The new year means lots of folks have made resolutions. And if yours is to read more books, we’ve got you covered.
The Texas Standard takes book coverage very seriously, and we wanted to preview some of the big releases readers can look forward to in 2024.
To give us a look at the year ahead, we turned to Steph Opitz, the director of Strategic partnerships at Bookshop.org, an online retailer that supports local independent bookstores.
Books for younger readers
– “Ahoy!” by Sophie Blackall
“The premise is that some kids are supposed to clean and they come up with a distraction from their parents, which is very relatable in my own home. So I’m really excited to get this book,” Opitz said. “And Sophie is a celebrated author and illustrator. She’s always coming out with great books.”
– “A Drop of Venom” by Sajni Patel
“It’s a retelling of Medusa combined with Indian folklore – I love a good retelling, and this one has a lot of feminist rage and just kind of fun visual elements,” Opitz said. “And I think it’s going to be a big one for the teens and for those of us that are still teens on the inside.
“Even if you’re an adult, you can read [young adult books]. There’s a lot of fans out there that love the YA books.”
– “Wandering Stars” by Tommy Orange
“Tommy Orange was the bestselling acclaimed writer of ‘There There,’ which was probably one of the books that I recommended most in the last five years,” Opitz said. “And ‘Wandering Stars’ is kind of a sequel to ‘There There,’ but it jumps around in time and goes further back and then catches up with the present day.”
– “Come & Get It” by Kiley Reid
“Her book, ‘Such a Fun Age,’ was another big one – it was a Booker Prize finalist; it was the Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick,” Opitz said. “Her new book, ‘Come & Get It,’ takes place in 2017 at the University of Arkansas. It has a lot of different characters, but it kind of circles around a visiting teacher, a visiting professor and an RA in the dorm.
“Kiley always kind of looks at race from a lot of different angles. And she is just one to ask really provocative questions. So I feel like it’ll be a good book club for people.”
“I have to say, I’m late to the Erik Larson train, but I did just read ‘Devil in the White City,’ and I see what all the hype is about. And now I can’t wait for this next one,” Opitz said. “This book is really taking place between the election of Abraham Lincoln and up until the start of the Civil War. So it’s a tight timeline – it’s five months – but it’s really intense. It’s exciting. It’s terrifying. So I think this is going to be the book to pick for those of us that love a good nonfiction page turner.”