Sign Up to Send Customers ABA’s Winter Reading Group Guide E-newsletter

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The American Booksellers Association’s Winter Reading Group flier, to arrive in stores in the November Box mailing, features 50 titles across a range of genres, as recommended by independent booksellers.

The double-sided, four-color flier highlights the top 10 picks as well as titles in eight categories: Dazzling Debuts, Historical Fiction, Small Bites, Young Adult, Family and Coming of Age, Nonfiction and Memoir, Mystery/Thriller, and Other Worlds. Each featured title is accompanied by cover art and a quote from one of the booksellers who recommended the book.

The November Box is scheduled to arrive in stores in mid-November. The titles are also viewable on Edelweiss.

Stores that would like to send a two-part digital version of the flier to their customers can sign up with Matchbook Marketing here; stores that are already working with Matchbook Marketing can update their information here. This program is open to all stores on the IndieCommerce or IndieLite platforms, or stores that sell through Bookshop.

The first email will go out on November 19 and will feature five of the top 10 picks as well as all titles in the Dazzling Debuts, Historical Fiction, Small Bites, and Young Adult categories. The deadline to sign up to send this mailing to customers is November 5.

The second email will go out on February 18 and will feature the other five of the top 10 picks as well as titles in the Family and Coming of Age, Nonfiction and Memoir, Mystery/Thriller, and Other Worlds categories. The deadline to sign up to send this mailing to customers is February 4.

The titles appearing in the Winter Reading Group flier are:

Top 10

The Nickel Boys: A Novel by Colson Whitehead
(Anchor, 9780345804341, $15.95)
The Nickel Boys is more proof that Colson Whitehead is an essential American author. Based on the true story of Florida’s infamous Dozier School for Boys, in The Nickel Boys, Whitehead continues his reckoning with the violence endured by African Americans, which he began with The Underground Railroad. The Nickel Boys is a bare, unvarnished, and unblinking coming-of-age tale set against the backdrop of the Jim Crow South and an all-too-real horror from our nation’s history. It’s a story that must be told by the only writer who can tell it.”
—Keaton Patterson, Brazos Bookstore, Houston, TX

In the Dream House: A Memoir by Carmen Maria Machado
(Graywolf Press, 9781644450383, $16)
“Carmen Maria Machado uses short memoir pieces to build a sinister Dream House around her readers. She is a master architect who occasionally lobs a brick through the glass, disturbing collective notions of ‘lesbian utopia’ and violence as masculine. Her pivotal story interrogates stereotypes and contributes essential questions to the global #MeToo discussion. She is an innovative writer and queer hero of our time. I feel so grateful to her for sharing her painful past, giving us new ways to think about power and persuasion, and grateful to Graywolf for giving her a platform.”
—Alsace Walentine, Tombolo Books, St. Petersburg, FL

The Starless Sea: A Novel by Erin Morgenstern
(Anchor, 9781101971383, $16.95)
“I cannot recommend this novel enough. From Zachary’s perfect characterization as a curious, if unmoored, graduate student to the worlds upon worlds of story, The Starless Sea is magnificent. Each thread opens a door (figuratively and literally) to one of the most thrilling and rewarding universes I’ve ever read. Add to that several impossible and wonderful romances, and you have an excellent addition to any book lover’s shelf.”
—Demi Marshall, BookPeople, Austin, TX

Red at the Bone: A Novel by Jacqueline Woodson
(Riverhead Books, 9780525535287, $16
“A spare, probing look at four generations of two families thrown together by a teenage pregnancy. Moving back and forth in time, in Red at the Bone we hear from the 16-year-olds and their parents, and from the child’s perspective, beginning with her 16th birthday celebration. Social standing, goals, desires, and understandings are at stake, underscoring how early decisions and actions can change the course of lives. A powerful, poetic novel.”
—Liza Bernard, Norwich Bookstore, Norwich, VT

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
(Flatiron Books, 9781250751362, $17.99)
“This stunning book in the tradition of The Secret History and The Magicians is about a girl who can see ghosts, and who gets a full scholarship to Yale in the aftermath of a horrible tragedy. Bardugo’s first adult entry has a cast of characters you won’t soon forget, and great social commentary about class. Great for fans of her other work who have aged up, or fans of gritty adult fantasy.”
—Vickie Roberts, Andover Bookstore, Andover, MA

The Revisioners by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton
(Counterpoint LLC, 9781640094260, $16.95)
“Margaret Wilkerson Sexton writes with captivating force; she holds a mirror to the insidious, enduring nature of American racism, revealing how it adapts to threaten Black lives in new, but not unfamiliar, ways. This novel — which spans five generations — is a love letter to grandmothers. With it, Sexton asks us to recognize and honor what we inherit from our ancestors, and how me might yield this inheritance in our fight for liberation.”
—Serena Morales, Books Are Magic, Brooklyn, NY

Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts by Kate Racculia
(Mariner Books, 9780358410768, $15.99)
“After reading the author’s previous book, Bellwether Rhapsody, I have been anxiously awaiting her next read, and she did not disappoint! A gloriously fun read that reminded me of the beauty and magic of The Night Circus mixed with the puzzle-solving mystery of The Westing Game. A perfect choice to pick up and devour. Prepare to be immersed in Tuesday’s world, following clues and enjoying Racculia’s wit throughout an elaborate treasure hunt in the city of Boston.”
—Kirsten Hess, Let’s Play Books!, Emmaus, PA

White Tears/Brown Scars: How White Feminism Betrays Women of Color by Ruby Hamad
(Catapult, 9781948226745, $16.95)
“Ruby Hamad delivers us a meticulously researched, incisive, beautifully written, and much-needed look at how white women historically have used and continue to employ their privileged, patriarchy-rooted racial status as ‘damsel’ paragons to undercut and suppress BIPOC women. I lost count of the number of times I found myself emphatically nodding along while turning the pages. Everyone needs to read this book, which will definitely be a mainstay on Duende’s ‘Decolonize Your Mind’ reading list.”
—Angela Spring, Duende District, Washington, DC

rough house: a memoir by Tina Ontiveros
(Oregon State University Press, 9780870710339, $18.95)
“The story of Tina Ontiveros’ childhood with her family, both before and after her parents divorced, is one of just barely scraping by — but in such a way that her life can inspire envy as well as sorrow. Her lumberjack dad’s outsized personality and way of life is at once riveting, horrifying, and occasionally beautiful, and Ontiveros conveys this masterfully. Her depiction of and feeling for the rich Northwest outdoors is as affecting as that of her youth and coming of age in this world.”
—Georgiana Blomberg, Magnolia’s Bookstore, Seattle, WA

The Long Call (The Two Rivers Series #1) by Ann Cleeves
(Minotaur Books, 9781250204455, $16.99)
“Ann Cleeves made up for ending the Shetland series by introducing us to a new series starring Detective Matthew Venn. I immediately fell in love with the area of North Devon and with Matthew, his husband Jonathan, and his fellow police officers. The Long Call is a terrific police procedural that deals with lots of sensitive issues in a straightforward, matter-of-fact manner. I can’t wait to learn more about Matthew and his earlier life as well as get to know Jonathan and the other people of the village.”
—Nancy McFarlane, Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC


Family and Coming of Age

Long Bright River by Liz Moore
(Riverhead Books, 9780525540687, $17)
Long Bright River begins with a list, a very long list, of people from the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia who have overdosed on opioids. The list is compiled by Mickey, a police officer who grew up in the neighborhood. On the list are both of her parents, and Mickey wonders when her beloved sister Kacey will be added. This is a very powerful story of addiction, family, and the hope for recovery and redemption.”
—Nancy Baenen, Arcadia Books, Spring Green, WI

Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson
(Ecco, 9780062913494, $16.99)
“After fleeing her unsatisfying life to help an old friend, Lillian finds herself in charge of two children who spontaneously burst into flames. Lillian surprises herself by developing a fondness and a fierce protectiveness for her charges. Although her new responsibilities terrify her, Lillian discovers the beauty of feeling needed and of developing connections. A perfect novel to inspire anyone searching for their place in the world!”
—Jane Stiles, Wellesley Books, Wellesley, MA

The Topeka School: A Novel by Ben Lerner
(Picador, 9781250758002, $17)
“This story of a boy growing up in middle America is a tragic interrogation of the chaos and violence of our world, a deft exploration of the ethics of the novel in times of ecosocial disaster, and a lacerating critique of the empire that makes us this way. Moving in its intelligence, generosity, and openness, this book is Lerner doing what he does best: making the familiar not only strange but also, and perhaps more importantly, historical and political.”
—Sam Wooley, The Elliott Bay Book Company, Seattle, WA

The Travelers: A Novel by Regina Porter (Indies Introduce)
(Hogarth, 9780525576204, $17)
“It’s hard to believe that this sprawling saga of two American clans and the various branches of their family trees is a debut novel. Stretching from the rural south to Vietnam in the war years to present-day New York and beyond, this is a story in which the characters’ lives intersect in fascinating, surprising ways. Regina Porter’s writing is beautiful and memorable, and she’s structured this book in a manner that feels fresh and almost musical.”
—Erika VanDam, RoscoeBooks, Chicago, IL

When We Were Vikings by Andrew David MacDonald
(Gallery/Scout Press, 9781982126773, $16.99)
“As a sister whose younger brother has Asperger’s, I was hesitant at first to pick up this book about a young woman on the spectrum and her caretaking brother. More often than not, books that tackle this type of relationship fall short, but MacDonald’s tender-hearted debut mirrored this type of relationship perfectly, and with loving respect. Zelda is one of my favorite characters, up there with Eleanor Oliphant and Ove.”
—Kelso McNaught, Gibson’s Bookstore, Concord, NH


Dazzling Debuts

Cape May: A Novel by Chip Cheek (Indies Introduce)
(Celadon Books, 9781250297464, $16.99)
“Cape May is a place (and state of mind) where the awakening of a young, newlywed couple on their honeymoon transforms and shapes the rest of their lives. Chip Cheek has created luscious, realistic relationships, and an excellent sense of place. The pace and language is spot on — a timeless read that captures the time period perfectly, with characters you won’t soon forget.”
—Julie Slavinsky, Warwick’s, La Jolla, CA

Creatures: A Novel by Crissy Van Meter
(Algonquin Books, 9781643750835, $15.95)
“An atmospheric, literary debut novel set on Winter Island, off the coast of Los Angeles. A sea researcher who grew up on the isolated, wild island is about to marry her fisherman sweetheart when her estranged mother turns up on the island and a storm dredges up a beached whale. The writing is stunning and meanders from the wildness of nature to the wildness of the local inhabitants and their unpredictable, fragile lives.”
—Lisa Ekelman, Bookworm of Edwards, Edwards, CO

The Escape Room: A Novel by Megan Goldin
(St. Martin’s Griffin, 9781250219664, $16.99)
“Ruthless corporate executives, high-stakes finance, and revenge: This fast-paced thriller has it all. When four of a firm’s top earners receive a compulsory company invitation to an escape room, they all put their lives on hold (as they always do) and show up. What happens from there is not what they expected, and the situation unravels, revealing the underworld side of high-stakes finance and company loyalty. A page-turner for sure!”
—Beth Mynhier, Lake Forest Book Store, Lake Forest, IL

Hollow Kingdom by Kira Jane Buxton
(Grand Central Publishing, 9781538745830, $16.99)
“Who could ask for a better narrator for the zombie apocalypse than a crudely hilarious, domesticated crow? S.T. — the aforementioned crow — sets off on an adventure around Seattle to save the human race from its seemingly rapid demise. This novel is outrageously fun, witty, timely, strange, and definitely worth the read.”
—Lauren Suidgeest, Schuler Books, Grand Rapids, MI

Life Undercover: Coming of Age in the CIA by Amaryllis Fox
(Vintage, 9780525564089, $16.95)
“The events of 9/11 affected all of us, to one degree or another. For Amaryllis Fox, it provoked a furious spike of patriotism and a personal need to do something about global terrorism. At the age of 21, she was recruited by the CIA. For nearly 10 years, she did her part to keep the components of dirty bombs from Al-Qaeda. This work took its toll on marriages and family, as Fox tells with a breathlessness that makes her youthful passion and courage palpable.”
—Darwin Ellis, Books on the Common, Ridgefield, CT


Nonfiction and Memoir

The Great Pretender: The Undercover Mission That Changed Our Understanding of Madness by Susannah Cahalan
(Grand Central Publishing, 9781538715277, $16.99)
“Cahalan dives deep into the personal papers of the professor who, years ago, designed a study of mental institutions that had participants go undercover as pseudo-patients. Having experienced a mental break herself due to a severe illness, the author tells a gripping tale and brings it even closer to her readers by folding in personal details. Her past experience as a journalist has her uncovering details never before known about this study, and her storytelling is unmatched.”
—Sissy Gardner, Parnassus Books, Nashville, TN

Secondhand: Travels in the New Global Garage Sale by Adam Minter
(Bloomsbury Publishing, 9781635570113, $17)
“Have you ever wondered what happens to all those items you’ve donated? You might be shocked to know that only a fraction ever makes it to thrift store shelves; instead, the majority goes to the landfill or is exported to other countries to be reused or recycled in ways you’ve never imagined. Secondhand is a fascinating, informative look into the afterlife of discarded items and the ecological impact created by our obsessive consumerism.”
—Adrian Newell, Warwick’s, La Jolla, CA

Toil & Trouble: A Memoir by Augusten Burroughs
(St. Martin’s Griffin, 9781250752000, $17.99)
“You don’t have to be a believer to love this memoir from Augusten Burroughs. The story of how he and his husband decide to move from Manhattan to Connecticut, with all of its real estate woes, renovation horrors, and natural disasters, is hilarious on its own. The supernatural underpinnings cast an eerie shadow over the whole thing. I might not believe in witchcraft, but Augusten Burroughs is definitely a witch!”
—Susan Taylor, Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza, Albany, NY

The Ungrateful Refugee: What Immigrants Never Tell You by Dina Nayeri
(Catapult, 9781646220212, $16.95)
“Now more than ever, perhaps, we need voices like those of Dina Nayeri. Combining moving memoir with clear-eyed reporting, Nayeri’s The Ungrateful Refugee is a beautiful and stark reminder of the complexity and humanity of the immigrant experience. It is urgent and important that we hear the stories of others, which often reveal even more about ourselves.”
—Susan Hans O’Connor, Penguin Bookshop, Sewickley, PA

When Time Stopped: A Memoir of My Father’s War and What Remains by Ariana Neumann
(Scribner, 9781982106386, $18)
“This book exceeded all my expectations — an exceptional memoir! A woman cobbles together her father’s enigmatic past to build a clear picture of the progression of restrictions and brutality against Jews in WWII. An astounding revelation of anguish and grasps of hope.”
—Annette Steinmetz, The Well-Read Moose, Coeur d’Alene, ID


Historical Fiction

The Magnetic Girl by Jessica Handler
(Hub City Press, 9781938235740, $16)
“In the late 1800s, vaudeville acts were often beyond audiences’ wildest dreams. Enter Lulu Hurst, ‘The Magnetic Girl,’ who sends men stumbling across stages with her electrical touch. Tension builds with each packed theatre up and down the East Coast as Lulu discovers her true strength. Handler takes an already-fascinating historical figure and illuminates her life.”
—Lorrie Anderson, NeverMore Books, Beaufort, SC

Olive, Again: A Novel by Elizabeth Strout
(Random House Trade Paperbacks, 9780812986471, $18)
“Olive Kitteridge captured the public’s imagination in Strout’s titular novel-in-stories back in 2008. Now the complicated, oft-misunderstood Olive — and the other inhabitants of Crosby, Maine — are back in a novel that encompasses a greater complexity of living than I could have imagined in a series of short stories. I feel like I matured in reading this book; I certainly grew wiser.”
—Heather Lefebvre, BookWoman, Austin, TX

On Swift Horses: A Novel by Shannon Pufahl (Indies Introduce)
(Riverhead Books, 9780525538127, $17)
“At its most basic, On Swift Horses is the story of two people, Julius and Muriel, connected by time and circumstance only to orbit each other throughout most of the book. On a deeper level, Pufahl has created a powerful depiction of the American West after WWII and explores the ways in which men and women existed in the margins of society. I was gutted by this novel and will return to it again and again.”
—Kristin Rasmussen, pages: a bookstore, Manhattan Beach, CA

Summerlings: A Novel by Lisa Howorth
(Anchor, 9780525565482, $16)
“Howorth perfectly captures the voice of eight-year-old John as he describes the freedom, friendships, and heartbreak of the summer of 1959. In a quiet neighborhood outside Washington, DC, John and his friends find their own way through the aftermath of WWII, Cold War tensions, family crises, and the drama that is Washington, understanding much later that they ‘were merely flotsam and jetsam on the crazy river that life is.’”
—Margo Grimm Eule, East City Bookshop, Washington, DC

The Wright Sister: A Novel by Patty Dann
(Harper Perennial, 9780062993113, $16.99)
“Katharine Wright — beloved sister and fervent supporter of Wilbur and Orville Wright, suffragette, feminist, aspiring teacher — becomes Orville’s caretaker and support after the death of Wilbur. Orville becomes more and more reclusive, finally cutting Katharine out of his life. The letters to Orville and musings of a sister who endeavors to close the ever-widening gap between the siblings make this a lovely historical novel.”
—Lynda O’Brien, An Unlikely Story, Plainville, MA


Mystery and Thriller

Deep State: A Thriller (A Hayley Chill Thriller #1) by Chris Hauty
(Pocket Books, 9781982126599, $9.99)
“No shrinking violet, Hayley Chill is ex-Army and an ex-boxer who takes a job as a White House intern and subsequently has several life-changing interactions with the president. Deep State is a fast-paced thriller with unexpected twists and turns and an ending that will take you totally by surprise.”
—Scott Simons, The Dog Eared Book, Palmyra, NY

Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead: A Novel by Olga Tokarczuk, Antonia Lloyd-Jones
(Riverhead Books, 9780525541349, $17)
“This book is bonkers and I am so in love with it — one of the funniest books I’ve ever read. Olga Tokarczuk’s comic timing is surprising and delightful in this rural noir set in Poland and featuring astrology, William Blake, revenge-seeking animals, and an entire cast of characters unlike you have ever seen before. This book is genius and oh so satisfying.”
—Mary Cotton, Newtonville Books, Newton Centre, MA

A Madness of Sunshine by Nalini Singh
(Berkley, 9780593099094, $9.99)
“A terrific read. Singh describes the landscape of New Zealand beautifully, bringing in the skills of the native Maori and talking about what it is like to live in poverty in a small town. This murder mystery kept me guessing until the very end!”
—Amy McClelland, Bright Side Bookshop, Flagstaff, AZ

When No One Is Watching: A Thriller by Alyssa Cole
(William Morrow Paperbacks, 9780062982650, $16.99)
“This is a timely and entertaining social thriller. It’s an inside look at the gentrification of a well-established, predominantly Black Brooklyn neighborhood. It’s not too far-fetched, and it served as an eye-opener for this white reader. Comparison to the movie Get Out is apt.”
—Laura Harvey, Copper Dog Books, Beverly, MA

Winter Grave (An Embla Nyström Investigation #2) by Helene Tursten, Marlaine Delargy
(Soho Crime, 9781641292115, $16.95)
Winter Grave is the second in Tursten’s new Embla Nyström detective series. Skillfully translated from Swedish, the book gives fans of Scandinavian noir something new to read. Tursten has created a compelling main character and provides some unexpected plot twists. There is enough backstory that the book can stand alone or be enjoyed as part of the series.”
—Ashley Baeckmann, Briars & Brambles Books, Windham, NY


Other Worlds

Anyone: A Novel by Charles Soule
(Harper Perennial, 9780062890641, $16.99)
“Charles Soule’s Anyone is a satisfying follow-up to The Oracle Year. Again, he takes a small technological change and uses it to explore the future course of humanity. Soule definitely leaves the reader with lots to think about when done with Anyone, and it’ll be a great recommendation for thinky book clubs. An easy sell to anyone who comes in and asks, ‘Hey, you know that movie Looper? I want something like that, but with more words.’”
—Mark Teppo, A Good Book, Sumner, WA

The Deep by Rivers Solomon, Daveed Diggs, William Hutson, Jonathan Snipes
(Gallery/Saga Press, 9781534439870, $14.99)
“A beautiful story built upon stories. Readers are taken in by this strange and familiar world of merfolk before taken even deeper with questions on the self, history, and community. Do individuals stand alone through the test of time? Or are we made stronger through the interwoven histories of our people? And is the memory of trauma needed for the body and soul to heal? Yetu takes us on a journey through the past and into our present, creating a story with more impact than pages.”
—Shannyn Stevens, The Mitten Word Bookshop, Marshall, MI

The Seep by Chana Porter
(Soho Press, 9781641292153, $16)
“Funky, offbeat, and downright devourable, The Seep is about a middle-aged trans woman trying to find her way through a benevolent but bizarre alien invasion. After her wife decides to be reborn — literally, as a baby — she enters into a match of her own grief and suffering versus the parasitic aliens who want a perfect utopia free of pain. With two parts questions and one part answers, The Seep is a book that will leave you begging for more.”
—Lizy Coale, Copperfish Books, Punta Gorda, FL

Things in Jars: A Novel by Jess Kidd
(Washington Square Press, 9781982121297, $17)
“A searingly fantastical and addictive novel about a kidnapped girl who calls water, snails, and other wet things to her, a girl who can kill a man with one bite. Many whimsical moving parts come together to create a Victorian cat-and-mouse chase of supernatural proportions.”
—Lauren Nopenz Fairley, Curious Iguana, Frederick, MD

The Water Dancer: A Novel by Ta-Nehisi Coates
(One World, 9780399590610, $18)
“Hiram Walker, the son of a Black woman and her white master, is born into slavery in this rendering of life in antebellum Virginia. But it is the strength of his memories that kindles a special inner gift: the magic of conduction. In the much-anticipated first novel from Coates, Hiram’s talent is used by agents of the Underground Railroad to bring runaway slaves north, and also to help make families whole once again. This searing and ultimately uplifting story explores the constructs of family, real or artificial, and the power of memory to bind people together from afar.”
—Keith Vient, Politics and Prose Bookstore, Washington, DC


Small Bites

Exhalation by Ted Chiang
(Vintage, 9781101972083, $16.95)
“In his second and long-awaited collection of short stories, Ted Chiang offers us exquisite glimpses into the axes of our human existence. Beautifully and provocatively narrated by a unique host of characters, Chiang’s book explores subjects like time travel, love, entropy, empathy, and everything in between. Reading these tales feels like looking up at a clear night sky, when all at once you feel awed, enormous, and insignificant.”
—Cora Lee Oxley, Rediscovered Books, Boise, ID

Full Throttle: Stories by Joe Hill
(William Morrow Paperbacks, 9780062200693, $18.99)
“Master of horror Joe Hill is back with more short stories that will thrill you to your core. Plunging into the murky depths of human nature, Hill’s book shows readers that sometimes the things that truly scare us can ignite from the simplest of sparks. You will be ripped from the comfort of your reality and forced to survive a book that sinks its rusted hooks deep.”
—Kelli O’Malley, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI

Grand Union: Stories by Zadie Smith
(Penguin Books, 9780525559016, $17)
“A collection of short stories written throughout Smith’s career, file Grand Union under ‘reasons we revere Zadie Smith.’ She is a master storyteller, and all her skills are on display in these tales that take on love, immigration, motherhood, and racial identity. Each story contains a whole world of characters and places, and your heart will squeeze with the last line of each story.”
—Jessica Irish, Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA

Little Weirds by Jenny Slate
(Back Bay Books, 9780316485364, $16.99)
“Little lovely weirds from the big, lovely, weirdness of Jenny Slate’s brain. I am recommending that you get both a physical copy to beautify your shelves and the audiobook so that Slate can croon her little weirds into your ears — and that way, your hands are free for snacking or petting the dog or arranging acorns on your mantle.”
—Kate Towery, Fountain Bookstore, Richmond, VA

Where the Wild Ladies Are by Aoko Matsuda, Polly Barton
(Soft Skull Press, 9781593766900, $16.95)
“Remixing traditional Japanese folktales of ghosts and yokai through a modern, feminist lens, Where the Wild Ladies Are is an incredible collection of quirky, witty, and insightful stories. Matsuda’s keen observational eye and wonderful sense of surreal humor comes through in each and every story.”
—Caleb Masters, Bookmarks, Winston-Salem, NC


Young Adult

The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones
(Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 9780316418423, $10.99)
“I immediately fell into the world Emily Lloyd-Jones created, and then I barely came up for air! This is the most original, mythical-magical, undead story I have ever read. I mean, there’s a dead goat — and you’re gonna fall in love with her. The feisty, axe-swinging gravedigger’s daughter found a place in my heart, too. The imagination and wit astound me.”
—Alena Deerwater, Gallery Bookshop & Bookwinkle’s Children’s Books, Mendocino, CA

Frankly in Love by David Yoon
(Penguin Books, 9781984812223, $10.99)
Frankly in Love is a revelatory, hilarious, and heartbreaking coming-of-age novel that I would recommend to absolutely anyone. Writing with clarity and wit, Yoon has crafted an emotional, entertaining, and accessible read that explores the complex threads of identity, family, friendship, and first love with care. Yoon is a masterful debut novelist, and I was enthralled from the very first page.”
—Cristina Russell, Books & Books, Coral Gables, FL

Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin
(HarperTeen, 9780062878038, $11.99)
“For a novel that deals with the tension between religion and magic, this story is nonetheless hilarious and touching at the same time. The characters are quick-witted and ‘adorkable,’ the romance is sizzling, and the drama is tantalizing. The novel also boasts a thrilling cliffhanger ending that will make readers immediately want more.”
—Tanya Parker Mills, The Book Bungalow, St. George, UT

SLAY by Brittney Morris (Indies Introduce)
(Simon Pulse, 9781534445437, $11.99)
“My inner gamer nerd is over the moon. I lost any sense that I was reading from a page during the gaming interludes. What a vision of a VR-based MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game)! Black women in STEM and Black gamers are celebrated and centered, and white readers have the opportunity to explore their whiteness and how exhausting it is to be tokenized.”
—Kim Raymoure, Queen Anne Book Company, Seattle, WA

Tell Me How You Really Feel by Aminah Mae Safi
(Square Fish, 9781250251022, $9.99)
“Romantic, utterly swoon-worthy, and heartfelt. What sets this romance apart is how developed each character and her own circumstances are. While their shared attraction and issues form the core of the romance, Rachel and Sana each have questions about their own identity and purpose, and this aspect makes the story come to life.”
—Rebecca Waesch, Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Cincinnati, OH