A Proposal They Can't Refuse by Natalie CañaStarring: Kamilah Vega and Liam Kane, childhood friends-turned-enemies who fake an engagement to appease their matchmaking grandfathers, who aren't above a bit of blackmail to get what they want.
What's at stake: the future of El Coquí, the Vega family restaurant, as well as that of Kane Distillery, which occupies the same building.
Why you might like it: Set against the backdrop of Chicago's gentrifying Humboldt Park neighborhood, this warmhearted debut introduces two close-knit working-class families, one Irish American and one Puerto Rican.
Wrath Goddess Sing by Maya DeaneWhat it is: A "tour de force debut" (Publishers Weekly) that reimagines The Iliad with legendary warrior Achilles as a trans woman.
Want a taste? "When Achilles first came to Skyros the year before, she had looked utterly different: gaunt from the overland and sea voyages, hollow-cheeked from the starvation she had used to stave off manhood, and feverish with a terrible, foolish hope that on Skyros everything would change, that on Skyros she would become everything she longed for."
For fans of: Madeline Miller's Song of Achilles, Shelley Parker-Chan's She Who Became the Sun, or Nicola Griffith's Spear.
Trust by Hernán DíazWhat it's about: the life and myth surrounding Andrew Bevel, a recently deceased financial magnate who managed to preserve and increase his fortune through the 1929 stock market crash until his death a decade later.
How it's told: through four documents that reveal truths Bevel tried to keep hidden while alive -- Bonds, an unflattering novel based on his life; an unfinished memoir he began to counter the novel; the autobiography of a journalist Bevel hires to help destroy the career of Bonds' author; the journal entries of Bevel's enigmatic wife Mildred.
For fans of: the thought-provoking, experimental literary fiction of Vladimir Nabokov, Italo Calvino, and Jose Saramago.
The Final Strife by Saara El-ArifiIn a world... where the color of one's blood determines one's position in society, prizefighter Sylah, switched at birth and then trained as part of the failed "Sandstorm" resistance movement, comes face-to-face with the girl whose life she was meant to have.
Why you might like it: This opening volume of the Ending Fire series offers a high-stakes competition, lots of political intrigue, and romance.
You might also like: C.L. Clark's The Unbroken or Suyi Davies Okungbowa's Son of the Storm.
The Woman in the Library by Sulari GentillThe letters: Hannah, a published author, provides chapters from her work-in-progress to Leo, a longtime fan, who chattily emails his feedback...but his correspondence grows disturbing.
The book: In Hannah's novel, after a disturbing incident at the Boston Public Library, four visitors strike up a friendship, but one of them may be a killer.
For fans of: twisty novel-within-a-novel mysteries, Anthony Horowitz's books, Eva Jurczyk's The Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, and Jane Pek's The Verifiers.
A Caribbean Heiress in Paris by Adriana HerreraParis, 1889: Black Dominican heiress Luz Alana Heith-Benzan attends the Exposition Universelle to promote her family's rum business and embarks on a marriage of convenience with James Evanston Sinclair, the heir to a Scottish dukedom who owns a whiskey distillery.
Series alert: This engaging and well-researched novel kicks off the Las Léonas series, which follows four 19th-century Dominican women who travel the world and find love.
For fans of: Vanessa Riley's Rogues and Remarkable Women series.
The Bangalore Detectives Club by Harini NagendraStarring: Kaveri Murthy, a 19-year-old Sherlock Holmes and mathematics fan who's moved to Bangalore in 1921 after her arranged marriage to handsome young doctor Ramu.
What happens: When a party at the Century Club ends with a murder and a vulnerable woman is connected to the crime, Kaveri investigates, going everywhere from shacks and brothels to an Englishman's mansion.
For fans of: Alexander McCall Smith, Sujata Massey, Vaseem Khan, and lighthearted mysteries with charming characters.
Four Treasures of the Sky by Jenny ZhangWhat it's about: Daiyu is a young Chinese woman who moves to an Idaho mining town after escaping sexual slavery in 1880s San Francisco. Living as "Jacob Li" she works for a kindly pair of Chinese general store owners, until increasingly racist attitudes toward Asian people threaten her new life.
Why you should read it: Through Daiyu's story, author Jenny Zhang explores the complex history of Chinese Americans in the shadow of the uptick in anti-Asian violence during the COVID pandemic.
For fans of: How Much of These Hills is Gold by C. Pam Zhang; The Thousand Crimes of Ming Tsu by Tom Lin.
The New Neighbor by Carter WilsonThe good news: Superstitious bartender Aidan Marlowe has been playing the lottery for years without success, until the day his go-to numbers finally net him a $30 million payoff.
The bad news: Aidan learns of his "luck" on the same day as his beloved wife's funeral. Overwhelmed by these emotional extremes, Aidan buys a house in a small New Hampshire town where he can grieve with his children in peace, unwittingly setting off a chain of events that will put his family and their newfound fortune in serious peril.
For fans of: the atmospheric and intricately plotted thrillers of Megan Miranda.
Corrections in Ink: A Memoir by Keri BlakingerWhat it's about: In 2001, Olympic hopeful Keri Blakinger's dreams were crushed when her figure skating partner quit. Turning to heroin to cope, she later wound up in prison for nearly two years.
Why you should read it: In her candid debut, Blakinger investigates how her white privilege afforded her rehabilitation opportunities rarely given to prisoners of color; her experiences, paired with extensive research, offer a clear-eyed call for prison reform.
For fans of: Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman.
Directed by James Burrows: Five Decades of Stories from the Legendary Director of Taxi... by James BurrowsWhat it is: a nostalgic behind-the-scenes account of prolific Emmy Award-winning sitcom director James Burrows' five-decade career.
Featuring: never-before-told stories about the making of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Taxi, Cheers, and many more.
Try this next: For another upbeat memoir written by an iconic TV industry veteran, read Norman Lear's Even This I Get to Experience.
African Founders: How Enslaved People Expanded American Freedom by David Hackett FischerWhat it's about: how enslaved Africans and their cultural practices shaped colonial America.
Author alert: Brandeis University historian David Hackett Fischer is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Washington's Crossing.
Reviewers say: "a comprehensive demographic history with a powerful and important corrective thesis" (Booklist).
Mi Cocina: Recipes and Rapture from My Kitchen in Mexico by Rick MartínezWhat's inside: essays about Rick Martínez's life, including his Texas childhood and career as a chef; more than 100 recipes inspired by his visits to Mexico's 32 states; pantry essentials; information about spices, herbs, and chiles; gorgeous color photos.
Recipes include: Sopa de Lima, Arroz Royo, Rajas con Creme, Nopales Enchilados, Tacos Gobernador, Frijoles Refritos, Tamales con Frijoles Negros, Carne Asada, Poc Chuc, Pollo al Pastor, Pan de Muerto.
Two Dogs by Ian FalconerWhat it's about: While their human family is away, dachshund siblings Augie and Perry relieve their boredom by annoying each other -- until they break out into the yard, where they can really cause some havoc.
Why kids might like it: Simple backgrounds call attention to every expressive detail in this witty and "exuberant display of canine choreography" (Publishers Weekly).
About the author: You might recognize author/illustrator Ian Falconer's style from his popular books about Olivia the pig.
Onyeka and the Academy of the Sun by Tolá OkogwuWhat it's about: After her hair takes on a life of its own to rescue her best friend, British Nigerian Onyeka heads to the Academy of the Sun in Lagos, where she can hone her psycho-kinetic abilities alongside other super-powered Solari kids.
Why you might like it: This gripping series starter introduces a high-tech society and high-stakes plot that'll leave you wanting more.
For fans of: Nnedi Okorafor's Akata Witch books or the Last Gate of the Emperor series by Kwame Mbalia and Prince Joel Makonnen.
Your Pal Fred by Michael RexStarring: Fred, blue-haired, a human-shaped toy robot "programmed to spread kindness, friendship, and good vibes."
What happens: When Fred is accidentally re-activated, he discovers that the world has become a bleak wasteland ruled by rival warlords Papa Mayhem and Lord Bonkers. Can one gentle bot turn the tide of meanness with the power of high fives and stickers? You'll have to read this chapter book -- the 1st in a series -- to find out.
Love Radio by Ebony LaDelleThe next Maya Angelou: Danielle Ford focuses on honing her writing skills and avoids everything else, especially thinking about the traumatic assault she experienced.
Enter: Prince Jones, her classmate who dispenses love advice on his radio show and takes care of his brother and disabled mom. He bets Danielle she will fall in love with him by their third date.
Who it's for: anyone who loves love. This moving romance is brimming with romantic, platonic, familial, self, and Black love.
Contact your librarian for more great books!
Indianapolis Public Library
PO Box 211
Indianapolis, Indiana 46206-0211