The book buyers at Powell’s — the esteemed team that combs through catalogs and determines what new books to bring in — know all of the upcoming releases we should be placing preorders for now. For your eager, book-anticipating pleasure, they pulled together a wide-ranging list of 30 titles, books that cover everything from quantum computing to a home filled with “subtle weirdnesses,” from a comprehensive history of women’s basketball to a tree-focused time-lapse, from the first comprehensive monograph published on Mina Loy to a bloody and bold novel about Shakespeare’s dead heroines. Be forewarned: your wish list is about to get very long.
÷ ÷ ÷
Jen H.'s Picks
Jen buys books for the mystery and sports sections. Her three favorite things are books, cats, and basketball.
Hoop Muses: An Insider’s Guide to Pop Culture and the (Women’s) Game
by Seimone Augustus and Kate Fagan, illustrated by Sophia Chang
I am so excited for this cool, comprehensive history of women’s basketball! It covers just about everything, from Senda Berenson, the first woman to discover the game, to Candace Parker returning to Chicago and winning the 2021 WNBA championship. On top of all the history and info about the best teams, players, and coaches, the book is full of awesome illustrations by Sophia Chang. One of my favorite sections is “The Movies That Should Have Been,” where they reimagine classic basketball movies with female players. I will be revisiting the bite-size chapters in this book often!
Symphony of Secrets
by Brendan Slocumb
Dr. Bern Hendricks has landed his dream job, authenticating a lost manuscript by his favorite musician. While researching the piece of music by Frederick Delaney, Bern and his friend Eboni discover that the revered composer might not be the musical genius everyone believes him to be. I loved the alternating timelines, one modern and one during the jazz age, both populated with fascinating characters. As more secrets are uncovered and the drama heats up, I could not put this book down.
Warrior Girl Unearthed
by Angeline Boulley
A companion novel set in the same world as Firekeeper’s Daughter is a reason to celebrate! Ten years after the events of the first book, we meet Daunis’s niece, Perry Firekeeper-Birch. Perry’s summer takes an unexpected turn when she accepts an internship at the tribal museum and soon realizes that she wants to help recover her tribe’s stolen history. With the help of her friends, she decides to take matters into her own hands. I really enjoyed the characters, the setting, and the thrilling mystery in this wonderful book.
÷ ÷ ÷
Doug C.'s Picks
Doug buys graphic novels for Powell's, writes rarely published fiction, and lives with a wonderful spouse and a ridiculous dog.
Every Man a King
by Walter Mosley
There's no writer like Walter Mosley and no protagonists like his creations: Easy Rawlins, Leonid McGill, and now Joe King, returning in a new era noir, facing tough moral choices, and pulling the reader — you — up close and into every fraught moment.
Joy Ride: A Bike Odyssey from Alaska to Argentina
by Kristen Jokinen
A remarkable and wondrous ride that feels like it never happens anymore, as if Cheryl Strayed's Wild were mixed with dreams and love and a miraculous spirit of exploration.
Join Kristen Jokinen for an event at Powell’s City of Books on May 12, in conversation with Ville Jokinen.
by Martha Wells
The always intriguing, inventive, and fun Martha Wells gives us a fabulous fantasy tale and hours of reading pleasure and adventure.
÷ ÷ ÷
Deana R.'s Picks
Deana buys for Religion, Cooking, Gardening, Agriculture, and Sustainable Living. She is an avid home cook, amateur theologian, prolific crafter, and voracious consumer of genre fiction. Somewhere in her spare time, she’s managed to raise two kind, intelligent human beings and numerous cats.
Something Wild and Wonderful
by Anita Kelly
I was sold on the author’s description: “Like Wild, But Make it Gay.” This looks like it will be a sweet and steamy romance with well-rounded characters and a trauma-recovery storyline that is handled thoughtfully and with tenderness. I can’t wait to join Alexei and Ben and see where their journey takes them.
Join Anita Kelly for an event at Powell’s Books at Cedar Hills Crossing on March 7. She’ll be in conversation with Alison Cochrun.
A House with Good Bones
by T. Kingfisher
When Sam comes home for an extended visit with her mom, she’s expecting a cozy visit with lots of murder mysteries on TV and cheap boxed wine. But something about her mom seems a little off, and there are other, subtle weirdnesses starting to stack up. There’s the neighbor with a guardian vulture, and an eerily perfect rose garden, and the vibe in the house is just weird. I’m always excited when there’s a new T. Kingfisher book out, and this one did not disappoint.
÷ ÷ ÷
Corie K-B.'s Picks
Corie is our sciences and tech buyer, and a self-proclaimed DNA nerd.
Cascadia Field Guide: Art, Ecology, Poetry
Edited by CMarie Fuhrman, Elizabeth Bradfield, and Derek Sheffield
Cascadia: the region that stretches from Southeast Alaska down to Northern California, and from the Pacific Ocean to parts of Idaho and Montana. Cascadia Field Guide: Art, Ecology, Poetry is exactly as promised. Various writers and artists, spanning style and content, share their love of the Cascadia region through illustrations, poems, and natural history.
Must Love Trees: An Unconventional Guide
by Tobin Mitnik
Must Love Trees is a quirky, knowledge-based labor of love for tree admirers everywhere. There is a little something for everyone here. While undoubtedly an identifier for North American trees, this book is also a humorous guidebook with insights and observations brought to us by an author who really loves his trees and the forests around them.
Quantum Supremacy: How the Quantum Computer Revolution Will Change Everything
by Michio Kaku
Quantum computing. What is it and what can it do for us? According to Michio Kaku, the emerging world of quantum computing can solve endless issues important to humans today — climate change, medical research, world hunger. With Kaku's contagious joy of science, we'll learn how our quantum futures could look.
Join Michio Kaku for an event at Powell’s Books at Cedar Hills Crossing on May 3.
÷ ÷ ÷
Leah B.'s Picks
Leah buys for the visual arts, poetry, and philosophy. Her dog is snoring as she writes this.
Rosemary Mayer: Ways of Attaching
Edited by Eva Birkenstock
Rosemary Mayer was part of the feminist and conceptual art movements of the 1960s and 70s. This is also the first monograph on her work. The book moves from her early conceptual art to her incredible large-scale textile sculptures. Mayer had a special interest in folding, draping, and ways of attaching the fabric in order to create her sculptures. Facsimile reproductions of her writings are also included.
Anna Cassel: The Tale of the Rose
Edited by Kurt Almqvist and Daniel Birnbaum
Until recently, Swedish artist Anna Cassel was known for her landscape paintings. However, Cassel was a lifelong friend of Hilma af Klint, and together they founded the spiritualist art group known as “The Five.” This group of women created completely abstract work years before Kandinsky and others. With the publication of this book, a wider audience will finally have access to Cassel’s fascinating abstract work.
Mina Loy: Strangeness Is Inevitable
Edited by Jennifer R. Gross
This will be the first comprehensive monograph published on Mina Loy — an intriguing figure in American modernism. Known mainly for her innovative poetry and forceful feminist writings, her artwork has remained completely unpublished and largely unseen. This volume features her long-awaited paintings, drawings, and assemblage constructions alongside her writings.
÷ ÷ ÷
Michelle L.’s Picks
Michelle buys books primarily for Cooking, Gardening, and Business. Her head is usually in far-off lands or thinking about new recipes she wants to tackle.
The London Seance Society
by Sarah Penner
A brilliant historical thriller by Sarah Penner, author of the bestselling Lost Apothecary, that's full of ghosts, creepy châteaus, gruesome murders, shocking revelations, a sister's need for vengeance, and help from the other side of the veil? It's like this book was made for me. This is edge-of-your-seat reading that transports you right into its pages.
by Alison Roman
Alison Roman is calling her newest cookbook "a dessert book for people who don't do desserts." Hi. That's me. Recipes that aren't overly complicated or fussy yet yield stunning results are exactly what I need to add some sugar to my repertoire. I can't wait to get my hands on this one.
Flavor+Us : Cooking for Everyone
by Rahanna Bisseret Martinez
While I was making quesadillas and packaged ramen as a wee 18-year-old, Rahanna Bisseret Martinez is cooking up global dishes like Masa Doughnuts with Earl Gray Glaze and Jamaican Jerk Eggplant Steaks, both found in her first cookbook, Flavor+Us. I'm so impressed by everything she's done in her career so far, especially her dedication to culture and sustainability. Expect recipes full of bold flavors and stories from her fascinating life as a Black, Mexican, and Haitian wunderkind who's changing the game.
÷ ÷ ÷
Kim T.'s Picks
Kim is one of the children’s book buyers and adult nonfiction buyers. She loves spending time with her family and their sweet Australian Shepherd.
The Moth Keeper
by K. O'Neill
The Moth Keeper captures magic and beauty as only New Zealand graphic novelist K. O’Neill can. Anya is the lone guardian of the enchanted Moon-Moths which pollinate the Night-Flower tree and offer gifts and blessings to the community. An important role comes with great sacrifice as Anya becomes isolated and wonders what it would be like to see the sun for the first time. This is a wonderful middle grade graphic novel tale of found family, adventure, and fantasy by the author of The Tea Dragon Society.
The Tree and the River
by Aaron Becker
In the wordless picture book genre with such beautiful titles as Journey, Quest, and Return, master storyteller Aaron Becker does it again with another gorgeous spring book release to look forward to. The Tree and The River wordlessly guides the reader through a time lapse, with a tree as the main focus, exploring both natural and human developments in a captivating view on human civilization and the impact of its resources.
To Anyone Who Ever Asks: The Life, Music, and Mystery of Connie Converse
by Howard Fishman
Connie Converse’s haunting music and her mysterious disappearance was first chronicled by Howard Fishman in the 2016 New Yorker article and captivated readers about this unsigned pioneer of American music. To Anyone Who Ever Asks delves deeply into this New York City based singer/songwriter’s 1974 disappearance from the point of view of a biographer obsessed with uncovering the truth. A hard look at the music industry in the ‘60s and ‘70s combined with a fascinating true crime narrative make this a compelling read.
÷ ÷ ÷
Mary Jo S.'s Picks
Mary Jo buys literature, science fiction, and horror. She firmly believes in the redemptive power of strong tea.
The Secret Lives of Country Gentlemen (Doomsday Books #1)
by K. J. Charles
If you like M/M historical romance and haven't discovered the wonder that is K. J. Charles, The Secret Lives of Country Gentlemen is a great place to dive in. Joss Doomsday, head of a smuggling clan, meets Gareth Inglis, newly minted baronet. Gareth is a newcomer to Romney Marsh and discovers that life on the marsh is a whole different ball of wax than living in a city. Full of adventure, intrigue, and delicious banter, The Secret Lives of Country Gentlemen is a delight.
The Secret Service of Tea and Treason (Dangerous Damsels)
by India Holt
It takes a near genius to write a silly, frothy, comedic romance novel I can actually enjoyably read. India Holton's third entry in the Dangerous Damsels series was every bit as restoring as a strong cup of tea accompanied by shortbread. In other words, nearly perfect. Secret agents Alice and Daniel are sent on an undercover mission where they must pretend to be married. Flying houses, lots of explosions, and a generous helping of bonkers hijinks — all this and so much more await you.
The Seven Year Slip
by Ashley Poston
Clementine is an ambitious publicist for a small but prestigious publisher. She's trying to settle into the apartment she inherited from her aunt. One hot summer day, she finds a man standing in her kitchen with intentions of cooking dinner. Her aunt always said there was something odd about the apartment. If you loved Poston's first adult title, Dead Romantics, you will devour The Seven Year Slip.
÷ ÷ ÷
Madeline S.'s Picks
Madeline is one of our children’s book buyers, with a focus on YA and middle grade; she also buys world languages and some adult nonfiction. In high school, she was voted “most likely to randomly give an inspirational speech.”
Lies We Sing to the Sea
by Sarah Underwood
This YA debut is justifiably being compared to Madeline Miller’s Circe for its focus on under-sung women of Greek myth. On a deeper level, like Miller, Underwood’s poetic turn of phrase gives the novel a racing heartbeat that will have you reading as quickly as you can from the first line: “A silent maid braided Leto’s hair into an elaborate crown for her execution.” Underwood has here crafted a new myth, grounded in the tragic tale of Penelope’s maids but brought to life by Leto, a brave, bright, compelling protagonist for a brave, bright, compelling debut.
Enter the Body
by Joy McCullough
McCullough showed her historical skillset with National Book Award Longlist debut Blood Water Paint, a novel-in-verse that fiercely told the story of painter and survivor Artemisia Gentileschi. Here, she turns those skills to Shakespeare’s dead heroines (primarily Lavinia, Juliet, Cordelia, and Ophelia, though plenty of others appear as well), who open this combination novel-in-verse/script-style tale, meeting in the liminal space under the trap door of every stage. Unique, impactful, and not to be missed, this beautifully crafted work is about girls and women reclaiming their own stories and writing their own endings: bloody, bold, and resolute.
Chaos and Flame
by Tessa Gratton and Justina Ireland
Gratton (Queens of Innis Lear) and Ireland (Dread Nation) combine their considerable skills to craft a fantasy world of warring Houses, prophetic doom, and ancient magic in this fantastic duology opener! If you’re a fan of Leigh Bardugo or Sabaa Tahir and you’re watching House of the Dragon, you’ll want to pick this one up. War Prince Talon Goldhoard is determined to uphold his family’s (House Dragon’s) rule. But when the young woman his older brother has been painting in prophetic artwork for years shows up demanding they release her father, a prisoner of war from House Kraken, he finds himself entangled in politics and schemes that will shape not just his House, but their entire world.
by Margaret Owen
If we had the option for audio-clip blurbs, this one would be me squealing at a pitch only dogs can hear. I immediately fell madly in love with Owen’s 2021 masterpiece Little Thieves, a smart, snarky, thoughtful retelling of “The Goose Girl” fairy tale grounded in female agency. (I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, when the payoff of the literal “Find the Lady” game happened, I lost my mind.) That book stands wonderfully on its own, but I am excited beyond belief to see more of my favorite horrible goose girl Vanya, who has now started an accidental cult. Given how things tend to go for her, it’s unsurprising that this leads to her suitor and friend Emeric being chosen as a virgin sacrifice. Don’t worry; Vanya has naturally concocted a complex scheme to get them out of this. I adore her.
Join Margaret Owen for an event at Powell’s Books at Cedar Hills Crossing on May 22.
÷ ÷ ÷
Ryan V.W.'s Picks
R.V.W. is the buyer for history and social science. Any free time they have is devoted wholly to Dungeons & Dragons and scotch whisky.
Dice Men: The Origin Story of Games Workshop
by Ian Livingstone and Steve Jackson
It is a generally accepted truth that nerds have taken over popular culture. Comic books, video games, science fiction, and even Dungeons & Dragons have become enormous economic and social influences. But not all historically "nerdy" pursuits have seen the same uptick in general popularity or acceptance. There are still nerdy hobbies that the public at large knows next to nothing about, and even if they do, they may look at its participants with a degree of apprehension. One such hobby is miniature wargaming, or as I like to call it, "dollies fighting over the kitchen table." In the 7th grade, I fell in love with the miniature wargaming hobby and have since put in countless hours painting angry toy soldiers. This is why I was so excited to see the impending release of Dice Men: The Origin Story of Games Workshop. No single company has been more influential on the hobby of miniature wargaming than Games Workshop. Video games and books based on Games Workshop's games have found widespread popularity, even among people who have not spent actual days crafting tiny trees out of pipe cleaners for their little soldiers to fight over. Of the books coming out this spring, this is the one I am most excited about.
Revolutionary Spring: Europe Aflame and the Fight for a New World, 1848-1849
by Christopher Clark
Nestled right between the French Revolution of 1789 and the Russian Revolution of 1917 is maybe the most important European revolution you’ve never heard of. Cambridge historian Christopher Clark's new book looks at a wave of republican revolts that broke out across Europe starting in 1848. Though these revolts almost completely failed in creating any real changes at the time, Christopher Clark argues they lead to real governmental changes across Europe in the decades that followed. Even in failure, the cause of the revolutionaries influenced political thought and practice for decades after. In our current moment, when it seems like countries across the world are experiencing profound shifts in government, this book could give us valuable insight into what our future may hold.
End Times: Elites, Counter-Elites, and the Path of Political Disintegration
by Peter Turchin
Peter Turchin started out as an ecologist collecting and using data to model the dynamics of beetle populations. He began to wonder if these same mathematical tools could be used to track the rise and fall of human institutions. Could history be treated like a science? Could you make mathematical models that tell you why empires fail or why religions disappear? Turchin then went on to cofound the transdisciplinary field of Cliodynamics to attempt just that. He made real waves in 2010 when he stated that his models showed America was in a spiral of social disintegration that would lead to widespread civil disorder and political crisis around 2020. He also predicted that the coming social upheaval could be on par with the 60s and 70s under the best possible scenario, a full-blown civil war the under the worst. His prediction did little more than raise a few eyebrows at the time. The last few years have made his words seem almost prophetical. In his new book, End Times: Elites, Counter-Elites, and the Path of Political Disintegration, Peter Turchin uses the lessons of history to explain how we got here and what — if anything — can be done.
÷ ÷ ÷
For more book recommendations, check out our first Book Preview of 2023
and our Best Books of 2022