Happy #BookBday (2/13/18 Edition)

#BookBday stars all around!

THE CHATEAU by Paul Goldberg
The acclaimed author of THE YID takes us behind the scenes of a Florida condo board election, delivering a wild spin on Miami Beach, petty crime, Jewish identity, and life in Trump’s America. “A master of dark, cutting humor, restless and allusive… Goldberg confirms his status as one of Jewish fiction’s liveliest new voices, walking in the shoes of such deadpan provocateurs as Mordecai Richler and Stanley Elkin.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

SOME HELL by Patrick Nathan
One of Esquire’s “Most Anticipated Books of 2018!” A wrenching and layered debut novel about a gay teen’s coming-of-age in the aftermath of his father’s suicide. “Nathan’s first novel is beautifully done and promises to linger in the reader’s memory.” — Booklist, starred review

SOMETIMES I LIE and GIRLS BURN BRIGHTER are March 2018 LibraryReads Picks!

FANTASTIC NEWS! Macmillan has two books on the March 2018 LibraryReads list!

Debuting at #4 is SOMETIMES I LIE by Alice Feeney
One of Bustle’s “2018 Debuts You Need in Your TBR Pile!” My name is Amber Reynolds. There are three things you should know about me: 1. I’m in a coma. 2. My husband doesn’t love me anymore. 3. Sometimes I lie. So opens this brilliant psychological thriller by former BBC news producer, Alice Feeney. “…a serpentine tale of betrayal, madness, and murder. Feeney is definitely a writer to watch.” — Publishers Weekly


Click to listen to an excerpt of the audiobook

Available from Flatiron Books and Macmillan Audio on March 13.

The #8 pick is GIRLS BURN BRIGHTER by Shobha Rao
Named a “Most Anticipated Book of 2018” by Huffington Post, Cosmopolitan, and Ms. Magazine, and a Library Journal Spring 2018 Editors’ pick with THREE starred reviews! A searing, electrifying debut novel set in India and America, about a once-in-a-lifetime friendship between two girls who are driven apart but never stop trying to find one another again. “Incredible storytelling… Highly recommended for book discussion groups, this tale of sacrifice, exploitation, and reclamation is not to be missed.” — Library Journal, starred review

Available from Flatiron Books on March 6. readmoreremove

Macmillan Winter 2018 Book Club Sampler

Discover your library’s next book club pick with our Winter 2018 Book Club Sampler!

Available for immediate download on NetGalley, this sampler features excerpts from the following discussion-worthy titles publishing in Winter 2018:

THE MITFORD MURDERS by Jessica Fellowes
THE RECIPE BOX by Viola Shipman
THE ITALIAN PARTY by Christina Lynch
DREAMING IN CHOCOLATE by Susan Bishop Crispell
THE FAMILY NEXT DOOR by Sally Hepworth
RAISING THE DAD by Tom Matthews
THE LAMBS: My Father, a Farm, and the Gift of a Flock of Sheep by Carole George
POINTS NORTH by Howard Frank Mosher
DIVING FOR STARFISH: The Jeweler, the Actress, the Heiress, and One of the World’s Most Alluring Pieces of Jewelry by Cherie Burns
THE SUN DOES SHINE: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row by Anthony Ray Hinton
ELOQUENT RAGE: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower by Brittney Cooper
WHEN THEY CALL YOU A TERRORIST: A Black Lives Matter Memoir by Patrisse Khan-Cullors & asha bandele

Happy Reading!

January 2018 All-Stars

These forthcoming books are raking in the starred reviews—make sure to add them to your library’s shelves ASAP!

“Tamirat’s razor-sharp prose fashions a magnificently dimensional and emotionally resonant narrator, herself a storyteller who frames her own tale with beguiling skill. This debut is remarkable in every way.” — Booklist, starred review

“Tamirat’s wonderful debut novel weaves growing pains, immigrant troubles, and moments of biting humor. The unsettling conclusion serves as a perfect ending for this riveting coming-of-age story full of murky motives, deep emotion, and memorable characters.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Brown immerses the reader in the mountain landscape… [his] dialogue, too, is magical, capturing the local idioms and cadences and rendering them musical. Brown has quickly established himself in the top echelon of Southern writers, and his latest will please readers of Wiley Cash and Ron Rash.” — Booklist, starred review

“Not to be missed, this bold, dark, gritty novel is another coup for Brown, whose lyrical descriptions of the landscape only add to the captivating story of indomitable but isolated folks bound by folklore, tradition, and a hardscrabble life.”Library Journal, starred review

MEMENTO PARK by Mark Sarvas
“Sarvas couples a suspenseful mystery with nuanced meditations on father-son bonds, the intricacies of identity, the aftershocks of history’s horrors, and the ways people and artworks can—perhaps even must—be endlessly reinterpreted. ” Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Because of its scope and deft handling of aspects of identity in matters of love, family, religion, and loss, this literary work is highly recommended to the broadest audience.” — Library Journal, starred review

WHISKEY by Bruce Holbert
“[An] impressive novel… Like Cormac McCarthy, another bard of the modern West’s brutality, Holbert finds beauty and cruelty in the land, in the tease and punch of eloquently elliptical dialogue, and in the way humans struggle for love, self-knowledge, and a grip on life. A gut-punch of a bleak family saga that satisfies on many levels.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Holbert returns with a violent, gruesome, and beautiful tale that, despite its despondency, is perversely winning. The violence in this rangy, brilliant narrative is often grotesque, but this excess is tempered by dry humor, wonderful dialogue, and dark wisdom.” Publishers Weekly, starred review readmoreremove

For Your Consideration: April 2018 LibraryReads Titles

Download, read, and nominate your favorite titles for the April 2018 LibraryReads list!

*Nominations are due February 20! Click here for the full list of 2018 deadlines.

AFTER ANNA by Lisa Scottoline
Anna is a drop-dead gorgeous sixteen-year-old with a secret dark side and when she turns up dead, all fingers point to her stepfather. “[A] nail-biting domestic thriller…. Filled with plenty of twists and complex characters, this entertaining story builds to a satisfying conclusion.” — Publishers Weekly

Available on NetGalley. To be pre-approved for an e-galley, please email with the subject “After Anna.”*

LOOK ALIVE OUT THERE by Sloane Crosley
THREE starred reviews! The New York Times–bestselling author’s brand-new collection of essays is filled with her characteristic heart and punch-packing observations, but with a newfound coat of maturity. A thin coat. More of a blazer, really. “Crosley is exceedingly clever and has a witticism for all occasions, but it is her willingness to confront some of life’s darker corners with honesty and vulnerability that elevates this collection.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

Download the e-galley from Edelweiss

THE COMEDOWN by Rebekah Frumkin
One of Nylon’s “50 Books We Can’t Wait To Read In 2018!” A dazzling epic that follows two very different families in Cleveland, where a drug deal gone wrong forces them to become irrevocably intertwined. “[F]rom page to page, character to character, this is a powerful debut. Frumkin has talent to burn…” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Download the e-galley from Edelweiss

WONDERBLOOD by Julia Whicker
A post-apocalyptic fantasy about religious war, a perverse faith, and waiting for the space shuttles to return. “This is an original and well-formed entry into the crowded field of dystopian fiction. For fans of Emily St. John Mandel’s STATION ELEVEN, N.K. Jemisin’s ‘Broken Earth’ series, and George R.R. Martin’s ‘Song of Ice and Fire’ books.” — Library Journal

Download the e-galley from Edelweiss

A timely anthology of distinct voices exploring life in the Rust Belt today, from the Flint water crisis to white flight in Detroit to growing up female in a heavily male, steel mill town. “A good companion piece to J. D. Vance’s HILLBILLY ELEGY.” — Booklist

Download the e-galley from Edelweiss readmoreremove

Adult Books With Teen Appeal

These starry new adult releases may also appeal to teens:

OLIVER LOVING by Stefan Merrill Block
Also available in audio
One of Esquire‘s “Most Anticipated Books of 2018” with two starred reviews! Nine years after seventeen-year-old Oliver Loving was struck by a bullet and fell into a coma, new diagnostic technology promises to reveal if Oliver has been sentient all these years, his mind trapped in his damaged body. Speech therapist Margot Strout must interpret what might be actual communication from Oliver, the maddening questions that still swirl around the shooting, and the reality of what Oliver might have become. “At once timely and timeless, this is an exciting story that rewards reader interest.” — Booklist, starred review readmoreremove

Most Anticipated Books of 2018

Best of 2017 has come and gone, now here are the most anticipated books of 2018, according to major media:
Entertainment Weekly50 books we can’t wait to read in 2018

THE HAZEL WOOD by Melissa Albert
One of the most anticipated debuts of the year — having set off an auction frenzy — THE HAZEL WOOD is a contemporary fantasy of an aggressively literary bent, centered on a 17-year-old whose mother is stolen away.

LOOK ALIVE OUT THERE by Sloane Crosley
Crosley may have put essays aside for her 2015 novel THE CLASP, but she returns with her particular brand of sardonic wit in this new collection. The tone, she told EW, is “somewhere between jaded misanthrope and easily amused child.”

A HIGHER LOYALTY: Truth, Lies and Leadership by James Comey
What will James Comey reveal in this anticipated memoir? Publisher Flatiron Books isn’t giving much away, just saying that the former FBI director promises to give a vital lesson on sound leadership, drawing on his own experiences to provide a manual that certain world leaders desperately need.

USA Today10 big books to kick off 2018

THE WIFE BETWEEN US by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen
What it’s about: In this twisty psychological thriller, a woman dumped by her rich husband is determined to prevent his remarriage to her “replacement.”
Why it’s hot: Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Partners, which brought THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN to the big screen, has picked up film rights for THE WIFE BETWEEN US.

A HIGHER LOYALTY: Truth, Lies and Leadership by James Comey
What it’s about:
The former FBI director, famously fired by President Trump in May, writes a book about leadership based on his own experiences and observations in government.
Why it’s hot: According to the publisher, Comey’s book will examine what “good, ethical leadership looks like and how it drives sound decisions.” The burning question: What will he say about Trump?

The Washington PostLeadership Books to Read in 2018

A HIGHER LOYALTY: Truth, Lies and Leadership by James Comey
The former FBI director — fired by President Trump and now, some say, a Zen-like master of throwing subtle shade on Twitter and Instagram — inked what was reported to be a multi-million dollar book deal in August. The book’s publisher has said the book by Comey, also a former Justice Department official and lawyer, promises to give readers “unprecedented entry into the corridors of power, and a remarkable lesson in leadership itself.” Comey, who frequently uses social media to share quotations about character, justice, leadership and power, tweeted an image of the Statue of Liberty on Dec. 5, saying he was in New York to meet with his publisher, with the note: “Hope leadership book will be useful. Reassuring to see Lady Liberty standing tall even in rough weather.”

InStyleBooks We Can’t Wait to Read in 2018

THE GREAT ALONE by Kristin Hannah
A Vietnam POW returns from overseas and opts to relocate his family to a remote area of Alaska, far removed from the threats of war-torn societies, for a fresh start. All seems well until his PTSD kicks in during the harsh winter and turns their tiny cabin dream into a living nightmare.

LOOK ALIVE OUT THERE by Sloane Crosley
If accolades from Steve Martin and David Sedaris are any indication, Sloane Crosley’s new collection of essays delivers, with hilarious takes on fertility, mingling with swingers, and her blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo on Gossip Girl.

EsquireThe 27 Most Anticipated Books of 2018

OLIVER LOVING by Stefan Merrill Block
Oliver Loving has been paralyzed and locked in his own mind for nearly a decade, the result of a shooting in his small Texas town. In Stefan Merrill Block’s psychologically astute novel, the damaged people that surround Oliver try to piece together their own versions of what happened that night and since then, even as doctors prepare a new treatment that might help Oliver communicate again.

THE HAZEL WOOD by Melissa Albert
Here is one of those rare young adult fantasy novels that holds a self-contained world in only a few hundred pages. So much world-building, so little space. If the novel’s heroine is a teenage girl, then her story will appeal to readers of all ages, with its intrigue and strange fairy tale magic and very grown up writing.

WHAT ARE WE DOING HERE? by Marilynne Robinson
Even in her fiction, Marilynne Robinson has a nonjudgmental, earnest way of writing about religion that could make an atheist long for spirituality. President Obama is a fan. In this essay collection theology and current events and philosophy take center stage, and it’s through the clarity of Robinson’s words that hope in times of political strife feels appropriate and urgent.

SOME HELL by Patrick Nathan
A heartbreaker of a book, Patrick Nathan’s debut novel captures the hell of adolescence under particularly dire circumstances: Colin is reeling from his father’s suicide even as he navigates coming of age as a gay teenager. As they are wont to do, sex and death dominate Colin’s thoughts as he makes his way, in agony but with an eye towards a hopeful future.

THE MERRY SPINSTER: Tales of Everyday Horror by Mallory Ortberg
Look out, Angela Carter. There’s a new feminist fairy tale queen in town, and her imagination is as sharp as her wit. Ortberg, co-founder of the beloved website The Toast, takes her column “Children’s Stories Made Horrific” to new heights in this collection of twisted tales that will shock and delight you.

Elle19 of the Best Books to Read This Winter

From the most widely read female writer in Turkey, here’s a novel that sees violence and nostalgia vie for one woman’s attention on one intense night. In Istanbul, a relatively minor crime—an attempted robbery—sparks a wave of memories as the wealthy Peri ponders an old photograph of her college friends. As terrorist attacks break out, the religious and cultural differences between the three women demand her attention in the fraught present.

WHEN THEY CALL YOU A TERRORIST: A Black Lives Matter Memoir by Patrisse Khan-Cullors and Asha Bandele
Patrisse Khan-Cullors co-founded one of the most vital activist groups of recent years. Now, get to the heart of Black Lives Matter with her account of how the movement began, and marvel at the brilliance and persistence of her mission despite a continuing lack of understanding and compassion from many.

PEACH by Emma Glass
In the wake of a horrific sexual assault, titular protagonist Peach attempts to navigate a life that has tilted on its axis. As accounts of sexual assault and misconduct have arisen in recent months, our inability to reckon with such events and their aftermath has only become more clear. This short novel—under 100 pages—confronts the enormity with impressionistic grace.

FORCE OF NATURE by Jane Harper
Wow, this crime novel just gave me my newest nightmare: Five colleagues go on a hike (first mistake), and one doesn’t return. Four different stories makes it hard for Agent Aaron Falk (whom we met in Harper’s debut, THE DRY) to discern the truth. Don’t read this one during the workweek.

WHAT ARE WE DOING HERE? by Marilynne Robinson
Equipped with a heart and mind that seem more capacious than ours (though she might have a match in fan Barack Obama), Marilynne Robinson has made a career out of writing life-expanding novels and wonderings, like Pulitzer Prize–winning novel GILEAD. Soon, she’ll give us a new set of essays about faith, life, and culture. readmoreremove

The 2018 #HoltDebutSquad

New year, new talent! Our pals at Henry Holt & Co. wanna make sure you don’t miss these exciting debut novels:

Available March 13, 2018
A haunting story of fatherhood, national identity, and what it means to be an immigrant in America today, this coming-of-age story explores what makes us who we are.

THE COMEDOWN by Rebekah Frumkin
Available April 17, 2018
A dazzling epic that follows two very different families in Cleveland, where a drug deal gone wrong forces them to become irrevocably intertwined.

Available June 19, 2018
An exuberant and deeply affecting multigenerational novel about the complicated lives and loves of people working in everyone’s favorite Chinese restaurant.

SUICIDE CLUB by Rachel Heng
Available July 10, 2018
In this exceptional, page-turning debut, set in near future New York City—where the pursuit of immortality is all-consuming—Lea must choose between her estranged father and her chance to live forever. readmoreremove


We were blown away by Shobha Rao’s debut story collection, AN UNRESTORED WOMAN, which made the 2017 RUSA Notable Fiction Reading List. Now, Rao’s debut novel, GIRLS BURN BRIGHTER, has THREE starred reviews:

“This powerful, heart-wrenching novel and its two unforgettable heroines offer an extraordinary example of the strength that can be summoned in even the most terrible situations. Although it is set in 2001, the obstacles each young woman faces, from cruel in-laws to sexual slavery, mutilation, and captivity, demonstrate that modern ideas of gender equality do not exist everywhere in the world. Despite everything they go through, their spirits continue to burn brightly, building to an ending that takes your breath away in its magnificence and beauty.” — Booklist, starred review

“An enchanting tale… The resplendent prose captures the nuances and intensity of two best friends on the brink of an uncertain and precarious adulthood. An incisive study of a friendship’s unbreakable bond.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Incredible storytelling… Highly recommended for book discussion groups, this tale of sacrifice, exploitation, and reclamation is not to be missed.” — Library Journal, starred review

Going to ALA Midwinter in Denver? Then RSVP now to meet Shobha at the LibraryReads / AAP Saturday With the Authors panel.


Our #LibFaves17 Picks

We enjoyed seeing so many of you participate in #LibFaves17 (thanks for making Jane Harper’s THE DRY an official 2017 Top Ten pick!).

Now here are OUR #LibFaves17 picks (aka our 2017 “Recommended Reads” from the newsletter):


Also available in audio
Finally, a book version of that romantic trilogy of films that Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy collaborated on… And most especially reminiscent of BEFORE SUNRISE. I’m also fondly reminded of the first boy that I ever fell in love with, his name was Lenny Grant, we were both sixteen and attending a summer writing program in Boston. It may as well have been Europe…

THE STANDARD GRAND by Jay Baron Nicorvo
THE STANDARD GRAND is reminiscent of Frank Bill’s CRIMES IN SOUTHERN INDIANA in terms of its grittiness and the ragtag group of misfit anti-heroes trying to survive in the wilderness. And I’ve always loved reading novels that were written in a sort of rushed exuberance—as if the author just had to share his or her story…

KNIFE CREEK by Paul Doiron
Also available in audio
Paul Doiron’s Mike Bowditch (my favorite bad-ass—does everything on his own terms—Maine game warden) is back for more! In KNIFE CREEK, Mike and his girlfriend Stacy (a bit of a rogue operator herself) are hunting wild rampaging boars that are destroying their beautiful town and surrounding environs. During the hunt, the couple discovers a dead infant in a shallow grave. Mike is a game warden but he’s got the instincts of a seasoned detective and must find out who committed such a gruesome deed. He just can’t help himself. And I love him for that. A home explosion that nearly kills him, an encounter with two very strange “sisters” wearing matching red wigs—one of whom may or may not be a long-dead co-ed (or was she kidnapped?), and a small town that’s full of suspects… Mike’s clearly on to something here, but what?

FRESH COMPLAINT by Jeffrey Eugenides
Also available in audio
I’ve always loved short story collections (see Shobha Rao’s AN UNRESTORED WOMAN, Tom Perrotta’s NINE INCHES, David Bezmozgis’ NATASHA, Helen Ellis’ AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE, Lauren Holmes’ BARBARA THE SLUT, James Franco’s PALO ALTO). The intensity of dipping into a life, briefly, and popping right out of it again… Of meeting someone at a particularly vulnerable and strangely fascinating moment in their lives… Of sharing that moment with them but never fully knowing when it began or where it ends is particularly exciting to me. And in Jeffrey Eugenides’ new short story collection FRESH COMPLAINT, meditations abound on life at every stage and at its most banally bizarre moments. Readers are thrown into a period of post-college idealism (and dysentery), mid-life pregnancies (and an ensuing tragicomedy), rebuilding after failure, sex studies in the jungle (and leaving one’s inhibitions behind), the worshiping of a musical instrument, a green card marriage and finally death. And we are treated to it all with a healthy dose of slightly off-beat characters.

THE WIFE BETWEEN US by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen
Also available in audio
There’s a marketing specialist at Macmillan whose taste in books I trust completely. I will not name names, because she is my secret “book Santa” and I refuse to share her. Since 2004, she has very occasionally sent me manuscripts to read. She has always chosen a book that I end up loving, hating deeply, or at the very least ends up inciting an incredibly visceral reaction. I won’t list the favorites she’s sent, because her identity will most certainly be revealed. And now let’s talk about her latest manuscript, THE WIFE BETWEEN US. There is no train. There is no girl. There is drinking (all good stories need alcohol, right?). There is an unreliable narrator (but those are the most intriguing, aren’t they?). There is a handsome husband (marriages are always fascinating to dissect, good or bad!). There is “another” woman (a thriller always needs a mysterious “other,” right?). And that’s all I can tell you. Read it. And let’s talk about that ending.

INDECENT by Corinne Sullivan
An insecure shy teacher’s apprentice barely out of college at an all boys boarding school is tempted by the popular boy… He’s brash, he’s arrogant, he’s the leader of the pack… But, will she do what’s right? I can’t help but think of the only younger man that I ever dated. During the summer before I went off to college I dated a rising senior. He wore Polo cologne, had long hair and we spent most of that summer in hidden corners and behind closed doors. But it’s not the same, is it? readmoreremove