Prepub Alert: The Complete List | September 2023

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







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



Bennett, SJ. Murder Most Royal. Morrow. (Her Majesty the Queen Investigates, Bk. 3). Sept. 2023. 336p. ISBN 9780063051201. $30. lrg. prnt. MYSTERY

In this third, touchingly timely work in a popular series featuring Queen Elizabeth II, Christmas festivities at Sandringham are horribly overturned when a severed hand is discovered. The eagle-eyed queen immediately recognizes the hand’s signet ring as belonging to a member of the St Cyr family, long-established friends, and she works behind the scenes with her assistant private secretary, Rozie Oshodi, to solve the murder.

Chua, Amy. The Golden Gate. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Sept. 2023. 384p. ISBN 9781250903600. $28. Downloadable. MYSTERY/HISTORICAL

Tiger mom/Yale law professor Chua enters the mystery arena with a tale set in 1944 Berkeley, CA, as Homicide Detective Al Sullivan puzzles over the assassination of a former presidential candidate at the Claremont Hotel. The case is quickly linked to the death 10 years earlier of seven-year-old Iris Stafford, who belonged to the uber-wealthy Bainbridge clan, and Sullivan finds himself waltzing uncomfortably with the remaining Bainbridge heiresses—and Madame Chiang Kai-shek—to find the murderer. With a 150,000-copy first printing.

Cleeves, Ann. The Raging Storm. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. (Two Rivers, Bk. 3). Sept. 2023. ISBN 9781250836779. $29. CD/downloadable. MYSTERY

Star-spangled celebrity adventurer Jem Rosco upends the residents of Greystone, Devon, by swirling into town amid a ferocious gale and just as quickly swirling away, later to be found dead in a dinghy anchored in Scully Cove. DI Matthew Venn is on the case, but Greystone holds bad memories for him, and he’s further troubled by another death and the sense that he and his team are in danger. With a 150,000-copy first printing; from CWA Diamond Dagger–sheathed Cleeves

Johnson, Craig. The Longmire Defense. Viking. (Longmire Mystery, Bk. 19). Sept. 2023. 336p. ISBN 9780593297315. $28. MYSTERY

Walt Longmire, the long-standing sheriff of Absaroka County, WY, faces an unusual crime scene that evokes issues back to the days of Walt’s grandfather—and reminds Walt of unsettling truths he has recently learned about the man. Next in the New York Times best-selling series, basis for the popular NetFlix original.

Jonasson, Ragnar & Katrín Jakobsdóttir. Reykjavík: A Crime Story. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Sept. 2023. 352p. ISBN 9781250907332. $28. Downloadable. MYSTERY/INTERNATIONAL

In 1956, 14-year-old Lara disappears from the island off Reykjavík where she has been working for the summer, never to be seen again. Three decades later, tabloid reporter Valur Robertsson decides to reinvestigate the case in a world undergoing rapid change. International best seller Jonasson is joined by Jakobsdóttir, Iceland’s prime minister, who wrote her masters’ thesis on Icelandic crime fiction author Arnaldur Indridason. With a 50,000-copy first printing.

Krueger, William Kent. The River We Remember. Atria. Sept. 2023. 432p. ISBN 9781982179212. $28.99. CD. MYSTERY

On a bright Memorial Day in 1958 Jewell, MN, powerful landowner Jimmy Quinn’s shotgun-shattered body is found floating in the river, and who else to blame but Noah Bluestone, an Indigenous World War II veteran recently back in town with a Japanese wife? Sheriff Brody Dern, himself a veteran, must contain local rage while seeking the real killer even as an array of buried secrets will out. Crime solving with social engagement from New York Times best-selling author Krueger; note that this work is BISACed as literary.

March, Nev. The Spanish Diplomat’s Secret. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. (Captain Jim and Lady Diana Mysteries, Bk. 3). Sept. 2023. 320p. ISBN 9781250855060. $29. CD. MYSTERY/HISTORICAL

In summer 1894, Anglo Indian Jim Agnihotri, a former British army captain now with Boston’s Dupree Detective Agency, and wife Diana, a Parsi Zoroastrian woman originally from Bombay (now Mumbai), are heading to England for a holiday aboard an ocean liner. Alas, a passenger winds up murdered, and guess who the captain asks to solve the crime before the ship docks? Third in a series launched with Edgar, Anthony, Barry, Hammett, Macavity, and Audie finalist Murder in Old Bombay; with a 50,000-copy first printing.

Perry, Anne. The Traitor Among Us. Ballantine. (Elena Standish Novel, Bk. 5). Sept. 2023. 352p. ISBN 9780593359150. $28. MYSTERY

When an MI6 agent is found shot through the heart near an estate belonging to the Wyndhams, whom he was surveilling owing to their alleged fascist sympathies, photographer-turned-spy Elena Standish is asked to investigate. She has an easy in with the family, as her older sister is being courted by Lady Wyndham’s brother. More interwar mystery from Perry.

Robb, J.D. Payback in Death. St. Martin’s. (Eve Dallas Novel, Bk. 57). Sept. 2023. 368p. ISBN 9781250284099. $30. CD/downloadable. MYSTERY

Just back from vacation, Lt. Eve Dallas is hustled to a crime scene: Martin Greenleaf, a retired Internal Affairs captain, has apparently committed suicide. But Eve has her doubts; the captain nailed a lot of dirty cops in his day, and this could be revenge. With a 750,000-copy first printing.


Aoyama, Michiko. What You Are Looking For Is in the Library. Hanover Square: Harlequin. Sept. 2023. 320p. ISBN 9781335005625. $21.99. CD. LITERARY

Tokyo librarian Sayuri Komachi always asks what patrons are looking for, but because she is as good at reading people as she is at reading books, she always gives them a book they really need. Here we meet some of her patrons and see how her recommendations have changed their lives. A Japanese best seller.

Arias, John Manuel. Where There Was Fire. Flatiron: Macmillan. Sept. 2023. 288p. ISBN 9781250817389. $28.99. LITERARY

Arias’s debut opens with a blaze at an American Fruit Company’s banana plantation in 1968 Costa Rica that has long-term consequences for Teresa Cepeda Valverde’s family. Nearly three decades later, Teresa is dealing with an estranged daughter who wants to know about the fire, even as she must face her husband’s ongoing absence and the imprecations of her mother’s furious ghost. With a 75,000-copy first printing.

Awad, Mona. Rouge. Marysue Rucci: Scribner. Sept. 2023. 384p. ISBN 9781982169695. $28. LITERARY

When she meets a mysterious woman in red at her mother’s funeral, dress shop clerk Belle is lured to La Maison de Méduse, a swanky, unnervingly cultlike spa to which her mother was devoted. There, she learns why both she and her mother have always been obsessed with mirrors. From the author of the Goodreads Choice finalist All’s Well and the multi-best-booked Bunny.

Fountain, Ben. Devil Makes Three. Flatiron: Macmillan. Sept. 2023. 544p. ISBN 9781250776518. $30.99. CD. LITERARY

With the harsh military dictatorship and international embargo that followed the wrenching 1991 deposition of Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide, U.S. expat Matt Amaker finds his scuba business failing. He and classy best friend Alix Variel begin excavating shipwrecks, but then Alix’s sister uncovers an arms-trafficking ring masked as a U.S. government humanitarian aid office. From the National Book Critics Circle finalist Fountain (Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk).

Hill, Nathan. Wellness. Knopf. Sept. 2023. 624p. ISBN 9780593536117. $30. LITERARY

Jack and Elizabeth fall deliciously in love as 1990s art-ambitious college students in Chicago, and 20 years on they’re a long-married couple juggling the realities of jobs, parenting, and unrealized dreams. They soon realize that to find each other again they must sort out their lives, even if they must each go on different journeys. Following the New York Times best-selling, multi-best-booked The Nix.

Kim, Angie. Happiness Falls. Hogarth: Crown. Sept. 2023. 336p. ISBN 9780593448205. $28. lrg. prnt. LITERARY

A father and his younger son are slow to return from a stroll around the park, but other members of their biracial Korean American family aren’t panicked until the son stumbles in alone, bloodied but unable to explain what happened; he can’t speak owing to a rare genetic condition. A hunt ensues, though the police are not immediately contacted. Kim debuted with the Edgar Award–winning Miracle Creek, but note that this book is BISACed as literary.

Michaels. Sean. Do You Remember Being Born? Astra House. Sept. 2023. 296p. ISBN 9781662602320. $27. LITERARY

Long-renowned poet Marian Ffarmer, who has always been intentionally isolated—from love, friendship, and even her son—is transformed when a giant tech corporation persuades her to come to California and compose verse with its poetry bot Charlotte. Now here’s a relationship that matters, but is she betraying her art? From the Scotiabank Giller Prize–winning Canadian author Michaels.

Patchett, Ann. Tom Lake. Harper. Aug. 2023. 320p. ISBN 9780063327528. $30. CD. LITERARY

Gathering with her family at their Michigan orchard in spring 2020, Lara is pestered by her daughters to tell them about her long-ago romance with renowned actor Peter Duke, with whom she acted in a theater company called Tom Lake. The story leads the young women to reconsider their own lives and how they think about their mother. Following the Pulitzer Prize finalist The Dutch House.

Palahniuk, Chuck. Not Forever, but For Now. S. & S. 256p. ISBN 9781668021415. $26.99. LITERARY

Wealthy brothers Otto and Cecil grow up in the Welsh countryside, copycatting their grandfather, playing with their pony, and killing the staff. This is, after all, a family of professional assassins, and with their father having vanished in the Ghost Forest and their mother having vanished into an opioid haze, their grandfather is prepping the youngsters to take over. Not surprisingly, Palahniuk offers a horror satire, though it’s BISACed literary—aiming for a broad audience.

Patel, Sheena. I’m a Fan. Graywolf. Sept. 2023. 216p. ISBN 9781644452455. pap. $17. LITERARY

With this story of a young woman minutely examining her toxic and badly imbalanced relationship with an older woman, British author Patel rips into issues of class, social media, and male power. Named a Best Debut of 2022 by the Observer.

Rum, Etaf. Evil Eye. Harper. Sept. 2023. 352p. ISBN 9780062987907. $30. lrg. prnt. LITERARY

After challenging a colleague’s racist comments, Yara is the one put on probation, and her Palestinian mother blames a family curse. Yara thinks that’s nonsense, but she does begin reexamining her strict upbringing in a Brooklyn-based immigrant family. If she’s managed to step outside their boundaries, why isn’t she feeling fulfilled? Following Rum’s highly acclaimed debut, A Woman Is No Man.

Vance, Anise. Hush Harbor. Hanover Square: Harlequin. Sept. 2023. 304p. ISBN 9781335449528. $30. CD. LITERARY

After police shoot an unarmed Black teenager in Bliss City, NJ, a resistance group takes over an abandoned housing project and names it Hush Harbor, a term once used to describe a safe place where enslaved people could meet to pray. The group is led by Jeremiah Prince and his sister Nova, but they have different ideas on how to proceed, and a new mayor with white supremacist leanings is making things harder. Debuter Vance comes from the African and Iranian diasporas.

Vasyakina, Oksana. Wound. Catapult. Sept. 2023. 240p. tr. from Russian by Elina Alter. ISBN 9781646221448. $27. LITERARY

In this autobiographical debut novel, a young lesbian poet travels from Moscow to her Siberian hometown to lay her mother’s ashes to rest. Along the way, she recalls her childhood and contemplates her sexual and artistic identities even as she wrestles with her grief. Winner of Russia’s NOS (New Literature) Award in 2021.

Zhang, C Pam. Land of Milk and Honey. Riverhead. Sept. 2023. 240p. ISBN 9780593538241. $27. LITERARY

A talented chef flees the world’s smog-ridden, comestibles-starved desolation to serve amazing dishes at a mountaintop retreat for the elite. Her new job reawakens her senses and her love of food and life, but is it ethical? From National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 honoree Zhang, author of the multi-award-winning, multi-award-nominated How Much of These Hills Is Gold.

Story Collections

Atkinson, Kate. Normal Rules Don’t Apply: Stories. Doubleday. Sept. 2023. ISBN 9780385549509. $28. lrg. prnt. SHORT STORIES

Costa Award–winning novelist Atkinson turns to short fiction with 11 interconnected stories whose characters don’t always act wisely or coherently. A secretary can’t let go of the job she just left, a queen makes a promise she knows she can’t keep, and a man makes a bet on a horse that may have talked to him—but maybe not.

Li, Yiyun. Wednesday’s Child: Stories. Farrar. Sept. 2023. 256p. ISBN 9780374606374. $27. SHORT STORIES

MacArthur Fellow Li follows up the multi-best-booked The Book of Goose with a collection that swings between desolate loss and unnerving closeness as a grieving woman touts up those departed, a professor gets creepily close to her hairdresser, and a woman receives twice-yearly emails from a mysterious man several states away. In these stories, small moments have big meanings, and big meaning break through the everyday. With a 20,000-copy first printing.

Vara, Vauhini. This Is Salvaged: Stories. Norton. Sept. 2023. 224p. ISBN 9780393541731. $26.95. SHORT STORIES

A driven woman seeks to leave her drinking behind so that she can become a better aunt. Two teenagers work as phone-sex operators in a bid for intimacy. An artist seeks to reconstruct a full-size Noah’s Ark, following biblical specifications. These and other characters seek meaning despite their rocky surroundings in a first collection that promises much after the success of The Immortal King Rao, Vara’s multi-best-booked debut.

Literary Historical

Diop, David. Beyond the Door of No Return. Farrar. Sept. 2023. 256p. tr. from French by Sam Taylor. ISBN 9780374606770. $27. LITERARY

Author of the scorching At Night All Blood Is Black, an International Booker Prize winner and LJ Best Book, Diop’s latest chronicles celebrated 1700s botanist Michel Adanson’s search for the mysterious Maram, a noblewoman from the African kingdom of Waalo who was sold into enslavement but escaped to a remote village. His journey through Senegal, where Diop was raised, limns the atrocities of French colonialism and the depths of human passion. With a 25,000-copy first printing.

Groff, Lauren. The Vaster Wilds. Riverhead. Sept. 2023. 272p. ISBN 9780593418390. $28. LITERARY

A three-time National Book Award finalist and New York Times best-selling author, Groff returns with the story of a servant girl who flees her settlement in U.S. colonial days with the aim of making a life for herself in the wilderness. What she finds is something far beyond what she ever imagined and compels her—and surely readers with her—to rethink everything she’s been taught.

Kadare, Ismail. A Dictator Calls. Counterpoint. Sept. 2023. 256p. tr. from Albanian by John Hodgson. ISBN 9781640096080. pap. $16.95. LITERARY

Winner of the inaugural Man Booker International Prize, Albanian author Kadare considers the ramifications of a momentous three minutes in history—Joseph Stalin’s call to Boris Pasternak to ask what he thought about the arrest of the remarkable poet Osip Mandelstam. Reconstructing the reactions of witnesses, reporters, other writers, friends, lovers, and KGB archivists, Kadare plumbs the nature of power and the dangerous dance of literature and authoritarianism.

Mason, Daniel. North Woods. Random. Sept. 2023. 352p. ISBN 9780593597033. $28. lrg. prnt. LITERARY

In hist latest, Pulitzer Prize finalist Mason takes us on a journey through time via place—a cabin in the New England woods first inhabited by two young lovers who have fled their Puritan colony. Other inhabitants include an English soldier gone AWOL and unmarried twin sisters who survive war only to pick each other apart through envy. There’s even a panther and a mystified crime reporter, who can’t make sense of a mass grave nearby.

Meyer, Margaret. The Witching Tide. Scribner. Sept. 2023. 336p. ISBN 9781668011362. $28. LITERARY

Praised upon its UK publication, this debut revisits the witch hunts of 1600s England. Witchfinder Silas Makepeace has arrived in the town of Cleftwater and is soon rounding up local women. To midwife/healer Martha Hallybread’s horror, she’s tasked with searching the accused for “devil’s marks” and must decide whether to protect herself or them. Will her mother’s old witching doll shield her—and the secret she hides?

Rash, Ron. The Caretaker. Doubleday. Sept. 2023. 256p. ISBN 9780385544276. $28. LITERARY

In 1950s North Carolina, Blackburn Gant works a lonely job as caretaker of a hilltop cemetery, his life having been utterly waylaid by a childhood case of polio. Then his one friend, the kindly Jacob Lampton, is drafted and asks him to watch over his wife, Naomi. Naomi was poor and poorly educated when she and Jacob married, earning his parents’ wrath, and she and Blackburn bond as outsiders until tragedy strikes.

Smith, Zadie. The Fraud. Penguin Pr. Sept. 2023. 464p. ISBN 9780525558965. $29. lrg. prnt. LITERARY

At the notorious Tichborne trial in 1873 London, a butcher from Australia argues that he is the rightful heir to the estate and title claimed by Sir Roger Tichborne. Among those affected by the trial are Mrs. Eliza Touchet, the ever-skeptical Scottish housekeeper to a has-been novelist, and Andrew Bogle, who grew up enslaved in Jamaica and is a star witness at the trial, his fate depending on telling the right story. Smith shapes true events to her own excellent advantage.


Abdullah, Kia. Perfectly Nice Neighbors. Putnam. Sept. 2023. 352p. ISBN 9780593713815. pap. $17. THRILLER/DOMESTIC

Salma Khatun is excited to move her Bangladeshi family into a UK suburban development called Blenheim until she spots a white neighbor yanking up the antiracist sign her son has placed in the front yard. She repositions the sign in the window, which gets dabbed over with paint. The stage is thus set for confrontation in this follow-up to Take It Back, a Guardian and Telegraph thriller of the year.

Berney, Lou. Dark Ride. Morrow. Sept. 2023. 256p. ISBN 9780062663863. $30. CD. THRILLER

Happy-go-lucky stoner Hardy “Hardly” Reed is just getting by when he spots two young children sitting alone at the amusement park where he works as a minimum-wage scare actor. He can tell they’ve been abused and reports the situation to the Child Protective Service, which is too swamped to do much. So Hardly decides to protect the children on his own.

Brown, Graham. Untitled. Putnam. (NUMA Files, Bk. 20). Sept. 2023. 416p. ISBN 9780593543979. $29.95. lrg. prnt. CD. THRILLER

Kurt Austin and the NUMA team are back in the newest entry in the No. 1 New York Times best-selling series, with Brown again taking the reins from the late Clive Cussler.

Chidgey, Catherine. Pet. Europa. Aug. 2023. 336p. ISBN 9781609459307. pap. $18. THRILLER

In 1980s New Zealand, 12-year-old Justine is dazzled by the glamorous new teacher and wants to be her pet. But a series of thefts at the school makes Justine suspicious of everyone and everything. From the Betty Trask Award–winning, Dublin Literary Award short-listed, Women’s Prize long-listed New Zealander Chidgey.

Connolly, John. The Land of Lost Things. Emily Bestler: Atria. (Book of Lost Things, Bk 2). Sept. 2023. 368p. ISBN 9781668022283. $28. THRILLER/SUPERNATURAL

As Ceres sits by the bedside of daughter Phoebe, desperately reading aloud the fairy tales she hope might pull Phoebe from her coma, she finds herself drawn to a tumbledown house on the hospital grounds. It’s linked to an author who has since disappeared, and it promises all the delights (and terrors) of her childhood reading. Connolly, author of the New York Times best-selling “Charlie Parker” series, sets his latest in the world of 2006’s beloved The Book of Lost Things.

Flynn, Vince & Kyle Mills. Code Red: A Mitch Rapp Novel by Kyle Mills. Emily Bestler: Atria. Sept. 2023. 384p. ISBN 9781982164997. $29.99. CD. THRILLERS/ESPIONAGE

Because he owes a favor to crime lord Damian Losa, CIA counterterrorist agent Mitch Rapp ends up in Syria planning to block its distribution of a highly addictive new narcotic throughout Europe, which could undermine Losa’s business. Then Mitch learns that the drug was actually created by Russia as a weapon against the West. Mills again takes over Flynn’s durable Rapp.

Goldberg, Tod. Gangsters Don’t Die. Counterpoint. Sept. 2023. 384p. ISBN 9781640093041. $28. THRILLER

Sal Cupertine wants quits with his life as a Mafia hitman, but trying to pass himself off as Rabbi David Cohen isn’t working as planned. He’s still being pursued by enemies within and without the law, including Peaches Pocotillo, the Indigenous head of a crime syndicate based in the U.S. West. Wrapping up the Hammett Prize–nominated “Gangsterland” trilogy.

Herron, Mick. The Secret Hours. Soho Crime. Sept. 2023. 360p. ISBN 9781641295215. $27.95. THRILLER

Launched by Britain’s prime minister, the Monochrome inquiry aims to ferret out “historical over-reaching,” that is, misconduct, within MI5. But the head of MI5 keeps blocking it, and then the prime minister goes down in defeat. It looks as if Monochrome will go down, too—but for one case file that emerges, detailing an utterly botched mission in 1994 Berlin. Herron boasts both CWA Gold and Steel Daggers.

Jance, J.A. Blessing of the Lost Girls: A Brady and Walker Novel. Morrow. Sept. 2023. 352p. ISBN 9780063010109. $30. lrg. prnt. THRILLER

When the remains of a young Apache woman are found in Cochise County, Joanna Brady welcomes in federal investigator Dan Pardee to investigate. He belongs to the newly created Missing and Murdered Indigenous People’s Task Force, and he’s Brandon Walker’s son-in-law, which brings together two of Jance's New York Times best-selling series, “Joanna Brady” and “Walker Family,” in one book. With a 150,000-copy first printing.

King, Stephen. Holly. Scribner. Sept. 2023. 464p. ISBN 9781668016138. $30. CD. THRILLER

Introduced in Mr. Mercedes, then seen as Bill Hodges’s partner in Finders Keepers and a detective in her own right in The Outsider, Holly Gibney gets top billing in King’s latest. With partner Pete down with COVID and her difficult mother recently deceased, Holly isn’t eager to take on the search for Penny Dahl’s missing daughter. But she makes the leap, and soon she’s entangled in a case involving multiple disappearances and a seemingly innocuous octogenarian couple with something evil in their basement.

Patterson, James. 23 1/2 Lies. Grand Central. 336p. ISBN 9781538752722. $29. lrg. prnt. THRILLER/ANTHOLOGY

Patterson’s latest features three all-new thriller novellas in one. In “23 1/2 Lies,” written with Maxine Paetro, Det. Lindsay Boxer of the “Women’s Murder Club” series investigates her estranged father’s execution-style murder. In “Fallen Ranger,” written with Andrew Bourelle, Texas Ranger Rory Yates pursues a former ranger suspected of armored-car robbery. In “Watch Your Back,” written with Loren D. Estleman, a struggling artist paid to expose a client’s cheating wife finds his life in danger.

Patterson, James & Mike Lupica. Jane Smith. Little, Brown. Sept. 2023. 400p. ISBN 9780316405690. $30. lrg. prnt. CD. THRILLER

Once an NYPD cop, then a private investigator, Jane Smith is now an undefeated defense attorney who’s steering a client possibly responsible for multiple murders through a headlines-making trial. She’s confident and newly in love, but there are problems: she’s facing a terminal diagnosis with just 14 months to live, and someone is trying to kill her.


Ellroy, James. The Enchanter. Knopf. Sept. 2023. 416p. ISBN 9780593320440. $29. HISTORICAL/NOIR

Follett, Ken. The Armor of Light. Viking. (Kingsbridge, Bk. 4). Sept. 2023. 958p. ISBN 9780525954996. $38. CD. HISTORICAL

Jiles, Paulette. Chenneville: A Story of Loss, Murder, and Vengeance. Morrow. Sept. 2023. 352p. ISBN 9780063252684. $30. CD. HISTORICAL

Millner, Denene. One Blood. Forge. Sept. 2023. 432p. ISBN 9781250276193. $29.99. CD/downloadable. HISTORICAL

Rogerson, Phoenicia. Herc. Hanover Square: Harlequin. Sept. 2023. 384p. ISBN 9781335016775. $30. CD. HISTORICAL/LGBTQIA+

Smoothly blending history and mystery in a signature style that also stamps this as literary, celebrated “L.A. Quartet” novelist Ellroy follows a disgraced ex-cop trudging along the city’s grittier edges after Marilyn Monroe’s death and a starlet’s kidnapping in The Enchanters. Following A Column of Fire, Follett’s The Armor of Light revisits Kingsbridge, England, as it undergoes momentous change during the Industrial Revolution and Napoleon starts hollering across the Channel. In Chenneville, National Book Award finalist Jiles follows a Union soldier post–Civil War as he tracks down the man who murdered his sister and her family. In the New York Times best-selling Millner’s One Blood, a Black girl named Grace is separated from her beloved grandmother and sent north from 1960s Virginia to live with her high-aspiring aunt, then separated from the boy with whom she falls in love. Debuter Rogerson’s Herc is a queer reenvisioning of Hercules, expanding on secondary characters in his story.

Holiday Start-Up

Andrews, Mary Kay. Bright Lights, Big Christmas. St. Martin’s. Sept. 2023. 272p. ISBN 9781250285812. $24. CD/downloadable. HOLIDAY

Bayliss, Jenny. A December To Remember. Putnam. Sept. 2023. 432p. ISBN 9780593422243. pap. $18. HOLIDAY

Jalaluddin, Uzma & Marissa Stapley. Three Holidays and a Wedding. Putnam. Sept. 2023. 368p. ISBN 9780593543917. pap. $17. HOLIDAY

Roberts, Sheila. The Twelve Months of Christmas. Mira: Harlequin. Sept. 2023. 304p. ISBN 9780778305316. $30. HOLIDAY

In Andrews’s Bright Lights, Big Christmas, just unattached and unemployed Kerry Tolliver agrees to help her brother sell Christmas trees in New York (their family owns a tree farm in North Carolina) and meets handsome single dad Patrick after a kerfuffle over his parked Mercedes (250,000-copy first printing). Half-sisters Maggie, Simone, and Star have A December To Remember as they struggle to fulfill the requirements of their eccentric father’s will in this latest from Twelve Dates of Christmas author Bayliss. After bonding during a turbulent flight to Toronto, seatmates Maryam Aziz and Anna Gibson wind up snowbound at the inn hosting the bridal party of Maryam’s sister in a story celebrating Three Holidays and a Wedding, with Christmas, Eid, and Hanukkah all converging; from internationally best-selling author Jalaluddin (Ayesha at Last) and Reese’s Book Club–honored Stapley (Lucky). Newly married Sunny, rejected by her stepchildren; newly divorced Ariana, whose daughter is spending the holiday with her dad; and post office veteran Molly, too frantic with work to spend time with her daughter and granddaughter—all hasten through The Twelve Months of Christmas in search of the perfect holiday; from On Strike for Christmas author Roberts.


Armentrout, Jennifer L. Fall of Ruin and Wrath. Tor. Sept. 2023. 432p. ISBN 9781250750198. $27.99. CD/downloadable. FANTASY

Armstrong, Kelley. Hemlock Island. St. Martin’s. Sept. 2023. 304p. ISBN 9781250284198. $29. CD/downloadable. HORROR

Elliott, Alicia. And Then She Fell. Dutton. Sept. 2023. 368p. ISBN 9780593473085. $28. HORROR

Grecian, Alex. Red Rabbit. Tor Nightfire. Sept. 2023. 464p. ISBN 9781250874689. $28.99. CD/downloadable. FANTASY/HISTORICAL

Key, Justin C. The World Wasn’t Ready for You: Stories. Harper. Sept. 2023. 304p. ISBN 9780063290426. $30. CD. SHORT STORIES/SPECULATIVE

Percy, Benjamin. The Sky Vault. (Comet Cycle, Bk 3). Morrow. Sept. 2023. 336p. ISBN 9780358331551. $30; pap. ISBN 9781328544414. $18.99. CD. SF

Vo, Nghi. Mammoths at the Gates. Sept. 2023. 128p. ISBN 9781250851437. $19.99. FANTASY

Woods, Kell. After the Forest. Tor. Sept. 2023. 384p. ISBN 9781250852489. $28.99. Downloadable. FANTASY

In the New York Times best-selling Armentrout’s Fall of Ruin and Wrath, where the gods have destroyed all but nine widely separated cities, the preternaturally intuitive Calista hides away as courtesan of the Baron of Archwood and rescues a traveling prince, whose companion she becomes even as she senses he may spell her doom (225,000-copy first printing). New York Times best-selling genre blender Armstrong does stand-alone horror in Hemlock Island, with Laney Kilpatrick investigating evil doings—smashed belongings, mysterious fires, hex circles, and bloody nail marks—at the vacation home she’s been renting out (75,000-copy first printing). In And Then She Fell, from Canadian best-selling Mohawk author Elliott, a new mother writing a modern version of her people’s Haudenosaunee creation story starts hearing voices, losing fragments of time, and finding folks in the wealthy neighborhood where she lives with white academic husband increasingly hostile. Hunting for the witch Sadie Grace across the parched U.S. West of yore in a stolen red stagecoach, Old Tom and his mute ward, Rabbit, are joined by two not-so-wily cowboys and a newly widowed schoolteacher in the nationally best-selling Grecian’s Red Rabbit. A practicing psychiatrist whose short fiction has appeared in the Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Strange Horizons, and elsewhere, Key offers a first collection of speculative fiction featuring Black and Brown characters in The World Wasn’t Ready for You. In Percy’s The Sky Vault, a plane flying above Alaska momentarily disappears after entering an interstellar dust cloud left by the fiery comet Cain, leaving the passengers irretrievably changed, as is the community where they land (30,000-copy paperback and 30,000-copy hardcover first printing). Returning to the Singing Hills Abbey after nearly three years of wandering, Cleric Chih discovers that their mentor has died and that Mammoths at the Gates come bearing the mentor’s granddaughters, clamoring to retrieve their grandfather’s body for burial; from Hugo Award winner Vo (100,000-copy first printing). Two decades After the Forest and their encounter with a sweets-obsessed witch, Hans is in debt and Gretel helps her family survive despite imminent famine by baking magical gingerbread with a recipe from the witch’s grimoire; from Australian historical fantasy author Woods, who works as a librarian (100,000-copy first printing).


Of Current Interest

Ahmed, Azam. Fear Is Just a Word: A Missing Daughter, a Violent Cartel, a Mother’s Quest for Vengeance. Random. Sept. 2023. 320p. ISBN 9780593448410. $28. HISTORY/ LATIN AMERICAN

A global investigative correspondent for the New York Times and its former bureau chief in Mexico, Ahmed here tells two stories. He chronicles the efforts of Miriam Rodríguez to bring to justice the men responsible for the murder of her 20-year-old daughter, Karen, while also clarifying the violence haunting Mexico today by revealing how the Zeta drug cartel came to dominate Miriam’s quiet hometown on the U.S.-Mexico border.

DeBoer, Fredrik. How Elites Ate the Social Justice Movement. S. & S. Sept. 2023. 240p. ISBN 9781668016015. $29.99. POLITICAL SCIENCE

Author of the New York Times best-booked The Cult of Smart, DeBoer argues that recent social justice movements like Black Lives Matter, #MeToo, and the Gen Z crusade for economic and environmental justice haven’t effected significant change because they tend to be dominated by educated, well-off individuals not as personally vested as grass-rooters in the outcomes. Here he suggests how such individuals can contribute without taking over.

Gurba, Myriam. Creep: Accusations and Confessions. Avid Reader: S. & S. Sept. 2023. ISBN 9781982186470. $27. MEMOIR

Queer spoken-word performer, visual artist, and writer Gurba follows up her acclaimed memoir Mean with another work called memoir (and sure to draw on the personal) but perhaps better seen as fierce and engaging cultural criticism. Here she assesses the meanness, the ugliness, the sheer creepiness that creeps through our social structures, showing how abuse of any kind is ultimately a community act and how to counter it.

Johnson, Ayana Elizabeth. What If We Get It Right? Visions of Climate Futurism. One World: Ballantine. Sept. 2023. ISBN 9780593229361. $28. Downloadable. MEMOIR/SCIENCE

Through her work, marine biologist Johnson knows that we are in the midst of environmental crisis, but she refuses to give up hope. Here she explores human interconnectedness to nature and shows the progress that has been made in sustainability while wanting to lift us beyond electric cars and solar panels. What’s needed, she argues, is cultural change, globally and locally.

Jones, Robert P. The Hidden Roots of White Supremacy: And the Path to a Shared American Future. S. & S. Sept. 2023. 416p. ISBN 9781668009512. $29.99. HISTORY

Author of the award-winning White Too Long and The End of White Christian America, Jones tracks white supremacy back to 15th-century Church Doctrine (as stated in Papal Bulls) that sanctioned the European subjugation of non-Christians as enemies of Christ and the brutal conquest of their lands as meant by God for Christians. He then moves on to contemporary communities in Mississippi, Minnesota, and Oklahoma to show how white supremacy can be countered.

Love, Bettina L. Punished for Dreaming: How School Reform Harms Black Children and How We Heal. St. Martin’s. Sept. 2023. 352p. ISBN 9781250280381. $29. Downloadable. EDUCATION

The William F. Russell Professor at Teachers College, Columbia University, and cofounder of the Abolitionist Teaching Network, Love excoriates four decades’ worth of racist public-school policy that has allowed policing, closure, and loss of funding in the name of reform and condemned Black children in particular to substandard education—and then condemned them as low-performing. She further calls on leading U.S. economists to see how we can repair the damage and build better school systems. With a 300,000-copy first printing.

McWhirter, Cameron & Zusha Elinson. American Gun: The Story of the AR-15, the Rifle That Has Divided a Nation. Farrar. Sept. 2023. 496p. ISBN 9780374103859. $32. Downloadable. HISTORY

Wall Street Journal reporters McWhirter and Elinson track the history of the AR-15 from its 1950s invention as an easy-to-use replacement for World War II’s M1s through its use (as M16s) during the Vietnam War to its current notoriety as the weapon favored by mass shooters. Along the way, they seek to clarify the U.S. gun culture, explaining why the weapon appeals to some even as others demand its ban, given the bloodshed it has wrought. With a 75,000-copy first printing.

Mounk, Yascha. The Identity Trap: A Story of Ideas and Power in Our Time. Penguin Pr. Sept. 2023. 368p. ISBN 9780593493182. $29. POLITICS

Born in Germany to Polish Jewish parents, educated at Cambridge and Harvard, and an associate professor in international affairs at Johns Hopkins, Mounk considered whether democracies are viable in The Great Experiment, one of Barack Obama’s favorite reads. Here he considers identity issues, recognizing that oppressed groups must seek relief but arguing that a too tight focus on identity is counterproductive, compelling government to see people not as individuals but types and inadvertently aligning those promoting the rights of marginalized groups with those countering them—in particular, the MAGA supporters who are in fact the biggest identity practitioners of all.

Richardson, Heather Cox. Democracy Awakening: Notes on the State of America. Viking. Sept. 2023. 288p. ISBN 9780593652961. $30. lrg. prnt. HISTORY/POLITICS

During Donald Trump's 2019 impeachment, Boston College professor Richardson provided historical background in a daily Facebook essay that eventually became a newsletter with more than two million followers. Here, she moves from the Founders and the abolitionists, through the New Deal, to Barry Goldwater and Mitch McConnell as she traces how and why the country’s democratic ideals are being challenged.

Rogers, Katie. American Woman: Jill Biden and the Transformation of the Modern First Lady. Crown. Sept. 2023. 320p. ISBN 9780593240564. $28. BIOGRAPHY

A White House correspondent for the New York Times, Rogers tracks the life and accomplishments of Jill Biden to reveal how much the role of First Lady has changed—and considers where it might head in the future. Among other things, Biden is the only First Lady in history to work outside of the White House.

Schama, Simon. Foreign Bodies: Pandemics, Vaccines, and the Health of Nations. Ecco. Sept. 2023. 320p. ISBN 9781328974839. $32.99. CD. SCIENCE/HISTORY

A multi-award-winning, best-selling Columbia University historian, Schama (Citizens) offers the entwined histories of pandemic and disease eradication, considering how vaccines were developed, why pandemics are increasing in frequency, and what political, cultural, and personal forces shape the ongoing battle against disease. With a 50,000-copy first printing.

Uygur, Cenk. Justice Is Coming: How Progressives Are Going To Take Over the Country and America Is Going to Love It. St. Martin’s. Sept. 2023. 288p. ISBN 9781250272799. $30. Downloadable. POLITICS

Founder and CEO of the Young Turks, a progressive news and commentary program that is among the world’s largest, Uygur is here to counter the notion that the United States is an essentially conservative nation and that gridlock in Congress is inevitable. He instead offers a manifesto for pursuing progressive policies and explaining their benefits. With a 100,000-copy first printing.


Carlson, Hannah. Pockets: An Intimate History of How We Keep Things Close. Algonquin: Workman: Hachette. Sept. 2023. 320p. ISBN 9781643751542. $35. HISTORY/FASHION

Once upon a time in western Europe, everyone carried a purse of sorts, but in the mid-1500s, the purse moved inside men’s clothing as sewn-in pockets. Carlson, who teaches in the apparel design department at the Rhode Island School of Design, reveals what this change signified in terms of privilege, sexuality, and security; why we’re so fascinated by what people carry around in these little hiding places; and why women’s clothing still has fewer pockets today. Four-color illustrations throughout

Cooper, Anderson & Katherine Howe. Astor: The Rise and Fall of an American Fortune. Harper. Sept. 2023. 384p. ISBN 9780062964700. $32.99. CD. BIOGRAPHY

Following up their No. 1 New York Times best-selling Vanderbilt, multi-Emmy-winning Cooper and novelist/historian Howe revisit the family dynasty begun when German immigrant John Jacob Astor arrived in the United States in 1783 and built an extraordinary business empire on the basis of beaver trapping. As they show, the name Astor glittered through the Gilded Age but began to fade, burning out with Anthony Marshall’s conviction for defrauding his aged mother, Brooke Astor, in 2009.

Hamilton, Lisa M. The Hungry Season: A Journey of War, Love, and Survival. Little, Brown. Sept. 2023. 368p. ISBN 9780316415897. $30. BIOGRAPHY

Doubly disadvantaged from birth as a girl belonging to Laos’s Hmong minority, Ia Moua defiantly forged a path of her own after Communist rule came to her country, taking herself and her children first to refugee camps in Thailand and then to California’s San Joaquin Valley. Growing rice as her ancestors did proved to be her lifeline, and facing her past proved essential to moving forward. From award-winning writer/photographer Hamilton; compared to Katherine Boo’s Behind the Beautiful Forevers.

Harriot, Michael. Black Af History: The Un-Whitewashed Story of America. Dey Street: Morrow. Sept. 2023. 288p. ISBN 9780358439165. $32.50. CD. HISTORY

A columnist at whose college course Race: An Economic Construct has been adapted by university economics departments nationwide, Harriot here corrects white-shaped mythologies about U.S. history while putting Black Americans upfront, revealing their crucial influence since before 1619 to today. With a 100,000-copy first printing.

Henriques, Diana B. Taming the Street: The Old Guard, the New Deal, and the Battle for the Soul of the American Market. Random. Sept. 2023. 464p. ISBN 9780593132647. $30. BUSINESS

A Polk Award–winning, Pulitzer Prize finalist who reports for the New York Times, Henriques (The Wizard of Lies) reconstructs President Franklin Roosevelt’s efforts to regulate Wall Street during the Great Depression, seeking to temper market excesses, irresponsible speculation, and the weighty consequences of boom-and-bust cycles. Lessons for the present.

Miles, Tiya. Wild Girls: How the Outdoors Shaped the Women Who Challenged a Nation. Norton. (Short). Sept. 2023. 192p. ISBN 9781324020875. $22. HISTORY

Author of the National Book Award–winning, New York Times best-selling The Things She Carried, Miles profiles young women in U.S. history shaped by their emersion in the natural world, with results significant to us all. For instance, Harriet Tubman learned about terrain when she was forced to labor outdoors, which eventually facilitated escape from enslavement for herself and others, while Louisa May Alcott’s passion for running through fields and forests helped her circumvent gender expectations in rigid New England.

Nagourney, Adam. The Times: How the Newspaper of Record Survived Scandal, Scorn, and the Transformation of Journalism. Crown. Sept. 2023. 576p. ISBN 9780451499363. $35. HISTORY

At the New York Times since 1996 and currently reporting on West Coast cultural affairs, Nagourney covers four decades of ferment at the paper, from Arthur “Punch” Sulzberger’s era to the election of Donald Trump in 2016. While embracing high points (e.g., coverage of 9/11 and the U.S. Challenger explosion) and challenges (e.g., questionable reporting on the Iraq War, the ouster of two executive editors), the narrative reflects on key crises in journalism today.

O’Reilly, Bill & Martin Dugard. Killing the Witches: The Horror of Salem, Massachusetts. St. Martin’s. Sept. 2023. 304p. ISBN 9781250283320. $32. CD/downloadable. HISTORY

With 19 million copies in print, the No. 1 New York Times best-selling “Killing” series takes on the notorious witch trials of 1692–93 in Salem Village, MA, which saw over 200 people accused of witchcraft, 30 convicted, 20 executed, and others ruined for life or dead in jail. A story of how fear can overcome reason; with a 750,000-copy first printing.

Shane, Scott. Flee North: A Forgotten Hero and the Fight for Freedom in Slavery’s Borderland. Celadon: Macmillan. Sept. 2023. 352p. ISBN 9781250843210. $30. CD. HISTORY

Born enslaved, Thomas Smallwood was a free, self-educated shoemaker in 1840s Washington, DC, when he recruited young white activist Charles Torrey to help organize mass escapes from Washington, Baltimore, and surrounding counties to freedom in the North. He was working against time, as traders in the region geared up to tear family members apart and send them to plantations in the Deep South. It was Smallwood who named the Underground Railroad. From New York Times reporter Shane, on two teams that won Pulitzers; with a 50,000-copy first printing.

Spillar, Katherine, ed. 50 Years of Ms.: The Best of the Pathfinding Magazine That Ignited a Revolution. Knopf. Sept. 2023. 544p. ISBN 9780593321560. $50. HISTORY

Launched in 1971, Ms. was the first U.S. magazine to advocate for the Equal Rights Amendment, rate presidential candidates on women’s issues, make domestic violence and sexual harassment cover stories, commission a national study on date rape, and demand repeal of laws criminalizing abortion. U.S. executive editor of Ms., Spillar selects the magazine’s most important writings; with an introduction by Gloria Steinem.


Daugherty, Tracy. Larry McMurtry: A Life. St. Martin’s. Sept. 2023. 560p. ISBN 9781250282330. $35. BIOGRAPHY/LITERATURE

Guo, Xiaolu. Radical: A Life of My Own. Grove. Sept. 2023. NAp. ISBN 9780802161567. $32. MEMOIR/LITERATURE

Kim, Daniel Dae. Untitled. Harper. Sept. 2023. 304p. ISBN 9780062991744. $26.99. MEMOIR/LITERATURE

Leon, Donna. Wandering Through Life. Atlantic Monthly. Sept. 2023. 208p. ISBN 0802161581. $NA. MEMOIR/LITERATURE

McGilligan, Patrick. Woody Allen: Life and Legacy. Harper. Sept. 2023. 848p. ISBN 9780062941336. $45. CD. BIOGRAPHY/PERFORMING ARTS

Washington, Kerry. Thicker than Water: A Memoir. Little, Brown Spark. Sept. 2023. 304p. ISBN 9780316497398. $30. lrg prnt. CD. MEMOIR/PERFORMING ARTS

The biographer of Donald Barthelme, novelist/essayist Daugherty now assays the life and work of Pulitzer Prize–winning King-of the-West Larry McMurtry. In Radical, a book about multiple separations, Best of Young British Novelists Guo examines her year away from her partner and child teaching in the United States, whose unfamiliar culture has her questioning everything. More than a memoir, Kim’s Untitled considers ongoing issues of Asian American representation in U.S. culture, referencing both his personal life and his professional struggle to conquer Hollywood’s casual racism. Mystery queen Leon takes us Wandering Through Life and through the world, from New Jersey to Iran, China, Saudi Arabia, and, famously, Venice, the setting of her Guido Brunetti series. Reportedly even-handed in its treatment of Woody Allen, assaying both his influential oeuvre and his damaging behavior, Hollywood biographer McGilligan’s new work will likely be as controversial as its subject. An Emmy-winning and Golden Globe–nominated actor, director, and producer, Washington is also a wife, mother, and Black activist, and she gives readers her life’s big picture in Thicker Than Water.


Bohannon, Cat. Eve: How the Female Body Drove 200 Million Years of Human Evolution. Knopf. Sept. 2023. 592p. ISBN 9780385350549. $35. lrg. prnt. SCIENCE

Casey, Susan. The Underworld: Journeys to the Depths of the Ocean. Doubleday. Sept. 2023. 352p. ISBN 9780385545570. $32. lrg. prnt. SCIENCE/MEMOIR

Grush, Loren. The Six: The Untold Story of America’s First Women Astronauts. Scribner. Sept. 2023. 416p. ISBN 9781982172800 $32. ASTROPHYSICS

Hill, Kashmir. Your Face Belongs to Us: A Secretive Startup's Quest To End Privacy as We Know It. Random. Sept. 2023. 384p. ISBN 9780593448564. $28.99. BUSINESS/TECH

Kissinger, Meg. While You Were Out: An Intimate Family Portrait of Mental Illness in an Era of Silence. Celadon: Macmillan. Sept. 2023. 320p. ISBN 9781250793775. $30. Downloadable. MEMOIR/MENTAL HEALTH

Loeb, Avi. Interstellar: The Search for Extraterrestrial Life and Our Future in the Stars. Mariner: HarperCollins. Aug. 2023. 256p. ISBN 9780063250871. $28.99. CD. SPACE SCIENCE

Merchant, Brian. Blood in the Machine: The Origins of the Rebellion Against Big Tech. Little, Brown. Sept. 2023. 368p. ISBN 9780316487740. $30. TECHNOLOGY/HISTORY

Montgomery, Sy (text) & Matthew D Patterson (illus). Of Time and Turtles: Mending a Stalled and Broken World, Shell by Shattered Shell. Mariner: HarperCollins. Sept. 2023. 272p. ISBN 9780358458180. $28.99. CD. BIOLOGY/CONSERVATION

Shew, Ashley. Against Technoableism: Rethinking Who Needs Improvement. Norton. (Short). Sept. 2023. 192p. ISBN 9781324036661. $22. TECHNOLOGY

Tabery, James. Tyranny of the Gene: Personalized Medicine and Its Threat to Public Health. Knopf. Aug. 2023. 336p. ISBN 9780525658207. $30. SCIENCE

From rising-star scientist Bohannon, Eve investigates the evolution of the female body to answer important questions that male-directed science has not been asking in. A New York Times best-selling journalist focused on the oceans (e.g., Wave), Casey plunges deep into the saltwater Underworld to reveal the jagged mountain ranges, seemingly bottomless valleys, and bizarrely unfamiliar wildlife there. A Bloomberg News reporter whose brief is space, Grush chronicles the experiences of The Six—astronauts Sally Ride, Judy Resnik, Anna Fisher, Kathy Sullivan, Shannon Lucid, and Rhea Seddon—who became the first U.S. women to pierce the heavens. In Your Face Belongs to Us, New York Times technology reporter Hill shows how Clearview AI’s advanced facial recognition technology, which can assemble a welter of personal details from a single fuzzy image, is a clear threat to privacy. A Pulitzer Prize finalist who frequently covers the U.S. mental healthcare system, Kissinger relates growing up in a family beset by mental health issues in While You Were Out (75,000-copy first printing). Having argued in the New York Times best-selling Extraterrestrial that our solar system shows evidence of alien technology, Loeb, the longest-serving chair of Harvard’s Astronomy Department, considers how we can connect with extraterrestrial civilizations in Interstellar (100,000-copy first printing). With Blood in the Machine, Wired/Vice contributor Merchant (The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone) revisits the Luddite rebellion of early 1800s England to see what it reveals about our worries today (40,000-copy first printing; originally scheduled for Aug. 2022). In Of Time and Turtles, National Book Award finalist Montgomery (The Soul of an Octopus) arrives at the Turtle Rescue League with wildlife artist Patterson to witness often terribly wounded turtles recovering from encounters with cars, poachers, and pollution (40,000-copy first printing). From bioethicist and professor Shew, a self-described “hard-of-hearing chemobrained amputee with Crohn’s disease and tinnitus,” Against Technoableism argues that most people with disabilities don’t want what abled people think they want, instead seeking social and embracing, rather than technological and individual, solutions to issues they face. A member of the Center for Health Ethics, Arts, and the Humanities, University of Utah professor Tabery examines today’s Tyranny of the Gene, arguing that the new concept of tailoring healthcare to one’s genome (pushed by pharmaceutical companies and beloved of politicians, scientists, and more) undermines care for the populace at large.


Coulter, Kristi. Exit Interview: A Memoir. MCD: Farrar. Sept. 2023. 384p. ISBN 9780374600907. $29. Downloadable. MEMOIR

In 2006, Coulter (Nothing Good Can Come from This) left a secure, uneventful job for the excitement of working for and instead discovered seven-day workweeks, burned-out colleagues, and a culture of fear. Here’s why she stayed and why she finally left. With a 50,000-copy first printing.

DiGiulian, Sasha. Take the Lead: Hanging On, Letting Go, and Conquering Life's Hardest Climbs. St. Martin’s. Sept. 2023. 288p. ISBN 9781250280701. Downloadable. $29. MEMOIR

A world-champion climber, DiGiulian sits on top of the world but has still had to struggle with social media pressures, body-image issues, her place in a male-dominated sport, and a potentially career-shattering injury. Here she tracks her life from novice climber to adventurer, environmentalist, and entrepreneur. With a 150,000-copy first printing.

Finkelstein, Daniel. Two Roads Home: Hitler, Stalin, and the Miraculous Survival of My Family . Doubleday. Sept. 2023. 416p. ISBN 9780385548557. $32.50. MEMOIR/HISTORY

British political columnist Finkelstein’s maternal grandfather was a German Jewish intellectual who foresaw the Holocaust and led his family to Amsterdam, where they still weren’t safe; as a child, Finkelstein’s mother was interned in Bergen-Belsen with her mother and sisters. Eventually, the grandfather founded the Wiener Holocaust Library, the world’s oldest Holocaust archive, housed at the University of London. Finkelstein’s paternal grandfather, from a wealthy Polish Jewish family, was deported to Siberia during World War II while his wife and son endured forced labor in Kazakhstan. Finkelstein here blends two family stories of suffering and survival that define a tragic era in world history.

McPhee, Martha. Omega Farm: A Memoir. Scribner. Sept. 2023. 320p. ISBN 9781982197995. $28. MEMOIR

In March 2020, as her mother started sliding into dementia, novelist McPhee (Gorgeous Lies, a National Book Award finalist) returned to her childhood home in New Jersey with her husband and nearly grown children. At Omega Farm, she discovered a property in disrepair, with a broken septic tank and dying ash trees, and took up the multiple tasks of caregiving, fixing the damage, and recalling a complicated childhood there with her four sisters, five stepsiblings, and her mother and stepfather.

Raban, Jonathan. Father and Son: A Memoir. Knopf. Sept. 2023. 336p. ISBN 9780375422454. $28. MEMOIR

After a massive hemorrhagic stroke in 2011 that paralyzed the right side of his body, Raban went through a lengthy rehabilitation as he relearned basic tasks like walking, dressing, and climbing stairs. He even rethought how to approach reading and writing. Here, the recently deceased author, whose multiple awards include the Pen West and National Book Critics Circle awards, relates his own struggle to his father’s fighting during World War II.

Simmons, Ruth J. Up Home: One Girl's Journey. Random. Sept. 2023. 208p. ISBN 9780593446003. $27. Downloadable. MEMOIR

The daughter of Black East Texas sharecroppers, Simmons was raised in a shack without running water or electricity. Her path from that shack took her through Houston and New Orleans, to the civil rights movement and a commitment to education that led to her becoming president of Smith College and Brown University; now she’s the outgoing president of Prairie View A&M, Texas's oldest historically Black college or university. Here’s her remarkable story.

Stewart, Rory. How Not To Be a Politician. Penguin Press. Sept. 2023. 352p. ISBN 9780593300329. $29. Downloadable. MEMOIR

Famed for his two-year walk across Central and South Asia in the early 2010s after leaving diplomatic service (see his best-selling The Places In Between), Stewart was elected to Britain’s House of Commons as an unconventional Conservative representing the rural district of Cumbria, then ran for prime minister after nine years of service and six ministerial roles. Abhorring his party’s hard turn to the populist Right, he resigned from the Cabinet and eventually the Conservative Party when Boris Johnson was elected and stood down as MP. Focusing on his political career, Stewart here provides an eye-opening look at politics today.

Social Science

Durkin, Hannah. The Last Slaves. Amistad. Sept. 2023. 336p. ISBN 9780063072992. $29.99. SOCIAL SCIENCE/RACE & RELATIONS

In July 1860, more than a half-century after federal law banned importing humans for the purposes of enslavement, the Clotilda arrived at Mobile Bay, AL, carrying Africans wrenched from their homelands. Durkin, an authority on Black Atlantic history who keynoted the Clotilda Descendants Association 2021 Spirit of Our Ancestors Festival, here traces the fates of five individuals on the ship, one of whom lived to 1940. The remains of the Clotilda were discovered in 2019 along the Mobile River, and salvage efforts are underway. See also Nick Tabor’s Africatown: America’s Last Slave Ship and the Community It Created (Feb. 2023) and Ben Raines’s The Last Slave Ship (Jan. 2022).

Guillén, Mauro F. The Perennials: The Megatrends Creating a Postgenerational Society. St. Martin’s. Aug. 2023. 272p. ISBN 9781250281340. $30. SOCIAL SCIENCE/FUTURE STUDIES

Author of the Wall Street Journal best-selling 2030: How Today's Biggest Trends Will Collide and Reshape the Future of Everything , Wharton professor Guillén argues that we are undergoing a generational revolution, with six generations now working side by side as people live and work longer. He proposes that we therefore stop thinking in terms of sequential modes defined by birth date and instead think in terms of “perennials.” With a 100,000-copy first printing.

Meckler, Laura. Dream Town: Shaker Heights and the Quest for Racial Equity. Holt. Aug. 2023. 400p. ISBN 9781250834416. $29.99. SOCIAL SCIENCE/EDUCATION

The national education writer for the Washington Post, Meckler revisits her hometown, Shaker Heights, OH, which became a model for housing integration in the 1950s and for school integration in the 1970s. Here she considers why an academic achievement gap persists there, whether public-spirited individuals working together can make a difference, and what sacrifices might be needed across the racial divide. With a 75,000-copy first printing.

Rushton, Gina. The Parenting Dilemma: Procreation in the Age of Uncertainty. Astra House. Sept. 2023. ISBN 9781662602382. SOCIAL SCIENCE

To become a parent or not? It’s a question more people are asking today as we face climate cataclysm, shifting gender roles, the struggle for work-life balance, and the age-old question, Have I found the right partner? A reproductive rights reporter whose work has appeared in multiple venues, including BuzzFeed News and the Guardian, Ruston considers the many issues involved, adding a personal dimension as she applies them to herself.

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