WE ARE WATCHING ELIZA BRIGHT, A.E. Osworth. An elite video game coder finds protection from a mysterious group known as the Sixsterhood after she is doxxed for reporting her harassment. “Osworth offers a sharp take on the deeply disturbing misogyny that lurks online as well as a hopeful look at combatting it,” writes Publisher’s Weekly. Bookshop.
ANTIQUITIES, Cynthia Ozick. An elderly WASP trustee at a now-defunct all boys school prepares his memoirs, remembering the antisemitism that pervaded the school and his encounters with a mysterious older pupil. The New Yorker calls it “brisk,” writing that “Ozick’s book about a man ensnared by history is at once a warning against the hazards of nostalgia and an invitation to take a longer view of how we got to where we are.” Aggregated critical reviews, Bookshop.
WHAT COMES AFTER, JoAnne Tompkins. A beautiful, heart-wrenching novel about a community coming to terms with grief after one local teenager kills another. Read my review of Tompkins’ hopeful novel here. Book of the Month calls it “a deeply moving account of strangers and friends not only helping each other forward after tragedy, but inspiring a new kind of family.” “Like Anne Tyler and Marilynne Robinson, who explore similar territories of the heart, Tompkins sensitively portrays her characters’ pain, isolation, and hard path to redemption,” writes Kirkus. Bookshop.
THE GOOD SISTER, Sally Hepworth. A woman with sensory processing disorder decides to act as a pregnancy surrogate for the sister who’s taken care of her and protected her from abuse when they were children. Publisher’s Weekly calls it “addictive,” writing that “punchy prose helps propel the twisty plot to a creepy but satisfying conclusion. For fans of domestic dramas, this is a treat.” Bookshop.
HANA KHAN CARRIES ON, Uzma Jalaluddin. A 24-year-old podcaster who works at her family’s restaurant falls in love with the proprietor of a rival restaurant. Kirkus calls it “a delicious treat filled with South Asian fervor and Canadian heart.” Aggregated critical reviews, Bookshop.
THE SOUVENIR MUSEUM: STORIES, Elizabeth McCracken. Short stories from the beloved author of Bowlaway. “An astonishingly powerful collection worth multiple readings,” writes Kirkus in a starred review. Aggregated critical reviews, Bookshop.
EARLY MORNING RISER, Katherine Heiny. A terrible car crash changes how an elementary school teacher views her relationship with her flirtatious husband and the community that becomes increasingly entwined in her marriage. In a starred review, Kirkus calls it “a heartwarming novel with a small-town vibe that sparkles like wine sipped with friends under backyard fairy lights.” Bookshop.
OPEN WATER, Caleb Azumah Nelson. A Black British photographer falls in love with his friend’s girlfriend, a dancer. “Written in lyrical and propulsive prose, a searing debut,” says Kirkus. Aggregated critical reviews, Bookshop.
WHEN THE STARS GO DARK, Paula McLain. After tragedy strikes her personal life, a missing persons detective flees to Mendocino, California, where she lived as a child with her foster parents. But while there, she learns of a missing teenager whose case resembles one that nearly broke the small community decades before. Good Morning America says it’s an “absolutely incredible literary thriller.” Bookshop.
MALICE, Heather Walter. A young woman with maligned magical powers must find a way to save a princess who’s cursed to die in less than a year. “The unexpected cliffhanger at the end of this Sapphic ‘Sleeping Beauty’ will leave readers impatient for a sequel,” writes Kirkus. Bookshop.
LOVE IN COLOR, Bolu Babalola. Reimagined love stories of myths, fairy tales, and legends from around the world. “What a gift it is to have this book to accompany us in this beautiful mess of care, intimacy, vulnerability, and affection amidst struggle and physical separation,” writes Book of the Month. Read an excerpt here. Bookshop.
UNDER THE WAVE AT WAIMEA, Paul Theroux. An aging professional surfer finds his life spiraling out of control when he accidentally kills a stranger while drunk driving one night. “One of Theroux’s best novels,” writes the Seattle Times. Bookshop.
SECOND FIRST IMPRESSIONS, Sally Thorne. A preacher’s daughter who was ostracized for making out with her boyfriend on prom night finds refuge in her job at a retirement community, but a potential corporate takeover — and the new owner’s handsome son — threaten to make a mess of everything. “Charming, funny, and heartwarming,” writes Kirkus in a starred review. Bookshop.
DID I SAY THAT OUT LOUD? MIDLIFE INDIGNITIES AND HOW TO SURVIVE THEM, Kristin Van Ogtrop. A series of essays on making the most of middle-aged life, from the former editor-in-chief of Real Simple. “The playful honesty of van Ogtrop’s inimitable mindfulness will offer readers a fresh sense of perspective as they laugh at the absurdities of life and getting older right along with her,” says Shelf Awareness. Bookshop.
SOMETHING UNBELIEVABLE, Maria Kuznetsova. An elderly woman tells her granddaughter, a new mother, about her harrowing escape from the Nazis in Kiev. “A masterful telling of the closing out of a life,” writes The Moscow Times. Bookshop.
NEAR THE BONE, Christina Henry. A woman living on a remote mountain with her frightening brother discovers a mutilated fox in the woods, and must protect herself from the culprit as well as from her brother when three strangers appear, intent on uncovering what happened to the fox. Bookshop.