Happy Tuesday everyone! It is the second day of the week already but I hope everyone is doing well and is safe. Tuesdays also mean one thing, a Top Ten Tuesday update! Top Ten Tuesday is an original blog meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and is currently being hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.
This week’s given topic is Most Anticipated Book Releases in the Second Half of 2022
Title: The Last White Man
Author: Mohsin Hamid
Release Date: August 2
Synopsis: From the New York Times bestselling author of Exit West, a story of love, loss, and rediscovery in a time of unsettling change.
One morning, Anders wakes to find that his skin has turned dark, his reflection a stranger to him. At first he tells only Oona, an old friend, newly a lover. Soon, reports of similar occurrences surface across the land. Some see in the transformations the long-dreaded overturning of an established order, to be resisted to a bitter end. In many, like Anders’s father and Oona’s mother, a sense of profound loss wars with profound love. As the bond between Anders and Oona deepens, change takes on a different shading: a chance to see one another, face to face, anew.
Hamid’s The Last White Man invites us to envision a future – our future – that dares to reimagine who we think we are, and how we might yet be together. (Source: Goodreads)
Title: The Marriage Portrait
Author: Maggie O’Farrell
Release Date: September 6
Synopsis: From the author of the breakout New York Times best seller Hamnet—winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award—an electrifying new novel set in Renaissance Italy, and centering on the captivating young duchess Lucrezia de Medici.
Florence, the 1550s. Lucrezia, third daughter of the grand duke, is comfortable with her obscure place in the palazzo: free to wonder at its treasures, observe its clandestine workings, and to devote herself to her own artistic pursuits. But when her older sister dies on the eve of her wedding to the ruler of Ferrara, Moderna and Regio, Lucrezia is thrust unwittingly into the limelight: the duke is quick to request her hand in marriage, and her father just as quick to accept on her behalf.
Having barely left girlhood behind, Lucrezia must now make her way in a troubled court whose customs are opaque and where her arrival is not universally welcomed. Perhaps most mystifying of all is her new husband himself, Alfonso. Is he the playful sophisticate he appeared to be before their wedding, the aesthete happiest in the company of artists and musicians, or the ruthless politician before whom even his formidable sisters seem to tremble?
As Lucrezia sits in constricting finery for a painting intended to preserve her image for centuries to come, one thing becomes worryingly clear. In the court’s eyes, she has one duty: to provide the heir who will shore up the future of the Ferranese dynasty. Until then, for all of her rank and nobility, the new duchess’s future hangs entirely in the balance.
Full of the drama and verve with which she illuminated the Shakespearean canvas of Hamnet, Maggie O’Farrell brings the world of Renaissance Italy to jewel-bright life, and offers an unforgettable portrait of a resilient young woman’s battle for her very survival. (Source: Goodreads)
Title: The Door of No Return
Author: Kwame Alexander
Release Date: September 27
Synopsis: Dreams are today’s answers for tomorrow’s questions.
11-year-old Kofi Offin dreams of water. Its mysterious, immersive quality. The rich, earthy scent of the current. The clearness, its urgent whisper that beckons with promises and secrets…
Kofi has heard the call on the banks of Upper Kwanta, in the village where he lives. He loves these things above all else: his family, the fireside tales of his father’s father, a girl named Ama, and, of course, swimming. Some say he moves like a minnow, not just an ordinary boy so he’s hoping to finally prove himself in front of Ama and his friends in a swimming contest against his older, stronger cousin.
But before this can take place, a festival comes to the villages of Upper and Lower Kwanta and Kofi’s brother is chosen to represent Upper Kwanta in the wrestling contest. Encircled by cheering spectators and sounding drums, the two wrestlers from different villages kneel, ready to fight.
You are only fine, until you are not.
The match is over before it has barely begun, when the unthinkable–a sudden death–occurs…
The river does not care how grown you are.
As his world turns upside down, Kofi soon ends up in a fight for his life. What happens next will send him on a harrowing journey across land and sea, and away from everything he loves. (Source: Goodreads)
Title: The Storyteller’s Death
Author: Ann Dávila Cardinal
Release Date: October 4
Synopsis: There was always an old woman dying in the back room of her family’s house when Isla was a child…
Isla Larsen Sanchez’s life begins to unravel when her father passes away. Instead of being comforted at home in New Jersey, her mother starts leaving her in Puerto Rico with her grandmother and great-aunt each summer like a piece of forgotten luggage.
When Isla turns eighteen, her grandmother, a great storyteller, dies. It is then that Isla discovers she has a gift passed down through her family’s cuentistas. The tales of dead family storytellers are brought back to life, replaying themselves over and over in front of her.
At first, Isla is enchanted by this connection to the Sanchez cuentistas. But when Isla has a vision of an old murder mystery, she realizes that if she can’t solve it to make the loop end, these seemingly harmless stories could cost Isla her life. (Source: Goodreads)
Title: Sirens & Muses
Author: Antonia Angress
Release Date: July 12
Synopsis: Four artists are drawn into a web of rivalry and desire at an elite art school and on the streets of New York in this magnificent debut for fans of Writers & Lovers and The Goldfinch.
It’s 2011: America is in a deep recession and Occupy Wall Street is escalating. But at the elite Wrynn College of Art, students paint and sculpt in a rarified bubble. Louisa Arceneaux is a thoughtful, observant nineteen-year-old when she transfers to Wrynn as a scholarship student, but she soon finds herself adrift in an environment that prizes novelty over beauty. Complicating matters is Louisa’s unexpected attraction to her charismatic roommate, Karina Piontek, the preternaturally gifted but mercurial daughter of wealthy art collectors. Gradually, Louisa and Karina are drawn into an intense sensual and artistic relationship, one that forces them to confront their deepest desires and fears. But Karina also can’t shake her fascination with Preston Utley, a senior and anti-capitalist Internet provocateur, who is publicly feuding with visiting professor and political painter Robert Berger—a once-controversial figurehead seeking to regain relevance.
When Preston concocts an explosive hoax, the fates of all four artists are upended as each is unexpectedly thrust into the cutthroat New York art world. Now, all must struggle to find new identities in art, in society, and amongst each other. In the process, they must either find their most authentic terms of life—of success, failure, and joy—or risk losing themselves altogether.
With a canny, critical eye, Sirens & Muses upends notions of class, money, art, youth, and a generation’s fight to own their future. (Source: Goodreads)
Title: Calling for a Blanket Dance
Author: Oscar Hokeah
Release Date: July 26
Synopsis: A moving and deeply engaging debut novel about a young Native American man struggling to find strength in his familial identity, from a stellar new voice in literary fiction.
Told in a series of voices, Calling for a Blanket Dance takes us into the life of Ever Geimausaddle through the multigenerational perspectives of his family as they soldier through a myriad of difficulties: his father’s sudden kidney failure and subsequent disability, his mother’s struggle to hold on to her job and care for her husband, the constant resettlement of the family, and Ever’s own bottled-up rage at the instability all around him. Meanwhile, all of Ever’s relatives have ideas about who he is and who he should be. His Cherokee grandmother urges the family to move across the state to find security; his dying grandfather hopes to reunite him with his heritage through traditional gourd dances; his Kiowa cousin reminds him that he’s connected to an ancestral past. And once an adult, Ever must take the strength given to him by his relatives to save not only himself, but also the next generation of family.
How will this young man visualize a place for himself when the world hasn’t given him a place to start with? Honest, heartbreaking, and ultimately uplifting, Calling for a Blanket Dance is the story of how Ever Geimausaddle found his way to home. (Source: Goodreads)
Title: Roses, in the Mouth of a Lion
Author: Bushra Rehman
Release Date: December 6
Synopsis: In the vein of On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, an unforgettable story about female friendship and queer love in a Muslim-American community.
Razia Mirza grows up amid the wild grape vines and backyard sunflowers of Corona, Queens, with her best friend, Saima, by her side. When a family rift drives the girls apart, Razia’s heart is broken. She finds solace in Taslima, a new girl in her close-knit Pakistani-American community. They embark on a series of small rebellions: listening to scandalous music, wearing miniskirts, and cutting school to explore the city.
When Razia is accepted to Stuyvesant, a prestigious high school in Manhattan, the gulf between the person she is and the daughter her parents want her to be, widens. At Stuyvesant, Razia meets Angela and is attracted to her in a way that blossoms into a new understanding. When their relationship is discovered by an Aunty in the community, Razia must choose between her family and her own future.
Punctuated by both joy and loss, full of ’80s music and beloved novels, Roses, in the Mouth of a Lion is a new classic: a fiercely compassionate coming-of-age story of a girl struggling to reconcile her heritage and faith with her desire to be true to herself. (Source: Goodreads)
Title: Someday, Maybe
Author: Onyi Nwabineli
Release Date: November 1
Synopsis: A stunning and witty debut novel about a young woman’s emotional journey through unimaginable loss, pulled along by her tight-knit Nigerian family, a posse of new friends, and the love and laughter she shared with her husband. Onyi Nwabineli is a fresh new voice for fans of Yaa Gyasi, Queenie and I May Destroy You.
Here are three things you should know about my husband:
He was the great love of my life despite his penchant for going incommunicado.
He was, as far as I and everyone else could tell, perfectly happy. Which is significant because…
On New Year’s Eve, he committed suicide.
And here is one thing you should know about me: I found him.
Bonus fact: No. I am not okay. (Source: Goodreads)
Title: When We Were Sisters
Author: Fatimah Asghar
Release Date: October 18
Synopsis: An orphan grapples with gender, siblinghood, family, and coming-of-age as a Muslim in America in this lyrical debut novel from the acclaimed author of If They Come For Us
In this heartrending, lyrical debut work of fiction, Fatimah Asghar traces the intense bond of three orphaned siblings who, after their parents die, are left to raise one another. The youngest, Kausar, grapples with the incomprehensible loss of her parents as she also charts out her own understanding of gender; Aisha, the middle sister, spars with her crybaby younger sibling as she desperately tries to hold on to her sense of family in an impossible situation; and Noreen, the eldest, does her best in the role of sister-mother while also trying to create a life for herself, on her own terms.
As Kausar grows up, she must contend with the collision of her private and public worlds, and choose whether to remain in the life of love, sorrow, and codependency she’s known or carve out a new path for herself. When We Were Sisters tenderly examines the bonds and fractures of sisterhood, names the perils of being three Muslim American girls alone against the world, and ultimately illustrates how those who’ve lost everything might still make homes in each other. (Source: Goodreads)
Title: My Government Means to Kill Me
Author: Rasheed Newson
Release Date: August 23
Synopsis: A fierce and riveting queer coming-of-age story, following the personal and political awakening of a young gay Black man in 1980s NYC, from the television drama writer and producer of The Chi, Narcos, and Bel-Air.
Born into a wealthy Black Indianapolis family, Earl “Trey” Singleton III leaves his overbearing parents and their expectations behind by running away to New York City with only a few dollars in his pocket. In the City, Trey meets up with a cast of characters that change his life forever—from civil rights leader Bayard Rustin, who he meets in a Harlem bathhouse, to his landlord, Fred Trump, who he clashes with and outfoxes. He volunteers at a renegade home hospice for AIDS patients, and after being put to the test by gay rights activist Larry Kramer and civil rights leader Dorothy Cotton, becomes a founding member of the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP). Along the way Trey attempts to navigate past traumas and searches for ways to maintain familial relationships—all while seeking the meaning of life in the midst of so much death.
Vibrant, humorous, and fraught with entanglements, Rasheed Newson’s My Government Means to Kill Me is an exhilarating, fast-paced, coming-of-age story that lends itself to a larger discussion about what it means for a young, gay, Black man in the mid-1980s to come to terms with his role in the midst of a political and social reckoning. (Source: Goodreads)