April 2022 Prepub Alert: The Complete List

All the April 2022 Prepub Alerts in one place, plus a downloadable spreadsheet and a print-ready PDF of all posts.

 

 


The April 2022 Prepub Alert posts are also available as:

A downloadable spreadsheet of titles

A print-ready PDF of all Prepub Alert posts 


FICTION

Mystery Everywhere

Allen, Samantha Jayne. Pay Dirt Road. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Apr. 2022. 304p. ISBN 9781250804273. $27.99. MYSTERY            

At loose ends when she returns home to Garnett, TX, Annie McIntyre joins her family’s private investigation firm despite misgivings on all sides and is soon handling a case involving a missing waitress with whom she finds herself identifying. The result: bad memories, a confrontation with the past, and a fear that she’ll never survive this case. A debut from 2019 Tony Hillerman Prize recipient Allen; with a 40,000-copy first printing.

Bannalec, Jean-Luc. The King Arthur Case: A Brittany Mystery. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Apr. 2022. 384p. ISBN 9781250753083. $27.99. MYSTERY

Commissaire Dupin and his team should be having fun on their summer field trip to the forest of Broceliande, supposedly the last of a Breton fairy kingdom. But of course they find a dead body, and more corpses stack up along with questions for the scientists managing the forest: what do they think about the most recent archaeological digs, do they object to turning part of the forest into an amusement park, and why aren’t they talking? With a 30,000-copy first printing.

Brennan, Allison. The Wrong Victim. Mira: Harlequin. Apr. 2022. 384p. ISBN 9780778312307. $26.99. CD. MYSTERY/POLICE PROCEDURAL

Twenty minutes into a tour of the San Juan Islands, a charter boat is blown to smithereens, but who was the target? The four owners of a software company who refused to sell out to the looming competition? A newly married couple harboring nasty secrets? A deckhand who called in sick or the friend who took his place? The wealthy businessman and his sparkly new wife, whose children fear for their inheritance? Or just the businessman, as the wife actually left the boat before its departure, perhaps eager to dump an aging husband? Or maybe the boat itself, scorned by a radical eco-terrorist group? FBI Special Agent Matt Costa investigates in the next “Quinn & Costa” thriller; with a 100,000-copy first printing.

Crosby, Ellen. Bitter Roots. Severn House. Apr. 2022. 240p. ISBN 9780727891020. $28.99. MYSTERY/COZY

Ailing grapevines and a thunderous storm threaten to upend not just Lucy Montgomery’s vineyard but her impending marriage to winemaker Quinn Santori, but the real problem in the dead body among the vines. What’s worse, the victim had secretly planned to meet with Quinn, which leaves Lucy understandably unsettled about her husband-to-be. Next in the Mary Higgins Clark Award–nominated “Wine Country” series.

Gordon, David. The Wild Life: A Joe the Bouncer Novel. Mysterious: Norton. Apr. 2022. NAp. ISBN 9781613162774. $25.95. MYSTERY/PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR

First seen in Gordon’s Edgar Award–nominated The Bouncer, former Special Forces operative Joe Roth struggles with PTSD-induced drug and alcohol addiction and works as a strip-club bouncer. As a side hustle, he takes on work for a childhood friend now running New York’s Italian Mafia, which here means investigating the disappearance of the mob’s top call girls from their brothels. They aren’t runaways; one of the women has just ended up murdered, and Joe is after a kidnapper with a thirst for blood.

Harris, C.S. When Blood Lies. Berkley. Apr. 2022. 336p. ISBN 9780593102695. $26. MYSTERY/HISTORICAL

In March 1815, with the Bourbon king Louis XVIII restored to the throne of France, Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, travels to Paris to find his long-lost mother, Sophie, the roving Countess of Hendon. Alas, when he discovers her, she’s been thrown from one of the Île de la Cité’s time-roughened bridges and is dying from a stab wound. With the times still unsettled, the French authorities have little interest in addressing the murder of a scandalous Englishwoman, so Sebastian himself investigates. Next in the USA Today best-selling “Sebastian St. Cyr Mystery” series.

Hillerman, Anne. The Sacred Bridge: A Leaphorn, Chee & Manuelito Novel. Harper. Apr. 2022. 352p. ISBN 9780062908360. $26.99. MYSTERY/POLICE PROCEDURAL

Sgt. Jim Chee is ostensibly on vacation when visiting stunning Antelope Canyon and Lake Powell, but actually he’s there to peer into a sacred mystery discovered by his mentor, Lt. Joe Leaphorn. Discovering the body of a Navajo man devoted to the canyon’s art puts him on a different track, while back home Officer Bernadette Manuelito sees someone in a flashy car intentionally hit and kill a hitchhiker. As she investigates, she winds up following leads to a cannabis enterprise, which links to Jim’s case. Following the New York Times best-selling Stargazer; with a 75,000-copy first printing.

Perry, Anne. Three Debts Paid: A Daniel Pitt Novel. Ballantine. Apr. 2022. 288p. ISBN 9780593358733. $28. MYSTERY/HISTORICAL

A serial killer called the Rainy Day Slasher is raining terror down on Edwardian London, and the policeman leading the investigation is Daniel Pitt’s old university buddy Ian, who has also asked Daniel to defend a beloved professor of theirs accused of plagiarism. Assisting in the investigation as a newly minted pathologist, Daniel’s friend Miriam fford Croft starts seeing uncomfortable links between the two cases that Daniel and Ian fail to acknowledge. Fifth in the most recent series from the New York Times best-selling author.

Phillips, Gary. One-Shot Harry. Soho Crime. Apr. 2022. 288p. ISBN 9781641292917. $26.95. MYSTERY

Black Korean War veteran Harry Ingram works as a news photographer and occasional process server in early 1960s Los Angeles, ever mindful in the taut environment inspired by Martin Luther King’s approaching Freedom Rally that he could be targeted for violence on any assignment. Rushing to photograph a deadly automobile accident, he recognizes the vehicle as belonging to an old friend, white jazz trumpeter Ben Kingslow, and the photos he takes show that this crash was not the accident the police inferred. From an Anthony Award–winning author celebrated for his L.A. noir fiction.

Rozan, S.J., ed. Crime Hits Home: A Collection of Stories from Crime Fiction’s Top Authors. Hanover Square: Harlequin. Apr. 2022. 400p. ISBN 9781335425799. $27.99. CD. MYSTERY/ANTHOLOGY

Edited by the multi-award-winning Rozan, this newest anthology from the Mystery Writers of America features stories focused on our need to belong somewhere and all the threats that can upend that desire. The eye-catching authors include Walter Mosley, Sara Paretsky, Ellen Hart, Naomi Hirahara, and other big writers. With a 50,000-copy first printing.

Shelton, Paige. The Burning Pages. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Apr. 2022. 304p. ISBN 9781250789488. $26.99. MYSTERY/COZY

When bookseller Delaney Nichols and her coworker Hamlet are invited to a traditional celebration of poet Robert Burns—at Burns House, no less—she soon realizes that they are there to help ease tensions between Edwin, Delaney's boss, and another guest who believes Edwin burned down his bookshop two decades ago. Then the Burns House goes up in flames, and there’s a body in the ashes. From the author of numerous popular series; with a 30,000-copy first printing.

Thomas, Will. Fierce Poison: A Barker & Llewelyn Novel. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Apr. 2022. 304p. ISBN 9781250624796. $27.99. MYSTERY/HISTORICAL

In 1893 London, Private Enquiry agent Cyrus Barker is shocked when a newly elected Member of Parliament arrives in his office and promptly drops dead, done in (it turns out) by a cyanide-laced raspberry tart. Barker and partner Thomas Llewelyn are hired by former Prime Minister William Gladstone to determine what happened but soon find themselves targeted by the press-dubbed Mad Pie Man. From the Shamus-nominated librarian author; with a 30,000-copy first printing.

 

Big-Name Thrillers 

Baldacci, David. Dream Town. Grand Central. Apr. 2022. 432p. ISBN 9781538719770. $29. CD/downloadable. THRILLER

Burcell, Robin. Clive Cussler’s The Serpent's Eye. Putnam. Apr. 2022. 400p. ISBN 9780593419618. $29. lrg. prnt. CD/downloadable. ACTION & ADVENTURE

Fisher, Tarryn. An Honest Lie. Graydon House: Harlequin. Apr. 2022. 304p. ISBN 9781525899898. $28.99; pap. ISBN 9781525811579. $16.99. SUSPENSE

Graham, Heather. Crimson Summer. Mira: Harlequin. Apr. 2022. 384p. ISBN 9780778311829. $27.99. THRILLER

Hepworth, Sally. The Younger Wife. St. Martin’s. Apr. 2022. 352p. ISBN 9781250229618. $28.99. CD. SUSPENSE

Pinborough, Sarah. Insomnia. Morrow. Apr. 2022. 336p. ISBN 9780062856845. $27.99. lrg. prnt. THRILLER/PSYCHOLOGICAL

Reich, Christopher. Once a Thief. Mulholland: Little, Brown. Apr. 2022. 352p. ISBN 9780316456098. $28. Downloadable. THRILLER

Rollins, James. Kingdom of Bones: A Thriller. Morrow. Apr. 2022. 464p. ISBN 9780062892980. $28.99. lrg. prnt. CD. THRILLER

Sandford, John. The Investigator. Putnam. Apr. 2022. 400p. ISBN 9780593328682. $29. lrg. prnt. CD/downloadable. THRILLER

Baldacci sends private investigator and ex–World War II veteran Aloysius Archer to Los Angeles—that is, Dream Town—for another dangerous case (one million copy first printing). Having crafted two Sam and Remi Fargo adventures with the late Cussler (Pirate and The Romanov Ransom), former California law enforcement officer Burcell takes the daring duo on another far-flung adventure in Clive Cussler’s The Serpent’s Eye (originally scheduled for Sept. 2021). In the New York Times best-selling Fisher’s An Honest Lie, Rainy has been hiding out from her bad-news past atop a remote, fog-cloaked mountain but decides to risk a trip to Las Vegas with some friends, where one of them is trapped by a killer as bait to lure Rainy (10,000-copy hardcover and 200,000-copy paperback first printing). One Crimson Summer, thanks to mega-best-selling Graham, Florida Department of Law Enforcement agent Amy Larson is sent a toy red horse—a sign that she and FBI agent Hunter Forrest didn’t wipe out the Doomsday cult that’s about to fight a bloody turf war in northern Florida with several South American cartels (75,000-copy first printing). In best-selling Secrets of Midwives author Hepworth’s latest, Tully and Rachel have every reason to resent The Younger Wife who’s coming on the scene; their father is still married to their mother, now in a care facility for dementia, but plans to divorce her—which leads to the spilling of numerous toxic secrets (250,000-copy first printing). In the latest from the New York Times best-selling Pinborough, has-it-all heroine Emma Averell is beginning to suffer from Insomnia, which she fears may presage a descent into the insanity that destroyed her own mother’s life (75,000-copy first printing). In the best-selling, award-winning Reich’s Once a Thief, Simon Riske must prove that the Ferrari he’s restored and sold for nine figures is not a fake, which brings him in contact with Anna Bildt, whose Swiss banker father has been blown up by a car bomb (75,000-copy first printing). In Rollins’s Kingdom of Bones, postponed from March and September 2021, humans have become dullards while flora and fauna are suddenly ascendant; perhaps evolutionary forces have spun out of control, but it could be some fiendish plan (250,000-copy first printing). Letty Davenport, the smart, stubborn daughter of Sandford standby Lucas Davenport, becomes The Investigator, sent by her U.S. senator boss to figure out who’s profiting from the theft of Texas crude oil—and why.

 

Rising-Star Thriller Authors 

Chavez, Heather. Blood Will Tell. Morrow. Apr. 2022. 400p. ISBN 9780062936202. $27.99. lrg. prnt. THRILLER

Having launched her career with the rave-reviewed No Bad Deed, Chavez returns with a tale of two sisters: schoolteacher and single mom Frankie Barrera and wild younger sister Izzy, whom Frankie is perpetually rescuing from scrapes. This time, when the police tell Frankie that a truck that looks like hers has been used in an abduction, with Izzy the only other person who has the keys, Frankie must decide how far she can push the understanding big-sister act. With a 50,000-copy first printing.

Downes, Anna. The Shadow House. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Apr. 2022. 320p. ISBN 9781250264848. $27.99 CD. SUSPENSE

After debuting with The Safe Place, which received more than a half-dozen “best-of-summer” or “most-anticipated” recommendations, Australian author Downes returns with the story of single mom Alex, who flees an abusive relationship for what she assumes is the peace and old-fashioned quiet of a remote, pine-skirted village. Alas, eerie events start unfolding when she and her children arrive, even as the town’s buried secrets will out. With a 125,000-copy first printing.

Li, Grace D. Portrait of a Thief. Tiny Reparations: Random. Apr. 2022. 384p. ISBN 9780593184738. $26. THRILLER

A Chinese American art history major at Harvard, Will Chen passionately believes that art belongs with its creators. So when a Chinese corporation asks him to surreptitiously reclaim five valuable sculptures stolen from China centuries previously, he organizes an all Chinese American crew to execute the heist. They include Will’s can-con-anyone sister Irene, at Duke; premed student Daniel, whose FBI agent father specializes in art crimes; engineering student Lily, who races cars in her spare time (handy for getaways); and Alex, Will’s former beloved, who found her way to Silicon Valley after dropping out of MIT. A debut from Stanford medical student Li; soon to be a Netflix series.

Lloyd, Ellery. The Club. Harper. Apr. 2022. 304p. ISBN 9780062997425. $26.99. THRILLER

The Home Group is a worldwide series of members-only clubs catering to A-plus-list celebrities, and its crown jewel will supposedly be Island Home off England’s coast. As the guests arrive for the opening, the overworked staffers struggle to keep their own secrets tamped down and the guests’ outré behavior out of sight. And then the dead bodies start piling up. From the pseudonymous London-based husband-and-wife writing team Collette Lyons and Paul Vlitos, whose debut, People Like Her, sold to television and 13 territories. With a 35,000-copy first printing.

Pearse, Sarah. The Retreat. Pamela Dorman: Viking. Apr. 2022. 400p. ISBN 9780593489420. $27. Downloadable. THRILLER

At an eco-wellness center off the coast of England, the body of a young woman is found sprawled on the rocks below the yoga pavilion—which is certainly surprising, as she wasn’t a guest at the center or even supposed to have been on the island at all. A guest’s subsequent drowning ratchets up everyone’s anxiety, and Det. Elin Warner arrives for her second outing after the New York Times best-selling The Sanatorium, a Reese’s Book Club pick.

Rothchild, Sascha. Blood Sugar. Putnam. Apr. 2022. 336p. ISBN 9780593331545. $27. Downloadable. SUSPENSE

Emmy-nominated screenwriter Rothschild debuts with psychological suspense starring happily married, friendship-affirming, animal-hugging therapist Ruby, who happens to have murdered three people in her past. But she didn’t kill husband Jason, whatever the police think. Great expectations for a well-connected author.

Van Rensburg, Laure. Nobody but Us. Grand Central. Apr. 2022. 320p. ISBN 9781538720462. $28. CD. SUSPENSE

Shy if preternaturally smart NYU grad student Ellie and her rich boyfriend, Steven, who teaches at a classy Manhattan private school, are heading out of town for a romantic weekend. Alas, they are quickly snowed in at the house where they’re staying, and that’s bad news on several counts. Neither of them is what they appear to be, both are hiding dangerous secrets, and one will end up dead. A debut with a 100,000-copy first printing.

 

Award-Winning Authors: Literary

Baume, Sara.  Seven Steeples. Mariner: HarperCollins. Apr. 2022. 192p. ISBN 9780358629238. $24. LITERARY

Shortly after meeting, Bell and Sigh move together to the remote Irish countryside, intent on dumping their standard-issue lives and the friends and family to whom they no longer feel close. After this dramatic break, they never get around to climbing the gently sloping mountain right outside their window, instead focusing on building a life not defined by society but rituals of their own. From the author of the Rooney Prize–winning, Costa First Novel short-listed Spill Simmer Falter Wither.

Celt, Adrienne. End of the World House. S. & S. Apr. 2022. 320p. ISBN 9781982169480. $26. CD. LITERARY

San Francisco–based best friends Bertie and Kate are in Paris enjoying a last big get-together before Kate moves to Los Angeles when a stranger offers them a private tour of the Louvre. Soon they find themselves alone in the museum, then separated, as events keeps repeating in an endless loop (think Groundhog Day) and Bertie tries to exert some control and get back to Kate. From the author of the NPR best-booked The Daughters; with a 40,000-copy first printing.

Chaon, Dan. Sleepwalk. Holt. Apr. 2022. 320p. ISBN 9781250175212. $27.99. LITERARY

Bearing so many aliases that he calls himself the Barely Blur, near-future antihero Will Bear lives off the grid, doing odd jobs for a shadowy organization whose function he hardly knows while tooling around in his camper van with a beloved rescue dog and starting to fear that his only friend is no longer trustworthy. Then he gets a call on one of his many burner phones from a woman claiming to be his daughter. From the author of the PW best-booked Ill Will and National Book Award finalist Among the Missing; with a 100,000-copy first printing.

Close, Jennifer. Marrying the Ketchups. Knopf. Apr. 2022. 320p. ISBN 9780525658870. $27. Downloadable. LITERARY

In this latest from the author of the best-selling Girls in White Dresses, a Chicago restaurant family is thrown by three unexpected events—the Cubs (thankfully) win the World Series, Donald Trump (not so thankfully) is elected president, and grandfather Bud, founder of the burger-famous JP Sullivan’s, suddenly dies. Now everything is up for grabs. Gretchen suspects her longtime 1990s cover band is going nowhere, older sister Jane wonders if her husband is cheating on her, and rock-steady cousin Teddy is dumped by a boyfriend who, alarmingly, keeps showing up at PJ’s, where Teddy is manager.

Hartnett, Annie. Unlikely Animals. Ballantine. Apr. 2022. 368p. ISBN 9780593160220. $27. Downloadable. LITERARY

After debuting with the winsome, multi-best-booked Rabbit Cake, Hartnett returns with the story of med school dropout Emma Starling, who has returned home to Everton, NH, to care for her ailing father. In the throes of an unnamed and mysterious neurological disease, Clive Starling sees small creatures that aren’t there and heeds the ghost of a naturalist who welcomed wild animals into his home. More persuasively—and more disturbingly—he believes that Emma’s missing former best friend is still alive, and Emma goes in search of her.

Huneven, Michelle. Search. Penguin Pr. Apr. 2022. 400p. ISBN 9780593300053. $26. Downloadable. LITERARY

Done with a book tour, food writer Dana Potowski cautiously agrees to join her Unitarian Universalist congregation’s search committee for a new minister, secretly deciding to write a memoir about the experience, replete with recipes. A smash hit, her book profiles both the committee members and the candidates, who range from a baker and to a microbrewer to a reverend who’s both a self-proclaimed witch and an environmental activist. The candidates represent very different directions for the congregation, and Dana ends up impassioned about the direction she wants. Huneven has the chops to write this narrative, as she’s both a National Book Critics Circle finalist for the novel Blame and a James Beard Award winner for her journalism.

Rock, Peter. Passersthrough. Soho. Apr. 2022. 240p. ISBN 9781641293433. $26. LITERARY

At age 11, Helen vanished in Mount Rainier National Park while camping with her father, Benjamin, and though she was found and reunited with her family after a week, she remains estranged from her father for 25 years. Finally, they are ready to reconnect, even as Benjamin meets a strange woman and child who push him to understand more about Helen’s experience by leading him to the creepy, bone-laden Sad Clown Lake. From the author of My Abandonment, made into the film Leave No Trace, and PEN/Faulkner finalist The Night Swimmers.

Roorbach, Bill. Lucky Turtle. Algonquin. Apr. 2022. 416p. ISBN 9781643750972. $27.95. LITERARY

Being sent to a reform camp in Montana is a slap on the wrist for privileged 16-year-old Cindra, given the crime she committed. There she falls for smart, wilderness-ready camp employee Lucky and eventually escapes with him into the Rocky Mountains, though their idyllic life there cannot last. Cindra is white, Lucky is biracial, and that many people (including Cindra, initially) are uncertain of his ethnicity is the author's very point in a book examining ongoing prejudice. From Flannery O'Connor Award–winning, Kirkus Prize finalist Roorbach.

Syjuco, Miguel. I Was the President’s Mistress!! Farrar. Apr. 2022. 432p. ISBN 9780374174057. $30. LITERARY

The most celebrated movie star in the Philippines, Vita Nova once consorted with the country’s president, and she’s about to release a memoir that shovels the dirt on sex, power, and how sex and power corrupt absolutely at the top. The characters here include not just the president but his devout Muslim arch-enemy in the senate, a reporter hungry for one last headline, a bishop hungry for sex, a rich boy whose dynasty is about to end, and more. From the author of Ilustrado, winner of the Man Asian Literary Prize and the Grand Prize at the Palanca Awards in the Philippines.

 

Debuts: Literary

Ahmad, Aamina. The Return of Faraz Ali. Riverhead. Apr. 2022. 352p. ISBN 9780593330180. $27. Downloadable. LITERARY

Born in the Mohalla, the red-light district within Lahore’s walled inner city, Faraz was kidnapped as a child by his powerful father, who wanted his son to have a better life. Now his father has sent him back to head the Mohalla police station and cover up the murder of a child prostitute, a task Faraz cannot bring himself to do. Ahmad boasts Stegner, Pushcart, and Rona Jaffe honors.

Bird-Wilson, Lisa. Probably Ruby. Hogarth: Crown. Apr. 2022. 304p. ISBN 9780593448670. $27. Downloadable. LITERARY

A Métis woman in her thirties, Ruby was adopted by white parents who imparted nothing of her heritage, and now she wants to know where she came from. With her, readers learn about her birth parents and grandparents, as well as her children and the lovers, both men and women, who have enriched her life if sometimes bringing her heartache. From Cree-Métis writer Bird-Wilson, who has published poetry and story collections in Canada and debuts in the United States with this first novel.

Chen, Lisa Hsiao. Activities of Daily Living. Norton. Apr. 2022. 288p. ISBN 9780393881127. $26.95. LITERARY

In her after hours, contemporary Taiwanese immigrant Alice seeks to document downtown performance artist Tehching Hsieh, whose yearlong pieces captivated audiences in the 1980s. These pieces start shaping her own life, as she attends street protests, loses contact with a friend, and tries to help her Vietnamese war veteran father, who is battling alcoholism and dementia. From Rona Jaffe award winner Chen,

Johnson, Chantal V. Post-traumatic. Little, Brown. Apr. 2022. 320p. ISBN 9780316264235. $28. Downloadable. LITERARY

A hardworking lawyer for patients with mental health issues at a New York City psychiatric hospital (as her creator once was), Black Latina Vivian survives bad memories from childhood by indulging in reckless dating, edgy humor, and a bit of weed with best friend Jane. A decision after a family reunion to change her life leaves her isolated and clinging to a precipice. This debut from Johnson, a 2018 Center for Fiction Emerging Writers Fellow, is getting promotional push; with a 30,000-copy first printing.

Kazbek, Katya. Little Foxes Took Up Matches. Tin House. Apr. 2022. 350p. ISBN 9781953534026. $26.95. LITERARY

Growing up in a post-Soviet Russia startled by its past and uncertain of its future, Mitya himself is confused about his sexual identity and travels the Moscow underground to find out where he really belongs. His journey is wound ’round by the durable Russian fairytale featuring archetypal ogre Koschei the Deathless. Lots of in-house excitement for this work from Russian-born Kazbek, who writes on fashion, world culture, and queer, feminist, and migrant issues.

Kohda, Claire. Woman, Eating. HarperVia. Apr. 2022. 272p. ISBN 9780063140882. $26.99. CD. LITERARY

Poor Lydia is hungry. She can’t eat the sashimi and ramen her Japanese human father might have favored, but the fresh pig’s blood she can digest is hard to find now that she’s living away from her vampire mother and trying to make it as an artist in London. And she’s lonely, too, despite the proximity of customers at the gallery where she works and her fellow artists, including charming Ben; if she gets too close, she’ll want to suck them dry. This first work by British Japanese violinist Kohda generated big book and film rights interest; with a 75,000-copy first printing.

Naga, Noor. If an Egyptian Cannot Speak English. Graywolf. Apr. 2022. 192p. ISBN 9781644450819. pap. $16. LITERARY

After the Arab Spring, an Egyptian American woman probing her roots and a disillusioned photographer of the revolution meet in Cairo and fall in love. Jobless, cocaine-addicted, and living in a rooftop hovel, he soon moves into her balconied, sun-drenched apartment, but their passion for each other and for what they hope to become through each other leads to disaster. Following the Alexandria-based Naga’s award-winning verse novel Washes, Prays, this experimental work won the Graywolf Press African Fiction Prize.

Al-Nakib, Mai. An Unlasting Home. Custom House: Morrow. Apr. 2022. 400p. ISBN 9780063135093. $27.99. CD. LITERARY

A philosophy professor at Kuwait University who returned home from Berkeley after her mother’s death and now struggles with loneliness and a sense of unbelonging, Sara faces a crisis when she’s accused of blasphemy for teaching Nietzsche, which could lead to her execution. Blended into the narrative are the stories of Sara’s grandmothers, proud Yasmine and poor-born Lulwa; Sara’s ambitious mother, Noura; and Marie, the ayah who left behind her own children to raise Sara. Following the award-winning collection The Hidden Light of Objects; with a 50,000-copy first printing.

Oduor, Okwiri. Things They Lost. Scribner. Apr. 2022. 352p. ISBN 9781982102579. $27. CD. LITERARY

In a small African town, lonely young Ayosa lives in her grandmother’s house with her only companions the cruel Jolly-Annas birds, the silent milkman, sweet-natured café owner Sindano, and the mysterious Fatumas, who teach her to dance. Finally, it looks as if she has a chance at lasting friendship, but she can’t shake her obsession with her beautiful photographer mother, Nabumbo Promise, who heedlessly comes and goes without warning. Kenya-born, Germany-based Oduor won the 2014 Caine Prize for African Writing for her short story “My Father’s Head”; with a 40,000-copy first printing.

Stanford, Claire. Happy for You. Viking. Apr. 2022. 256p. ISBN 9780593298268. $27. Downloadable. LITERARY

Unable to finish her philosophy dissertation, unwilling to accept her boyfriend’s proposal, and undone by her father’s finally starting to date again after her mother’s death when she was 14, Evelyn Kominsky Kumamoto isn’t exactly finding joy in life. So why is she taking an up-all-night job at a San Francisco tech company helping to develop an app that can help users quantify their happiness? Current hot-button issues of technology dominance, workplace stress, millennial blues, and identity crises come together in this first full-length fiction from a well-connected, well-published writer.

Wiley, Soon. When We Fell Apart. Dutton. Apr. 2022. 368p. ISBN 9780593185148. $27. Downloadable. LITERARY

Born to an American father and a Korean mother, Min was raised in California but never felt at home there. He moves to Seoul to find himself and falls for cheerful, accomplished university student Yu-jin, whose inexplicable suicide has him reeling. Did she really want to die? Investigating her life reveals that things are more complicated than he thought. From Pushcart-nominated Wiley.

Zhang, Jenny Tinghui. Four Treasures of the Sky. Flatiron: Macmillan. Apr. 2022. 336p. ISBN 9781250811783. $27.99. CD. LITERARY

Kidnapped from China and taken across the ocean to the United States, Daiyu lands in the 1880s Wild West as anti-Chinese hatred surfaces throughout the country and the Chinese Exclusion Act is passed. Her journey takes her from calligraphy school to a brothel to a small shop in Idaho, and she finds a way to survive, finally reclaiming her own story and identity. From Texas-based Chinese American writer Zhang, doing especially well with a 200,000-copy first printing.

 

Short Stories

Bieker, Chelsea. Heartbroke. Catapult. Apr. 2022. 288p. ISBN 9781646221271. $26. LITERARY

Folk, Kate. Out There: Stories. Random. Apr. 256p. ISBN 9780593231463. $27. Downloadable. LITERARY

Friedlander, Omer. The Man Who Sold Air in the Holy Land: Stories. Random. Apr. 2022. 256p. ISBN 9780593242971. $27. Downloadable. LITERARY

MacLeod, Alexander. Animal Person: Stories. Farrar. Apr. 2022. 256p. ISBN 9780374602222. $27. LITERARY

Mirosevich, Toni. Spell Heaven. Catapult. Apr. 2022. ISBN 9781640095168. pap. $16.95. LITERARY

Newman, Leigh. Nobody Gets Out Alive: Stories. Scribner. Apr. 2022. 320p. ISBN 9781982180300. $27. CD. LITERARY

Rubio, Marytza K. Maria, Maria: & Other Stories. Liveright: Norton. Apr. 2022. 224p. ISBN 9781324090540. $24.95. LITERARY

After debuting with the multi-award-finalist Godshot, Bieker returns with stories of Heartbroke characters whose loves and losses unfold in California’s sunstruck Central Valley. Former Wallace Stegner Fellow Folk debuts with a collection of absurdist stories, including Out There, a piece published in The New Yorker about a woman whose attempts to use a dating app are disrupted by incredibly handsome yet artificial men deployed by Russian hackers. Acquired in a two-book deal that includes his debut novel, NYU Starworks fellow Friedlander’s The Man Who Sold Air in the Holy Land is set in Israel and the Middle East and features outsiders who must contend with past sorrow or future uncertainty. A second collection after Light Lifting, which was short-listed for Giller, Commonwealth, and Frank O’Connor honors, MacLeod’s Animal Person explores those moments when one’s life is about to change (25,000-copy first printing). From poet Mirosevich, also author of the award-winning nonfiction Pink Harvest, Spell Heaven offers linked stories about a lesbian couple finding happiness in a coastal town. From Newman, whose memoir Still Points North was a finalist for the National Book Critic Circle’s John Leonard Prize, Nobody Gets Out Alive highlights women struggling to get by in rugged Alaska (50,000-copy first printing). Witchcraft, blue jaguars, and a California rainforest–set novella starring Maria, Maria and possibly more Marias all feature in this mystical debut from former PEN America Emerging Voices Fellow Rubio.

 

Spotlight: Douglas Stuart’s Young Mungo

Stuart, Douglas. Young Mungo. Grove. Apr. 2022. 400p. ISBN 9780802159557. $27. LITERARY

After his Booker Prize–winning, one-million-plus-copy best-selling Shuggie Bain, Stuart returns with another largescale tale of queer love and working-class life; young Mungo might be Shuggie’s second cousin. Growing up in Glasgow, where religious differences and swaggering masculine prerogative really matter, the Protestant Mungo should not be friends with the Catholic James. But they bond over the pigeon dovecote that James has built for his prize racing birds, a sanctuary for them as well as their feathered friends, and eventually they fall in love. For their safety, they must keep their love quiet from everyone around them, especially Mungo’s gang-leading brother Hamish, and Mungo’s true grit is tested when his mother sends him on a fishing trip with two shady, whiskey-guzzling men. Will he ever get back to James? And do they have a future? Five years in the making.

 

Spotlight: Emily St. John Mandel’s Sea of Tranquility 

Mandel, Emily St. John. Sea of Tranquility. Knopf. Apr. 2022. 272p. ISBN 9780593321447. $24. lrg. prnt. CD/downloadable. LITERARY

After breaking out with the National Book Award finalist Station Eleven and following up with the multi-best-booked The Glass Hotel, Mandel returns with another fantastical work that links stories over the centuries as it contemplates the passage of time (and its disruption), the value of art (with music and literature figuring here), and the endless mystery of life (with mystery and speculative tropes both contributing to the narrative). Tossed out of polite society after all too boldly revealing outré opinions at a dinner party, young son-of-an-earl Edwin St. Andrew crosses the ocean by steamship in the early 1900s and lands in the stunning Canadian wilderness, where he hears the notes of a violin in (surprisingly) an airship terminal. Two centuries later, a violinist playing in a forest-shadowed air terminal appears in a best-selling pandemic novel written by famed author Olive Llewellyn, who’s on a book tour of Earth though her home is the second moon colony. Finally, Gaspery-Jacques Roberts, a detective in the Night City, is tasked with investigating strange events—an aristocrat gone mad, an author trapped on Earth by pandemic—even as he and a childhood friend recognize that they might be able to rearrange the timeline of the universe. Sounds stunning to me, and with both Station Eleven and The Glass Hotel having sold 1.2 million copies so far and heading to the silver screen, you can bet this title will be big.

 

Summer Starters: Contemporary

Novak, Brenda. Summer on the Island. Mira: Harlequin. Apr. 2022. 352p. ISBN 9780778386377. $28.99; pap. ISBN 9780778311850. $16.99. CD. CONTEMPORARY

After her father’s death from COVID-19, Marlo Madsen returns to a small island off Florida’s coast to enjoy one last summer there as she helps her mother settle the estate. For fun, she brings along two good friends, who prove especially helpful when her father’s will reveals an unsettling secret and Marlo needs to rethink her life. With a 100,000-copy first printing.

Thayne, RaeAnne. Summer at the Cape. HQN. Apr. 2022. 384p. ISBN 9781335936356. $26.99. CD. CONTEMPORARY

When her parents divorced, Cami Porter moved to Los Angeles to live with her attorney father, while her younger twin sisters, Violet and Lily, stayed in Cape Sanctuary with their big-hearted activist mother. Nearly two decades later, Lily drowns saving the life of a little girl whose father is Violet’s former sweetheart, and Cami returns to help with the heartbreaking consequences—and get to know her sister better. With a 150,000-copy first printing.

Ward, Amanda Eyre. The Lifeguards. Ballantine. Apr. 2022. 336p. ISBN 9780593159446. $28. Downloadable.

The lifeguards in Ward’s latest are the three teenage sons of close friends Whitney, Annette, and Liza, starting cool summer jobs in their well-to-do neighborhood in Austin, TX. Or are the lifeguards the mothers themselves, different in background but alike in their eagle-eyed, talons-out protectiveness of their children? They’re so protective that when the boys come home one night and reveal a shattering secret, the women find their friendship imploding as they decide what to do. Following The Jetsetters, a Reese’s Book Club X Hello Sunshine Pick.

 

Top Pop: Contemporary

Brown, Janelle. I’ll Be You. Random. Apr. 2022. 368p. ISBN 9780525479185. $28. lrg. prnt. CONTEMPORARY

Identical twins Ellie and Sam are former child actors whose success crash-landed as they entered adulthood. Ellie has contentedly settled into marriage with a real estate agent, while Sam is now addicted to drugs and alcohol, bitter about her lost career. Then she learns that life for Ellie isn’t as good as it looks; her husband has left her even as she adopts a child, and she’s checked into a mysterious spa in Ojai, CA. Is Ellie getting the help she needs there, or is she entrapped by a cult? From the New York Times best-selling author of Pretty Things.

Dolan, Lian. Lost and Found in Paris. Morrow. Apr. 2022. 320p. ISBN 9780062909022. $27.99. lrg. prnt. CD. CONTEMPORARY

Daughter of a prominent artist whose legacy she has tended since his death on 9/11, art historian Joan Blakely is so enraged when she learns of her husband’s infidelity that she decides to get out of town, accepting a job as art courier and carrying valuable drawings to Paris in her overnight bag. After hooking up with handsome techie Nate, whom she met in business class, she awakens to find the drawings gone and a long-lost work by her father in their place. Now she’s got mysteries to solve, with Nate’s help. Billed as a “thinking woman’s ultimate escapist adventure in Paris”; with a 50,000-copy first printing.

Ginder, Grant. Let’s Not Do That Again. Holt. Apr. 2022. 352p. ISBN 9781250243775. $27.99. CONTEMPORARY

Nancy Harrison has all her credentials lined up for a run for office, but her listless, lackluster children could be a stumbling block. Son Nick is stalled on the musical he’s writing about Joan Didion, while daughter Greta whiles away her time as an Apple store salesclerk. Then Greta shows up on the news, leading a violent protest in Paris, and Nancy and Nick are on the next plane to control the damage to Greta, the family, and the campaign. From the author of The People We Hate at the Wedding, being readied for the big screen; with a 75,000-copy first printing.

Green, Jane. Sister Stardust. Hanover Square: Harlequin. Apr. 2022. 336p. ISBN 9781335425782. $26.99. CD. CONTEMPORARY

In the late 1960s, Claire escapes her small-town life and its attendant burdens—a nasty stepmother, an unrequited love—for swinging London, then follows up a rumor about a truly happening place and heads to Marrakesh. At a hideaway where music, drugs, and communal living reign, she meets Talitha Getty, socialite wife of the famous oil heir, and a special friendship is born. The New York Time best-selling author’s first foray into biographical fiction; with a 125,000-copy first printing.

McMahon, Jennifer. The Children on the Hill. Gallery: Scout: S. & S. Apr. 2022. 352p. ISBN 9781982153953. $27. CD. CONTEMPORARY

In 1978 Vermont, Dr. Helen Hildreth devotes herself to patients with mental health issues and to grandchildren Vi and Eric, who are intrigued when their grandmother brings home troubled young Iris to stay with the family. Soon, Vi invites Iris to join the siblings’ Monster Club, explaining that there are monsters among us. Decades later, Lizzy Shelley, host of the podcast Monsters Among Us, travels to Vermont to cover a girl’s abduction with the knowledge that monsters are indeed real—her sister is one. Interesting to see how these stories connect. A Frankenstein redo by the New York Times best-selling author of The Drowning Kind; with a 100,000-copy first printing.

Steel, Danielle. Beautiful. Delacorte. Apr. 2022. 256p. ISBN 9781984821645. $28.99. lrg. prnt. CONTEMPORARY

Supermodel Veronique Vincent would rather hang out with her beloved mother and sweetheart of a boyfriend than go to fancy parties, and after Paris Fashion Week she decides to take a trip with them. But they are both killed in a terrorist attack at Belgium’s Zaventem Airport that leaves Veronique permanently maimed, and she withdraws from the fashion world. A special letter included with her mother’s will helps her move forward to a meaningful life. Mega-best-selling Steel strikes again.

 

Debuts: Contemporary

 Benson, Jendella. Hope and Glory. Morrow. Apr. 2022. 400p. ISBN 9780063080577. $27.99. lrg. prnt. CD. CONTEMPORARY

An editor and writer for Black Ballad, a UK-based lifestyle platform by and for Black women, British Nigerian author Benson offers a debut novel featuring Glory Akindele, who has returned home from Los Angeles to London upon her father’s death to find her family in disarray. Her sister has lost all ambition; her brother is in jail, angry that Glory didn’t come to his trial; and her mother is devastated by both her husband’s death and her son’s imprisonment. Then Glory learns a shocking secret about her family. With a 75,000-copy first printing.

Bestor-Siegal, Amanda. The Caretakers. Morrow. Apr. 2022. 352p. ISBN 9780063138186. $27.99. lrg. prnt. CD. CONTEMPORARY

In the upscale Parisian suburb of Maisons-Larue, reserved American au pair Alena is accused of killing her charge, and the neighbors divide their blame between Alena and the victim’s icily uninvolved mother. Those contributing to the conversation include au pairs Lou and Holly; teenage Nathalie, hungry for a mother’s love; and Geraldine, worried about how her students are handling their friend’s death. From an MFA candidate at the Michener Center for Writers; with a 100,000-copy first printing.

Fell, Blair. The Sign for Home. Emily Bestler: Atria. Apr. 2022. 416p. ISBN 9781982175955. $27. CD. CONTEMPORARY

Deafblind young Arlo Dilly, under the guardianship of a domineering uncle, is resigned to having lost the love of his life, a girl he met at a boarding school for the Deaf whose deeply expressive hands wove wonderful stories. At college, though, he starts wondering if perhaps he was misled by the hearing world about what happened to her. Soon, a ragtag bunch of friends, including his gay interpreter, are off on a mission to discover the truth. Award-winning actor/screenwriter/playwright Fell was twice awarded the Doris Lippman Prize in Creative Writing from the City University of New York for this debut and for a second novel, both in manuscript. He also works as an ASL interpreter for the Deaf.

Garmus, Bonnie. Lessons in Chemistry. Doubleday. Apr. 2022. 400p. ISBN 9780385547345. $28.95. lrg. prnt. Downloadable. CONTEMPORARY

It’s the 1960s, and chemist Elizabeth Zott is getting pushback from her male-only colleagues at the Hastings Research Institute—except from misanthropic Nobel Prize contender Calvin Evans, who’s enchanted by her mind. Meanwhile, Elizabeth has a surprise second calling; she becomes star of a hit TV cooking show called Supper at Six, mixing in chemistry (“combine one tablespoon acetic acid with a pinch of sodium chloride”) as she subtly signals that women needn’t accept things as they are. Sold in heated auctions to an eye-popping 34 countries so far, this debut promises to be really big.

McBrayer, Lauren. Like a House on Fire. Putnam. Apr. 2022. 320p. ISBN 9780593331828. $26. Downloadable. CONTEMPORARY

Restless after 12 years of marriage and motherhood, Merit returns to work, hired at a prestigious architecture firm by the dynamic and beautiful Jane despite a career hiatus. Jane nurtures Merit’s career, and as true friendship emerges, Merit begins to wonder whether her true love in life is not her husband but Jane. McBrayer’s first adult novel; she’s written YA novels as Laura Miller and works in the development and production of original series for Spectrum.

Rigetti, Susan. Cover Story. Morrow. Apr. 2022. 368p. ISBN 9780063072053. $27.99. CD. CONTEMPORARY

As Susan Fowler, Rigetti authored the acclaimed memoir Whistleblower and was subsequently named 2017 Time Person of the Year as one of “The Silence Breakers” whose actions helped launch #MeToo. Here she turns to fiction with the story of an aspiring young writer ensnared by someone who at first looks to be a mentor. During a summer internship at ELLE, struggling NYU student Lora Ricci meets the charismatic Cat Wolff, who persuades her to drop out of school and work as her ghostwriter. Lora is at first dazzled by Cat’s glamorous lifestyle, but eventually Cat’s shady side emerges. With a 50,000-copy first printing.

 

What’s Done and Undone: Historical Fiction 

Barenbaum, Rachel. Atomic Anna. Grand Central. Apr. 2022. 464p. ISBN 9781538734865. $28. Downloadable. HISTORICAL

Bird, Sarah. Last Dance on the Starlight Pier. St. Martin’s. Apr. 2022. 432p. ISBN 9781250265548. $28.99. CD. HISTORICAL

Dallas, Sandra. Little Souls. St. Martin’s. Apr. 2022. 304p. ISBN 9781250277886. $27.99. CD. HISTORICAL

Llanos-Figueroa, Dahlma. A Woman of Endurance. Amistad: HarperCollins. Apr. 2022. 352p. ISBN 9780063062221. $26.99. CD. HISTORICAL

Scurati, Antonio. M.: Son of the Century. Harper. Apr. 2022. 784p. tr. from Italian by Anne Milano Appel. ISBN 9780062956118. $29.99. HISTORICAL

Trigiani, Adriana. The Good Left Undone. Dutton. Apr. 2022. 448p. ISBN 9780593183328. $28. lrg. prnt. Downloadable. HISTORICAL

From Barenbaum, author of Barnes & Noble Discover pick A Bend in the Stars, Atomic Anna features a renowned nuclear scientist who is sleeping as Chernobyl melts down in 1986 and rips through time to meet her estranged daughter Molly in 1992, shot in the chest and begging her to go back and change the past (50,000-copy first printing). In Bird’s Last Dance on the Starlight Pier, Evie Grace Devlin tries to leave vaudeville behind to become a nurse in 1930s Galveston, TX, but encounters setbacks and instead gets caught up in the shady world of dance marathons; following the Dublin International Literary Award long-listed Above the East China Sea (75,000-copy first printing). In Spur Award–winning Dallas’s 1918 Denver–set Little Souls, sisters Helen and Lutie care for the daughter of a flu victim, and an abusive man’s murder is covered up by leaving his body on the streets with all the other corpses to be collected (30,000-copy first printing). PEN/Robert W. Bingham finalist Llanos-Figueroa explores 19th-century Puerto Rican plantation society through Pola, A Woman of Endurance, captured in Africa and brought to Puerto Rico to bear babies subsequently taken from her and enslaved (40,000-copy first printing). First in a tetralogy, Scurati’s internationally best-selling, Strega Award–winning M.—short for Mussolini—explores the rise of fascism in Italy (40,000-copy first printing). In The Good Left Undone, the New York Times best-selling Trigiana returns to Italy, where Matelda, the dying matriarch of a Tuscan artisan family, reveals her mother’s love of the Scottish sea captain that fathered Matelda during World War II.

 

Flint and Mirror, Nettle and Bone: SF/Fantasy 

Crowley, John. Flint and Mirror. Tor. Apr. 2022. 256p. ISBN 9781250817525. $26.99. FANTASY/HISTORICAL

Davenport, N.E. The Blood Trials. Harper Voyager. Apr. 2022. 464p. ISBN 9780063058484. $27.99. CD. SF/ACTION & ADVENTURE

Ford, John M. Aspects. Tor. Apr. 2022. 496p. ISBN 9781250269034. $26.99. FANTASY/EPIC

Griffith, Nicola. Spear. Tordotcom. Apr. 2022. 192p. ISBN 9781250819321. $19.99. FAIRY TALES/FOLKLORE

Kenyon, Sherrilyn. Shadow Fallen: A Dream-Hunter Novel. Tor. Apr. 2022. 288p. ISBN 9781250773869. $27.99. ROMANCE/FANTASY

Kingfisher, T. Nettle & Bone. Tor. Apr. 2022. 256p. ISBN 9781250244048. $25.99. FAIRY TALES/FOLKORE

Martinez, Gama Ray. God of Neverland: A Defenders of Lore Novel. Apr. 2022. 352p. ISBN 9780063014633. $27.99. CD. FANTASY/HISTORICAL

Monáe, Janelle. The Memory Librarian: And Other Stories of Dirty Computer. Harper Voyager. Apr. 2022. 368p. ISBN 9780063070875. $28.99. SF/CYBERPUNK

Power, Rory. In a Garden Burning Gold. Del Rey: Ballantine. Apr. 2022. 416p. ISBN 9780593354971. $27. Downloadable. FANTASY/EPIC

Roanhorse, Rebecca. Fevered Star. Gallery: Saga: S. & S. Apr. 2022. 416p. ISBN 9781534437739. $27.99. CD. FANTASY/LGBTQ+

Ward, J.R. Lover Arisen. Gallery: S. & S. Apr. 2022. 512p. ISBN 9781982179991. $28. CD. PARANORMAL/ROMANCE

In Flint and Mirror, with the Irish battling English encroachment, Hugh O’Neil, Lord of the North, is torn between England’s Elizabeth the Great, who signals her devotion to him with an obsidian mirror, and the flint-bearing ancient Irish arising from the underworld to make him the country’s savior; from Crowley, winner of the World Fantasy Award for Lifetime Achievement (75,000-copy first printing). In Davenport’s debut, a young Black woman faces both racism and misogyny when she commits herself to the Praetorian Trials—better called The Blood Trials, as only a quarter of the participants survive—to find out who assassinated her grandfather and seek revenge (75,000-copy first printing). Award-winning author Ford was working on Aspects at his untimely death in 2006, and the novel—set in an alternate 18th century and blending swords and machine guns, magic fantasy and politics—has finally achieved publication (60,000-copy first printing). With Spear, Nebula and Lambda award–winning Griffith offers a queer retelling of the Arthurian legend, with a girl raised in a cave following her destiny to the court of King Artos of Caer Leon (100,000-copy first printing). In Kenyon’s Shadow Fallen, set during the Norman Conquest, an invading knight—actually son of one of the universe’s more deadly powers—realizes that a noblewoman he encounters is an immortal transformed by sorcery into a flesh-and-blood human, and he must restore her to her rightful place or tragedy awaits (250,000-copy first printing). In the Hugo and Nebula award-winning Kingfisher’s Nettle and Bone, reticent Marra is fed up with the way her kingdom’s prince mistreats her sisters and seeks the help of a gravewitch so that she can get rid of him for good. Reimagining J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, Martinez’s God of Neverland features the adult Michael Darling on a rescue mission to his erstwhile home, where magic is threatened and Peter Pan (whose real name is Maponos) has gone missing (75,000-copy first printing). Star-dusted singer, songwriter, and actor, Monáe puts to page the Afrofuturistic world evident in her celebrated album Dirty Computer in The Memory Librarian, exploring how race, gender identity, and love fare in a totalitarian environment as Jane 57821 decides that she does not want to lead the life intended for her (200,000-copy first printing). From Power, the New York Times best-selling author of Wilder Girls, In a Garden of Burning Gold features twins Rhea and Lexos, who must contend with activists challenging their irascible father’s governance of their small, ever-teetering country. Having won Hugo, Nebula, and Locus awards, Roanhorse follows up her award-finalist epic Black Sun with the sequel Fevered Star, set in the Meridien, where magic is controlled, the gods smashed down, and sea captain Xiala caught up in the ensuing chaos (75,000-copy first printing). Ward returns with Love Arisen, next in the “Black Dagger Brotherhood” series, stark, shadowy, and erotic but no details yet (125,000-copy first printing).

 

Spotlight: Jennifer Egan’s The Candy House  

Egan, Jennifer. The Candy House. Scribner. Apr. 2022. 352p. ISBN 9781476716763. $27. LITERARY

In 2010, genius techie Bix Bouton has his own company but is searching for a surefire new idea when he learns about a Columbia professor who’s experimenting with downloading, or “externalizing,” memory. Flash forward a decade, and Bix’s new technology, Own Your Unconscious, allows users to access all their own memories and share them with others. In the spliced-narrative structure that characterized her Pulitzer Prize–winning A Visit from the Goon Squad, Egan shows readers what the consequences of such technology might be as she takes us from character to character, who mostly boldly embrace Own Your Unconscious but sometimes reject it. What results is an exploration of what connection really means. With a 250,000-copy first printing.

 

NONFICTION

Untold Stories: History

Dougherty, Nancy. The Hangman and His Wife: The Life and Death of Reinhard Heydrich. Knopf. Apr. 2022. 704p. ed. by Christopher Lehmann-Haupt. ISBN 9780394543413. $35. Downloadable. BIOGRAPHY

Responsible for both the Security Service branch of the SS and the German Security Police, which included the Gestapo; chair of the Wannsee Conference and thus instrumental in formulating the Final Solution; and infamously known as the Hangman and the butcher of Prague, Reinhard Heydrich personified Nazi evil. PEN Girard Award–winning Doughtery’s full-scale biography tracks back to Heydrich’s unpromising youth before capturing the full horror of his actions and includes commentary from interviews she conducted with Heydrich’s wife. After Doughtery’s death in 2013, this volume was edited by distinguished critic Lehmann-Haupt, himself deceased in 2018.

Ford, Clyde W. Of Blood and Sweat: Black Lives and the Making of White Power and Wealth. Amistad: HarperCollins. Apr. 2022. 384p. ISBN 9780063038516. $27.99. CD. ECONOMICS

A Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright honoree and author of Think Black, winner of the Nautilus Award for Social Change and Social Justice, Ford shows that throughout U.S. history, Black labor has been an integral aspect of everything from agriculture, politics, and finance to law, culture, and medicine. Yet Black men and women have not benefited from the wealth thus created, which Ford insists should frame conversations about social justice and reparitions today. With a 60,000-copy first printing.

Kelly, Kim. Fight Like Hell: The Untold History of American Labor. One Signal: Atria. Apr. 2022. 288p. ISBN 9781982171056. $27. HISTORY

Independent journalist and Teen Vogue labor columnist Kelly offers an expansive view of the U.S. labor movement, going back to the 1860s to show that one of the country’s first unions was founded by Black Mississippi freedwomen. From Jewish immigrant garment workers in early 1900s New York to Latinx and Asian American farmworkers in 1970s California, from Ida Mae Stull’s 1934 bid to work alongside men in an Ohio coalmine to Dorothy Lee Bolden’s founding of the National Domestic Worker’s Union of America in the 1960s, Kelly highlights an inclusive fight for fair wages and better working conditions. With a 60,000-copy first printing.

Lim, Louisa. Indelible City: Dispossession and Defiance in Hong Kong. Riverhead. Apr. 2022. 320p. ISBN 9780593191811. $28. HISTORY

Raised in Hong Kong and now living in Australia, Orwell Prize finalist Lim argues that any understanding of her in-the-news birthplace has been too long overshadowed by two key events: the British occupation in 1834 and the handover to China in 1997. Part-Chinese, part-English Lim aims to provide a thoroughgoing history, including a deep dive into Hong Kong’s origins (which she says are not well known or taught) and Beijing’s plans for the region. Personal portraits of everyday Hong Kongers range from calligraphers to amateur archaeologists to the King of Kowloon, a trash collector descended from royalty who’s famed for his street art.

Manjapra, Kris. Black Ghost of Empire: The Long Death of Slavery and the Failure of Emancipation. Scribner. Apr. 2022. 256p. ISBN 9781982123475. $26. HISTORY

Born in the Caribbean of African and Indian parentage and currently an award-winning history professor at Tufts, Manjapra argues that slavery is essentially still with us because emancipation was incomplete, reinforcing rather than destroying the racial caste system. He speaks not only of the United States but the entire Atlantic world, defining five emancipations from the 1770s to the 1880s: the Gradual Emancipations of North America, the Revolutionary Emancipation of Haiti, the Compensated Emancipations of European overseas empires, the War Emancipation of the American South, and the Conquest Emancipations of Sub-Saharan Africa. All failed to provide restorative justice, he says, and all affirmed the notion of white supremacy. With a 100,000-copy first printing.

Maurer, Kevin. Damn Lucky: One Man’s Courage During the Bloodiest Military Campaign in Aviation History. St. Martin’s. Apr. 2022. 320p. ISBN 9781250274380. $29.99. HISTORY

During World War II, Second Lt. John “Lucky” Luckadoo of the Eighth Air Force’s 100th Bomb Group lived up to his nickname. A B-17 Flying Fortress pilot, he miraculously survived 25 missions during the initial bombing of France and Germany from England, considered the deadliest military campaign in aviation history; his group became known as “The Bloody 100th.” Maurer, an award-winning journalist and New York Times best-selling coauthor (No Easy Day), tells Maurer’s story. With a 100,000-copy first printing.

Overy, Richard. Blood and Ruins: The Last Imperial War, 1931–1945. Viking. Apr. 2021. 1152p. ISBN 9780670025169. $35. HISTORY

A leading British military historian, Wolfson Prize winner Overy (The Dictators) offers a revisionist history of World War II, arguing that it was the final imperial war following a long buildup of global imperial expansion. That buildup hit its last gasp with the territorial ambitions of Germany, Italy, and Japan, then plunged into the world’s bloodiest war, which might have ended territorial conquest by empires but had long-ranging consequences after 1945.

Scott-Clark, Cathy & Adrian Levy. The Forever Prisoner: The Full and Searing Account of the CIA’s Most Controversial Covert Program. Atlantic Monthly. Apr. 2022. 464p. ISBN 9780802158925. $30. HISTORY

Award-winning journalists Scott-Clark and Adrian Levy, whose The Siege earned the 2016 CWA Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction, take an in-depth look at the torture program known as enhanced interrogation, instituted by the CIA following 9/11. It began shortly after 9/11 with the capture of Abu Zubaydah, thought to be third in command within al Qaeda, as U.S. Air Force psychologist James Mitchell and others were granted permission to interrogate him using "enhanced" techniques like water boarding that would have violated the Geneva Conventions and U.S. law had not government lawyers found ways to skirt that issue. A primary source for Alex Gibney’s eponymous documentary, appearing in December 2021.

 

Memoir: Reasons for Activism

Booker, Charles. From the Hood to the Holler: A Story of Separate Worlds, Shared Dreams, and the Fight for America’s Future. Crown. Apr. 2022. 272p. ISBN 9780593240342. $27. Downloadable. MEMOIR

Booker came to national attention as a promising new progressive when he campaigned for the U.S. Senate in the 2020 Kentucky Democratic Primary, losing to Amy McGrath by a thread, and is preparing to run against Rand Paul in the forthcoming election. His story starts in Louisville’s West End, among Kentucky’s poorest neighborhoods, where he was raised in a caring family that sometimes lacked for heat, water, and food; even after completing law school, he carefully rationed his insulin. Then in 2018, he was elected to the Kentucky House of Representatives as its youngest Black state legislator in nearly 90 years and used an unexpected appointment to the Department of Fish and Wildlife to build a bipartisan alliance connecting him to the state’s coal-mining families. As Booker argues, the folks of the holler and the folks of the hood share crucial concerns and should act together.

Jones, Chloé Cooper. Easy Beauty. Avid Reader: S. & S. Apr. 2022. 288p. ISBN 9781982151997. $28. MEMOIR

Born with a rare congenital condition called sacral agenesis that affects the lower spine, thus reducing her stature and altering how she walks, Pulitzer Prize finalist, Whiting Award–winning philosophy professor Jones experiences pain both physical and mental—she must contend daily with the idea that she’s somehow seen as lesser by others. When she unexpectedly became a mother, Jones decided to change her perspective, reclaiming a world that others often disallowed her—and that she initially disallowed herself. Leaving Brooklyn, she sought out places of meaning to her, whether for fun, for beauty, or to bear witness, from a rousing tennis tournament in California to Rome’s grand sculpture gardens to Cambodia’s devastating Killing Fields. Along the way, she mused on the myths that shape our understanding of beauty and those shaping disability, asking if she herself has sometimes bought into them. With a 150,000-copy first printing.

Roem, Danica. Burn the Page: A True Story of Torching Doubts, Blazing Trails, and Igniting Change. Viking. Apr. 2022. 320p. ISBN 9780593296554. $27. Downloadable. MEMOIR

The first out-and-seated transgender state legislator in U.S. history, Roem had worked as a journalist for ten years in her hometown, Manassas, VA, when she ran in the 2018 elections for a seat in the Virginia House of Delegates and defeated a stalwartly anti-LGBTQ+ incumbent. When she decided to run, she realized she had to demolish personal stories that restrained her, and she started by hiring an opposition researcher to uncover every story from her past that her opponent might use against her. Here she blends memoir with manifesto to persuade others to rewrite their personal narratives so that they can move forward, as she has.

 

Memoir: Parents & Children

Asher, Zain. Where the Children Take Us: How One Family Achieved the Unimaginable. Amistad: HarperCollins. Apr. 2022. 288p. ISBN 9780063048836. $27.99. lrg. prnt. MEMOIR

Morton, Brian. Tasha: A Son’s Memoir. Avid: S. & S. Apr. 2022. 224p. ISBN 9781982178932. $27. CD. MEMOIR

Philpott, Mary Laura. Bomb Shelter: Love, Time, and Other Explosives. Atria. Apr. 2022. 288p. ISBN 9781982160784. $27. CD. MEMOIR

Swenson, Kate. Forever Boy: A Mother’s Memoir of Autism and Finding Joy. Park Row: Harlequin. Apr. 2022. 320p. ISBN 9780778311997. $27.99. CD. MEMOIR

Trujillo, Laura. Stepping Back from the Ledge: A Daughter’s Search for Truth and Renewal. Random. Apr. 2022. 208p. ISBN 9780593157619. $27. Downloadable. MEMOIR

In Where the Children Take Us, CNN anchor Asher celebrates the strength of her first-generation British Nigerian mother, who overcame grief when her husband was killed in a South London car accident to raise four accomplished children, including Oscar-nominated actor Chiwetel Ejiofor (125,000-copy first printing). Multi-award-winning novelist Morton writes about his fierce and irrepressible educator mother, Tasha, from whom he spent a lifetime carefully cushioning himself and who still proves a handful when he must intervene as caregiver as she grows older (75,000-copy first printing). Author of the laugh-out-loud best seller I Miss You When I Blink, self-professed worrywart Philpott practically built a Bomb Shelter to protect her children, then realized during the crisis that unfolded after she found her teenage son unconscious on the floor that she couldn’t control everything (100,000-copy first printing). Forever Boy, Swenson’s account of raising a son with severe autism, should attract a big audience—and not just because of the subject’s importance; Swenson’s blog/Facebook page Finding Cooper’s Voice has 655,000 followers, and her TODAY-featured video, “The Last Time It’s Going To Be Okay,” has been viewed over 30 million times (75,000-copy first printing). Expanding on a 2018 USA TODAY story that has had more than 1.5 million page views, Trujillo examines the aftermath of her mother’s suicide in Stepping Back from the Ledge, explaining that she had to face deep sorrows in her mother’s life and her own.

 

Current Issues

Anderson, Michelle Wilde. The Fight To Save the Town: Reimagining Discarded America. Avid: S. & S. Apr. 2022. 320p. ISBN 9781501195983. $28. GOVERNMENT/LOCAL

Four decades’ worth of antitax revolution have left U.S. communities large and small, urban and rural, blue and red, diverse and homogeneous without enough money to keep running and no more services to eliminate, properties to sell, bills to fend off, or questionable loans to secure. Stanford professor Anderson, an urban law expert, examines four communities to reveal both the consequences and new ways of coping. Stockton, CA, for instance, has found ways beyond policing to reduce gun violence, while Detroit, MI, is responding to foreclosures and housing loss with targeted efforts to stabilize low-income housing. With a 60,000-copy first printing.

Gajda, Amy. Seek and Hide: The Tangled History of the Right to Privacy. Viking. Apr. 2022. 400p. ISBN 9781984880741. $30. Downloadable. LAW

In the midst of battles to keep Big Tech from exploiting personal data and journalists from revealing information politicians want kept quiet, Tulane law professor Gadja reminds us that the standoff between the individual’s right to privacy and the public’s right to know has been around for a long time. Until the advent of investigative reporting in the Sixties, she argues, the tendency was to seek protection for the rich from journalistic scourgings; here she argues for a necessary balance between personal and public need.

Hoffman, Liz. Crash Landing: The Inside Story of How the World’s Biggest Companies Survived an Economy on the Brink. Crown. Apr. 2022. 352p. ISBN 9780593239018. $29. Downloadable. BUSINESS

At beginning of March 2020, the U.S. economy was basking in an 11-year glow, with the Dow Jones sailing toward 30,000 and unemployment hitting rock bottom. Then came the pandemic, with ten million out of work and CEOs begging for help. Hoffman, a senior reporter at the Wall Street Journal, argues that the efficiency-crazed, wage-freezing, growth-on-the-cheap policies pursued by businesses in the last decade especially made the economy’s crash landing worse.

Isen, Tajja. Some of My Best Friends: Essays on Lip Service. One Signal: Atria. Apr. 2022. ISBN 9781982178420. $26. RACISM/ESSAYS

Today, U.S. society is striving to tackle systemic racism—and Catapult editor Isen argues that these efforts, whether in Hollywood, publishing, or the law, are merely cosmetic. Here she blends cultural observation with aspects of her personal life to explain what she means, revealing the gap between lip service given and real progress achieved. With a 60,000-copy first printing.

Linden, Eugene. Fire and Flood: The True History of Our Epic Failure To Confront the Climate Crisis—and Our Narrow Path from Here. Penguin Pr. Apr. 2022. 336p. ISBN 9781984882240. $28. Downloadable. ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY

An award-winning journalist who has been covering climate change since 1988, Linden shows that the reality of climate change unfolded quickly, scientists were slower to catch up, and the public slower still. Finally, there are the resisters: in particular, businesses focused on present profit rather than future danger. He argues, however, that today’s fires and floods (and the attendant insurance issues) may be the wake-up call needed to engage the business world in this issue.

Mounk, Yascha. The Great Experiment: Why Diverse Democracies Fall Apart and How They Can Endure. Penguin Pr. Apr. 2022. 368p. ISBN 9780593296813. $28. Downloadable. POLITICAL SCIENCE

Born in Germany to Polish Jewish parents, educated at Cambridge and Harvard, and an associate professor in international affairs at Johns Hopkins, Mounk takes on the currently vexed question of whether multiethnic democracies are viable and argues in their favor. He starts by rewriting Hobbes, asserting that the state exists to keep not individuals but groups from killing each other, and goes on to argue that group identity isn’t as us-vs.-them rigid as is often assumed. He then tours the world, starting with two peoples in southeastern Africa who are in conflict in one country and cooperative in the country next door, to show that diverse groups can join harmoniously—as long as they are equal. Therein lies the challenge, and Mounk suggests how we arrive at that hopeful place.

Mufleh, Luma. Learning America: One Woman’s Fight for Educational Justice for Refugee Children. Mariner: Houghton Harcourt. Apr. 2022. 256p. ISBN 9780358569725. $27. MEMOIR

Born in Jordan to Syrian refugee parents, Mufleh left for the United States after coming out to her parents, who promptly disowned her; though Jordan decriminalized homosexuality in 1951, it remains hostile to the LGBTQ+ community. In Jordan, Mufleh was that rare girl who played soccer, so in Clarkston, GA, she happily started coaching a pick-up team of preteenage girls from Liberia, Afghanistan, and Sudan. When she discovered that they could barely read despite having attended local schools, she responded by growing the team into a nationally acclaimed educational network that since its 2006 inception has helped some 2,000 refugee children from about two dozen countries. With a 30,000-copy first printing.

Rabin-Havt, Ari. The Fighting Soul: On the Road with Bernie Sanders. Liveright: Norton. Apr. 2022. 336p. ISBN 9781631498794. $26.95. POLITICAL SCIENCE

An aide to Sen. Bernie Sanders from 2017 to 2021 and deputy campaign manager for his 2020 presidential campaign, Rabin-Havt gives readers a you-are-there account of the campaign from its first meeting through Sanders’s heart attack and faceoff with Sen. Elizabeth Warren to his final defeat in the primaries. The aim is to show the candidate’s commitment to working-class concerns and his young supporters and his often-hidden sense of humor. The senator’s fans will love it.

Rankin, Lauren. Bodies On the Line: At the Frontlines of the Fight To Protect Abortion in America. Counterpoint. Apr. 2022. 256p. ISBN 9781640094741. $26. SOCIAL SCIENCE

An expert on abortion rights in the United States, Rankin spent six years as an abortion clinic escort in northern New Jersey. Here she relates the little-known stories of those who volunteer as escorts, risking their safety and indeed their lives to assure continued access to abortion as a basic human right. Important reading with the current challenges to Roe v. Wade.

 

Spotlight: Near the President

Biden Owens, Valerie. Growing Up Biden: A Memoir. Celadon: Macmillan. Apr. 2022. 304p. ISBN 9781250821768. $28. CD. MEMOIR

Pace, Julie & Darlene Superville. Jill: A Biography of the First Lady. Little, Brown. Apr. 2022. 320p. ISBN . $29. Downloadable. BIOGRAPHY

Biden Owens isn’t simply the younger sister of President Joe Biden, here recalling their childhood in Delaware and helping to raise Biden’s sons after the tragic deaths of their mother and sister. She has also been among Biden’s key political advisers, having managed nearly all his political campaigns, including his successful presidential bid, and can offer important insights into both the president and U.S. politics generally. Her memoir tells a big story; with a 150,000-copy first printing. Pace and Superville, Washington bureau chief and White House reporter, respectively, for the Associated Press, have been following the First Lady closely and here present a thoroughgoing portrait, moving from her childhood, through her first marriage and divorce, marriage to Joe Biden, ascension to the public eye, commitment to her children, to ongoing career in education. The book presents her as a model for a wide range of women. With a 75,000-copy first printing.

Author Image
Barbara Hoffert

Barbara Hoffert (bhoffert@mediasourceinc.com, @BarbaraHoffert on Twitter) is Editor, LJ Book Review; past chair of the Materials Selection Committee of the RUSA (Reference and User Services Assn.) division of the American Library Association; and past president of the National Book Critics Circle, to which she has just been reelected.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.


RELATED 

ALREADY A SUBSCRIBER?

We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing

ALREADY A SUBSCRIBER?