Just when I think things can’t get any better, they do. It’s undeniable that 2017 was an incredible year for books, and I can’t be faulted for naively thinking there was no way 2018 could top it. But then, BAM! New books are coming out from Meg Wolitzer, Tayari Jones, Amy Bloom, Kristin Hannah, and Lisa Genova—and that’s just this spring! I hate waiting, so I’m keeping myself occupied with earlier works from these impressive authors.
SILVER SPARROW is a breathtaking story about one man and his two families—one public, the other private—in a middle-class neighborhood in 1980s Atlanta. The two teenage daughters of James Witherspoon meet and befriend each other, but only one of them understands their connection. Tayari Jones continues her portraits of explosive relationships with her new novel AN AMERICAN MARRIAGE.
With courage, grace, and powerful insight, Kristin Hannah illuminates an intimate and seldom-seen part of World War II in THE NIGHTINGALE. Telling the stories of two sisters separated by years and experience, by ideals, passion, and circumstance, as each embarks on her own dangerous path toward survival, love, and freedom in war-torn France, this heartbreakingly beautiful novel celebrates the resilience of the human spirit. Readers are already devouring Hannah’s new novel, THE GREAT ALONE.
With courage, grace, and powerful insight, Kristin Hannah illuminates an intimate and seldom seen part of World War II. Telling the stories of two sisters separated by years and experience, by ideals, passion, and circumstance, each embarking on her own dangerous path toward survival, love, and freedom in war-torn France, this heartbreakingly beautiful novel celebrates the resilience of the human spirit.
Abel Haggard is an elderly hunchback. Hundreds of miles to the south of Haggard’s suburban Dallas home, in Austin, Seth Waller is a teenager whose mother’s diagnosis of a rare disease prompts him to set out on a quest to find her lost relatives and uncover the truth of her genetic history. Though neither knows of the other’s existence, Abel and Seth are linked by a dual legacy. Stefan Merrill Block continues to blend dazzling storytelling and science in his new book, OLIVER LOVING.
Author of the highly anticipated WHITE HOUSES (out now!), LUCKY US is a resonant novel about hopeful star Iris and sidekick Eva and their journey through 1940s America in search of fame and fortune. As they travel from Brooklyn’s beauty parlors all the way to London’s West End, the girls encounter a group of unforgettable people who love, lie, cheat, and survive in this story of our fragile, absurd, heroic species.
In this stirring and elegant debut novel, two young scientists who have followed their professor all over the globe begin to understand that sometimes the step taken “in the name of science” is a step too far. Chloe Benjamin is enchanting readers with her new novel THE IMMORTALISTS. It’s one you definitely don’t want to miss, so make sure you pick up both of these books soon.
In this stirring and elegant debut novel, two young scientists who have followed their professor all over the globe begin to understand that sometimes the step taken “in the name of science” is a step too far.
From the award-winning author of the forthcoming story collection AWAYLAND (on sale March 6), SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF EASE AND PLENTY is an imaginative novel about a wealthy New England family in the 1960s and ’70s that suddenly loses its fortune—and its bearings. Unable to cope with this distressing news, Fern and Edgar set out on separate adventures, unintentionally leaving their three children home alone to fend for themselves.
A historical novel inspired by true events, ORPHAN #8 is the fascinating story of a woman who must choose between revenge and mercy when she encounters the doctor who subjected her to dangerous medical experiments in a Jewish orphanage in New York City years before. Kim van Alkemade does it again in her new historical fiction, BACHELOR GIRL (on sale March 6)—one of the books I’m most excited about this year.
At once beautiful and terrifying, this extraordinary debut is a vivid depiction of life with early-onset Alzheimer’s. STILL ALICE is one of our favorite books, and our book club can’t wait to talk about it on Friday, February 23 (tune in on Facebook). Needless to say, we’re all excited for Lisa Genova’s lastest and greatest, EVERY NOTE PLAYED (on sale March 20).
“My grandfather had Alzheimer’s, and I was afraid of him because of it. I’m embarrassed and a little ashamed to admit that. When I read this, I started to understand how scared and frustrated someone with Alzheimer’s can feel. I believe this understanding is critical as we learn how to care, how to treat, and how to cure this insidious disease in modern times.” —Kevin Myers (Read Kevin’s review of Still Alice here.)
Winner of the National Book Award, this historical retelling of THE ODYSSEY transplants the classic myth to the American South near the end of the Civil War. COLD MOUNTAIN is a perilous journey across a war-ravaged landscape that explores the timeless theme of homecoming at the close of America’s most devastating war. Charles Frazier returns to this time and place in VARINA (on sale April 3).
Winner of the National Book Award, this historical retelling of The Odyssey transplants the classic myth to the American South near the end of the Civil War. A perilous journey across a war-ravaged landscape explores the timeless theme of homecoming at the close of America’s most devastating war.
One of our favorite books here at Off the Shelf, THE INTERESTINGS is the story of six teenagers who become inseparable at a summer camp for the arts. Decades later, their bonds remain strong, even if some of their artistic dreams are falling apart. This gorgeous novel explores the meaning of talent; the nature of envy; the roles of class, art, money, and power; and how it all can shift and tilt precipitously over the course of a friendship and a life. You don’t want to miss this one, nor should you miss Meg Wolitzer’s new novel, THE FEMALE PERSUASION (on sale April 3).
“Like any good friend group, Wolitzer’s novel has a little bit of everything. There’s romance, there’s comedy, there’s drama, there’s sadness, and there’s an undeniable, everlasting devotion to the people you take the journey with.”
We all know Homer’s THE ILIAD, the story of Helen and the war that was started over her, but in this thrilling novel, Madeline Miller gives us a fresh perspective on the other famous name to emerge from Troy: Achilles, the epic warrior who fought for the Greeks. Wildly romantic and surprisingly suspenseful, THE SONG OF ACHILLES is a beautifully written, memorable read. Madeline Miller takes readers back to mythological Greece with her new reimagining of CIRCE (on sale April 10).
“I’ve always thought that a good book should be either the entry point inward, to learn about yourself, or a door outward, to open you up to new worlds. With THE SONG OF ACHILLES, Madeline Miller gave me both.”
Lisa Jewell is a master of suspense. In THE GIRLS IN THE GARDEN—my favorite of her books so far—Pip, her 13-year-old sister, Grace, and their mother move into an idyllic communal garden square. They could have never predicted the gruesome betrayal that will leave Grace lying unconscious and bloody in a hidden corner of the rose garden. Keep your eyes out for Lisa Jewell’s next book, THEN SHE WAS GONE (on sale April 24).
When Pip; her 13-year-old sister, Grace; and their mother move into an idyllic communal garden square, they could have never predicted the gruesome betrayal that would leave Grace lying unconscious and bloody in a hidden corner of the rose garden.