Hooray, It’s Time for New Books!

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Liberty Hardy is an unrepentant velocireader, writer, bitey mad lady, and tattoo canvas. Turn-ons include books, books and books. Her favorite exclamation is “Holy cats!” Liberty reads more than should be legal, sleeps very little, frequently writes on her belly with Sharpie markers, and when she dies, she’s leaving her body to library science. Until then, she lives with her three cats, Millay, Farrokh, and Zevon, in Maine. She is also right behind you. Just kidding! She’s too busy reading.

Twitter: @MissLiberty

Hello, my friends, and happy Tuesday! I hope the weekend was good to you. I spent a lot of it looking out the windows. We have a lot of creature families visiting our backyard these days, and it’s amazing. During the day, there are young birds of all kinds with their parents, and baby squirrels, too. And at night, we have two adorable roly-poly raccoons that have started traipsing through our yard (probably on their way to do adorable crime.) My new favorite visitors are the downy woodpeckers. This is the first year we have seen them up close. They visit the feeders by the windows and they’re just so striking! Nature is rad.

Now, let’s talk about books! Today, I have a fun romantic mystery (is romantery a thing yet?) about a potentially murderous PTA president; a magical romantasy about a librarian with an unusual assistant; and a speculative novel where you get to decide what happens! As for this week’s other new releases, at the top of my list of today’s books that I want to get my hands on are Tell It To Me Singing by Tita Ramirez, Bury Your Gays by Chuck Tingle, and The Coin by Yasmin Zaher. You can hear about more of the fabulous books coming out today on this week’s episode of All the Books! Vanessa and I talked about books we are excited about, including It’s Elementary!, A Thousand Times Before, and Dead Good Detectives!

cover of It's Elementary by Elise Bryant; illustration of a Black woman with a multi-colored headband, a pink shirt, hoop earrings, and pink lipstick

It’s Elementary by Elise Bryant

This fun mystery with a bit of romance is a perfect read for a balmy, breezy day at the beach! Volunteering to lead the new DEI committee at her daughter’s elementary school is not something Mavis Miller needed on her plate. But no one ever says no to PTA president Trisha Holbrook. This is why Trisha gets so angry at Principal Smith during the committee’s first meeting when things don’t go her way. Then Mavis happens to see Trisha carrying black trash bags while wearing rubber gloves later that night. And when Principal Smith doesn’t show up for work the next day, Mavis has to wonder how far Trisha would go to get what she wants. Is she a minivan-driving murderous mom?? Surely it isn’t what Mavis thinks — or is it? With the help of the handsome school psychologist, Mavis tries to get to the bottom of Principal Smith’s disappearance and gets a few lessons on school politics and love along the way.

Backlist bump: Happily Ever Afters by Elise Bryant

cover of The Spellshop by Sarah Beth Durst; illustration of a woodland cottage in a sunbeam with a small cat with blue wings on the stepscover of The Spellshop by Sarah Beth Durst; illustration of a woodland cottage in a sunbeam with a small cat with blue wings on the steps

The Spellshop by Sarah Beth Durst

Welcome to the charmingest book of Charmingtown, population: you! Kiela is the librarian at the Great Library of Alyssium, where she oversees the city’s books of magic. But when revolution comes and the city burns, Kiela flees with as many books as she can take. Along with her assistant, a sentient spider plant named Caz, she returns to her late parents’ cottage, which now belongs to her, on the island where she grew up. It’s here that Kiela discovers that the city has stopped providing the magic that keeps the island going, and everything is doing poorly. She also meets her handsome new neighbor. Tired of hiding from the world, Kiela decides that in order to fix the island’s woes, the power needs to be in the hands of the people, so she opens a secret bookshop for spell books. This is dangerous, because the penalty for doing unlicensed magic is death. But Kiela realizes that in order for her home — and heart — to grow, she has to take risks.

Backlist bump: Race the Sands by Sarah Beth Durst

Cover of All This and More by Peng Shepherd; blue with gold font and several window scenes with little white arrows pointing pathsCover of All This and More by Peng Shepherd; blue with gold font and several window scenes with little white arrows pointing paths

All This and More by Peng Shepherd

And last but not least, this clever speculative selection novel! Marsh is a middle-aged woman whose life is crumbling around her. Her career and marriage are failing, her loving daughter has turned into a distant teenager, and nothing seems to be going well. Luckily, Marsh is about to get a chance to change it all as a contestant on All This and More. The popular game show literally lets contestants go back in time and make different choices. Marsh thinks she knows how she wants to change the life choices she made. But as time goes on, she begins to think that there’s something wrong with what she’s doing. Could it be that you, the reader, are deciding what she’s going to do? That’s right, this novel is interactive, so you play a small part in how things turn out for Marsh. (But don’t stress out — these are fictional people! It’s way easier than making real choices.)

Backlist bump: The Cartographers by Peng Shepherd

orange cat lying on its side in a tan cat bed; photo by Liberty Hardyorange cat lying on its side in a tan cat bed; photo by Liberty Hardy

This week, I am reading The Dark We Know by Wen-yi Lee, which is the first YA title from Gillian Flynn’s imprint. And in preparation for the final book in the Thursday Next series, which is releasing in January, I am rereading The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde. I also fell into a Get Fuzzy rabbit hole, which is delightful. I love those silly animals. The song stuck in my head this week is “Cringe” by Matt Maeson. And here is your weekly cat picture: Zevon and Farrokh still like to sleep in their cat bed they had when they were kittens, even though they don’t quite fit anymore. This sleepyhead here is Zevon.

“Nanny tells me that I’m not to read so many books, that if I continue at my current rate I shall read myself quite to death.”—Edward Carey, The Iremonger Trilogy

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