Debuts

Maximum Shelf: HAPPINESS

MaxShelf-HappinessToday’s Maximum Shelf Awareness feature is HAPPINESS: The Crooked Little Road to Semi-Ever After by Heather Harpham.

In her debut memoir, award-winning playwright and performance artist Heather Harpham recounts her charming courtship with a New Yorker named Brian, and how it ends, full stop, when Heather becomes pregnant. Heather returns home to California to deliver their daughter alone, buoyed by family and friends. Mere hours after Gracie’s arrival, Heather’s first precious moments of happiness with her newborn are shattered when she learns her daughter has a rare blood condition that places her at high risk for brain damage or death. Brian reappears as Gracie’s condition grows dire; together Heather and Brian have to decide what they are willing to risk to ensure their girl sees adulthood.

“Harpham’s ability to capture an audience’s emotions takes center stage as a memoirist. Her deeply personal yet witty narrative style makes the reader feel instantly connected, as if Harpham is a close friend traveling a familiar ‘crooked little road to semi-ever after.’ Hers is a journey evoking a spectrum of emotions: hope, sadness, anger and, yes, happiness.” — Shelf Awareness

See the full summary, review and interview with Heather Harpham on Shelf-Awareness.com.

HAPPINESS will be available from Henry Holt & Company on August 1, 2017.

Sneak Peek: May 2017 Indie Next List

The May 2017 Indie Next list includes three Macmillan titles!indie next

BROKEN RIVER by J. Robert Lennon
“Here’s a gripping and memorable thriller about a family that moves into a house where, several years earlier, a double homicide took place. Lots of mysteries in this tricky story, lots of great characters, and one really cool narrative device: the story is told from the perspective of an observer, a sort of ‘invisible presence without corporeal substance,’ as the author describes it. On its surface a clever thriller, underneath a dark family drama, this is one haunting novel.” — Booklist

THE STANDARD GRAND by Jay Baron Nicorvo
A Library Journal Spring 2017 Debut Novels pick! An Army trucker goes AWOL before her third deployment, and ends up in the Standard Grand, a sanctuary for homeless veterans suffering from PTSD in the Catskill Mountains. But the Grand is sitting on a shale formation coveted by a corporate executive. “…Nicorvo’s muscular and energetic prose will stun readers with its poignancy, while providing a punch to the solar plexus. Alongside BILLY LYNN’S LONG, HALFTIME WALK and YELLOW BIRDS, THE STANDARD GRAND is an important and deeply human contribution to the national conversation.” — Booklist, starred review readmoreremove

YA-OK Adult Titles for Teens

FridayReads-AB4TThese six titles may have been published for adults, but we think your teens will love ’em too!

MARLENA by Julie Buntin
An April 2017 Indie Next pick, a Barnes & Noble Spring 2017 Discover pick and one of Publishers Weekly‘s Most Anticipated Spring 2017 Debuts with FOUR starred reviews! An electric debut novel about love, addiction, and loss; the story of two girls and the feral year that will cost one her life, and define the other’s for decades. “Buntin’s prose is emotional and immediate, and the interior lives she draws of young women and obsessive best friends are Ferrante-esque.” — Booklist, starred review

WALKAWAY by Cory Doctorow
Two starred reviews! Cory Doctorow’s first adult novel in eight years: a “sweeping epic” (Booklist, starred review) of revolution, love, post-scarcity, and the end of death. “A truly visionary techno-thriller that not only depicts how we might live tomorrow, but asks why we don’t already.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

UNIVERSAL HARVESTER by John Darnielle
Two starred reviews! Life in a small Iowa town takes a dark turn when mysterious footage begins appearing on VHS cassettes at the local Video Hut. “Darnielle’s masterfully disturbing follow-up to the National Book Award–nominated WOLF IN WHITE VAN reads like several Twilight Zone scripts cut together by a poet.” — Booklist, starred review

IF WE WERE VILLAINS by M.L. Rio
A literary debut in the tradition of Donna Tartt’s THE SECRET HISTORY about a group of seven young actors studying Shakespeare at an elite arts school who find their friendship turned into nasty rivalry that leaves one of them dead after a teacher switches around the in-character casting. “This novel about obsession at the conservatory will thoroughly obsess you.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

THE ROMANCE READERS GUIDE TO LIFE by Sharon Pywell
Two sisters, a murder, a bodice-ripping pirate romance, plus a cross-dressing talking dog! With shades of THE LOVELY BONES combined with the guilty pleasure of a pirate romance: a novel about two sisters coming of age in the 1950s, and what happens when one of them disappears. “Smart, funny, and compulsively readable: this one may finally win the underrecognized author the wider audience her talent deserves.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

OOLA by Brittany Newell
A provocative and impressive debut delivered with a uniquely sinister lyricism by a brilliant 21-year-old; a story about sex, privilege, desire, and creativity in the post-college years. “Newell’s rangy, circuitous tale is a kind of queer Nadja for millennials with a self-satirizing—and satisfying—bite. A dreamy and provocative exploration of sex, privilege, and self-discovery.” — Kirkus Reviews

Happy #BookBday (4/4/17 Edition)

Happy #BookBday to five new works of fiction waiting to be snapped up by your patrons:

MARLENA by Julie Buntin
An April 2017 Indie Next pick, a Barnes & Noble Spring 2017 Discover pick and one of Publishers Weekly‘s Most Anticipated Spring 2017 Debuts with FOUR starred reviews! An electric debut novel about love, addiction, and loss; the story of two girls and the feral year that will cost one her life, and define the other’s for decades. “Buntin’s prose is emotional and immediate, and the interior lives she draws of young women and obsessive best friends are Ferrante-esque.” — Booklist, starred review

A LITTLE MORE HUMAN by Fiona Maazel
An April 2017 Indie Next pick! Meet Phil Snyder: new father, nursing assistant at a cutting-edge biotech facility on Staten Island, and all-around decent guy. Phil also has a special talent he doesn’t want to publicize—he’s a mind reader and moonlights as Brainstorm, a costumed superhero. But when Phil wakes up from a blackout drunk and is confronted with photos that seem to show him assaulting an unknown woman, even superpowers won’t help him. “Maazel takes a dark, inventive look at the cost of pushing humans to their limits.” — Booklist

THE SISTERS OF BLUE MOUNTAIN by Karen Katchur
Perfect for fans of Lisa Scottoline and Heather Gudenkauf, a suspenseful novel in which a small-town murder forces two sisters to face the secrets and lies that have torn them apart. “Katchur weaves a suspenseful tale of family secrets and what it means to keep quiet. For readers who relish complex family mysteries.” — Library Journal

CASTLE OF WATER by Dane Huckelbridge
Castaway meets The Notebook in this beautifully written adventure/romance set on a deserted island from first-time novelist Dane Huckelbridge. “…a diverting if sentimental story with just enough detours from the obvious path to keep it from predictability.” — Booklist
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Thriller Thursday (3/30/17 Edition)

Crime & cat cozies, oh my! Read on for our #ThrillerThursday picks:

CONVICTION by Julia Dahl
Three starred reviews! In Dahl’s third powerful novel, Rebekah Roberts investigates a murder that occurred in Brooklyn after the Crown Heights riots of 1991, for which the wrong man may have been convicted. “CONVICTION is a cleverly named compelling chronicle…[about] the very meaning of power and poverty, justice, family, and, best of all, hope. Timely and perfect for twenty- and thirtysomething fans of Megan Abbott and Lisa Lutz.” — Booklist, starred review

ALMOST MISSED YOU by Jessica Strawser
A Library Journal “Great First Acts—Debut Novels” pick! A powerful debut that knits parental abduction with devastating secrets unraveling among friends and spouses. “Fans of smart women’s fiction mixed with a fast-paced plot should not miss this startling first novel from the editorial director of Writer’s Digest Magazine.” — Library Journal

THE OUTSIDER by Anthony Franze
A young law clerk finds himself caught in the cross-hairs of a serial killer in this fast-paced thriller set in the high-pressure world of the Supreme Court. “Descriptions of the law and how the Supreme Court operates are engaging, and Franze knows how to showcase the ins and outs of that world without diving into too much legalese…. It’s like a mix of John Grisham and Scott Turow alongside the inner workings of the court system. Toss it all together and the end result is this winning novel.” — Associated Press

FOLLOW ME DOWN by Sherri Smith
In Smith’s debut thriller, Mia Haas is drawn back to the North Dakota town where she grew up when she learns that her twin brother is missing—and that he’s suspected of murdering the high school student he was allegedly having an affair with. “…this fast-moving domestic thriller will satisfy readers of contemporary suspense.” — Booklist

THE NO. 2 FELINE DETECTIVE AGENCY: A Hettie Bagshot Mystery by Mandy Morton
Prepare to be besotted with this first book in a new series that turns the traditional British cozy on its head and features feline crime-solvers. “For lovers of cat cozies, the world that Morton has created will be irresistible.” — Publishers Weekly

What are you reading this #ThrillerThursday? Share your picks with us @MacmillanLib.

March 2017 All-Stars

march starsForget roaring in like a lion—March is shining with stars for these new and forthcoming books!

THE BREAKDOWN by B.A. Paris
“In the same vein as the author’s acclaimed debut, BEHIND CLOSED DOORS, this riveting psychological thriller pulls readers into an engrossing narrative in which every character is suspect. With its well-formed protagonists, snappy, authentic dialog, and clever and twisty plot, this is one not to miss.” — Library Journal, starred review

“This psychological thriller is even harder to put down than Paris’ 2016 best-seller debut BEHIND CLOSED DOORS; schedule reading time accordingly. With two in a row, Paris moves directly to the thriller A-list.” Booklist, starred review

A CONJURING OF LIGHT by V.E. Schwab
Flawless prose provides the canvas against which Schwab’s complex characters battle, love, and die, and the bittersweet conclusion is a fitting one for a fantastic, emotionally rich series that redefines epic.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Fans will gobble up this final battle, in which the characters they love fight desperately to save everything they hold dear. Schwab has fully delivered on the promise of this inventive and captivating series.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

THE ANSWERS by Catherine Lacey
“Startling and stunning and compulsively strange, Lacey’s sophomore novel is a haunting investigation into the nature of love. With otherworldly precision and subtle wit, Lacey creates a gently surreal dreamscape that’s both intoxicating and profound. A singular novel; as unexpected as it is rich.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Lacey displays an exceptional ability to articulate the elusiveness of knowing others, as well as the desire to find meaning and trust within.” — Publishers Weekly, starred & boxed review

PROVING GROUND by Peter Blauner
“The murder of a liberal lawyer in Brooklyn puts his Iraq War veteran son and two detectives on a collision course in this complex, character-rich tale. A top-notch crime novel that avoids easy resolutions and is all the better for its unanswered questions.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Although it has been 11 years since SLIPPING INTO DARKNESS, Edgar-winner Blauner hasn’t lost his touch, as this page-turner demonstrates. Blauner has crafted two strong and complex leads in Natty and Lourdes and given readers an intricate plot that never feels forced.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

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LJ’s Great First Acts — Debut Novels

LJ S17 debutsFrom astute coming-of-age titles to high-profile pop fiction to books heard ’round the world, these seven Macmillan titles will be some of the most talked-about debuts of the spring 2017 season, according to Library Journal:

HOW TO BE HUMAN by Paula Cocozza
Out: May 9
Out of love and on leave from work, Mary finds comfort in the presence of a gorgeous red fox that has taken to visiting the back garden of her home in the London suburbs. But the neighbors are disturbed. “A compelling, unsettling, and wholly original debut.” (LJ 3/1/17)

THE CITY ALWAYS WINS by Omar Robert Hamilton
Out: June 13
Cofounder of the Palestine Festival of Literature, Hamilton takes us to Cairo as his idealistic protagonist joins the battle in Tahrir Square, then lands in disillusioned exile in New York. Forceful, astonishing writing and a piercing insider’s look at Egypt’s failed revolution.

MARLENA by Julie Buntin
Out: April 4
Relating the story of 15-year-old Cat, new in town and drawn to daring, desperate Marlena, Buntin captures a destructive yet essential relationship with ongoing consequences. A Discover Great New Writers pick; “an exceptional portrait, disturbing and precisely observed.” (Xpress Reviews 3/10/17) readmoreremove

Buzzfeed’s “31 Incredible New Books You Need To Read This Spring”

BuzzfeedS17Buzzfeed picked seven standout books from Macmillan as part of their “Incredible New Books You Need To Read This Spring” feature:

WHEREAS by Layli Long Soldier
Layli Long Soldier’s powerful poetry collection WHEREAS challenges the United States government’s treatment of and relationship with Native American peoples and tribes. Elegant, innovative, and necessary, WHEREAS examines a history of violence and treaties and apologies, and reclaims the legal jargon once used to control Native peoples as a form of resistance.

THE FACT OF A BODY by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich
Part murder mystery and part memoir, Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich’s THE FACT OF A BODY is the haunting story of how one convicted murderer and pedophile’s case forced her to grapple with family secrets and her own past. Working a summer internship at a Louisiana capital murder defense firm, Marzano-Lesnevich digs into one case that begins to feel oddly familiar, and eventually is forced to confront her understanding of justice, forgiveness, and truth.

BORNE by Jeff VanderMeer
In Jeff VanderMeer’s BORNE, a young woman named Rachel survives as a scavenger in a dangerous, ruined city filled with discarded experiments from a biotech firm. When Rachel discovers a strange creature hidden in the fur of a giant bear who terrorizes the city, she decides to name the creature “Borne” and brings him home to the sanctuary where she lives. As Rachel’s attachment to Borne grows, so does he, and his existence eventually begins to threaten the security of her home and the city’s balance of power. Extraordinarily imaginative and wonderfully strange, BORNE will constantly keep you guessing. readmoreremove

FOUR STARS for MARLENA!

With FOUR phenomenal starred reviews and tons of acclaim, Julie Buntin’s MARLENA is the electric debut novel of 2017 you’ve been looking for!
A Barnes & Noble Spring 2017 Discover pick
One of Publishers Weekly‘s Most Anticipated Spring 2017 Debuts
An April 2017 Indie Next pick

“In Buntin’s vivid debut, Cath, now a New York City public librarian in her thirties, tells the story of the friendship that changed her forever. Though Cath tells her story in flashbacks, Buntin’s prose is emotional and immediate, and the interior lives she draws of young women and obsessive best friends are Ferrante-esque.” — Booklist, starred review

“In her impressive debut novel, Buntin displays a remarkable control of tone and narrative arc. Buntin is particularly sensitive to the misery of adolescent angst, and Cat’s growing happiness in Marlena’s friendship runs like an electric wire through the narrative. The novel is poignant and unforgettable, a sustained eulogy for Marlena’s ‘glow… that lives in lost things, that sets apart the gone forever.’” Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Sensitive and smart and arrestingly beautiful, debut novelist Buntin’s tale of the friendship between two girls in the woods of Northern Michigan makes coming-of-age stories feel both urgent and new. Devastating; as unforgettable as it is gorgeous.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Buntin perfectly captures a burning and essential friendship with lasting consequences and that terrible moment when we make a wrong turn and can’t go back. An exceptional portrait, disturbing and precisely observed; highly recommended.” — Library Journal, starred review readmoreremove

Tor.com’s Spring/Summer 2017 Season

Greedy Pigs, Hungry Hippos, Demonic Deer and the Summer of Space Opera come to Tor.com Publishing!

RIVER OF TEETH by Sarah Gailey
Out: May 23
“Man-eating hippo mayhem is my new favorite mayhem. Gailey’s debut is a gift of violent, unexpected glee.” — Kevin Hearne

THE RUIN OF ANGELS by Max Gladstone
Out: September 5
The critically acclaimed epic fantasy Craft Sequence that Patrick Rothfuss called “stupefyingly good” begins anew on Tor.com Publishing, with a heist in a god-haunted desert.

THE LAMB WILL SLAUGHTER THE LION by Margaret Killjoy
Out: August 15
The Dispossessed meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer in this dropkick-in-the-mouth punk fantasy that Alan Moore calls “scary and energetic.”

A SONG FOR QUIET by Cassandra Khaw
Out: August 29
A subversive Persons Non Grata Lovecraftian horror novella from Cassandra Khaw, author of HAMMERS ON BONE, set in 1940s America in the grips of Jim Crow.

ALL SYSTEMS RED by Martha Wells
Out: May 2
The first novella in the Murderbot Diaries, a new science fiction action and adventure series that tackles questions of the ethics of sentient robotics, perfect for fans of Westworld and Ex Machina.

KILLING GRAVITY by Corey J. White
Out: May 9
This debut novella begins the Voidwitch Saga—a butt-kicking, mind-expanding space opera series starring a psychic supersoldier fleeing from an organization that terrorizes the galaxy.

GREEDY PIGS by Matt Wallace
Out: May 16
The fifth Sin du Jour Affair by Matt Wallace subjects the caterers of Sin du Jour to clients fouler than demons, more decadent than goblin kings, and more dangerous than anything they’ve faced before: politicians.

LIGHTNING IN THE BLOOD by Marie Brennan
Out: May 30
In the sequel to COLD-FORGED FLAME, Ree, a roaming Archeron, spirit of legend and time and physically now bound to her current form, must fully uncover her true identity.

MAPPING THE INTERIOR by Stephen Graham Jones
Out: June 20
Walking through his own house at night, a fifteen-year-old thinks he sees another person stepping through a doorway. Instead of the people who could be there, his mother or his brother, the figure reminds him of his long-gone father, who died mysteriously before his family left the reservation. When he follows it he discovers his house is bigger and deeper than he knew.

THE GHOST LINE by Andrew Neil Gray and J. S. Herbison
Out: July 11
Not all is as it seems on the Martian Queen in this haunting work of science fiction by debut authors Andrew Neil Gray and J. S. Herbison that blends the Expanse series with the grandeur of the Titanic. readmoreremove

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