January 2022 Prepub Alert: The Complete List

All the January 2022 Prepub Alerts in one place, plus a central index, a downloadable spreadsheet, and a print-ready PDF of all posts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The January 2022 Prepub Alert posts are also available as:

An index linking to individual posts

A downloadable spreadsheet of titles

A print-ready PDF of all Prepub Alert posts


FICTION

Maids, Mitfords & Murder: Mystery

The Mitford Vanishing coverFellowes, Jessica. The Mitford Vanishing. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. (Mitford Murders, No. 5). Jan. 2022. 368p. ISBN 9781250819208. $27.99. CD. MYSTERY

In this latest in Fellowes’s series featuring the Mitford sisters, former Mitford maid Louisa Cannon has become a private investigator, working with policeman husband Guy Sullivan. A call from Nancy Mitford, concerned that Communist sister Jessica has disappeared in civil war–shattered Spain, leads Louisa to yet another case: a soldier has also disappeared. With a 50,000-copy first printing.

George, Elizabeth. Something To Hide. Viking. (Lynley Novel). Jan. 2022. 704p. ISBN 9780593296844. $29. CD/downloadable. MYSTERY

An autopsy unexpectedly reveals that a police detective was murdered, and the case she was working on—involving North London’s Nigerian community—is turned over to Acting Detective Superintendent Thomas Lynley, 8th Earl of Asherton. Along with D.S. Winston Nkata and white working-class D.S. Barbara Havers, he encounters a community with which he is largely unfamiliar, whose members seem to cooperate yet have painful secrets to hide.

Malliet, G.M. Death in Cornwall. Severn House. Jan. 2022. 224p. ISBN 9780727850409. $28.99. MYSTERY

Malliet returns to the series starring DCI Arthur St. Just and writer/criminologist Portia De’Ath, launched with the Agatha Award–winning Death of a Writer. In cozy little Maidsfell, where plans to redevelop the seafront have raised both cheers and jeers, staunch opponent Lord Bodwally is found murdered. St. Just’s investigation reveals that this is a community with secrets.

cover of Prose's The MaidProse, Nita.  The Maid. Ballantine. Jan. 2022. 304p. ISBN 9780593356159. $27. lrg. prnt. Downloadable. MYSTERY

In this debut from a longtime editor in the publishing industry, 25-year-old maid Molly Gray has always had trouble reading social signals. She used to depend on her recently deceased gran to help her, but she’s on her own when she finds a guest murdered in bed and is compelled to investigate; the police have tagged her as the most likely suspect. Subject to a blazing auction, this locked-room mystery has been optioned by Universal, with Academy Award–nominated Florence Pugh attached to star.

Schaffhausen, Joanna. Last Seen Alive. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. (Ellen Hathaway, Bk. 5). Jan. 2022. 320p. ISBN 9781250249678. $27.99. MYSTERY

For her own peace of mind, Boston detective Ellery Hathaway must separate from FBI agent Reed Markham, with whom she’s been involved; she can’t forget the scary moment when he had to rescue her from serial killer Francis Coben. But Coben has other plans: if Reed sets up a meeting between him and Ellery, he will reveal where his victims are buried. The victims’ families are hopeful, but Ellery doesn’t trust Coben. With a 40,000-copy first printing.

 

Friends & Family: Pop Fiction

cover of Chamberlain's The Last House on the StreetChamberlain, Diane. The Last House on the Street. St. Martin’s. Jan. 2022. 352p. ISBN 9781250267962. $27.99. CD. WOMEN

Jurczyk , Eva. The Department of Rare Books and Special Collections. Poisoned Pen: Sourcebooks. Jan. 2022. 352p. ISBN 9781728246598. $26.99; pap. ISBN 9781728238593. 336p. $16.99. WOMEN

May, Nikki. Wahala. Custom House: Morrow. Jan. 2022. 384p. ISBN 9780063084247. $27.99. lrg. prnt. WOMEN

Mitchard, Jacquelyn. The Good Son. Mira: Harlequin. Jan. 2022. 352p. ISBN 9780778311799. $27.99. WOMEN

Patterson, James & Mike Lupica. The Horsewoman. Little, Brown. Jan. 2022. 448p. ISBN 9780316499774. $28. ANIMAL FICTION

Shalvis, Jill. The Family You Make. Morrow Paperbacks. (Sunrise Cove, Bk. 1). Jan. 2022. 384p. ISBN 9780063025486. pap. $16.99. WOMEN

Sorell , Gina. Three Wise Women. Harper. Jan. 2022. 352p. ISBN 9780063111844. $26.99. lrg. prnt.

Steel, Danielle. Invisible. Delacorte. Jan. 2022. 288p. ISBN 9781984821584. $28.99. lrg. prnt.

Wiggs, Sugan. Sugar and Salt. Morrow. Jan. 2022. 384p. ISBN 9780062914224. $27.99. lrg. prnt.

In the No. 1 New York Times best-selling Chamberlain’s The Last House on the Street, Kayla Carter is mourning the husband who died building their dream house in a North Carolina community as warnings from not one but two older women not to move into the house eventually lead to a story of prejudice and violence that rocked the community a half-century earlier (150,000-copy first printing). A librarian like her creator, debut novelist Jurczyk, Liesl Weiss is shocked to discover that a valuable manuscript has gone missing from The Department of Rare Books and Special Collections but is told not to raise a ruckus—but she starts investigating when a colleague goes missing as well. Getting readied for television by the BBC, May’s debut novel, Wahala (“trouble”), features three British Nigerian women whose close friendship is blown to bits when a glamorous and ultimately venomous outsider insinuates herself into the group. In No. 1 New York Times best-selling Mitchard’s The Good Son, Thea Demetriou must find a way to support her son emotionally when he returns home from prison after having committed a heinous crime. Patterson and Lupica join forces with The Horsewoman, the story of a mother and daughter who are both champion riders—and are up against each other in competitons leading to the Paris Olympics. In Shalvis’s series starter, The Family You Make, Jane is dangerously stranded on a ski lift with Levi Cutler, who impulsively tells his parents by cellphone that she is his girlfriend—a charade she agrees to keep up when she finds herself falling for him and his warm, embracing family. Sorell follows up her well-rendered small-press debut, Mothers and Other Strangers, with Three Wise Women: an officious advice columnist and her two troubled adult daughters. In Steel’s latest, a young woman who survived a neglectful childhood by hunkering down can remain Invisible no longer when her dream of becoming a film director unexpectedly puts her in front of the camera. Revisiting Perdita Street, the setting of Wiggs's beloved The Lost and Found Bookstore, Sugar and Salt makes love bloom between San Francisco baker Jerome “Sugar” Barnes and barbecue master Molly Salton, trying to forget an unhappy past in Texas.

 

From Alafair Burke to P.J. Tracy: Thrillers

cover of Burke's Find MeBurke, Alafair. Find Me. Harper. Jan. 2022. 320p. ISBN 9780062853363. $26.99. lrg. prnt. THRILLER

After a car wreck, the woman who now calls herself Hope Miller was left with no memory but appreciates how residents of the New Jersey town where she was found took her in. Still, after 15 years she feels the need to start over, moving to East Hampton and promptly disappearing, to the alarm of best friend Lindsay Kelly, a Manhattan defense lawyer.

Gardner, Lisa. One Step Too Far. Dutton. (Frankie Elkin Novel, Bk. 2). Jan. 2022. 400p. ISBN 9780593185414. $27. lrg. prnt. THRILLER

In this follow-up to Before She Disappeared, middle-aged recovering alcoholic Frankie Elkin keeps up the job she has crafted for herself: finding people after everyone else has given up. Here she goes after a young man lost in the forest but soon realizes that it’s not a simple case; other people are vanishing in a situation that’s turning more ominous by the moment.

Golden, Christopher. Road of Bones. St. Martin’s. Jan. 2022. 240p. ISBN 9781250274304. $27.99. THRILLER/SUPERNATURAL

In this latest from New York Times best-selling and Bram Stoker award-winning Golden, a film crew is investigating a ghost story more haunting than most. The setting is the Kolyma Highway, which runs through Russia’s Far East, and the bodies of the thousands of gulag prisoners who died building it are interred beneath its gravelly surface. With a 60,000-copy first printing.

Griffin, W.E.B. & William E. Butterworth. The Attack. Putnam. Jan. 2022. (Badge of Honor). 368p. ISBN 9780525541752. $28. CD/downloadable. ACTION & ADVENTURE

Philadelphia homicide sergeant Matt Payne is sure he knows who killed the suburban high school cheerleader found floating in the Delaware…but maybe he’s wrong. Next in New York Times best-selling “Badge of Honor” series, originally scheduled for August 2019, then postponed to June 2020 and finally January 2022.

Gudenkauf, Heather. The Overnight Guest. Park Row: Harlequin. Jan. 2022. 352p. ISBN 9780778333166. $28.99; pap. ISBN 9780778311935. $17.99. THRILLER

Known for her small-town thrillers, the New York Times best-selling Gudenkauf here takes us farther afield, with true-crime writer Wylie Lark snowbound in a remote farmhouse where two people were murdered and a little girl vanished. Then she discovers a shivering child outside her door and gets the distinct feeling that she is being watched.

Hamilton, Karen. The Ex-Husband. Graydon House: Harlequin. Jan. 2022. 320p. ISBN 9781525899881. $28.99; pap. ISBN 9781525811609. $16.99. THRILLER

Charlotte happily grabs a job as personal assistant for an engagement party aboard a private luxury cruise ship, eager to start over after divorcing her disreputable con-artist husband, Sam. But Sam has gone missing after leaving her opaque messages about threats he’s been receiving, and as increasingly creepy events unfold, Charlotte wonders if someone onboard knows about her past. Following the best-selling The Perfect Girlfriend and The Last Wife.

Kepler, Lars. The Mirror Man. Knopf. Jan. 2022. 480p. tr. from Swedish by Alice Menzies. ISBN 9780593321027. $28.95. THRILLER

Five years after her abduction at age 17, Jenny is found dead in a public park, and Det. Joona Linna of Sweden’s National Crimes Unit recognizes similarities to a presumed suicide years before. Now another teenage girl has vanished, and the police realize that they are dealing with a serial killer. His victims’ voices are heard in the grisly background of this latest thriller from Sweden phenomenon Kepler, a husband-and-wife team.

Krentz, Jayne Ann. Lightning in a Mirror. Berkley. Jan. 2022. NAp. ISBN 9780593337752. $28. THRILLER

In the “Fogg Lake” trilogy, wrapping up here, weird things keep happening in a tiny Washington town after an underground explosion decades ago, and nothing is weirder for Olivia LeClair than having Harlan Rancourt—long assumed dead—approach her table at a speed-dating event and tell her she must help him find the shrouded-in-mist Vortex lab. The director of Olivia’s psychic investigation firm says she’s got to help, regardless of Harlan’s motivations; Vortex is a lethal threat.

Lippman, Laura. Seasonal Work: Stories. Morrow. Jan. 2022. 384p. ISBN 9780063000032. $26.99. lrg. prnt. THRILLER/SHORT STORIES

A husband’s secret cellphone, a father’s secret past, a mother’s secrets, period—easy to hide behind the veneer of ordinary housewife; these are the scenarios found in this collection from award-winning thriller master Lippman. Included here is “Just One More,” a previously unpublished novella about a couple whose efforts to juice up their marriage have unfortunate consequences.

Lutz, Lisa. The Accomplice. Ballantine. Jan. 2022. 368p. ISBN 9781984818263. $28. Downloadable. THRILLER

Rich, cranky Owen and straight-shooting Luna have been practically joined-at-the-hip buddies since college, their friendship hiding the usual secrets—and one that’s truly dangerous. So when Luna, who’s lately been doing a lot of secret drinking with Owen, finds Owen’s wife brutally murdered, a lot of ugliness pours forth and spells ruin for their tight bond. A stand-alone from the author of the New York Times best-selling “Spellman File” series.

cover of Nakamura's My AnnihilationNakamura, Fuminori. My Annihilation. Soho Crime. Jan. 2022. 264p. ISBN 9781641292726. $27.95. NOIR

“Turn this page, and you may forfeit your entire life.” What would you do if you read those lines? Can reading a diary implicate its interrogator in a terrible crime? Can an offhand suggestion turn someone into a murderer? These are the questions carefully weighed by award-winning Japanese author Nakamura in his latest literary noir.

Petrie, Nick. The Runaway. Putnam. Jan. 2022. 400p. ISBN 9780525535508. $27. Downloadable. THRILLER

Peter Ash, a veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars who now battles post-traumatic stress disorder, is driving through Nebraska’s backroads when he comes upon a pregnant woman stranded when her car runs out of gas. Of course, he’ll give her a lift, but that puts the woman’s furious ex-husband—also an ex-cop—on their trail. Alas for Helene, she saw something she shouldn’t have.

Taylor, Brad. End of Days. Morrow. Jan. 2022. (A Pike Logan Thriller, Bk. 16). 464p. ISBN 9780062886101. $28.99. lrg. prnt. THRILLER

Taskforce operators Pike Logan and Jennifer Cahill are sitting out COVID-19 in Charleston, SC, when terrorist hunters Aaron and Shoshana arrive at their front door with a new mission for them. The former head of Israeli intelligence has been bloodily dispatched in Switzerland; an Iraq-based, Iranian-funded militia group claims responsibility for this and other deaths; and our Taskforcers must determine who is really behind the violence.

Tracy, P.J. Desolation Canyon. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Jan. 2022. 352p. ISBN 9781250754950. $27.99. THRILLER

In the LJ-starred series-starter Deep into the Dark, LAPD Detective Margaret Nolan joined forces with bartender Sam Easton, an emotionally shattered Afghanistan war vet, when he was accused of a crime she believed he didn’t commit. No plot details yet, but they’re back for a new round in this latest from New York Times best-selling Tracy, who wrote the celebrated “Monkeewrench” series with her late mother, P.J.

 

Thriller Newbies

cover of Brazier's Good Rich PeopleBrazier, Eliza Jane. Good Rich People. Berkley. Jan. 2022. 336p. ISBN 9780593198254. $27. Downloadable. THRILLERS/PSYCHOLOGICAL

Successful people who have made it on their own might count themselves lucky when they are invited to live in the guesthouse of a Hollywood Hills mansion owned by Graham and Lyla, but not so. The wealthy couple revels in wrecking the lives of their guests, whom they see as intolerable upstarts. But their latest guest is downtrodden Demi, who has secretly taken over another person’s life, and she knows how to fight back. Won in a boiling-over six-way auction, this book from the author of two YA thrillers has been bought for television.

Kukafka, Danya. Notes on an Execution. Morrow. Jan. 2022. 272p. ISBN 9780063052734. $27.99. lrg. prnt. THRILLER

One cannot expect Kukafa, author of Girl in Snow, a much-praised best seller proclaimed a Best Summer Read by over a half-dozen venues, to turn in anything ordinary. Her second novel concerns serial killer Ansel Packer, about to be executed, who wants his bad deeds to be understood. His life is told through the lives of three women: his frantic mother, who gave birth at 17; his wife’s twin sister, who watched Ansel destroy all that was good in their lives; and the homicide detective whose goal is to track down evil men.

Mann, Peter. The Torqued Man. Harper. Jan. 2022. 384p. ISBN 9780063072107. $26.99. lrg. prnt. THRILLER

What was the truth about German spy handler Adrian de Groot and his Irish agent, friend, and sometimes lover Frank Pike during World War II? With two very different manuscripts dug out of the rubble of 1945 Berlin, it’s hard to tell. One shows de Groot wresting IRA fighter Pike from prison in Spain to facilitate a German invasion of Ireland, while another shows Pike assuming the mantle of Celtic hero Finn McCool and planning the assassination of bigwig Nazi doctors. An intriguing debut from Whiting Fellowship winner Mann.

Newman, Jay. Undermoney. Scribner. Jan. 2022. 496p. ISBN 9781982156022. $28. CD. THRILLER

Drawing on four decades’ worth of experience in international finance, debuter Newman introduces a group of former military men intent on getting their favorite candidate elected president so they can step in and restructure foreign policy and U.S. society itself. That means forming alliances with the people who know where the illicit money is. Along the way, readers pass through New York and Washington, then on to the Middle East, the French countryside, and Putin’s private restaurant in St. Petersburg. With a 150,000-copy first printing.

Willingham, Stacy. A Flicker in the Dark. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Jan. 2022. 368p. ISBN 9781250803825. $27.99. CD. THRILLERS

When Chloe Davis was 12, her father was convicted of killing six girls who vanished from their small Louisiana town. Now she’s a Baton Rouge–based psychologist prepping for her wedding, and it’s happening again: local teenage girls are starting to vanish. What’s going on? A big debut with a 150,000-copy first printing.

cover of Young's The FieldsYoung, Erin. The Fields. Flatiron: Macmillan. Jan. 2022. 352p. ISBN 9781250799395. $27.99. CD. THRILLER

A woman lies dead in an Iowa cornfield (one of the few spreads around that’s still family-owned), and for Sgt. Riley Fisher of the Black Hawk County Sheriff’s Office, it’s personal: the victim is a childhood friend, which reminds Riley of a past she had hoped to escape. Soon, more bodies are discovered, and the case isn’t local anymore. From the author of numerous UK historical best sellers, arriving in the United States with a first thriller granted a 150,000-copy first printing.

 

Spotlight: Noah Hawley’s “Anthem”

cover of Hawley's AnthemHawley, Noah. Anthem. Grand Central. Jan. 2022. 400p. ISBN 9781538711514. $28. lrg. prnt. CD. THRILLER

Award-winning screenwriter/director/producer Hawley’s recent Before the Fall won lavish love, New York Times best-selling credentials, and both Edgar and ITW thriller honors. So it’s no surprise that his new literary thriller is being billed as the first big novel of 2022. With opioid addiction, environmental devastation, and clownface-dabbed vigilantes corroding their surroundings, U.S. teens desperately communicate with memes only they know and understand. Seeking to mend his grief over his sister’s death, Simon Oliver attends the Float Anxiety Abatement Center near Chicago, where he meets Louise and The Prophet and joins in their wild-hare quest to free a young woman from a dangerous man called The Wizard. Immediate concerns within an ageless mission-driven, phantasmagorical format.

 

From Allende to Umrigar: Literary Fiction 

cover of Allende's VioletaAllende, Isabel. Violeta. Ballantine. Jan. 2022. 304p. ISBN 9780593496206. $28. lrg. prnt. CD. LITERARY

In this latest from Allende, winner of multiple lifetime achievement awards, Violeta is born into a family boasting five boys just as the 1918 influenza hits her South American homeland. The narrative carries her through 100 years to a new pandemic, encompassing the Great Depression (with her capsized family forced to resettle in her country’s remotest reaches), the fight for women’s rights, and the rise of dictators, plus love, loss, poverty, wealth, and brimming-to-the-rim affairs. Formatted as a letter to someone for whom Violeta cared deeply.

Apostol, Gina. Bibliolepsy. Soho. Jan. 2022. 208p. ISBN 9781641292511. $26. LITERARY

Now available in the United States, the PEN Open Book Award–winning Apostol’s debut stars a woman seeking out books she loves and romantic connections to their authors during the Marcos dictatorship in the Philippines. Primi Peregrino calls herself “a vagabond from history, a runaway from time,” but her commitment to love, sex, and reading helps topple the regime.

Assadi, Hannah Lillith. The Stars Are Not Yet Bells. Riverhead. Jan. 2022. 240p. ISBN 9780593084366. $25. Downloadable. LITERARY

During World War II, blue lights deck the skies above an island called Lyra off Georgia’s coast, and Elle Ranier’s new husband, Simon, is sent to Lyra by his industrialist father to discover their source. They could be generated by valuable minerals found offshore, and the business Simon establishes to find them employs many of the island’s inhabitants for 50 years but never succeeds in its goal. Here, Elle reflect on her long life on the island and a secret she has kept close. From National Book Foundation 5 under 35 honoree Assadi, whose debut novel, Sonora, was a PEN/Robert W. Bingham finalist.

Evison, Jonathan. Small World. Dutton. Jan. 2022. 480p. ISBN 9780593184127. $28. LITERARY

From the beloved author of West of Here, this inventive new work parallels train travelers in the early 1800s and their present-day descendants, with the narrative unfolding in the Pacific Northwest. Accented here: the immigrant experience and what it has meant for the United States.

Gala, Marcial. Call Me Cassandra. Farrar. Jan. 2022. 224p. tr. from Spanish by Anna Kushner. ISBN 9780374602017. $26. LITERARY

Author of the international award winner The Black Cathedral, published in the United States in 2020, Cuban novelist/poet Gala investigates the failures of Cuba’s revolution through visionary ten-year-old Rauli. Rauli doesn’t fit in at home or at school, perhaps with good reason. He knows that he was born in the wrong body, that he will die at age 18 as a soldier in Angola, and that he is the reincarnation of the Trojan princess and doomed seer Cassandra.

Guterson, David. The Final Case. Knopf. Jan. 2022. 272p. ISBN 9780525521327. $27. Downloadable. LITERARY

In this latest from the author who launched his career with the popular Snow Falling on Cedars, an Ethiopian girl adopted by a white fundamentalist Christian family is found dead of hypothermia in her Seattle backyard and her adoptive mother put on trial for murder. She is defended by an octogenarian criminal attorney whose son narrates the story as he chauffeurs his father around town. How did it feel for Abeba to find herself in an environment so far from—and so different from—her homeland?  Why did the lawyer take what will be his final case? And what does the town think of these events?

Jen, Gish. Thank You, Mr. Nixon: Stories from the Transformation. Knopf. Jan. 2022. 272p. ISBN 9780593319895. $28. LITERARY/SHORT STORIES

Opening with a heartfelt letter written by a Chinese girl in heaven to “poor Mr. Nixon” in hell, this latest from the multi-honored Jen moves through 11 stories that reflect on a half-century of Chinese people in the larger world. A woman reunites with her sisters in China after four decades; a couple go to extraordinary lengths to reconnect with their daughter, who won’t answer her phone in New York; in Hong Kong, a woman raised with the admonition “no politics, just make money” struggles to understand the repressive new environment. Jen’s first collection since 1999’s Who’s Irish?

MacLaverty, Bernard. Blank Pages: And Other Stories. Norton. Jan. 2022. 272p. ISBN 9780393881592. $26.95. LITERARY

Booker and International Dublin Literary Award short-listed for his novels, which have also been adapted for film, Irish author MacLaverty (currently based in Scotland) has also written a half-dozen short story collections. Here’s his latest, tinged with loss and death: a woman watches a World War II newsreel to discover what happened to her son, and artist Egon Schiele and his wife spend their final days together before they are taken by the 1918 influenza.

cover of Maren's Perpetual WestMaren, Mesha. Perpetual West. Algonquin. Jan. 2022. 384p. ISBN 9781643750941. $26.95. CD. LITERARY

In this new work by Maren, author of the coruscating debut novel Sugar Run, newly married Alex and Elana move from small-town Virginia to El Paso. Mexican-born Alex was adopted by white American Pentecostal parents and regularly crosses over to Juárez. There he learns more about his heritage while continuing his graduate studies in sociology partly by learning about Mexican professional wrestling, “lucha libre.”  Meanwhile, Elana is less happy with her courses at the local university, and she doesn't know that Alex has fallen in love with a lucha libre fighter. And then Alex disappears. With a 75,000-copy first printing.

Umrigar, Thrity. Honor. Algonquin. Jan. 2022. 336p. ISBN 9781616209957. $26.95. CD. LITERARY

In India to cover the story of Meena, a Hindu woman whose marriage to a Muslim man shames her family and suggests the violence shaping women’s lives there, journalist Smita is forced to acknowledge her own family’s painful departure from the country and the benefits granted her simply by being American. From the best-selling Umrigar, whose The Space Between Us was a PEN/Beyond Margins finalist; with a 50,000-copy first printing.

 

Spotlight: Hanya Yanagihara’s “To Paradise”

Yanagahira's To ParadiseYanagihara, Hanya. To Paradise. Doubleday. Jan. 2022. 720p. ISBN 9780385547932. $32.50. LITERARY

Following A Little Life, short-listed for the Man Booker Prize and a National Book Award finalist, Yanagihara’s new novel tracks themes of love, loss, illness, power, and the unfillable desire for heaven on Earth over three centuries in stories tied together by a townhouse on New York City’s Washington Square Park. In an alternate 1893 America, with New York belonging to the more or less freewheeling Free States, the scion of a prominent family prefers a poor music teacher to a more polished suitor. In AIDS-ravaged 1993 Manhattan, a young Hawaiian man living with a controlling older partner quietly suppresses his tattered childhood. And in plague-shattered totalitarian 2093, a troubled woman seeking her missing husband misses the guidance of her powerful scientist grandfather.

 

Literary Fiction Debuts  

cover of Andreades's Brown GirlsAndreades, Daphne Palasi. Brown Girls. Random. Jan. 2022. 224p. ISBN 9780593243428. $24. Downloadable. LITERARY

Speaking as a choral “we,” Andreades’s “brown girls”—among them Nadira, Gabby, Naz, Trish, and Angelique—grow up together in Queens, New York, wrestling with their immigrant roots, their parents’ rules, their aspirations (regarding both careers and boys), and their desire to fit into American culture. Will they always be friends, loyal to the end, as they swear? Excerpts from this debut novel have claimed O. Henry and Kenyon Review Short Fiction honors.

Chan, Jessamine. The School for Good Mothers. S. & S. Jan. 2022. 336p. ISBN 9781982156121. $27. LITERARY

Frida Liu boasts neither a faithful husband nor the jaw-dropping career that she feels would recompense her long-suffering Chinese immigrant parents, but with her beloved daughter, Harriet, she feels completely fulfilled. One inattentive moment, though, and she is branded a bad mother, and spookily authoritarian government officials consider consigning her to a program that will measure her true maternal potential—lest she lose her daughter. Plenty of today’s parents will identify. With a 150,000-copy first printing; from a former reviews editor at Publishers Weekly with an MFA from Columbia.

Freeman, Sara. Tides. Grove. Jan. 2022. 256p. ISBN 9780802159175. $26. LITERARY

Freeman here profiles a woman blasted by grief who ends up in a posh seaside town after running from her family. She barely survives, cadging food and swimming in the ocean at night, until the tourist season ends and she lands a job at the local wine store. There she starts building ties with the lonely owner, and the reasons for her grief emerge. First serial to Granta magazine; Freeman won a Henfield Prize from Columbia University while earning her MFA there.

cover of Olga Dies DreamingGonzalez, Xochitl. Olga Dies Dreaming. Flatiron: Macmillan. Jan. 2022. 384p. ISBN 9781250786173. $27.99. CD. LITERARY

Of Puerto Rican heritage, Olga Acevedo is a wedding planner to the rich and powerful while brother Pedro (“Prieto”) serves their gentrifying Latinx neighborhood as congressman in their hometown, New York. Maybe, just maybe, Olga has finally found a love of her own, but then the mother who deserted the siblings years ago to pursue her increasingly radical beliefs crashes back into their lives. With a 300,000-copy first printing; Iowa Writers’ Workshop graduate Gonzalez won the Michener-Copernicus Fellowship.

Ho, Jean Chen. Fiona and Jane. Viking. Jan. 2022. 228p. ISBN 9780593296042. $26. Downloadable. LITERARY

Linked stories from doctoral writing candidate Ho, who has already published in venues like Guernica and the Rumpus, tell the story of close friends Fiona Lin and Jane Shen. The two take risks together as teenagers in the scrappier reaches of Los Angeles, seeking love and escape from family chaos. Fiona soon moves to New York to care for a sick friend, Jane stays home to cope with her estranged father’s unexpected death, and together they try to maintain their friendship despite past pain and future uncertainty.

James, Chantal. None but the Righteous. Counterpoint. Jan. 2022. 240p. ISBN 9781640094598. $26. LITERARY

Fearfully making his way from Atlanta to his hometown, New Orleans, after its devastation by Hurricane Katrina, 19-year-old Ham holds tight to a pendant given to him by his foster mother, Miss Pearl, who may or may not be alive. He doesn’t know that a centuries-old spirit has taken possession of him, but he senses he needs to free his body and soul. From Fulbright fellow James, a regular contributor to the radio program On the Ground: Voices of Resistance from the Nation’s Capital.

Navarro Aquino, Xavier. Velorio. HarperVia. Jan. 2022. 272p. ISBN 9780063071377. $26.99. LITERARY

An ACLS Emerging Voices Fellow at Dartmouth College, Puerto Rican–born and –raised Navarro Aquino portrays characters in crisis after Hurricane Maria sweeps the island. The utopian community Memoria springs up to help those in need, including Camila, who remains haunted by sister Marisol, lost in a terrible mudslide; a tough-acting but ultimately gentle woman named Morivivi; and on-the-verge-of-manhood Bayfish. Unfortunately, Memoria leader Urayoán is becoming increasingly authoritarian. With a 40,000-copy first printing.

Prins, Mark. The Latinist. Norton. Jan. 2022. 336p. ISBN 9780393541274. $26.95. LITERARY

In this retelling of the Daphne and Apollo myth by Iowa Writers’ Workshop graduate Prins, the winner of multiple scholarships, Tessa Templeton learns just before her thesis defense at Oxford that her beloved mentor, classics professor Christopher Eccles, has secretly sabotaged her chances for being offered a job at any other institution. He wants her for himself at Oxford, but Tessa has other plans.

Sanchez, David. All Day Is a Long Time. Houghton Harcourt. Jan. 2022. 256p. ISBN 9780358572015. $25. CD. LITERARY

In this coming-of-age age tale from Sanchez, winner of Michener and PEN America Writing for Justice fellowships, 14-year-old David runs away from his Florida Gulf Coast home in pursuit of a girl and ends up trying crack cocaine. He is instantly under its sway, his life ripped apart for a decade, but then encountering Dante, Melville, and Hemingway in a literature class at a community college changes everything.

 

Unexpected Lives: Historical Fiction

cover of Davis's The Magnolia PalaceBrooks, Karen. The Good Wife of Bath. Morrow Paperbacks. Jan. 2022. 576p. ISBN 9780063142831. pap. $16.99. HISTORICAL

Cantor, Jillian. Beautiful Little Fools. Harper. Jan. 2022. 336p. ISBN 9780063051256. $26.99. lrg. prnt. HISTORICAL

Davis, Fiona. The Magnolia Palace. Dutton. Jan. 2022. 368p. ISBN 9780593184011. $27. lrg. prnt. Downloadable. HISTORICAL

Harrigan, Stephen. The Leopard Is Loose. Knopf. Jan. 2022. 288p. ISBN 9780525655770. $26. Downloadable. HISTORICAL

Matthews, Mimi. The Siren of Sussex. Berkley. Jan. 2022. 432p. ISBN 9780593337134. pap. $16. Downloadable. HISTORICAL

Wallace, Carol. Our Kind of People. Putnam. Jan. 2022. 368p. ISBN 9780525540021. pap. $17. Downloadable. HISTORICAL

Author of The Chocolate Maker’s Wife, Brooks reimagines Geoffrey Chaucer’s rollicking story of The Good Wife of Bath from its heroine’s perspective, offering the nuanced tale of a girl married off at age 12 and learning to fight to survive. In Beautiful Little Fools, the USA Today best-selling Cantor reimagines the ending of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, with a diamond hairpin discovered near the scene of Gatsby’s murder casting suspicion on three key women: Daisy Buchanan; her best friend, Jordan Baker; and Catherine McCoy, suffragette sister of Tom’s mistress, Myrtle. In The Magnolia Palace, the New York Times best-selling Davis parallels the lives of two women: Lillian, a celebrated artist’s model in New York who loses her mother to the 1918 influenza and ends up working as secretary to the industrialist Henry Clay Frick’s imperious daughter, and Swinging Sixties English model Veronica, who discovers hidden messages while posing at the Frick Collection that lead her to a mystery surrounding the Frick family. From Harrigan, author of the New York Times best-selling The Gates of the Alamo, The Leopard Is Loose tells the 1952-set story of a five-year-old mourning the death of his fighter-pilot father, whose life is further upended when a big cat escapes from Oklahoma City’s zoo. In The Siren of Sussex, from the USA Today best-selling Matthews, bluestocking Evelyn Maltravers—from a family that has seen better times—knows she can make a mark in Victorian society only through her great skill as an equestrienne, though she will need a striking riding habit. And that brings her happily to Anglo-Indian dressmaker Ahmad Malik. From Wallace, whose New York Times best-selling To Marry an English Lord inspired Downton Abbey, Our Kind of People tells the story of a slightly outré family during New York City’s Gilded Age, with the wife especially clinging to her status among the elite even as her husband bets all on an elevated railroad that he says will change the city.

 

SF/Fantasy/Horror

Anderson, Kevin J. Gods and Dragons. Tor. (Wake the Dragon, Bk. 3.) Jan. 2022. 496p. ISBN 9781250302205. $29.99. FANTASY

The Three Kingdoms and Ishara have been warring for millennia but must now cooperate. An ancient race has arisen with intentions to violently take—and remake—the world. From the coauthor of the Dune sequels; with a 25,000-copy first printing.

Chen, Mike. Light Years from Home. Mira: Harlequin. Jan. 2022. 384p. ISBN 9780778311737. $27.99. FANTASY/FAMILY

On a family camping trip 15 years ago, Evie and Kass Shao’s father and brother suddenly vanished like smoke. Their father returned disoriented, claiming alien abduction, but brother Jakob never returned at all. While Kass has plunged forward with her life, Evie follows up on alien conspiracy theories in hopes of finding Jakob—who finally reappears, possibly trailing intergalactic warfare in his wake. With a 30,000-copy first printing.

DeMeester, Kristi. Such a Pretty Smile. St. Martin’s. Jan. 2022. 320p. ISBN 9781250274212. $27.99. HORROR

Something snarly called the Cur is going after girls who dare to be different, tearing them to shreds. Years ago, it threatened memory-repressing Caroline Sawyer, whose visions have been manifested in the frightening sculptures she creates. Now it threatens her 13-year-old daughter, Lila, who’s been voicing her private pain, and mother and daughter start tracking the Cur to its source. Billed as feminist horror, which sounds cool to me; a 100,000-copy first printing.

Percy, Benjamin. The Unfamiliar Garden. Mariner: Houghton Harcourt. (Comet Cycle, Bk. 2.) Jan. 2022. 224p. ISBN 9780358332718. $26; pap. ISBN 9781328544889. $15.99. CD. SF

In the second book in “The Comet Cycle,” begun with Jun. 2021’s The Ninth Metal, Jack loses daughter Mia when Earth sweeps into the debris field of a comet and thousands of meteors rain down. Botany professor Jack, now a recluse, is studying a deadly parasitic fungus in his lab when ex-wife Nora asks for his help. She’s investigating ritualistic murders rocking Seattle, and ultimately they will be called upon to save the world. With a 40,000-copy paperback and 3,000-copy hardcover first printing.

Rollins, James. The Starless Crown. Tor. (Moon Fall, Bk. 1.) Jan. 2022. 560p. ISBN 9781250816771. $27.99. CD. FANTASY

In this first in a new series from master-of-thrills Rollins, a top-of-the-class student predicts an apocalypse and is promptly sentenced to death. She goes on the run with a crew of motley souls now finding purpose in their lives: a disillusioned soldier, a dissolute prince ducking out of his older brother’s shadow, and a thief who uncovers an artifact that could change the world. With a 500,000-copy first printing.

 

Spotlight: Sequoia Nagamatsu’s “How High We Go in the Dark”

cover of How High We GoNagamatsu, Sequoia. How High We Go in the Dark. Morrow. Jan. 2022. 304p. ISBN 9780063072640. $27.99. lrg. prnt. LITERARY

A product of more than 10 years’ labor, this novel will ring out sharply in today’s pandemic world. In 2030, archaeologists troweling through the Arctic Circle’s melting permafrost discover the well-preserved remains of a girl who evidently died of an ancient virus. The plague thus unleashed harries generations, as people find new ways to mourn. There are funerary skyscrapers and hotels for the dead, interstellar starships (the better to find a safer place), and a theme park for terminally ill children where an employee falls for a mother desperate to hold her child one last time. As with his story collection Where We Go When All We Were Is Gone, a BuzzFeed Notable Book and Entropy Best Book, Nagamatsu blends literary and visionary verve in a narrative winning comparison to Cloud Atlas and Station Eleven. With a 100,000-copy first printing.

 

NONFICTION

Of Current Interest

Ali, Wajahat. Go Back to Where You Came From: And Other Helpful Recommendations on How To Become American. Norton. Jan. 2022. 256p. ISBN 9780393867978. $26.95. MEMOIR

Having grown up an awkward outsider in the San Francisco Bay Area, Daily Beast columnist Ali became a writer to challenge stereotypes and portray the Muslim American world as he knew it. His activism intensified post–9/11 as he was constantly told “Go back to where you came from.” His acid-wit response—what, go back to the Bay Area, where the rents are unaffordable?—reveals his approach to such provocations.

Allan, Hawa. Insurrection: Rebellion, Civil Rights, and the Paradoxical State of Black Citizenship. Norton. Jan. 2022. 240p. ISBN 9781324003038. $26.95. POLITICAL SCIENCE

Passed for fear of slave rebellions, the Insurrection Act of 1807 authorizes the U.S. president to counter domestic uprisings by deploying federal troops. It was used during Reconstruction and the Civil Rights movement to support Black Americans in their quest for equal citizenship but has also been a tool of repression, most recently during the 1992 Los Angeles riots following the Rodney King assault and the protests following the 2020 George Floyd killing. Attorney Allan shows how the act mirrors tensions and hard truths in U.S. society.

Gordon, Lewis R. Fear of Black Consciousness. Farrar. Jan. 2022. 288p. ISBN 9780374159023. $28. PHILOSOPHY

Head of the philosophy department at the University of Connecticut–Storrs and a leading scholar of Black existentialism and anti-Blackness, Gordon tracks the historical development of racialized Blackness and its consequences for both Black and non-Black communities. In particular, he addresses the bad faith evident in many conversations about race and racism, challenging claims of “color blindness” and calling out white self-congratulation. Informed not just by Gordon’s philosophical acumen but by his upbringing in Jamaica and the Bronx and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and Black Lives Matter protests.

Greenblatt, Jonathan. It Could Happen Here: Why America Is Tipping from Hate to the Unthinkable—And How We Can Stop It. Houghton Harcourt. Jan. 2022. 208p. ISBN 9780358617280. $25. POLITICAL SCIENCE

When he became head of the Anti-Defamation League in 2015, Greenblatt—who served as special assistant to President Obama and director of the Office of Social Innovation—upped the league’s efforts to battle both anti-Semitism and hatred of all kinds. New initiatives include the Center on Extremism, which monitors extremist behavior across the ideological spectrum. Drawing on these initiatives and the league’s long-standing research, Greenblatt sees the possibility of genocide in America’s future.

 

Spotlight: Bernardine Evaristo’s “Manifesto on Never Giving Up”

Bernardine EvaristoEvaristo, Bernardine. Manifesto On Never Giving Up. Grove. Jan. 2022. NAp. ISBN 9780802158901. $27. MEMOIR

The first Black woman and first Black Briton ever to win the Booker Prize (for 2019’s Girl, Woman, Other), Evaristo here publishes her first nonfiction, plumbing her life and career to deepen our understanding of race, class, feminism, sexuality, and aging today. She ranges from her early years as an actor and playwright in London to her dawning political awareness to her decades-long commitment to bringing forth the missing stories of Black Britons like her. Along the way, Evaristo explains how her theory of unstoppability inspired her, as it will surely inspire her readers.

 

History Up Close

Brown-Nagin, Tomiko. Civil Rights Queen: Constance Baker Motley and the Struggle for Equality. Pantheon. Jan. 2022. 528p. ISBN 9781524747183. $30. Downloadable. BIOGRAPHY

From the Bancroft Prize–winning Brown-Nagin (Courage To Dissent), dean of Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, this biography finally gives activist lawyer Constance Baker Motley her due. Baker Motley defended Martin Luther King in Birmingham; helped argue Brown v. Board of Education; became the first Black woman to serve in the New York State Senate, as Manhattan borough president, and in the federal judiciary; and was the first Black woman to argue a case in front of the Supreme Court, winning nine of the ten cases she finally argued there.

Bucci, Andra & Tatiana Bucci. Always Remember Your Name: A True Story of Family and Survival in Auschwitz. Astra House. Jan. 2022. 190p. tr. from Italian by Ann Goldstein. ISBN 9781662600715. $23. HISTORY

In March 1944, six-year-old Tati and her four-year-old sister, Andra, were deported from Italy to Auschwitz with their mother and their cousin, Sergio. They were among only a few dozen of 230,000-plus children who survived imprisonment there, uniting with their mother after the war because she made them memorize her tattoo number and told them to “always remember your name.” To this day, they bear witness to the Holocaust in schools and at the camps. From promising new publisher Astra House, distributed by Penguin Random House.

Elkins, Caroline. Legacy of Violence: A History of the British Empire. Knopf. Jan. 2022. 928p. ISBN 9780307272423. $35. lrg. prnt. Downloadable. HISTORY

Founding director of Harvard's Center for African Studies and a Pulitzer Prize winner for Imperial Reckoning: The Untold Story of Britain's Gulag in Kenya, Elkins presents Britain’s 20th-century empire—the largest in history—as grounded in violence stemming from Victorian-era urgency to maintain control by punishing those among the colonized who seemed defiant or willfully rebellious. By the mid-20th-century, as their control began slipping, the British simply left, covering up their tracks.

Harriot, Michael. Black AF History: The Un-Whitewashed Story of America. Houghton Harcourt. Jan. 2022. 288p. ISBN 9780358439165. $28. CD. HISTORY

A senior writer at TheRoot.com, where he examines the convergence of race, politics, and culture, and a staff writer for Peacock's The Amber Ruffin Show, Harriot has been called by Michael Eric Dyson "one of the funniest men out there taking no prisoners on the subject of white supremacy." Here he reassesses U.S. history, which has been told essentially by, for, and about whites, by highlighting 30 crucial Black American experiences ranging from the Tulsa Race Massacre to the history of policing.

Howard, Hugh. Architects of an American Landscape: Henry Hobson Richardson, Frederick Law Olmsted, and the Reimagining of America’s Public and Private Spaces. Atlantic Monthly. Jan. 2022. NAp. ISBN 9780802159236. $30. HISTORY

Howard, whose Architecture’s Odd Couple focused on Frank Lloyd Wright and Philip Johnson, here pairs another design team: Frederick Law Olmsted, the first and arguably best U.S. landscape designer, whose accomplishments ranged from Manhattan’s Central Park to the preservation of Yosemite National Park, and the first leading U.S. architect, Henry Hobson Richardson. The two were friends, and though Richardson isn’t as well-known now, we have him to thank for Boston’s stunning Trinity Church and the open plan for family homes.

Jähner, Harald. Aftermath: Life in the Fallout of the Third Reich, 1945–1955. Knopf. Jan. 2022. 416p. tr. from German by Shaun Whiteside. ISBN 9780593319734. $30. Downloadable. HISTORY

Published in Germany in 2019, this account of the country post–World War II was a best seller for nearly a year and won the Leipzig Book Fair Prize. As he surveys an occupied country with its cities in ruins and more than half the population displaced, Jähner, a cultural journalist and former editor of the Berlin Times, focuses on how Germans thought and felt as they faced up to the horrors of their immediate fascist past and tried to make a better future.

cover of Gangsters of CapitalismKatz, Jonathan M. Gangsters of Capitalism: Smedley Butler, the Marines, and the Making and Breaking of America’s Empire. St. Martin’s. Jan. 2022. 448p. ISBN 9781250135582. $29.99. HISTORY

Dubbed “The Fighting Quaker,” celebrated U.S. Marine Smedley D. Butler fought for his country in every major overseas conflict from the Spanish-American War of 1898 until the eve of World War II. Yet looking back, he declared bitterly, “I was a racketeer for capitalism,” having helped seize Guantánamo Bay, the Philippines, and land for the Panama Canal and helped occupy countries from Nicaragua to Puerto Rico to Haiti. Multi-award-winning journalist Katz uses Butler’s life to frame a discussion of U.S. expansionism. With a 50,000-copy first printing.

Ridley, Jane. George V: Never a Dull Moment. Harper. Jan. 2022. 752p. ISBN 9780062567499. $35. BIOGRAPHY

Biographer of Queen Victoria and Edward VII, the Duff Cooper Award–winning Ridley turns to King George V, Edward’s son, who ruled the British Empire from 1910 to 1936. Though he was considered dull as a young man, especially in comparison with the rascally Edward, George’s era encompassed constitutional crisis, World War I, the fall of 13 European monarchies, the first Labour government, the rise of Bolshevism, and George’s refusal to grant asylum to his cousin Tsar Nicholas II. Ridley argues that his was a pivotal reign that shaped the modern monarchy.

Sullivan, Rosemary. The Betrayal of Anne Frank: A Cold Case Investigation. Harper. Jan. 2022. 368p. ISBN 9780062892355. $29.99. lrg. prnt. HISTORY

Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl is among the most-read books in the world, but despite reams of studies no one has been able to determine who betrayed its author and her family. Finally, as recounted here by award-winning Canadian author Sullivan, retired FBI agent Vincent Pankoke stepped in with a team of investigators, examining over tens of thousands of pages of documents and interviewing descendants of people familiar with the Franks to come to the conclusions relayed here.

Tsu, Jing. Kingdom of Characters: The Language Revolution That Made China Modern. Riverhead. Jan. 2022. 336p. ISBN 9780735214729. $28. Downloadable. HISTORY

The John M. Schiff Professor of East Asian Languages and Literatures and Comparative Literature as well as chair of the Council on East Asian Studies at Yale, Tsu argues that China was transformed over the last century into the powerhouse it is today by a prolonged battle to make the Chinese language accessible to the modern world of global trade and digital technology. Along the way, she reveals language to be both a tool and a source of power.

 

Looking Back, Moving Forward: Memoir

cover of Attenberg's I Came All This Way To Meet YouAttenberg, Jami. I Came All This Way To Meet You: Writing Myself Home. Ecco. Jan. 2022. 272p. ISBN 9780063039797. $27.99. MEMOIR

Bertinelli, Valerie. Enough Already: Learning To Love the Way I Am Today. Houghton Harcourt. Jan. 2022. 304p. ISBN 9780358567363. $27. CD. MEMOIR

Gomez, Edgar. High-Risk Homosexual. Catapult. Jan. 2022. 304p. ISBN 9781593767051. pap. $16.95. MEMOIR

Harris, Taylor. This Boy We Made: A Memoir of Motherhood, Genetics, and Facing the Unknown. Catapult. Jan. 2022. 272p. ISBN 9781948226844. $26. MEMOIR

James, Kendra. Admissions: A Memoir of Surviving Boarding School. Grand Central. Jan. 2022. 336p. ISBN 9781538753484. $28. MEMOIR

Lindsay, Rachel. Miss Me with That: Hot Takes, Helpful Tidbits, and a Few Hard Truths. Ballantine. Jan. 2022. 224p. ISBN 9780593357071. $26. Downloadable. MEMOIR

Miller, Larry & Laila Lacy. Jump: From the Streets to the Suites. Morrow. Jan. 2022. 304p. ISBN 9780062999818. $27.99. MEMOIR

Pentland, Jenny. This Will Be Funny Later: A Memoir. Harper. Jan. 2022. 256p. ISBN 9780062962928. $27.99. MEMOIR

Schulz, Kathryn. Lost & Found: A Memoir. Random. Jan. 2022. 256p. ISBN 9780525512462. $27. lrg.prnt. CD. MEMOIR

Vonn, Lindsey. Rise: My Story. Dey Street: Morrow. Jan. 2022. 304p. ISBN 9780062889447. $28.99. CD. MEMOIR

Ypi, Lea. Free: A Child and a Country at the End of History. Norton. Jan. 2022. 256p. ISBN 9780393867732. $27.95. MEMOIR

In I Came All This Way To Meet You, New York Times best-selling author Attenberg explains that as the daughter of a traveling salesman she came by her wanderlust naturally and shows how reflecting on her early years during her travels led her to writing—and particularly her theme of troubled families (75,000-copy first printing). Award-winning actress and Food Network star Bertinelli follows up her No. 1 New York Times best-selling memoir Losing It with inspiration as she turns 60 in Enough Already (100,000-copy first printing). In High-Risk Homosexual, a memoir ranging from funny (a baby speaking an ancient Jesuit language) to heartbreaking (the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando), Gomez explains how he came to embrace his gay, Latinx identity within a culture of machismo. In This Boy We Made, Harris relates her efforts to determine what is suddenly wrong with her bouncy 22-month-old boy in a system frequently inhospitable to Black mothers and her discovery when meeting with a geneticist that she has medical issues of her own. In Admissions, James relates the complications of being a diversity recruiter for select, largely white prep schools after attending The Taft School as its first Black legacy student. Attorney, podcaster, and Extra correspondent Lindsay discusses growing up in Dallas, TX; her career in law; and why she chose to be the first Black Bachelorette on The Bachelor in Miss Me with That. Miller reveals how he made the Jump, taking Nike’s Jordan Brand from a relatively modest $150 million sneaker producer to a $4.5 billion worldwide footwear and apparel phenomenon while also recalling his teenage jailtime and the nightmares from which he still suffers and arguing for criminal justice reform and greater educational opportunities for the currently or formerly imprisoned. After her mother, actress Roseanne Barr, moved the family to celebrity-soaked Hollywood from working-class Denver, using personal details from their lives there for her sitcom’s storylines, the teenaged Pentland endured anxiety and eating issues and various 1980s-sanctioned self-help interventions while muttering to herself This Will Be Funny Later (evidently proved here). In Lost & Found, the Pulitzer Prize–winning New Yorker staffer Schulz explores the bittersweet reality of meeting the woman she would marry just 18 months before losing her father. Readers Rise with Vonn as she earns 82 World Cup wins, 20 World Cup titles, seven World Championship medals, and three Olympic medals to become one of the top women ski racers of all time. Raised in Albania, the last Communist country in Europe, where the final tumble of Stalin’s and Hoxha’s statues soon led to economic chaos, political violence, and the flight of the disillusioned, Ypi has earned the right more than most to ponder what it means to be Free.

 

Literature, Criticism & the Arts

cover of Hurston's You Don't Know Us NegroesHurston, Zora Neale. You Don’t Know Us Negroes and Other Essays. Amistad: HarperCollins. Jan. 2022. 412p. ISBN 9780063043855. $29.99. lrg. prnt. LITERARY COLLECTIONS

Nayeri, Farah. Takedown: Art and Power in the Digital Age. Astra House. Jan. 2022. 304p. ISBN 9781662600555. $28. ART/THEORY

Perl, Jed. Authority and Freedom: A Defense of the Arts. Knopf. Jan. 2022. 176p. ISBN 9780593320051. $20. Downloadable. ART & POLITICS

Reich, Steve. Conversations. Hanover Square: Harlequin. Jan. 2022. 304p. ISBN 9781335425720. $27.99. MUSIC/MEMOIR

Thanhauser, Sofi. Worn: A People's History of Clothing. Pantheon. Jan. 2022. 400p. ISBN 9781524748395. $30. HISTORY/CLOTHES

Edited by Henry Louis Gates Jr., You Don’t Know Us Negroes and Other Essays is the first comprehensive collection of essays, criticism, and articles by Harlem Renaissance great Hurston, coming at a time when she is in the news again with books like the New York Times best-selling Barracoon (100,000-copy first printing). From Nayeri, an arts and culture writer for the New York Times, Takedown argues that while censorship once happened top-down (think kings and popes), it is now sometimes done bottom-up by activists challenging artists, critics, and museums. Author of the two-volume biography of Alexander Calder, critic Perl argues in Authority and Freedom that art’s value lies in its independence from any ideology; “art’s relevance has everything to do with what many regard as its irrelevance.” Pulitzer Prize–winning musician Reich (love Drumming and Double Sextet!) holds Conversations about his life and music. Focusing on linen, cotton, silk, synthetics, and wool, Pratt Institute professor Thanhauser’s Worn tells us everything we would want to know about clothes, what they are made of, and how they have shaped—and been shaped by—human history.

 

Key STEM Titles

Bale, Bradley & Amy Doneen with Lisa Collier Cool. Healthy Heart, Healthy Brain: The Personalized Path To Protect Your Memory, Prevent Heart Attacks and Strokes, and Avoid Chronic Illness. Little Brown Spark. Jan. 2022. 288p. ISBN 9780316705554. $29. HEALTH & FITNESS

Founders of the Heart Attack & Stroke Prevention Center, in Spokane, WA, Bale and Doneen blend cardiology, neurology, endocrinology, and other specialties in a holistic approach aimed at preventing and even reversing cardiovascular disease and metabolic disorders. Well worth attending to, as the BaleDoneen Method won praise in the 2019 Netflix documentary Root Cause as “the premier cardiovascular prevention program in the country.” With a 30,000-copy first printing.

cover of The Art of MoreBrooks, Michael. The Art of More: How Mathematics Created Civilization. Pantheon. Jan. 2022. 320p. ISBN 9781524748999. $28. Downloadable. MATHEMATICS/PHILOSOPHY

Moving from ancient Egyptian priests to a hobbyist who solved a mapmaking puzzle that confounded NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey, science writer Brooks aims to persuade readers that mathematics was one of the great innovations that made civilization happen. Following The Quantum Astrologer’s Handbook, a Daily Telegraph Book of the Year.

Friedman, Danielle. Let’s Get Physical: How Women Discovered Exercise and Reshaped the World. Putnam. Jan. 2022. 352p. ISBN 9780593188422. $27. Downloadable. HEALTH & FITNESS

Expanding on her viral article in New York Magazine’s The Cut, Friedman offers an overview of how the now-hot women’s exercise culture emerged, particularly in the United States. In the decades before the Sixties, exercise that wasn’t scrubbing floors or laboring over a hot stove were discouraged ass unbecoming and even dangerous for women. Then came the barre workout, followed by jogging, aerobic dancing, weight training, and the desire to create a more socially just fitness culture, with the focus shifting from improving one’s looks to securing mental and physical well-being. Okay, pulling on my sneakers….

Hughes, Evan. The Hard Sell: Crime and Punishment at an Opioid Startup. Doubleday. Jan. 2022. 288p. ISBN 9780385544900. $28.95. BUSINESS/OPIOID CRISIS

Having reformulated the powerful painkiller fentanyl, ambitious scientist John Kapoor founded Insys Therapeutics in the early 2000s and pushed his sales staff to market it aggressively, especially to shady or outlier doctors. The start-up boomed, but whistleblowing led to an investigation, a trial, and the government’s determination to make the drug industry accountable for opioid addiction. From National Magazine Award finalist Hughes.

Milman, Oliver. The Insect Crisis: The Fall of the Tiny Empires That Run the World. Norton. Jan. 2022. 272p. ISBN 9781324006596. $27.95. SCIENCE

Three out of four of Earth’s known species are insects, and according to Millman, an environment correspondent at Guardian US, recent evidence suggests that they are in deep trouble. The world can’t survive without insects, so here we encounter bees being trucked over long distances to support our food supply and the relocation of trees to save a valuable butterfly. Wasps and mosquitoes make us jump, but this is what’s really scary.

Mlodinow, Leonard. Emotional: How Feelings Shape Our Thinking. Pantheon. Jan. 2022. 272p. ISBN 9781524747596. $28.95. lrg. prnt. NEUROSCIENCE

In Western context at least, emotion has often been seen as the antithesis of rational thinking, something that gets in the way of making good choices. But as suggested in this latest work from Mlodinow, author of the best-selling, PEN/E.O. Wilson award-winning Subliminal, emotion is essential to our well-being and a crucial ingredient in every decision we make. Here he explains the new, research-driven science of feelings.

Rutherford, Adam & Hannah Fry. The Complete Guide to Absolutely Everything* (*Abridged): Adventures in Math and Science. Norton. Jan. 2022. 304p. ISBN 9780393881578. $24. SCIENCE

Cohosts of the BBC Radio 4 show The Curious Cases of Rutherford & Fry, geneticist Rutherford and mathematician Fry take on the big questions: the origins of the universe, the nature of space and time, and whether our dogs really love us. (The answer to that last question must surely be yes.) The title suggests that the authors aren’t just authoritative but witty and accessible, with their work adding to the groundswell of recent books on the basics of the universe for lay readers.

Saladino, Dan. Eating to Extinction: The World’s Rarest Foods and Why We Need To Save Them. Farrar. Jan. 2022. 464p. ISBN 9780374605322. $30. AGRICULTURE

BBC food journalist for a quarter-century, Saldino points out that globalization has reduced what we eat—once nearly 6,000 different plants—to the point where only nine are major staples today. In fact, only three key plants—rice, wheat, and corn―account for half of the caloric intake worldwide. Before it is too late, Saldino travels the world to highlight important foods that are in danger of being lost. With a 75,000-copy first printing.

 

Help Yourself

cover of Olivera's Already EnoughOlivera, Lisa. Already Enough: A Path to Self-Acceptance. S. & S. Jan. 2022. 256p. ISBN 9781982138929. $26. SELF-HELP

Growing up, Olivera knew that she had been adopted, but for many years she didn’t realize the extent of her abandonment; her mother left her in California’s Muir Woods when she was just a few hours old. What’s wrong with me? Why was I not enough? These are the questions one might asked when faced with such facts, but after working with a therapist Olivera came to realize that she had to tell herself a different—and better—story. Here she explains how important our personal stories are to us and how we can reframe them to our benefit. With a 50,000-copy first printing.

Sullivan, Meghan & Paul Blaschko. The Good Life Method: Reasoning Through the Big Questions of Happiness, Faith, and Meaning. Penguin Pr. Jan. 2022. 304p. ISBN 9781984880307. $28. Downloadable. PHILOSOPHY/ETHICS

Sure, philosophy asks pointed questions about the nature of being and the breadth and limits of human knowledge. But it also investigates how to live meaningfully. Notre Dame philosophy professors Sullivan and Blaschko contribute to a veritable stream of recent titles showing how philosophy can deepen our daily lives, showing us how to ask the questions that will help us build a good life plan and take more meaningful control of our lives. Love, truth, money, suffering, death, and religion—these are the issues they touch on with reference to works by Aristotle, Iris Murdoch, W.E.B. Du Bois, and more.

 

Sneak Peek: Margaret Atwood’s “Burning Questions”

Atwood, Margaret. Burning Questions: Essays and Occasional Pieces, 2004–2021. Doubleday. Mar. 2022. 528p. ISBN 9780385547482. $30. LITERARY COLLECTIONS

Why do people tell stories? What’s true, what’s just, and what makes the perfect granola? Can we conquer climate change before it conquers us? How much can we give of ourselves before we’ve given too much? Should we give advice to young people or step back until asked? And what is it about authoritarianism that seems so intimately linked to zombies? These are exactly the sort of sharp, smart, punch-it-to-us questions we expect Atwood to ask in her fiction, and they are exactly the sharp, smart, punch-it-to-us questions she asks in this essay collection, selected from published works that bring us right up to the pandemic.


The January 2022 Prepub Alert Index

Fiction

Maids, Mitfords & Murder: Mystery

Friends & Family: Pop Fiction

From Alafair Burke to P.J. Tracy: Thrillers

Thriller Newbies

Spotlight: Noah Hawley’s Anthem

From Allende to Umrigar: Literary Fiction

Spotlight: Hanya Yanagihara’s To Paradise

Literary Fiction Debuts

Unexpected Lives: Historical Fiction

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Spotlight: Sequoia Nagamatsu’s How High We Go in the Dark

Nonfiction

Of Current Interest

Spotlight: Bernardine Evaristo’s Manifesto on Never Giving Up

History Up Close

Looking Back, Moving Forward: Memoir

Literature, Criticism, & the Arts

Key STEM Titles

Help Yourself

Sneak Peek: Margaret Atwood’s Burning Questions

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Barbara Hoffert

Barbara Hoffert (bhoffert@mediasourceinc.com, @BarbaraHoffert on Twitter) is Editor, LJ Book Review; past chair of the Materials Selection Committee of the RUSA (Reference and User Services Assn.) division of the American Library Association; and past president of the National Book Critics Circle, to which she has just been reelected.

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