Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Best January - June 2024 Book Releases

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Welcome to 2024, bookworms! Here are all the weird and wonderful upcoming book releases that caught my attention.

Note: Publishing is notorious for changing release dates. Don't blame me if these are wrong! I tried.

❅  Best January - June 2024 Book Releases  💮

The Djinn Waits A Hundred Years by Shubnum Khan

January 9, 2024

Akbar Manzil was once a grand estate off the coast of South Africa. Now, nearly a century since it was built, it stands in ruins: an isolated boardinghouse for misfits, seeking to forget their pasts and disappear into the mansion's dark corridors.

Until Sana. She and her father are the latest of Akbar Manzil’s long list of tenants, seeking a new home after suffering painful loss. Unlike the others, who choose not to look too closely at the mansion’s unsettling qualities—the strange assortment of bones in the overgrown garden, the mysterious figure seen to move sometimes at night—she is curious and questioning and finds herself irresistibly drawn to the history of the mansion. To the eerie and forgotten East Wing, home to a clutter of broken and abandoned objects—and to the locked door at its end, unopened for decades.

Behind the door is a bedroom frozen in time, with faded photographs of a couple in love and a worn diary that whispers of a dark past: the long-forgotten story of a young woman named Meena, the original owner’s second wife, who died there tragically a hundred years ago. Watching Sana from the room’s shadows is a grieving djinn, an invisible spirit who once loved Meena and has haunted the mansion since her mysterious death. Obsessed with Meena’s story, and unaware of the creature that follows her, Sana digs into the past like fingers into a wound, awakening the memories of the house itself—and dredging up old and terrible secrets that will change the lives of everyone living and dead at Akbar Manzil.

Why I want to read it: Creepy haunted house story! I've read a lot of those, but never one set in South Africa.

This Wretched Valley by Jenny Kiefer

Mystery / Thriller / Horror
January 16, 2024

This is going to be Dylan's big break. Her friend Clay, a geology student, has discovered an untouched cliff face in the Kentucky wilderness, and she is going to be the first person to climb it. Together with Clay, his research assistant Sylvia, and Dylan's boyfriend Luke, she is going to document her achievement on Instagram and finally cement her place as the next rising star in rock climbing. 

Seven months later, three bodies are discovered in the trees just off the highway. All are in various states of decay: one body a stark, white skeleton; the second emptied of its organs; and the third a mutilated corpse with the tongue, eyes, ears, and fingers removed.

But Dylan is still missing. Followers of her Instagram account report seeing disturbing livestreams, and some even claim to have caught glimpses of her vanishing into the thick woods, but no trace of her—dead or alive—has been discovered. 

Were the climbers murdered? Did they succumb to cannibalism? Or are their impossible bodies the work of an even more sinister force? Is Dylan still alive, and does she hold the answers?

Why I want to read it: Goodreads says, "This nail-biting, bone-chilling survival horror novel is inspired by the infamous Dyatlov Pass incident and is perfect for fans of Alma Katsu and Showtime's Yellowjackets." Alma Katsu is one of my favorite horror writers. The Dyatlov Pass incident is a fascinating real-life mystery. This book sounds promising!

Historical Fiction
February 6, 2024

“Women can be heroes, too.”

When twenty-year-old nursing student Frances “Frankie” McGrath hears these unexpected words, it is a revelation. Raised on idyllic Coronado Island and sheltered by her conservative parents, she has always prided herself on doing the right thing, being a good girl. But in 1965 the world is changing, and she suddenly imagines a different choice for her life. When her brother ships out to serve in Vietnam, she impulsively joins the Army Nurse Corps and follows his path.

As green and inexperienced as the men sent to Vietnam to fight, Frankie is overwhelmed by the chaos and destruction of war, as well as the unexpected trauma of coming home to a changed and politically divided America.

Why I want to read it: If The Great Alone had a less melodramatic ending, it would have become one of my favorite books ever. Kristin Hannah is great at writing complicated characters who find themselves in bad situations. I want to read more of her work.

Fifty Beasts To Break Your Heart: And Other Stories by GennaRose Nethercott

Short Story Collection
February 6, 2024

Two young women working at a sinister roadside attraction called the Eternal Staircase explore its secrets—and their own doomed summer love. A group of witchy teens concoct the perfect plan to induce the hated new girl into their ranks. A woman moves into a new house with her acclaimed artist boyfriend and finds her body slowly shifting into something specially constructed to accommodate his needs and whims. And two outcasts, a vampire and a goat woman, find solace in each other, even as the world's lack of understanding might bring about its own end.

Why I want to read it: Last year, I read and loved a story collection called Heartbreaker by Maryse Meijer. The stories are dark, and the characters make ethically dubious decisions when it comes to love. I'm getting similar vibes from Fifty Beasts.

The Book Of Love by Kelly Link

February 13, 2024

Late one night, Laura, Daniel, and Mo find themselves beneath the fluorescent lights of a high school classroom, almost a year after disappearing from their hometown, the small seaside community of Lovesend, Massachusetts, having long been presumed dead. Which, in fact, they are.

With them in the room is their previously unremarkable high school music teacher, who seems to know something about their disappearance—and what has brought them back again. Desperate to reclaim their lives, the three agree to the terms of the bargain their music teacher proposes. They will be given a series of magical tasks; while they undertake them, they may return to their families and friends, but they can tell no one where they’ve been. In the end, there will be winners and there will be losers.

But their resurrection has attracted the notice of other supernatural figures, all with their own agendas. As Laura, Daniel, and Mo grapple with the pieces of the lives they left behind, and Laura’s sister, Susannah, attempts to reconcile what she remembers with what she fears, these mysterious others begin to arrive, engulfing their community in danger and chaos, and it becomes imperative that the teens solve the mystery of their deaths to avert a looming disaster.

Why I want to read it: I recently watched School Spirits on Netflix and now want to read books about ghosts solving mysteries. That's it. That's the whole reason I want to read this book.

My Side Of The River by Elizabeth Camarillo Gutierrez

February 13, 2024

Born to Mexican immigrants south of the Rillito River in Tucson, Arizona, Elizabeth had the world at her fingertips as she entered her freshman year of high school as the number one student. But suddenly, Elizabeth's own country took away the most important right a child has: a right to have a family.

As her parents’ visas expired, they were forced to return to Mexico, leaving Elizabeth responsible for her younger brother, as well as her education. Determined to break the cycle of being “a statistic,” she knew that even though her parents couldn’t stay, there was no way she could let go of the opportunities the U.S. could provide.

Armed with only her passport and sheer teenage determination, Elizabeth became what her school would eventually describe as an unaccompanied, homeless youth, one of thousands of underage victims affected by family separation due to broken immigration laws.

Why I want to read it: Immigration is something I want to learn more about. I think we've all seen statistics about it, but we rarely hear the personal stories about the people behind the numbers.

Supercommunicators: How To Unlock The Secret Language Of Connection by Charles Duhigg

Self-Help Nonfiction
February 20, 2024

Come inside a jury room as one juror leads a starkly divided room to consensus. Join a young CIA officer as he recruits a reluctant foreign agent. And sit with an accomplished surgeon as he tries, and fails, to convince yet another cancer patient to opt for the less risky course of treatment. In Supercommunicators, Charles Duhigg blends deep research and his trademark storytelling skills to show how we can all learn to identify and leverage the hidden layers that lurk beneath every conversation.

Communication is a superpower and the best communicators understand that whenever we speak, we’re actually participating in one of three conversations: practical (What’s this really about?), emotional (How do we feel?), and social (Who are we?). If you don’t know what kind of conversation you’re having, you’re unlikely to connect.

Supercommunicators know the importance of recognizing—and then matching—each kind of conversation, and how to hear the complex emotions, subtle negotiations, and deeply held beliefs that color so much of what we say and how we listen. Our experiences, our values, our emotional lives—and how we see ourselves, and others—shape every discussion, from who will pick up the kids to how we want to be treated at work. In this book, you will learn why some people are able to make themselves heard, and to hear others, so clearly.

With his storytelling that takes us from the writers’ room of The Big Bang Theory to the couches of leading marriage counselors, Duhigg shows readers how to recognize these three conversations—and teaches us the tips and skills we need to navigate them more successfully.

In the end, he delivers a simple but powerful lesson: With the right tools, we can connect with anyone.

Why I want to read it: I work with the public. Convincing strangers to follow the law and play nicely with others is part of what I do all day. I'm always attempting to get better at it because life is easier for everybody when strangers listen to me. (Some of them are so bad at listening!)

Wandering Stars by Tommy Orange

Literary Fiction
February 27, 2024

Colorado, 1864. Star, a young survivor of the Sand Creek Massacre, is brought to the Fort Marion Prison Castle, where he is forced to learn English and practice Christianity by Richard Henry Pratt, an evangelical prison guard who will go on to found the Carlisle Indian Industrial School, an institution dedicated to the eradication of Native history, culture, and identity. A generation later, Star’s son, Charles, is sent to the school, where he is brutalized by the man who was once his father’s jailer. Under Pratt’s harsh treatment, Charles clings to moments he shares with a young fellow student, Opal Viola, as the two envision a future away from the institutional violence that follows their bloodlines.

Oakland, 2018. Opal Viola Victoria Bear Shield is barely holding her family together after the shooting that nearly took the life of her nephew Orvil. From the moment he awakens in his hospital bed, Orvil begins compulsively googling school shootings on YouTube. He also becomes emotionally reliant on the prescription medications meant to ease his physical trauma. His younger brother, Lony, suffering from PTSD, is struggling to make sense of the carnage he witnessed at the shooting by secretly cutting himself and enacting blood rituals that he hopes will connect him to his Cheyenne heritage. Opal is equally adrift, experimenting with Ceremony and peyote, searching for a way to heal her wounded family.

Why I want to read it: Because I was traumatized by the ending of There, There and want more. I'm a weirdo who likes traumatizing books!

Rainbow Black by Maggie Thrash

Historical Fiction
March 19, 2024

Lacey Bond is a thirteen-year-old girl in New Hampshire growing up in the tranquility of her hippie parents’ rural daycare center. Then the Satanic Panic hits. It’s the summer of 1990 when Lacey’s parents are handcuffed, flung into the county jail, and faced with a torrent of jaw-dropping accusations as part of a mass hysteria sweeping the nation. When a horrific murder brings Lacey to the breaking point, she makes a ruthless choice that will haunt her for decades.

Why I want to read it: Maggie Thrash is amazing at writing teenagers. Her memoir, Honor Girl, is one of my favorite graphic novels because the dialogue between the teenagers is hilarious. It brought back memories of the misadventures I had at Girl Scout camp. I'm interested to see what the author can do with fiction.

A Botanical Daughter by Noah Medlock

Historical Horror
March 19, 2024

It is an unusual thing, to live in a botanical garden. But Simon and Gregor are an unusual pair of gentlemen. Hidden away in their glass sanctuary from the disapproving tattle of Victorian London, they are free to follow their own interests without interference. For Simon, this means long hours in the dark basement workshop, working his taxidermical art. Gregor's business is exotic plants—lucrative, but harmless enough. Until his latest acquisition, a strange fungus which shows signs of intellect beyond any plant he's seen, inspires him to attempt a masterwork: true intelligent life from plant matter.

Driven by the glory he'll earn from the Royal Horticultural Society for such an achievement, Gregor ignores the flaws in his plan: that intelligence cannot be controlled; that plants cannot be reasoned with; and that the only way his plant-beast will flourish is if he uses a recently deceased corpse for the substrate.

The experiment—or Chloe, as she is named—outstrips even Gregor's expectations, entangling their strange household. But as Gregor's experiment flourishes, he wilts under the cost of keeping it hidden from jealous eyes. The mycelium grows apace in this sultry greenhouse. But who is cultivating whom?

Why I want to read it: It's a tale of family and fungus! What's not to like? Early reviewers are comparing it to Mexican Gothic, The Picture Of Dorian Gray, and Frankenstein.

Sleeping Giants by Rene Denfeld

March 26, 2024

Twenty years ago, a nine-year-old boy was swept away by powerful waves on a remote Oregon beach, his body lost to the sea. Only a stone memorial remains to mark his tragic death.

For most of her life, Amanda Dufresne had no idea she had an older brother named Dennis Owens, or that he had died. Adopted as a baby, she learned about him while looking into her late birth mother, and is curious to know more about this lost sibling. A solitary young woman, Amanda has always felt distanced from the world around her. Her brain works differently from others, leaving her feeling set apart. Her one true companion is the orphaned polar bear she cares for working at the zoo. By getting to know her birth family, she hopes to understand more about herself.

Retired police officer Larry Palmer is a widower with nothing but time and in need of a purpose. He offers to help Amanda find answers. The search leads to shocking and heartbreaking discoveries. Dennis Owen had been a forgotten foster child abandoned to a home for disturbed boys off the coast. As Amanda and Larry dig deeper into the past, the two stumble upon decades of cruelty and hidden crimes—including a barbaric treatment still used today.

Why I want to read it: If I made a list of the most disturbing books I've ever read, The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld would be on it. It's about a death row inmate who has gone very, very insane and imagines his prison cell as a terrifyingly magical place. The author's new books sounds extremely different, but I'm hoping it has the same disturbing imagery.

Table For Two: Fictions by Amor Towles

Short Stories
April 2, 2024

The millions of readers of Amor Towles are in for a treat as he shares six stories set in New York City and a novella in Los Angeles. The New York stories, most of which are set around the turn of the millennium, take up everything from the death-defying acrobatics of the male ego, to the fateful consequences of brief encounters, and the delicate mechanics of compromise which operate at the heart of modern marriages.

Why I want to read it: The author's other book, The Lincoln Highway, is one of my favorites. I love the quirky characters and the strong sense of place. I'm excited to see what he can do with stories that are less than a zillion pages long. His novels are massive!

A Witch's Guide To Magical Innkeeping by Sangu Mandanna

Fantasy Romance
April 2, 2024

Sera Swan was once one of the most powerful witches in Britain. Then she resurrected her great-aunt Jasmine from the (very recently) dead, lost most of her magic, befriended a semi-villainous talking fox, and was exiled from her magical Guild. Now she (slightly reluctantly and a bit grumpily) helps Aunt Jasmine run an inn in Lancashire, where she deals with her quirky guest’s shenanigans, tries to keep the talking fox in check, and longs for the magical future she lost.

When she learns about an old spell book that could hold the secret to restoring her power, she finds herself turning to Luke Larsen, a gorgeous and icy historian who might be the only person who can help her unlock the book’s mysteries. The fact that he also happens to be her one-night stand from years ago is totally irrelevant.

Running an inn, reclaiming lost magic, and trying not to fall in love is a lot for anyone, but Sera is about to discover that she doesn’t have to do it alone . . . and that the weird, wonderful family she’s made might be the best magic of all.

Why I want to read it: One of my New Year's resolutions is to read happier books. It's no secret that my reading trends toward the dark and disturbing. I have a feeling I'd enjoy cozy fantasy. I haven't read enough of it to know. This story sounds freakin' adorable. It's so sweet I might throw up in my mouth.

Sociopath: A Memoir by Patric Gagne

April 2, 2024

Patric Gagne realized she made others uncomfortable before she started kindergarten. Something about her caused people to react in a way she didn’t understand. She suspected it was because she didn’t feel things the way other kids did. Emotions like fear, guilt, and empathy eluded her. For the most part, she felt nothing. And she didn’t like the way that “nothing” felt.

She did her best to pretend she was like everyone else, but the constant pressure to conform to a society she knew rejected anyone like her was unbearable. So Patric stole. She lied. She was occasionally violent. She became an expert lock-picker and home-invader. All with the goal of replacing the nothingness with . . . something.

In college, Patric finally confirmed what she’d long suspected. She was a sociopath. But even though it was the very first personality disorder identified—well over 200 years ago—sociopathy had been neglected by mental health professionals for decades. She was told there was no treatment, no hope for a normal life. She found herself haunted by sociopaths in pop culture, madmen and evil villains who are considered monsters. Her future looked grim.

But when Patric reconnects with an old flame, she gets a glimpse of a future beyond her diagnosis. If she’s capable of love, it must mean that she isn’t a monster. With the help of her sweetheart (and some curious characters she meets along the way) she embarks on a mission to prove that the millions of Americans who share her diagnosis aren’t all monsters either.

Why I want to read it: I've occasionally wondered if I'm a sociopath because the only emotions I feel on a regular basis are anxiety and crippling anxiety, but maybe wondering if you're a sociopath is just a side-effect of anxiety? I don't know. I've never met anyone who admitted to being a sociopath. It's something I'd like to know more about.

Indian Burial Ground by Nick Medina

April 16, 2024

All Noemi Broussard wanted was a fresh start. With a new boyfriend who actually treats her right and a plan to move from the reservation she grew up on—just like her beloved Uncle Louie before her—things are finally looking up for Noemi. Until the news of her boyfriend’s apparent suicide brings her world crumbling down.

But the facts about Roddy’s death just don’t add up, and Noemi isn’t the only one who suspects that something menacing might be lurking within their tribal lands.

After over a decade away, Uncle Louie has returned to the reservation, bringing with him a past full of secrets, horror, and what might be the key to determining Roddy’s true cause of death. Together, Noemi and Louie set out to find answers . . . but as they get closer to the truth, Noemi begins to question whether it might be best for some secrets to remain buried.

Why I want to read it: Because of this description. "A man lunges in front of a car. An elderly woman silently drowns herself. A corpse sits up in its coffin and speaks. On this reservation, not all is what it seems." Something is messing with the reservation, and I want to know about it!

The Demon Of Unrest: A Saga Of Hubris, Heartbreak, And Heroism At The Dawn Of The Civil War by Erik Larson

History Nonfiction
April 30, 2024

On November 6, 1860, Abraham Lincoln became the fluky victor in a tight race for president. The country was bitterly at odds; Southern extremists were moving ever closer to destroying the Union, with one state after another seceding and Lincoln powerless to stop them. Slavery fueled the conflict, but somehow the passions of North and South came to focus on a lonely federal fortress in Charleston Fort Sumter.
Master storyteller Erik Larson offers a gripping account of the chaotic months between Lincoln’s election and the Confederacy’s shelling of Sumter—a period marked by tragic errors and miscommunications, enflamed egos and craven ambitions, personal tragedies and betrayals. Lincoln himself wrote that the trials of these five months were “so great that, could I have anticipated them, I would not have believed it possible to survive them.”
At the heart of this suspense-filled narrative are Major Robert Anderson, Sumter’s commander and a former slave owner sympathetic to the South but loyal to the Union; Edmund Ruffin, a vain and bloodthirsty radical who stirs secessionist ardor at every opportunity; and Mary Boykin Chesnut, wife of a prominent planter, conflicted over both marriage and slavery and seeing parallels between both. In the middle of it all is the overwhelmed Lincoln, battling with his duplicitous Secretary of State, William Seward, as he tries desperately to avert a war that he fears is inevitable—one that will eventually kill 750,000 Americans.

Why I want to read it: Last year, I read Erik Larson's The Devil In The White City and learned a lot from it. I was impressed by the amount of research the author did and how he drew connections between an architect and a serial killer. I'm tempted to read every book he's written.

You Like It Darker by Stephen King

Horror Short Stories
May 21, 2024

'Two Talented Bastids' explores the long-hidden secret of how the eponymous gentlemen got their skills. In 'Danny Coughlin's Bad Dream', a brief and unprecedented psychic flash upends dozens of lives, Danny's most catastrophically. In 'Rattlesnakes', a sequel to Cujo, a grieving widower travels to Florida for respite and instead receives an unexpected inheritance—with major strings attached. In 'The Dreamers', a taciturn Vietnam vet answers a job ad and learns that there are some corners of the universe best left unexplored. 'The Answer Man' asks if prescience is good luck or bad and reminds us that a life marked by unbearable tragedy can still be meaningful.

Why I want to read it: I'm trying to read every book Stephen King has ever published. I also want to read more short story collections, so reading this book will accomplish two goals at once!

Which 2024 releases are you looking forward to reading?


  1. Yes yes yes to more Erik Larson! This one is such a different time period for him, so I'm really excited for it, too! All of his books are fantastic. Also look forward to the new Kristin Hannah! Her historical fiction books are just amazing.

  2. I am right behind you on line for Witches. I adored the first book and am so grateful we are getting a chance to return to this world.

  3. Looking forward to this new one by Larson as well.

  4. Many on your list are also on mine. The exception, and one I'm adding is "SOCIOPATH: A MEMOIR BY PATRIC GAGNE"

  5. What a fabulous list. The Women is on my "want to read" list. Love the cover on The Witch's Guide to Magical Innkeeping. Hope you enjoy these.


  6. A lot of people are buzzing about Kristin Hannah's The Women book. i hope you enjoy these when you get a chance to read them.

    1. This is Cindy from https://cindysbookcorner.blogspot.com/

  7. This Wretched Valley looks really good. I also am looking forward to reading My Side of the River and Indian Burial Ground. Don't you love having so many good books to look forward to? :D

  8. I added the new Amor Towles book to my TBR a few weeks ago. I love his writing.

    Happy New Year and good luck on your bookish goals. My 2024 Bookish Goals

  9. THIS WRETCHED VALLEY sounds terrifying! I can't decide if I want to read it or not. THE WOMEN is one I definitely want to read since I love Kristin Hannah's books. I hope you enjoy all these!

    Happy TTT (on a Wednesday)!

  10. You have a much higher tolerance for the dark and disturbing than I do! :-) Most of these would give me nightmares, literally. But I hope you enjoy them all!

    I am, however, excited for the new Sangu Mandanna book; I loved The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches, so I was delighted to see the author has a related book coming out. (At least, I'm pretty sure it's related; at the very least, it looks to have a similar vibe.)

  11. The Amor Towles book of short stories looks good, I don't normally read short stories but some authors can do it. I am betting he can.

  12. A Botanical Daughter sounds AMAZING so thank you for getting it on my radar. I'm partway through Djinn Waits a Hundred Years and it's got gothic vibes for sure, I'm so curious to see where it's going.

  13. You have the best write-ups and always make me interested in the books you write about! I also want to eventually read all of Stephen King's books. He's just so good at telling stories!

  14. I am particularly looking forward to Hannah's The Women.

  15. THE DJINN WAITS A HUNDRED YEARS has such a pretty cover. I am looking forward to reading THE WOMEN. The setting really appeals to me. THE VERY SECRET SOCIETY OF IRREGULAR WITCHES was a favorite of mine the year I read it. I can't wait to read A WITCH'S GUIDE TO MAGICAL INNKEEPING. And INDIAN BURIAL GROUND sounds so good! I hope you enjoy all of these when you read them.

  16. Love these posts! Yes to new Kristin Hannah and Erik Larson, whoa! Tommy Orange's debut blew me with its ending. And Denfeld's The Enchanted was so good. I read the Towles already and it's good! Yay

  17. So many to look forward to! The Women and the Kelly Link book are both on my to-read list, but there are some others here that are very tempting too. Hope you enjoy whichever you end up reading!

  18. I love Love LOVED This Wretched Valley. One of my 5-star reads from 2023.

  19. Okay I am CACKLING because you said "I want to read happier books!" followed by a litany of books about Sociopathy, Dead Natives, the Civil War, and Stephen Freaking King, promising ALL the darkness 😂😂😂

    In serious though I LOVE your picks. Because several are on my must-read list (This Wretched Valley, You Like it Darker, The Book of Love, Indian Burial Ground) and some because you have introduced me to them and now I want them too (Djinn, Sleeping Giants, Sociopath- which incidentally, I do NOT think you are, but I agree that it is very fascinating!) Hope you love these!!

  20. Love that cover for Fifty Beasts! And the Sociopath book definitely sounds interesting.