BUYERS' PICKS | FEBRUARY 2024
Clear some space on your bookshelf—here are our must-read picks of the month!
We asked Changing Hands co-founder Gayle Shanks and our buyers Miranda, Natalie, Cortney, and Allie to share the books they're most excited about this February.
"When escaping refugees finally find a modicum of security, I imagine they must feel like life can begin again in some new form. But, as the characters in this brilliant debut novel learn, safety is transitory especially when family members have been left behind and then disappear. Clandestine clues, in the form of lines from fairytales, poetry, proverbs, and plays created for his younger brother to follow are the only source to finding the missing family members in this saga. The story is part fairytale, part mystery, part harrowing adventure into a part of Russia that I knew nothing about. Danger lurks around every tree in every forest and there are ghosts and witches! A web of disappointment is occasionally replaced by hope; love presages guilt and there is humor amidst heartbreak, and always the story races ahead and won't let you stop reading. "
"If you like crews of lovable misfits, dapper clothes à la Kaz Brekker, daring heists, snobby vampires, and a well-brewed cup of tea, Hafsah Faizal’s newest book is for you. A Tempest of Tea features Arthie Casimir, an orphan-turned-notorious-businesswoman who owns Spindrift, a posh tearoom by day and illegal bloodhouse after dark. When Spindrift is threatened, the only way to save it is by infiltrating the secretive vampire society and pulling off a dangerous heist with an unlikely group of allies (and love interests!). Set in the same universe as Arawiya, fans of We Hunt the Flame and newcomers alike will have lots of fun diving into this thrilling duology opener."
"This is the most laugh-out-loud book I've read so far this year and I suspect it'll end up in the top spot come December. I loved everything about this, from the messy familial relationships to the mishaps in love that every character has to navigate through. Greta and Valdin's Russian-Maori-Catalonian family is a group that I could read many more books about. If you're looking for a smart novel full of heart, humor, and big feelings, this is one to move to the top of your TBR pile.."
"DANIEL, DECONSTRUCTED is a heart filled novel for the artsy, quirky, neurodivergent, nerdy kids (myself among them). Daniel is the kid with a camera at every function, that everyone at the school knows, who LARPS on the weekend, who the drummer of the local band falls for, who everyone thinks is dating everyone he talks to..... basically he doesn't realize he's the main character of this story. James Ramos has written a story that is earnest, kind, hilarious, and reads like teen rom com, the cast of which features an autistic MC and a nonbinary love interest."
"Wandering Stars is an incredible follow-up to Tommy Orange’s debut There There. It can be read as a stand-alone, but it follows the characters from his first novel and how their lives have panned out since its traumatic ending. In this second novel, Orange brings in the characters’ ancestors who survived the Sand Creek Massacre and Carlyle Industrial School, one of the first and most abominable Native American boarding schools. Navigating between generations, he explores the impact of descending from massacre, and what the legacy looks like for those living on the border between two different worlds in modern day America. This book is wonderful and staggering and I can’t recommend it enough."