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    All The Books We Read And Loved Being Released This October

    Bringing you new books from a wide range of genres.

    literary fiction

    Fight Night

    by Miriam Toews

    Like the best of Toews’ novels, Fight Night deals with weighty subjects — suicide, aging, illness, and mortality — with a keen sense of humor. Swiv, a spunky 9-year-old who has been suspended from school, writes letters to her absent father. The letters are mostly about her grandma, a chronically ill firecracker who loves to rile her daughter, Swiv’s mother, who is a struggling actor pregnant with a baby they’ve all dubbed Gord. When Swiv and her grandmother leave their Toronto apartment to visit relatives in Fresno, California, Swiv learns more about her family’s true fighting spirit. Like Toews herself, Swiv comes from a family of Mennonites, a minority Christian sect with strict gender roles for its dwindling populace. Her aunt and grandfather killed themselves, and the shadow of that loss haunts both her grandmother and her mother, but they both cope — or fight, as Swiv puts it — in different ways. As a narrator, Swiv is charming and hilarious, her grandmother even more so. I laughed and cried reading this book; I can’t think of a higher endorsement. —Tomi Obaro

    What Storm, What Thunder

    by Myriam J.A. Chancy

    How the lives of disparate people are affected by the 2010 Haitian earthquake is the focus of this poignant novel by a Haitian-Canadian-American academic. There’s Ma Lou, a market woman and neighborhood fixture whose son, Richard, a rich businessperson who lives in Paris, returns to Haiti, unbeknownst to her; Sara, a young mother mourning the loss of her children and missing husband; Sonia, a high-class escort with aspirations of owning her own home with her best friend, Dieudonné; Leopold, a Trinidadian drug dealer who adopts Haiti as his hometown; Sonia’s younger sister, Taffia; and Didier, a cabdriver living in Boston and aching for home — among other characters, all connected to each other in various ways. Each chapter centers on a different character. Some of the characters survive the earthquake and recount the grim aftermath, living in tent cities built by foreign aid; others reminisce about their lives before “Douze” (Kreyòl for "12"; the earthquake hit Haiti on Jan. 12, 2010), lives that weren’t necessarily easy in a country plagued by income inequality and the insidious aftereffects of US and French occupation. This book is a difficult but incredibly powerful read. —Tomi Obaro

    Search History

    by Eugene Lim

    Known for his absurdist fiction, Lim continues that streak here with this experimental, freewheeling exploration of grief and capitalism. Characters morph from college professors to robots and factory workers. Existential conversations about identity and self take place between a person and a dog. Fans of Lim’s previous novels and Jorge Luis Borges’s obvious influence won’t be disappointed here. —Tomi Obaro


    by Chibundu Onuzo

    Losing a person we love leaves us with a sense of instability, muddying a self that might have previously seemed clear. Discoveries can do the same. In Onuzo’s third novel, Sankofa, fiftysomething Anna Bain is mourning her quiet, unassuming mother when she discovers her father’s old diary. Having only known the merest outline of his life — his name, Francis Aggrey, and the fact that he was a Black student in London who once lodged with her maternal family — she relishes the confidence and intimacy of his words. But the diary also reveals his true identity: He went on to become the president of Bamana, a small (fictional) West African country. Subtly infused with Anna’s self-protective guardedness, Sankofa tracks her journey to her father’s homeland in search of family and identity. Some may balk at the invented geography and the straightforward way Anna’s past unfolds (though it’s not without conflict). But Onuzo’s clean prose highlights the novel’s hopeful contours. The title, Sankofa, is an Akan word denoting a mythical bird that “flies forwards with its head facing back.” That is, if you study your past, you can move on with your future. Wouldn’t it be good if that were true? Estelle Tang

    The House of Rust

    by Khadija Abdalla Bajaber

    Bajaber won the first Graywolf Press African Fiction Prize with this unique novel set in Mombasa, Kenya. Aisha’s mother died when she was younger, and now her father, a fisher, has gone missing. Her grandmother believes him to be dead, but Aisha refuses to give up hope. With the encouragement and help of a mysterious talking cat, Aisha journeys across the water on a skeleton boat searching for her father. On the water, she meets mythical creatures and beasts from Hadhrami folklore who help her on her quest. With sparse, sharply written prose and surreal imaginings, this vivid coming-of-age novel depicts the complexity of childhood, the importance of family, and the thirst for adventure. —Margaret Kingsbury

    Oh, William!

    by Elizabeth Strout

    Consider this novel by Pulitzer winner Strout a book-length refutation of the idea that exes can’t be friends. Introduced to readers in My Name Is Lucy Barton, Barton is now recently widowed and still living in New York City. She’s friendly with her first husband, William, whose young wife has unexpectedly left him and taken their young daughter with her. Feeling bereft and with lingering curiosity and grief about his late mother, a Maine woman who married a German prisoner of war, William invites Lucy to come with him on an unconventional road trip to uncover some secrets about his mother's past. Written with Strout’s signature compassion, Oh, William! is a moving depiction of family. —Tomi Obaro

    nonfiction & poetry

    New Names for Lost Things

    by Noor Unnahar

    I cling to poetry that evokes the emotion inside me, the words delicately plucked together to create strings of vivid feelings. This is what I love most about Unnahar's latest collection. Many of her poems peel away at the layers of grief and loneliness. She opens this body of work with the phrase, "This city is forgetting you, which is to say, you should return home." Family and reflection upon birth and death are also prominent here. Paired with thoughtful pieces of art, it's a gorgeously evocative collection. —Farrah Penn

    One Friday in April: A Story of Suicide and Survival

    by Donald Antrim

    Antrim is both a fiction writer and an exceptionally skilled memoirist, and his 2006 book about his alcoholic mother, The Afterlife: A Memoir, was a funny, loving, and ultimately tragic portrait of a woman trapped in a cycle of addiction and mental health issues. Now, in One Friday in April, he recounts the journey he took leading up to his first memoir’s publication, when he was wrestling with dread thinking that he had betrayed his mother by telling the story of his tumultuous upbringing. With exceptional clarity and tremendous self-compassion, Antrim methodically recounts the moments that led up to his committing himself to a psychiatric hospital for several months and the harrowing experience of getting the help he needed to bring himself back from psychosis, including treatments of ECT. Interwoven in his hospital experience is a documentation of the personal annihilations he has suffered throughout his life because of his childhood: “If any one feeling has defined my life, it is the feeling, more an awareness than a thought, that only lonely rooms are safe.” (Disclosure: Antrim was my professor at Columbia University in 2009.) —Karolina Waclawiak

    Disability Visibility (Adapted for Young Readers)

    Edited by Alice Wong

    This young adult version of disability activist Wong’s vital, intersectional collection of disabled voices of the same name includes 17 of the original essays. In the horrifying essay “The Isolation of Being Deaf in Prison,” Jeremy Woody, formerly incarcerated at a state prison in Georgia, recounts the administration's refusal to provide an ASL interpreter. Because of this, he was denied access to educational courses, couldn’t understand the doctors at his medical visits, and was even recorded as pleading guilty when he was unable to argue his case in court. While many of the essays point toward the systemic injustices in the treatment of folk with disabilities, some are uplifting and show the support in disabled communities. For young adult readers, the anthology will challenge the ableism that pervades our culture and offer a new way of thinking about the world. —Margaret Kingsbury

    Black Birds in the Sky

    by Brandy Colbert

    Colbert's searing nonfiction debut covers the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921. Discussing the lead-up to the event, seen through the history and development of the area and the attitudes of the people, as well as how and what happened and the legacy it left, Colbert chronicles one of the most devastating acts of racial violence in US history. —Rachel Strolle


    by Ananda Lima

    Mother/land thoughtfully examines topics of immigration, family, and motherhood, combining fresh imagery that almost paints scenes in your mind with raw, vulnerable language. Lima combines English and Portuguese into her poetry, uncovering complex feelings of identity and ancestry. —Farrah Penn

    mystery and thrillers

    Grave Reservations

    by Cherie Priest

    Professionally, Leda Foley is a travel agent at Foley's Flights of Fancy. In her personal life, she’s a psychic, whose abilities are on the fritz and completely unreliable in helping her figure out who murdered her fiancé (though she does try to hone her powers at Klairvoyant Karaoke, where she sings the first song that comes to mind after she holds someone’s personal belongings). She books a flight for Seattle PD Detective Grady Merritt but changes it at the last minute. When Grady watches his original plane blow up before his very eyes, he recognizes Leda’s abilities and enlists her to help him solve a cold case that’s been haunting him for years. The duo, along with the help of a ragtag group of bar patrons, team up to catch a killer — and realize their two unsolved cases just might be connected. —Shyla Watson

    Nothing but Blackened Teeth

    by Cassandra Khaw

    A bride has always wanted to marry in a haunted house, so when she finally gets engaged, a rich friend decides to make her wedding dreams come true and rents a crumbling Heian-era Japanese mansion for a night and flies the bride and a few friends out to witness the wedding. The mansion is rumored to be haunted by the ghost of a woman whose fiancé died before the two could be married. According to the stories, she buried herself alive and forced a girl to be buried with her every year to keep her company. The narrator, Cat — a bisexual Chinese woman struggling with mental illness and suicidal ideation — is the first to realize that the rumors of a ghostly bride may be true. Both lyrical and creepy, this novella will probably give you nightmares (it did me). —Margaret Kingsbury

    Comfort Me With Apples

    by Catherynne M. Valente

    This sharp, slim novella takes place in the seemingly idyllic Arcadia Gardens, where everything is perfect and everyone should be — is required to be — happy. For Sophia, that happiness means taking joy in her perfect husband and the perfect house he made her. However, when Sophia starts asking herself questions about this overwhelming happiness she’s meant to be feeling, she notices cracks and irregularities within Arcadia Gardens, leading her to ask more questions. As her life begins to fissure, Sophia wonders if escape from Arcadia Gardens for someone like her is possible. This searing read has a twist ending. —Margaret Kingsbury

    No One Will Miss Her

    by Kat Rosenfield

    Lizzie Oullette is found dead in the rural Maine town of Copper Falls, and her husband, Dwayne, is nowhere to be found. As Lizzie narrates this story from beyond the grave, we discover that a detective had found a lead: Adrienne Richards, a social media influencer and wife of a disgraced billionaire, who had been renting Lizzie's lake house. And the clearer her connections to Lizzie become, the more we uncover what happened. —Farrah Penn

    historical fiction

    The Lincoln Highway

    by Amor Towles

    It's 1954, and 18-year-old Emmett Watson is being driven home to Nebraska by the warden of the work farm where he just spent a year working off an involuntary manslaughter charge. With his parents dead and the family farm foreclosed upon, Emmett just wants to pick up his young brother and head west for a new life. But it turns out that two of Emmett's friends have stowed away in the warden's trunk and have hatched a very different plan for Emmett's future. With multiple POVs only taking place over 10 days, this novel is a wild ride through Americana land. —Kirby Beaton

    When Two Feathers Fell From the Sky

    by Margaret Verble

    Two Feathers is a Cherokee horse driver working at the Glendale Zoo in 1926 Nashville, just trying to find her way in life. As one of the few nonwhite employees, Two finds solace in another horse lover, Hank, a Black man who cares for the animals at the zoo despite coming from an affluent family. After something goes wrong at one of Two's shows, odd things begin to happen around the zoo: Images and apparitions from the past appear, and the hippo mysteriously falls ill. Two joins a quirky cast of other characters to determine what's going on in this expansive and well-researched historical work. —Kirby Beaton


    by Jess Lourey

    It's the summer of 1984, and teen Frankie Jubilee is shipped off to her estranged mother's house in Litani, Minnesota. As soon as she arrives, Frankie has a bad feeling about the small town; people whisper about something called "the Game," and her mother warns her against going into the woods or talking to adult strangers. When Frankie is invited to play the Game by the local bullies, she accepts, on a mission to discover Litani's dark secrets. But as the hysteria of the town grows, so does Frankie's paranoia that she may be living among monsters. True crime lovers are sure to love this dark and disturbing thriller, which is based on real events. —Kirby Beaton

    The Ballad of Laurel Springs

    by Janet Beard

    When 10-year-old Grace is looking for a topic for a school project, she stumbles upon the story of how her four-times great-grandfather stabbed a lover to death, an event captured in the folk song "Pretty Polly." In flashbacks to the past, we learn how Grace's ancestors dealt with this legendary song and its dark warning to women, starting with Pearl Whaley, who is still mourning the death of her sister Polly. We move through the decades, learning more about the family's losses, all tinged with the horror of this catapulting event, until we spring back to the present with a poignant revelation about Grace's family. Haunting and lyrical, this story immerses you in Appalachian folklore in a visceral way. —Kirby Beaton

    The Memoirs of Stockholm Sven

    by Nathaniel Ian Miller

    In 1916, Sven Ormson leaves his hectic life in Stockholm to become a miner in Svalbard, where it's dark four months out of the year and polar bear attacks are as common as the northern lights. But when Sven is disfigured by a mining accident, he further flees society to huddle in a homemade hut on an uninhabited fjord with only his dog for company. Years later, an unlikely visitor draws Sven out of his isolation and into a found family of fellow castoffs. Surprisingly humorous, this heartwarming story reminds us that love can reach the iciest depths of our hearts, even in the most inhospitable locations. —Kirby Beaton


    A Holly Jolly Diwali

    by Sonya Lalli

    Data analyst Niki Randhawa has always made the practical decision. She got a steady job instead of pursuing her love of art and music. She stayed close to home to support her family, and she always dated "the right guy" — but never "the One." When she learns she's been fired, she realizes that practicality isn't all it's cracked up to be, and for the first time, she does something spontaneous. She hops on a flight and travels to Mumbai to attend a friend's wedding. At a Diwali celebration, Niki meets London musician Sameer Mukherji, and the attraction is instantaneous. And when the two join Niki's recently married friends on a group honeymoon, their connection only grows deeper. Sam teaches her to let go and get in touch with her creative side, not to mention her Indian heritage. But when Niki is offered a job back home, she must decide whether she goes back to playing it safe or takes a risk for a life of love. —Shyla Watson

    Payback's a Witch

    by Lana Harper

    Like many people, Emmy Harlow moved away from her family and small hometown for the big city to gain independence and forge her own path. Unlike many people, she also happens to be a witch. When her family guilt-trips her into coming home for a spell-casting tournament, Emmy finds herself back in her small town of Thistle Grove, where people like Gareth Blackmoore are running around being powerful and gorgeous. Except Gareth isn't as charming as he seems — in fact, he's been cheating on Emmy's best friend, Linden Thorn, with Talia Avramov, a badass known for her skills in the dark arts. Linden, Talia, and Emmy decide to get revenge, but soon, Emmy finds herself more interested in getting to know Talia than getting payback. —Shyla Watson

    Not Your Average Hot Guy

    by Gwenda Bond

    A regular day working at her family’s escape room business turns hellish for Callie when a Satanic cult shows up, claiming the prop spell book in one of the rooms is real...and that they need it to summon the right hand of the devil. Callie and her best friend, Mag, get wrapped up in the shenanigans, but when a hot guy in a leather jacket named Luke shows up, things get serious real quick. Luke actually happens to be Luke Morningstar, the Prince of Hell, and he teams up with Callie and Mag to help them stop the cult from bringing about the apocalypse. Callie finds herself drawn to Luke, but they’ll never have a future if they don’t save the world. —Shyla Watson

    No Words

    by Meg Cabot

    When author Jo Wright is asked to go on an all-expenses-paid trip to Little Bridge Island and speak at the island's first-ever book festival, there's only one thing stopping her from saying yes: her nemesis and fellow author, Will Price, who lives on the island. Luckily, Jo learns that Will is away on the film set of his next book, and excitedly takes the speaking job. But Will isn't away at all. Not only is he on the island, but he's at the festival and determined to make amends with Jo for past actions. He seems genuine, and Jo wants to believe that he's changed, but sometimes what seems like fact is really fiction. —Shyla Watson

    Well Matched

    by Jen DeLuca

    On the verge of becoming an empty nester, single mother April Parker decides to sell her home and asks her best friend, Mitch Malone, for some help remodeling. In exchange, Mitch asks April to attend an upcoming family dinner — as his fake girlfriend. She agrees, and everything goes according to plan, but when the weekend ends, so does their fake relationship — and any feelings she thought she was starting to have. Cut to summer in Willow Creek, which means one thing: Ren Faire. While April decides to attend for the first time, the fair is where Mitch — often clad in just a kilt — shines. When Mitch's family surprises him with a visit, he taps April to be his fake girlfriend once again, but the longer they play pretend, the more real it starts to feel. —Shyla Watson

    All the Feels

    by Olivia Dade

    After Alexander Woodroe — known for playing Cupid in TV's biggest hit, God of the Gates — makes headlines for getting into a bar fight, the showrunners hire a minder to keep him in line. Enter Lauren Clegg — an ER therapist and self-proclaimed harpy. Lauren moves into Alex's guesthouse, eats all his meals with him, and goes wherever he goes to keep him from getting into trouble. At first, 24 hours together is just a way to make a paycheck. But the more time they spend together, the more blurred the lines between professional and platonic — and, eventually, romantic — become. —Shyla Watson

    A Season for Second Chances

    by Jenny Bayliss

    After Annie catches her husband of 26 years cheating on her, she decides her life needs a change. So she takes a break from the city and accepts a temporary position looking after an old seaside cottage. She soon finds herself taken with the town and its many residents, all of whom have welcomed her with open arms — except one: John, the curmudgeon nephew of the owner of the cottage. The two butt heads at first, but as the snow falls, their feelings thaw and grow into something resembling a possible second chance at love. But when Annie’s old life comes knocking, she’ll have to decide if her new romance is just holiday magic or the real deal. —Shyla Watson

    Donut Fall in Love

    by Jackie Lau

    After the sudden death of his mother, not to mention the strained relationship with his father and years of being overworked, actor Ryan Kwok decides to take some much-needed time off to try to work through his grief. He finds himself in Lindsay McLeod’s bakery...where he accidentally knocks over two dozen cupcakes. Needless to say, things between them get off to a rocky start, but when he signs up for an episode of Baking Fail, Ryan asks Lindsay to teach him to bake. As they spend time together in the kitchen, it gets harder to deny their chemistry. Soon, dessert isn’t the only sweet thing cooking up between them. —Shyla Watson

    Duke, Actually

    by Jenny Holiday

    Maximillian von Hansburg, Baron of Laudon, is the heir to a dukedom he has absolutely zero interest in. When he’s sent to New York to find a bride, he shirks his responsibilities and lands on the doorstep of Dani Martinez — a woman he met at a royal wedding and has wanted to befriend. Fresh on the heels of a breakup, Dani has all but sworn off men. With neither of them interested in romance, they decide to become friends. But as they grow close and their attraction grows, they find themselves in bed together...exce Dani is family-approved, and she isn’t sure she can handle the pressures of royal life. They’ll have to decide if they’re willing to risk it all for a life together, or play it safe for one apart. —Shyla Watson

    The Lady Gets Lucky

    by Joanna Shupe

    Heiress Alice Lusk is tired of being perceived as a wallflower. If she doesn’t break out of her shell, she’ll never find a man to marry who’s interested in anything other than her fortune. So she decides to become an irresistible siren...but needs a little help to do it. She recruits the popular and handsome Kit Ward to teach her how to behave in the bedroom. In exchange, she’ll get him access to the chef he wants to hire for his somewhat shady supper club. But their “lessons” work a little too well, and soon every eligible bachelor has their eye on Alice...including Kit himself. —Shyla Watson

    sci fi fantasy

    That Dark Infinity

    by Kate Pentecost

    After the kingdom of Kaer-Ise is attacked, Flora, handmaiden to the princess, is left as the sole survivor, searching for the princess she served. To do so, she'll make a deal with the Ankou, who by night is a legendary young mercenary and by day nothing more than bones. He'll help train her in exchange for her help breaking his curse so he can find the death that has been prophesied for him, even as she slowly grows to understand (and possibly love) him. —Rachel Strolle

    Dragonblood Ring

    by Amparo Ortiz

    In this action-packed sequel, we follow both Lana and Victoria as their former team heads to Puerto Rico after the capture of the Sire. Since the end of the Blazewrath World Cup, news of burning towns and kidnapped dragons has emerged. Lana and Victoria follow the less-than-forthcoming Director Sandhar to Le Parc Du Chasseurs, a French theme park that has become an illegal fighting ring for dragons. To keep their dragons safe, they'll have to work to take down the entire operation...and keep the Sire's supporters from freeing him. —Rachel Strolle

    The Heartbreak Bakery

    by A.R. Capetta

    Agender teen Syd works at the Proud Muffin, a queer bakery and community space in Austin. But after Syd is dumped, Syd's baking, which has always been an outlet for big feelings, quite literally takes on the feelings Syd was trying to bake away: Everyone who eats Syd's breakup brownies breaks up. Now it's up to Syd, along with the cute bike delivery person, Harley, to fix things...including the magical brownie-induced breakup of Vin and Alec, the bakery owners. —Rachel Strolle

    Little Thieves

    by Margaret Owen

    Up until a year ago, Vanja was the dutiful servant of Princess Gisele. Using an enchanted string of pearls, Vanja stole Gisele's life for herself, taking her place and leaving the princess a penniless nobody while Vanja lives a double life as a princess and a jewel thief. But after crossing the wrong god, she's turning into jewels, stone by stone, with only two weeks to determine how to break the curse. —Rachel Strolle

    Jade Fire Gold

    by June CL Tan

    In this epic fantasy with Zutara vibes, Ahn is a peasant girl who accidentally reveals her deadly magic, while Altan is a lost heir searching for revenge. In each other, they see the thing they most want: Ahn sees a path to her past and her magic, and Altan sees a path to his future and his throne. —Rachel Strolle

    A Spindle Splintered

    by Alix E. Harrow

    This playful feminist novella retells Sleeping Beauty. Zinnia Gray is a contemporary Sleeping Beauty who has a rare, fatal disease. No one with it lives past the age of 21. On Zinnia's 21st birthday, her friend Charm throws her a Sleeping Beauty surprise party, but when Zinnia touches the spinning wheel, she's thrust into another dimension and another Sleeping Beauty story. Zinnia doesn't know how to get back to her world, so she decides to help this Sleeping Beauty break the curse. As the two work together, Zinnia finds herself attracted to the other Sleeping Beauty. Accompanied by Arthur Rackham's original illustrations, this quick read is a must for fairy-tale readers. —Margaret Kingsbury


    by Lucy Holland

    In ancient Britain, a priest has decided to convert the kingdom of Dumnonia to Christianity. Siblings Riva, Keyne, and Sinne, children of King Cador, resist the priest’s influence. For Riva, Christianity means denying her healing gifts and losing her connection to the goddess Brigid. For Keyne, a transgender man in a time when there were no words for being transgender, converting means being forced into an identity that is not his own. For Sinne, still young, it means missing out on the freedom of play. Unfortunately, their mother has welcomed the priest in, and both the king and queen now bow to his desires. Meanwhile, the Saxons are coming, and the fortress may be the siblings’ only protection. A retelling of the British folk ballad “The Twa Sisters,” this lyrical and riveting historical fantasy presents a complex and magical portrayal of Anglo-Saxon England. —Margaret Kingsbury

    The Fox's Tower and Other Tales

    by Yoon Ha Lee

    Originally self-published in 2015, this collection of 25 magical microfictions is being rereleased by Andrews McMeel and includes five new stories. Since 2015, Lee has published several popular SFF novels, including the award-winning Ninefox Gambit and the middle-grade sci-fi Dragon Pearl. Readers of Lee’s previous sci-fi novels may be surprised by these brief, lyrical fairy tales. Shapeshifting foxes, tiger wives, and dormouse paladins all make appearances. Many of the pieces present queer animal wives or normalize nonbinary characters. Taken as a whole, these mesmerizing fables present a beautiful, mythic world populated by animal characters. —Margaret Kingsbury

    The Brides of Maracoor

    by Gregory Maguire

    Maguire returns to Oz 25 years after publishing Wicked with this spellbinding first book in a new series. Every day, the seven brides of Maracoor help keep time moving forward. When a bride dies, the Minor Adjutant, who visits yearly, brings a baby to replace her. When the youngest bride spots an unconscious girl, Rain, wrapped around a goose, she helps the goose bring her to shore. It’s only once Rain is inside that the youngest bride realizes she’s green. When Rain awakens, she’s lost all memory of her past. As the seven brides bicker over what to do with Rain and factions form, the Minor Adjutant arrives on his yearly visit. With its rich character development and a healthy dash of Maguire’s humor, this latest Oz tale is as satisfying a read as The Wicked Years quartet. —Margaret Kingsbury

    The Book of Magic

    by Alice Hoffman

    The fourth and final installment of the Practical Magic series occurs after the eponymous novel's events. Making their appearances are the aunts Jet and Franny Owens, Uncle Vincent, Sally, Gillian, and Sally's children, Kylie and Antonia. Sally hasn't told her daughters that they're witches. Thus, Kylie and Antonia know nothing about the Owens women's curse and how they should never fall in love. Kylie learns of their curse only when the man she fell in love with lies in a coma. In despair, she vows to break the curse no matter what it takes, even if it means unearthing the dark side of her magic. Despite the risk, her family rallies behind Kylie, traveling from Paris to London in search of clues to breaking the curse. The Book of Magic gives an engrossing and satisfying conclusion to the series. —Margaret Kingsbury

    The Cabinet

    by Un-Su Kim

    Translated from Korean, these delightfully imaginative and humorous interconnected short stories examine the characters from Cabinet 13. Cabinet 13 catalogs people referred to as symptomers, humans who represent a jump in the evolutionary chain and might be considered a new species. Office assistant Mr. Kong works for Professor Kwon, who's in charge of studying and keeping track of this new species. From a man with a ginkgo tree blooming from his pinkie to a time skipper to a woman with a lizard growing inside her mouth, these symptomers are both fascinating and annoying to Mr. Kong. While the first half reads like a series of anecdotes, a larger plot slowly emerges. Quirky and inventive, this is the second of award-winning author Kim’s novels to be translated into English. —Margaret Kingsbury

    Within These Wicked Walls

    by Lauren Blackwood

    This mesmerizing Ethiopian-inspired gothic reimagines Jane Eyre in a fantasy setting. Andromeda was trained as a debtera — an exorcist who cleanses houses of evil spirits — though her mentor refuses to license her officially. She’s barely making a living when the wealthy Magnus Rochester hires her to rid his castle of its evil spirits. When she arrives, she’s shocked by what she finds. Deadly manifestations fill the castle beginning at 10 p.m. and continue throughout the night. She’s never seen such a multitude of evil spirits all in one place, and never this deadly. She’s unsure if she’ll be successful at ridding the castle of its hauntings, but desperate for money and finding herself somewhat attracted to the handsome Mr. Rochester, she agrees to take the job. —Margaret Kingsbury

    Far From the Light of Heaven

    by Tade Thompson

    This character-driven, locked-room murder mystery set in space is as intriguing as the title. Michelle "Shell" Campion is a young captain of the colony ship Ragtime. However, human captains helm spaceships in name only, as the ship's AI does all the work. After 10 years, she awakens from stasis, ready to deliver the thousand-plus colonists to the planet Bloodroot, and discovers that 32 people have been murdered and cut into tiny pieces. On top of that, Ragtime's AI isn't responding appropriately to her commands. Meanwhile, on Bloodroot, Detective Fin has been declared off-duty after a disaster on the job. When word reaches Bloodroot of Shell's little murder issue, Fin's superiors put him on the job. If he can figure out who the murderer is, he'll have his job back. However, Fin hates space, and he has depression. With aliens, androids, too-curious politicians, and a rogue AI, this new novel from Thompson manages to be both a romp and a puzzle. —Margaret Kingsbury

    young adult

    The City Beautiful

    by Aden Polydoros

    European Jewish immigrant boys keep turning up dead in 1893 Chicago, and when the newest victim hits way too close to home for Alter Rosen, he feels the effects quite literally when his dead roommate's dybbuk possesses him. The only way for Alter to get free is to solve the mystery of the killer's identity, even if he has to rely on the most dangerous and charismatic person from his past to do it. —Dahlia Adler

    Just Ash

    by Sol Santana

    Ash knows he was born intersex, but while he may not look like every
    other guy under his clothes, he's never questioned his gender. So when
    he gets his period for the first time at school and suddenly starts
    needing to wear a bra, it's absolutely infuriating to him that people
    start questioning it for him. Then his parents take it too far, and Ash
    has no choice but to run, forcing him to figure out how to hang on to
    the person he knows he is when it feels like everyone else is conspiring
    to tear him apart. A tough, powerful, necessary read, especially as
    Intersex Awareness Day approaches. —Dahlia Adler

    Tonight We Rule the World

    by Zack Smedley

    Smedley (Deposing Nathan) returns to do what he does best with another powerful and nuanced YA about a bisexual boy who finds himself in a complicated legal battle he never wanted. But here, Owen is out and relatively comfortable in his queerness, and also unquestionably the victim: He was sexually assaulted on a school trip by a classmate. It was supposed to remain his secret, but when someone else goes to the cops, Owen is forced to live with both the truth and the fallout. —Dahlia Adler

    Where There's a Whisk

    by Sarah J. Schmitt

    Romance, betrayal, and other deliciousness abound in this contemporary YA about a competition for the next Top Teen Chef. It stars pastry chef Peyton, who's elated at the chance to win a scholarship to a top culinary school, until she realizes the show will do anything for ratings. Loath to have herself pushed into the role of "the poor girl," dredging up a past she'd rather leave behind her, Peyton does her best to avoid playing their games, but she can't be sure everyone around her is doing the same. —Dahlia Adler

    The Throwback List

    Lily Anderson

    Editor's note: While this title is slotted under young adult, its genre is new adult.

    Jo, Autumn, and Bianca have returned to Sandy Point, Oregon, the sleepy beach town they all thought they'd left behind after high school. Bianca, the prom queen and valedictorian, manages the family tattoo parlor; former actor Autumn teaches drama at Sandy Point High; and Jo just got fired from her Silicon Valley job and ended up back at home. And when Jo finds an old bucket list, the three will be brought closer together with each item they check off. —Rachel Strolle

    Everything Within and in Between

    by Nikki Barthelmess

    When Ri finds a secret letter from her mother, who disappeared when she was younger, she decides to go against her strict Mexican grandma in hopes of reclaiming a relationship. But her mom doesn't match the expectations in Ri's head, and Ri will have to learn to navigate her mixed heritage and family bonds to discover who she is. —Rachel Strolle

    Keeping It Real

    by Paula Chase

    Marigold Johnson is attending a special program at her family's fashion business. But despite the fact that she has a love of fashion in common with the three other trainees, she feels out of place, especially when it comes to Kara, who seems to hate her for no reason. The discovery of a shocking family secret, along with Mari's exploration of her own privilege, shapes not only the rest of the program but also the way Mari sees herself. —Rachel Strolle

    Our Way Back to Always

    by Nina Moreno

    Lou and Sam grew up across the street from each other, but despite their previous inseparability, they haven't spoken in four years. But when Lou finds the bucket list they wrote together as kids, she sets out to finish the list, and Sam decides to tag along. This story of love, loss, and second chances is gorgeous. —Rachel Strolle

    Hunting by Stars

    by Cherie Dimaline

    The sequel to Dimaline’s The Marrow Thieves does not hold back. In this dystopian future, plagues and natural disasters have decimated the population, and many of those remaining have stopped dreaming, except for Indigenous North Americans. Haunted and going mad, the dreamless set up or reopen residential schools to suck the marrow from Indigenous peoples and thus steal their dreams. Seventeen-year-old French belongs to a group of Indigenous folk who have recently rescued one of their members from a residential school. However, on the night of their celebrations, French is captured and imprisoned in a residential school. While he struggles to stay alive and sane, his found family tries to find him and plan for his rescue. Deeply disturbing and moving, Hunting the Stars is a must-read for those who enjoyed the first book or for those searching for more Indigenous voices in SFF, though do make sure to read The Marrow Thieves first. —Margaret Kingsbury