It’s beginning to feel a lot like…the holidays. And whether that’s giving you cause for joy or a little anxiety, we’ve got books to take your mind off of it on this new release Tuesday. From highly-anticipated sequels to classics with a new kick, the waning days of 2020 still have some surprises left for you! Scroll down for more top picks this week.
Ready Player Two by Ernest Cline
The highly anticipated sequel to the beloved worldwide bestseller Ready Player One, the near-future adventure that inspired the blockbuster Steven Spielberg film.
AN UNEXPECTED QUEST. TWO WORLDS AT STAKE. ARE YOU READY?
Days after winning OASIS founder James Halliday’s contest, Wade Watts makes a discovery that changes everything.
Hidden within Halliday’s vaults, waiting for his heir to find, lies a technological advancement that will once again change the world and make the OASIS a thousand times more wondrous—and addictive—than even Wade dreamed possible.
With it comes a new riddle, and a new quest—a last Easter egg from Halliday, hinting at a mysterious prize.
And an unexpected, impossibly powerful, and dangerous new rival awaits, one who’ll kill millions to get what he wants.
Wade’s life and the future of the OASIS are again at stake, but this time the fate of humanity also hangs in the balance.
Lovingly nostalgic and wildly original as only Ernest Cline could conceive it, Ready Player Two takes us on another imaginative, fun, action-packed adventure through his beloved virtual universe, and jolts us thrillingly into the future once again.
Join BookPeople for the official Ready Player Two launch party with Ernest Cline tonight at 7PM CDT on Zoom! Bookseller, Thomas W., will be sharing the virtual stage with Cline to discuss the book and take reader questions submitted in advance. Tickets are still available and come with a first edition copy of Ready Player Two!
Dune: The Graphic Novel, Book 1 adapted by Brian Herbert & Kevin J. Anderson
From Publisher’s Weekly: “Reasoning that cramming the entirety of Herbert’s landmark 1965 space opera into one graphic volume could prove futile, veteran Herbert world expanders Brian Herbert (son of the classic’s author) and Kevin J. Anderson’s dutiful adaptation covers just the prose version’s first third, in a planned three-volume release. They break down the story into bright plot points drawn by Raúl Allén and Patricia Martin (the Harbinger Wars series). Thousands of years into the future, the royal house Atreides moves to the desert world Arrakis, recently vacated by their rival house Harkonnen. Though Arrakis is a valuable source of the coveted drug “spice,” Duke Leto and his Jedi-like concubine Lady Jessica realize it is also “infested with Harkonnen intrigues” and prepare their son Paul for a bloody power struggle. Herbert’s Middle East history–and ecology–informed universe is on full display, including imperial infighting, Medici-like assassinations, the Bedouin-like Fremen tribes, and extremist water conservation (for instance, spitting is a sign of respect). Though the arc moves swiftly, the traditionalist art feels stiff in talky scenes with characters poised mid-gesticulation–but it excels in broad action shots, such as the first spotting of a massive sandworm maw. This efficient take will whet appetites for more adventures to come.”
How to Raise an Elephant by Alexander McCall Smith
Mma Ramotswe must balance family obligations with the growing needs of one of Charlie’s pet projects in this latest installment in the cherished No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series.
Precious Ramotswe loves her dependable old van. Yes, sometimes it takes a bit longer to get going now, and it has developed some quirks over the years, but it has always gotten the job done. This time, though, the world–and Charlie–may be asking too much of it, for when he borrows the beloved vehicle he returns it damaged. And, to make matters worse, the interior seems to have acquired an earthy smell that even Precious can’t identify.
But the olfactory issue is not the only mystery that needs solving. Mma Ramotswe is confronted by a distant relative, Blessing, who asks for help with an ailing cousin. The help requested is of a distinctly pecuniary nature, which makes both Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni and Mma Makutsi suspicious. And there is no peace at home, either, as the new neighbors are airing their marital grievances rather loudly. Still, Mma Ramotswe is confident that there are solutions to all of these difficulties, there to be discovered as long as she is led by kindness, grace, and logic, and can rely on the counsel of her friends and loved ones.
The Freezer Door by Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore
A meditation on the trauma and possibility of searching for connection in a world that enforces bland norms of gender, sexual, and social conformity.
When you turn the music off, and suddenly you feel an unbearable sadness, that means turn the music back on, right? When you still feel the sadness, even with the music, that means there’s something wrong with this music. Sometimes I feel like sex without context isn’t sex at all. And sometimes I feel like sex without context is what sex should always be.
—The Freezer Door
The Freezer Door records the ebb and flow of desire in daily life. Crossing through loneliness in search of communal pleasure in Seattle, Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore exposes the failure and persistence of queer dreams, the hypocritical allure of gay male sexual culture, and the stranglehold of the suburban imagination over city life.
Ferocious and tender, The Freezer Door offers a complex meditation on the trauma and possibility of searching for connection in a world that relentlessly enforces bland norms of gender, sexual, and social conformity while claiming to celebrate diversity.
Confessions in B-Flat by Donna Hill
Essence bestselling author Donna Hill brings us an emotional love story set against the powerful backdrop of the civil rights movement that gripped a nation—a story as timely as it is timeless…
The year is 1963. In Harlem, the epicenter of Black culture, the fight for equality has never been stronger. The time is now. Enough is enough. Yet even within its ranks, a different kind of battle rages. Love thy neighbor? Or rise up against your oppressors?
Jason Tanner has just arrived in New York to help spread the message of his mentor, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., of passive resistance, while beat poet Anita Hopkins believes the teachings of Malcolm X with all her heart: that the way to true freedom is “by any means necessary.” When Jason sees Anita perform her poetry at the iconic B-Flat lounge, he’s transfixed. And Anita has never met anyone who can match her wit for wit like this…
One movement, two warring ideologies—can love be enough to unite them?
Confessions in B-Flat is a celebration of the hard-won victories of those who came before us, and a stark reminder of just how far we still have to go.
The Thirty Names of Night by Zeyn Joukhadar
Named a Most Anticipated Book of 2020 by The Millions and Electric Literature
Named a Best Book of Fall by USA TODAY and PopSugar
The author of the “vivid and urgent…important and timely” (The New York Times Book Review) debut The Map of Salt and Stars returns with this remarkably moving and lyrical novel following three generations of Syrian Americans who are linked by a mysterious species of bird and the truths they carry close to their hearts.
Five years after a suspicious fire killed his ornithologist mother, a closeted Syrian American trans boy sheds his birth name and searches for a new one. He has been unable to paint since his mother’s ghost has begun to visit him each evening. As his grandmother’s sole caretaker, he spends his days cooped up in their apartment, avoiding his neighborhood masjid, his estranged sister, and even his best friend (who also happens to be his longtime crush). The only time he feels truly free is when he slips out at night to paint murals on buildings in the once-thriving Manhattan neighborhood known as Little Syria.
One night, he enters the abandoned community house and finds the tattered journal of a Syrian American artist named Laila Z, who dedicated her career to painting the birds of North America. She famously and mysteriously disappeared more than sixty years before, but her journal contains proof that both his mother and Laila Z encountered the same rare bird before their deaths. In fact, Laila Z’s past is intimately tied to his mother’s—and his grandmother’s—in ways he never could have expected. Even more surprising, Laila Z’s story reveals the histories of queer and transgender people within his own community that he never knew. Realizing that he isn’t and has never been alone, he has the courage to officially claim a new name: Nadir, an Arabic name meaning rare.
As unprecedented numbers of birds are mysteriously drawn to the New York City skies, Nadir enlists the help of his family and friends to unravel what happened to Laila Z and the rare bird his mother died trying to save. Following his mother’s ghost, he uncovers the silences kept in the name of survival by his own community, his own family, and within himself, and discovers the family that was there all along.
Featuring Zeyn Joukhadar’s signature “magical and heart-wrenching” (The Christian Science Monitor) storytelling, The Thirty Names of Night is a timely exploration of how we all search for and ultimately embrace who we are.
Now in Paperback
Little Weirds by Jenny Slate
Retreat from Moscow by David Stahel
Great Society by Amity Shlaes
These titles and more are available for purchase in-store or online from BookPeople today.