Our 18 Most Anticipated Books of March

March 4 2022
Share Our 18 Most Anticipated Books of March

Yes, we know: there’re a lot of books on this Most Anticipated Book list for March. But it just couldn’t be helped! It’s not our fault there are so many good books coming out soon. Scattered throughout are sweeping historical fiction reads by beloved authors, thrillers with twists that truly knocked us out, and beach reads that we like to consider as a warm-up to summer. Hopefully you’ll find some new books to add to your want-to-read list, but if not, we have absolutely no problem adding some more.

Girl in Ice
by Erica Ferencik

Sue’s Pick: With a mix of fascinating science and the truly unexplainable, Erica Ferencik’s GIRL IN ICE keeps you glued to your seat until the very last page. If you're a big thriller reader like I am, you'll love the twists and turns of this novel about a gifted linguist who travels to the Arctic Circle in hopes of solving the mystery of her brother’s sudden death. Just when you think you've figured it out, it veers left and leaves you wondering, How did I miss that? The writing is sharp and fast-paced, and you become attached to all the characters, wanting them to succeed beyond all odds. Equal parts science, science fiction, and love story, GIRL IN ICE delivers a wonderful ride for even the most discerning thriller reader.

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Girl in Ice
Erica Ferencik

From the author of The River at Night and Into the Jungle comes a harrowing new thriller set in the unforgiving landscape of the Arctic Circle, as a brilliant linguist struggling to understand the apparent suicide of her twin brother ventures hundreds of miles north to try to communicate with a young girl who has been thawed from the ice alive.

Valerie “Val” Chesterfield is a linguist trained in the most esoteric of disciplines: dead Nordic languages. Despite her successful career, she leads a sheltered life and languishes in the shadow of her twin brother, Andy, an accomplished climate scientist stationed on a remote island off Greenland’s barren coast. But Andy is gone: a victim of suicide, having willfully ventured unprotected into 50 degree below zero weather. Val is inconsolable—and disbelieving. She suspects foul play.

When Wyatt, Andy’s fellow researcher in the Arctic, discovers a scientific impossibility­—a young girl frozen in the ice who thaws out alive, speaking a language no one understands—Val is his first call. Will she travel to the frozen North to meet this girl, and try to comprehend what she is so passionately trying to communicate? Under the auspices of helping Wyatt interpret the girl’s speech, Val musters every ounce of her courage and journeys to the Artic to solve the mystery of her brother’s death.

The moment she steps off the plane, her fear threatens to overwhelm her. The landscape is fierce, and Wyatt, brilliant but difficult, is an enigma. But the girl is special, and Val’s connection with her is profound. Only something is terribly wrong; the child is sick, maybe dying, and the key to saving her lies in discovering the truth about Wyatt’s research. Can his data be trusted? And does it have anything to do with how and why Val’s brother died? With time running out, Val embarks on an incredible frozen odyssey—led by the unlikeliest of guides—to rescue the new family she has found in the most unexpected of places.

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The Diamond Eye
by Kate Quinn

Kaitie’s Pick #1: I have been a fan of Kate Quinn’s for several years now, and having worked with her on her previous novel, THE ROSE CODE, has only solidified that fandom. She has a masterful way of bringing previously untold stories of women’s war efforts to light, and I cannot wait to read Mila Pavlichenko’s story in this latest book. THE DIAMOND EYE is a haunting novel of heroism born of desperation, of a mother who became a soldier, of a woman who found her place in the world and changed the course of history forever. I was lucky enough to get an early copy and I cannot wait to dive in. 

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The Diamond Eye
Kate Quinn

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The Recovery Agent
by Janet Evanovich

Karlyn’s Pick: I could not be more excited about THE RECOVERY AGENT! Readers are in for a thrilling read full of action, adventure, and humor, with Gabriela Rose as the recovery agent—a new character at the center of this blockbuster new series. Gabriela is fearless, talented, intelligent, relentless, and vigilant in all her endeavors, and you will be rooting for her from page one. I can't wait for readers to jump in and check out this exciting and “rollicking adventure” (Booklist) from Janet Evanovich.

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The Recovery Agent
Janet Evanovich

#1 New York Times bestselling author Janet Evanovich returns with the launch of a blockbuster new series that blends wild adventure, hugely appealing characters, and pitch-perfect humor, proving once again why she’s “the most popular mystery writer alive” (The New York Times).

Lost something? Gabriela Rose knows how to get it back. As a recovery agent, she’s hired by individuals and companies seeking lost treasures, stolen heirlooms, or missing assets of any kind. She’s reliable, cool under pressure, and well trained in weapons of all types. But Gabriela’s latest job isn’t for some bamboozled billionaire, it’s for her own family, whose home is going to be wiped off the map if they can’t come up with a lot of money fast.

Inspired by an old family legend, Gabriela sets off for the jungles of Peru in pursuit of the Ring of Solomon and the lost treasure of Lima. But this particular job comes with a huge problem attached to it—Gabriela’s ex-husband, Rafer. It’s Rafer who has the map that possibly points the way to the treasure, and he’s not about to let Gabriela find it without him.

Rafer is as relaxed as Gabriela is driven, and he has a lifetime’s experience getting under his ex-wife’s skin. But when they aren’t bickering about old times the two make a formidable team, and it’s going to take a team to defeat the vicious drug lord who has also been searching for the fabled ring. A drug lord who doesn’t mind leaving a large body count behind him to get it.

The Recovery Agent marks the start of an irresistible new series that will have you clamoring for more and cheering for the unstoppable Gabriela Rose on every page.

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A Ballad of Love and Glory
by Reyna Grande

Emily’s Pick #1: You know when you read a story’s premise and can already feel yourself caring about the characters and shouting at the world for getting in their way? That’s how I feel about this book. It’s a sweeping historical love story saga, set during the Mexican-American War, in 1846, in which a Mexican Army nurse (recently widowed after Texas Rangers shoot her husband) begins to fall in love with an Irish immigrant who deserted the Union army to join the Mexican Army. Against the backdrop of war, they fight for love and justice. Based on true events, this is a book I know I will learn a lot from—both from its exploration of lesser-told historical events and from its characters and how they harness courage. 

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A Ballad of Love and Glory
Reyna Grande

A Long Petal of the Sea meets Cold Mountain in this sweeping historical saga following a Mexican army nurse and an Irish soldier who must fight, at first for their survival and then for their love, amidst the atrocity of the Mexican-American War—from the author of the “timely and riveting” (People) Across a Hundred Mountains and The Distance Between Us.

A forgotten war. An unforgettable romance.

The year is 1846. After the controversial annexation of Texas, the US Army marches south to provoke war with México over the disputed Río Grande boundary.​

Ximena Salomé is a gifted Mexican healer who dreams of building a family with the man she loves on the coveted land she calls home. But when Texas Rangers storm her ranch and shoot her husband dead, her dreams are burned to ashes. Vowing to honor her husband’s memory and defend her country, Ximena uses her healing skills as an army nurse on the frontlines of the ravaging war.

Meanwhile, John Riley, an Irish immigrant in the Yankee army desperate to help his family escape the famine devastating his homeland, is sickened by the unjust war and the unspeakable atrocities against his countrymen by nativist officers. In a bold act of defiance, he swims across the Río Grande and joins the Mexican Army—a desertion punishable by execution. He forms the St. Patrick’s Battalion, a band of Irish soldiers willing to fight to the death for México’s freedom.

When Ximena and John meet, a dangerous attraction blooms between them. As the war intensifies, so does their passion. Swept up by forces with the power to change history, they fight not only for the fate of a nation but for their future together.

Heartbreaking and lyrical, Reyna Grande’s spellbinding saga, inspired by true events and historical figures, brings these two unforgettable characters to life and illuminates a largely forgotten moment in history that impacts the US-México border to this day.

Will Ximena and John survive the chaos of this bitter war, or will their love be devoured along with the land they strive to defend?

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The Whispers
by Heidi Perks

Sabrina’s Pick #1: When Grace moves back to her hometown as an adult, she’s dismayed to find that her childhood best friend, Anna, has a new group of friends who are not at all interested in allowing Grace into their clique. Grace quietly remains on the outside, determined to rebuild the relationship she had with Anna while tolerating this new group of mean girls. When Anna disappears after a girls’ night out and no one seems to have a clue what might have happened to her or feel any sense of urgency in finding her, Grace sets out to deliver justice for the friend who was like a sister to her growing up. THE WHISPERS is a novel filled with dark secrets and harsh realities about the nature of female relationships throughout life. Heidi Perks provides a unique experience for the reader as she shifts the narrative from person to person, offering a 360-degree viewpoint of the situation from the perspectives of everyone involved. This thriller will keep you on your toes, questioning your relationships, and turning pages until the very end.

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The Whispers
Heidi Perks

The internationally bestselling author of Her One Mistake, hailed by New York Times bestselling author Lisa Jewell as “slick, gripping, and compelling,” explores toxic relationships, dark secrets, and a twisted web of lies in an explosive new novel about a woman searching for her missing best friend.

Anna loves Girls’ Night with her friends. With the kids safely in bed, it’s a chance for the women to let loose, enjoy some wine, and just laugh. But after one lively evening, Anna doesn’t arrive for school drop-off the next morning—or the next, or the next.

Everyone, especially her husband and young son, are frantic with worry but none more so than Grace, her childhood best friend. Grace is certain that someone is hiding the truth about Anna’s unexplained disappearance. As rumors fly and accusations are whispered among neighbors, Grace decides to take matters into her own hands and find out what happened to Anna…or die trying.

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A Girl During the War
by Anita Abriel

Holly’s pick #1: The setting is Rome, 1943. Marina has just learned that her father has been killed for hiding a Jewish artist in their home. In a fearful haste, Marina makes the decision to flee to her father’s friend’s villa in Florence. This friend, Bernard Berenson, is the American famed librarian who curated the J. P. Morgan library. With all the unrest surrounding them, Marina begins to help Bernard hide precious cultural artifacts in his library from the Germans, before he makes the trek to Switzerland. On top of it all, Marina finds love in the Berenson’s charming young neighbor, Carlos. But when Carlos disappears, Marina is left alone to travel halfway across the world. A sweeping story of love, strength, and survival, A GIRL DURING THE WAR is a lush and engaging read.   

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A Girl During the War
Anita Abriel

The author of the “unforgettable story of strength, love, and survival” (Jillian Cantor, USA TODAY bestselling author) The Light After the War returns with a sweeping and evocative story of love and purpose in WWII Italy.

Rome, 1943: University student Marina Tozzi is on her way home when she finds out that her father has been killed for harboring a Jewish artist in their home. Fearful of the consequences, Marina flees to Villa I Tatti, the Florence villa of her father’s American friend Bernard Berenson and his partner Belle da Costa Greene, the famed librarian who once curated J.P. Morgan’s library.

Florence is a hotbed of activity as partisans and Germans fight for control of the city. Marina, an art expert, begins helping Bernard catalog his library as he makes the difficult trek to neutral Switzerland, helping to hide precious cultural artifacts from the Germans. Adding to the tension, their young neighbor Carlos, a partisan, seeks out Marina for both her art expertise and her charm. Marina, swept up in the romance, dreams of a life together after the war.

But when Carlos disappears, all of Marina’s assumptions about her life in Florence are thrown into doubt, and she’ll have to travel halfway around the world to unravel what really happened during the war.

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On a Night of a Thousand Stars
by Andrea Yaryura Clark

Emily’s Pick #2: Evita is one of my all-time favorite musicals, so this title immediately caught my attention, as it’s from one of my favorite songs. Then the book’s amazing reviews made me immediately add it to my TBR pile. In this eye-opening and tragic story, set in New York in 1998, a wealthy young college student named Paloma Larrea realizes her wealthy diplomatic father’s past holds important, dangerous secrets that stemmed from Argentina’s Dirty War in the 1970s and the horrific killings and disappearances that occurred under the military dictatorship. Paloma travels to Buenos Aires with her family and the answers she uncovers there begin to break her already fragile relationship with her parents.

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On a Night of a Thousand Stars
Andrea Yaryura Clark

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All the White Spaces
by Ally Wilkes

Sara’s Pick #1: If you're looking to get away from it all, try freezing, inhospitable Antarctica! That's where Jonathan Morgan, a trans man and a stowaway on an Antarctic expedition shortly after WWI, goes as he’s looking for a place where he can live as his true self, in every sense of the word. But when a storm puts him and the crew off-course, and they must winter in an uncharted part of the continent, Jonathan and the others find they're not as alone as they thought. ALL THE WHITE SPACES is a historical horror story sure to give you the chills as these men fight for their lives in one of the coldest places on Earth.

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All the White Spaces
Ally Wilkes

Something deadly and mysterious stalks the members of an isolated polar expedition in this haunting and spellbinding historical horror novel, perfect for fans of Dan Simmons’s The Terror and Alma Katsu’s The Hunger.

In the wake of the First World War, Jonathan Morgan stows away on an Antarctic expedition, determined to find his rightful place in the world of men. Aboard the expeditionary ship of his hero, the world-famous explorer James “Australis” Randall, Jonathan may live as his true self—and true gender—and have the adventures he has always been denied. But not all is smooth sailing: the war casts its long shadow over them all, and grief, guilt, and mistrust skulk among the explorers.

When disaster strikes in Antarctica’s frozen Weddell Sea, the men must take to the land and overwinter somewhere which immediately seems both eerie and wrong; a place not marked on any of their part-drawn maps of the vast white continent. Now completely isolated, Randall’s expedition has no ability to contact the outside world. And no one is coming to rescue them.

In the freezing darkness of the Polar night, where the aurora creeps across the sky, something terrible has been waiting to lure them out into its deadly landscape…

As the harsh Antarctic winter descends, this supernatural force will prey on their deepest desires and deepest fears to pick them off one by one. It is up to Jonathan to overcome his own ghosts before he and the expedition are utterly destroyed.

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The Book of Cold Cases
by Simone St. James

Sara’s Pick #2: There's nothing wrong with loving true crime, but every obsession can be taken a little too far. Shea Collins is a receptionist by day, but she runs a true crime website at night called the Book of Cold Cases. With some luck (or maybe misfortune), she lands an interview with Beth Greer, a woman who was suspected of murdering two men in cold blood in 1977, but was acquitted. As Shea interviews Beth in her home, strange occurrences leave her feeling more and more on edge. Is she as in control as she thinks she is, or has she walked right into a trap? Simone St. James is a master of suspense, and her latest novel will have you clamoring for more.

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The Book of Cold Cases
Simone St. James

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The Wedding Veil
by Kristy Woodson Harvey

Holly’s Pick #2: THE WEDDING VEIL piqued my interest the minute I heard its description: historical plots, family heirlooms, and the Biltmore Estate. This book sounds every bit as gorgeous as the famous Vanderbilt family grounds. Kristy Woodson Harvey weaves the lives of four women together with one special family heirloom. In the present day, Julia Baxter is gifted her great-grandmother’s wedding veil, which has brought luck through generations. But on the morning of her wedding at the gorgeous Biltmore Estate, Julia fears she’ll need a whole lot more than a lucky veil to make her marriage work. Flash back to 1914: socialite Edith Vanderbilt is struggling to uphold her family’s legacy while she desperately tries to ready the 250-room mansion for her daughter Cornelia’s inheritance. Unbeknownst to her, Cornelia has plans of her own. I can’t wait to dig deeper into the secrets behind the cherished family heirloom and relish in the extravagant life of a historical socialite.

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The Wedding Veil
Kristy Woodson Harvey

The New York Times bestselling author of Under the Southern Sky and the Peachtree Bluff series brings “her signature wit, charm, and heart” (Woman’s World) to this sweeping new novel following four women across generations, bound by a beautiful wedding veil and a connection to the famous Vanderbilt family.

Four women. One family heirloom. A secret connection that will change their lives—and history as they know it.

Present Day: Julia Baxter’s wedding veil, bequeathed to her great-grandmother by a mysterious woman on a train in the 1930s, has passed through generations of her family as a symbol of a happy marriage. But on the morning of her wedding day, something tells her that even the veil’s good luck isn’t enough to make her marriage last forever. Overwhelmed and panicked, she escapes to the Virgin Islands to clear her head. Meanwhile, her grandmother Babs is also feeling shaken. Still grieving the death of her beloved husband, she decides to move out of the house they once shared and into a retirement community. Though she hopes it’s a new beginning, she does not expect to run into an old flame, dredging up the same complicated emotions she felt a lifetime ago.

1914: Socialite Edith Vanderbilt is struggling to manage the luxurious Biltmore Estate after the untimely death of her cherished husband. With 250 rooms to oversee and an entire village dependent on her family to stay afloat, Edith is determined to uphold the Vanderbilt legacy—and prepare her free-spirited daughter Cornelia to inherit it—in spite of her family’s deteriorating financial situation. But Cornelia has dreams of her own. Asheville, North Carolina has always been her safe haven away from the prying eyes of the press, but as she explores more of the rapidly changing world around her, she’s torn between upholding tradition and pursuing the exciting future that lies beyond Biltmore’s gilded gates.

In the vein of Therese Anne Fowler’s A Well-Behaved Woman and Jennifer Robson’s The Gown, The Wedding Veil brings to vivid life a group of remarkable women forging their own paths—and explores the mystery of a national heirloom lost to time.

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One Italian Summer
by Rebecca Serle

Emily’s Pick #3: I have an Italian trip planned for next year and so this book is a highly anticipated read for me. On a long-awaited trip to the Amalfi Coast, Katy had hoped to go with her mother, but instead she must travel while grieving the death of her mother—who had also spent time in Positano years ago, before she met Katy’s father. After a few days in the sun, Katy begins to feel rejuvenated by the coastal community, but she’s not the only one: her mother soon appears in the flesh, alive and healthy at age thirty. Over the course of the summer, the two bond in ways Katy could never have imagined. I was a sobbing mess after Serle’s IN FIVE YEARS and can’t wait to sob during this one—in between envisioning myself on the beach in Positano.

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One Italian Summer
Rebecca Serle

The New York Times bestselling author of the “heartwarming, heartbreaking, and hard to put down” (Laurie Frankel, New York Times bestselling author) modern classic In Five Years returns with a moving and unforgettable exploration of the powerful bond between mother and daughter set on the breathtaking Amalfi Coast.

When Katy’s mother dies, she is left reeling. Carol wasn’t just Katy’s mom, but her best friend and first phone call. She had all the answers and now, when Katy needs her the most, she is gone. To make matters worse, their planned mother-daughter trip of a lifetime looms: two weeks in Positano, the magical town Carol spent the summer right before she met Katy’s father. Katy has been waiting years for Carol to take her, and now she is faced with embarking on the adventure alone.

But as soon as she steps foot on the Amalfi Coast, Katy begins to feel her mother’s spirit. Buoyed by the stunning waters, beautiful cliffsides, delightful residents, and, of course, delectable food, Katy feels herself coming back to life.

And then Carol appears—in the flesh, healthy, sun-tanned, and thirty years old. Katy doesn’t understand what is happening, or how—all she can focus on is that she has somehow, impossibly, gotten her mother back. Over the course of one Italian summer, Katy gets to know Carol, not as her mother, but as the young woman before her. She is not exactly who Katy imagined she might be, however, and soon Katy must reconcile the mother who knew everything with the young woman who does not yet have a clue.

Rebecca Serle’s next great love story is here, and this time it’s between a mother and a daughter. With her signature “heartbreaking, redemptive, and authentic” (Jamie Ford, New York Times bestselling author) prose, Serle has crafted a transcendent novel about how we move on after loss, and how the people we love never truly leave us.

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Hook, Line, and Sinker
by Tessa Bailey

Kaitie’s Pick #1: A good rom-com is my favorite kind of feel-good read and Tessa Bailey always delivers. HOOK, LINE, AND SINKER is the follow-up to last year’s Schitt’s Creek–inspired IT HAPPENED ONE SUMMER, and it is just as delicious. When Fox, a reformed player, falls for his best friend, Hannah, while trying to help her land a different man, hilarity ensues. Romance fans will flock to this one. 

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Hook, Line, and Sinker
Tessa Bailey

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MENTIONED IN:

Our 18 Most Anticipated Books of March

By Off the Shelf Staff | March 4, 2022

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Girls Can Kiss Now
by Jill Gutowitz

Sharon’s Pick #1: GIRLS CAN KISS NOW is one of my most anticipated March releases. I already know I am going to love this book based on the summary alone. With wit and candor, Jill Gutowitz examines the phenomena of the mainstreaming of queer culture, blending sharp observation with personal anecdote. Utilizing beloved pieces of media such as the television show Orange Is the New Black as her guide, Gutowitz interrogates how popular culture, the internet, and queer identity shape one another, and how the intersection between the three will evolve as we move into the future.

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Girls Can Kiss Now
Jill Gutowitz

Named One of the Most Anticipated Books of 2022 by Vogue, BuzzFeed, Bustle, Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar, Electric Lit, Thrillist, and Glamour

“Wickedly funny and heartstoppingly vulnerable…every page twinkles with brilliance.” —Refinery29

Perfect for fans of Samantha Irby and Trick Mirror, a funny, whip-smart collection of personal essays exploring the intersection of queerness, relationships, pop culture, the internet, and identity, introducing one of the most undeniably original new voices today.

Jill Gutowitz’s life—for better and worse—has always been on a collision course with pop culture. There’s the time the FBI showed up at her door because of something she tweeted about Game of Thrones. The pop songs that have been the soundtrack to the worst moments of her life. And of course, the pivotal day when Orange Is the New Black hit the airwaves and broke down the door to Jill’s own sexuality. In these honest examinations of identity, desire, and self-worth, Jill explores perhaps the most monumental cultural shift of our lifetimes: the mainstreaming of lesbian culture. Dusting off her own personal traumas and artifacts of her not-so-distant youth she examines how pop culture acts as a fun house mirror reflecting and refracting our values—always teaching, distracting, disappointing, and revealing us.

Girls Can Kiss Now is a fresh and intoxicating blend of personal stories, sharp observations, and laugh-out-loud humor. This timely collection of essays helps us make sense of our collective pop-culture past even as it points the way toward a joyous, uproarious, near—and very queer—future.

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MENTIONED IN:

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Gallant
by V.E. Schwab

Sara’s Pick: #2: Author V. E. Schwab has had several hits throughout her career, so when her latest book, GALLANT, was announced, fans were champing at the bit to find out more. This Gothic tale follows Olivia Prior, who knows about her past only through a strange journal left by her mother. When she receives a letter inviting her "home," a place called Gallant, she excitedly goes to learn more about her father and family. But when she arrives, no one is expecting her, and it seems there are some sinister spirits afoot in the house. Dark, brooding, and full of secrets, GALLANT is a must-read for anyone who loves a spooky mystery. 

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Gallant
V.E. Schwab

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MENTIONED IN:

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The Heights
by Louise Candlish

Jordyn’s Pick: After having read THE OTHER PASSENGER in one sitting, desperate to know what happens at the end, I am elated that there’s a new Louise Candlish page-turner coming out soon. The book description alone was enough to hook me, but beyond that I know that when I read Candlish’s books I’m guaranteed a twisty thriller that will be unputdownable. 

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The Heights
Louise Candlish

“Impossible to resist, impossible to predict, impossible to put down…this is an author at the top of her game.” —Erin Kelly, author of Watch Her Fall

The author of the “masterfully plotted, compulsive page-turner” (The Guardian) Our House takes you on a haunting and nail-biting journey of tragedy and revenge.

The Heights is a tall, slender apartment building among warehouses in London. Its roof terrace is so discreet, you wouldn’t know it existed if you weren’t standing at the window of the flat directly opposite. But you are. And that’s when you see a man up there—a man you’d recognize anywhere. He may be older now, but it’s definitely him.

But that can’t be because he’s been dead for over two years. You know this for a fact.

Because you’re the one who killed him.

With Louise Candlish’s signature dark and twisty prose, The Heights shows “the ferocity of maternal love” (Hannah Beckerman, author of If Only I Could Tell You). It is a unputdownable thriller that will keep you guessing until the final page.

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MENTIONED IN:

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By Kristin Harmel | October 7, 2022

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The World Cannot Give
by Tara Isabella Burton

Sharon’s Pick #2: If there was ever a book tailor-made for me, Tara Isabella Burton’s THE WORLD CANNOT GIVE would be that book. Exploring queer desire and religious zealotry (two of my favorite topics to read about), the book follows Laura Stearns as she enrolls in a prestigious Maine boarding school. She soon joins the school’s cultish church choir (iconic), led by the charismatic Virginia Strauss, and under Virginia’s wing, Laura discovers a world of midnight crypt visits and illicit cliff-diving. When Virginia’s power over the choir is deemed dangerous by the school chaplain, Laura must decide how far she’ll let her devotion to Virginia go.

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The World Cannot Give
Tara Isabella Burton

The Girls meets Fight Club in this coming-of-age novel about queer desire, religious zealotry, and the hunger for transcendence among the devoted members of a cultic chapel choir in a prestigious Maine boarding school—and the obsessively ambitious, terrifyingly charismatic girl that rules over them.

When shy, sensitive Laura Stearns arrives at St. Dunstan’s Academy in Maine, she dreams that life there will echo her favorite novel, All Before Them, the sole surviving piece of writing by Byronic “prep school prophet” (and St. Dunstan’s alum) Sebastian Webster, who died at nineteen, fighting in the Spanish Civil War. She soon finds the intensity she is looking for among the insular, Webster-worshipping members of the school’s chapel choir, which is presided over by the charismatic, neurotic, overachiever Virginia Strauss. Virginia is as fanatical about her newfound Christian faith as she is about the miles she runs every morning before dawn. She expects nothing short of perfection from herself—and from the members of the choir.

Virginia inducts the besotted Laura into a world of transcendent music and arcane ritual, illicit cliff-diving and midnight crypt visits: a world that, like Webster’s novels, finally seems to Laura to be full of meaning. But when a new school chaplain challenges Virginia’s hold on the “family” she has created, and Virginia’s efforts to wield her power become increasingly dangerous, Laura must decide how far she will let her devotion to Virginia go.

The World Cannot Give is a shocking meditation on the power, and danger, of wanting more from the world.

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MENTIONED IN:

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By Kristin Harmel | October 7, 2022

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By Alice Martin | October 3, 2022

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By Off the Shelf Staff | September 30, 2022

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Pay Up
by Reshma Saujani

Sabrina’s Pick #2: Reshma Saujani’s PAY UP surfaces some harsh realities regarding continued lack of equality in the workplace and the myth of a work-life balance for women. While it’s true that women have made great strides in the battle for autonomy and independence, Saujani makes the acute observation that the intention of the feminist movement over time was for women to “have it all,” but no one realized that was also going to mean having to “do it all.” Workingwomen are at a breaking point when it comes to balancing a growing number of responsibilities. That has never been as evident as in the alarming rise of women leaving the workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic. Rest assured, Saujani’s message isn’t all doom and gloom. Prepare to finish this book energized and equipped with the language and tools necessary to advocate for sustainable practices and activate true systemic change.

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Pay Up
Reshma Saujani

The founder of Girls Who Code and bestselling author of Brave, Not Perfect confronts the “big lie” of corporate feminism and presents a bold plan to address the burnout and inequity harming America’s working women today.

We told women that to break glass ceilings and succeed in their careers, all they needed to do is dream big, raise their hands, and lean in. But data tells a different story. Historic numbers of women left their jobs in 2021, resulting in their lowest workforce participation since 1988. Women’s unemployment rose to nearly fifteen percent, and globally women lost over $800 billion in wages. Fifty-one percent of women say that their mental health has declined, while anxiety and depression rates have skyrocketed.

In this urgent and rousing call to arms, Reshma Saujani dismantles the myth of “having it all” and lifts the burden we place on individual women to be primary caregivers, and to work around a system built for and by men. The time has come, she argues, for innovative corporate leadership, government intervention, and sweeping culture shift; it’s time to Pay Up.

Through powerful data and personal narrative, Saujani shows that the cost of inaction—for families, for our nation’s economy, and for women themselves—is too great to ignore. She lays out four key steps for creating lasting change: empower working women, educate corporate leaders, revise our narratives about what it means to be successful, and advocate for policy reform.

Both a direct call to action for business leaders and a pragmatic set of tools for women themselves, Pay Up offers a bold vision for change as America defines the future of work.

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MENTIONED IN:

Kristin Harmel’s 10 Favorite Books from the Past 10 Years

By Kristin Harmel | October 7, 2022

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By Off the Shelf Staff | October 5, 2022

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By Off the Shelf Staff | October 4, 2022

New in Paperback: 10 October Releases Primed for Autumn

By Alice Martin | October 3, 2022

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By Off the Shelf Staff | September 30, 2022

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A Thousand Steps into Night
by Traci Chee

Heather's Pick: As a big fan of folklore-inspired fantasy novels like THE BEAR AND THE NIGHTINGALE, I was immediately captivated by the publisher’s description of Traci Chee’s A THOUSAND STEPS INTO NIGHT. Maybe there’s a reader out there who could resist the temptation of “a Japanese-influenced fantasy brimming with demons, adventure, and plans gone awry,” but I know it isn’t me! No, I’m already buckled in for the story of Miuko, an innkeeper’s daughter who’s on an epic mission to reverse the curse she’s under⁠—a curse that’s turning her into a dangerous demon. Miuko meets friends and foes alike on her journey, and even starts to wonder if she really wants her normal life back after all. Given that a demon prince who drives Miuko crazy is involved, my money is on “no,” but I can’t wait to find out!

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A Thousand Steps into Night
Traci Chee

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MENTIONED IN:

Our 18 Most Anticipated Books of March

By Off the Shelf Staff | March 4, 2022

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