Share 14 Books Worth Revisiting From Today’s Best Writers

14 Books Worth Revisiting From Today’s Best Writers

Wendy Sheanin is a lifelong reader and writer. She began her career in books as events manager at A Clean, Well-Lighted Place for Books in San Francisco. While her heart remains in San Francisco, she moved to New York in 2007 and is now Vice President, Director of Marketing at Simon & Schuster. When she falls in love with a book, she’s relentless about sharing it with other readers—but in a good way.

Your favorite author has a brand-new book out. You rush to your local bookstore to buy it, experience the intense pleasure of being reunited with an old friend, and gobble it up in a few sittings. But then comes the crash. You finish the novel and give it a place of honor on your bookshelf, but then you’re bereft because it can take years for that writer to publish her next novel. We feel your pain.

So many writers who we admire have new books out this year: Richard Russo, Ann Patchett, Jane Hamilton, and Amor Towles, just to name a few. But the good news doesn’t stop there. To help you combat the dreaded waiting-for-the-next-book syndrome, here are some of our favorite older books from writers with new ones out this year.


Amy and Isabelle
by Elizabeth Strout
Elizabeth Strout’s new novel, MY NAME IS LUCY BARTON, examines the relationship between a grown woman and her estranged mother. Her first novel, AMY AND ISABELLE, also explores this most primary relationship. Sixteen-year-old Amy feels alienated from her distant mother, and Isabelle feels betrayed by the discovery of her daughter’s sexual secrets.
Amy and Isabelle
Elizabeth Strout

14 Books Worth Revisiting From Today’s Best Writers

So many writers who we admire have new books out this year: Richard Russo, Ann Patchett, Jane Hamilton, and Amor Towles, just to name a few. But the good news doesn’t stop there. To help you combat the dreaded waiting-for-the-next-book syndrome, here are some of our favorite older books from writers with new ones out this year.

MENTIONED IN:

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By Off the Shelf Staff | December 15, 2016

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By Wendy Sheanin | August 18, 2016

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The Mysteries Of Pittsburgh
by Michael Chabon

Michael Chabon’s intelligence and imagination never disappoint. While his novels tend to be epic adventures, his debut, THE MYSTERIES OF PITTSBURGH, is an intimate and penetrating narrative of complex friendships, father-son conflicts, and the awakening of a young man’s sexual identity.

The Mysteries Of Pittsburgh
Michael Chabon

Michael Chabon’s intelligence and imagination never disappoint. While his novels tend to be epic adventures, his debut, THE MYSTERIES OF PITTSBURGH, is an intimate and penetrating narrative of complex friendships, father-son conflicts, and the awakening of a young man’s sexual identity.

MENTIONED IN:

14 Books Worth Revisiting From Today’s Best Writers

By Wendy Sheanin | August 18, 2016

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The Risk Pool
by Richard Russo

Richard Russo is a master at chronicling small-town life and the quirky characters you meet there. Set in Mohawk, New York, THE RISK POOL is the irreverent and expectedly moving story of a young man doing his best to grow up, even though neither of his parents can properly be called adult.

The Risk Pool
Richard Russo

Richard Russo is a master at chronicling small-town life and the quirky characters you meet there. Set in Mohawk, New York, THE RISK POOL is the irreverent and expectedly moving story of a young man doing his best to grow up, even though neither of his parents can properly be called adult.

MENTIONED IN:

14 Books Worth Revisiting From Today’s Best Writers

By Wendy Sheanin | August 18, 2016

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American Wife
by Curtis Sittenfeld

AMERICAN WIFE is the story of a kind, bookish child who winds up marrying the charismatic son of a powerful Republican family. When he unexpectedly becomes the president, she discovers that she both loves and fundamentally disagrees with him—and that her private beliefs increasingly run against her public persona.

American Wife
Curtis Sittenfeld

AMERICAN WIFE is the story of a kind, bookish child who winds up marrying the charismatic son of a powerful Republican family. When he unexpectedly becomes the president, she discovers that she both loves and fundamentally disagrees with him—and that her private beliefs increasingly run against her public persona.

MENTIONED IN:

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By Wendy Sheanin | August 18, 2016

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The God of War
by Marisa Silver

This is a poignant, powerful, beautifully written 1970s coming-of-age story. Twelve-year-old Ares Ramirez lives with his mother and developmentally disabled younger brother in a trailer in the Southern California desert. In this desolate place, whose inhabitants thrive amidst seemingly impossible circumstances, Ares struggles with the burden of responsibility and to forge his own identity.

The God of War
Marisa Silver

This is a poignant, powerful, beautifully written 1970s coming-of-age story. Twelve-year-old Ares Ramirez lives with his mother and developmentally disabled younger brother in a trailer in the Southern California desert. In this desolate place, whose inhabitants thrive amidst seemingly impossible circumstances, Ares struggles with the burden of responsibility and to forge his own identity.

MENTIONED IN:

14 Books Worth Revisiting From Today’s Best Writers

By Wendy Sheanin | August 18, 2016

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Rules of Civility
by Amor Towles
On New Year’s Eve in 1937, a handsome banker sits next to a young woman in a second-rate Greenwich Village jazz bar. This chance encounter propels her on a year-long journey into the upper echelons of New York society—where she will have little to rely upon other than a bracing wit and her own brand of cool nerve. Pour yourself a dry martini and race through the pages of this story about a life on the brink of transformation.
Rules of Civility
Amor Towles

On the last night of 1937, Katey Content encounters Tinker Grey in a Greenwich Village jazz bar. Though they come from completely different worlds, they forge a friendship that will last decades and bring Katey, with her sass, smarts, and sincerity, to the heights of New York society.

Read a review of RULES OF CIVILITY here.

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The Deep End of the Ocean
by Jacquelyn Mitchard
This heart-stopping novel imagines every mother’s worst nightmare—the disappearance of a child—and explores a family’s struggle to endure, even against extraordinary odds. Emotional and resonant, THE DEEP END OF THE OCEAN was the first title chosen for Oprah’s Book Club.
The Deep End of the Ocean
Jacquelyn Mitchard

THE DEEP END OF THE OCEAN imagines every mother’s worst nightmare—the disappearance of a child. Both highly suspenseful and deeply moving, this novel explores a family's struggle to endure, even against extraordinary odds.

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The Magician's Assistant
by Ann Patchett

When Parsifal, a handsome and charming magician, dies suddenly, his widow—who was also his faithful assistant for twenty years—learns that the family he claimed to have lost in a tragic accident is very much alive and well. Left to unravel his secrets, Sabine sets out on a profound journey of self-discovery.

The Magician's Assistant
Ann Patchett

When Parsifal, a handsome and charming magician, dies suddenly, his widow—who was also his faithful assistant for twenty years—learns that the family he claimed to have lost in a tragic accident is very much alive and well. Left to unravel his secrets, Sabine sets out on a profound journey of self-discovery.

MENTIONED IN:

14 Books Worth Revisiting From Today’s Best Writers

By Wendy Sheanin | August 18, 2016

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The Weird Sisters
by Eleanor Brown
Named by their Shakespeare professor father after the Bard’s heroines, the Andreas sisters have a hard time communicating with their parents and their lovers, but especially with one another. When a family crisis returns them all to their childhood home, they have to face their own disappointments, their parents’ frailty, and, most importantly, each other.
The Weird Sisters
Eleanor Brown

Bianca, Cordelia, and Rosalind are the book-loving and wonderfully quirky spawn of Shakespeare scholar Dr. James Andreas. When the three sisters return to their childhood home to lick their wounds and bury their secrets, they are horrified to find the others there. But the Andreas sisters soon discover that everything they’ve been running from might offer more than they ever expected.

MENTIONED IN:

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A Map of the World
by Jane Hamilton

The Goodwins are outsiders in their Wisconsin community, regarded with suspicion as “that hippie couple” playing at life on a dairy farm. Their bucolic existence is forever shattered one day when a neighbor’s two-year-old daughter drowns in their pond while under Alice’s care. This vivid human drama of guilt, heartbreak, and betrayal is for fans of Sue Miller and Jane Smiley.

A Map of the World
Jane Hamilton

The Goodwins are outsiders in their Wisconsin community, regarded with suspicion as “that hippie couple” playing at life on a dairy farm. Their bucolic existence is forever shattered one day when a neighbor’s two-year-old daughter drowns in their pond while under Alice’s care. This vivid human drama of guilt, heartbreak, and betrayal is for fans of Sue Miller and Jane Smiley.

MENTIONED IN:

14 Books Worth Revisiting From Today’s Best Writers

By Wendy Sheanin | August 18, 2016

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The Kitchen House
by Kathleen Grissom
A young Irish orphan comes to Tall Oaks, a Virginia plantation, in the early 1800s as an indentured servant and is placed in the kitchen house under the care of the master’s illegitimate slave daughter. THE KITCHEN HOUSE is a gripping story of class, race, dignity, deep-buried secrets, and familial bonds—and lucky for us, Kathleen Grissom’s new novel, GLORY OVER EVERYTHING, returns us to Tall Oaks.
The Kitchen House
Kathleen Grissom

When a white indentured servant violates the delicate order of plantation society, she unleashes a tragedy that exposes the best and worst in everyone tied to the estate. Sweeping from 1790–1810, this is a heartbreaking, but ultimately hopeful, story of class, race, and familial bonds.

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Mrs. Kimble
by Jennifer Haigh

Meet Birdie, Joan, and Dinah, three women who marry the same charismatic, predatory, and enigmatic opportunist: Ken Kimble. Resonating with emotional intensity and narrative innovation, Jennifer Haigh’s award-winning debut novel is a timeless story of grief, passion, heartache, deception, and the complex riddle of love.

Mrs. Kimble
Jennifer Haigh

Meet Birdie, Joan, and Dinah, three women who marry the same charismatic, predatory, and enigmatic opportunist: Ken Kimble. Resonating with emotional intensity and narrative innovation, Jennifer Haigh’s award-winning debut novel is a timeless story of grief, passion, heartache, deception, and the complex riddle of love.

MENTIONED IN:

14 Books Worth Revisiting From Today’s Best Writers

By Wendy Sheanin | August 18, 2016

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The Intuitionist
by Colson Whitehead

Colson Whitehead has been much in the news these days with his latest novel, THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD, recently selected to be the next Oprah Book Club Pick. He burst onto the literary scene nearly 20 years ago with the marvelously inventive, genre-bending, noir-inflected novel THE INTUITIONIST, set in the curious world of elevator inspection. With a nod to Ralph Ellison’s INVISIBLE MAN, Whitehead portrays a universe parallel to our own, where matters of morality, politics, and race reveal unexpected ironies.

The Intuitionist
Colson Whitehead

Colson Whitehead has been much in the news these days with his latest novel, THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD, recently selected to be the next Oprah Book Club Pick. He burst onto the literary scene nearly 20 years ago with the marvelously inventive, genre-bending, noir-inflected novel THE INTUITIONIST, set in the curious world of elevator inspection. With a nod to Ralph Ellison’s INVISIBLE MAN, Whitehead portrays a universe parallel to our own, where matters of morality, politics, and race reveal unexpected ironies.

MENTIONED IN:

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Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
by Jonathan Safran
Nine-year-old Oskar Schell is on an urgent secret mission to find the lock that matches a mysterious key that belonged to his father, who died in the World Trade Center on the morning of September 11. This seemingly impossible task will bring Oskar into contact with survivors of all sorts on an exhilarating, affecting, and ultimately healing journey.
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Jonathan Safran

Meet Oskar Schell, an inventor, Francophile, tambourine player, Shakespearean actor, jeweler, pacifist, correspondent with Stephen Hawking and Ringo Starr. He is nine years old. And he is on an urgent, secret search through the five boroughs of New York. His mission is to find the lock that fits a mysterious key belonging to his father, who died in the World Trade Center on 9/11.

MENTIONED IN:

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