New Book Releases: January 12, 2021

Each week, I’ll catalog the biggest and most exciting adult and YA fiction — and the occasional nonfiction — coming out that Tuesday.

DETRANSITION, BABY, Torrey Peters. When a trans woman’s partner detransitions, she finds her family forever changed. “Smart, funny, and bighearted,” writes Kirkus in a starred review. Read an excerpt on Esquire. Bookshop.

WHAT COULD BE SAVED, Liese O’Halloran Schwarz. When she receives a mysterious call from a man claiming to be her long-lost brother, a woman flies to Bangkok to uncover her family’s secrets when they lived in Thailand in the 1970s. Bookshop.

THE CENTER OF EVERYTHING, Jamie Harrison. An editor and mother struggling with memory problems prepares for a large family reunion while coping with the suspicious disappearance of her children’s’ babysitter. “The kind of book that invites a second reading,” writes Kirkus in a starred review. Bookshop.

THE LOST MANUSCRIPT, Cathy Bonidan. After discovering a 30-year-old manuscript in a hotel bedside table, a woman tracks down the two authors who worked on the book decades ago. Bookshop.

YOU HAVE A MATCH, Emma Lord. When a teenager takes a DNA test, she discovers a lost sister, now an Instagram influencer, whose parents — for unknown reasons — gave her up for adoption at birth. “A heartwarming novel of friendship and family,” writes Kirkus. Bookshop.

THAT OLD COUNTRY MUSIC, Kevin Barry. A collection of short stories from “the great romantic of contemporary Irish fiction,” according to The Irish Independent. Aggregated critical reviews, Bookshop.

THE REVOLUTION ACCORDING TO RAYMUNDO MATA, Gina Apostol. A fictional memoir by a Filipino revolutionary whose story is complicated by his book’s forwards, afterwards, and footnotes, all written by feuding academics. “Apostol’s unique perspective on facts versus fiction would make for a perfect Charlie Kaufman movie,” writes Publisher’s Weekly in a starred review. Bookshop.

TALES FROM THE HINTERLAND, Melissa Albert. An illustrated collection of fairy tales from the author of the beloved YA fantasy novel The Hazel Wood. Kirkus calls it “dark, demanding, and delicious.” Bookshop.

THE RUTHLESS LADY’S GUIDE TO WIZARDRY, C.M. Waggoner. A con artist and witch takes a job protecting a wealthy woman from unknown assassins. In a starred review, Publisher’s Weekly writes “with this winning ensemble adventure, Waggoner again proves her skill at crafting immersive, historically flavored fantasy.” Bookshop.

ACROSS THE GREEN GRASS FIELDS, Seanan McGuire. A child finds herself in a land filled with centaurs, unicorns, and other magical creatures. A standalone novel in the beloved Wayward Children series. Bookshop.

THE LAST GARDEN IN ENGLAND, Julia Kelly. A woman whose job is to revitalize old gardens uncovers long-dead secrets in the garden designed by her hero. Bookshop.

THE CHILDREN’S BLIZZARD, Melanie Benjamin. In the Dakota territories in 1888, schoolteachers, children, and families struggle to survive an unexpected and massive blizzard after an unusually mild winter. Bookshop.

YELLOW WIFE, Sadeqa Johnson. An enslaved woman fights to survive in an infamous jail in Virginia. “A horrifying but ultimately moving story anchored by a complex narrator,” writes Kirkus in a starred review. Bookshop.

BEFORE THE RUINS, Victoria Gosling. A group of teenagers embark upon a dangerous search for lost treasure at an abandoned manor in this propulsive debut. Bookshop.

WAITING FOR THE NIGHT SONG, Julie Carrick Dalton. An evocative, beautifully-written debut about a child who helps cover up a murder, and the ripple effects it creates in her small New Hampshire community. “A taut novel that builds suspense to the very end,” writes Publisher’s Weekly. Bookshop.

THE INLAND SEA, Madeleine Watts. A recent college graduate takes a part time job as a 911 operator, which creates traumatic ripple effects in her home life. “Magnificently uncomfortable,” writes Kirkus. Bookshop.

THE HOUSE ON VESPER SANDS, Paraic O’Donnell. A brilliantly plotted, hilarious novel about a Cambridge Divinity School dropout and a police detective as they investigate the mysterious deaths of young women in Victorian London. “It demands to be read by a fire on a cold winter evening (but make sure the doors are locked before you begin). I only wish it had been twice as long,” writes The Irish Times. Aggregated critical reviews, Bookshop.

SUMMERWATER, Sarah Moss. From the author of Ghost Wall, a new novel about twelve strangers who are forced together by tragedy. “There is an artfulness to her writing so accomplished as to conceal itself,” writes The Guardian. Bookshop.

PEOPLE LIKE HER, Ellery Lloyd. An influencer finds her moral compass spinning off-center as danger creeps closer to her family. Bookshop.

THE FROZEN CROWN, Greta Kelly. In this gripping epic fantasy, a cantankerous princess must navigate an unfriendly foreign imperial court as she tries to dredge up support for her kingdom, which is under threat from a neighboring dictatorship. Bookshop.

THE CHARMED WIFE, Olga Grushin. Cinderella plots the murder of Prince Charming in this disarmingly beautiful novel. Bookshop.

SLEEP WELL, MY LADY, Kwei Quartey. A private investigator takes on a year-old case of a murdered fashion icon, whose family believes was killed by her boyfriend, a womanizing talk show host. Bookshop.

HADES, ARGENTINA, Daniel Loedel. A decade after fleeing the Argentine Dirty War, a young man returns to mourn the impending death of a longtime friend, and search for the woman he loved. In a starred review, Kirkus says it’s a “complex and intimate meditation on love, guilt, and the decisions that haunt us forever.” Bookshop.

THE EFFORT, Claire Holroyde. A NASA scientist and his girlfriend fly to French Guiana to join a team of scientists desperately attempting to stop a comet from colliding with Earth. Bookshop.

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I’m a columnist for OneZero, where I write about the intersection of health & tech. Also seen at Elemental, The Atlantic, VICE, and Vox. Brooklyn, NY.

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