“If a book about failures doesn’t sell, is it a success?” – Jerry Seinfeld
All the Broken Places by John Boyne
fiction / historical fiction.
Ninety-one-year-old Gretel Fernsby has lived in the same well-to-do mansion block in London for decades. She lives a quiet, comfortable life, despite her deeply disturbing, dark past. She doesn’t talk about her escape from Nazi Germany at age 12. She doesn’t talk about the grim post-war years in France with her mother. Most of all, she doesn’t talk about her father, who was the commandant of one of the Reich’s most notorious extermination camps.
Then, a new family moves into the apartment below her. In spite of herself, Gretel can’t help but begin a friendship with the little boy, Henry, though his presence brings back memories she would rather forget. One night, she witnesses a disturbing, violent argument between Henry’s beautiful mother and his arrogant father, one that threatens Gretel’s hard-won, self-contained existence.
All The Broken Places moves back and forth in time between Gretel’s girlhood in Germany to present-day London as a woman whose life has been haunted by the past. Now, Gretel faces a similar crossroads to one she encountered long ago. Back then, she denied her own complicity, but now, faced with a chance to interrogate her guilt, grief and remorse, she can choose to save a young boy. If she does, she will be forced to reveal the secrets she has spent a lifetime protecting. This time, she can make a different choice than before — whatever the cost to herself…
“A complex, thoughtful character study that avoids easy answers.” – Kirkus Reviews
“In Gretel, Boyne has created a magnificently dyspeptic protagonist whose self-assurance, sharp tongue and wry humor are at odds with her private agony.” – Financial Times
“A powerful novel about secrets and atonement after Auschwitz… All the Broken Places is a defence of literature’s need to shine a light on the darkest aspects of human nature; and it does so with a novelist’s skill, precision and power.” – The Guardian
At Midnight: 15 Beloved Fairy Tales Reimagined edited by Dahlia Adler
fiction / young adult / fantasy.
Fairy tales have been spun for thousands of years and remain among our most treasured stories. Weaving fresh tales with unexpected reimaginings, At Midnight brings together a diverse group of acclaimed YA writers to breathe new life into a storied tradition.
Fifteen celebrated authors reclaim classic fairy tales for a new generation:
Dahlia Adler, “Rumplestiltskin”
Tracy Deonn, “The Nightingale”
H.E. Edgmon, “Snow White”
Hafsah Faizal, “Little Red Riding Hood”
Stacey Lee, “The Little Matchstick Girl”
Roselle Lim, “Hansel and Gretel”
Darcie Little Badger, “Puss in Boots”
Malinda Lo, “Frau Trude”
Alex London, “Cinderella”
Anna-Marie McLemore, “The Nutcracker”
Rebecca Podos, “The Robber Bridegroom”
Rory Power, “Sleeping Beauty”
Meredith Russo, “The Little Mermaid”
Gita Trelease, “Fitcher’s Bird”
and an all-new fairy tale by Melissa Albert
Once upon a time…
“This simultaneously whimsical, adventurous, and bone-chilling genre-spanning collection smartly riffs on the referenced source material to explore contemporary values.” – Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW
“This super entertaining collection of 15 reimagined fairytales… is inclusive, diverse, and so much fun. It would make an excellent gift for any fairytale-lovers.” – BuzzFeed
“Some of the tales are as satisfyingly sharp as the first bite of a poisoned apple; others offer softness and hard-won optimism, reminding readers that just as fairy tales can lead to dangerous woods, they can also offer a path that leads home.” – The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
Butts: A Backstory by Heather Radke
nonfiction / history / science / sociology.
Whether we love them or hate them, think they’re sexy, think they’re strange, consider them too big, too small, or anywhere in between, humans have a complicated relationship with butts. It is a body part unique to humans, critical to our evolution and survival, and yet it has come to signify so much more: sex, desire, comedy, shame. A woman’s butt, in particular, is forever being assessed, criticized, and objectified, from anxious self-examinations trying on jeans in department store dressing rooms to enduring crass remarks while walking down a street or high school hallways. But why? In Butts: A Backstory, reporter, essayist, and RadioLab contributing editor Heather Radke is determined to find out.
Spanning nearly two centuries, this “whip-smart” (Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW) cultural history takes us from the performance halls of 19th-century London to the aerobics studios of the 1980s, the music video set of Sir Mix-a-Lot’s “Baby Got Back” and the mountains of Arizona, where every year humans and horses race in a feat of gluteal endurance. Along the way, she meets evolutionary biologists who study how butts first developed; models whose measurements have defined jean sizing for millions of women; and the fitness gurus who created fads like Buns of Steel. She also examines the central importance of race through figures like Sarah Bartmann, once known as the “Venus Hottentot,” Josephine Baker, Jennifer Lopez, and other women of color whose butts have been idolized, envied, and despised.
Part deep dive reportage, part personal journey, part cabinet of curiosities, Butts is an entertaining, illuminating, and thoughtful examination of why certain silhouettes come in and out of fashion—and how larger ideas about race, control, liberation, and power affect our most private feelings about ourselves and others.
“Deeply reported and wildly entertaining… Radke takes readers through an absorbing cultural history that asks how this human body part came to be on the receiving end of so much attention.” – Time
“Butts: A Backstory traces a complicated fascination from Empire-era spectacle to MTV… A contoured yet amply scaled study.” – Vanity Fair
“An ambitious mash-up of pop culture, science, and history, this breakout debut from Radiolab reporter Radke tracks the evolution of attitudes toward women’s butts from the ‘Hottentot Venus’ to Miley Cyrus. Along the way, Radke delves into eugenics, hip-hop aesthetics, the physiology of posteriors, and more. It adds up to one of the year’s most ingenious and eye-opening cultural studies.” – Publishers Weekly
The Choice by Nora Roberts
fiction / fantasy / romance.
Talamh is a land of green hills, high mountains, deep forests, and seas, where magicks thrive. But portals allow for passage in and out–and ultimately, each must choose their place, and choose between good and evil, war and peace, life and death…
Breen Siobhan Kelly grew up in the world of Man and was once unaware of her true nature. Now she is in Talamh, trying to heal after a terrible battle and heartbreaking losses. Her grandfather, the dark god Odran, has been defeated in his attempt to rule over Talamh, and over Breen–for now.
With the enemy cast out and the portal sealed, this is a time to rest and to prepare. Breen spreads her wings and realizes a power she’s never experienced before. It’s also a time for celebrations–of her first Christmas in both Talamh and Ireland, of solstice and weddings and births–and daring to find joy again in the wake of sorrow. She rededicates herself to writing her stories, and when his duties as taoiseach permit, she is together with Keegan, who has trained her as a warrior and whom she has grown to love.
It’s Keegan who’s at her side when the enemy’s witches, traitorous and power-mad, appear to her in her sleep, practicing black magick, sacrificing the innocent, and plotting a brutal destruction for Breen. And soon, united with him and with all of Talamh, she will seek out those in desperate need of rescue, and confront the darkness with every weapon she has: her sword, her magicks–and her courage…
“Bestseller Roberts expertly weaves threads from the previous two books of her Dragon Heart Legacy series into an epic climax and gratifying grand finale… allowing readers to be swept away by waves of events as the battle intensifies… a rewarding outing for old and new fans alike.” – Publishers Weekly
The Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee Book by Jerry Seinfeld
nonfiction / comedy / television.
In his streaming show, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, Jerry Seinfeld has engaged with some of the funniest people in history in classic cars, coffee shops, and diners. He has reminisced with Larry David; bantered with legends Steve Martin, Tina Fey, and Eddie Murphy; reunited with the cast of Seinfeld; and even paid a visit to President Barack Obama in the Oval Office. These and dozens of other guests talked about the intricacies of stand-up, the evolution of their careers and personal lives, and whatever else popped into their brilliant minds. Seinfeld’s carefully crafted episodes have reimagined the talk show format, each one a unique, hilarious, and yet intimate conversation—a rare opportunity for viewers to witness their favorite performers unscripted and unvarnished. But in producing eighty-four episodes over eleven seasons, he has also created arguably the most important historical archive about the art of comedy ever amassed, with episodes featuring Garry Shandling, Jerry Lewis, Don Rickles, Carl Reiner, and Norm McDonald already serving as permanent shrines for legendary comedians.
Timed to the 10th anniversary of the show’s debut and with an introduction from Jerry Seinfeld, this book isn’t just a record of the show but instead an inventive tribute full of behind-the-scenes photos and anecdotes. The book dives into the inspiration and creation of segments, the most unforgettable lines from guests, an index of the cars, and some of the most memorable moments from crew members. Originally conceived as an “anti-talk show,” Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee earned multiple Emmy nominations and helped lead the streaming revolution.
Perfect for gift giving season, The Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee Book is a beautifully designed book with iconic, never-before-seen production photos which will appeal to comedy lovers, car aficionados, coffee connoisseurs, and Jerry Seinfeld fans.
“…features transcripts and hilarious, intimate conversations.” – NPR
“The book features vivid color photos, and the interviewee list is a comedy lover’s dream. An amiable, largely amusing ramble down the back roads of the comedian’s art.” – Kirkus Reviews
A Heart That Works by Rob Delaney ★
nonfiction / memoir / mental health.
In 2016, Rob Delaney’s one-year-old son, Henry, was diagnosed with a brain tumor. The family had moved from Los Angeles to London with their two young boys when Rob’s wife was pregnant with Henry, their third. The move was an adventure that would bind them even more tightly together as they navigated the novelty of London, the culture clashes, and the funhouse experience of Rob’s fame—thanks to his role as co-creator and co-star of the hit series Catastrophe. Henry’s illness was a cataclysm that changed everything about their lives. Amid the hospital routine, surgeries, and brutal treatments, they found a newfound community of nurses, aides, caregivers, and fellow parents contending with the unthinkable. Two years later, Henry died, and his family watched their world fall away to reveal the things that matter most.
A Heart That Works is Delaney’s intimate, unflinching, and fiercely funny exploration of what happened – from the harrowing illness to the vivid, bodily impact of grief and the blind, furious rage that followed, through to the forceful, unstoppable love that remains. In the madness of his grief, Delaney grapples with the fragile miracle of life, the mysteries of death, and the question of purpose for those left behind.
Delaney’s memoir—profound, painful, full of emotion, and bracingly honest—offers solace to those who have faced devastation and shows us how grace may appear even in the darkest times.
“An affecting portrait of a father’s love for his son… The vivid descriptions of Henry’s treatments—and the toddler’s beauty and resilience in the face of suffering—underline just how powerful it can be to care for someone else.” – Time
“As heartbreaking as the book may be, Delaney’s pitch black humor buoys even the toughest moments… Delaney’s book is ultimately about all-encompassing, heart-exploding love.” – New York Times
“Delaney is a phenomenal storyteller, and this memoir is tender, vulnerable, warm, and darkly funny. A Heart That Works is in the same league as The Year of Magical Thinking in its stark, clarified articulation of grief, and the delusion and disbelief that accompany the tragedy.” – BuzzFeed
“A devastatingly candid account of a parent’s grief that will have readers laughing and crying in equal measure… Few would attempt to bring humor and levity to such an unbearably sad story, but Delaney manages to do so with grace, sincerity, and warmth… Heart-wrenching and impressively self-aware.” – Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW
One Jump at a Time: My Story by Nathan Chen with Alice Park
nonfiction / memoir / sports.
When three-year-old Nathan Chen tried on his first pair of figure skates, magic happened. But the odds of this young boy–one of five children born to Chinese immigrants–competing and making it into the top echelons of figure skating were daunting. Chen’s family didn’t have the resources or access to pay for expensive coaches, rink time, and equipment. But Nathan’s mother, Hetty Wang, refused to fail her child. Recognizing his tremendous talent and passion, she stepped up as his coach, making enormous sacrifices to give Nathan the opportunity to compete in this exclusive world.
That dedication eventually paid off at the 2022 Olympic Games in Beijing, where Chen–reverently known as the Quad King–won gold, becoming the first Asian-American man to stand at the highest podium in figure skating. In this moving and inspiring memoir Chen opens up for the first time, chronicling everything it took to pursue his dreams. Bolstered by his unwavering passion and his family’s unconditional support, Chen reveals the most difficult times he endured, and how he overcame each obstacle-from his disappointment at the 2018 Olympic Games, to competing during a global pandemic, to the extreme physical and mental toll the sport demands.
Pulling back the curtain on the figure skating world and the Olympics, Chen reveals what it was really like at the Beijing Games and competing on the US team in the same city his parents had left–and his grandmother still lived. Poignant and unfiltered, told in his own words, One Jump at a Time is the story of one extraordinary young man–and a testament to the love of a family and the power of persistence, grit, and passion.
“An inspirational account of an athlete’s determined rise to greatness.” – Booklist, STARRED REVIEW
“The world of figure skating dazzles in this restrained debut from Olympic gold medalist Chen… Chen’s fierce appreciation of his mother shines… skating fans will relish Chen’s behind-the-scenes knowledge.” – Publishers Weekly
“The book is strongest in Chen’s moments of vulnerability, when he speaks frankly about his love of his family and appreciation for the sacrifices they made for his career, his complex relationship with his mother, and his struggles with mental health… [an] inspiring story of dedication and perseverance.” – Kirkus Reviews
One Last Chance by Kat Martin
fiction / romance / suspense.
Former Green Beret Edge Logan has made a new life for himself at Nighthawk Security in Denver, using his finely honed skills to neutralize threats of all kinds. When he overhears friend and fellow agent Skye Delaney discussing a new case involving her missing sister and a mysterious cult, he offers himself as backup. With her own military background, Skye is gutsy and more than capable, but a cult like Children of the Sun is too risky for anyone to investigate alone.
Skye is grateful for Edge’s experience, even though she is aware of the attraction simmering between them. Her battle scars make her reluctant to get involved with anyone, much less a coworker—even a warrior like Edge. But infiltrating the cult’s compound is more complicated than expected—and something much more sinister than worship is clearly going on behind its walls. As the pair works against the clock to unearth high-stakes secrets, the personal barriers between them begin to crumble. Together, can they unmask the face of evil before their time runs out?
“Martin blends lusty romance with high-octane military action in her fast-paced third Blood Ties: The Logans contemporary romance… Martin gives her well-matched protagonists the help of sexy comrades in arms—many of whom readers will recognize from earlier volumes—and pits them against some appropriately heinous villains. This sizzling, rapid-fire romance will captivate series fans and new readers alike.” – Publishers Weekly
A World of Curiosities by Louise Penny
fiction / mystery / suspense.
It’s spring and Three Pines is re-emerging after the harsh winter. But not everything buried should come alive again. Not everything lying dormant should return.
But something has.
As the villagers prepare for a special celebration, Armand Gamache and Jean-Guy Beauvoir find themselves increasingly worried. A young man and woman have reappeared in the Surete du Quebec investigators’ lives after many years. The two were young children when their troubled mother was murdered, leaving them damaged, shattered. Now they’ve arrived in the village of Three Pines.
But to what end?
Gamache and Beauvoir’s memories of that tragic case, the one that first brought them together, come rushing back. Did their mother’s murder hurt them beyond repair? Have those terrible wounds, buried for decades, festered and now are about to erupt?
As Chief Inspector Gamache works to uncover answers, his alarm grows when a letter written by a long dead stonemason is discovered. In it the man describes his terror when bricking up an attic room somewhere in the village. Every word of the 150-year-old letter is filled with dread. When the room is found, the villagers decide to open it up.
As the bricks are removed, Gamache, Beauvoir and the villagers discover a world of curiosities. But the head of homicide soon realizes there’s more in that room than meets the eye. There are puzzles within puzzles, and hidden messages warning of mayhem and revenge.
In unsealing that room, an old enemy is released into their world. Into their lives. And into the very heart of Armand Gamache’s home.
“Penny delves into the nature of evil, sensitively exploring the impact of the dreadful events she describes while bringing a warmth and humanity to her disparate cast of characters that, unusually for a crime novel, leaves you feeling better about the world once you’ve finished.” – The Guardian
“Virtuoso… blends nuanced characterization with nail-biting suspense… This tale of forgiveness and redemption will resonate with many.” – Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW
“For Penny, the novel is a narrative tour de force, drawing brilliantly on some dark moments in Québec history and leading Gamache and the residents of Three Pines to a hard-won, thoroughly unsentimental recognition that forgiveness is our most powerful magic.” – Booklist, STARRED REVIEW
We Deserve Monuments by Jas Hammonds
fiction / young adult / romance / mystery.
What’s more important: Knowing the truth or keeping the peace?
Seventeen-year-old Avery Anderson is convinced her senior year is ruined when she’s uprooted from her life in DC and forced into the hostile home of her terminally ill grandmother, Mama Letty. The tension between Avery’s mom and Mama Letty makes for a frosty arrival and unearths past drama they refuse to talk about. Every time Avery tries to look deeper, she’s turned away, leaving her desperate to learn the secrets that split her family in two.
While tempers flare in her avoidant family, Avery finds friendship in unexpected places: in Simone Cole, her captivating next-door neighbor, and Jade Oliver, daughter of the town’s most prominent family—whose mother’s murder remains unsolved.
As the three girls grow closer—Avery and Simone’s friendship blossoming into romance—the sharp-edged opinions of their small southern town begin to hint at something insidious underneath. The racist history of Bardell, Georgia is rooted in Avery’s family in ways she can’t even imagine. With Mama Letty’s health dwindling every day, Avery must decide if digging for the truth is worth toppling the delicate relationships she’s built in Bardell—or if some things are better left buried.
“An absolute must read.”- BuzzFeed
“A gripping portrayal of the South’s inherent racism and a love story for queer Black girls.” – Teen Vogue
“[An] absolutely stunning debut… Written from a place of love and healing, Hammonds’ definitive standout will stay with readers.” – Booklist, STARRED REVIEW
The World Record Book of Racist Stories by Amber Ruffin & Lacey Lamar
nonfiction / memoir / comedy / current events.
Families may not always see eye to eye; we get on each other’s nerves, have different perspectives and lives—especially when we consider how we’ve grown up in different generations. But for the Ruffin family and many others, there has been one constant that connects them: racism hasn’t gone anywhere.
From her raucous musical numbers to turning upsetting news into laughs as the host of The Amber Ruffin Show or in her Late Night with Seth Meyers segments, Amber is no stranger to finding the funny wherever she looks. With equal parts heart and humor, she and her sister Lacey Lamar shared some of the eye-opening and outrageous experiences Lacey had faced in Nebraska in their first book. Now, the dynamic duo makes it clear—Lacey isn’t the only one in the family with ridiculous encounters to share! Amber and Lacey have many more uproarious stories, both from their own lives and the entire Ruffin family.
Recounting the wildest tales of racism from their parents, their siblings, and Amber’s nieces and nephews, this intergenerational look at ludicrous (but all too believable) everyday racism as experienced across age, gender, and appearance will have you gasping with shock and laughter in turn. Validating for anyone who has first-hand experience, and revealing for anyone who doesn’t, Amber and Lacey’s next book helps us all find the absurdity in the pervasive frustrations of racism. Illuminating and packed with love and laughter, this is a must-read for just about everyone.
“A perfect follow-up to the authors’ You’ll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey… The banter between the sisters is consistently funny, but the underlying social commentary remains incisive… An excellent look at lived experiences of Black Americans that should be required reading for all Americans.” – Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW
“To read stories you won’t soon forget, told in a totally memorable way by some very funny and generous writers, check out The World Record Book of Racist Stories.” – BookPage
“Ruffin and Lamar are back with more hilarious-in-a-terrible-way stories of things that they and their family have dealt with. You’ll laugh and cringe at this book – the sisters write as they speak and their chemistry makes for a perfect read.” – The Southern Bookseller Review