Outlawed by Anna North, the latest Reese’s Book Club pick and #20 on our hardcover fiction list, “chronicles the travails of a midwife’s daughter who joins a group of female and nonbinary outlaws near the end of the 19th century,” per PW’s starred review. “This feminist western parable is impossible to put down.” First-week print unit sales for this, North’s third book, beat release-to-date sales for her first two novels combined.
Novels by a pair of first-timers stake their claims on our hardcover fiction list.
In Black Buck, #16, Mateo Askaripour “eviscerates corporate culture,” our starred review said, via the story of Darren, a young Black man who becomes swept up in the culture of a cultlike tech startup. The author deploys “a potent blend of heart and dramatic irony,” per the review, in a “winning and layered bildungsroman” that’s also the January Read with Jenna pick.
At #18, The Prophets by Robert Jones Jr. is a love story between two men enslaved on a Deep South plantation. Edmund White, in his starred PW signature review of the book, deemed it “a masterpiece,” highlighting the caliber of Jones’s prose and his characterizations: “What is unprecedented in this novel is its presentation of the two gay male slaves, each endowed with his own personality, which never merges with a stereotype.”
The Eyes Have It
Landing at #5 on our picture book list, Eyes That Kiss in the Corners is a “poetic tale of self-acceptance,” our review said, by debut author Joanna Ho.“Warm, dimensional digital spreads” by illustrator Dung Ho “bolster this celebration of heritage with images of peonies, chrysanthemums, dragons, phoenixes, and figures from Chinese mythology, including Chang’e and the Jade Rabbit, Guanyin, and the Monkey King,” adding up to “a poignant testament to familial love and legacy.” Joanna Ho’s forthcoming titles include the fall picture book Playing at the Border: A Story of Yo-Yo Ma and the YA novel The Silence That Binds Us.
NEW & NOTABLE
#2 Hardcover Nonfiction, #2 overall
“Gupta, a neurosurgeon and chief medical correspondent for CNN, offers hopeful advice on how to maintain a healthy brain in this bracing study,” our review said. “While Gupta’s approach to better brain health doesn’t break new ground, his optimism and the wealth of scientific information he corrals will embolden and comfort readers.”
#10 Children’s Fiction
“With ambitious worldbuilding and breakneck pacing, Bracken’s standalone novel blends Greek mythology and modern-day Manhattan,”
our review said of the author’s latest YA effort.
BRONCO AND FRIENDS
Tim Tebow with A.J. Gregory, illus. by Jane Chapman
#2 Children’s Picture Books
Inspired by Tebow’s dog, who was named for the former NFL player’s Denver team, the book “is based on Tebow’s Christian worldview and devotion to Scripture,” according to the publisher.