The Best Books of Spring 2024, According to Indie Booksellers

Literature


This spring has been a glorious and bountiful season for books. To find out which new and forthcoming releases we should be reading, we reached out to indie booksellers across America. Their recommendations cover a broad range of genres, countries, and subject matters. Whether it’s a reimagining of Huckleberry Finn, a cyberpunk space thriller, a story collection for and about the internet generation, or a queer romantasy based on Asian mythology, we have a book for every kind of reader.

Here are the 68 new titles that bookstores across America are raving about this season:

Editor’s note: If you’re a bookseller interested in participating in a future edition of this feature, please email books@electricliterature.com

Memory Piece by Lisa Ko, March 19th

“Which spaces, narrow and wide, are inhabited by the friends that shape us in our youth? Simply: who are we to each other? Everything and ghosts, answers Ko. Three women rotate in and out of one another’s lives in this compelling novel, which begins with their 1980s childhoods and ends in a dark, surveilled iteration of 2040. Each of the three main characters pursues her ambitions relentlessly while the echoes of her friends pulse, again and again, into her present. Anyone who read Lisa Ko’s first book, The Leavers, knows that Ko has a penchant to draw out the unutterable in relationships. Though Memory Piece expands on the author’s deep anxieties, I found reassurance in that each of the main characters keeps the others—somehow—alive.”—Julia Paganelli Marín, Pearl’s Books in Fayetteville, Arkansas

James by Percival Everett, March 19th

“I loved reading James and finally getting to know him. Thanks to Everett’s genius, you can now revisit the wild times of Huckleberry Finn alongside a fully-realized partner for the adventure. A deft commentary on the 19th-century era, this is a wonderful retake on the American classic that puts the story in the hands of the man who deserves the right to tell it. It’s brilliant storytelling and I couldn’t put it down!” —Maggie Robe, Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

The Divorcées by Rowan Beaird, March 19th

“It’s the 1950s, we’re in Reno, and we’re getting a divorce. Or rather, Lois is, along with all the women starting their stay at the ranch while they wait out divorce proceedings. This is where Lois meets the mysterious Greer, a woman unlike anyone she’s met before. If you like stories of complex friendship, distrust of men, and a lot of rule-breaking, this one is for you.”—Alex Reinhart, Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Annie Bot by Sierra Greer, March 19th

“Annie Bot is a mind trip that may give you an existential crisis—but in a hot way, like Oscar Isaac in Ex-Machina. Pondering philosophical questions that come with human-created sentience, Sierra Greer examines what control, choice, and ethics look like in the budding AI generation. Equally delightful and enraging, Greer’s acute writing and social commentary, made my circuits whirl like R2-D2’s weeeeeee. A fantastic choice for any book club and English or Philosophy professor’s curriculum.”—RC Collman, Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Fervor by Toby Lloyd, March 19th

“Is it nature? Nurture? Unacknowledged familial trauma? Kabbalah? God? Does it matter? Toby Lloyd’s stunning novel debut feels like a long-lost dream, rippling with uncertainty for the best kind of unsettled reading experience—just after finishing, I wanted to read it all again. In a London, modern Ashkenazi Jewish home, our intersecting narrators offer multiple realities, inviting us to hold them amidst tradition, power, memory with heart-wrenching beauty. Impressively succinct writing that unfolds in the mind like a flower in bloom—the rest of 2024’s reads are up against a powerhouse.”—RC Collman, Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Woman, Life, Freedom created Marjane Satrapi, translated by Una Dimitrijevic, March 19th

“In September 2022, in Tehran, Mahsa Amini was arrested and beaten to death by the morality police for not wearing her hijab properly. Women, men, and schoolchildren rose up in protest all over the country. This is a powerful and important reminder not to forget the people of Iran who continue to suffer under the brutal regime of their own government.”—Tony Peltier, Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

The Blues Brothers by Daniel de Vise, March 19th

“Daniel de Vise has a way of writing a biography that reads like a novel—I was fascinated by the backstory of Belushi, Aykroyd, and the iconic movie. It delves into the rise of their careers and the tragic fall of Belushi’s, as well as fun movie trivia and background lore. Loved it!”—Andi Richardson, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia

The Woods All Black by Lee Mandelo, March 19th

“It’s queer, it’s hauntingly beautiful, it’s soaked in lust and blood, The Woods All Black is Lee Mandelo taking Southern lit to a new level. An Appalachian based historical horror novella including but not limited to missing fingers, an erratic preacher, a monster that hunts at night, t4t romance, and above all revenge. Always sexy, always suspenseful, and always Southern, Mandelo once again pushes the boundaries of contempory horror and it’s perfect.”—Grace Sullivan, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia

The Emperor and the Endless Palace by Justinian Huang, March 26th

“A queer romantasy spanning lifetimes! A tragic but spicy tale of soulmates, weaved together by fate. Asian folklore, myth and magic help to create a sorrowful but beautiful story of two men in love throughout time. There isn’t enough time or character spaces to say how much I love this book and can’t wait to see what else Huang writes next!”—Jaime, Astoria Bookshop in Astoria, New York

The Red Handler by Johan Harstad, translated by David Smith, March 26th

“Perhaps the strangest detective story I’ve ever read this fictional annotated novel is, yes, about how we narrate crime & the limits of language & other very literary ideas, but, ultimately, I think it’s mostly about how important creating is to being human, even when you only create for yourself.”—Josh Cook, Porter Square Books in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Like Happiness by Ursula Villarreal-Moura, March 26

“A searing debut that deftly explores the effects of an unhealthy relationship between a predatory male writer and a young woman on the cusp of adulthood—I couldn’t stop reading it! The characters in this story are all too real, and post #MeToo we see Tatum grappling to understand her story and the abuse she suffered from the toxic man she viewed as her superior for far too long.”—Maggie Robe, Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Glorious Exploits by Ferdia Lennon, March 26th

“A rollicking tale that’s set in a land far away, a long, long time ago. The characters are so fresh, and the setting is so richly detailed, that it completely drew me in and took me along for the ride! It’s an entertaining yet heartfelt story about the power of friendship and how art can be transformative and life-saving.”—Maggie Robe, Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Barons by Austin Frerick, March 26th

“Austin Frerick yanks back the curtain on a truly astonishing collection of violations, legal and moral in the American food system. Portraying seven corporate giants and their journeys to dominance, he details the lack of supervision by regulators in all administrations in the last forty years and the consequences to our national economy, the health of our citizens, and the extensive damage to our environment. Labor violations, animal abuse, bribery of public officials: nothing seems past these people. Despite the dire subject matter, Frerick is able to inject moments of humor and ends the book with sincere hope for change in the future if we are willing to work together to make a difference.”—Kelly Justice, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia

We Loved It All: A Memory of Life by Lydia Millet, April 2nd

“Lydia Millet channels a lifetime of environmental advocacy into her first nonfiction book, a furious, wondrous elegy for the shrinking wilderness. In fragmented essays, she tells the story of humanity through the eyes of our fellow animals, connecting the personal and the political, science and myth, capitalism and colonialism, the past and the future. It’s a heartbreaking yet perfect spring read; you’ll be sure to treasure every blade of grass that pushes through the earth.”—Amy Woolsey, Bards Alley in Vienna, Virginia

The Husbands by Holly Gramazio, April 2nd

“What would you do if your attic kept offering up different husbands to try? Don’t like this one’s open-mouth chewing, footwear, hobbies or face? Send him back up! Wouldn’t that be fun…or maybe not? Original, entertaining and laugh-out-loud funny.”—Maggie Robe, Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

All Things Are Too Small by Becca Rothfeld, April 2nd

“The minimalist lifestyle had its moment, but I think we have now transition into the next phase where the girl-mathing, daily little treat buying, collectors of dopamine raising trinkets have taken center stage. Through mesmerizing essays of media commentary, literary criticism and personal reflection, Becca Rothfield shines a light on the cultural and emotional cost of minimalism, and how the things that are over the top, and even unnecessary, are the things that may matter the most.”—Emma, Porter Square Books: Boston Edition in Boston, Massachusetts

The Rule Book by Sarah Adams, April 2nd

“Cinnamon crunch cereal on ice cream, one night in Vegas, and a list of rules meant to be broken, The Rule Book will have even the biggest pessimist believing in second chances. I found myself in the middle of Nora and Derek’s work relationship, rooting raucously for both teams.”—Kenzie Hampton, The Bookshop in Nashville, Tennessee

Women! In! Peril! by Jessie Ren Marshall, April 2nd

“Jessie Ren Marshall is a remarkable storyteller! The women in these twelve stories each struggle against their own peril, be it the loss of love, loss of freedom, loss of power, or loss of life. The stories range from absolutely absurd to merely heartbreaking; each one unique and inventive and full of bittersweet magic.”—Tony Peltier, Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Here We Go Again by Alison Cochrun, April 2nd

“Once again, Alison Cochrun made me sad cry and happy cry within just a few chapters and I loved it! This book tells us how Logan and Rosemary went from childhood besties to enemies to adversarial colleagues when they returned to their hometown to teach at their former high school. They share a mentor who has terminal cancer and when he insists that the three take a road trip to fulfill a few bucket list items, they’re thrown together once again. As they travel across the country, every detour brings them closer together despite their past. A touching tale of mental health, grief, and coming into one’s own, this will have you feeling all the feelings.” —Andi Richardson, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia

The Garden by Clare Beams, April 9th

“Creep-tastic and dreadful (in the best possible way!), I couldn’t stop reading this story of pregnant women trapped in a Hill House/Mexican Gothic-style nightmare. As they work to wrest control of their bodies from an increasingly desperate doctor, the true horror of their deal-making reveals itself.”—Maggie Robe, Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Short War by Lily Meyer, April 9th

“Imagine if Ann Patchett, fresh off a Bolaño re-read and a feverish plowing through ’70s political thrillers, sat down to write a saga in which a government’s secrets and a family’s secrets were the same secrets, and then, first draft completed, streamed Enemy of the State on a loop for a week. Reader, that’s not your imagination. That’s Short War, Lily Meyer’s knockout debut. Please read.”—Gregory Kornbluh, Downbound Books in Cincinnati, Ohio

A Really Strange and Wonderful Time by Tom Maxwell, April 9th

“A beautifully written tribute, documentation and exploration of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro, North Caroline (and environs) indie music scene in the decade leading up to Y2K. The scope of what Maxwell covers is impressive: musical personalities- musicians and bands, yes but also the producers, promotors, WXYC DJs and station managers, the labels big and small- Merge, Mammoth, and others. The migrations and importance of clubs like Cat’s Cradle and Local 506, recording studios (The Yellow House!), the rise of the internet and streaming radio, Maxwell illustrates the importance of the local ecosystem- the ‘zines and copy shops (Kinkos, Copytron) and then, ultimately, the internet and the changing of music distribution. A fantastic read on many levels, whether you want to revisit the bands (Superchunk, Squirrel Nut Zippers, Pipe, The Veldt, Ben Folds Five, The Pressure Boys, Sex Police) or just understand how a small community turned out some kick ass music. An illustration of how indie music created a magical third place, coined by sociologist Ray Oldenberg as ‘a place where people meet, exchange ideas, have a good time and build relationships.’ An eloquent honoring of a place and time where indie rock was paramount and the community was passionate for it.”—Jamie Fiocco, Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

The Familiar by Leigh Bardugo, April 9th

“New Leigh Bardugo? Yes, please! Her Grishaverse series made me a fan for life, and The Familiar has me ready to dive into the Spanish Golden Age. This one is not to be missed!”—Rachel Ford, The Bookshop in Nashville, Tennessee

Late Bloomer by Mazey Eddings, April 16th

“The best romances indulge parts of ourselves that really want every meet to be freaking cute—making us ask ‘if I’m not making the sappiest part of me happy, what am I really doing?’ When I bet on loving Mazey Eddings’ romances, I always win—this time delivering a relatable, sweet, and gooey queer romance that will make your tenderest parts blush. This is a deliriously sapphic, endearingly punny, neurodivergent love letter to taking time in letting love root, grow, and bloom (sorry).”—RC Collman, Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Woke Up No Light by Leila Mottley, April 16th

“What I hope is the beginning of a Leila Mottley renaissance, woke up no light is a poetry collection that solidifies Mottley’s status as one of our time’s best new young writers. Split into four sections defined as girlhood, neighborhood, falsehood, and womanhood, Mottley’s poetry reads as tender yet raw, her musings especially on womanhood and coming into your own are glittering pieces of writing that any reader can acknowledge are full of both heart, hardships, and truth. A remarkable collection for people looking to get into poetry, or for the established readers of the genre!”—G Sullivan, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia

Tenderloin by Joy Sorman, translated by Lara Vergnaud, April 16th

“We love our animals and we also eat them. This is the central conceit of Joy Sorman’s Tenderloin, translated from the French by Lara Vergnaud. Tenderloin examines the meat packing and processing industry through the eyes of Pim, an unnaturally lanky apprentice butcher with graceful hands and a penchant for crying uncontrollably. With prose that oozes and drips and spurts like blood from an open wound, Sorman probes the intersection of beauty and disgust, explores the power dynamic inherent in carnivorism, and reminds us that, in the end, we’re all just meat.”—Charlie Marks, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia

Muse of Fire by Michael Korda, April 16th

“A novel perspective on ‘the war to end all wars.’ Korda examines World War I through the lives of the soldier poets that fought and died, whose poetry provided the most open, honest interpretation of the atrocities committed for the sake of patriotism. Korda narrows his focus to the lives of six individuals, who stand both in stark contrast to and in concert with the 25,000,000 human beings that lost their lives in the war. A combination of both literary analysis and historical scholarship, Muse of Fire is a poignant and powerful read.” —Charlie Marks, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia

Ocean’s Godori by Elaine U. Cho, April 23rd

“As someone who’s recently put many, many hours into Cyberpunk 2077, the tone of this debut, futuristic space novel hit the spot. We follow ace pilot and sharpshooter Ocean, a disgraced member of a governing organization called the Alliance; her best friend and heir to a tech empire, Teo; a new med bay recruit from a planet that specializes in death and funerary rites; and two sets of tightly-knit, found-family space crews––one under the Alliance, the other a group of rogues led by a charismatic captain––as they find themselves wrapped up in an intergalactic political conspiracy that asks questions about capitalism and colonialism. If you love Han Solo as a character, you’ll dig Ocean’s Godori.”—Destenie Fafard, Timbre Books in Ventura, California

The Backyard Bird Chronicles by Amy Tan

The Backyard Bird Chronicles celebrates life on the porch. Amy Tan remarkably observes and draws the vibrant bird life that graces her backyard in this published form of her journal. A must read for all birders and porch sitters!”—Ashley Kilcullen, The Bookshop in Nashville, Tennessee

Funny Story by Emily Henry, April 23rd

“Daphne’s love story was one fit for the books, but then again so is the scandalous story of her break up that leads to her splitting rent on an apartment with the ex-boyfriend of her ex-fiance’s childhood-friend-turned-new-girlfriend. Yeah, if you thought that sentence was rough, imagine living it. Daphne is now stranded in a small town in Michigan that she never intended to move to, without family or friends, but at least she has a job she loves as the local children’s librarian.

Emily Henry’s tales always remind me of a ’90s rom com in the best ways. Spring is absolutely the time to dive into this sweet little romance that will guide you right through summer and hit all of the great tropes: opposites attract, fake dating, found family, the works. It’s not so easy though, Daphne has some things to work through when it comes to accepting love of all kinds and learning to trust others.”—Randi Null, Brazos Bookstore in Houston, Texas

Food School by Jade Armstrong, April 23rd

“A book hasn’t made me cry in a long time. But this one? It tore me open and shone a light on all my most shameful thoughts. Seeing my feelings so clearly reflected back at me was hard. But it made me really proud of my (and Olive’s) progress. I’m not ashamed of who I am, or what I’ve overcome. I hope that this book can be a flashlight for someone else too.”—Jamie Kovacs, Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Into the Quiet and the Light by Virginia Hanusik, April 30th

“This powerful book about land loss and the destruction of the historically rich and abundant landscapes of southeastern Louisiana is a stunning call to action. Alongside what are often haunting anything-but-still-life images of built landscapes by Hanusik are moving essays, poems, vignettes, and histories of the region, many by and about the indigenous protectors and cultivators of the land, and the descendants of formerly enslaved Black Americans who’ve worked the disappearing marshes for centuries. After Hanusik foregrounds Into the Quiet and the Light with a background of the history of exploitation of natural resources by colonial powers in Louisiana dating back to the seventeenth century, her book soars into the present with the juxtaposed beauty of a land and its peoples against the omnipresent force of destruction and greed from the petrochemical industry and its forebears of global capitalism, racism, and all else that fuels climate catastrophe.”—Charlie Jones, A Room of One’s Own in Madison, Wisconsin

One of Us Knows by Alyssa Cole, April 30th

“I love this book, which is a surprise to absolutely no one. Alyssa Cole’s thrillers remain some of my very favorites and this is no exception. It has the biting commentary I loved from When No One Is Watching and adds ghosts! Ken deals with Dissociative Identity Disorder (‘multiple personalities’) and she is shocked to awaken on her way to a new job on a very creepy island as the caretaker of a near-abandoned castle. Having missed the entire world’s events since 2016 (we should all be so lucky) she struggles to find out what is going on in the world and on this Hudson River island. Equal parts witty and scary, this will keep you turning pages late into the night. Another stunner from the twistery queen!”—Andi Richardson, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia

Bitter Water Opera by Nicolette Polek, May 1st

“Gia is lost in her world, she’s aimlessly going through life trying to find something that’ll ground her, so when she stumbles across the story of Marta Becket she becomes enthralled. Becket was a Broadway dancer who while traveling through the Mojave Desert stumbles across a dilapidated theater she makes into her own personal opera house. After crafting a letter to the deceased Becket, the woman appears at her doorstep the next day. An addicting debut novella with sentences that come to life and dance on the page like the main women in this book, Bitter Water Opera is a dreamlike journey that delves into art, faith, loneliness, and the creative spirit all in one neat bow-adorned package.”—G Sullivan, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia

The Dead Don’t Need Reminding by Julian Randall, May 7th

“In The Dead Don’t Need Reminding, Julian Randall deftly weaves pop culture references with deeply internal examinations of self, queerness and lineage in an attempt to better understand the racist event that drove his family out of the south generations prior. It’s a book for Black folks, for Black queer folks, that allows equal space for our grief and our joy—for our niche interests, our obsessions, and our celebrations—which is as beautiful as it is devastating. Trust me when I say Julian Randall’s nonfiction debut should be next up on your TBR.”—Leah Johnson, Loudmouth Books in Indianapolis, Indiana

Sipsworth by Simon Van Booy, May 7th

“After the deaths of her husband and son, the elderly Helen Cartwright comes home after 60 years to the English village where she grew up. She is merely marking time awaiting her own death by filling the days with meaningless routines. On a freezing cold winter’s night, she encounters a mouse in her apartment. At first intent on dispatching it, she has second thoughts. What follows this simple encounter is a spring blossom of a story! No matter how old we get, how set in our ways, our personal tragedies: there is always hope. That is what Sipsworth’s pages spoke to me. I never leave a Simon Van Booy book without being deeply changed. That is the highest compliment I can give any writer.”—Kelly Justice, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia

The Novices of Lerna by Angel Bonomini, translated by Jordan Landsman, May 7th

The Novices of Lerna is a dazzling short story collection introducing Angel Bonomini—a mid-century Argentinian writer and contemporary of Jorge Luis Borges—English readers for the first time. Touching on ideas of shared consciousness, isolation, and identity, Bonomini’s absurd and fantastical prose holds a mirror up to the reader and urges them to look inward. The Novices of Lerna is a profound examination of the relationship between authority and individualism that has only grown more relevant since its original publication.”—Charlie Marks, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia

The Ministry of Time by Kaliane Bradley, May 7th

The Ministry of Time is a fun, sexy, action-packed yet emotional novel that had me absolutely hooked from the first page. Time travel! Spies! Romance! Mystery! Plus some good ol’ bureaucracy and workplace comedy with some of the most charmingly endearing characters you’ll ever meet. Trust me, this book will be your newest obsession but be forewarned—you will develop a massive crush on a certain Victorian polar explorer. Kaliane Bradley has created something truly extraordinary and fresh in this speculative novel that explores biracial identities, generational and inherited trauma, and so much more, all while being a twisty page turning tour de force. Buckle up and enjoy the ride and the beautiful writing. This is one of the books of the year that everyone will be talking about!”—Christine Bollow, Loyalty Bookstores in Washington, DC and Silver Spring, Maryland

The Skunks by Fiona Warnick, May 7th

“Back in her hometown after graduation, Isabel spends the summer housesitting, dipping her toes into the murky pool of independent adulthood. While she grapples with the vast expanse of future before her (how to find purpose? who to kiss? how to fill the interminable hours? is it possible to hold on to your favorite parts of your younger self and still become something new?), a trio of young skunks plod across the borrowed home’s backyard, eating beetles and finding their own way. A meditative, funny, hopeful little story that lodged its tiny claws directly into my heart.”—Talia Smart, Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

April May June July by Alison B. Hart, May 14th

“Four siblings must confront each other and the past to move on from trauma in their teens, so that they can live honest lives with a chance at celebrating the future together.”—Maggie Robe, Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Woodworm by Layla Martinez, May 14th

“Some books are polite when they invite you in: they hold the door, offer refreshments, let you poke around as you please for a few pleasant afternoons and then bid you farewell as you head back out into the big bright world. Woodworm doesn’t do this. It draws you in and then slams the door behind you, sealing you inside a madhouse labyrinth of chattering shadows. This is fitting, as Woodworm is a novel about traps: generations of women trapped in a house beset with ghosts and insectoid angels; a village trapped by poverty; far too many girls trapped inside the purgatory of disempowerment and violence against their bodies; and the final trap: that little worm of uncontrollable rage that burrows its way inside your guts and never lets you sleep while your enemies live… I literally gripped this book so tightly that I bent its cover. Part of me will remain within its pages for a long, long time.”—Charlie Monroe, Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Blue Ruin by Hari Kunzru, May 14th

“Hari Kunzru is one of my favorite writers. His alchemical style produces novels that are somehow page-turners and deep ruminations on the political and philosophical mores of the contemporary world. In Blue Ruin, Kunzru takes on both the art world of London in the ’90s and the bizarre time/still days that were the summer of 2020. Confronted with their past selves, three art school friends must reckon with the meaning & purpose of making art ; how it intersects with authenticity, success, vision, money, survival, and truth. A joy to read.”—Elese Stutts, Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

All Fours by Miranda July, May 14th

All Fours is a wild (really wild), unexpected ride told with all of the quirk, intelligence, and irreverence July’s readers have come to expect (and relish).”—Joelle Herr, The Bookshop in Nashville, Tennessee

Rednecks by Taylor Brown, May 14th

“If I didn’t already trust Taylor Brown’s talent and heart as a writer, I doubt I would have picked up a book with the title Rednecks with an open mind. And there is the lesson in this powerful, eye-opening book. Based on the Battle of Blair Mountain in 1920s, real-life and invented characters portray a shameful moment in American history where 10,000 coal miners of different races, speaking different languages, having different faiths stood against their oppressive bosses in the largest labor protest in U.S. history. The coal barons pressured lawmakers to send troops to drop bombs on and shoot at these adults and children essentially in bondage. The origin of the term ‘redneck’ is detailed here… and it’s not what you think.”—Kelly Justice, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia

My First Book by Honor Levy, May 14th

“Where to begin with Honor Levy’s aptly named debut, My First Book. A story collection for the passive Reddit scroller, your local barista who lives three different lives between making your iced oat milk chai, that one friend who can’t hang out because their Depop is blowing up, and everyone in between. A premier voice of a new generation of writers, Levy doesn’t hold back any punches or niche internet moments with this one. There’s an art to this style of writing, through the many memes, <3’s, and Twitter cultural touchstones that make up these stories, Levy’s vulnerability and insightful reflections on growing up online are what made this for me and shine through.”—G Sullivan, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia

Cactus Country by Zoe Bossiere, May 21st

Cactus Country is all about landscape: of Arizona and the hot desert, of childhood and its constant developments, of gender and its fluidity. Zoe Bossier is sharing a much needed story of a childhood outside of the gender binary in a world built to misunderstand that. Bossier astutely and tenderly dives into hard to talk about topics—masculinity, assault, mental health, poverty, transphobia, and so much more. You’ll fall so easily into Bossier’s writing and you won’t turn away when things get hard—Zoe is there to gently guide you through the path forward.”—Frances Metzger, Country Bookshelf in Bozeman, Montana

Lost Ark Dreaming by Suyi Davies Okungbowa, May 21st

“The brutally engineered class divisions of Snowpiercer meets Rivers Solomon’s The Deep in this high-octane post-climate disaster novella written by Nommo Award-winning author Suyi Davies Okungbowa. This action-packed novella takes place across one day, with beautifully engaging writing and vivid world building.

My absolute favorite part of the book is the way it treasures storytelling, the weight stories hold, and the freedom that awaits if we are willing to remember and believe them. It reminds us that the people who should hold respect in our societies are those who keep our stories and pass them down to preserve the truth and history of how we came to be. Without storytelling, so many of us would not know who we are, who we were, or who we are destined to be. This novella is an absolute must-read for 2024!”—Su Kim, Old Town Books in Alexandria, Virginia

Coexistence by Billy-Ray Belcourt, May 21st

“A stellar short story collection that blew me away when I read it earlier this season. It is cliché to say that ‘I can’t stop thinking about this book,’ but I truly cannot stop thinking about all the expertly interwoven themes of relationships, communities, and shaping of personal narratives that flow through each piece (especially the story ‘My Diary’, one that I have gone back to numerous times since finishing the collection).”—Taylor Carlton, Brazos Bookstore in Houston, Texas

Shae by Mesha Maren, May 21st

“What a gorgeous gut punch of a book! Maren has outdone herself with her third novel; I was in love from the first page. In an almost epistolary style, Shae takes us through her history with Cam—from friend to lover to something else—in small-town Appalachia. Hints drop to show us that things go south fast even as Cam and Shae experience the rush of first love. I could tell things wouldn’t end well from the start but I couldn’t put it down until I knew what happened to Shae, Cam, and Eva. Maren’s prose will break your heart even while you stop to soak in its beauty. Readers of Karen Tucker’s Bewilderness will love this story of being young, queer, and addicted with no way out. Do not miss this book.”—Andi Richardson, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia

I Hope This Finds You Well by Natalie Sue, May 21st

“What a stunner of a book! This is the story of Jolene, a disgruntled office admin employee for Supershops, Inc. Disliked at the office and under pressure from her Persian mother to settle down, she takes out her frustrations in hidden email text that her coworkers can’t see—until they can. When a mistake grants her access to the entire staff’s emails and DMs, she makes a desperate plan to save her job. This has so many layers of emotions! I went from laughing out loud to tearing up, to heart swells of happiness. Sue’s debut is fresh and original and I can’t wait to see what she does next.”—Andi Richardson, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia

The Guncle Abroad by Steven Rowley, May 21st

“I will read as many books about the Guncle as Rowley will write! The second installment in the tale of Patrick and his family brings just as much joy and love as the first one! Set five years after The Guncle, Patrick and his beloved niece and nephew are now touring Europe on the way to their father’s wedding to a rich Italian woman. Maisie and Grant aren’t too sure about the match and ask Patrick to talk some sense into his brother. As he tries to teach the kids about the many forms of love, he’s also battling with his sex-crazed sister and the new Launt (you can guess) trying to usurp the kids’ love. Another stunner that will make you smile and cry at the same time.”—Andi Richardson, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia

I’m a Fool to Want You by Camila Sosa Villada, translated by Kit Maude, May 28th

“Villada’s short stories in I’m a Fool to Want You blew me away. Nine stories contain entire lives and mythologies in the span of a few pages. Her writing surrounding trans women and sex work is unflinching and so real. These tales of violence and queer love and life are an essential contribution to trans Latine literature.” —Charlie Jones, A Room of One’s Own in Madison, Wisconsin

A Good Life by Virginie Grimaldi, translated by Hildegarde Serle, May 28th

“Emma and Agathe, two sisters in France spend the summers with their Mima and Papi in the Basque Country on the sea. Chapters rock back and forth like the waves of the ocean: between timelines past and present and from each sister’s point of view. Emma is older, strong, and responsible. Agathe is fragile, wild, and careless. Life at home promises no safety or comfort. They rely on each other during the summers. Siblings fight and sometimes it takes a long time to make things right. Lovers of Europa Editions’ other titles My Brilliant Friend and Fresh Water for Flowers will fall hard for this beautiful, heartbreaking, and healing story. Grab a box of tissues!”—Kelly Justice, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia

The Fireborne Blade by Charlotte Bond, May 28th

“If you are looking for a new epic fantasy, but don’t have time for a 500+ page tome, try The Fireborne Blade, the first in a new series of fantasy novellas by author Charlotte Bond. This is an action-packed story following Maddileh, an uncommon woman knight, on her quest to retrieve the titular sword from a dragon’s lair. Bond packs so much worldbuilding into this little novella, supplementing readers with the world’s folklore and history surrounding dragon-slaying knights in unique interspersed chapters, which only makes the story feel more full and all-encompassing than it already is.

Fans of Nicola Griffith and Marie Brennan will love this one with its renowned magic system and chilling characters. The second book in the series will be releasing in October, so not long to wait!”—Mallory Sutton, Bards Alley in Vienna, Virginia

Evocation by S.T. Gibson, May 28th

“David Aristarkhov is cursed, a demon on his heels and in his mind. A gifted psychic in his own right, he comes from a long line of mediums and magic wielders, which may also be the origin of his curse. His only allies happen to be his estranged ex, Rhys, and Rhys’ wife Moira, who have every reason not to help him. Evocation was a breathless character study in vulnerability and resilience, in finding aid in others, and magic bonds worth savoring. I adored it.”—Jordan April, Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Bright and Tender Dark by Joanna Pearson, June 4th

“A compulsive literary crime thriller in the vein of Rebecca Makkai’s I Have Some Questions for You. The seedy college-setting seethes both in the past and the present, and the cold-case murder of an It Girl highlights the haunting loss of youth, faith, potential and identity through a memorable cast of characters.”—Maggie Robe, Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Fire Exit by Morgan Talty, June 4th

“This is a book to be devoured, not read. Charles Lamosway, a white Maine resident who grew up on the Penobscot Reservation, knows more than anyone the importance of blood. He’s spent his life questioning his identity and his place in the world—never knowing his biological father, emotionally removed from his severely depressed mother, and closest to his Native stepfather. A secret pregnancy with a childhood friend further cements his estrangement from the communities around him, leaving him isolated and adrift. Now at a crossroads at the midpoint of his life, he can no longer avoid confronting the traumas of his past if he wants to move forward. Through a brilliantly crafted story about family, legacy, and love, Morgan Talty examines the complexity of identity with incredible insight and depth.”—Melissa Sagendorph, Harvard Book Store in Cambridge, Massachusetts

youthjuice by E K Sathue, June 4th

“New imprint Hell’s Haunted is starting off strong with one of their flagship titles! A dark, sardonic look at the beauty industry, youthjuice tells the tale of Sophia, a new employee at wellness giant HEBE. Their new product is producing amazing results but the process behind the miracle formula of youthjuice is unclear—and possibly darker than anyone realizes. As Sophie gets drawn deeper into the world of HEBE, she’s willing to throw away anything to stay youthful and happy forever. Will she be able to get out before it’s too late, or will her desire for eternal beauty be hew downfall?”—Andi Richardson, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia

Triple Sec by TJ Alexander, June 4th

“It’s pretty much guaranteed that I am going to love anything TJ Alexander writes. Their latest is the sweet and sexy story of Mel, a New York bartender that doesn’t fall in love. Enter Bebe, free-spirited lawyer. The two hit it off immediately and as Mel is reconsidering her no-falling-in-love rule, she learns about Bebe’s spouse Kade. Their open relationship allows Mel and Bebe to start dating, even though Kade and Mel don’t really seem to mesh—or do they? We need more poly rep in books! This sheds light and understanding on a little-talked-about concept and shows that joy and love exist in so many forms.”—Andi Richardson, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia

Such a Bad Influence by Olivia Muenter, June 4th

“Influencer Muenter writes an it-could-happen-here tale of what happens when a young woman who grew up on social media comes of age. Evie has been online for as long as she can remember, growing from a cute kid who lost her dad early in life to a beautiful young woman with a huge social media following. When she disappears during a live video, her older sister Hazel is frantic. Old family secrets come out as family and police search for Evie—can they find her before tis too late? I loved this sharp commentary on what is too much to put online and what happens when you cross the line.”—Andi Richardson, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia

Stories Are Weapons by Annalee Newitz, June 10th

“I love Annalee Newitz’s mind. They write clearly and accessibly about incredibly complex topics. This book ties together historical threads from the past 250 years, showing how the American government and its people fight proxy battles through competing narratives. This has played out in wars and the international stage as much as Twitter and Reddit. Newitz reveals how we’ve arrived in this uniquely terrifying moment, and where we can go from here.”—Nino Cipri, Astoria Bookshop, Astoria in New York

Out of the Sierra by Victoria Blanco, June 11th

Out of the Sierra will undo and challenge all of your expectations of nonfiction. A story collected through oral history and first hand encounters, this book captures a history of a people who have long withstood being catalogued by western history standards. Though it makes no direct reference to these things, simply by existing and sharing this story, Out of the Sierra stands in opposition to colonialism, capitalism, climate change, patriarchy, and white supremacy. This book exudes the beauty that is indigenous way of life, and the horrors that occur when the violence of whiteness forces its way into the narrative.”—Frances Metzger, Country Bookshelf in Bozeman, Montana

Margo’s Got Money Troubles by Rufi Thorpe, June 11th

“I adored this glittering jewel of a book—multifaceted like the tackiest, most gorgeous Vegas rhinestone, twinkling with heart and light. It’s funny as hell, delightfully crass (we’re talking professional wrestling and Arby’s here, folks), with all the swoony scenes and real friendships and thorny family dynamics of a great beach read *but also* a clever metaplay on narrative structure in fiction. MFA stuff baby!

Margo is a total gem—is she 20 years old, showing her titties on the internet to pay her rent and take care of her new baby? Yes, and we love her for it. Her dad, Jinx, former professional wrestler and current personal quagmire, is a delight. I could go on and on. It’s a damn treat.”—Stef Kiper Schmidt, Water Street Bookstore in Exeter, New Hampshire

Not In Love by Ali Hazelwood, June 11th

“This is my second Hazelwood read and I am as charmed as I thought I’d be. Rue and Eli are on opposite sides of a brutal corporate battle for Rue’s employer. Tension builds as they try to fight their deep attraction while remaining professional in public and the results are explosive! I’m officially a card-carrying Hazelwood fan now.”—Andi Richardson, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia

Rakesfall by Vajra Chandrasekera, June 18th

Rakesfall is a heady and cerebral tale of love, loss, colonialism, entanglement, ghosts, and time. As Earth orbits the Sun, Annelid and Leveret orbit each other in an eternal dance of love and teeth, skin and violence. Chandrasekera’s world has the bite of a blade and the fluid intangibility of a spirit, leaving an ache that thrums through the centuries. From a vicious drama detailing the conquest of Sri Lanka, to a ghost moldering in the walls of a dead city, to a murdered planet’s staggering rebirth, to a demon in the plantation-haunted woods; the saga that unfolds in these pages is as unique as it is mesmerizing.”—Jordan April, Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

The Art of Catching Feelings by Alicia Thompson, June 18th

“Thompson knocks it out of the park again (see what I did there?) with this adorable new baseball romance! Daphne is having a particularly bad day when she audibly heckles Chris during a game. Not understanding that her silly insult hit deep on a personal level, she apologizes via DM after the video of Chris crying goes viral. The only trouble is—she forgets to tell him why she’s sorry. I was so tense while I read this, knowing the truth would come to light at some point and when it did it hit me hard right along with Daphne and Chris. This is going to be a delight of a summer read!”—Andi Richardson, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia

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