• Saturday, February 24, 2024

These 9 New Books Are Finally Out — Here's Why You Should Read Them

These 9 New Books Are Finally Out — Here's Why You Should Read Them
on Apr 29, 2021
These 9 New Books Are Finally Out — Here's Why You Should Read Them

Hello, book lovers! Each week, dozens and dozens of new releases hit the shelves. Below are some of the reads Books writers and contributors loved the most:


1. Anna K Away by Jenny Lee

Anna K Away by Jenny Lee: This is the sequel to Anna K, Lee's modern-day retelling of Anna Karenina. After being thrust into the aftermath of a sex tape leak and a tragic death, Anna is taken to South Korea by her father to connect with his family. There, Anna hopes to figure out who she truly is. Then, of course, there's the return of Lolly and Steven, Dustin and Kimmie, and new problems arising in their relationships. Told throughout the course of a summer, Lee guides us through a period of healing and growth for these characters. Farrah Penn

2. Whereabouts by Jhumpa Lahiri

Listen, I know you probably don’t need another book about feeling sad and isolated — especially during month 12 (TWELVE!) of a global pandemic — but I’m going to ask you to make room for one more. In Jhumpa Lahiri’s latest novel, her main character lives in solitude but seems to always yearn for more; she has distant relationships with friends, exes, and family members, all of which feel unfulfilling. (Sound familiar?) Her first book written in Italian and then translated to English, it has all the elements you love from a Lahiri book: compelling characters who speak volumes in their silence, prose that reads like art and makes you want to reread certain paragraphs three or four times, and some comforting melancholy on every page. You’re going to be sad anyway. Might as well do so with a really good book. Scaachi Koul

3. Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto

Blind dates are usually bad but when Meddelin Chan accidentally kills hers, things go from bad to worse. Her mom and meddling aunts help her get rid of the body, but things go awry and it's mistakenly shipped in a cake cooler to the site of the wedding Meddelin and her family are working at later that week. To make matters even more complicated, Meddy's long-lost love turns up as a guest. In one weekend, Meddy and her aunts have to try to evade murder charges, pull off a high-class wedding, and get Meddy's ex to fall back in love with her. Shyla Watson

4. An Earl, the Girl, and a Toddler by Vanessa Riley

Author of A Duke, the Lady, and a Baby, Vanessa Riley returns to 19th-century London to follow Jemina St. Maur, a woman who walked away from a shipwreck with her life...but not her memory. Jemina has no memory of her past or even herself; but she knows Daniel Thackery, the lawyer who broke the law to have her freed from an asylum. Between being a widower and a stepfather to a young girl, not to mention a Black lawyer in in the late 1880s, Daniel Thackery has his hands full. But he can't seem to stay away from Jemina's mysterious allure. Against his better judgment, he goes on a journey to help her learn the truth about her identity and both of them discover more than they bargained for. Shyla Watson

5. The Seat Filler by Sariah Wilson

Juliet Nolan is a professional dog groomer but when her best friend asks for her help, she finds herself freelancing as a seat filler at some of Hollywood's biggest events. Not only does she never expect to get seated next to her childhood (and adult) obsession Noah Douglas, but she also never expects for him to be an egotistical snob. To put him in his place, she lies and says she has no idea who he is, which Noah finds to be incredibly intriguing. Under the guise of grooming his dog, he reaches out and soon the two find themselves in an unlikely friendship. Noah wants to be more than friends and so does Juliet, but she has a huge phobia that's standing in her way. Noah offers to help her overcome her fear and with a little work, the two might actually be able to have a future. But what's a future that's built on lies? Shyla Watson

6. The Haunting of Alma Fielding: A True Ghost Story by Kate Summerscale

Kate Summerscale’s latest historical deep dive follows the quirky and endlessly curious ghost hunter Nandor Fodor as he investigates an apparent poltergeist haunting a young mother named Alma Fielding in suburban London in 1938. Vigilant in his efforts to scientifically determine proof of the supernatural (Fodor was a lead researcher at the International Institute for Psychical Research), he moves into the house with his ragtag team of assistants and colleagues. They each witness — sometimes gleefully, sometimes in horror — objects flying through the air, bugs appearing as if from nowhere, a cold grip on the shoulder. But as Fodor digs deeper, he discovers a different kind of darkness in Alma’s past that slowly obsesses him: a history of trauma and abuse no less terrifying for being of this world. Summerscale’s thorough account brings Fodor and those around him to life while tracking shifting cultural views and scientific understandings of spiritualism, psychology, and sexuality. It is a feat of narrative history. Arianna Rebolini

7. White Magic by Elissa Washuta

In this potent, illuminating memoir in essays, Elissa Washuta, a member of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe, digs into her relationship with magic and the occult. Writing candidly about her experiences of abuse, addiction, and mental illness, she recounts the role of magic — specifically Native magic, one that hasn’t been appropriated or “built on plunder” — in her pursuit of meaning and survival. Washuta also pulls from (pop) cultural touchstones, exploring how movies, games, and music informed her identity and understanding of the world. Touching on love, heritage, identity, and faith, White Magic is resonant and weighty. Arianna Rebolini

8. Folklorn by Angela Mi Young Hur

In this fascinating and introspective novel, science and Korean mythology intersect when a scientist grapples with her career, family, mental health, and identity as a Korean immigrant. As a child, particle physicist Elsa Park was told by her mother that their family was cursed, doomed to repeat stories from the Korean myths and folktales that make up their heritage. Elsa first sees a ghost in the Antarctic snow while working in an observatory. While ghosts and past traumas haunt Elsa, she studies in Sweden and then returns to her family home in California after her mother’s death. Once there, she discovers secrets in the handwritten pages of her mother’s stories. This novel is deeply moving, a complex tale about repressed grief, myth, and diaspora. Margaret Kingsbury

9. The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Two of Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s novels are being rereleased this year with lovely new covers: The Beautiful Ones (2017) and Certain Dark Things (2016). The Beautiful Ones takes place in a regency-inspired fantasy world. Nina is a young, wealthy country girl with untrained telekinetic magic whose family is presenting her to society for the first time. However, no suitors court her because women with magic are frowned upon in high society. That’s not the case for men, however. Hector Auvray grew up poor but has become quite wealthy due to the popularity of his telekinetic performances. After Nina approaches Hector at a party as a fan of his telekinetic skills, he decides to court her to get closer to Valérie, Nina’s aunt and his first love. But his goal to reunite with Valérie becomes complicated when another part of him starts to fall for Nina. This slow-burn fantasy romance is perfect for fans of Jane Austen. Margaret Kingsbury Source: buzzfeed 

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