by Powell's Staff, January 6, 2023 8:52 AM
New year; new you; new us; but most importantly: new books. 2023 is starting off with such an amazing wealth of new releases and the booksellers at Powell’s are so excited to get these into your hands. Last year, we published our book previews every four months, but this year we've had to move to a quarterly system; our excitement got so out of hand that we actually hit our blog's word limit! Ah well, I guess that's what happens when we're just too effusive about all the great new releases headed our way this year.
Regardless: whether you’re looking for haunting horror, vibrant poetry, steamy romance, challenging nonfiction, or something in between, we’ve got you covered. (And remember: preorders are the gift you give your later self, who will absolutely be grateful for them.)
Happy New Year! Happy reading!
Jump ahead to: JANUARY | FEBRUARY | MARCH
by Ivelisse Housman
Unseelie is the story of Isolde and Iselia who are on the run from the fae when a heist goes awry. Iselia (Seelie) is an Autistic changeling trying to figure out how to control and utilize her magic in order to save herself and her sister. This is the Autistic representation in young adult sci-fi/fantasy we've been waiting for. — Rin S.
by Kashana Cauley
There's already a ton of well-earned buzz about The Survivalists — a literary dark comedy about a Black lawyer finding love with a coffee entrepreneur, and moving into a Brooklyn brownstone full of preppers and coffee beans (and with a bunker out back). It's getting a lot of comparisons to The Other Black Girl and The Sellout, which is already high praise — but my left-field vibes comparison is one of my favorite books from 2022, Disorientation. Kashana Cauly's debut is also about unraveling a certain kind of respectable life that was always precarious, the adventures that come from pulling on those threads, and benefits from the author deeply developing every not-quite-what-they-seem-but-not-how-you-expect character. — Michelle C.
How to Maintain Eye Contact
by Robert Wynn Wood
I do not often get the chance to look at yet-to-be-released poetry books, but I am so very glad I was able to stumble upon an early copy of this book. Everything about this collection from the way it’s sectioned, to the amazing poem titles, to the formatting, is clearly a labor of passion and it pays off big time and all works together to enhance the beautiful poetry within. These poems will make you laugh, make you cry, and most importantly make you feel less alone. — Aster H.
Liar, Dreamer, Thief
by Maria Dong
Like seeing movement from the corner of your eye, only for there to be nothing when you turn your head, Liar, Dreamer, Thief defies any one genre. Katrina Kim is a 24-year-old woman whose life is spiraling out of control; her job sucks, her compulsions make even the simplest of tasks arduous, her apartment’s a disaster, she’s stalking her coworker, and her parents disowned her. She’s losing her already tenuous grip on reality, unable to trust her own eyes: like, did the aforementioned coworker really jump off a bridge in front of her? As someone with OCD, I couldn’t help but feel a kinship to Katrina. Her obsessions, compulsions, and anxiety are so well written — they're her comfort and salvation, her prison and tormentor, all wrapped into one. — Charlotte S.
by Prince Harry
A book we all knew would come eventually. Still, who among us could've predicted it would come with a title that hits so hard. You have to admit you're curious. — Sarah R.
Black Women Writers at Work
edited by Claudia Tate
I have been searching for a copy of this phenomenal, long-out-of-print collection for years. Get ready to be completely absorbed in these candid interviews with literary superstars of the 20th century — including Maya Angelou, Nikki Giovanni, Gayl Jones, Audre Lorde, Toni Morrison, Ntozake Shange, and Alice Walker — about their work and their lives. It's an unbelievable gift to all of us that Haymarket is bringing this beloved collection back into print. — Michelle C.
I Keep My Exoskeletons to Myself
by Marisa Crane
When it comes to queer authors writing dystopian fiction, who better? Queer folk the world over live dystopian lives today what with conservative legislation drafted against their bodies, their existence fought over in libraries, bookstores, and classrooms, or their very lives threatened on the street. I Keep My Skeletons to Myself is undoubtedly crafted by an expert, created in an image of our world, with queer resistance and upending oppressive systems at its core. — Stacy Wayne D.
Please Report Your Bug Here
by Josh Riedel
I want to dislike this early-Instagram employee's novel, but I'm pretty sure I'm going to love it instead — it's blurbed by so many of my favorite authors! it's got that lived-experience cheerfully dystopian startup setting! Blipping into other... worlds? Begrudgingly anticipating! — Michelle C.
How to Sell a Haunted House
by Grady Hendrix
Another Grady Hendrix Horror, Hot off the presses! A master at balancing the terrifying and hilarious, the author of hit titles such as Horrorstör and My Best Friend’s Exorcism is back with a supernaturally intense family drama. How to Sell a Haunted House is a perfect read for anyone familiar with the fraught dynamics of sibling relationships. I personally cannot wait to read about everything haunting this volatile brother and sister pair, regardless of whether the ghosts of the past are emotional or physical manifestations. — Kat H.
Koala: A Natural History and an Uncertain Future
by Danielle Clode
I was a koala-obsessed kid, and overwhelmed a lot of polite adults with mile-a-minute fact-sharing from every school project I'd ever done about these fascinating animals (it usually ended with "and they're endangered, so you should see them while you have the chance.") Danielle Clode's book promises to dive into the details (it still feels wild that they effectively survive off of a toxic diet), and the big picture — including how they came to be the only (and increasingly rare) species left in a long family tree, and what the future might look like for koalas (which of course, is closely intertwined with the future of the planet and all of us). They're also the cutest animal in the world, and I'm counting on this book to bring more attention to this fact. Koalas are fascinating! We should learn about them before it's too late! — Michelle C.
The Guest Lecture
by Martin Riker
I love a good novel of ideas, especially when the ideas that the novel dwells on relate to taking care of your mind, and making sure it can stay strong and open to the world, no matter how dark and scary that world might be (sound familiar?). This book promises to be warm and optimistic and curious: all things I desperately need to right now. I’m excited to pick this one up. — Kelsey F.
by Gabrielle Bates
I’ve been looking forward to a full collection from Gabrielle Bates ever since reading her poem ‘The Dog’ (published a few years ago in The Offing) whose stoic oscillations between brutality and tenderness left me quietly awed and curious for more. Now 'The Dog' serves as the opening poem to her outstanding debut Judas Goat, a rightful overture to a book of granular intensity and wrestling across its weighty core elements: the entanglements of violence and eros; the torsions of marriage and mothering; the sustenance of queer art-making and friendship; and the psychic residue of a childhood spent in the Deep South. Possessing a deft (sometimes gut-wrenching) intuition for the literary image, Bates's book signals a vibrant year ahead for debut collections with poems that arrive at the level of the senses already in motion, like the back of an animal velvet-warm and writhing beneath the hand. — Alexa W.
The Faraway World
by Patricia Engel
Patricia Engel, author of the bookseller-beloved 2020 runaway hit Infinite Country returns this year with a new short story collection. Expect impeccable storytelling with illuminating themes of migration, sacrifice, community, and relisience. — Sarah R.
Behind the Scenes
by Karelia Stetz-Waters
I’ve been looking forward to this sapphic rom-com for months! When consultant Rose takes on a passion project in the form of an indie film directed by filmmaker Ash, sparks fly in this sweet, steamy, slow-burn romance. Stetz-Waters tackles a few big topics with a light hand and plenty of humor – and the most adorable pugs! — Deana R.
Pirate Enlightenment, or the Real Libertalia
by David Graeber
Losing David Graeber was an incredible loss, but we’re so lucky to have this final posthumous book from him that focuses on 18th century pirate communities in Madagascar that experimented with self-governance and alternate social structures. Graeber’s work is always enlightening, radical, beautifully written, and utterly thought-through. — Kelsey F.
by Delia Cai
I'm so excited for Central Places, and not just because a bunch of my favorite authors have recommended it with their whole chests. (Celeste Ng: "A sensitive, sharp-eyed, slyly funny story of venturing back into the foreign country that is your past — and discovering that you can never really shake the places and people that shaped you...This book will resonate with anyone who’s tried to navigate the confusing terrain of family tensions, lost friendships, or embarrassing memories of youth: in short, pretty much everyone.") One of the things I find so compelling is that this book promises to be a sharp, insightful novel about identity, but I could almost read the premise as a rom-com (a genre I love!). I feel very confident saying this is not a rom-com, and I'm extra excited to see how this classic rom-com premise unspools through a completely different lens. — Michelle C.
Don’t Fear the Reaper
by Stephen Graham Jones
This sequel to My Heart is a Chainsaw made me look around corners and made me want to rewatch the original Halloween! Jones takes us back to Proofrock on the hunt for an escaped serial killer who seeks revenge for the 38 Dakota who were hung in 1862. The punk-ish imperfect protagonist from the first book, Jade Daniels, is released from prison and reunites with old friends and enemies alike to hunt this killer down. This book is a blend of slasher movie, the paranormal, Indigenous history and lore, mystery, and jump-scares. — Vicky K.
Our Share of Night
by Mariana Enriquez (tr. Megan McDowell)
Let me list the ways I find this book enticing: #1, that cover (right??). #2, Mariana Enriquez, an Argentinian author I’ve been obsessed with since her collection, Things We Lost in the Fire. #3, Kelly Link saying: “Our Share of Night is a novel so disquieting, so unsettling that I could neither put it down nor read it late at night.” #4, that cover, again. — Kelsey F.
by Jen Beagin
A funny book that gets serious. A book about a liar that gets at big truths. Big Swiss is a wild ride that will leave you more than a little jostled. This is my favorite kind of literary fiction: the kind that is deeply affecting in a way that leaves me struggling to explain. How did Jen Beagin do it? — Keith M.
by Cherie Dimaline
I will always read a woman discovering she's part of an ancient witch-y line story, and this one comes with an amazing cover story (tupperware parties??). Cherie Dimaline's Empire of Wild has also proved that we all win when she writes about a supernatural family quest. February 7 can't come soon enough! — Michelle C.
by Salman Rushdie
The fifteenth novel from the prolific Salman Rushdie, this time an ancient epic saga of love, adventure, myth, and storytelling. It’s amazing to think that this novel is hitting our shelves a short six months after the author survived a horrifying attack at a speaking event. — Moses M.
How to Think Like a Woman
by Regan Penaluna
This book looks at feminist philosophers from the 17th and 18th centuries that have been effectively written out of our books and forgotten about. As someone who loves to think about thinking (and took the relevant courses in college), not recognizing the names of the lesser-known philosophers she writes about in this book felt bad!! And is something I intend to fix by reading this long-overdue reassessment, that brings these women to the for while challenging all of us to unpack our own internalized misogyny. — Kelsey F.
by Dizz Tate
A debut novel that the publisher is billing as “The Virgin Suicides meets The Florida Project”?? A book about how sinister and mesmerizing girlhood can be?? Powell’s-favorite Kimberly King Parsons called this one “innovative, urgent, and endlessly lush” and Sophie Mackintosh described it as “polyphonically technicolor and lushly textured.” Sign me all the way up, yesterday. — Kelsey F.
Palo Alto : A History of California, Capitalism, and the World
by Malcolm Harris
Malcolm Harris is back, with an ambitious history of Palo Alto (both as a case study for the world, and for how it has uniquely influenced the course of human history — or, the subtitle is A History of California, Capitalism, and the World). You might remember his previous books, Kids These Days: Human Capital and the Making of Millenials and Shit Is Fucked Up & Bullshit: History Since the End of History. Palo Alto continues his hot streak of stellar work. Harris argues that the speed of change in California (move fast, break things) is not a tech startup invention, and makes a case for why history has unfolded the way it did and what we could change to build a better world. It feels wild to call this 720-page tome "immensely readable," but it is! Harris has deeply researched and developed his analysis of 170 years of history, and synthesizes it with skill into prose that's both understandable and a joy to read. (I suspect it will also be a joy to listen to, if you prefer your giant books over audio.) — Michelle C.
I Have Some Questions For You
by Rebecca Makkai
Makkai had me at "Hello," and by "Hello" I mean the tweet where she announced this book, calling it "the literary feminist boarding school murder mystery you didn't know you needed!"
I Have Some Questions for You is all that and more. It swims through the gray areas of memory, perception, blame, guilt, and the ways we claim ownership over narratives that are maybe not ours to claim. Even while mentally screaming “maybe don’t enable this!” to the protagonist, I blazed through with a similar single-minded need to know where this went, who did it, and what will happen now. — Sarah R.
by Erica Berry
God, I love nonfiction books that combine a serious, compassionate look at a particular species (looking at you, H is for Hawk) alongside a look at their cultural foot(paw?)prints and their impact on the author and the author’s story. Wolfish starts with OR-7, the legendary wolf wandering through northeast Oregon, and then spirals out from there. I’m so excited to go on this journey, which promises to be beautifully written and thoughtfully constructed by author Erica Berry. — Kelsey F.
by Veronica Roth
Any book that reimagines myth is one I want to read, but this future-dystopic interpretation of Antigone sounds amazing. In a post-apocalyptic wasteland still ruled by the human drives for glory and control, Antigone grapples with the weight of grief and of life in the gilded cage of her uncle Kreon's mansion. I'm excited to see how the different viewpoints complicate and enlarge the original myth. Power, love, the hunger for revenge, a sinister Archive in the last city on Earth — sign me up. — Claire A.
by Colin Winnette
Colin Winnette’s novella, Coyote, was a staff favorite at the last bookstore I worked at; we’d pass it around like a secret, wanting to share the goods, but also not wanting to sell out of the few copies we had, because it was notoriously difficult to reorder. Ever since, I’ve watched Winnette’s books come out with extreme excitement: they’re always weird and unexpected, riveting and eager to mess with your mind. So it’s no surprise that I’m excited for Users, a book the publisher is saying will be enjoyed by fans of Ling Ma and the (non-Ling Ma) Severance TV show. As a fan of both, and Winnette — I’m so excited for this one. — Kelsey F.
Adventure Zone: The Eleventh Hour
by The McElroys and Carey Pietsch
The McElroys' brilliant graphic novel adaptation of their beloved podcast (with fantastic artwork by Carey Pietsch) has finally caught up to my favorite arc, and it was well worth the wait! In the vein of Groundhog Day or Palm Springs, our heroes have found themselves caught in a time loop on their most recent (Wild West-inspired) quest, and we begin to see a number of glimpses into the larger series' plot. I laughed, I teared up, I had to set it down to anxiously pace my living room; if you haven't picked up this series yet, now's a great time to start! — Madeline S.
by Jac Jemc
I’ve been a fan of Jac Jemc ever since her debut novel, The Grip of It, kept me up multiple nights in a row. Although Empty Theatre seems like a very different project, I’m willing to let Jemc take me wherever she goes, especially if that means reading a “dreamscape of a novel” (Samantha Hunt) that fans of the recent movie, The Favourite are sure to eat up. Sounds delicious. — Kelsey F.
She Is a Haunting
by Trang Thanh Tran
Vietnamese, bisexual, sapphic, atmospheric horror debut with a Silence-of-The-Lambs-esque cover written by a non-binary author? And you think I'm above making this book my entire personality?? Think again. There's no way I'm not obsessing over this book. I refuse to believe the hype is hollow. — Stacy Wayne D.
Your Driver Is Waiting
by Priya Guns
A gender flipped reboot of Taxi Driver amidst our current culture of alienation. A cover that's basically staring me down, daring me to read it. Blurbing authors casually saying things like "this novel had its hands around my neck" (Jean Kyong Frazier), "made me rock back and forth with awe" (Weike Wang), "so real it’s scary" (Mateo Askaripour), and "[full of] the urge to burn everything down" (Kristen Arnett). Bring it on. — Sarah R.
The Crane Husband
by Kelly Barnhill
I’m such a sucker for contemporary retellings of fairy tales. In this case, a fifteen-year-old teenager living in the midwest whose life begins to fall apart when her mom lets a tyrannical crane into their home. Author Laura Ruby called this book “bloody, subversive, and brilliant”; I can’t wait to check out this novella that promises to be equal parts strange and wonderful. — Kelsey F.
A Day of Fallen Night
by Samantha Shannon
How is this prequel longer than The Priory of the Orange Tree? Please Samantha... how will I carry it around?? Also, thank you. I would read one million pages about this world, these women, and these dragons. Priory made our Essential Sci-Fi + Fantasy of the 21 Century List last year where my fellow bookseller Carly lauded how it "harkens back to the best of classic fantasy...both epic in scale and scope." This standalone (you can start here if you want!!) prequel promises more of these things I love. — Sarah R.
Immortality: A Love Story
by Dana Schwartz
It almost feels unfair to include sequels on our most anticipated lists — but we are so, so hyped for this one. Anatomy was, as my coworker Sarah put it in her recommendation, "clever, thrilling, fun, and gross (in a good way)." Hazel's back, and her particular set of skills (cutting up people) leads to unearthing secrets and untangling plots in King George IV's court. Read this, and find out why Neil Gaiman (!) calls Dana Schwartz "one of the brightest of the next generation of young writers." — Michelle C.
by Eleanor Catton
I’ve been obsessed with Eleanor Catton ever since I was completely consumed by The Luminaries, and have been obsessively waiting for her next book. I don’t think I could’ve guessed that her new book would be a psychological thriller that puts a guerrilla gardening group on a crash course with a doomsday-prepping billionaire, but — I’m here for it, and will trust Catton no matter where she takes me. Get in loser, we’re reading Eleanor Catton’s latest! — Kelsey F.
Thirst for Salt
by Madelaine Lucas
A debut novel that's a "beautiful, melancholy tide" about desire and memory, from Tin House, blurbed by Leslie Jamison? Any one of those things would pique my interest, but the combination has me very impatient for March 7. Thirst for Salt follows a young woman adrift after graduating college, living in a small coastal town. She meets a man nearly 20 years her senior and they begin a relationship that leads her to question who she is and what she wants of life. Jamison, author of The Empathy Exams, writes that this is a novel "whose momentum emerges not from melodrama but from the primal mysteries of human intimacy: How do people come together and come apart? Every once in a while, a novel enters my life that I know is destined to become part of my bloodstream. Thirst for Salt is one of those novels." I want it in my bloodstream too! — Claire A.
Saving Time: Discovering a Life Beyond the Clock
by Jenny Odell
Jia Tolentino describes Jenny Odell's work as "the rarest kind of intervention: It alters you immediately, and then it lasts." If you've had the pleasure of reading Odell's 2019 refutation of the attention economy, How to Do Nothing, you know exactly what she means. In Saving Time, Odell explores how the clock we live by was built for profit, not people, and offers a vision of "saving" time by imagining a life outside standardized units. — Sarah R.
The Last Suspicious Holdout
by Ladee Hubbard
The Rib King was so good; Ladee Hubbard is so good! I'm extra excited for her latest, an interconnected collection of short stories set between the early nineties and mid-aughts, that Alice Randall describes as capturing "the absurd, charming, brave, beautiful, and grotesque acts that are the pivot points of specific Black lives." — Michelle C.
What Happened to Ruthy Ramirez
by Claire Jimenez
13-year-old Ruthy Ramirez disappeared after track practice; years later, her family sees someone who looks exactly like her (down to the birthmark on her face!) on a reality TV show. This sets off a family road trip across the country, to find their long-lost Ruthy, as well as confront the past and everything they haven’t been saying to one another. Add that riveting plot to the fact that it’s set in 2008 (an early-aughts period piece!) — I am here for it. — Kelsey F.
by Laura Adamcyzk
I love books with formal constraints that don't seem gimmicky (and, honestly, even ones that do), so this novel about a woman telling her life story to indifferent strangers at a bar sounds so interesting. Estranged from her family, back in her hometown, and ready to end it all, she monologues and drinks, drinks and monologues. Ling Ma, author of Severance and Bliss Montage, describes it as "utterly immersive...like an intimate conversation with a stranger at 1 am. It’s laced with stinging humor, clarifying wisdom, and the grainy detail of lived experience. This is a novel that seeps into your bones." I will be ready for March 14! — Claire A.
by Sabrina Orah Mark
I was obsessed with Sabrina Orah Mark’s collection, Wild Milk, when I read it a few years ago — so strange, surreal, and oftentimes satisfyingly opaque. So when I saw this memoir-in-essays that looks at her world through then lens of fairy tales, I knew I’d be all in, especially once I connected it to her Paris Review column that I loved. I love Rebecca Solnit’s blurb for it, which I tried to cut down and then couldn’t bear to: “These are fairy tales that are essays on fairy tales but also incantations, confessions, news analysis, personal history, and reminders that fairy tales are dainty things capable of doing a lot of heavy lifting of the contents of our imaginations and the aches of our hearts.” Can’t wait. — Kelsey F.
by Yan Lianke (tr. Carlos Rojas)
After being mesmerized by Lianke's The Day the Sun Died, I'm excited to experience more of his unique satirical voice. The premise, described by the publisher as "the unlikely love story of a Buddhist nun and a Daoist priest" against the backdrop of "organized tug-of-war competitions between the religions," appears delectably absurd, tackling questions of religion, faith, and corruption. If that weren't enticing enough, this book will also include original papercut illustrations. Sign me up! — Mar S.
by Catherine Bakewell
If you can’t tell by the cover, this is a cottagecore, flower-filled read. Clara is the sweetest main character, whose magic is abundant, chaotic, and inextricably a part of her. When her magic turns deadly, her ex-best friend agrees to help her, but only at a cruel price. Reading this feels like being transported into a Studio Ghibli movie. This slow-burn romantic fantasy is one you’ll want to cozy up for to read in one sitting. — Charlotte S.
Brother & Sister Enter the Forest
by Richard Mirabella
A fairy tale that turns into a nightmare. A brother-sister relationship that’s complicated and loving. A young man reckoning with trauma alongside his queer coming-of-age. I was already on board when I read the description, but then I saw that Joy Williams (my beloved Joy Williams!) blurbed it: "Riveting, relentless, a novel of calm and chilling reserve and accomplishment." So now I know for sure-sure that this book is going to find its way onto my shelves. — Kelsey F.
A Manual for How to Love Us
by Erin Slaughter
This book got me locked in on basically every front, immediately: it’s been compared to Carmen Maria Machado and Alexandra Kleeman; the title is awesome; the author’s name is also awesome; the publisher copy says the stories are “queering the domestic and honoring the feral in all of us.” Literally, you don’t need to say more. Give me this speculative, alarming, exciting collection now, please. — Kelsey F.
by Jinwoo Chong
Credit where credit is due, someone writing copy at Melville House sold me the hell out of this book: “a stylish debut novel about a young man whose reality unravels when he suspects his employers have inadvertently discovered time travel and are covering up a string of violent crimes.” Mysterious, malicious workplaces! Unpacking trauma! Ethnicity! Pop culture! Disgraced tech giants! Time travel! My coworker Michelle and I have been gushing over Flux since July and now that we’ve both read it, we need you to join us. Plus, that COVER. — Sarah R.
by Victor LaValle
When I read Victor LaValle’s Big Machine, I remember being stunned: you can do that in a novel?? It instantly became my go-to recommendation for anyone that wanted an all-consuming, absolutely riotous read, and I’ve been greedy and needy about getting my hands on all of his subsequent books. Lone Women promises to hit all of my sweet spots: set in the American West, featuring a no-nonsense woman carrying an incredibly heavy and incredibly mysterious trunk with her across the country that she refuses to open, with that eerie, unexpected horror that LaValle is so good at. I cannot wait. — Kelsey F.
by Jade Song
The coming-of-age process is kind of inherently horrifying in its own way — becoming a person you don't know yet, living so much under the weight of others' expectations and your own. Chlorine, pitched in the vein of Han Kang's The Vegetarian and Melissa Broder's The Pisces, leans into that horror with the story of a young competitive swimmer determined to be the best at any cost. Ren Yu, a high schooler whose life revolves around swimming, grew up on stories of mermaids, sirens, and creatures of the deep. She longs to be in the water, beyond human concerns and pressures, and must decide how far she'll go to make that happen. This sounds creepy and fantastic. — Claire A.
White Cat, Black Dog
by Kelly Link
Kelly Link is hands-down, no-questions-asked, one of my favorite working authors today. I remember when a friend gave me her collection, Magic for Beginners, my freshman year in college, like Link’s writing was a secret she only wanted to share with a select few. But I’m so lucky she shared with me, because her stories have become a constant for me. I’m obsessed with these stories: as twisted and weird and hilarious as I’ve come to expect from her, with characters that feel torn from our world and dropped into new realities where ghosts love the snow and death lingers along a white road that skirts at their peripheral vision. Mesmerizing. — Kelsey F.
by Esther Yi
“Sarah, are you going to blurb the ‘lit fic kpop book’ for the book preview?”
Abso-f***ing-lutely I am! Cue Hype Boy by New Jeans.
Perhaps never before has there been a book I had to read more. I love literary fiction. I love “sad girl” literary fiction especially. I love fan culture. I love kpop. I think I love this book. In Y/N our protagonist – a Korean American woman living in Berlin – sees Moon – the youngest in a world-dominating group – perform and quickly her life narrows to a pinpoint dedication to him. Then, disaster: Moon unexpectedly retires. Unmoored by his absence, her lack of self-identity, and her own constructed world, our protagonist buys a one-way ticket to Seoul. Esther Yi writes sentences the way I like to read sentences: clipped, pointed, acerbic, honest, and delightfully funny. Y/N captivated me. It’s an absurd and surreal exploration of the transcendent rise that comes with singular obsession and identity-through-devotion alongside the uneasy and uncomfortable fall that follows. — Sarah R.
The Last Catastrophe
by Allegra Hyde
Allegra Hyde, author of last year’s popular Eleutheria, takes climate change head-on in this new collection that Alexandra Kleeman calls “dazzling, inventive, and glinting with dark humor.” There are caravans and unicorns and AIs and spaceships (and an impatient bookseller (me) who can’t wait to start reading). — Kelsey F.
The Great Reclamation
by Rachel Heng
In a small fishing village in 20th-century Singapore, a young boy manifests the unique magical ability to locate movable, bountiful, islands. But, the world is changing. The Japanese army invades, resistance and grief spread, and the legacy of colonialism lingers. A tale described by Jessamine Chan as "alive to the beauty and mystery of the natural world as well as the human heart," The Great Reclamation is poised to confront the sweep of history, our relationship with the natural world, and the quiet, personal worlds of love and free will. — Sarah R.
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Want some book recommendations you can pick up ASAP? Check out our staff's Top Fives
, as well as our Best Books of 2022