Pub Day Picks // September 1, 2020

Today is a rare event where the first day of the month also happens to be a publishing Tuesday. Also, this Tuesday and the rest of the month is publishing some incredible fiction. I hope you all get a chance to dive into some great reads and find your next favorite story.

Today’s publishing day is just the tip of the iceberg, but the books publishing today are high on my most anticipated reads. I was a little nervous that so many books pushed their pub dates back because of COVID, but now it feels like such a treat during some pretty depressing times. There’s many publishing today, but I’m most excited for:

Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi

I think the entire bookish world is ready for Yaa Gyasi’s newest book. I remember reading Homegoing and feeling the transformative nature of Gyasi’s writing throughout the pages. That book was also so well put together and the timelines were hard to ignore when you were reading. But now her latest novel is out in the world and I think the entire world is ready to read it.

Gifty is a sixth-year PhD candidate in neuroscience at the Stanford University School of Medicine studying reward-seeking behavior in mice and the neural circuits of depression and addiction. Her brother, Nana, was a gifted high school athlete who died of a heroin overdose after an ankle injury left him hooked on OxyContin. Her suicidal mother is living in her bed. Gifty is determined to discover the scientific basis for the suffering she sees all around her.

But even as she turns to the hard sciences to unlock the mystery of her family’s loss, she finds herself hungering for her childhood faith and grappling with the evangelical church in which she was raised, whose promise of salvation remains as tantalizing as it is elusive. Transcendent Kingdom is a deeply moving portrait of a family of Ghanaian immigrants ravaged by depression and addiction and grief–a novel about faith, science, religion, love. Exquisitely written, emotionally searing, this is an exceptionally powerful follow-up to Gyasi’s phenomenal debut.

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas

At first, I thought this was going to be another graphic novel. But then on further inspection, I realized this is a ghost story featuring a novice brujo, magic, and a little romance. If you combine romance and magic together, you will see me pick up this dang book. Not to mention that it’s representative and inclusive! You have my full attention!

When his traditional Latinx family has problems accepting his gender, Yadriel becomes determined to prove himself a real brujo. With the help of his cousin and best friend Maritza, he performs the ritual himself, and then sets out to find the ghost of his murdered cousin and set it free.

However, the ghost he summons is actually Julian Diaz, the school’s resident bad boy, and Julian is not about to go quietly into death. He’s determined to find out what happened and tie up some loose ends before he leaves. Left with no choice, Yadriel agrees to help Julian, so that they can both get what they want. But the longer Yadriel spends with Julian, the less he wants to let him leave.

When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole

I already fell in love with Alyssa Cole’s writing when I read her A Princess in Theory series and her An Extraordinary Union. But when I found out she’s branching into the thriller category with a “Rear Window”-style story, I knew I would be breaking my habit of not reading thrillers to make room for this one.

Rear Window meets Get Out in this gripping thriller from a critically acclaimed and New York Times Notable author, in which the gentrification of a Brooklyn neighborhood takes on a sinister new meaning…

Sydney Green is Brooklyn born and raised, but her beloved neighborhood seems to change every time she blinks. Condos are sprouting like weeds, FOR SALE signs are popping up overnight, and the neighbors she’s known all her life are disappearing. To hold onto her community’s past and present, Sydney channels her frustration into a walking tour and finds an unlikely and unwanted assistant in one of the new arrivals to the block—her neighbor Theo.

But Sydney and Theo’s deep dive into history quickly becomes a dizzying descent into paranoia and fear. Their neighbors may not have moved to the suburbs after all, and the push to revitalize the community may be more deadly than advertised.

When does coincidence become conspiracy? Where do people go when gentrification pushes them out? Can Sydney and Theo trust each other—or themselves—long enough to find out before they too disappear?

A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire by Jennifer L Armentrout

I already loved this vampire series Jennifer L Arementrout put out earlier this year and I can’t believe the sequel is already ready to be read and received by her adoring fans. I truly love JLA’s writing and style of storytelling, so I know I’ll happily devour this one as well.

A Betrayal

Everything Poppy has ever believed in is a lie, including the man she was falling in love with. Thrust among those who see her as a symbol of a monstrous kingdom, she barely knows who she is without the veil of the Maiden. But what she does know is that nothing is as dangerous to her as him. The Dark One. The Prince of Atlantia. He wants her to fight him, and that’s one order she’s more than happy to obey. He may have taken her, but he will never have her.

A Choice….

Casteel Da’Neer is known by many names and many faces. His lies are as seductive as his touch. His truths as sensual as his bite. Poppy knows better than to trust him. He needs her alive, healthy, and whole to achieve his goals. But he’s the only way for her to get what she wants—to find her brother Ian and see for herself if he has become a soulless Ascended. Working with Casteel instead of against him presents its own risks. He still tempts her with every breath, offering up all she’s ever wanted. Casteel has plans for her. Ones that could expose her to unimaginable pleasure and unfathomable pain. Plans that will force her to look beyond everything she thought she knew about herself—about him. Plans that could bind their lives together in unexpected ways that neither kingdom is prepared for. And she’s far too reckless, too hungry, to resist the temptation.

A Secret…

But unrest has grown in Atlantia as they await the return of their Prince. Whispers of war have become stronger, and Poppy is at the very heart of it all. The King wants to use her to send a message. The Descenters want her dead. The wolven are growing more unpredictable. And as her abilities to feel pain and emotion begin to grow and strengthen, the Atlantians start to fear her. Dark secrets are at play, ones steeped in the blood-drenched sins of two kingdoms that would do anything to keep the truth hidden. But when the earth begins to shake, and the skies start to bleed, it may already be too late.

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