Prepub Alert February 2023: The Complete List

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







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



Armstrong, Kelley. Murder at Haven’s Rock. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. (Casey Duncan, Bk. 8). Feb. 2023. ISBN 9781250865410. $27.99. MYSTERY/POLICE PROCEDURAL

Designed to keep the world out and its residents’ secrets in, off-the-grid Rockton is now rotten with corruption. So Det. Casey Duncan and her boyfriend, Sheriff Eric Dalton, are building a new town even deeper in the Yukon. Already there’s trouble: despite warnings, two crew members have ambled into the woods and are now missing. With a 50,000-copy first printing.  

Beaton, M.C., with R.W. Green. Death of a Traitor. Grand Central. (Hamish Macbeth, Bk. 35). Feb. 2023. 256p. ISBN 9781538746769. $28. MYSTERY/COZY

Though Kate Hibbert has lived in little Lochdubh for only a year, she’s made plenty of enemies with her busybody ways, so folks are glad to see her get on the bus with a heavy suitcase. Then her cousin arrives to announce that Kate is missing, and police constable Hamish Macbeth quickly realizes that Kate was not what she seemed. Green again takes the reins from the late, formidable Beaton; with a 60,000-copy first printing.

Crombie, Deborah. A Killing of Innocents. Morrow. (Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James Mystery, Bk. 19). Jan. 2023. 384p. ISBN 9780062993397. $27.99. lrg. prnt. MYSTERY/POLICE PROCEDURAL

A young Black medical student is stabbed to death as she walks through London’s Russell Square, and Scotland Yard detective Duncan Kincaid is on the scene. Finding no motive, he calls in his detective wife, Gemma James, who’s currently on a task force concerning knife crime, and together they find an uncomfortable connection to some Notting Hill friends. Originally scheduled for June 2022; with a 100,000-copy first printing.

Quartey, Kwei. Last Seen in Lapaz. Soho Crime. (Emma Djan Investigation, Bk. 3). Feb. 2023. 336p. ISBN 9781641293396. $27.95. MYSTERY/INTERNATIONAL

In this latest in a Shamus-winning, Edgar-nominated series, based in Accra, Ghana, PI Emma Djan is searching for the daughter of her boss’s old friend. Ngozi was a brilliant law student on course for law school until she became all wrapped up with her new boyfriend, Femi, and vanishes from her parents’ home in Nigeria, evidently headed for Accra. And what Ngozi discovers about Femi isn’t good.

Robb, J.D. Encore in Death. St. Martin’s. (Eve Dallas, Bk. 56). Feb. 2023. 384p. ISBN 9781250284082. $29.99. MYSTERY/POLICE PROCEDURAL

In a futuristic New York, celebrity couple Eliza Lane and Brant Fitzhugh are hosting a sumptuous gala event when Brant falls dead after offering a toast, done in by cyanide. Enter Det. Eve Dallas, who’s taking a close look at a laid-off assistant, an angry rival, and an obsessed fan, aware that Brant’s glass of champagne was originally intended for Eliza. With a 75,000-copy first printing.

Todd, Charles. The Cliff’s Edge. Morrow. (Bess Crawford Mysteries, Bk. 13). Feb. 2023. 320p. ISBN 9780063039940. $27.99. MYSTERY/HISTORICAL

In her latest outing, Bess Crawford, a former World War I battlefield nurse, finds herself in remote Scarfdale, where a feud between two families finds one man dead and another terribly injured. Tensions run sky-high as the once-friendly families are compelled to stay in the same house until the inquest is completed. With a 75,000-copy first printing; from the mother-and-son team that includes Caroline Todd, who passed away in 2021.

Literary Fiction

Bausch, Richard. Playhouse. Knopf. Feb. 2023. 352p. ISBN 9780451494849. $29. LITERARY

A prolific author boasting REA and PEN/Malamud honors for his contributions to short fiction, Bausch thinks big as he imagines a production of King Lear at the Shakespeare Theater of Memphis. All is chaos, with manager Thaddeus fretting about the arrogant new director, actress Claudette confronting unwanted attention from a former boyfriend and the actor playing Lear, and the production’s Cordelia seeking to rise above scandal involving her own uncle, also in the cast.

Beagin, Jen. Big Swiss. Scribner. Feb. 2023. 336p. ISBN 9781982153083. $27. LITERARY

Greta pays her bills by transcribing tapes for a sex therapist, and she’s falling for his newest client, a tall, stoic married woman she fondly calls Big Swiss, who has a past as traumatic as her own but a smarter, fresher way of dealing with it. Then they meet inadvertently, with Greta hiding her identity, which leads to the best relationship she has ever had. Following Pretend I’m Dead and Vacuum in the Dark, both short-listed for major awards.

Chakrabarti, Jai. A Small Sacrifice for an Enormous Happiness: Stories. Knopf. Feb. 2023. 272p. ISBN 9780525658948. $27. LITERARY/SHORT STORIES

Chakrabarti follows up his piercingly inventive National Jewish Book Award winner, A Play for the End of the World, with a collection of short stories featuring characters who bravely follow their heart’s desire toward big life changes. A closeted gay man in 1980s Kolkata wants to have a child with his lover’s wife, while an Indian widow struggles to sort out her cultural identity within the context of her Jewish fiancé’s family.

Craig, Charmaine. My Nemesis. Grove. Feb. 2023. 208p. ISBN 9780802160713. $26. LITERARY

Though they are both married, Tessa bonds instantly with charismatic philosopher Charlie but has issues with Charlie's wife, the biracial Asian Wah (Tessa is white, and it is implied that Charlie is as well). Tessa finds Wah so unbearably subservient to both Charlie and their adoptive Burmese daughter that in one alcohol-overwrought moment she calls Wah “an insult to womankind.” Now she must look beyond her easy assumptions and examine her own motives. From the author of the National Book Award long-listed Miss Burma.

Haynes, Natalie. Stone Blind. Harper. Feb. 2023. 384p. ISBN 9780063258396. $27.99. CD. LITERARY

Following up the nationally best-selling, Women’s Prize short-listed A Thousand Ships, a retelling of the Trojan War from a woman’s perspective, Haynes’s new work focuses on Medusa. Once she was the most beautiful of the Gorgon sisters, but when Poseidon assaults her in Athene’s temple, the goddess takes out her anger on the victim, turning her into the fanged and snake-haired horror of Greek mythology. With a 100,000-copy first printing.

Jemc, Jac. Empty Theatre: A Novel; or, The Lives of King Ludwig II of Bavaria and Empress Sisi of Austria (Queen of Hungary), Cousins, in Their Pursuit of Connection and Beauty… MCD. Feb. 2023. 448p. ISBN 9780374277925. $28. LITERARY

Ludwig ignores his responsibilities for the sake of Wagner’s operas, while Elizabeth (Sisi) resents the high price placed on her beauty and constant childbearing. They’re close, they’re unconventional, and they’re cousins, but not your average sort. He’s the king of Bavaria, she’s the empress of Austria, and their story is retold by Jemc, whose False Bingo won the Chicago Review of Books Award for Fiction. With a 25,000-copy first printing.

McDaniel, Tiffany. On the Savage Side. Knopf. Feb. 2023. 400p. ISBN 9780593320709. $29. lrg. prnt. LITERARY

Twin sisters Arcade and Daffodil are venturesome girls, seeing the dust of stampeding horses in the local papermill’s smoke and a time machine in a rusty 1950s convertible. But their lives are crushed close when women and girls from their town go missing and the killer seems to be circling around them. Echoing the tragic deaths of the Chillicothe Six in 2014–15 Ohio; following the best-selling, multiple-best booked Betty.

McFarlane, Fiona. The Sun Walks Down. Farrar. Feb. 2023. 352p. ISBN 9780374606237. $28. LITERARY

A terrible dust storm hits a small town in 1883 South Australia, and when it clears six-year-old Denny is nowhere to be found. Through multiple voices, McFarlane relates the efforts of residents, from farmers and policemen to schoolteachers and children, to find him. Following The High Places, which won the International Dylan Thomas Prize.

Rushdie, Salman. Victory City. Random. Feb. 2023. 352p. ISBN 9780593243398. $28. LITERARY

In 1300s India, yet another battle has subsided when the goddess Pampa creates a glittering city called Bisnaga—that is, Victory City—by speaking through a nine-year-old named Pampa Kampana. For the next 250 years, Pampa Kampana is involved in the city and its mission to make women equal in a world of men, but will the city survive those key human vices of pride and avarice? From the Booker Prize winner.

Yu, An. Ghost Music. Grove. Jan. 2023. 240p. ISBN 9780802159625. $26. LITERARY

After debuting with the attention-getting Braised Pork, Yu introduces readers to Song Yan, who has abandoned her career as a concert pianist but still cannot win her husband’s consent to having a child, even with her mother-in-law’s support. Then packages of mushrooms begin mysteriously arriving at their Beijing apartment, which leads Song Yan to a famed pianist who disappeared ten years previously.

Literary Debuts

Angel-Ajani, Asale. A Country You Can Leave. MCD. Feb. 2023. 320p. ISBN 9780374604059. $27. LITERARY

Living at the seen-better-days Oasis Mobile Estates, Black biracial Lara struggles to chart an escape route from her controlling white, Russian-born mother, who’s tenacious of spirit but unwilling to share anything of her past. Then an act of violence brings out the burdens of inherited trauma. From the author of two nonfiction titles, Strange Trade and Intimate.

Carr, Lakiesha. An Autobiography of Skin. Pantheon. Feb. 2023. 256p. ISBN 9780593316535. $27. LITERARY

By sending a young woman home to East Texas for a visit with the women in her family, Carr lays bare their long-held grief, unassailable bonds, and need for healing to create a portrait of Black womanhood. Meanwhile, readers meet characters like a mother trying to protect her infant from racial oppression by bleaching its skin. From Iowa Writers’ Workshop graduate Carr.

Chukwu, J K. The Unfortunates. Harper. Feb. 2023. 256p. ISBN 9780358650263. $26.99. CD. LITERARY

At Elite University, Sahara is in despair as she enters her sophomore year. With bad grades, weight worries, no love life, and an unsympathetic family, she further mourns the deaths of several of the few Black classmates she has. But as she writes a thesis of sorts for a committee preparing to judge her, she finds hope, help, and redemption with a special support group of women. Lambda fellow Chukwu gets a 35,000-copy first printing.

Goddard, Kieran. Hourglass. Europa. Feb. 2023. 208p. ISBN 9781609458171. $25. LITERARY

A writer stumbling from job to menial job meets an editor who has published four modest titles on Restoration drama, and they fall chaotically in love until it’s all over; she loses interest. Her lover’s pain may feel uniquely unbearable but is something most of us have known, and he recovers. From British poet Goddard, structuring his debut novel with verse-like line breaks; long-listed for the 2022 Desmond Elliott Prize.

Kelly, Jennifer Savran. Endpapers. Algonquin. Feb. 2023. 352p. ISBN 9781643751849. $27. LITERARY

In 2003 New York City, Dawn is having an identity crisis. By day, she works as a bookbinder at the Met and must present as female; by night, her partner (queer, as she is) seems to like her only at her most masculine. And her art is going nowhere. Then she discovers a queer love letter in an old book and seeks out the letter’s author. Winner of a Barbara Deming Memorial Fund grant and a finalist for the James Jones First Novel Fellowship.

Yarmysh, Kira. The Incredible Events in Women’s Cell Number 3. Grove. Feb. 2023. 368p. tr. from Russian by Arch Tait. ISBN 9780802160737. $27. LITERARY

Wrongfully convicted after her arrest at a Moscow anticorruption rally, Anya is sentenced to a ten-day stretch at a special detention center, where her cellmates are five women from all walks of life, there on petty charges. Even as they bond, Anya begins to suspect that her cellmates are not as ordinary as they seem. As Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny’s press secretary, Yarmysh has experienced both arrest and imprisonment; despite the book’s well-received Russian publication in October 2020, Yarmysh’s appearance at the Moscow Book Fair was canceled. Multiple foreign rights sold.


Berry, Steve. The Last Kingdom. Grand Central. (Cotton Malone, Bk. 17). Feb. 2023. 400p. ISBN 9781538720998. $29. Downloadable. THRILLER/HISTORICAL

With the help of protégé Luke Daniels, Cotton Malone has discovered a plot to wrest Bavarian independence from Germany and restore the Wittelsbach monarchy. It’s all based on a lost document purporting to grant King Ludwig II legal rights to land now wanted by Germany, China, and the United States. And the race to find the document is on! With a 200,000-copy first printing.

Dorsey, Tim. The Maltese Iguana. Morrow. Feb. 2023. 336p. ISBN 9780063240629. $28.99. lrg. prnt. CD. THRILLER/HUMOROUS

In his next over-the-top adventure, a fully vaccinated Serge A. Storms is finally ready to set out on a Florida road trip with some revelrous friends. Change of plans: they encounter a man on the run from the CIA, hired by the agency as a local liaison for a revenge mission in Honduras and the only surviving witness when the mission implodes. With a 75,000-copy first printing.

Ellison, J.T. It’s One of Us: A Novel of Suspense. Mira: Harlequin. Feb. 2023. 336p. ISBN 9780778311768. $27.99. THRILLER/DOMESTIC

Already distraught after failing to conceive despite fertility treatments and IVF intervention, Olivia Bender is completely undone when police arrive at her door to report that her husband has a son (the result of a long-ago sperm donation) who’s a suspected killer. With a 100,000-copy first printing.

Johansen, Iris & Roy Johansen. More Than Meets the Eye. Grand Central. Feb. 2023. 432p. ISBN 9781538726235. $29. lrg. prnt. CD/downloadable. THRILLER

No. 1 New York Times best-selling Iris Johansen joins with her Edgar Award–winning son, Roy Johansen, for another thriller featuring investigator Kendra Michaels. Here, a serial killer is about to disclose the whereabouts of his many victims to the FBI, and Kendra gets involved. With a 100,000-copy first printing.

Kellerman, Jonathan. Unnatural History: An Alex Delaware Novel. Ballantine. Feb. 2023. 320p. ISBN 9780525618614. $28.99. lrg. prnt. CD. THRILLER

When a celebrated photographer is found murdered, Dr. Alex Delaware and Det. Milo Sturgis wonder whether he was killed because of his high-profile—and highly controversial—series of street people photographed enacting their fantasies of how they’d like to be living. Although maybe someone in his painfully eccentric family is to blame. Next in a No. 1 New York Times best-selling series.

Kent, Kathleen. Black Wolf. Mulholland: Little, Brown. Feb. 2023. 400p. ISBN 9780316280211. $29. Downloadable. THRILLER/ESPIONAGE

After a spate of excellent historicals and an Edgar-nominated mystery trilogy, Kent takes CIA agent Melvina Donleavy to 1990 Soviet Belarus, where she works undercover to prevent Soviet nuclear weapons from reaching the Middle East. Complications: women are disappearing from the streets of Minsk—is a serial killer is lurking?—And she’s Melvina has caught the attention of the Black Wolf, who heads up the KGB. With a 15,000-copy first printing.

Lawson, Mike. Alligator Alley: A Joe DeMarco Thriller. Atlantic Monthly. Feb. 2023. 288p. ISBN 9780802160522. $27. THRILLER

In his next behind-the-scenes job for the Speaker of the House, Joe Demarco is the Everglades, investigating the murder of a young woman working for the Department of Justice’s Inspector General’s Office. He and savvy former spy Emma quickly narrow the field of suspects to two end-of-career FBI agents and just as quickly realize that the agents weren’t acting alone. From Edgar finalist Lawson.

Mallon, Thomas. Up With the Sun. Knopf. Feb. 2023. 352p. ISBN 9781524748197. $30. THRILLER

In the 1950s–60s, actor Dick Kallman starred on Broadway and prime-time television but retired as the roles thinned out; in 1980, he was murdered during a robbery at the Manhattan apartment where he lived with partner Stephen Szladek. Reimagining his life, Lambda and Pen/Faulkner finalist Mallon brings out Kallman’s sharp edge and self-destructive tendencies, backdropped by the strains of show business and the era’s suppression of gay rights.

North, Alex. The Angel Maker. Celadon: Macmillan. Feb. 2023. 288p. ISBN 9781250757869. $28.99. CD. SUSPENSE

Katie Shaw has always felt guilty about failing to protect little brother Chris from a violent attack when they were growing up in the English countryside. Now a mother, she learns that Chris has gone missing in a case that gets braided together with a professor’s murder and the long-ago machinations of a serial killer. Following the New York Times best-selling The Whisper Man and the multi-starred The Shadows; with a 150,000-copy first printing.

O’Connor, Joseph. My Father’s House. Europa. (Rome Escape Line, Bk. 1). Feb. 2023. 440p. ISBN 9781609458355. $28. THRILLER/LITERARY/HISTORICAL

In 1943 Rome, diplomats, refugees, and escaped Allied prisoners fled to Vatican City for refuge, and Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty risked everything to smuggle them out of Italy. Billed as a literary thriller, this first in a trilogy from Irish Book Award winner and Costa Book Award finalist O’Connor tells the story of the real-life O’Flaherty.

Robotham, Michael. Lying Beside You. Scribner. (Cyrus Haven, Bk. 3). Feb. 2023. 352p. ISBN 9781982166489. $27.99. THRILLER/PSYCHOLOGICAL

In the Edgar Award finalist Good Girl, Bad Girl, forensic psychologist Cyrus Haven helped Evie Cormac win release from a children’s home. Now he’s profiling the murderer of a man whose daughter has vanished, and only he believes Evie when she says she witnessed the young woman’s abduction. Meanwhile, Cyrus’s brother is being released from a psychiatric hospital—he murdered the rest of the family after hearing voices—and Cyrus is expected to take him in.

Smith, Tom Rob. Cold People. Scribner. Feb. 2023. 320p. ISBN 9781982198404. $28. CD. THRILLER

An evil force has taken over Earth and delivers an ultimatum: human beings have only 30 days to reach Antarctica, the one place they will be allowed to live. The narrative follows the mad scramble southward of characters intent on securing not only current survival but also the future of humankind. From the author of Child 44, which has sold over two million copies worldwide.

Historical Fiction

Calvi, Mary. If a Poem Could Live and Breathe: A Novel of Teddy Roosevelt’s First Love. St. Martin’s. Feb. 2023. 320p. ISBN 9781250277831. $28.99. HISTORICAL

Chang, Janie. The Porcelain Moon: A Novel of France, the Great War, and Forbidden Love. Morrow. Feb. 2023. 352p. ISBN 9780063072862. $27.99. CD. HISTORICAL

Hosein, Kevin Jared. Hungry Ghosts. Ecco. Feb. 2023. 352p. ISBN 9780063213388. $27.99. CD. HISTORICAL

Jenoff, Pam. Code Name Sapphire. Park Row: Harlequin. Feb. 2023. 352p. ISBN 9780778334293. $28.99; pap. ISBN 9780778387091. $17.99. CD. HISTORICAL

Labuskes, Brianna. The Librarian of Burned Books. Morrow. Feb. 2023. 384p. ISBN 9780063297128. $28.99; pap. ISBN 9780063259256. $17.99. lrg. prnt. CD. HISTORICAL

Maetis, J.C. The Vienna Writers Circle. Mira: Harlequin. Feb. 2023. 384p. ISBN 9780778333715. $27.99. HISTORICAL

Marshall, Heather. Looking for Jane. Atria. Feb. 2023. ISBN 9781668013687. $27.99. HISTORICAL

Moustakis, Melinda. Homestead. Flatiron: Macmillan. Feb. 2023. 256p. ISBN 9781250845559. $27.99. HISTORICAL

Verble, Margaret. Stealing. Mariner: HarperCollins. 256p. ISBN 9780063267053. $27.99. CD. HISTORICAL

The Emmy Award–winning Calvi (Dear George, Dear Mary) returns with the story of a young Teddy Roosevelt wooing Boston belle Alice Lee in If a Poem Could Live and Breathe (60,000-copy first printing). Three Souls author Chang goes hardcover with The Porcelain Moon, about a young Chinese woman who flees her uncle’s Paris home in 1918 to avoid an arranged marriage, seeking a cousin in the French countryside working with the Chinese Labour Corps and befriending a Frenchwoman who wants quit of her abusive husband (50,000-copy first printing). Set in 1940s Trinidad, when British colonialism and U.S. occupation were folding, Commonwealth Short Story Prize winner Hosein’s Hungry Ghosts contrasts the lives of wealthy farm owners Dalton and Marlee Changoor and their impoverished workers, with the plot driven by Dalton’s disappearance (100,000-copy first printing). In Code Name Sapphire, from World War II fiction titan Jenoff, Hannah Martel flees Nazi Germany for Brussels and joins the Sapphire Line, which spirits downed Allied airmen to safety; when her cousin Lily’s family is slated for deportation, she must decide whether she should risk trying to rescue them (350,000-copy paperback and 10,000-copy hardcover first printing). Best-selling thriller writer Labuskes turns to historical fiction with The Librarian of Burned Books, which moves from U.S. author Althea James’s discovery of Nazi resisters in 1933 Berlin to German refugee Hannah Brecht’s work at the German Library of Burned Books in 1936 Paris to Vivian Childs’s efforts in 1944 New York to block the censorship of the Armed Service Editions, paperbacks shipped to soldiers overseas (100,000-copy paperback and 30,000-copy hardcover first printing). Writing under his father’s Lithuanian surname, Maetis, British thriller writer John Matthews takes readers to 1938 Vienna, where members of The Vienna Writers Circle fear that the Anschluss means they won’t be able to write and then fear for their very survival (50,000-copy first printing). In Canadian author Marshall’s best-selling debut, Angela Creighton’s discovery in 2017 of a long-misplaced letter with great import to her family sends her Looking for Jane, with Jane the codename for a network providing illegal abortions in 1970s–80s Toronto. Winner of the Flannery O’Connor Award and National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 honors for Bear Down, Bear North: Alaska Stories, Moustakis tries out full-length fiction in Homestead, about a couple named Marie and Lawrence who marry impulsively and then learn about each other while homesteading in Alaska as it nears statehood (75,000-copy first printing). In Pulitzer Prize–winning Verble’s Stealing, a Cherokee girl named Kit Crockett is taken from her home in 1950s bayou country and sent to a Christian boarding school intent on expunging her heritage (50,000-copy first printing).

Family, Friends, Coming of Age

Adébáyọ̀, Ayọ̀bámi. A Spell of Good Things. Knopf. Feb. 2023. 352p. ISBN 9780525657644. $28. CONTEMPORARY

Deveraux, Jude. Meant To Be. Mira: Harlequin. Feb. 2023. 464p. ISBN 9780778331445. $27.99; pap. ISBN 9780778333739. $17.99. CD. CONTEMPORARY

Florin, Daisy Alpert. My Last Innocent Year. Holt. Feb. 2023. 304p. ISBN 9781250857033. $26.99. COMING OF AGE

George, Jessica. Maame. St. Martin’s. Feb. 2023. 320p. ISBN 9781250282521. $27.99. CD. CONTEMPORARY

Makkai, Rebecca. I Have Some Questions for You. Viking. Feb. 2023. 448p. ISBN 9780593490143. $28. Downloadable. PSYCHOLOGICAL

Poeppel, Amy. The Sweet Spot. Emily Bestler: Atria. Feb. 2023. 400p. ISBN 9781982176464. $27.99; pap. ISBN 9781982176457. $17.99. CONTEMPORARY

Tate, Dizz. Brutes. Catapult. Feb. 2023. 304p. ISBN 9781646221677. $27. COMING OF AGE

From Adébáyọ̀, author of the Baileys short-listed Stay with Me, A Spell of Good Things brings together two contemporary Nigerian families through the intertwined lives of a young woman doctor and a boy tending to his family after his father’s death. Perennially best-selling Deveraux’s Meant To Be features two sisters in 1970s Kansas who must between what they want and what is expected of them (75,000-copy first printing). Though she finally feels at home at her prestigious college in 1998, Lower East Side New Yorker Isabel Rosen still faces emotional crisis in Florin’s My Last Innocent Year, moving from a nonconsensual sexual encounter to an affair with a married professor; a highly touted debut (100,000-copy first printing). In Ghanaian British George’s debut, Maame, Maddie finally wrests some independence from her parents—a bossy mother forever traveling to Ghana and a father who needs caretaking—and for the first time experiences living on her own; then tragedy strikes (250,000-copy first printing). In Pulitzer Prize finalist Makkai’s I Have Some Questions for You, film professor and podcaster Bodie Kane gingerly returns to teach at the New Hampshire boarding school where a classmate was murdered and begins to wonder whether justice was served in convicting the school’s athletic trainer, Omar Evans. When Melinda’s husband runs off with a young celebrity entrepreneur, they dump their newborn on Melinda’s doorstep, and she ends up caring for the baby with friend Lauren, whose Greenwich Village brownstone houses a bar called The Sweet Spot, and bartender Olivia; from popular Musical Chairs author Poeppel. Winner of the Bristol Short Story Prize, Florida-born, London-based Tate goes full-length in Brutes, about a bunch of 13-year-old girls in swampy Falls Landing, FL, obsessed with preacher’s daughter Sammy—and galvanized by her disappearance.

SF/Fantasy/Fairy Tales

Barnhill, Kelly. The Crane Husband. Feb. 2023. 128p. ISBN 9781250850973. $19.99. FAIRY TALES

Author of the LJ-starred adult novel When Women Were Dragons as well as middle-grade novels that include the Newbery Medal–winning The Girl Who Drank the Moon, Barnhill reimagines the fairy tale “The Crane Wife” in a contemporary Midwestern setting. Here, a mother who dreamily creates beautiful tapestries upends the family by bringing home a huge, scary crane that demands she weave a masterpiece. With a 100,000-copy first printing.

Chokshi, Roshani. The Last Tale of the Flower Bride. Morrow. Feb. 2023. 304p. ISBN 9780063206502. $27.99. CD. FAIRY TALES

When a mythology scholar marries the intriguingly enigmatic Indigo Maxwell-Casteñada, she makes him promise never to ask about her past. Then a family emergency sends them to her childhood home, and the husband must choose between reality and fantasy. The adult debut of a New York Times best-selling author whose Aru Shah and the End of Time was one of Time’s Top 100 Fantasy Books of All Time.

Dimaline, Cherie. VenCo. Morrow. Feb. 2023. 400p. ISBN 9780063054899. $28.99. CD. FANTASY/INDIGENOUS

In the Toronto apartment she shares with her grandmother, a young Métis woman named Lucky St. James discovers a humming silver spoon that connects her to a network of witches looking to bring together the legendary seven spoons: then women can reclaim their rightful power. From the Canadian Métis author of the acclaimed Empire of Wild; with a 75,000-copy first printing.

McAdam, Colin. Black Dove. Soho. Feb. 2023. 336p. ISBN 9781641294225. $26. FANTASY/PSYCHOLOGICAL

Relentlessly bullied at school and desperate to forget a mother lost to alcohol, Oliver finds refuge in a junk shop whose basement houses mysterious creatures like the part panther, part hound Night. There, he becomes interested in genetic editing (he’s trying to escape his own heritage) in a narrative that unfolds the sometimes dangerous consequences of fantasy. From multi-award-winning Canadian author McAdam (A Beautiful Truth).

McDonald, Ian. Hopeland. Tor. Feb. 2023. 512p. ISBN 9780765375551. $28.99. SF/TIME TRAVEL

Raisa Hopeland wants to become the next electromancer of London, but encountering Grace-guided Amon Brightbourne in the midst of a riot sets her on a different path, which ranges across continents and decades as her difficult family ends up struggling to survive and maybe change the universe. From the multiple award-winning McDonald; with a 40,000-copy first printing.

Pardo, Paz. The Shamshine Blind. Atria. Feb. 2023. 320p. ISBN 9781982185329. $28. FANTASY/LITERARY

Having developed visually vivid weapons called psychopigments that can spark almost human emotion on contact, Argentina won the Falklands War, and by 2009 the United States has become a backwater. Psychopigment Enforcement Agent Kay Curtida works small-town incidents outside of wrecked San Francisco until a big case leads her to a conspiracy. A debut from Argentine American playwright Pardo.

Rollins, James. The Cradle of Ice. Tor. Feb. 2023. 688p. ISBN 9781250766748. $28.99. CD. FANTASY/EPIC

In the series-opening The Starless Crown, a star student, a disillusioned soldier, a dissolute prince, and a wily thief are on a mission to prevent apocalypse. Now they must separate and travel through vast ice fields to reach a city they know only through legend. With a 300,000-copy first printing.

Roth, Veronica. Arch-Conspirator. Tor. Feb. 2023. 128p. ISBN 9781250855466. $19.99. SF/POSTAPOCALYPTIC

The No. 1 New York Times best-selling author of the sf “Divergent” series for YAs, Roth puts a new spin on the classic tale of Antigone with a narrative set outside the last city on a devastated Earth. With her parents dead and Antigone’s uncle Kreon now occupying the throne, and she and her siblings are stuck in Kreon’s mansion. But Antigone won’t stay put. With a 150,000-copy first printing.

Ruff, Matt. The Destroyer of Worlds: A Return to Lovecraft Country. Harper. Feb. 2023. 384p. ISBN 9780063256897. $27.99. CD. FANTASY/HISTORICAL

Ruff returns to the environs of World Fantasy Award nominee Lovecraft Country with multiple plotlines. It’s summer 1957, and Atticus Turner and his father, Montrose, are retracing the route taken by an ancestor to escape enslavement as 15-year-old Horace Berry goes on his own trip and the ghost of Hiram Winthrop promises to cure George Berry of cancer if George resurrects him. With a 75,000-copy first printing.

Yu, E. Lily. Jewel Box: Stories. Erewhon: Workman. Feb. 2023. 400p. ISBN 9781645660484. $26.95. FANTASY/SHORT STORIES

In 2012, Yu won Hugo, World Fantasy, and Nebula nominations for “The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees” as well as the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. In 2021, her debut novel, On Fragile Waves, won multiple best-booked accolades and a constellation of stars. No wonder this selection of her stories, never before collected, is much anticipated.


Coates, Darcy. The Twisted Dead. Poisoned Pen: Sourcebooks. Feb. 2023. 304p. ISBN 9781728239231. pap. $14.99. HORROR

Keira can chat with ghosts, which has landed her in some messy situations (see the first two books in the USA Today best-selling “Gravekeeper” series). She’d like to settle down to a relatively normal life as groundskeeper of a small-town cemetery, but no such luck. A man who once tried to kill her has invited her to his moldering ancestral estate to challenge the restless dead he claims are turning his life into a horror.

Compton, Johnny. The Spite House. Tor Nightfire. Feb. 2023. 272p. ISBN 9781250841414. $27.99. HORROR

On the run with his two daughters from some indeterminate terror in his past, Eric Ross lacks references and resources and is hence relieved to secure a job as caretaker of the Masson property in Texas—even if the house is supposedly haunted. The owner wants to prove that ghosts are flitting about and asks Eric to keep records of any mysterious events, but it’s no easy task: the job has driven previous caretakers insane. A big-deal debut; with a 125,000-copy first printing.

Snyder, Lucy A. Sister, Maiden, Monster. Tor Nightfire. Feb. 2023. ISBN 9781250825650. pap. $17.99. HORROR

In this latest from the five-time Bram Stoker Award–winning Snyder, a virus has decimated the world, radically altering those who are infected as it upends humanity’s settled truths. Three women have joined forces to survive, with Erin and Savannah readying themselves and others for a strange new world and Mareva facing a special task too terrifying even to name. With 100,000-copy first printing.

Last of the February Chillers

Ellis, Bret Easton. The Shards. Knopf. Jan. 2023. 608p. ISBN 9780593535608. $30. THRILLER

In this quasi-autobiographical novel, set in 1981 Los Angeles, Bret is a senior at the elite Buckley prep school and fascinated with a new student who has arrived like a lightning bolt even as Bret’s wider group of friends focus unhealthily on a serial killer called the Trawler who suddenly seems to be circling them. As Bret wonders whether he can trust anyone (himself included), the blazing writer-to-be starts emerging.

Harrod-Eagles, Cynthia. Before I Sleep. Severn House. (Bill Slider, Bk. 23). NAp. ISBN 9781448306190. $28.99. MYSTERY

A beautiful and quietly self-assured older woman named Felicity Holland fails to return home after a pottery class, and her husband is convinced that she’s been abducted. But without evidence of foul play—or any reason for it—DCI Bill Slider of London’s Shepherd’s Bush murder squad, doesn’t know where to start looking. Next in a durable series after the well-received Dying Fall.

Holmes, Rupert. Murder Your Employer: The McMasters Guide to Homicide. Avid Reader: S. & S. Feb. 2023. 400p. ISBN 9781451648218. $28. MYSTERY

Ever heard of the McMasters Conservatory? At this specialized school, its location unknown even to those who study there, students learn how to kill for what they consider ethical reasons: they want to get rid of someone they consider a blight on the universe. From the two-time Edgar-winning Holmes, a multiple Tony and Drama Desk Awards award winner for mystery musicals that include The Mystery of Edwin Drood.

Malliet, G.M. Invitation to a Killer. Severn House. (Augusta Hawke Mystery, Bk. 2). Feb. 2023. NAp. ISBN 9781448306640. $28.99. MYSTERY

In this second in a new series from the Agatha Award–winning Malliet, crime writer Augusta Hawke has agreed to ghostwrite the memoirs of ambitious Callie Morgan, who’s aiming for a diplomatic posting. After a suspicious death at a dinner party thrown by Callie, Augusta organizes a writers’ retreat loaded with suspects that gets tension-provokingly snowed in.

Mosley, Walter. Every Man a King: A King Oliver Novel. Mulholland: Little, Brown. Feb. 2023. 336p. ISBN 9780316460217. $28. CD/downloadable. MYSTERY

In this sequel to the Edgar award–winning Down the River Unto the Sea, Joe King Oliver is asked by uncommonly rich family friend Roger Ferris to determine whether white nationalist Alfred Xavier Quiller was set up when he is accused of murder and of selling sensitive information to the Russians. Assisted by unorthodox bodyguard/mercenary Oliya Ruez, Oliver struggles to grasp the breadth of Quiller’s various business dealings while wondering why Ferris is so concerned. With a 100,000-copy first printing.

Westerson, Jeri. Courting Dragons. Severn House. Feb. 2023. ISBN 9781448309870. NAp. $28.99. MYSTERY

Author of the fabulous medieval noir series starring Crispin Guest, Westerson launched a new series with Will Somers as King Henry VIII’s jester. Will, who also serves as the king’s ear-to-the-ground adviser, is blackmailed when he finds the corpse of Spanish count Don Gonzalo while walking in the courtyard gardens.



Andrews, Bryce. Holding Fire: A Reckoning with the American West. Mariner: HarperCollins. Feb. 2023. 352p. ISBN 9780358468271. $27.99. CD. MEMOIR

A Montana rancher and conservationist whose Down from the Mountain was an Amazon Best Science Title of 2019, Andrews felt a weighty history of violence as he held the Smith & Wesson revolver he inherited from his grandfather. Here, as he decides to lay down his arms, he reflects on that history, particularly in the U.S. West, and considers the rise in U.S. gun violence today. With a 50,000-copy first printing.

Felix, Camonghne. Dyscalculia: A Love Story of Epic Miscalculation. One World: Ballantine. Feb. 2023. 240p. ISBN 9780593242179. $27. MEMOIR

After a breakup so thornily horrendous that she ended up in the hospital, poet/essayist Felix uses her childhood dyscalculia—a disorder that makes math hard to learn—as a means of understanding her missteps in love and in life. Felix’s Build Yourself a Boat was long-listed for the National Book Award and short-listed for Lambda and PEN/Open Book award honors.

Hoja, Gulchehra. A Stone Is Most Precious Where It Belongs: A Memoir of Uyghur Exile, Hope, and Survival. Hachette. Feb. 2023. 336p. ISBN 9780306828843. $29. MEMOIR

Raised in a prominent Uyghur family in East Turkistan (officially, the Xinjiang Autonomous Region of China), Hoja came to recognize the damage done by Chinese rule to Uyghur culture and fled to the United States. As a result, 24 members of her family vanished overnight, a story she unfolded in award-winning investigations for Radio Free Asia and in more detail here. With a 25,000-copy first printing.

Iduma, Emmanuel. I Am Still with You: A Reckoning with Silence, Inheritance, and History. Algonquin. Feb. 2023. 240p. ISBN 9781643751016. $27. MEMOIR

Both a writer (the novel Farad and the travelogue A Stranger’s Pose) and an art critic (he co-curated the first ever Nigerian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale), Iduma returned to Nigeria after years in New York because of a family wedding and his father’s death. His ulterior motive: to find out what happened to his uncle Emmanuel, who vanished during the Nigerian civil war, and to understand how that war shaped his family and himself.

Jackson, Bruce. Never Far from Home: My Journey from Brooklyn to Hip Hop, Microsoft, and the Law. Atria. Feb. 2023. 272p. ISBN 9781982191153. $28. MEMOIR

Raised in Manhattan’s Amsterdam housing projects, falsely accused of robbery at age 10, witness to a close friend’s murder at age 15, and drawn into the drug trade, Jackson was then made an offer that set him on a path leading to Georgetown Law. Now he’s Microsoft’s associate general counsel, having also spent three decades working with some of the top music producers in the United States.

Masters, Oksana, with Cassidy Randall. The Hard Parts: From Chernobyl to Paralympic Champion—My Story of Achieving the Extraordinary. Scribner. Feb. 2023. 288p. ISBN 9781982185503. $28. MEMOIR

When Masters was born, she had one kidney, a partial stomach, six toes on each foot, webbed fingers, no right bicep, no thumbs, and no tibias—terrible challenges resulting from having been conceived near Chernobyl. Surrendered to an orphanage, she was adopted by U.S. professor Guy Masters after a two-year battle and is now a ten-time Paralympic medalist. Originally scheduled for July 2022; with a 60,000-copy first printing.

Nahvi, Farzon A. Code Gray: Death, Life, and Uncertainty in the ER. S. & S. Feb. 2023. 256p. ISBN 9781982160296. $27.99. CD. MEMOIR

An emergency room physician at Concord Hospital in New Hampshire, having previously worked in New York City, Nahvi chronicles a single day in an urban ER. Centered on a healthy patient in her forties inexplicably in cardiac arrest, the narrative moves from intake to dealing with patients’ families to highlight the ethical questions faced daily by doctors in his position. Originally scheduled for July 2022.

Perkins, Kendrick with Seth Rogoff. The Education of Kendrick Perkins. St. Martin’s. Feb. 2023. 304p. ISBN 9781250280343. $28.99. MEMOIR

Perkins recounts the big strides he took from small-town Texas to the NBA, where he played for 14 years and helped the Celtics win their first NBA championship since the Larry Bird era before moving on to a position as ESPN commentator. In addition, he offers his forthright opinions on racial justice, political consciousness, and fatherhood. With a 100,000-copy first printing.

Rivera Garza, Cristina. Liliana’s Invincible Summer: A Sister’s Search for Justice. Hogarth: Crown. Feb. 2023. 320p. ISBN 9780593244098. $28. MEMOIR

In 1990 Mexico, Rivera Garza’s sister was murdered by a former boyfriend and the crime brushed aside by an indifferent criminal justice system. Here, the MacArthur-graced novelist/poet peers deeply at her own long-standing grief while reigniting the brief, beautiful flame of Liliana’s life, which she reconstructs through letters, school notebooks, and police reports she collected on a trip to Mexico after decades in the United States.

Rock, Bretman. You’re That Bitch. Harper. Feb. 2023. 208p. ISBN 9780358694106. $26.99. CD. MEMOIR

A Filipino American beauty influencer and social media phenomenon based in Hawaii, Bretman “The Baddest” Rock compiles essays, advice, drawings, recipes, and never-before-seen photos to reflect on his family, Filipino culture, and what being a first-generation immigrant has meant for him. With a 100,000-copy first printing.

Schwalbe, Will. We Should Not Be Friends: The Story of a Friendship. Knopf. Feb. 2023. 336p. ISBN 9780525654933. $29. MEMOIR

In college at Yale, Schwalbe gravitated to the literary/theatrical crowd, so his friendship with boisterous star wrestler Chris Maxey was an anomaly. Schwalbe, author of the Entertainment Weekly and BookPage best-booked The End of Your Life Book Club, tracks their friendship over four decades.

Tate, Christie. B.F.F.: A Memoir of Friendship Lost and Found. Avid Reader: S. & S. Feb. 2023. 304p. ISBN 9781668009420. $28. MEMOIR

Tate had found a wonderful boyfriend and pulled her life together via group therapy, as recounted in the New York Times best-selling Group, also a Reese’s Book Club pick. Then an older woman friend suggested that she examine why she had so much trouble with friendships, which launched a journey through past mistakes and Tate’s sense of apartness since childhood.

Thomas, Joseph Earl. Sink: A Memoir. Grand Central. Feb. 2023. 256p. ISBN 9781538706176. $28. MEMOIR

Growing up in a roach-ridden home with a mother on crack, hungry, battered, and tauntingly told that he was a weakling, Thomas found respite in fantasy and virtual worlds and eventually became a Pokémon master. Currently, he’s a doctoral candidate in English at the University of Pennsylvania, and an excerpt of this memoir won the 2020 Chautauqua Janus Prize.

Social Justice

Auster, Paul. Bloodbath Nation. Grove. Jan. 2023. 160p. ISBN 9780802160454. $26. VIOLENCE IN SOCIETY

Benforado, Adam. A Minor Revolution: How Prioritizing Kids Benefits Us All. Crown. Feb. 2023. 384p. ISBN 9781984823045. $28.99. DOMESTIC POLITICS

Bloom, Paul. Psych: The Story of the Human Mind. Ecco. Feb. 2023. 368p. ISBN 9780063096356. $29.99. CD. PSYCHOLOGY

Honig, Elie. Untouchable: How Powerful People Get Away with It. Harper. Feb. 2023. 288p. ISBN 9780063241503. $28.99. CD. POLITICAL SCIENCE

Kornbluh, Felicia. A Woman’s Life Is a Human Life: My Mother, Our Neighbor, and the Journey from Reproductive Rights to Reproductive Justice. Atlantic Monthly. Jan. 2023. 448p. ISBN 9780802160683. $28. HISTORY/REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS

Oreskes, Naomi & Erik M. Conway. The Big Myth: How American Business Taught Us To Loathe Government and Love the Free Market. Bloomsbury. Feb. 2023. 576p. ISBN 9781635573572. $30. BUSINESS

Owens, Ernest. The Case for Cancel Culture: How This Democratic Tool Works To Liberate Us All. St. Martin’s. Feb. 2023. 256p. ISBN 9781250280930. $27.99. POLITICAL SCIENCE/CIVIL RIGHTS

Patterson, James & Matt Eversmann with Chris Mooney. Walk the Blue Line. Little, Brown. Feb. 2023. 352p. ISBN 9780316406604. $30. lrg. prnt. CD/downloadable. LAW ENFORCEMENT

Rae-Venter, Barbara. I Know Who You Are: How an Amateur DNA Sleuth Unmasked the Golden State Killer and Changed Crime Fighting Forever. Ballantine. Feb. 2023. 256p. ISBN 9780593358894. $28.99. MEMOIR/TRUE CRIME

Smialek, Jeanna. Limitless: The Federal Reserve Takes on a New Age of Crisis. Knopf. Feb. 2023. 384p. ISBN 9780593320235. $30. BUSINESS/POLITICS

Sommer, William. Trust the Plan: The Rise of QAnon and the Conspiracy That Reshaped America. Harper. Feb. 2023. 320p. ISBN 9780063114487. $28.99. POLITICAL SCIENCE

Yoshino, Kenji & David Glasgow. Say the Right Thing: How To Talk about Identity, Diversity, and Justice. Atria. Feb. 2023. 240p. ISBN 9781982181383. $28. SOCIAL SCIENCE

In Bloodbath Nation, Man Booker short-listed novelist Auster assays the history of gun violence in the United States from the time of the first white settlers through the current mass shootings that make the country the most violent in the Western world. A New York Times best-selling author (Unfair), law professor Benforado uses real-life portraits in A Minor Revolution to detail how the United States fails its children, with 11 million in poverty, 4 million lacking health insurance, thousands prosecuted as adults, and countless struggling in substandard public schools mere miles from the polished halls of elite private institutions. Brooks and Suzanne Ragen Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Yale University, Bloom recapitulates one of Yale’s most popular courses in Pysch, offering an up-to-date understanding of the mind’s workings—particularly in the context of key contemporary moral and sociopolitical issues (75,000-copy first printing). CNN senior legal analyst Honig (Hatchet Man) challenges the two-tier justice system in the United States that allows the wealthy, the celebrated, and particularly the powerful to be Untouchable (35,000-copy first printing). In A Woman’s Life Is a Human Life, historian Kornbluh (The Battle for Welfare Rights) offers a timely overview of a half-century's worth of fighting for reproductive rights. Having unearthed the dismal origins of climate change denial in Merchants of Doubt, Oreskes and Conway tackle another Big Myth, the magic of the marketplace, from the early 1900s business challenges to regulations through to the down-with-big-government cries still prevailing (150,000-copy first printing). Owens, a Black gay journalist with Forbes 30 Under 30 credentials, makes The Case for Cancel Culture by repositioning it not as suppression or put-down but as a key means of democratic expression and accountability (60,000-copy first printing). The mega-best-selling novelist Patterson joins with his Walk in My Combat Boots coauthor Eversmann and thriller writer Mooney to Walk the Blue Line, telling the true-life stories of police officers (300,000-copy first printing). Named by Nature among “10 People Who Mattered in Science in 2018,” retired biologist and investigative genetic genealogist Rae-Venter explains in I Know Who You Are how she found a serial killer in 63 days after he had eluded authorities for 44 years. The New York Times reporter charged with covering the Federal Reserve, Smialek shows in Limitless how this formerly behind-the-curtains institution has been forced into greater transparency by rising inequality, falling global economic prospects, and the ravages of pandemic. A political reporter for the Daily Beast who has spent the last several years tracking QAnon, Sommer explains what it is, why it has gained traction, what dangers it poses, and how to shake adherents loose from its dogma in Trust the Plan (100,000-copy first printing; originally scheduled for March 2022).Chief Justice Earl Warren Professor of Constitutional Law and executive director of the Meltzer Center for Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging, respectively, at NYU School of Law, Yoshino and Glasgow investigate how we can Say the Right Thing in an era when issues of race, gender equity, and LGBTQ+ inclusiveness are at the forefront.

World War II History

Brookes, Adam. Fragile Cargo: The World War II Race To Save the Treasures of China’s Forbidden City. Atria. Feb. 2023. 384p. ISBN 9781982149291. $28.99. HISTORY

Leebaert, Derek. Unlikely Heroes: Franklin Roosevelt, His Four Lieutenants, and the World They Made. St. Martin’s. Feb. 2023. 496p. ISBN 9781250274694. $32.50. HISTORY

Meltzer, Brad & Josh Mensch. The Nazi Conspiracy: The Secret Plot to Kill Roosevelt, Stalin, and Churchill. Flatiron: Macmillan. Jan. 2023. 400p. ISBN 9781250777263. $29.99. CD. HISTORY

Siegal, Nina. The Diary Keepers: World War II in the Netherlands, as Written by the People Who Lived Through It. Ecco. Feb. 2023. 304p. ISBN 9780063070653. $29.99. CD. HISTORY

From BBC’s Beijing correspondent, Fragile Cargo chronicles efforts by the museum curators of the Forbidden City, home to China’s emperor, to evacuate its many treasures as political tensions escalated within the newly formed Republic of China and the Japanese began bombing Shanghai. Truman Book Award winner Leebaert’s Unlikely Heroes reexamines four key people—Harry Hopkins, Harold Ickes, Frances Perkins, and Henry Wallace, all seen as outsiders—who served in President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s administration from April 1933 until Roosevelt’s death in April 1945 (30,000-copy first printing). The New York Times best-selling authors of The First Conspiracy and The Lincoln Conspiracy, top-notch thriller writer Meltzer and Mensch, a documentary television producer, chronicle The Nazi Conspiracy to assassinate Franklin Roosevelt, Joseph Stalin, and Winston Churchill at their 1943 meeting in Tehran (300,000-copy first printing). From U.S.-born, Netherlands–based Siegal, a novelist/journalist raised in a family of Holocaust survivors, The Diary Keepers blends writings from more than 2,000 diaries kept by Dutch citizens during World War II (125,000-copy first printing).

Arts & Fashion

Bringley, Patrick. All The Beauty in the World: The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Me. S. & S. Feb. 2023. 240p. ISBN 9781982163303. $27.99. CD. MEMOIR/ART

Bringley was working in editorial events at The New Yorker when his older brother was diagnosed with terminal cancer, and he quit to find comfort in the most beautiful place he could think of: New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, where he served as a guard for 10 years. Billed as both working memoir (e.g., Lab Girl) and a fabulous look at art.

Brown, Nic. Bang Bang Crash. Counterpoint. Feb. 2023. 224p. ISBN 9781640094406. pap. $16.95. MEMOIR/MUSIC

As a young man, Brown was living his dream as a rock’n’roll drummer, successfully landing a big record deal and an interview in Rolling Stone. Then he realized it really wasn’t his dream and enrolled in the Iowa Writers’ Workshop; he’s since published novels like the LJ-starred Doubles. Be inspired.

Field, Patricia. Pat in the City: Musings from a Life of Fashion, Style, and Breaking All the Rules. Dey Street: Morrow. Feb. 2023. 288p. ISBN 9780063048324. $35. CD. MEMOIR/FASHION

From a Queens immigrant childhood to ownership of an iconic East Village boutique to her Emmy Award–winning costume design for Sex in the City and Academy Award–nominated work for The Devil Wears Prada, vibrantly red-haired Field has been remaking fashion while making a startling life for herself over decades. With a 40,000-copy first printing.

Gilman, Priscilla. The Critic’s Daughter: A Memoir. Norton. Feb. 2023. 288p. ISBN 9780393651324. $28.95. MEMOIR

Gilman’s account of an idyllic childhood shattered by divorce has a literary twist: her father was distinguished drama critic and Yale School of Drama professor Richard Gilman and her mother the influential literary agent Lynn Nesbit. Here the author recounts coming to terms with her parents’ empty marriage and her father’s double life while struggling to protect him from his own demons.

Middleton, William. Paradise Now: The Extraordinary Life of Karl Lagerfeld. Harper. Feb. 2023. 464p. ISBN 9780062969033. $28.99. CD. MEMOIR/FASHION

Formerly fashion features director for Harper’s Bazaar and the Paris bureau chief for Fairchild Publications, fashion journalist seems well situated to write a biography of renowned fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld. During his time in Paris, Middleton both interviewed and socialized with Lagerfeld, which should give this book an extra edge. With a 35,000-copy first printing.

Puchner, Martin. Culture: The Story of Us. Norton. Feb. 2023. 368p. ISBN 9780393867992. $35. CULTURE

In this celebration of art as the means of conveying purpose and meaning in life, Puchner, a Harvard professor of English and comparative literature, argues that the best artworks partake of past insights and cross-cultural exchange. He makes his point by ranging across loss and rediscovery, innovation and appropriation, from the plays of ancient Greece and Wole Soyinka to an Indian statuette found at Pompeii.

Robb, Alice. Don’t Think, Dear: On Loving and Leaving Ballet. Mariner: HarperCollins. Feb. 2023. 320p. ISBN 9780358653332. $28.99. CD. DANCE

After training at the School of American Ballet, the associate school of the New York City Ballet, Robb (Why We Dream) left to study at Oxford. To her dismay, she discovered that the regimentation she had sought to escape—the valuation of certain body types and the emphasis placed on toughing it out and doing what you’re told—are found in the larger world as well. With a 50,000-copy first printing.

Schulman, Michael. Oscar Wars: A History of Hollywood in Gold, Sweat, and Tears. Harper. Feb. 2023. 608p. ISBN 9780062859013. $35. lrg. prnt. CD. FILM

A staff writer at The New Yorker and author of the New York Times best-selling Her Again: Becoming Meryl Streep, Schulman limns the history of the Academy Awards over nine decades by highlighting 11 turning points, ranging from the Hollywood blacklist to issues surrounding Citizen Kane to the 2015 #OscarsSoWhite campaign. With a 75,000-copy first printing.

Warner, Joel. The Curse of the Marquis de Sade: A Notorious Scoundrel, a Mythical Manuscript, and the Biggest Scandal in Literary History. Crown. Feb. 2023. 304p. ISBN 9780593135686. $28.99.

Written in 1785 by the imprisoned Marquis de Sade, The 120 Days of Sodom flitted through Europe as a tiny scroll until its eventual publication in 1904. Much noise was made when rare-manuscripts dealer Gérard Lhéritier purchased the original scroll in 2014 and brought it back to France, but allegations that he ran his company as a Ponzi scheme brought even more scandal to the already scandalous book.


Achorn, Ed. The Lincoln Miracle: Inside the Republican Convention That Changed History. Atlantic Monthly. Feb. 2023. 512p. ISBN 9780802160621. $28. HISTORY

A Pulitzer Prize finalist for Commentary, Achorn follows up the Economist and Amazon best-booked Every Drop of Blood: The Momentous Second Inauguration of Abraham Lincoln with a study of how Lincoln actually won the nomination for the presidency in May 1960. Tough going, as Sen. William Seward looked to have a lock on the nomination, and Lincoln had just lost his Senate bid against incumbent Stephen Douglas.

Bagby, Meredith. The New Guys: The Historic Class of Astronauts That Broke Barriers and Changed the Face of Space Travel. Morrow. Feb. 2023. 320p. ISBN 9780063141971. $29.99. CD. HISTORY

In 1978, NASA decided to look beyond white male fighter pilots when hiring its first class of civilian astronauts for the new Space Shuttle program. The class included NASA’s first female, Black, and Asian American astronauts, a Jewish and a gay astronaut, and NASA’s first mother to set sights on space. Bagby, a former political reporter for CNN who now works as a TV/film producer, tells their story. With a 75,000-copy first printing.

Kurlansky, Mark. The Core of an Onion: Peeling the Rarest Common Food. Bloomsbury. Feb. 2023. 256p. ISBN 9781635575934. $27. HISTORY

The New York Times best-selling Kurlansky, whose honors have ranged from the James Beard Award to the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, does another of his famous one-subject drill downs (think Salt and Cod) as he sorts through the 20 varieties of the onion, the world’s only sulfuric acid–producing plant. The cultural references date back to ancient Egypt; as Julia Child proclaimed, “It is hard to imagine a civilization without onions.” With a 60,000-copy first printing.

Matejka, Adrian & Youssef Daoudi. Last On His Feet: Jack Johnson and the Battle of the Century. Liveright: Norton. Feb. 2023. 336p. ISBN 9781631495588. $29.99. BIOGRAPHY

In graphic format, Pulitzer Prize finalist poet Matejka and celebrated illustrator Daoudi revisit Reno, NV, on July 4, 1910, when Jack Johnson, the world’s first Black heavyweight champion, squared off against former heavyweight champion Jim Jeffries. Jeffries, dubbed “the Great White Hope,” was expected to wallop the man who had challenge the sport’s racial hierarchy. But Johnson walloped him, and race riots resulted. Interspersed with the fighting are scenes of Johnson’s rise as the self-educated son of formerly enslaved parents.

Olson, Lynne. Empress of the Nile: The Daredevil Archaeologist Who Saved Egypt’s Ancient Temples from Destruction. Random. Feb. 2023. 448p. ISBN 9780525509479. $32. HISTORY

With the construction of the Aswan High Dam in the 1960s, a dozen ancient Egyptian temples were set to be inundated. They were saved by the efforts of fierce French archaeologist Christiane Desroches-Noblecourt, who battled Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser and French President Charles de Gaulle as she persuaded 50 countries worldwide to contribute the funds needed for the temples’ rescue. From the New York Times best-selling author of Last Hope Island.

Prud’homme, Alex. Dinner with the President: Food, Politics, and a History of Breaking Bread at the White House. Knopf. Feb. 2023. 528p. ISBN 9781524732219. $35. HISTORY/COOKING

George Washington’s meager meals at Valley Forge—and, later, the escape of his enslaved chef, Hercules Posey, to freedom. Teddy Roosevelt’s supper with Booker T. Washington and Jimmy Carter’s Camp David détente between Israel and Egypt. Plus efforts by First Ladies from Dolley Madison to Michelle Obama to link food to politics and policy. There’s more to U.S. presidential dining than what meets the tongue, as evidenced by this study from Prud’homme, coauthor of Julia Child’s memoir, My Life in France.

Ramirez, Janina. Femina: A New History of the Middle Ages, Through the Women Written Out of It. Hanover Square: Harlequin. Feb. 2023. 320p. ISBN 9781335498526. $29.99. CD. HISTORY

Europe’s medieval era is generally regarded as a repressive time for women, but Oxford lecturer and BBC broadcaster Ramirez says it isn’t necessarily so. Claiming that much of what women accomplished then has been struck from the official record, she sorted through artifacts, writings, and personal possessions to reveal that many women had richer and more influential lives than was once thought. With a 50,000-copy first printing.

Whitaker, Mark. Saying It Loud: 1966—The Year Black Power Challenged the Civil Rights Movement. S. & S. Feb. 2023. 400p. ISBN 9781982114121. $28.99. HISTORY

In 1966, a pivotal year for the Civil Rights movement, the cry Black Power emerged to challenge the nonviolent approach of Martin Luther King Jr. and John Lewis. Whitaker, a former managing editor of CNN Worldwide, takes readers through key events, from Stokely Carmichael’s ouster of Lewis as chair of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) to the founding of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense to the white backlash that made Ronald Reagan California’s governor. Also here: Black Power’s ongoing significance today.

Wright, Jennifer. Madame Restell: The Life, Death, and Resurrection of Old New York’s Most Fabulous, Fearless, and Infamous Abortionist. Hachette. Feb. 2023. 320p. ISBN 9780306826795. $30. Downloadable. HISTORY

In Gilded Age New York, Madame Restell was famous not just for her fashion flair and penchant for public arguments but for providing much-needed family medical care. In particular, she helped unmarried women procure birth control and, notoriously, she performed abortions. From pop history author Wright (It Ended Badly), previously the political editor-at-large for Harper’s Bazaar; with a 20,000-copy first printing.


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

Author Image
Barbara Hoffert

Barbara Hoffert (, @BarbaraHoffert on Twitter) is Editor, LJ Prepub Alert; past chair of the Materials Selection Committee of the RUSA (Reference and User Services Assn.) division of the American Library Association; and past president, awards chair, and treasurer of the National Book Critics Circle.

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