Here are the most exciting books that made it onto my to-read list this week. There are a few brand-new releases as well as some books I've been wanting to read forever that have moved up in the rankings into "must-read-immediately" territory. Here's what I added and how it made its way into my hands:

After the Flood by Kassandra Montag. I love trying out book subscription boxes and I recently signed up for the Shelf Subscription from The Bookshelf – Annie Jones’ adorable bookstore in Thomasville, Georgia. For this subscription, you choose a bookseller who you want to pick a brand new book for you each month. I chose the “Olivia Subscription” because Annie’s taste is too similar to mine, and I like book subscriptions that introduce me to books I may not have found or picked up otherwise. Olivia’s taste gravitates towards literary thrillers, which sounded perfect for fall (I’m doing a 3-month subscription). After the Flood is not a book that was on my radar and it sounds soooo good. The novel takes place 100 years in the future and depicts a world where the United States has been decimated by a flood, leaving only an archipelago of mountain tops that’s home to the survivors. Two of those survivors are Myra and her young daughter, Pearl who are making it through with a combination of caution and will power. When Myra hears that there’s been a sighting of her presumed-dead daughter, she and Pearl make their way across the ocean to reunite their family. The story sounds compelling and timely: just what I want right now.

American Royals by Katherine McGee. This is not my typical read, but at the start of the school year I often enjoy reading fluffy, unputdownable, easy-to-read books. American Royals sounds like it fits the bill, plus it’s probably something I can recommend to students and discuss with I’m really reading it for work right? American Royals sets up an alternate reality in which George Washington was the first king of the United States instead of the first president. When we meet the House of Washington, the first female monarch is about to ascend the throne. It sounds like there’s a lot of romantic hijinks throughout, but I’m hoping McGee also includes some of those alternate historical details to add a little depth to the text.

*Grand Union by Zadie Smith. I love everything I’ve read from Zadie Smith so I was over the moon to receive an early copy of her newest short story collection from Penguin Press. I struggle with short story collections, but when a beloved author releases a book in this form, I’ll always give it a shot. This collection features some previously published work as well as eleven new stories, and it sounds like there is a wide range from realistic fiction to dystopian stories. I’m hoping to get this one read and reviewed before it releases in early October.

Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders by Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry. Traci Thomas of The Stacks Podcast is my go-to recommender for nonfiction, and she’s listed Bugliosi as one of her favorite true crime writers. Because of Traci, Helter Skelter has been on my list for a few months. I think I actually went out and bought it immediately after Traci's What Should I Read Next episode. Last weekend I went and saw Once Upon a Hollywood and now I’m ready to go down the Mason rabbit hole, as terrifying and tragic as I know it will be.

Patsy by Nicole Dennis-Benn. I’ve been hearing wonderful things about Patsy since it was released this summer, but I’ve had so many other books to read, I never made a point to seek it out. Last week I won an Instagram giveaway hosted by @allisonreadsdc and the prize was a signed copy of Patsy. I am taking it as a sign that I need to read this book now. This novel follows Patsy, a young woman from an impoverished Jamaican town who leaves her family–including her young daughter–behind to create a new life in Brooklyn. The story follows Patsy’s struggles in America as well as her daughter Tru as she forges a life without her mom. This book sounds beautiful and heartbreaking and a perfect companion novel to Jacqueline Woodson’s Another Brooklyn, which I read last month.


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*Starred books were graciously gifted to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.