Prepub Alert: The Complete List | May 2023

All the May 2023 Prepub Alerts in one place, plus a downloadable spreadsheet of all titles from every post.







The May 2023 Prepub Alert posts are also available as a downloadable spreadsheet of titles.  



Armstrong, Kelley. The Poisoner’s Ring: A Rip Through Time Novel. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. (Rip Through Time, Bk. 2). May 2023. 368p. ISBN 9781250820037. $28. Downloadable. MYSTERY/POLICE PROCEDURAL

In A Rip Through Time, Armstrong’s LJ -starred series launch, homicide detective Mallory Atkinson slipped from 2019 Edinburgh to the city’s 1869 alleyways, where she ended up in the body of strangled housemaid Catriona Thomson and pursued Catriona’s killer. In this second outing, she’s still in Victorian Edinburgh, working as an assistant to undertaker Duncan Gray, who doubles as a medical examiner. In their latest case, men are being poisoned, and their forlorn widows—including Gray’s oldest sister—are suspected of murder. With a 50,000-copy first printing.

Haines, Carolyn. Tell-Tale Bones. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. (Sarah Booth Delaney, Bk. 26). May 2023. 368p. ISBN 9781250885852. $28. MYSTERY/COZY

Scrounging for cold cases at the sheriff’s office, Mississippi PI Sarah Booth Delaney and partner Tinkie find Elisa Redd begging the sheriff to reopen the search for her long-missing heiress daughter, Lydia Redd Maxell, who vanished with friend Bethany while working as a human rights organizer. Elisa has always blamed Lydia's husband for her disapperance, and now he's set to inherit Lydia's money. Alas, the first steps in the investigation lead Sarah Booth and Tinkie to an empty—and supposedly haunted—grave. With a 40,000-copy first printing.

Indridason, Arnaldur. The Girl by the Bridge. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. (Detective Konrad, Bk. 2). May 2023. 352p. ISBN 9781250892607. $29. MYSTERY/INTERNATIONAL

Claimant to a CWA Gold Dagger and two Glass Key awards, Indridason returns with series stalwart Konrad, a retired detective here called on to investigate the disappearance of a young woman who was smuggling drugs. The case gets tangled up with his meditations on his father’s long-ago murder and the drowning of a little girl in the Reykjavík city pond. With a 40,000-copy first printing.

Klingborg, Brian. The Magistrate: A Lu Fei Mystery. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. (Inspector Lu Fei, Bk. 3). May 2023. 320p. ISBN 9781250855015. $28. MYSTERY/POLICE PROCEDURAL

In his third outing (after Thief of Souls and Wild Prey), Deputy Chief Inspector Lu Fei has his hands full. Members of the thoroughly corrupt Nangang Benevolent Society are being snatched from the street, and a foreign gangster is found slashed and beaten to death. Meanwhile, someone is attacking the area’s illegal cyber-sex operations while moving behind the scenes to free sex-trafficked teens from North Korea. With a 40,000-copy first printing.

Mason, Tim. The Nightingale Affair. Algonquin. May 2023. 400p. ISBN 9781643750392. $28. Downloadable. MYSTERY/HISTORICAL

During the 1850s Crimean War, the young society women rallied by Florence Nightingale to help save lives at British military hospitals in present-day Turkey are being picked off one by one, their mouths stitched shut by embroidered roses. Sent to investigate, Inspector Charles Field (a real-life detective and model for Inspector Bucket in Charles Dickens’s Bleak House) seems to have solved the case when the main suspect he's cornered commits suicide. But 12 years later, he has his doubts; he’s confronting a killer using the same modus operandi. Following theWall Street Journal best-booked The Darwin Affair.

Page, Katherine Hall. The Body in the Web. Morrow. (Faith Fairchild, Bk. 26). May 2023. 240p. ISBN 9780063252530. $27.99. CD. MYSTERY/AMATEUR SLEUTH

The multi-Agatha-winning Page takes us back to Aleford, MA, where Faith Fairchild hunkers down with her family as COVID hits. Everyone’s managing until a scary Zoom bombing at a virtual town hall targets Faith’s friend, art teacher Claudia. Hours later, Claudia is found dead, and Faith is set to investigate. With a 40,000-copy first printing.

Smith Ian K. The Overnights: An Ashe Cayne Novel. Amistad: HarperCollins. (Ashe Cayne, Bk. 3). May 2023. 368p. ISBN 9780063253711. $27.99. MYSTERY

Top anchor at Chicago TV station WLTV, Morgan Shaw believes that someone wants her dead and asks Black PI loner Ashe Cayne, a principled loner, to protect her. At first, he refuses; bodyguarding isn’t his thing. But he leaps to investigate when Morgan’s tires are slashed, and that pulls him into Morgan’s own investigation—meant to keep her on top of the ratings—of a white cop’s shooting of an unarmed Black man. From New York Times best-selling diet doctor Smith, third in a series launched with The Unspoken, whcih is serving as the basis of a BET+ series; with a 75,000-copy first printing.

Weaver, Ashley. Playing It Safe: An Electra McDonnell Novel. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. (Electra McDonnell, Bk. 3). May 2023. 272p. ISBN 9781250885876. $28. MYSTERY/HISTORICAL

In this third in librarian Weaver's follow-up series to the "Amory Ames" mysteries, expert safecracker Ellie McDonnell is again asked by Major Ramsey of British Intelligence to help Great Britain during World War II. She’s sent under an assumed identity to the port city of Sunderland, where she and Ramsey discover that a dead man is connected to an operation supplying German spies with counterfeit currency. With a 40,000-copy first printing.

Literary Fiction

Ackerman, Elliot. Halcyon. Knopf. May 2023. 256p. ISBN 9780593321621. $28. Downloadable. LITERARY

In an alternative 2004 Virginia, with Al Gore as president, Ackerman’s recently divorced narrator is living at the estate of World War II hero Robert Ableson. Ableson is supposedly dead, but there’s evidence that he’s not—and that scientists funded by the government have discovered a cure for death. From National Book Award winner Ackerman, following his coauthored 2034; with a 40,000-copy first printing.

Cline, Emma. The Guest. Random. May 2023. 304p. ISBN 9780812998627. $28. lrg. prnt. CD. LITERARY

Alex has behaved badly at a dinner party on Long Island’s East End, and the older man she’s been staying with dismisses her with a train ticket back to New York. Instead, she hangs about town, shifting around and managing slyly to insinuate herself into places where initially she isn’t welcome. From the author of the multi-prize-finalist, New York Times best-selling The Girls.

Dalembert, Louis-Philippe. Milwaukee Blues. Schaffner. 260p. tr. from French by Marjolijn de Jager. ISBN 9781639640096. pap. $16.95. LITERARY

Haitian poet/novelist Dalembert addresses the killing of unarmed young Black men by the U.S. police, creating a composite portrait in young Emmett, murdered in Milwaukee, WI. The narrative moves from the Pakistani shopkeeper who dialed 911; to accounts from Emmett’s former girlfriend, friends, teachers, and college football coach; to the march and memorial service following his death. Dalembert’s The Mediterranean Wall was the French Voices Grand Prize Winner for best translation, with de Jager translating.

Davis, Jenny Fran. Dykette. Holt. May 2023. 320p. ISBN 9781250843135. $26.99. LITERARY/LGBTQ+

Partners Sasha and Jesse are thrilled to escape Brooklyn for the holidays, having received an invitation to the country home of two older, distinguished lesbians, news host Jules Todd and her psychotherapist partner, Miranda. They’re joined by Jesse’s best friend, Lou, and Lou’s latest lover, Darcy, whose queer confidence Sasha envies. It will make for roller-coaster week. Davis wrote the YA novel Everything Must Go; with an 80,000-copy first printing.

Deb, Siddhartha. The Light at the End of the World. Soho. May 2023. 458p. ISBN 9781641294669. $27. LITERARY

Author of the International Dublin long-listed An Outline of the Republic, Deb compresses two centuries of India’s history and future possibilities into four main sections—the futuristic, pollution-beset “City of Brume,” Bhopal-haunted “Claustropolis: 1984,” Partition-set “Paranoir: 1947,” and “The Line of Faith: 1859,” with British soldiers seeking fugitives during the Sepoy Rebellion.

Hammid, Isabella. Enter Ghost. Grove. Apr. 2023. 336. ISBN 9780802162380. $27. LITERARY

Following up her multi-award-winning debut, The Parisian, Hammid takes readers to Palestine with actress Sonia Nasir, returning home for the first time in many years. She’s there to visit her sister but soon find herself roped into a West Bank production of Hamlet, learning Gertrude’s lines in classical Arabic and coming to understand the obstacles this production faces.

Kawabata, Yasunari. The Rainbow. Vintage. May 2023. 192p. tr. from Japanese by Haydn Trowell. ISBN 9780593314920. $16. LITERARY

Born of different mothers, half-sisters Momoko and Asako negotiate hard times in post–World War II Japan. Momoko seeks escape in troubling romances after the death of her kamikaze boyfriend, while Asako seeks to locate a third sibling. Nobel Prize winner Kawabata’s 1955 novel is translated into English for the first time.

Keane, Mary Beth. The Half Moon. Scribner. May 2023. 304p. ISBN 9781982172602. $28. lrg. prnt. CD. LITERARY

Longtime bartender Malcolm Gephardt rushes to buy the Half Moon bar when his boss retires, but he soon realizes that his plans for an update might be met with customer resistance. Meanwhile, his marriage gets shaky as his lawyer wife, Jess, realizes that she may not be able to have a child. Events converge as a blizzard hits, a bar patron vanishes, and Malcolm learns something shocking about Jess. From Keane, a National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 honoree, author of the New York Times best-selling Ask Again, Yes.

Kuang, R.F. Yellowface. Morrow. May 2023. 336p. ISBN 9780063250833. $28.99. LITERARY

The careers of June Hayward and Athena Liu have paralleled—both Yalies, they published debuts in the same year. But while Athena gains critical acclaim for her cross-genre work, June’s sales lag. When Athena dies in a terrible accident, June steals her highly anticipated new novel celebrating the Chinese laborers who contributed to the British and French war efforts during World War I. Now she’s basking in glory, but news of her theft is about to break. From the author of the multi-award-nominated “Poppy War” trilogy; with a 150,000-copy first printing.

Lin-Greenberg, Karin. You Are Here. Counterpoint. May 2023. 304p. ISBN 9781640095434. $27. LITERARY

Chinese American author Lin-Greenberg uses the closing of a small-town mall in upstate New York as the locus of multiple stories. While the lone hair stylist at Sunshine Clips watches instructional YouTube videos on the sly, her son’s high school friend, a magician’s assistant and cashier at the mall, counters unwanted attention from an oddball boy. She shares that secret only with the mall’s loner bookstore manager. From a short-fiction champ: Faulty Predictions won the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction, and Vanished won the Prairie Schooner Raz-Shumaker Book Prize.

Mc Ivor, Breanne. The God of Good Looks. Morrow. May 2023. 384p. ISBN 9780063278813. $27.99. LITERARY

Fired from her job when her affair with a married government official offends Trinidad’s conservative society, Bianca Bridge takes a job with makeup artist Obadiah Cortland, a blazing new star in the island’s beauty community who hides his up-from-nothing background. She joins forces with Obadiah to assert herself when her former lover keeps causing her problems. From multiple award finalist Mc Ivor (e.g., the Commonwealth Short Story Prize), author of the collection Where There Are Monsters; with a 75,000-copy first printing.

Porter, Max. Shy. Graywolf. May 2023. 136p. ISBN 9781644452295. $25. LITERARY

A teenager wanders into the night, having sneaked out of a home for “disturbed young men” called Last Chance, and tries to shut down the voices echoing in his head: parents, teachers, those he’s hurt, those who tried to help. “You mustn’t do that to yourself Shy,” he mutters while contemplating both his past and his possibilities. Expect the same vibrantly condensed language of Porter’s Dylan Thomas award-winning, multi-award-nominated Grief Is the Thing with Feathers.

Schiff, Agur. Professor Schiff’s Guilt. New Vessel. May 2023. 336p. tr. from Hebrew by Jessica Cohen. ISBN 9781954404168. pap. $17.95. LITERARY

An Israeli professor journeys to an imaginary West African nation to track a slave-trading ancestor but runs afoul of laws there prohibiting anyone from profiting off the proceeds of enslavement. Examining racism, colonialism, and the Holocaust, award-winning Israeli author Schiff asks whether the professor’s quest is legitimate or merely a trendy ploy that’s enslavement in another guise. With David Grossman, translator Cohen won the 2017 Man Booker International Prize for Translation.

Urrea, Luis Alberto. Good Night, Irene. Little, Brown. May 2023. 336p. ISBN 9780316265850. $29. LITERARY

In 1943, Irene Woodward pushes aside her abusive fiancé in New York to enlist with the Red Cross, befriending Midwesterner Dorothy Dunford as they head toward Europe on a journey that takes them from the Battle of the Bulge to the liberation of Buchenwald. Urrea, a National Book Critics Circle fiction finalist for The House of Broken Angels and Pulitzer Prize finalist for the nonfiction The Devil’s Highway, was inspired to celebrated women’s contributions to World War II by his mother’s own Red Cross service.

Verghese, Abraham. The Covenant of Water. Grove. May 2023. 736p. ISBN 9780802162175. $32. LITERARY

Following 2009’s Cutting for Stone, which sold over 1.5 million copies in the United States alone, practicing physician Verghese’s new work unfolds within the Christian community of Kerala, on southern India’s Malabar Coast. At its heart is a family that suffers successive tragedies, with at least one person in each generation drowning to death. Despite its venerable traditions—the community supposedly dates from the time of the apostles—family matriarch Big Ammachi (i.e., “Big Mother”) knows change is coming.

White, Edmund. The Humble Lover. Bloomsbury. May 2023. 272p. ISBN 9781639730889. $27.99. LITERARY

When high-society octogenarian Aldwych West falls for gorgeous New York City Ballet soloist August Dupond, the young man is soon living in the imperious Aldwych’s apartment in a sort of sponsor/lover/friendship blend. Then August starts bringing home lovers of his own, and a woman in Aldwych’s circle takes an interest in his career. From a National Book Foundation honoree for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.

Wray, John. Gone to the Wolves. Farrar. May 2023. 400p. ISBN 9780374603335. $28. LITERARY

Outsiders in 1980s Florida for their devotion to heavy metal, Kip, Kira, and Leslie travel to Los Angeles, seeking a place where they might belong. They don’t find it, and Kip and Leslie soon veer away from Kira as she veers toward heavy metal’s depths. Then Kira disappears on a birthday trip to Europe, and when her friends finally discover what happened, they must travel worldwide to find her. From Granta Best of Young American Novelists Wray (Godsend); with a 50,000-copy first printing.

Literary Debuts

Agbaje-Williams, Ore. The Three of Us. Putnam. May 2023. 192p. ISBN 9780593540718. $25. LITERARY

Cuffy, Nicole. Dances. One World: Ballantine. May 2023. 288p. ISBN 9780593498156. $27. LITERARY

Denton-Hurst, Tembe. Homebodies. Harper. May 2023. 352p. ISBN 9780063274280. $27.99. LITERARY

Neal, Jennifer. Notes on Her Color. Catapult. May 2023. 336p. ISBN 9781646221196. $27. LITERARY

Nnuro, DK. What Napoleon Could Not Do. Riverhead. Feb. 2023. 368p. ISBN 9780593420348. $27. LITERARY

Oza, Janika. A History of Burning. Grand Central. 400p. ISBN 9781538724248. $29. LITERARY

In Nigerian British author Agbaje-Williams’s auction-hot The Three of Us, a heretofore contented wife discovers the acrimony between her husband and best friend as they dance around her for first place in her attention (75,000-copy first printing). Inaugural winner of the Chautauqua Janus Prize, Cuffy structures Dances according to the basics of ballet as her Black heroine rises to become a principal dancer at the New York City Ballet while struggling with personal issues. From a staff writer at New York magazine’s "The Strategist," Denton-Hurst’s Homebodies features a young Black woman fired from her media job who writes a scorching denunciation of the racism and sexism she encountered in the business that goes viral (75,000-copy first printing). In Pushcart Prize–nominated Neal’s Notes on Her Color a young Black Indigenous woman gifted with the ability to change the color of her skin finds self-respect (and a means of escaping crushing family expectations) with a queer, dark-skinned piano instructor. In What Napoleon Could Not Do, from Ghanian-born Iowa Writers’ Workshop graduate Nnuro, Ghanian computer programmer Jacob can’t win permission from the U.S. government to move to Virginia to be with his wife while Jacob’s sister Belinda is married to a wealthy Black Texan who tries to apprise Jacob of the country’s deep-seated racism (50,000-copy first printing). Drawn from her family’s experience, Pushcart Prize–winning Oza’s A History of Burning opens with Pirbhai’s being taken from India to work on the East African Railway for the British and moves toward the expulsion of his descendants from Uganda in 1972 (50,000-copy first printing)

Story Collections

Castillo, Ana. Dona Cleanwell Leaves Home: Stories. HarperVia. May 2023. 256p. ISBN 9780063259416. $25.99. LITERARY

An award-winning writer of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry that plumbs the Latina experience, Castillo (Black Dove) unwinds stories exploring how women seek to break the boundaries that have been drawn for them and the secrets holding them back. Among the characters: Katia, who wants to join every good Sixties cause but is compelled by her father to seek out her happily liberated mother in Mexico and bring her back to the United States. The publisher hopes to bring Castillo to a larger audience; with a 40,000-copy first printing.

Makhene, Magogodi oaMphela. Innards: Stories. Norton. May 2023. 224p. ISBN 9781324051008. $27.95. LITERARY

Born in apartheid-era South Africa and now living in New York, Rona Jaffe Award and Caine Prize honoree Makhene offers linked stories visiting the residents of the Black township of Soweto in Johannesburg. The fiercely conceived stories in this first collection feature a duplicitous former freedom fighter, a girl rendered mute by witnessing a burning body, and twins locked in relentless battle.

Sze-Lorrain, Fiona. Dear Chrysanthemums: A Novel in Stories. Scribner. May 2023. 160p. ISBN 9781668012987. pap. $18. LITERARY

A musician, translator, and splendid poet (e.g., the LJ best-booked The Ruined Elegance), Paris-based Sze-Lorrain here offers a debut novel in stories. “Cooking for Madame Chiang” (1946) features two cooks caught up in a tragedy; “Death at the Wukang Mansion” (1966), a disgraced dancer; and “The White Piano” (1996), a pianist in Paris assaulted when a piano arrives from Singapore. In “The Invisible Window” (2016), three women gather at a French cathedral after being exiled following the Tiananmen Square massacre.


Banville, John. The Lock-Up. Hanover Square: Harlequin. May 2023. 288p. ISBN . $28.99. CD. THRILLER

Barclay, Linwood. The Lie Maker. Morrow. May 2023. 368p. ISBN 9780063276246. $28.99. lrg. prnt. THRILLER

Bentley, Don. Tom Clancy Flash Point. Putnam. (Jack Ryan Jr., Bk. 10). May 2023. 480p. ISBN 9780593422786. $29.95. lrg. prnt. CD. THRILLER

Cronin, Justin. The Ferryman. Ballantine. May 2023. 560p. ISBN 9780525619475. $30. lrg. prnt. THRILLER

Isaacs, Susan. Bad, Bad Seymour Brown. Atlantic Monthly. May 2023. 400p. ISBN 9780802159069. $27. THRILLER

Lawton, John. Moscow Exile: A Joe Wilderness Novel. Atlantic Monthly. (Joe Wilderness, Bk. 5). May 2023. 448p. ISBN 9780802158024. $27. THRILLER

Maden, Mike. Untitled. Putnam. (Oregon Files, Bk. 17). May 2023. 400p. ISBN 9780593543931. $29.95. lrg. prnt. CD. THRILLER9781335449634

Nakamura, Fuminori. The Rope Artist. Soho Crime. May 2023. 288p. tr. from Japanese by Sam Bett. ISBN 9781641293259. $27.95. THRILLER

Patterson, James & Maxine Paetro. The 23rd Midnight. Little, Brown. (Bk. 23, Women’s Murder Club). May 2023. ISBN 9780316402781. $30. lrg. prnt. CD. THRILLER

Pochoda, Ivy. Sing Her Down. MCD: Farrar. May 2023. 288p. ISBN 9780374608484. $28. THRILLER

Powers, Kevin. A Line in the Sand. Little, Brown. May 2023. 368p. ISBN 9780316507127. $29. THRILLER

Roberts, Nora. Identity. St. Martin’s. May 2023. 448p. ISBN 9781250284112. $30. CD/downloadable. THRILLER

Smith, Martin Cruz. Independence Square: Arkady Renko in Ukraine. S. & S. May 2023. 288p. ISBN 9781982188306. $27.99. CD. THRILLER

In The Lock-Up, Booker Prize winner Banville returns to 1950s Dublin, where pathologist Dr. Quirke and DI St. John Strafford are investigating the murder of a young history scholar when her sister points them to a powerful German family newly arrived in town after World War II (100,000-copy first printing). In Barclay’s The Lie Maker, struggling author Jack is offered big money to write false histories for people in the witness protection program and now has the means to find his father, who vanished into the program when Jack was just a child (100,000-copy first printing). Bentley’s Tom Clancy Flash Point gives Jack Ryan Jr. a terrorist plot to crack, but it turns out to be part of a larger, grimmer scheme. On the island paradise of Prospera, residents live contentedly until they’re warned by a monitor embedded in their forearms that it’s time for renewal and board the ferry for the Nursery, but The Ferryman (and some island resisters) begin to suspect that all is not as benevolent as it seems; a stand-alone from Cronin, seven years after he wrapped up his “Passage” series. With Bad, Bad Seymour Brown, New York Times best-selling author Isaacs brings back former FBI agent Corie Geller and her father, a retired NYPD cop, who must solve a cold case to prevent the murder of the crime’s only survivor—unassuming professor April Brown, whose father laundered money for the Russian mob. Lawton’s Moscow Exile moves from 1950s Washington, DC, where British-born socialite Charlotte has a pack of secrets to pass on to old flame Charlie Leigh Hunt at the British embassy, and 1969, with Joe Wilderness trapped behind the Iron Curtain and the stories converging in Berlin. Maden’s Untitled new Cussler adventure brings back Juan Cabrillo and the crew of the Oregon for more fun and games. In Nakamura’s latest, two detectives investigate the murder of The Rope Artist—an instructor in kinbaku, a form of rope bondage with both spiritual and sexual overtones—with Togashi finding himself pulled toward his own unorthodox desires and straight-arrow colleague Hayama seeking the truth in a case that’s getting out of control. In The 23rd Midnight, Patterson and Paetro team up for another visit with the Women’s Murder Club, as someone copycats the methods of a serial killer jailed by Det. Lindsay Boxer and profiled in a best seller by reporter Cindy Thomas, both women’s murder clubbers. In multi-award-finalist Pochada’s Sing Her Down, the imprisoned Diosmary Sandoval suspects that cellmate Florence "Florida" Baum isn’t the innocent victim she claims to be and hounds her relentlessly when both are unexpectedly released (100,000-copy first printing). National Book Award finalist Powers (The Yellow Birds) draws A Line in the Sand with his first thriller, about former Iraqi interpreter Arman Bajalan, working at the Sea Breeze Motel in Norfolk, VA, after having barely survived the assassination attempt that killed his wife and child, who discovers a dead body on the beach (60,000-copy first printing). When her roommate is killed at the first party they throw at their Baltimore-area apartment, Morgan learns that she was the intended victim of the assailant, who steals each target’s Identity and then kills her; a million-copy first printing for Roberts. After more than four decades of thrillers reflecting Soviet/Russian events, Smith drops longtime protagonist Arkady Renko in Independence Square in Kyiv, where Renko has gone to find the anti-Putin daughter of an acquaintance. Meanwhile, Renko discovers that he has Parkinson’s Disease, as does Smith.

Thrillers: Rising Stars

Abel, Barbara. Mothers’ Instinct. HarperVia. May 2023. 352p. tr. from French by Susan Pickford. ISBN . pap. $17.99. THRILLER/DOMESTIC

David and Laetitia Brunelle and Sylvain and Tiphaine Geniot are the closest of couples, their sons—Milo and Maxime, respectively—like brothers. But when Maxime is killed in an accident, the Brunelles feel so awkward around the grieving Genoits that the couples pull apart. Then freakish little accidents plague Milo, and Laetitia suspects her former friends. Belgian author Abel makes her U.S. debut with a 75,000-copy first printing; look for the forthcoming film starring Anne Hathaway and Jessica Chastain.

Murphy, Nora. The New Mother. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. May 2023. 304p. ISBN 9781250822444. $28. CD/downloadable. SUSPENSE

When her husband returns to work after the birth of their son, Oliver, Natalia is left alone in a new house and a new neighborhood with a fussy baby who won’t sleep. Neighbor Paul proves a godsend, managing Oliver in the way his own father can’t, but unfortunately Paul wants something in return. A debut novel with a 75,000-copy first printing.

Rosenblum, Emma. Bad Summer People. Flatiron: Macmillan. May 2023. 272p. ISBN 9781250887009. $28.99. THRILLER

During the summer, Jen Weinstein and Lauren Parker dominate the town of Salcombe, on fashionable Fire Island off Long Island’s southern shore, where their husbands have summered together since childhood. It looks like another fun sun-and-salt season until a dead body appears on the boardwalk. Rosenblum debuts with a 200,000-copy first printing.

Walters, Vanessa. The Nigerwife. Atria. May 2023. 320p. ISBN 9781668011089. $27.99. THRILLER

One of the Nigerwives—foreign women married to rich Nigerian men—Nicole Oruwari left drizzly London behind to lead a life of luxury in Lagos. When she disappears, her estranged auntie Claudine boards a plane for Lagos and starts investigating, discovering things about Nicole that an aunt would never want to know about a niece. From London-born, Brooklyn-based debuter Walters.9780063306318

Historical Fiction

Bell, Celia. The Disenchantment. Pantheon. May 2023. 368p. ISBN 9780593317174. $28. Downloadable. HISTORICAL FICTION

Henry, Patti Callahan. The Secret Book of Flora Lea. Atria. May 2023. 368p. ISBN 9781668011836. $28.99; pap. ISBN 9781668023136. $17.99. HISTORICAL FICTION

Jackson, Buzzy. To Die Beautiful. Dutton. May 2023. 448p. ISBN 9780593187210. $27. HISTORICAL FICTION

Morton, Kate. Homecoming. Mariner: HarperCollins. Apr. 2023. 560p. ISBN 9780063020894. $29.99. HISTORICAL

Noble, Shelley. The Tiffany Girls. Morrow Paperbacks. May 2023. 432p. ISBN 9780063252448. $17.99. HISTORICAL FICTION

Paul, Crystal Smith. Did You Hear About Kitty Karr? Holt. May 2023. 416p. ISBN 9781250815309. $27.99. Downloadable. HISTORICAL FICTION

Saint, Jennifer. Atalanta. Flatiron: Macmillan. May 2023. 288p. ISBN 9781250855572. $28.99. Downloadable. HISTORICAL FICTION

Shaara, Jeff. The Old Lion: A Novel of Theodore Roosevelt. St. Martin’s. May 2023. 448p. ISBN 9781250279941. $30. CD. HISTORICAL FICTION

Turnbull, Bryn. The Paris Deception. Mira: Harlequin. May 2023. 400p. ISBN 9780778307662. $28.99; pap. ISBN 9780778333418. $17.99. HISTORICAL FICTION

Weir, Alison. The King’s Pleasure: A Novel of Henry VIII. Ballantine. May 2023. 512p. ISBN 9780593355060. $30. HISTORICAL FICTION

In award-winning debuter Bell’s The Disenchantment, unhappily married Baroness Marie Catherine and self-confident Mademoiselle de Conti become lovers in a 17th-century Paris beset by scheming nobility and servants immured in witchcraft (35,000-copy first printing). In The Secret Book of Flora Lea, from New York Times best-selling, Christy Award–winning Henry, Hazel unwraps a package at the rare bookstore where she works to discover a book telling the story she made up for her little sister, who vanished after they were evacuated from World War II London two decades previously. Jackson follows up award-winning nonfiction with To Die Beautiful, based on the life of World War II Dutch Resistance fighter Hannie Schaft, who also figures in Noelle Salazar’s recent Angels of the Resistance (50,000-copy first printing). In Morton's latest, Jess has an uncomfortable Homecoming when she returns from London to Australia after the grandmother who raised her is hospitalized; she learns that her family is linked to a horrific unsolved 1959 crime (250,000-copy first printing).New York Times best-selling author Noble tells the story of The Tiffany Girls, who did much of the design and construction of Tiffany’s glorious glassworks without credit (75,000-copy first printing). Paul’s Did You Hear About Kitty Karr? features Elise St. John, a young Black woman who is startled that she and her sisters have inherited the multimillion-dollar estate of star Kitty Karr Tate; then she learns that Kitty was actually her grandmother, passing for white (100,000-copy first printing). After the celebratedAriadne and Elektra, Saint brings us Atalanta, the story of a masterly huntress who was the only woman to sail with the Argonauts (125,000-copy first printing). A four-time winner of the American Library Association's William Boyd Young Award (for excellence in military fiction), New York Times best-selling author Shaara limns the life of Theodore Roosevelt in The Old Lion (100,000-copy first printing). Working at the Jeu de Paume during World War II after having fled Germany, Sophie executes a Paris Deception in Turnbull’s latest; she rescues modernist paintings looted from Jewish families and set for destruction by smuggling them out of the museum and replacing them with forgeries created by her sister-in-law (75,000-copy paperback and 10,000-copy hardcover first printing). Famed novelist/historian Weir follows up her “Six Tudor Queens” series by reimagining Henry VIII in The King’s Pleasure.

Top Pop Fiction

Barry, Dave. Swamp Story. S. & S. May 2023. 336p. ISBN 9781982191337. $28.99. CD. HUMOROUS

Stuck in a tumbledown Everglades shack with a nasty ex-boyfriend and an infant daughter, Jesse thinks she’s found a way out: she’s tripped over a long-lost treasure. Unfortunately, a bunch of bad guys are also looking for the treasure, even as tourists storm the swamp in search of the Everglades Melon Monster, tricked by Ken Bortle’s ploy to shore up his floundering bait’n’beer business. From Pulitzer Prize–winning New York Times best-selling Floridian Barry.

Bauermeister, Erica. No Two Persons. St. Martin’s. May 2023. 320p. ISBN 9781250284372. $28. Downloadable. CONTEMPORARY

Though gifted, Alice can’t find her voice as a writer until tragedy shatters her life, compelling her to write a stunning debut novel. Among readers who find it life-changing are an unhoused teenager, a grieving widower, a love-hungry bookseller, a risk-taking athlete, and an angry artist frothing to take on the world. From the author of the best-selling novel The Scent Keeper; with a 150,000-copy first printing.

Brammer, Mikki. The Collected Regrets of Clover. St. Martin’s. May 2023. 320p. ISBN 9781250284396. $28. Downloadable. CONTEMPORARY

When her grandfather dies alone while she is traveling, Clover commits herself to being a death doula, gently helping people through their last moments of life. But she has no life of her own until a client’s final wishes send her cross-country in search of an old love story—and the courage to change. A 100,000-copy debut from Australian author Brammer.

Forrey, Avery Carpenter. Social Engagement. Mariner: HarperCollins. May 2023. 336p. ISBN 9780063294905. $28.99. CONTEMPORARY

Within hours of getting married, Callie Holt knows that she’s made a mistake. With her dull financier husband passed out, she eats pizza in their bathtub at a swank wedding venue while scrolling through old photographs on her phone, trying to figure out what went wrong. Could it have something to do with mega-rich friend Virginia and the uncomfortable things she’s learned about Virginia’s family? A peek at the millennial marriage scene from debuter Forrey; with a 100,000 copy first printing.

Hostin, Sunny. Summer on Sag Harbor. Morrow. May 2023. 432p. ISBN 9780062994219. $28.99. lrg. prnt. CD. CONTEMPORARY

Stung by the betrayal of surrogate father Omar even as she continues puzzling over her biological father’s long-ago death, successful financier Olivia seeks renewal by moving to a summer home in SANS (Sag Harbor Hills, Azurest, and Nineveh), a quiet Hamptons enclave for the Black elite since the 1930s. Unfortunately, developers are on their way to SANS, too. Following Hostin’s top-selling debut, Summer on the Bluffs, which is being made into a film by Hostin’s new production company; with a 200,000-copy first printing.

Lane, Byron. Big Gay Wedding. May 2023. 352p. ISBN 9781250267146. $26.99. Downloadable. LGBTQ+

Barnett Durang’s widowed mother knows that he’s gay, but she doesn’t yet know that he’s getting married—at her farm, no less, in a small and not altogether tolerant Louisiana town. And 200 people will be attending. From the author of A Star Is Bored, a debut novel based on his experiences as Carrie Fisher’s assistant; with a 60,000-copy first printing.

Littlewood, Fran. Amazing Grace Adams. Holt. May 2023. 272p. ISBN 9781250857019. $27.99. Downloadable. CONTEMPORARY

At age 45, Grace Adams has been feeling stuck in life for quite some time, and now she’s stuck in a monster traffic jam. Deciding that she’s hit her limit, she abandons her car and starts marching across London, carrying an extravagant cake as a peace offering to her estranged 16-year-old daughter and determined to reassert herself in the world. Preempted in multiple countries and optioned for film; a debut with a 300,000-copy first printing.

Luo, Susie. Paper Names. Hanover Square: Harlequin. May 2023. 320p. ISBN 9781335426888. $27.99. CONTEMPORARY

Chinese-born engineer Tony, now a Manhattan doorman. Tony’s first-generation daughter, Tammy, caught between her dreams and her family’s ambitions for her. And Oliver, a handsome white lawyer in Tony’s building contending with his family’s troubled past. As their stories unfold over three decades, they are brought together by a terrible act of violence. Luo debuts with a 100,000-copy first printing.

McCall Smith, Alexander. The Private Life of Spies and the Exquisite Art of Getting Even: Stories. Pantheon. May 2023. 304p. ISBN 9780593700693. $27. lrg. prnt. SHORT STORIES

The author of the popular “No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency” series returns with a short story collection that’s neatly split between spy stories and tales of revenge, though the tone is lighter and funnier than one might expect. A spy dropped into enemy territory must disguise himself as a nun, for instance, while elsewhere an author facing disgrace redeems himself with an act of kindness. With a 100,000-copy first printing.

Sloan, Holly Goldberg. Pieces of Blue. Flatiron: Macmillan. May 2023. 272p. ISBN 9781250847300. $28.99. Downloadable. CONTEMPORARY

After her husband’s death in a surfing accident, Lindsey seeks to start over by buying a charming if slightly tattered motel in Hawai’i. Her children adjust quickly—Olivia starts crushing on a local skateboarder, Carlos remakes himself as cool-kid Carl, and little Sena devotes herself to the motel chickens—but Lindsey is overwhelmed by her new business venture until an attractive stranger offers to help. Is he too good to be true? A debut adult novel from New York Times best-selling YA author Sloan; with a 75,000-copy first printing.

Smale, Holly. Cassandra in Reverse. Mira: Harlequin. May 2023. 400p. ISBN 9780778334538. $27.99. CONTEMPORARY

One terrible day, Cassandra Dankworth is dumped by her boyfriend and loses her PR job for not being a people person. By evening, she’s delighted when her ex shows up, but the next morning the whole sequence starts again, and she finds herself repeating the same unbearable 24 hours, determined to fix what’s wrong with her life until she realizes she’s been focusing on the wrong problems. Best-selling YA author Smale, who discovered that she was autistic as an adult, features a neurodivergent protagonist; with a 50,000-copy first printing.

Thayer, Nancy. All the Days of Summer. Ballantine. May 2023. 320p. ISBN 9780593358450. $28. CD. CONTEMPORARY

No word yet on the plot of this latest book from beach-reads queen Thayer, but the setting is again Nantucket, and talk of love, family, and friendship is promised


Blackgoose, Moniquill. To Shape a Dragon’s Breath: The First Book of Nampeshiweisit. Del Rey: Ballantine. May 2023. 528p. ISBN 9780593498286. pap. $18. FANTASY

Cervantes, J.C. The Enchanted Hacienda. Park Row: Harlequin. May 2023. 352p. ISBN 9780778334057. $27.99. FANTASY

Huang, S. L. The Water Outlaws. May 2023. ISBN 9781250180421. $28.99. FANTASY

Jackson, Sarah K. Not Alone. Doubleday. May 2023. 288p. ISBN 9780385548434. $27. Downloadable. DYSTOPIAN

Khaw, Cassandra. The Salt Grows Heavy. Tor Nightfire. May 2023. 112p. ISBN 9781250830913. $21.99. Downloadable. HORROR

McNamara, Luna. Psyche and Eros. Morrow. May 2023. 304p. ISBN 9780063295070. $27.99. FANTASY

Paolini, Christopher. Fractal Noise. Tor. May 2023. 240p. ISBN 9781250862488. $28.99. CD. SF

Saintcrow, Lilith. Spring’s Arcana. Tor. May 2023. 368p. ISBN 9781250791641. $30.99; pap. ISBN 9781250791658. pap. $17.99. FANTASY

Wells, Martha. Witch King. May 2023. 432p. ISBN 9781250826794. $28.99. Downloadable. FANTASY

Set in an alternate 1840s New England, To Shape a Dragon’s Breath features Indigenous teenager Anequs, honored by her people when she bonds with a newly hatched dragon but challenged by the repressive rules at her dragon school, run by Anglish conquerors; debuter Blackgoose is an enrolled member of the Seaconke Wampanoag Tribe. Disappointed in love and life, Harlow Estrada returns home to The Enchanted Hacienda, where the women in her family purvey a gift she lacks, creating magic from flowers—but who knows what kind of magic might come her way as she runs the house in their absence; an adult debut from best-selling YA/Middle School author Cervantes. In The Water Outlaws, Hugo Award winner Huang draws on the Chinese classic Water Margin to tell the story of Lin Chong, who is driven from her job training the emperor’s soldiers and taken in by the Bandits of Liangshan—thieves and murderers who seek justice for the empire’s downtrodden (30,000-copy first printing). Living in an isolated apartment outside London five years after a microplastic storm killed most of Earth’s population, Katie and son Harry—born after the storm—learn they are Not Alone in ecologist Jackson’s debut; a stranger barges in, unsettling their lives but inspiring Katie to seek out her fiancé. In British Fantasy winner/Bram Stoker finalist Khaw’s The Salt Grows Heavy, a mermaid murders her husband, destroys his kingdom, and runs off with a mysterious doctor to the taiga, where they discover a village full of creepy children whose blood sport jeopardizes their visitors (125,000-copy first printing). It is foretold that Psyche will vanquish a monster that makes even the gods quake, and she dutifully trains for battle, but in debuter McNamara’s retelling of the Psyche and Eros myth, her victim is the god of love himself, pricked by his own arrow (100,000-copy first printing). In the mega-best-selling Paolini’s Fractal Noise, a huge pit clearly made by someone or something is spotted by the crew of the Adamura on the supposedly uninhabited planet of Talos, and a team is dispatched to investigate (400,000-copy first printing). Seeking a cure for her desperately ill mother, Nat Drozdova travels to a snow-shrouded Manhattan skyscraper, where she encounters a winter goddess who sends her on a dangerous mission in the New York Times best-selling Saintcrow’s Russian fantasy–inspired Spring’s Arcana (100,000-copy paperback and 10,000-copy hardcover first printing). In this new fantasy from Wells, winner of Hugo, Nebula, Locus, and Alex honors for her New York Times best-selling “Murderbot Diaries” series, Witch King Kai-Enna has been confined to a complex water trap after being murdered and is struggling to understand why he was imprisoned and why the Rising World Coalition is getting stronger by the day (200,000-copy first printing).


Current Events

Hall, Benjamin. Untitled. Harper. May 2023. 304p. ISBN 9780063309661. $29.99. INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS/MEMOIR

A war correspondent who switched to covering the U.S. State Department for Fox News, British journalist Hall decided that he had help report on the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. On March 14, 2022, he was seriously injured in a drone attack that killed Ukrainian journalist Oleksandra Kuvshynova and Hall’s Irish cameraman, Pierre "Zak" Zakrzewski. Here he talks about his rescue, his ongoing efforts to recover, and his wartime experiences in Ukraine and elsewhere. With a 150,000-copy first printing.

Haugen, Frances. Every Choice Matters: How I Found the Strength To Tell the Truth and Why I Blew the Whistle on Facebook. Little, Brown. May 2023. 320p. ISBN 9780316475228. $30. TECHNOLOGY/MEMOIR

In 2021, data engineer and product manager Haugen disclosed tens of thousands of Facebook's internal documents to the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Wall Street Journal. Her aim was to show that Facebook not only set its algorithm to reward extremism but that it knew the platform was being used to spread lies and stir up violence. Here she explains how and why she became a whistleblower.

Pahlka, Jennifer. Recoding America: Why Government Is Failing in the Digital Age and How We Can Do Better. Metropolitan: Holt. May 2023. 320p. ISBN 9781250266774. $29.99. POLITICAL SCIENCE/TECHNOLOGY

Former deputy chief technology officer of the United States and in that capacity founder of the United States Digital Service—a gathering of top technologists tasked with improving government operations—Pahlka also founded Code for America, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization aiming to help the public sector catch up with the private sector in its effective use of technology. Here she provides a blueprint for how that can be done. With a 60,000-copy first printing.

Sengeh, David Moinina. Radical Inclusion: Seven Steps Toward Creating a More Just Society. Flatiron: Macmillan. May 2023. 256p. ISBN 9781250827746. $26.99. Downloadable. SOCIAL SCIENCE/ACTIVISM

Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education and Chief Innovation Officer for the Directorate of Science, Technology and Innovation in Sierra Leone, Sengeh was shocked by opposition to his lifting the policy banning pregnant girls from attending school. Everyone, he felt, deserved an education. Here he uses his battle to reverse the ban as a template for a radical reimagining of engrained practices, drawing on personal experiences from racial profiling as a Harvard student to combatting algorithmic bias as a data scientist to envision a more just society. The first title from Melinda French Gates’s Moment of Lift Books.

Sexton, Joe. The Lost Sons of Omaha: Two Young Men in an American Tragedy. Scribner. May. 2023. 384p. ISBN 9781982198343. $30. SOCIAL SCIENCE/ACTIVISIM

On May 30, 2020, during protests in Omaha, NE, following George Floyd’s murder, white bar owner Jake Gardner shot Black protestor James Scurlock to death. An investigation by white district attorney Don Kleine concluded that Gardner had legally acted in self-defense and released him, while a second investigation by Black special prosecutor Fred Franklin indicted Gardner for manslaughter and demanded that he face trial. Gardner subsequently committed suicide. Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Sexton examines the truths and falsehoods surrounding the case as he reflects on issues of divisiveness and social justice in the United States today.

Shahvisi, Arianne. Arguing for a Better World: How Philosophy Can Help Us Fight for Social Justice. Penguin. May 2023. 336p. ISBN 9780143136835. pap. $18. Downloadable. ETHICS/PHILOSOPHY

A professor of ethics at the Brighton and Sussex Medical School, Kurdish-British author Shahvisi examines how we can better understand our own beliefs—and therefore argue them more effectively as a means of promoting justice and understanding—by first examining our own deep-seated assumptions. Shahvisi has worked as an ethics consultant for Doctors Without Borders and the UK government, and UK rights were sold in a seven-way auction, presaging interest.

Taylor, Miles. Blowback: A Warning To Save Democracy from the Next Trump. Atria. May 2023. 256p. ISBN 9781668015988. $30. POLITICAL SCIENCE

In 2018, former Department of Homeland Security chief of staff Taylor wrote an anonymous opinion piece for the New York Times titled “I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration,” explaining that he and other members of the administration saw Donald Trump as dangerously unfit for office and sought to undermine his orders for the sake of the country. He subsequently wrote the New York Times best-selling A Warning, also anonymously. Here he comes out to warn against a second Trump presidency and the continued fracturing of the country.

Tobar, Héctor. Our Migrant Souls: A Meditation on Race and the Meanings and Myths of “Latino.” MCD: Farrar. May 2023. 256p. ISBN 9780374609900. $27. SOCIAL SCIENCE

A Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist whose books include the New York Times best-selling Deep Down Dark and the Carnegie Medal long-listed novel The Last Great Road Bum, Tobar draws on personal experience as the son of Guatemalan immigrants and conversations with his students to clarify what the term Latino truly signifies and challenge the stereotyping and harassment frequently experienced by Latinx people today. With a 100,000-copy first printing.

Toobin, Jeffrey. Homegrown: Timothy McVeigh and the Rise of Right Wing Extremism. May 2023. 448p. ISBN 9781668013571. $29.99. POLITICAL SCIENCE

After the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, Timothy McVeigh declared, “I believe there is an army out there, ready to rise up, even though I never found it.” Here, top-notch journalist and New York Times best-selling author Toobin offers not just a thoroughgoing account of the bombing but its consequences, showing how McVeigh’s tactics and beliefs have spread in the intervening years, culminating in the January 6 insurrection.

Wong, Chun Han. Party of One: The Rise of Xi Jinping and China’s Superpower Future. Avid Reader: S. & S. May 2023. 400p. ISBN 9781982185732. $30. POLITICAL SCIENCE

When the Chinese government refused to renew Wall Street Journal reporter Wong’s press credentials and shoved him from mainland China in 2019, he moved to Hong Kong and continued reporting on Chinese politics from afar. Here, he relies on conversations with Party insiders and grassroots members, scholars and diplomats, plus analyses of official speeches and documents to offer a portrait of Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, and his rise to extraordinary power.

Zhadan, Serhiy. Sky Above Kharkiv: Dispatches from the Ukrainian Front. Yale Univ. May 2023. 160p. tr. from Ukrainian by Reilly Costigan-Humes & Isaac Stackhouse Wheeler. ISBN 9780300270860. $26. INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Author of the PW best-booked Orphanage and the LJ-starred Mesopotamia, Ukrainian novelist Zhadan turned to social media when Russia invaded his country in February 2022, coordinating a network of resistance workers and sending encouragement to his compatriots. His efforts quickly drew an audience worldwide. This volume covers the first four months of the war, with Zhadan bearing witness to Russian atrocities and relating his adjustment, day by day, to a new reality. On October 24, Zhadan received the German Friedenpreis (Peace Prize) from the German Publishers and Booksellers Association at the Frankfurt Book Fair.


Branigan, Tania. Red Memory: The Afterlives of China’s Cultural Revolution. Norton. May 2023. 288p. ISBN 9781324051954. $29.95. HISTORY/CHINA

The Guardian’s former China correspondent, Branigan argues that today’s China cannot be understood without understanding the Cultural Revolution (1966–76), during which two million people died and tens of millions were ostracized or imprisoned amid accusations that they were class enemies. Here she focuses on the long-term trauma and the burdens of enforced silence.

Brewster, Todd. American Childhood: A Photographic History. Scribner. May 2023. 320p. ISBN 9781501124884. $35. HISTORY/UNITED STATES

A veteran journalist who coauthored the No. 1 New York Times best-selling The Century, Brewster raided the collections of the Library of Congress, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the New York Public Library, and the Magnum Photo Agency, while storming through dozens of other archives, flea markets, and antique shops, to find the 200 images from which this photographic history of U.S. childhood was built. The children represented range widely across race, class, and location.

Holley, Santi Elijah. An Amerikan Family: The Shakurs and the Nation They Created. Mariner: HarperCollins. May 2023. 320p. ISBN 9780358588764. $32.50. CD. HISTORY/UNITED STATES

Journalist Holley investigates the Black liberation movement in the United States during the last half-century through one of its most activist groups: the Shakur family. Readers will be familiar with author and thinker Assata Shakur, living for three decades in Cuban exile, and the late rapper Tupac. But the family—and its influence—is much more extensive. With a 75,000-copy first printing.

Kix, Paul. You Have To Be Prepared To Die Before You Can Begin To Live: Ten Weeks in Birmingham That Changed America. Celadon: Macmillan. May 2023. 416p. ISBN 9781250807694. $30. Downloadable. HISTORY/UNITED STATES

Looking at footage of George Floyd’s death, Black journalist Kix was reminded of the famous image taken in 1963 in Birmingham, AL, showing a white policeman whose dog is leaping ferociously at a Black teenager. That made him ponder the consequences of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference’s 10-week campaign in 1963 to end segregation in Birmingham, the most segregated city in United States. With a 60,000-copy first printing.

Kroeger, Brooke. Undaunted: How Women Changed American Journalism. Knopf. May 2023. 592p. ISBN 9780525659143. $35. Downloadable. HISTORY/JOURNALISM

From Margaret Fuller to Nellie Bly, Ida Tarbell, and Ida B. Wells to the women who reported major news from the Civil War, World War II, and beyond to more recent stars like Joan Didion, Cokie Roberts, Charlayne Hunter-Gault, and those following the #MeToo movement, veteran journalist Kroeger sweepingly chronicles the women who have shaped journalism in the United States.

Mac Sweeney, Naoíse. The West: A New History in Fourteen Lives. Dutton. May 2023. 416p. ISBN 9780593472170. $28. HISTORY/WORLD

A University of Vienna archaeology professor, Mac Sweeney argues that Western civilization is not a single culture stretching back to ancient Greece, a concept conjured by collective imagination. She makes her case by portraiture, moving from multiracial Greek historian Herodotus and influential poet Phyliss Wheatley, born in Africa and enslaved in the British colony of Massachusetts, to medieval Arab scholar Al-Kindi and British statesman William Gladstone.

Risen, James. The Last Honest Man: The CIA, the FBI, the Mafia, and the Kennedys—and One Senator’s Fight To Save Democracy. Little, Brown. May 2023. 480p. ISBN 9780316565134. $30. HISTORY/UNITED STATES

With the national security state growing ever larger, two-time Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Risen (Pay Any Price) tracks back to the 1970s, when Idaho senator Frank Church challenged intelligence abuses following the Watergate scandal. In the process, he uncovered assassination plots by the CIA, links between the Kennedys and the Mafia, and the surveillance of civil rights activists by the NSA and FBI.

World War II

Andrews, Lena S. The Professionals: The True Story of the Women Who Won World War II. Mariner: HarperCollins. May 2023. 400p. ISBN 9780063088337. $29.99. HISTORY/ WORLD WAR II

From CIA military analyst Andrews, this history highlights the contributions of the 400,000 women who served in uniform during World War II: advising generals, flying planes, laying cables, and translating, communicating, and transmitting top-secret intelligence. And some of them died for their efforts. Andrews argues that the war can’t be understood without them. With a 100,000-copy first printing.

Drummond, Steve. The Watchdog: How the Truman Committee Battled Corruption and Helped Win World War Two. Hanover Square: Harlequin. May 2023. 320p. ISBN 9781335449504. $28.99. HISTORY/WORLD WAR II

Anticipating the entry of the United States into World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt saw that he needed to transform the U.S. economy and put Washington newcomer Harry S. Truman in charge of a bipartisan committee tasked with getting corporations and the Pentagon in line. NPR executive producer Drummond draws on oral histories, personal letters, newspaper archives, and interviews to chronicle the committee’s efforts. With a 75,000-copy first printing.

Eyre, Makana. Sing, Memory: The Remarkable Story of the Man Who Saved the Music of the Nazi Camps. Norton. May 2023. 352p. ISBN 9780393531862. $32.50. HISTORY/HOLOCAUST

After SS guards broke up a rehearsal by a secret Jewish choir at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, choir director Rosebery d’Arguto asked fellow musician Aleksander Kulisiewicz to help preserve the camp’s musical heritage. Polish nationalist Kulisiewicz was not Jewish, but with the aid of an eidetic memory, he preserved the songs and poems of dozens of prisoners around him. Paris-based U.S. journalist Eyre drew on archival research to tell Kulisiewicz’s story.

McManus, John C. To the End of the Earth: The US Army and the Downfall of Japan, 1945. Dutton Caliber. May 2023. 448p. ISBN 9780593186886. $35. HISTORY/WORLD WAR II

Following Fire and Fortitude, winner of the Gilder Lehrman Prize for Military History, and the multi-starred Island Infernos, military historian McManus wraps up his trilogy on the U.S. Army in the Pacific during World War II. (Not the U.S. Navy, which has received more coverage.) He also limns the ambitions of Gen. Douglas MacArthur and the complications he faced during the U.S. occupation of Japan.

Nelson, Craig. V Is for Victory. Scribner. May 2023. 480p. ISBN 9781982122911. $28. HISTORY/WORLD WAR II

The New York Times best-selling author of Rocket Men, Nelson explains how President Franklin D. Roosevelt prepared the U.S. government, businesses, and a skeptical, Depression-worn public for the country’s entry into World War II. That meant diverting raw materials to the war effort, persuading top industrialists to repurpose their factories, and readying citizens for shortages and battle fatalities.


Alexander, Kwame. Why Fathers Cry at Night: A Memoir in Love Poems, Recipes, Letters, and Remembrances. Little, Brown. May 2023. 256p, ISBN 9780316417228. $28. MEMOIR

Biggs, Joanna. A Life of One’s Own: Nine Women Writers Begin Again. Ecco. May 2023. 288p. ISBN 9780063073104. $28.99. MEMOIR

Ellison, Mark. Building: A Carpenter's Notes on Life & the Art of Good Work. Random. May 2023. 304p. ISBN 9780593449127. $28.99. MEMOIR

Ford, Leon with Jeffrey Renard Allen. An Unspeakable Hope: Brutality, Forgiveness, and Building a Better Future for My Son. Atria. May 2023. 320p. ISBN 9781982187279. $28.99. MEMOIR

James, Aurora. Wildflower: A Memoir. Crown. May 2023. 272p. ISBN 9780593239452. $27. MEMOIR

Kelly, Minka. Tell Me Everything: A Memoir. Holt. May 2023. 288p. ISBN 9781250852069. $28.99. Downloadable.

Lagoze, Miles. Whistles from the Graveyard: My Time Behind the Camera on War, Rage, and Restless Youth in Afghanistan. One Signal: Atria. May 2023. 320p. ISBN 9781668000038. $29.99. MEMOIR

McCarthy, Andrew. Walking with Sam: A Father, a Son, and Five Hundred Miles Across Spain. Grand Central. May 2023. 240p. ISBN 9781538709207. $28. MEMOIR

Ng, Fae Myenne. Orphan Bachelors: A Memoir. Grove. May 2023. 256p. ISBN 9780802162212. $27. MEMOIR

Pittard, Hannah. We Are Too Many: A Memoir [Kind of]. Holt. May 2023. 224p. ISBN 9781250869043. $26.99. MEMOIR

Possanza, Amelia. Lesbian Love Story. Catapult. May 2023. 288p. ISBN 9781646221059. $27.

Rannells, Andrew. Uncle of the Year: And Other Debatable Triumphs. Crown. May 2023. 256p. ISBN 9780593443439. $28. MEMOIR

Zara, Christopher. Uneducated: A Memoir of Flunking Out, Falling Apart, and Finding My Worth. Little, Brown. May 2023. 272p. ISBN 9780316268974. $29. MEMOIR

In Why Fathers Cry at Night, Newbery Medalist and New York Times best-selling author Alexander (Swing) blends memoir and love poems, recalling his parent and his first years of marriage and fatherhood as he ponders learning to love (50,000-copy first printing). After abandoning her marriage as the wrong path, Biggs looked at women from Mary Wollstonecraft to Zora Neale Hurston to Elena Ferrante as she considered how to find A Life of One’s Own. A celebrated New York–based carpenter (e.g., his iconic Sky House was named best apartment of the decade by Interior Design), self-described serial dropout Ellison recounts how he found his path to Building. Shot five times at age 19 by a Pittsburgh police officer (a case of mistaken identity that amounted to racial profiling), Ford awoke paralyzed from the waist down and learned he was a new father; a decade later, he recounts his path to social activism and An Unspeakable Hope for himself and his son. From the first Black American female designer to win a CFDA Award, Wildflower takes James from high school dropout to designer of a sustainable fashion line showcasing traditional African design to founder of the booming social justice nonprofit Fifteen Percent Pledge (businesses pledge to dedicate 15 percent of their shelf space to Black-owned brands). Minka’s fans will proclaim Tell Me Everything when they pick up her hand-to-mouth-to Hollywood memoir (30,000-copy first printing). In Whistles from the Graveyard, which aims to capture the experience of confused young millennials in the U.S. Marines, Lagoze recalls serving as a combat cameraman in the Afghan War and witnessing both bonding with locals against the Taliban and brutality toward innocent people by young men too practiced in violence. To cement ties with his eldest son, star of Netflix’s hit Dead to Me, veteran actor and New York Times best-selling author McCarthy found himself Walking with Sam along Spain's 500-mile Camino de Santiago. A first-generation Chinese American with a seafaring father and a seamstress mother, Pen/Faulkner Award finalist Ng (Bone) recounts being raised in San Francisco’s Chinatown by the community’s Orphan Bachelors, older men without wives or children owing to the infamous Exclusion Act. Thought-provoking novelist Pittard (Reunion) turns to nonfiction with We Are Too Many , an expansion of her attention-getting Sewanee Review essay about her husband’s affair with her best friend (80,000-copy first printing). Delighted by all the queer stories she encountered when she moved to Brooklyn, book publicist Possanza uses Lesbian Love Story to recover the personal histories of lesbians in the 20th century and muse about replacing contemporary misogynistic society with something markedly lesbian. In Uncle of the Year, Tony, Drama Desk, and Critics Choice Award nominee Rannells wonders at age 40 what success means and whether he wants a husband and family; 19 original essays and one published in the New York Times. Describing himself as Uneducated (he was tossed out of high school and never went to college), Zara ended up as senior editor at Fast Company, among other leading journalist stints; here’s how he did it (30,000 copy first printing.)


Barber, Charles. In the Blood: How Two Outsiders Solved a Centuries-old Medical Mystery and Took on the U.S. Army. Grand Central. May 2023. 320p. ISBN 9781538709863. $29. MEDICINE

Discovering that an inexpensive, crushed rock called zeolite had blood‑clotting properties, inventor Frank Hursey and salesman Bart Gullong informed the military, and the subsequent product, QuikClot, was quickly adopted by the U.S. Navy and the Marines. But the U.S. Army resisted, having developed its own blood-clotting product (which had bad side effects), and under the influence of Maj. John Holcomb set out to undermine QuikClot. Finally, a whistleblower revealed that Holcomb had a financial interest in the company producing Factor Seven, and the U.S. Department of Justice filed a suit. From Wesleyan Writer in Residence Barber (Citizen Outlaw, Comfortably Numb).

Clark, Andy. The Experience Machine: How Our Minds Predict and Shape Reality. Pantheon. May 2023. 320p. ISBN 9781524748456. $29. Downloadable. SCIENCE/PHILOSOPHY

Much published academically, University of Sussex philosophy professor Clark writes for a general audience in presenting this new theory of how the brain interacts with the world. He draws on recent work in neuroscience and psychology to argue that we don’t passively perceive reality but actively shape or predict it as we mediate our experience of both our bodies and the world. This new view has especially important implications for those facing chronic pain or mental health challenges.

DiGregorio, Sarah. Taking Care: The Revolutionary Story of Nursing. Harper. May 2023. 368p. ISBN 9780063071285. $29.99. MEDICINE

COVID has heightened our appreciation of nurses, and journalist DiGregorio moves from the Stone Age to modern times in chronicling their importance in society, not just in hospitals and doctors’ offices but at schools, prisons, homes, summer camps, cruise ships, and even NASA. Unfortunately, as she shows, misogyny and racism have often left them undervalued, and their difficult working conditions impact not just them but health care for everyone.

Dungy, Camille T. Soil: The Story of a Black Mother’s Garden. S. & S. May 2023. 272p. ISBN 9781982195304. $28.99. MEMOIR/HORTICULTURE

Moving to a predominantly white Colorado community in 2013, Black poet/scholar Dungy, a National Book Critics Circle finalist, learned that the community had rules about what she could or could not plant in her garden. Here she uses her efforts to diversify her patch of land as a metaphor for the value of cultural diversity in general and a consideration of how best to protect the environment.

Dunn, Jancee. Hot and Bothered: What No One Tells You About Menopause and How To Feel Like Yourself Again. Putnam. May 2023. 304p. ISBN 9780593542569. $28. HEALTH

Author of the New York Times best-selling How Not To Hate Your Husband After Kids, Dunn experienced a range of uncomfortable symptoms in her mid-forties that her doctors couldn’t fathom until it was finally determined that she was experiencing perimenopause. Here she draws on interviews with menopause experts to offer women a research-based guide to a major (and perfectly natural) life transition

Jackson, James C. Clearing the Fog: From Surviving to Thriving with Long Covid―A Practical Guide. Little, Brown. May 2023. 304p. ISBN 9780316530095. $29. HEALTH

Nearly a third of people who have had COVID suffer symptoms long term, with cognitive and mental health problems especially apparent. Director of Behavioral Health at Vanderbilt’s ICU Recovery Center and a leading researcher in Prominent and Post Intensive Care Syndrome, Jackson offers science-based treatment options to those with Long COVID, plus advice on navigating health-care systems and disability insurance. There’s invaluable emotional support here, too, as Long COVID has its doubters. With a 50,000-copy first printing.

McGarey, Gladys. The Well-Lived Life: A 101-Year-Old Doctor’s Six Secrets to Health and Happiness at Every Age. Atria. May 2023. 256p. ISBN 9781668014486. $27.99. SELF-HELP/AGING

Cofounder and past president of the American Holistic Medical Association, McGarey is still practicing medicine at age 101; she has a life-coaching practice in Arizona. Here she offers advice on how to live a long and healthy life, from the need to keep moving spiritually, mentally, and physically to recognizing that anyone and anything can be your teacher.

Matthews, Hannah. You or Someone You Love: Reflections from an Abortion Doula. Atria. May 2023. 256p. ISBN 9781668005255. pap. $18. SOCIAL SCIENCE/ABORTION & BIRTH CONTROL

One in four women, trans men, and nonbinary indivivduals in the United States has at least one abortion by the age of 45, but in the post–Roe v. Wade United States, stigma and criminalization make the physical and emotional support of these people precarious at best. An abortion care worker, doula, journalist, and reproductive rights advocate, Matthews aims across gender, race, and class lines in this guide to abortion care.

Mueller, Tom. How To Make a Killing: Blood, Death and Dollars in American Medicine. Norton. May 2023. 288p. ISBN 9780393866513. $30. MEDICINE

In the 1950s, transplants and dialysis made kidney failure a manageable condition. But as explained here by Mueller, author of the multi-starred Crisis of Conscience, the profit motive then intervened, especially when Congress extended Medicare coverage to those with chronic kidney failure. Now, he says, the drive to maximize profits has led to a below-the-threshold quality of care.

Shapiro, Scott J. Fancy Bear Goes Phishing: The Dark History of the Information Age, in Five Extraordinary Hacks. Farrar. May 2023. 432p. ISBN 9780374601171. $30. Downloadable. COMPUTERS

In this grand digital age of information, most of us still don’t understand how technology works, which makes us vulnerable to cyberattacks. Director of the Yale Center for Law and Philosophy and its CyberSecurity Lab, Shapiro is here to explain why the internet is so vulnerable; how information is stored, used, and protected; and what we can do to protect ourselves. And that entails introducing us to some of the notorious hackers of the last decades.

Vance, Ashlee. When the Heavens Went on Sale: The Misfits and Geniuses Racing To Put Space Within Reach. Ecco. May 2023. 528p. ISBN 9780062998873. $32.50. SCIENCE/SPACE

When Elon Musk’s SpaceX became the first private company to build a low-cost rocket that could reach orbit, aspirations to travel out of this world shifted away from governmental control. Now wealthy investors are backing the race to space. Vance, author of the New York Times best-selling Elon Musk, tells the story. With a 2000,000-copy first printing.

Social Science

Eig, Jonathan. King: A Life. Farrar. May 2023. 688p. ISBN 9780374279295. $35. Downloadable. BIOGRAPHY

Forrest, Brett. Lost Son: An American Family Trapped Inside the FBI’s Secret Wars. Little, Brown. May 2023. 352p. ISBN 9780316591614. $29. SOCIAL SCIENCE

Grabar, Henry. Paved Paradise: How Parking Explains the World. Penguin Pr. May 2023. 368p. ISBN 9781984881137. $30. SOCIAL SCIENCE

Hundreds, Bobby. NFTs Are a Scam / NFTs Are the Future: A Memoir / A Manifesto. MCD: Farrar. May 2023. 224p. ISBN 9780374610296. $28. Downloadable. BUSINESS/CRYPTOCURRENCY

Rubin, Robert E. The Yellow Pad: Making Better Decisions in an Uncertain World. Penguin Pr. May 2023. 336p. ISBN 9780593491393. $32. BUSINESS/DECISIONMAKING

Smith, Ben. Traffic: Genius, Rivalry, and Delusion in the Billion-Dollar Race To Go Viral. Penguin Pr. May 2023. 352p. ISBN 9780593299753. $28. MEDIA STUDIES

Steinberg, Jonny. Winnie and Nelson: Portrait of a Marriage. Knopf. May 2023. 576p. ISBN 9780525656852. $35. Downloadable. BIOGRAPHY

With King, the New York Times best-selling Eig ( Ali), a former senior writer for the Wall Street Journal, draws on recently declassified FBI files to create a bold new study of Martin Luther King Jr. (100,000-copy first printing). Drafted by the FBI as a trilingual counterterrorism researcher, Billy Reilly went to Russia when it first invaded Ukraine’s Donbas region and promptly cut off all communication; it was unclear whether the FBI actually sent him, but Reilly’s parents asked Wall Street Journal reporter Forrest to find their Lost Son (100,000-copy first printing). AsSlate staff writer Grabar clarifies in Paved Paradise, parking matters; we’ve distorted our landscape to find cheap and easy ways to store our cars, with much valuable real estate devoted to vehicles sitting empty when space for affordable housing is desperately needed; at least Grabar proposes solutions. Following This Is Not a T-Shirt, a memoir about his clothing brand, Hundreds (aka Bobby Kim) limns his venture into NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens), Web3, and the Metaverse in NFTs Are a Scam / NFTs Are the Future (75,000-copy first printing). Former secretary of the Treasury and cochair of Goldman Sachs, Rubin draws on six decades’ worth of experience in business and politics to explain how to make smart decisions in an uncertain world; it all begins with sketching out the possibilities on a simple Yellow Pad (or now an iPad). In Traffic, former BuzzFeed editor in chief Smith shows how Nick Denton’s Gawker and Jonah Peretti’s HuffPost and BuzzFeed fatefully duked it out for control of internet media in the early 2000s, arguing that the unintended consequence was a rightward shift in the internet’s orientation. Windham-Campbell Award–winning South African writer Steinberg shows how the marriage of Winnie and Nelson Mandela reflects the course of South African history and tensions within the antiapartheid movement, as Winnie moved toward supporting armed insurrection while Nelson was jailed.

Author Image
Barbara Hoffert

Barbara Hoffert (, @BarbaraHoffert on Twitter) is Editor, LJ Prepub Alert; winner of ALA's Louis Shores Award for reviewing; and past president, awards chair, and treasurer of the National Book Critics Circle, which awarded her its inaugural Service Award in 2023.

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