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PREMIUM

The Ables

Recommended for adult as well as YA sf collections and fans of Ransom Riggs’s Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.

LJ Talks to Seth, Author of Clyde Fans | Graphic Novels, June 2019

Fumbled

Readers who enjoyed Intercepted will definitely want to read more about the love interests of the Mustangs.
PREMIUM

Big Sky

This long-anticipated reappearance of fan-favorite Brodie (following 2011’s Started Early, Took My Dog) is ultimately disappointing. Brodie takes a backseat throughout and the first half is a jumble of the various characters and their nefarious activities. The minimal action occurs toward the end, and the denouement feels contrived. Brodie has seen better days. [See Prepub Alert, 12/6/18.]
PREMIUM

Theme Music

There’s a character in this engaging but somewhat repetitive debut who talks about a “blood bucket,” the amount of violence one can take before it tips over. For fans of A.J. Finn’s The Woman in the Window with sufficiently large buckets, this twist-filled story will be mostly eagerly welcomed.
PREMIUM

A Bloody Business

Scholars and hard-core fans of American mafia history will sift through these stories to find the occasional gem; however, the work isn’t compelling or satisfying enough for leisure readers who can find a better account of the period elsewhere.
PREMIUM

The Golden Hour

Lulu and Elfriede’s stories are built piece by piece, and while the plotting is a bit of a slow burn, Williams’s deft hand with characterization and emotionally connective storytelling pays off for readers in big ways. Recommended. [See Prepub Alert, 1/23/19.]
PREMIUM

The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics

Waite (A Thief in the Nude) delivers a sweet lesbian romance with a hint of spice, fitting into the decorum of the era. Recommended for libraries where LGBT historical romance is popular.
PREMIUM

Love at First Like

This frothy read will be a hit for fans of both Orenstein’s first novel and books by Christina Lauren. [See Prepub Alert, 12/17/18.]

Winter's Debut of the Month, El-Mohtar/Gladstone, Forest, Hall, Huang, Thompson, Wendig, & More | SF/Fantasy, June 2019

PREMIUM

Turbulence

The novel’s global range is impressive and the interconnected stories and overall tone will appeal to readers who enjoyed Lisa Halliday’s Asymmetry and Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad. [See Prepub Alert, 1/23/19.]

PREMIUM

The Plus One

The story brings the notion of suspending disbelief to a new and unrealistic level. An optional purchase

The Organs of Sense

Great fun and notable for its singular style, playful tone, and sense of economy (Sachs covers a huge amount of ground in just over 200 pages), this impressive debut is for fans of George Saunders and Vladimir Nabokov. [See Prepub Alert, 11/12/18.]

PREMIUM

Longer

Blumlein (All I Ever Dreamed) gives us Waiting for Godot, set in space, in succinct and intelligent storytelling.

Snakeskins

Major (You Don’t Belong Here; Blighters) takes a unique concept and creates a compelling plot with engaging, multidimensional characters. Recommended for sf readers and mystery lovers who are willing to expand their horizons.
PREMIUM

Juliet the Maniac

For sophisticated readers, this novel offers an insightful and haunting portrait into a disintegrating mind, featuring visceral descriptions of a girl’s self-loathing and self-destructive behaviors. Yet the difficult subject matter is tempered by the wisdom of the adult author and, for the reader, the knowledge that she has made it through to the other side
PREMIUM

The Fire Opal Mechanism

This engaging stand-alone sequel to The Jewel and Her Lapidary highlights Wilde’s deft prose and fantastical imagination. Readers will enjoy the intersection of knowledge and freedom to learn twisted into something darker.
PREMIUM

Pretty Revenge

Aficionados of the TV show Revenge or those who enjoy contemporary psychological suspense set in an affluent society will want to consider.
PREMIUM

Pass of Fire

Libraries that do not have the entire series will be at a disadvantage, and new readers will have some catching up to do, but military sf enthusiasts, particularly fans of author Harry Turtledove, will be enthralled.
PREMIUM

Green Valley

Readers will appreciate the questions raised, but this is not for the squeamish. Green Valley is not a pretty place.

Chills, Historicals, Women’s Fiction, Fun: Last of the Pop Fiction Previews, Nov. 2019, Pt. 4 | Prepub Alert

No Other Duke but You

With a plot loosely based on Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, this latest installment of the “Playful Brides” (e.g., The Unexpected Duchess) will be enjoyed by many Regency romance readers and fans of the series, especially with the inclusion of characters from the previous novels. Others, however, may grow frustrated with a conflict that feels contrived and the drawn-out miscommunication between our lovers.

The Mister

James, well-known for her best-selling “Fifty Shades” series, brings readers a novel of suspense and sexual awakening. Although the storyline is fairly predictable, fans will not be disappointed with the slow-build crescendo of Maxim and Alessia’s erotically charged romance.
PREMIUM

Heartthrob

Bielman (Talk British to Me) will hook readers with this fun, flirty read and leave them hoping for a sequel. This charming tale is the perfect blend of springtime, baseball, and budding romance.
PREMIUM

Love, Again

This delightful book from Dover (“Gloves Off” series) is about what happens when you return home with a barrelful of remorse and hopes. While some plot points veer into predictable territory, they never stop the warm feelings readers will have for these characters as the story unfolds.
PREMIUM

Fleishman Is in Trouble

Readers of general contemporary fiction who don’t object to explicit language will enjoy.

Summer of ’69

Misunderstandings, secrets, and wrong choices are revealed in this completely satisfying novel that is the beach read of the summer, sure to appeal to Hilderbrand’s fans while earning her new readers. A must buy. [See Prepub Alert, 12/17/18.]

PREMIUM

The Islanders

With complex characters and vivid landscape descriptions, this fun beach read from Moore (The Captain’s Daughter) has just enough drama to keep readers wondering how the story will unfold. For fans of women’s fiction such as the works of Elin Hilderbrand and Nancy Thayer. [See Prepub Alert, 12/17/18.]

PREMIUM

More News Tomorrow

In a well-told tale that is partly a murder mystery, veteran novelist Shreve (You Are the Love of My Life) knows how to build suspense. But mostly this is a family drama about long-hidden secrets and resilience in the face of one sorrow after another.

André Aciman, John Le Carré, Mimi Lemay, Claire North, Kevin Wilson: Barbara’s Picks, Nov. 2019, Pt. 3 | Prepub Alert

A Conversation with Daniela Petrova, author of Her Daughter's Mother

A Conversation with Christopher Klein, author of When the Irish Invaded Canada

The Trouble with Secrets, plus RWA 2019 in New York | Romance, April 2019

Bookish | Fiction, May 2019

PREMIUM

Crime (Fiction) Wave | Mystery Genre Spotlight

Q&A: Ruvanee Pietersz Vilhauer | Mystery Genre Spotlight

Alan Furst, Robert Harris, & Joseph Kanon: Barbara’s Thriller Picks, Nov. 2019, Pt. 2 | Prepub Alert

Christian Fiction Best Sellers, Apr. 2019 | Most in Demand in Libraries & Bookstores

PREMIUM

Fiction, April 26, 2019 | Xpress Reviews

Albom, Bair, Cahalan, Eskens, Jean-Pierre, Morgenstern, Sattouf: Prepub Alert, Nov. 2019, Pt. 1 | Prepub Alert

From Atkins to Thompson: Mystery Previews, Nov. 2019, Pt. 1 | Prepub Alert

PREMIUM

Fiction, April 19, 2019 | Xpress Reviews

McLaughlin/Neal, Moyes, & Racculia: Barbara’s Pop Fiction Picks, Oct. 2019, Pt. 4 | Prepub Alert

Spouses, Siblings, & Women of the French Revolution: Pop Fiction, Oct. 2019, Pt. 4 | Prepub Alert

Aaron/Garney, Dysart/Ponticelli, Ellis & Co., Jensen/Case, Miura, Sturm, & Many More | Graphic Novels, April 2019

PREMIUM

E-Originals, April 12, 2019 | Xpress Reviews

PREMIUM

Fiction, April 12, 2019 | Xpress Reviews

A Conversation with Christopher Castellani, author of Leading Men

Steph Cha, Jane Cockram, Rene Denfeld, Joyce Carol Oates, Richard Russo, Elizabeth Strout: Barbara’s Fiction Picks, Oct. 2019, Pt. 3 | Prepub Alert

Blue Moon, Deserters, and a Book of Bones: Thriller Previews, Oct. 2019, Pt. 3 | Prepub Alert

Christmas Cheer: Fiction Previews, Oct. 2019, Pt. 3 | Prepub Alert

LJ Talks to Humanoids' Jud Meyers | Eye on Publishing

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PREMIUM

Fiction, April 5, 2019 | Xpress Reviews

The Lesson

A compelling tale of invasive occupation and emotional uprising, Turnbull’s debut is complex and enthralling. It’s a must for all libraries, and the writer, who crafts speculative stories with black characters on par with Octavia Butler, is definitely one to watch.

Stephen Chbosky, Jonathan French, Neil Gaiman, Joe Hill, & Josh Malerman: Barbara's SF, Fantasy, & Horror Picks, Oct. 2019, Pt. 2 | Prepub Alert

Exploding Supernovas & Questing Heroes & Heroines: More Big SF, Fantasy, & Horror Previews, Oct. 2019, Pt. 2 | Prepub Alert

PREMIUM

Fiction, March 29, 2019 | Xpress Reviews

Christmas Owls and Curious Toys: Mystery Previews, Oct. 2019, Pt. 1 | Prepub Alert

Literary Award Worthies: Fiction Previews, Oct. 2019, Pt. 1 | Prepub Alert

Ben Lerner, Zadie Smith, and Jeanette Winterson: Barbara’s Fiction Picks, Oct. 2019, Pt. 1 | Prepub Alert

PREMIUM

Fiction, March 22, 2019 | Xpress Reviews

Intimacy and Healing | Erotica, March 2019

Foer, Lemann, O’Brien, & More: Barbara’s Picks, Sept. 2019, Pt. 4 | Prepub Alert

Archer, Cabot, Deveraux, & More: Pop Fiction, Sept. 2019, Pt. 4 | Prepub Alert

Chambers, Chu, Kristoff, & More: Sf/Fantasy/Horror, Sept. 2019, Pt. 4 | Prepub Alert

PREMIUM

Fiction, March 15, 2019 | Xpress Reviews

Ball, Doughty, Jamison, Rushdie, Truong, & Moser on Sontag: Barbara's Picks, Sept. 2019, Pt. 3 | Prepub Alert

Plummeting Elevators and Nazi Spies: Thriller Previews, Sept. 2019, Pt. 3 | Prepub Alert

PREMIUM

Fiction, March 8, 2019 | Xpress Reviews

Marilyn Monroe’s Translator, 1800s Maine, & Women at War: Historical Fiction, Sept. 2019, Pt. 2 | Prepub Alert

Atwood, Barry, Cleeves, Coates, de Robertis, Donoghue, Gappah, Mengiste, Ware, Woodson: Barbara’s Fiction Picks, Prepub Alert, Sept. 2019, Pt. 2 | Prepub Alert

Ten Essential Writers: Literary Fiction, Sept. 2019, Pt. 2 | Prepub Alert

PREMIUM

Before We Were Wicked

Pages of two-person dialog can be clunky (e.g., "I'm a freshman when it comes to sex. You're a grad student"), and commentary about prejudice interrupts the plot with debates about Africans vs. African Americans, low credit scores, and the O.J. trial. Yet Dickey has fans who will appreciate Swift's backstory and especially the hot sex. [See Prepub Alert, 10/29/18.]
PREMIUM

Revolutionaries

Seeking to demythologize an era, Furst upends our often nostalgic, peace-and-love view of the Sixties. He's particularly adept at painting a visceral picture of Freedom's surroundings, using the observational gifts of a child; glimpses of real-life activist figures such as William Kunstler and Phil Ochs add to the verisimilitude. Recommended. [See Prepub Alert, 10/22/18.]

Risky Play

An enjoyable romp that blends sex with soul-searching, as Mackenzie's and Slade's attempts to outrun their problems send them crashing into each other. Recommended for collections seeking erotica with a significant emotional arc.

The Rose

An otherworldly, titillating endeavor. Highly recommended for fans of the author and for readers seeking luscious erotica with more than a touch of magical realism.

Death of a New American

This follow-up to A Death of No Importance (a 2018 LJ Best Crime Fiction pick) is slow to develop, but with an astute amateur sleuth whose evaluation of the roles and positions of women is a crucial element, and a topical story line that emphasizes the immigrant experience and women's lives, this title comes highly recommended. [See Prepub Alert, 10/8/18.]
PREMIUM

Stick Together

Quirky and engaging characters elevate a somewhat predictable mystery in this humorous novel that is sure to please fans of Jussi Adler-Olsen's "Department Q" stories.
PREMIUM

Stay Up with Hugo Best

This poignant first novel will especially appeal to young people trying to make it in a confusing world. [See Prepub Alert, 10/15/18.]
PREMIUM

The Mother-in-Law

Lucy is hoping for when she overhears her future husband ask his mother, Diana, what she thinks of Lucy. Motherless herself, Lucy had been hoping for a warm relationship with Diana; her hopes are worse than dashed when she instead gains a mother-in-law who is cold and controlling. Known only to the reader is that Diana underwent a trauma that left her emotionally unable to function with others except in the most cautious way and frightened to help her children financially, even though she's rich, lest they become as vulnerable as she was. When Diana is found dead—perhaps by suicide but police mount a murder investigation anyway—the drama ramps up as family members and other characters take their turns under the microscope. Infertility issues play a large role in this Australian story and add to the tiptoeing around and agonizing that Hepworth (The Family Next Door) illustrates so well; the conversations among characters are another high point in the writing. VERDICT This absorbing, cleverly written tale is ideal for fans of Emily Elgar's If You Knew Her. [See Prepub Alert, 10/29/18.]

Murder Once Removed

The winner of Minotaur's Malice Domestic Best First Traditional Mystery Novel competition, this debut features an intelligent genealogist detective, a strong supporting cast, some romantic tension, and information about Texas history that should appeal to readers of Rett MacPherson's genealogy mysteries as well as cozy lovers who prefer a dash of history in their mysteries. [See Prepub Alert, 9/10/18.]

Scot & Soda

McPherson stands apart in her ability to tell a hilarious tale while balancing the ramifications of crime. The author follows up Scot Free with another riveting cozy starring Lexy and her quirky yet fiercely loyal friends. This time, however, the deadpan humor is countered by a somber resolution and a story about consequences.
PREMIUM

Daisy Jones & The Six

This latest from Reid (The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo) is for music lovers, romance fans, and anyone who wants to feel invincible with youth, intoxicated by music, and a powerful longing for days gone by. [See Prepub Alert, 10/1/18; also check out the Spotify playlist and forthcoming Amazon Video web-based miniseries.—Ed.]
PREMIUM

Feast Your Eyes

Without being overt, this story is feminist at its core, as Lillian struggles twice as hard to subsist as an artist and is criticized for prioritizing her work over personal relationships. A strong book club pick.
PREMIUM

Roar

Bold, imaginative, eclectic sketches feature women at the crossroads. Their resilience when faced with hardship and their methods of overcoming obstacles help to create a thoroughly challenging, pertinent, and ultimately uplifting read.

The American Agent

This is a fantastic read for historical mystery fans who enjoy complex and flawed characters. Highly recommended for all public libraries.

On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous

Fearless, revelatory, extraordinary; an essential acquisition for every library. [See Prepub Alert, 12/3/18.]
PREMIUM

A Dangerous Collaboration

As there's little substance to the mystery, readers can concentrate on the slowly developing relationship between the fiercely independent Veronica and Stoker, who is still reeling from his wife's betrayal. Those new to the series should read the books in order. [See Prepub Alert, 9/10/18.]

Walking on the Ceiling

A poetic yet intellectual novel; highly recommended. [See Prepub Alert, 1015/18.]
PREMIUM

The Spectators

A Whiting Award winner and Pen/Hemingway nominee, duBois writes an especially timely novel exploring the power of the media to foment chaos and the culpability of the public that validates the discord by watching. [See Prepub Alert, 10/8/18.]

Miracle Creek

With touches of mystery, legal thriller, and character-driven storytelling, where nothing is ever quite as it seems, Kim's promising debut will certainly have readers looking forward to her next offering. [See Prepub Alert, 10/15/18.]
PREMIUM

Poplar Falls: The Death of Charlie Baker

The author of Dark Tales for Dark Nights claims he wrote this book for those who don't like scary stories. But readers who expect a police procedural will be surprised to find a town filled with sex addicts and scandalous behavior. Only for mystery fans with a sense of humor and a penchant for extensive sexual content.
PREMIUM

Thomas and Beal in the Midi

Lovely literary fiction for not only fans of Tilghman's previous work but for anyone interested in that age-old question, What is true love? [See Prepub Alert, 10/22/18.]

The Healer's Daughter

Somewhat reminiscent of Jane Kirkpatrick's A Light in the Wilderness, this is far grittier. Readers who appreciate historical accuracy in their fiction will find this a powerful read. The impressive degree of realism and Hinger's skillful weaving of personalities and story lines make it a real page-turner.
PREMIUM

A Stranger Here Below

With an atmospheric setting and strong sense of place, this leisurely paced historical mystery introduces a religious, reflective protagonist with a strong sense of duty and will be appreciated by readers who enjoy stories about the early development of the United States. The rich details of the experience and treatment of outsiders recalls Eleanor Kuhns's "Will Rees" stories.

Misadventures of a Curvy Girl

A thoroughly enjoyable addition to the series that is bound to tantalize readers. Highly recommended for fans of m/m/f and deliciously effective dirty talk.
PREMIUM

Permission

Highly recommended for fans of weighty, emotionally raw erotica reminiscent of Anaïs Nin.

The Malta Exchange

Thrillers abound, but Berry has the lock on making history zing with breathless suspense and galloping action. Malta and the Vatican are superb settings for this ecclesiastical extravaganza. [See Prepub Alert, 9/17/18.]
PREMIUM

Star-Crossed

Funny and enticing, this novel will appeal to readers who enjoy a hint of slapstick with their fiction. [See Prepub Alert, 11/26/18; library marketing.]
PREMIUM

Blackberry and Wild Rose

Fans of Tracy Chevalier and Jennifer Chiaverini will be captivated by this story for its atmospheric, historically rich drama, and forbidden romance.
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