sky, new books are almost always the answer (or an answer, anyway).

    Below, you’ll find twenty-six books out today, ranging from novels, story and essay collections, and memoirs to poetry, a humorous guide to the afterlife, and fresh looks at past and present alike. You’ll find comfort and complexity, beauty and strangeness, voices old and new. I hope you’ll choose one (or many more!) of the intriguing new books below to add to your lists, whether your own skies are blue or bewildering.


    Loot - James, Tania

    Tania James, Loot

    “Steeped in the rich history of three nations and infused with a young man’s unshakable desire to do some­thing grand, Loot is transportive storytelling at its best…. James’ plot is brilliant and unique, her creative liberties mixing well with the historical realities of colonialism and migra­tion…. [A] must-read for adventurers, dream­ers and lovers of history.”

    Girlfriend on Mars - Willis, Deborah

    Deborah Willis, Girlfriend on Mars

    “Part disaffected-slacker rom-com, part social satire, part wistful end-of-the-world eulogy for ordinary, unscripted love…. Winsome, sweet, and apocalyptic—a perfect blend for the end of days.”
    Kirkus Reviews

    To Name the Bigger Lie: A Memoir in Two Stories - Viren, Sarah

    Sarah Viren, To Name the Bigger Lie: A Memoir in Two Stories

    “Past and present collide in this propulsive, one-of-a-kind meditation on truth and conspiracy from Viren…. Against the social and political instability of the last seven years, Viren seamlessly weaves her parallel narratives into a bigger picture take on the nature of truth. The result is a mesmerizing page-turner pulled tight with psychological tension. This is breathtaking stuff.”
    Publishers Weekly

    Maddalena and the Dark - Fine, Julia

    Julia Fine, Maddalena and the Dark

    Maddalena and the Dark is chocolate laced with poison. To read it is to fall under an enchantment: 18th-century Venice, desire and obsession, music and ambition, lagoons and monsters. Julia Fine is a writer of ferocious talent and originality, and with her third novel she has crafted a sweeping, dark fairy tale about the violent hearts of teenage girls.”
    –Katie Gutierrez

    Nightbloom - Medie, Peace Adzo

    Peace Adzo Medie, Nightbloom

    “Peace Adzo Medie returns with a formidable exploration of friendship and the intricacies of the relationships that shape us. Told by two bright voices, Nightbloom is a journey that spans years and explores a different truths along a parallel journey. Touching, bold and thought-provoking, this story is one everyone should read.”
    –Onyi Nwabineli

    Wannabe: Reckonings with the Pop Culture That Shapes Me - Harris, Aisha

    Aisha Harris, Wannabe: Reckonings with the Pop Culture that Shapes Me

    “Aisha Harris is one of our smartest, most entertaining modern cultural critics. The nine pieces offer insight on Stevie Wonder, the Spice Girls, Pen15, and New Girl—among many other pop artifacts, of course—which might as well be parlance for, ‘Read me immediately.’”

    The Forbidden Territory of a Terrifying Woman - Lynch, Molly

    Molly Lynch, The Forbidden Territory of a Terrifying Woman

    “[A] spectacular debut…. Writing in tight, precise prose, Lynch weaves environmental disaster, feminist theory, and classical myth into a mesmerizing tale. Lovers of Margaret Atwood and Lauren Groff will be among the many enthralled.”
    Publishers Weekly

    Better Living Through Birding: Notes from a Black Man in the Natural World - Cooper, Christian

    Christian Cooper, Better Living Through Birding: Notes from a Black Man in the Natural World
    (Random House)

    “Christian Cooper’s book is every bit as wondrous and captivating as the birds he so adores–a joyous tour across subcultures and continents, and a masterful account of a life full of song, full of heart, and fully lived.”
    –Ed Yong

    Girls and Their Monsters: The Genain Quadruplets and the Making of Madness in America - Clare Farley, Audrey

    Audrey Clare Farley, Girls and Their Monsters: The Genain Quadruplets and the Making of Madness in America
    (Grand Central Publishing)

    “Expertly blending biography and history, and using the life of Ann Cooper Hewitt as a backdrop, Farley has created an absorbing biography effectively explaining how the legacy of eugenics still persists today. Hewitt’s story will engage anyone interested in women’s history.”
    Library Journal

    Forgiving Imelda Marcos - Go, Nathan

    Nathan Go, Forgiving Imelda Marcos

    “A deathbed confession opens into a journey through the history of the Philippines and a nuanced exploration of deep spiritual questions…. Despite its often dramatic subject matter, Go’s narrative burns slowly, gracing the novel with an understated yet profound power. A tender meditation on the unseen moments that shape history and the human spirit.”
    Kirkus Reviews

    Young and Restless: The Girls Who Sparked America's Revolutions - Kahn, Mattie

    Mattie Kahn, Young and Restless: The Girls Who Sparked America’s Revolutions

    Young and Restless… [looks] at American history and progress through the lens of teen girls—an often overlooked or dismissed demographic that’s had a huge impact on our world, in the civil rights movement, early labor strikes, women’s suffrage, and more.”

    When the Hibiscus Falls - Galang, M. Evelina

    M. Evelina Galang, When the Hibiscus Falls
    (Coffee House Press)

    “This radiant, fearless collection has it all: laughter and heartache, family drama, and history sung in the voices too often missing from the official record. M. Evelina Galang dances from ancestral myth to imaginary futures with a sure-footed grace, and her luminous characters—whether in Manila or Miami, the Midwest or beyond—urge us all to rediscover where we come from and what matters in the end.”
    –Mia Alvar

    Toska - Pleskova, Alina

    Alina Pleskova, Toska
    (Deep Vellum)

    “Pleskova’s poetics is deliciously generous, even in its moments of ambivalence; reading Toska is like chatting with your best friend about pursuing and evading pleasure while the American project unravels. These poems don’t just see to the heart of queer and immigrant subjectivities; they enact them.”
    –Raena Shirali

    8 Lives of a Century-Old Trickster - Lee, Mirinae

    Mirinae Lee, 8 Lives of a Century-Old Trickster

    “A turbulent novel traversing decades of Korean history, 8 Lives of a Century-Old Trickster interrogates love, identity, betrayal, and everything it takes for one shape-shifting ‘trickster’ to survive. Lee writes with sharp, ferocious energy, and I was riveted from the first page. An exquisitely accomplished debut.”
    –Mira T. Lee

    Reproduction - Hall, Louisa

    Louisa Hall, Reproduction
    (Ecco Press)

    “Like [Mary] Shelley herself, Hall provides readers a text composed of diverse parts, a text that readers can endlessly take apart and stitch back together to create new ideas. Body horror and philosophy commingle in this strange, enthralling novel.”
    Kirkus Reviews

    The 272: The Families Who Were Enslaved and Sold to Build the American Catholic Church - Swarns, Rachel L.

    Rachel L. Swarns, The 272: The Families Who Were Enslaved and Sold to Build the American Catholic Church
    (Random House)

    The 272 is revealing about old sins in the Catholic Church and conclusive at tying American higher education to slavery, but the wonderful part is that Swarns reveals and persuades by telling the story of one Black family across the 1800s—people whose names you learn and lives you follow for three generations, individuals who find their way through the tunnel of enslavement and come out whole.”
    –Edward Ball

    The Loved Ones: Essays to Bury the Dead - Davis, Madison

    Madison Davis, The Loved Ones: Essays to Bury the Dead
    (Dzanc Books)

    “Winner of the Dzanc Nonfiction Prize, The Loved Ones is a collection of short autobiographical essays exploring death, grief, and memory…. Davis has somehow captured the ineffable feeling of emptiness when someone you love has been lost to you forever. Details from memories bend and change in the face of grief, and Davis expresses how deeply human it truly is.”
    New Orleans Review

    Hands of Time: A Watchmaker's History - Struthers, Rebecca

    Rebecca Struthers, A Hand of Time: A Watchmaker’s History

    “There is a tendency for watch writing to be a closed shop—to get bogged down in the technicalities of watches and watches alone. Hands of Time puts them into cultural and historical context, combines that with the story of Rebecca’s singular career, and assembles the parts against a backdrop of the whole history of time. It’s also a really fun read.”

    Ponyboy - Duncan, Eliot

    Eliot Duncan, Ponyboy

    “Eliot Duncan’s melancholic transboy swagger sparkles in this classic story of a dissolute bookish Midwesterner who crashes through Europe, falling in and out of love, in and out of despair, adventuring through the nights, and stargazing from the gutter. An astonishing first novel.”
    –Andrea Lawlor

    The Mythmakers - Weir, Keziah

    Keziah Weir, The Mythmakers
    (S&S/ Marysue Rucci Books)

    “A novel about ambition—art-making, self-making—and the ways in which, when questions of gender and desire and love enter the scene, lies and truths can tangle as intricately as the links of a fine necklace. The Mythmakers glitters with suspense, and it held me rapt. Keziah Weir has arrived.”
    –Clare Beams

    The Impostor - Telles Ribeiro, Edgard

    Edgard Telles Ribeiro, The Impostor
    (Bellevue Literary Press)

    “Telles Ribeiro’s title novella is a tour de force that takes place simultaneously in the distant past and in the present, in a seamlessly fractured continuum of time. The second novella is a complex and breathtaking work, rich in feeling, an audacious, dazzling performance. By turns delicate and humorous, wrenching and melancholic, it lays bare the souls of its characters in a manner that I can only call Chekhovian. It is the work of a master.”
    –Jaime Manrique

    My Stupid Intentions - Zannoni, Bernardo

    Bernardo Zannoni, My Stupid Intentions (trans. Alex Andriesse)

    “The character of Archy, in all his awkward, vulnerable marten-ness, emerges as courageously as any classical hero…. This darkly beguiling novel casts its enchantments with an eye trained on the human heart, with its false chambers and rough, bestial inclinations. A remarkable education in the grief of staying alive.”
    Kirkus Reviews

    The Three Ages of Water: Prehistoric Past, Imperiled Present, and a Hope for the Future - Gleick, Peter

    Peter Gleick, The Three Ages of Water: Prehistoric Past, Imperiled Present, and a Hope for the Future

    “Water made us, Peter Gleick writes in his magisterial history and future of hydrology and the human planet. But what will we do to it, and what will we make of it now? What we think of as the Anthropocene, and worry over as the coming of global warming, is in many mind-bending and demanding ways a crisis of water—though a soluble one. And there is no better guide to that crisis, or its solutions, than Gleick.”
    –David Wallace-Wells

    Winter Stranger: Poems - Holbert, Jackson

    Jackson Holbert, Winter Stranger: Poems
    (Milkweed Editions)

    “In the world that is Winter Stranger, oblivion is by turns muse and menace; life at once too brief and yet intolerably long—its excesses carved away by pills, guns, wildfires, grief; and violence often holds the keys to the only tenderness that hasn’t yet left town. Set in the semi-wilds of the Pacific Northwest… Holbert’s poems intoxicate with harsh yet intimate confidences, sharp syntax and tender letters to far-off friends, and vivid conundrums of life lived—and youth endured—far from any city.”
    –Devon Walker-Figueroa

    The Gulf - Cochran, Rachel

    Rachel Cochran, The Gulf

    The Gulf by Rachel Cochran is an exquisite and gripping novel that plumbs the depths of both thrilling and devastating secrets that keep people rooted in place as well as the rot that can infect the heart of a community. The novel is also a moving testament to families of choice so commonly necessary for those deemed outsiders…. Cochran is a master of both prose and plot.”
    —Ilana Masad

    100 Places to See After You Die: A Travel Guide to the Afterlife - Jennings, Ken

    Ken Jennings, 100 Places to See After You Die: A Travel Guide to the Afterlife

    “Jennings conveys substantial amounts of information in his usual witty style, including lots of facts and zero proselytizing…. [A] lot of fun for trivia buffs and other curious souls.”

  • Become a Lit Hub Supporting Member: Because Books Matter

    For the past decade, Literary Hub has brought you the best of the book world for free—no paywall. But our future relies on you. In return for a donation, you’ll get an ad-free reading experience, exclusive editors’ picks, book giveaways, and our coveted Joan Didion Lit Hub tote bag. Most importantly, you’ll keep independent book coverage alive and thriving on the internet.

    %d bloggers like this: