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PREMIUM

Broken People

Set within the vividly realized framework of addiction recovery and gay life in America, this remains the story of one man’s deep personal struggles while at the same time speaking to and for all the broken people in this world. Some readers may twitch at the long drug trip, but it’s a deeply felt journey that many will want to take. [See Prepub Alert, 12/1/19.]

Swimming in the Dark

German born of Polish parents, debut author Jedrowski here writes in English, and his lyrical prose reveals a complete command of the language. Readers who enjoy this impressive work will eagerly anticipate the author’s next book. Highly recommended for all who enjoy a tale of love under the most difficult circumstances. [See Prepub Alert, 10/7/19.]
PREMIUM

Perfect Tunes

Gould’s second novel (after Friendship) is essentially about how parenting can be rewarding but also challenging; the music angle alluded to in the title is secondary. The character development is uneven, and the parenting angle is often tedious, but fans of women’s fiction about young mothers, daughters, and life dreams might enjoy it.
PREMIUM

Fifty-Two Stories

Though some readers may prefer a more straightforward, colloquial style, fans of heightened language will enjoy this translation, which should appeal to a wide audience. A comprehensive volume that will satisfy the needs of many libraries.
PREMIUM

Darling Rose Gold

It’s chilling enough to read about Rose Gold’s suffering, but it’s just as chilling—and at times uncomfortably satisfying
PREMIUM

That’s Not a Thing

This new adult story with real-life trials, tragedies, and struggles features bromidic characters who don’t derail a complex plot. Fans of Jojo Moyes and Jennifer Weiner should enjoy.
PREMIUM

Temporary

At once hilarious, surreal, and serious, Leichter’s first novel reveals truths about capitalist society while exploring the meaning of doing one’s work well, despite how ridiculous or temporary it might be. This will be enjoyed by fans of Jen George and Helen Ellis.

Paris Never Leaves You

Things are seldom as they seem in this engrossing tale of identity, survival, loyalty, and love. With frequent time shifts and dubious identities, the author adds considerable depth to her well-crafted tale. Recommended with enthusiasm to anyone with an interest in Paris at war and the much broader themes noted above.
PREMIUM

The Forgotten Letters of Esther Durrant

Vivid descriptions highlight intertwining plot lines that seamlessly build to a satisfying climax. For fans of the author’s other works (The Botanist’s Daughter) and fiction by authors such as Lauren Willig and Kate Morton.
PREMIUM

The Knockout Queen

Thorpe’s (Dear Fang, with Love) coming-of-age tale set against a backdrop filled with hate and violence will captivate readers with its brutal honesty and unbreakable bonds of friendship. Recommended for fans of Emma Straub and Jami Attenberg.
PREMIUM

The Familiar Dark

Not just a fine thriller but a fine character study, plumbing family and particularly mother-daughter relationships and showing Eve, her mother, and Izzie’s mother, too, as women unbendable as oak. [See Prepub Alert, 8/25/19.]

Afterlife

An incisive book that will burrow itself into people’s hearts and stay long after they’ve turned the last page. [See Prepub Alert, 10/7/19.]
PREMIUM

The King of Warsaw

This intelligent and literary novel about the Jewish situation in Poland is presented from an original vantage point. It will be of interest to readers of pre-Holocaust literature and books about the Jewish situation in Europe between World Wars.

Sweet Sorrow

As Charlie notes, displaying a growing understanding of Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet “[is] stuffed with anticipation,” and readers will be, too, as Nicholls masterfully unfolds events. The depth of feeling between friends, family members, and lovers, first time or not
PREMIUM

The Animals at Lockwood Manor

Recommended for fans of Lauren A. Forry, Sarah Perry, and gothic suspense. [See Prepub Alert, 9/16/19.]
PREMIUM

The Happy Camper

Packed with a lot of small-town charm and a little bit of faith, Carlson’s latest (Christmas in Winter Hill) delivers a fun romance with crossover appeal. The author is prolific, but she hasn’t lost her touch for modern romantic fiction. Recommended as a stand-alone for new Carlson readers and fans of Courtney Walsh and Sandra D. Bricker.
PREMIUM

The Paris Library

Plan for extra copies, as this tale has all the hallmarks of a book club pick. [See “Seasonal Selections,” LJ 2/20.]
PREMIUM

The Book of Lost Friends

Emphasizing throughout that stories matter and should never go untold, Wingate has written an absorbing historical for many readers.
PREMIUM

The Perfect World of Miwako Sumida

This haunting tale of grief and tragedy by the author of Rainbirds might appeal to new adults who remember John Green’s Looking for Alaska. The leisurely narrative uncovers a world of Japanese customs, ghosts, and grief. [See Prepub Alert, 9/9/19.]
PREMIUM

Jane Goes North

Lansdale follows his latest “Hap and Leonard” installment, The Elephant of Surprise, with this over-the-top picaresque novel. The crude humor and quirky characters will appeal to the author’s fans.
PREMIUM

Separation Anxiety

Readers who enjoyed Maria Semple’s far superior Where’d You Go, Bernadette or Linda Holmes’s Evvie Drake Starts Over may enjoy this, but it is not Zigman’s best effort. She is a popular writer, though, so buy for demand only. [See Prepub Alert, 9/16/19.]
PREMIUM

The Tourist Attraction

Morganthaler’s debut is an utterly delightful romance with humor, small-town high jinks, and protagonists who share great chemistry.
PREMIUM

The Earl Takes a Fancy

After a somewhat shaky beginning, Heath (The Duchess in His Bed) manages to flesh out her characters enough to add another enjoyable, emotional chapter to the Trewlove saga.
PREMIUM

Conventionally Yours

In the end, this captivating, nerdy romance delivers a satisfying happily ever after.
PREMIUM

Pivot

This anthology is perfect for readers of romantic suspense who are looking for more from the included authors or for introductions to writers who are sure to become future favorites.
PREMIUM

Night of the Billionaire Wolf

Spear (A Billionaire Wolf for Christmas) delivers a layered suspense story, but too many plot threads detract from a romance that is slow to build and sometimes shaky. Paranormal suspense readers seeking a prevalent romance may wish to look elsewhere.
PREMIUM

If I Never Met You

Readers will certainly fall for Laurie and Jamie’s shenanigans in McFarlane’s (You Had Me at Hello) latest. While the recognizable beats of the familiar plot are all there, Laurie’s arc stands out.
PREMIUM

After Sundown

This new collaboration between Howard and Jones (after Running Wild) weaves a moving love story into a community’s journey through hardship and sacrifice. The worldbuilding in this romantic thriller clearly shows how a cataclysmic event brings these self-imposed loners, and their community, together.
PREMIUM

Badger to the Bone

Although the writing is uneven and new series readers may find it hard to keep track of all the characters, the dialog is funny and the story is enjoyable once readers let themselves go along for the ride. This book will appeal to fans of Laurenston’s (Hot and Badgered) earlier work. Purchase where the author or other shifter romances are popular.
PREMIUM

The Most Eligible Lord in London

With a love triangle, a protective Great Dane, and meddling mothers, this new Regency series launch brings on the drama but is filled with tenderness. Readers who recognize characters from Quinn’s earlier “Marriage Game” series (Enticing Miss Eugenie Villaret) will be especially rewarded.
PREMIUM

Bears Behaving Badly

Davidson (Undead and Unwed) is known for combining paranormal romance with a healthy serving of humor, and she brings a heaping dose of both to enhance this newest series.
PREMIUM

Victim 2117: A Department Q Novel

There’s not a lot in the way of rich descriptions or subtle character development in this plot-driven page-turner, but fans of the series will cheer to once again ride along with this band of Danish police. [See Prepub Alert, 8/19/19.]
PREMIUM

The Safety Net

Strongly recommended for purchase where the series is known, this book will also serve as a fine introduction to Camilleri’s oeuvre.
PREMIUM

A Bad Day for Sunshine

Though readers may find it difficult to keep track of the minor characters, this series opener provides plenty of action. Recommended for fans of Linda Castillo and J.A. Jance.
PREMIUM

The Herd

Surprises and suspense married with themes on the nature of womanhood and sisterhood make this ideal for fans of Paula Hawkins’s The Girl on the Train or Gillian Flynn’s Sharp Objects. [See Prepub Alert, 8/25/19.]

A Murderous Relation

Fans of the author and Victorian mystery lovers will enjoy this romp and eagerly await another Veronica and Stoker adventure. [See Prepub Alert, 8/19/19.]
PREMIUM

A Shadow Intelligence

Recommended for fans of Olen Steinhauer’s spy novels and Terry Hayes’s I Am Pilgrim.
PREMIUM

The Hook

The dynamic among Royce, Donne, and Allison is reminiscent of Spenser, Hawk, and Susan Silverman from Robert B. Parker’s “Spenser” novels. Fans of Parker and Ace Atkins will appreciate the smartly paced action the surprising denouement.
PREMIUM

Repo Virtual

White, known mostly for his “VoidWitch Saga,” here twists the volume up, both dramatizing and warning against unchecked AI. What lingers is an important observation: no culture can retain its power and sanity when there are no noncynical eyes to see it. Cyberpunk and general sf readers will enjoy and even learn from this one.
PREMIUM

Critical Point

High-stakes action and emotional velocity are hallmarks of Huang’s writing, creating an engaging and flawed protagonist that many will identify with, even when her internal conflict overwhelms some of the quieter plot threads. The third entry in the “Cas Russell” series (after Null Set) is a sf thriller that fans will truly enjoy.
PREMIUM

Automatic Reload

Steinmetz (The Sol Majestic) delivers a “rom-com with explosions” featuring a hero with PTSD and control issues, and a killer heroine with a panic disorder. The action is nonstop, with issues of mental illness, identity, and humanity woven subtly throughout. Mat breaks the fourth wall in his random musings, rather like a cyborg Deadpool. Recommended for libraries looking for a deliciously over-the-top adventure.

Harrow the Ninth

An incredible journey into the chaos of the mind, Muir’s latest (after Gideon the Ninth) doubles down on all the wonderfully queer and pulpy moments, body horror, and macabre humor of her debut—and exceeds it.
PREMIUM

Looking Glass

Fans of the previous books will adore seeing the characters again and having loose ends tied up. Readers new to the series, however, will be as lost as Alice.
PREMIUM

Anthropocene Rag

Irvine (A Scattering of Jades) has created an interesting yet horrifying world where nanotechnology meets a destroyed Earth. Though tagged as a sf Western, it will also please fans of future apocalyptic novels.
PREMIUM

Cries from the Lost Island

This stand-alone from Gear (coauthor with husband W. Michael Gear, People of the Canyons; Star Path) is a great adventure with lots of suspense and danger, well researched and bringing history to life with vivid descriptions.
PREMIUM

Ship of Fates

Speaking to the difficulties that faced women, particularly immigrants in the 1800s, this is a powerful if bleak look at the nature of California’s Barbary Coast. Recommended for fans of unique historical fiction.
PREMIUM

The Fortress

Jones (Isabelle of the Moon and Stars) creates a world that, while perhaps lacking in worldbuilding elements, deeply explores the meanings of consent and power. There are moments of graphic violence and sex. Fans of Joanne Ramos’s The Farm and Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments may enjoy this role-reversal story.
PREMIUM

Sixteenth Watch

Cole’s (The Killing Light) military experience creates an immersive read. Smart prose and intense conflict will keep readers engaged to the very end.
PREMIUM

Empire City

Super-powered soldiers, civilians, and government secrets tangle together in this alt-reality military science fiction tale. Gallagher’s (Kaboom) sharp prose, fine details, and emotional characters highlight the divisions between the nation’s leaders and residents.
PREMIUM

The Companions

While the worldbuilding might not be robust enough for some sf fans, the strength of this first novel is in the writing and nuanced characters. Through the experiences of people who might no longer be considered fully human, the author thoughtfully explores the nature of humanity.

City of Margins

The author’s exquisitely drawn characters soon uncover secrets and make connections with each other that echo those of a Greek tragedy, with similar results. Boyle comfortably stands next to literary crime favorites like Don Winslow, Richard Price, and Lou Berney.
PREMIUM

The Unwilling

Edgar Award–winning Hart (The Hush) offers another propulsive crime novel that features fully realized, multifaceted characters and a strong sense of place. [See Prepub Alert, 11/25/19.]
PREMIUM

The Eighth Girl

Chung’s compelling debut plumbs the depths of trauma and its long-lasting effects on the human psyche. [See Prepub Alert, 8/25/19.]
PREMIUM

Lavender Blue Murder

Newcomers should find this a great entry point to Child’s established series (after Broken Bone China) and enjoy the charming Charleston, SC, setting, while longtime fans will relish the return of the sassy characters they love. [See Prepub Alert, 8/19/19.]
PREMIUM

The K Team

Fans of the “Andy Carpenter” series will find much to enjoy here, including some cameos from Carpenter himself. [See Prepub Alert, 8/19/19.]
PREMIUM

The Split

Readers will tear through Bolton’s (The Craftsman) latest to find out how the disparate threads connect. While the plot resolves tidily, some readers may be unsettled by the fact that Felicity and Joe are romantically involved after she is his patient. [See Prepub Alert, 9/30/19.]

The Woman in the Mirror

James (Sweet Damage, Beautiful Malice) pens a delectably creepy tale. If Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper and Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre had a baby, it would be this well-crafted Victorian gothic mystery.
PREMIUM

Trace Elements: A Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery

Fans of the series will enjoy this new adventure. [See Prepub Alert, 8/19/19.]

The Marshal and the Mystical Mountain

After 38 years in law enforcement in South Dakota and Wyoming, Wendelboe’s expertise shows in his third violent frontier mystery (after The Marshal and the Sinister Still), which should appeal to fans of Westerns or the work of Craig Johnson or Margaret Coel.
PREMIUM

The Falling Woman

Former pilot Farrell’s skillfully written story of hope, love, and regret contemplated amid a fast-paced, high-pressure major airline accident investigation will appeal to readers who enjoyed Michael Crichton’s Airframe, Gregg Hurwitz’s The Survivor, and Noah Hawley’s Before the Fall.
PREMIUM

In Bed with the Earl

Readers will be drawn to Verity’s independence and Malcolm’s compelling backstory, forgiving a few oddly timed intimate moments, as the pair moves between London’s seedy underbelly and high society to carve out a place of their own.

An Heiress To Remember

Rival store owners, second-chance romance, and a focus on feminism are wrapped up in a thoroughly fun package that’s part Mr. Selfridge mixed with a dash of Gilded Age You’ve Got Mail, producing a winning addition (after Duchess by Design) to Rodale’s popular series.

Lord Holt Takes a Bride

A rollicking Regency road trip with plenty of heat. Fans of Lorret (The Rogue To Ruin) will devour; new readers will want more.
PREMIUM

The Billionaire in Boots

This fast-paced, charming novel is perfect for fans of the earlier books in the series and contemporary romance in general.
PREMIUM

Starbreaker

Bouchet amps up the action and shock factor in this sequel to Nightchaser, while further rounding out the characters, relationships, and plans for this universe. Libraries owning the first book definitely need this one, and others may want to go ahead and get both.
PREMIUM

A Duke Too Far

Ashford continues this sweet Regency series (after How To Cross a Marquess) with a irresistible love story featuring a fearless heroine and a reluctant hero who find the answers they’re searching for in each other, aided by an entertaining ensemble of secondary characters. Series fans will gravitate toward this title, but new readers should start with the first book, Brave New Earl.

The Other Bennet Sister

Readers with fond but not necessarily exhaustive memories of Pride and Prejudice will love this story, as will historical fiction readers looking for intelligent heroines with agency and heart who belong to their time and place without quite fitting in.

Greenwood

Giller and IMPAC–nominated Christie should garner the attention he deserves in America with this spellbinding family saga reflecting fiction’s intensifying interest in the climate crisis as well as humanity’s innate desire to make amends for past wrongs and start anew. [See “Seasonal Selections,” LJ 2/20, p. 27.]

PREMIUM

Always the Last To Know

Established author Higgins (Good Luck with That) has once again created well-developed characters who are flawed yet good-hearted; this family’s ups and downs will resonate with fans of women’s fiction and uplifting stories. [See Prepub Alert, 12/9/19.]
PREMIUM

The Secrets of Love Story Bridge

Tender but twisty, this fourth novel from British author Patrick (The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper) bears the writer’s signature for layered tales of finding family and belonging, as she skillfully reveals the hidden connections that bind the lives of these endearing characters together. [See Prepub Alert, 10/14/19.]

PREMIUM

Precious You

Things progress rather quickly and unrealistically at times, and some of the plot twists are hard to follow, but this debut with an interesting premise is a solid read. It shines a new light on generational dynamics at work, and readers will recognize themselves and others in the characters.
PREMIUM

Night. Sleep. Death. The Stars

A poetic meditation on psychological trauma and a complex and nuanced portrait of a grieving family.
PREMIUM

And They Called It Camelot: A Novel of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis

Readers will enjoy this heartbreaking story of a wife’s fierce pride and loyalty to her president and country, despite years of marital loneliness and loss.
PREMIUM

Lost Autumn

MacColl (In Falling Snow) weaves the threads of each story into a compelling account of friendship, love, loss, and betrayal. This gift to historical fiction readers is also recommended to fans of Pam Jenoff.
PREMIUM

Before Anyone Else

Hooton’s debut captures the dynamic of thirtysomething women as they navigate careers, love, and the everyday struggles of life. It will be popular with fans of Stephanie Evanovich’s Under the Table and other career-oriented chick lit. Readers should not expect uproarious comedic moments, but there is sly humor on the pages.

The Book of Longings

Don’t shy away from this historical fiction page-turner thinking that it falls into the inspirational genre. The intensity, bravery, and strength of character of Ana, wife of Jesus of Nazareth, as imagined by Kidd (The Invention of Wings; The Secret Life of Bees) will inspire readers but in a different way: to live authentically and remain true to oneself.
PREMIUM

It’s Not All Downhill from Here

McMillan (I Almost Forgot About You) delivers humor and wit while dealing with serious issues such as addiction, mental illness, health care, and death. Relatable characters in true-to-life situations will bring back the fans in droves. [See Prepub Alert, 9/16/19.]

Barbara’s Picks: Christina Baker Kline, Christopher Paolini, Jodi Picoult, Ruth Ware; Pop Fiction Previews, Sept. 2020, Pt. 1 | Prepub Alert

Barbara’s Picks: Ayad Akhtar, Fredrik Backman, Mary Gordon, Yaa Gyasi, Hari Kunzru, Sigrid Nunez, Marilynne Robinson; Literary Fiction Previews, Sept. 2020, Pt. 1 | Prepub Alert

Barbara’s Picks: Ann Cleeves, Louise Penny, Anne Perry, Ashley Weaver; Mystery Previews, Sept. 2020, Pt. 1 | Prepub Alert

PREMIUM

Take Me Apart

Love story, hate story, mystery--all in one. For patient readers of feminist, psychological suspense fiction.

PREMIUM

Marguerite

In this somber and beautifully written debut novel, British writer Kemp skillfully draws readers in with her expert storytelling. She knows just when and how much to reveal about her intriguing characters’ secrets and troubled lives.

Godshot

Lacey May’s is an irresistible voice, part gullible believer, part whip-smart independent spirit who surprises at every turn. Debut novelist Bieker weaves in the political battles being fought on multiple fronts
PREMIUM

Gone by Midnight

Readers willing to overlook a few flaws will enjoy this graphic mystery.

PREMIUM

Cross Her Heart

This romantic suspense tale thrusts readers into the action, with one heart-racing, adrenaline-filled scene after another. Leigh’s (“Morgan Dane” series) vulnerable yet strong lead characters add depth to an exciting new series.
PREMIUM

The Sea of Lost Girls

Another strong, well-plotted suspense novel from Goodman (The Lake of Dead Languages), this is recommended for psychological suspense collections. Women’s fiction aficionados may also want to give it a try. [See Prepub Alert, 8/25/19.]
PREMIUM

Grown-Up Pose

Fans of relationship fiction will particularly enjoy the strong ties Anu has with her friends and family.
PREMIUM

The Henna Artist

An uplifting tale that highlights the power of family. For fans of Shobha Rao’s Girls Burn Brighter and the novels of Kristin Hannah. [See Prepub Alert, 9/16/19.]

From Livesey to Yehoshua: Last of the Top Literary Fiction Titles, Aug. 2020, Pt. 4 | Prepub Alert

2020 Forward Forecast: Books To Have on Your Radar Now

Seasonal Selections | Editors' Spring Picks 2020

PREMIUM

Death in the Family

Wegert’s first foray into mystery may be met with limited appeal for lovers of the genre but is overall a valiant effort.
PREMIUM

Ranger McIntyre: The Dunraven Hoard Murders

Fans of descriptive mysteries filled with fishing and nods to the natural environment might appreciate this third in the historical series, following Ranger McIntyre: Small Delightful Murders. Yet its slow-paced and meandering narrative, with victims who are only names, not well-developed characters, may steer readers to try Victoria Houston’s “Loon Lake” mysteries instead.

The Winter Companion

Fans of the “Parish Orphans of Devon” series will adore this final installment, reuniting the orphans and their loves. Matthews (A Convenient Fiction) sensitively portrays a neuroatypical protagonist facing ingrained prejudices, even from friends, and how such preconceptions limits a person’s potential.
PREMIUM

His Secret Mistress

Maxwell (If Ever I Should Love You) provides a brave heroine whom readers will root for in love and life in this first book of a new series. While the couple’s intriguing backstory isn’t as fleshed out as it could be, readers looking for an unconventional Regency romance should give this a try.
PREMIUM

Love, Death & Rare Books

A deep dive into the antiquarian book market, this is best suited for hard-core bibliophiles and literati.
PREMIUM

Vera Violet

Peterson’s debut offers a realistic look at drug-riddled, poverty-stricken towns and lives yet is a difficult read, occasionally overwritten with near-constant metaphors and incredible sadness.

The Rakess

Highly recommended for those unafraid of a grittier love story.

Witchy Women | Fiction, Feb. 2020

Barbara’s Picks (Akwaeke Emezi, Daisy Johnson, Susan Minot, Alice Randall, & Edmund White), Plus North Carolina Setting, Middle East Perspectives, Family Troubles, & Big Debuts: Literary Fiction, Aug. 2020, Pt. 3 | Prepub Alert

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