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We’re all book lovers here, so we get it. But sometimes, there’s nothing more comforting than the feel of a paperback book between your hands. Perfect for reading in bed, traveling in your backpack, or tucking into your jacket pocket, if you’ve been waiting for new releases to come to paperback, we’re here to help! Check out these must-read novels coming to paperback in 2023.
All My Rage by Sabaa Tahir (3/7)
Misbah and Toufiq, newly wedded in an arranged marriage, come to the United States and open the Clouds’ Rest Inn Motel, hoping for a new start after a tragedy strikes in Lahore, Pakistan. That was then. Now, years later, their son scrambles to run the motel as his mother’s health declines and his father turns to alcohol. Meanwhile, his best friend Noor plans to leave California and her uncle. Will the fight between the two of them tear them apart, or will friendship, forgiveness and love help them battle the demons they are facing?
Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel (3/28)
Edwin St. Andrew has been exiled from polite society at eighteen years old. Crossing the Atlantic by steamship, he enters the Canadian forest and is shocked to hear the sounds of a violin coming from an airship terminal. Two hundred years later, writer Olive Llewellyn writes about an echoing chamber where a man plays a violin as the forest rises all around him. When detective Gaspery-Jacques Roberts goes to investigate a known anomaly in the North American wilderness, he finds an unusual discovery: the lives that were upended: an exiled son, a writer, and an old friend from the Night City.
Take My Hand by Dolen Perkins-Valdez (4/4)
It’s 1973 in Montgomery, Alabama and Civil Townsend is fresh out of nursing school, determined to make a difference in her African American community. Working at the Montgomery Family Planning Clinic, she aims to help women take control of their lives and bodies. In just her first week, Civil is shocked to find out her patients are just children, eleven and thirteen. One day, Civil arrives to find the unthinkable has happened, and nothing is the same. Decades later, Dr. Civil Townsend’s daughter is grown and she is ready to retire and finally find peace. What she finds is that there are stories that refuse to be forgotten, and she must face them so that history does not repeat itself.
Finding Me by Viola Davis (4/4)
This is the story of Viola Davis, and how she went from a crumbling apartment in Rhode Island, to the biggest stages in New York City, and beyond. This book is for anyone who feels untethered, who is fighting their way to self-love or if you need reminding that radical honesty and courage are sometimes needed to become your best self. Viola Davis shares deep reflections in this love letter to her past, present, and future self, while inspiring readers to embrace who they are and who they were—before the world changed that.
Nightcrawling by Leila Mottley (4/11)
Siblings Kiara and Marcus are scraping by at the Regal-Hi apartment complex in East Oakland where their rent has nearly doubled. Their lives have been plagued by death and prison, and Kiara has taken on caring for the nine-year-old little boy next door who was abandoned by his mother, while Marcus clings to his dream of rap stardom. One night, by drunken misunderstanding, Kiara finds a job she desperately needs: nightcrawling. But when her name surfaces in an investigation, Kiara becomes a key witness in a massive scandal, and her life becomes even more explosive.
Notes on Your Sudden Disappearance by Alison Espach (4/25)
Sally Holt and her sister, Kathy, have very little in common besides their mutual infatuation for Billy Barnes, rising senior and basketball star. Billy doesn’t show either of them much attention, until the summer before Sally starts eighth grade, when Kathy begins to fall even more in love with Billy. Sally watches, mystified, until tragedy strikes, and Sally and Billy’s lives become intertwined unexpectedly over two decades of shared history and missed connections in this heartfelt coming-of-age story about two broken people.
This Time Tomorrow by Emma Straub
Alice is about to turn 40, and her life isn’t all that bad. She is happy with her job, her apartment, and even her independence. But her father, the single dad who raised her, is declining, and Alice finds herself wondering if she took life with him for granted. When she wakes up, she is somehow back in 1996, and the most shocking part is the chance to spend time with her vivid and charming father, 49 years old again. With a second chance, Alice wonders what she should do differently, especially since she knows how quickly life steals time with the ones we love.
I Must Betray You by Ruta Sepetys (5/2)
It’s 1989 and Romanian Cristian Florescu dreams of being a writer, but is bound by rules and force. As communist regimes crumble across Europe, Cristian is blackmailed into becoming an informer. He has two choices: betray those he loves, or creatively undermine the evil dictator, Nicolae Ceaușescu. Cristian, risking everything to expose the truth of what is happening in his country, soon discovers what the cost of freedom really is.
Trust by Herman Diaz (6/1)
It is post 1920s and everyone in New York City has heard of Benjamin and Helen Rask, Wall Street tycoon and daughter of aristocrats. Their immense wealth has been a thing of speculation for decades, the very mystery at the center of the book Bonds. But there is more to this story of wealth and deceit, and Diaz creates a literary puzzle with both narratives, examining power, intimacy and perception.
The Rabbit Hutch by Tess Gunty (6/6)
Neighbors. The online obituary writer. The single mother with a dark past. The women at war with the rodents. They are all separated by thin walls in a low-cost complex they call The Rabbit Hutch. Blandine is different; she lives with three teenage boys who have aged out of the foster care system, searching for meaning in their lives. Over the course of one week in July, manifesting in an odd act of violence, The Rabbit Hutch is a portrait of contemporary America and what it means to find freedom in an otherwise suffocating reality.
Big Girl by Mecca Jamilah Sullivan (6/13)
Malaya Clondon is eight years old, and the last thing she wants is to be dragged to Weight Watchers meetings with her mother. She’d rather be painting and eating street-food with her father. Her sharp-tongued grandmother and her mother, Nyela, have high expectations of her that only add to the stress of going to a predominately white prep school. Her mother’s and grandmother’s prescriptions to fad diets and endless doctor visits don’t resonate with Malaya, and as she grows up in Harlem, she struggles to feel at home in her femininity. As her weight rises, so does tension in her home, and when a family tragedy strikes, Malaya finally begins to face the source of her insatiable hunger.
The Measure by Nikki Erlick (6/20)
It seems like a regular day, but on this particular day, every human across the globe receives a mysterious box. Inside the box is the exact number of years that you will live. The world is in a frenzy as everyone questions where the boxes came from, are they telling the truth, and if so, do we really want to know when we will die? From pen pals, new lovers, and the doctor who can’t save himself, and the politician whose box changes everything, The Measure is a deeply moving, uplifting, and thought provoking novel about family, friendship and hope.
The Marriage Portrait by Maggie O’Farrell (7/11)
It is 1550 in Florence, Italy, and Lucrezia, third daughter of the duke, is content with her place in the palace, free to wonder at its beauty and devote herself to her own art. When her older sister dies unexpectedly on the eve of her wedding, the duke is quick to rearrange the marriage and have Lucrezia marry the ruler. Forced to live in an unfamiliar court, barely a woman, Lucrezia tries to figure out her new husband, Alfonso, while understanding that her one duty is to provide an heir.
Babel by R.F. Kuang (8/23)
Robin Swift is orphaned by cholera in 1828, then brought to London by Professor Lovell, where he trains in Latin, Ancient Greek, and Chinese, preparing to one day enroll in Oxford University’s prestigious Royal Institute of Translation. It is known as Babel, the world’s center for translation, and also silver working, the manifestation of meaning that is lost in translation through the use of enchanted silver bars. Because of this magic, the British are unmatched in their power, and with the Empire’s hopes to colonize, Robin soon realizes that as a Chinese boy, serving Babel would be betraying his motherland. When war is on the verge of erupting, Robin begins to question what it will take to start a revolution and how to change powerful institutions.
Other Birds by Sarah Addison Allen (9/5)
They call it The Deallwisp, a gorgeous cobblestone with five apartments nested at the end of a narrow alley in the coastal town of Mallow Island, South Carolina. Among the tenants are the birds of its namesake: the Dellawisps, that create a visual scenery of magic. When Zoey Hennessey loses her mother, she comes to claim her apartment and meets an eccentric group of new neighbors. When one of the tenants dies mysteriously the night Zoey arrives, she finds herself thrust into the mysteries of The Dellawisp, and discovers the many untold stories of its inhabitants.
How Not to Drown in a Glass of Water by Angie Cruz (9/5)
Cara Romero hasn’t been in the job market for decades, but when she loses her job at the little lamp factory due to the Great Recession, she sits down with a job counselor and begins to tell the story of her life. Over twelve sessions, Cara tells about her love affairs, sisterhood, friendship and the truth about what happened between her and her son, Fernando. A moving story about a fierce and funny woman in her mid-50s, with a dark past and many regrets, but with lots of hope and fight.
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