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    29 new books out today!

    Gabrielle Bellot

    June 6, 2023, 4:51am

    It’s June, the month of Pride (although all months should be, really), and, as always, this means that new, exciting books are coming out. Below, you’ll find fiction, nonfiction, comics, and poetry, as well as work that blurs the boundaries of genres. There are exciting fictional explorations of queerness, rock music, immigration, and more; deep dives into Shakespeare’s Juliet, climate change, MDMA, and the unexpected intersection of polar exploration and modern media; moving memoirs about being at the margins of identities; and much, much more. I hope you’ll add some of these to your ever-embiggening to-be-read lists!


    My Murder - Williams, Katie

    Katie Wiliams, My Murder

    “Williams deftly swirls science fiction and domestic suspense plotlines into this fresh and unpredictable tale…. Imbued with a sharp feminist consciousness…. My Murder shakes up the same-old, same-old conventions of every genre it touches and has a ton of fun doing so.”
    The Washington Post

    Charm City Rocks: A Love Story - Norman, Matthew

    Matthew Norman, Charm City Rocks

    “The story follows the characters as they navigate the messy emotions of growing up, growing closer, and growing apart. Full of tongue-in-cheek adoration for the city of Baltimore, from its beers to its obsession with crabs, the story is also packed with witticisms and nostalgic rock references…. Pure fun.”
    Kirkus Reviews

    How to Write about Africa: Collected Works - Wainaina, Binyavanga

    Binyavanga Wainaina, Achal Prabhala (editor) How to Write About Africa: Collected Works
    (One World)

    “It’s beginning to seem like Binyavanga Wainaina’s satirical essay ‘How to Write About Africa’ might be, after the Bible, the most read English-language text on the African continent…. This collection of his writing—the first to be published since he died—makes it difficult not to feel the scale of [his] loss…. A fierce literary talent…. [Wainaina] shines a light on his continent without cliché.”
    The Guardian

    Dreaming Home - Childs, Lucian

    Lucian Childs, Dreaming Home

    Dreaming Home is the propulsive tale of how one act of cruelty can reverberate through many lives and for many decades. Childs intricately and carefully brings to life the constellation of characters who circle around Kyle and his queer coming of age. Dreaming Home poses brilliant and important questions, forcing the reader to consider the power we have over one another and the twisted and painful paths life can take toward joy.”
    –Lydia Conklin

    Almost Brown: A Memoir - Gill, Charlotte

    Charlotte Gill, Almost Brown: A Memoir
    (Crown Publishing)

    “With humor and insight, Gill traces the quicksand of assimilation, her immigrant parents’ dogged pursuit of the American Dream, and the job uniquely left to first-generation children to rediscover the homeland they’ve never known…. A joyful read of memory and forgiveness.”
    –Hafizah Augustus Geter

    Between Two Moons - Abdel Gawad, Aisha

    Aisha Abdel Gawad, Between Two Moons

    Between Two Moons is a fearless and unflinchingly honest debut. With dangerous accuracy, Aisha Abdel Gawad depicts a particular kind of immigrant existence…. More than anything, Between Two Moons is a story about the place so many Arabs in this part of the world have been forced to inhabit in the post-911 age: that malicious, disorienting chasm between the hope of being seen and the fear of being watched.”
    –Omar El Akkad

    I Feel Love: Mdma and the Quest for Connection in a Fractured World - Nuwer, Rachel

    Rachel Nuwer, I Feel Love: MDMA and the Quest for Connection in a Fractured World

    “A sobering and eye-opening look at the psychedelic drug MDMA and how people’s quest for healing persists through the generations…. An illuminating, myth-free exploration of mental health from a unique perspective.”
    Kirkus Reviews

    Countries of Origin - Fuentes, Javier

    Javier Fuentes, Countries of Origin

    Countries of Origin is a tender and heartfelt novel about homecoming in all its complexity and gay love in all its rawness and wonder. It paints a brilliant and evocative portrait of the city of Madrid as it slowly becomes a kind of home for our wandering hero.”
    –Colm Tóibín

    Soldiers Don't Go Mad: A Story of Brotherhood, Poetry, and Mental Illness During the First World War - Glass, Charles

    Charles Glass, Soldiers Don’t Go Mad: A Story of Brotherhood, Poetry, and Mental Illness During the First World War

    “Novels and films have been devoted to Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen, but Charles Glass’s elegant non-fiction account has an indelible poetry of its own. Surprise and suspense, character and conviction, horror and heroism are seamlessly woven together in a fast-moving narrative.”
    –Christopher Benfey

    Strong Female Character - Brady, Fern

    Fern Brady, Strong Female Character

    Strong Female Character is a testament to the importance of self-knowledge. Fern Brady is a natural and engaging writer, weaving bleak episodes with moments of pure comedy as she reappraises crucial moments in her life through the lens of her autism diagnosis. Brutal honesty and a talent for storytelling combine to make an insightful memoir that’s not only very funny, but will no doubt provide invaluable moments of recognition for many readers.”
    The Guardian

    Fire Weather: A True Story from a Hotter World - Vaillant, John

    John Vaillant, Fire Weather: A True Story from a Hotter World

    “A gripping account of the May 2016 fire that engulfed the city of Fort McMurray in the Canadian province of Alberta, destroying thousands of homes and forcing the evacuation of 88,000 people. [Vaillant’s] vivid description of the conflagration… is set against the Dantean backdrop of Fort McMurray’s oil-sands mining industry, one of the dirtiest outposts of the fossil fuels sector…. Vaillant’s exploration of this material is rich and illuminating, and his prose punchy and cinematic.”
    Publishers Weekly

    Such Kindness - Dubus, Andre

    Andre Dubus III, Such Kindness

    “Dubus returns with a heartrending account of one man’s desperate quest to retain his sense of goodness under the long shadow of the financial crisis…. This is a stirring addition to Dubus’s formidable oeuvre.”
    Publishers Weekly

    Lucky Dogs - Schulman, Helen

    Helen Schulman, Lucky Dogs

    “Part thriller, part Hollywood satire, Lucky Dogs is a brash, sometimes heartbreaking saga in which trauma and self-preservation converge across decades and continents. This is Helen Schulman’s best novel yet.”
    –Jennifer Egan

    Boys Weekend - Lubchansky, Mattie

    Mattie Lubchansky, Boys Weekend

    “Ingenious…. Lubchansky’s script and art both achieve a deadpan style reminiscent of Daria and 1990s Nickelodeon, which amplifies the surreal delirium…. A hilarious and terrifying send-up of capitalist-driven masculinity and a poignant story about the perception-altering blessings (and burdens) of queerness.”
    Publishers Weekly

    Freedom House - Brookins, Kb

    KB Brookins, Freedom House: Poems
    (Deep Vellum)

    KB Brookins’ Freedom Houseis an unapologetic, forward-dreaming manifesto for a better, shared future. Based out of Austin, Texas, Brookins writes about growing up queer, Black, and trans in Texas…. With a particular Afrofuturism and feminist focus, this poem speaks to Brookins’ interest in intergenerational trauma and healing.”
    Southern Review of Books

    The Memory of Animals - Fuller, Claire

    Claire Fuller, The Memory of Animals
    (Tin House)

    The Memory of Animals has done the impossible—made me eagerly anticipate a novel that involves a pandemic in the year 2023. It’s also got: experimental technology that allows users to revisit their memories, marine biology, and promises to be an immersive, thought-provoking, and haunting-in-a-good-way literary masterwork.”

    Relentless Melt - Bushnell, Jeremy P.

    Jeremy P. Bushnell, Relentless Melt
    (Melville House)

    “Bushnell (The Weirdness) seamlessly blends mystery, urban fantasy, and an exploration of gender identity into the kind of fun and fantastical ride that his readers have come to expect. Recommend to fans of T. J. Klune and Kevin Wilson.”
    Library Journal

    Kairos - Erpenbeck, Jenny

    Jenny Erpenbeck, Kairos (trans. Michael Hofmann)
    (New Directions)

    “Beautifully translated by Michael Hofmann, the novel provides an intimate account of Katharina’s obsessive, transgressive passion…. Erpenbeck writes masterfully about time: days, weeks, and years stretch or collapse…. The arc of Kairos is that of Katharina and Hans’s ultimately doomed love, but it is also—how could it not be, written by Erpenbeck?—about the unraveling of the German Democratic Republic.”

    Love Across Borders: Passports, Papers, and Romance in a Divided World - Miller, Anna Lekas

    Anna Lekas Miller, Love Across Borders: Passports, Papers, and Romance in a Divided World
    (Algonquin Books)

    “Anyone interested in moving beyond the headlines to see the human face of immigration will find this book about the structural inequalities of cross-border relationships timely, thoughtful, and provocative. Eye-opening reading that ably blends the personal and the universal.”
    Kirkus Reviews

    Everything's Fine - Rabess, Cecilia

    Cecilia Rabess, Everything’s Fine
    (Simon & Schuster)

    “A fascinating, complicated, discussion-worthy debut…. It would be easy to label this book an enemies-to-lovers rom-com of the Hepburn-Tracy genus, but that doesn’t capture the unconventional aspects of Rabess’ depiction of her characters… A hot book on a hot topic, well worth reading and arguing about.”
    Kirkus Reviews

    Not Anywhere, Just Not - Sparling, Ken

    Ken Sparling, Not Anywhere, Just Not
    (Coach House Books)

    “In Ken Sparling’s sixth novel, people sometimes just disappear. And when they reappear, they can’t quite say where they’ve been. When this happens to one half of a middle-aged couple, the partner who remains frets about his eventual return. Bordering magic realism and absurdity, Not Anywhere, Just Not is sure to be a metaphysical delight.”
    Quill and Quire

    Moby Dyke: An Obsessive Quest to Track Down the Last Remaining Lesbian Bars in America - Burton, Krista

    Krista Burton, Moby Dyke: An Obsessive Quest to Track Down the Last Remaining Lesbian Bars in America
    (Simon & Schuster)

    Moby Dyke is a hilarious adventure story, a full-throated love letter to lesbian bars, and an open-hearted memoir all wrapped up in one glorious package. Come for the bars and stay for the people inside them.”
    –Emma Straub

    Open Throat - Hoke, Henry

    Henry Hoke, Open Throat

    “Hoke does a fine job with his highly imaginative material, bringing the cougar to vivid life by giving him a fascinating take on the human world and his place in it. Open Throat is a treat for both animal lovers and anyone who appreciates innovative fiction.”

    Farrell Covington and the Limits of Style - Rudnick, Paul

    Paul Rudnick, Farrell Covington and the Limits of Style
    (Atria Books)

    “This is precisely the novel I’ve been dying for this year, a case study in elegant, honest tragicomedy. And it’s also by the genuinely hilarious Paul Rudnick, so you know at least every other sentence is going to lay you out on your side, gasping for air, or at least another martini.”
    –Gary Shytengart

    People Who Talk to Stuffed Animals Are Nice: Stories - Omae, Ao

    Ao Omae, People Who Talk to Stuffed Animals Are Nice: Stories

    “The author excels in using simple but surprising scenarios to capture a range of emotions, especially anxiety, fear, ennui, malaise, disillusionment, and alienation. While the stories examine serious and often heartbreaking aspects of daily living, Omae injects them with just enough humor and tenderness to provoke thought and inspire curiosity rather than despair…. [A] nuanced and moving explorations of the intricacies of interpersonal relationships.”
    Kirkus Reviews

    Battle of Ink and Ice: A Sensational Story of News Barons, North Pole Explorers, and the Making of Modern Media - Hartman, Darrell

    Darrell Hartman, Battle of Ink and Ice: A Sensational Story of News Barons, North Pole Explorers, and the Making of Modern Media

    “Polar controversy fuels the rise of the New York Times in this energetic debut from journalist Hartman…. It’s as bracing as a blast of Arctic air.”
    Publishers Weekly

    Lady Tan's Circle of Women - See, Lisa

    Lisa See, Lady Tan’s Circle of Women

    “Based on the writings of an historical Ming dynasty female physician, See’s accomplished novel immerses readers in a fascinating life lived within a fascinating culture.”

    August Blue - Levy, Deborah

    Deborah Levy, August Blue

    “The narrative here has a fittingly musical quality, running forward in spurts, pausing, repeating key phrases…. The wistful, fabular quality is appealing, as are those aphoristic statements Levy is so skilled at dispensing: sly comments on contemporary power dynamics likewise in the process of changing into new and as yet uncertain forms.”
    The Guardian

    Juliet: The Life and Afterlives of Shakespeare's First Tragic Heroine - Duncan, Sophie

    Sophie Duncan, Juliet: The Life and Afterlives of Shakespeare’s First Tragic Heroine
    (Seal Press)

    “Witty and illuminating…. Duncan’s verve and curiosity, combined with her intimate knowledge of Shakespeare’s play, carry the reader along. She has written a history of Juliet that is as vital and provocative as the character herself.”
    Literary Review (U. K.)

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