The best new books to read this week: On the Come Up, Bowlaway, and more
I don’t know about you, but my house has been buried under a thick blanket of snow for going on two weeks now. Which is fine, because I buried myself under thick blankets of fleece. As a result, I made a big dent in my ever-growing to-read list. But, just like that, with the start of a new week, there are a whole slew of new titles to take their place. Not that I mind, of course. February is going to be a great month for reading. Here are 10 of the best new books to read this week:
1On the Come Up by Angie Thomas, out February 5th
We’ve been waiting for this day for a long time. On the Come Up, Angie Thomas’s follow-up to The Hate U Give, is finally here. Place this YA novel, about a 16-year-old rapper named Bri, at the top of your TBR pile.
2Bowlaway by Elizabeth McCracken, out February 5th
Bowlaway marks Elizabeth McCracken’s first novel in 18 years. With quirky characters and a family-run candlepin bowling alley, it was definitely worth the wait. It’s official: I declare a McCrackenaissance.
3Sea Monsters by Chloe Aridjis, out February 5th
This smart and playful novel follows Luisa, a teenager in Mexico in the late ‘80s. She’s searching for a group of traveling Ukrainian dwarfs who escaped a Soviet circus. And she meets some pretty interesting characters along the way.
4The Last Romantics by Tara Conklin, out February 5th
The Last Romantics is a sweeping family drama that follows four siblings from childhood into adulthood. As the main character, Fiona, states, it’s “a story about the failures of love.” But the more you read, the more you’ll wonder if that’s actually true. There’s a reason you’re seeing this book everywhere. Read it. Especially if you have siblings.
5Hard to Love: Essays and Confessions by Briallen Hopper, out February 5th
Just in time for Valentine’s Day comes Briallen Hopper’s collection of essays about the different kinds of love and relationships that aren’t marriage. It’s the perfect gift for your unlikely friends and lovers.
6Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James, out February 5th
Prepare to get lost in a new epic fantasy. Black Leopard, Red Wolf is the first book in the Dark Star Trilogy, rooted in African folklore and featuring creatures from witches and warlocks to vampires and shape-shifters. In case you need more convincing, many reviewers are calling it “the African Game of Thrones.” We’re already excited for the second installment.
7Willa & Hesper by Amy Feltman, out February 5th
At first, you might think Willa & Hesper is about the relationship between two creative writing students. But it’s more about what happens when their relationship ends, leaving them to go their separate ways. Don’t miss this page-turning novel about queer identity—especially in today’s political climate.
8The Atlas of Reds and Blues by Devi S. Laskar, out February 5th
Devi S. Laskar’s debut is about an American-born woman with Bengali immigrant parents and the racism she faces raising her three daughters. Her poignant, poetic prose will break your heart.
9Figuring by Maria Popova, out February 5th
Readers of Maria Popova’s newsletter, Brain Pickings, will devour her newest book. It asks some of life’s biggest and most daunting questions, including: “Are achievement and acclaim enough for happiness? Is genius? Is love?”
10The Girls at 17 Swann Street by Yara Zgheib, out February 5th
The Girls at 17 Swann Street is one of the most emotional and affecting books you’ll read all year. It’s about Anna, a former dancer who checks into a treatment center for women with eating disorders. And it holds nothing back.