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7 Popular Novels to Revisit Ahead of the Authors’ New Releases

September 14 2022
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For me, one of the greatest joys of reading is following an author’s journey. I love seeing how their voice and talent evolve into new, inventive stories. Plus, coming back to a familiar author’s writing always provides an unmatched level of comfort and excitement. Through their writing, my favorite authors feel akin to good friends. This fall, a few beloved authors are publishing fresh works of fiction. I can’t wait to cozy up with their new titles, but until then, I’ll be reaching back into my bookshelf to reread their previous books. Here are some authors to look out for this autumn, plus current works of theirs to check out before their new books hit the shelves.

Dark Tides
by Philippa Gregory

Philippa Gregory’s Fairmile Series, set in seventeenth-century London and known for its gorgeous historical writing, never disappoints. This November, the third book in the series will be published, and I can’t wait to get my hands on it. In the meantime, I’m brushing up on the preceding books, which tell the story of the fiercely independent Alinor and the rise of the Tideland family across London, Venice, and New England. As characters are torn between greed and desire, readers will feel empowered by this defiant and courageous main character.

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Dark Tides
Philippa Gregory

#1 New York Times bestselling author of Tidelands—the “searing portrait of a woman that resonates across the ages” (People)—returns with an evocative historical novel tracking the rise of the Tidelands family in London, Venice, and New England.

Midsummer Eve 1670. Two unexpected visitors arrive at a shabby warehouse on the south side of the River Thames. The first is a wealthy nobleman seeking the lover he deserted twenty-one years earlier. Now James Avery has everything to offer: a fortune, a title, and the favor of the newly restored King Charles II. He believes that the warehouse’s poor owner Alinor has the one thing he cannot buy—his son and heir.

The second visitor is a beautiful widow from Venice in deepest mourning. She claims Alinor as her mother-in-law and tells her of the death of Rob—Alinor’s son—drowned in the dark tides of the Venice lagoon.

Meanwhile, Alinor’s brother Ned, in faraway New England, is making a life for himself between in the narrowing space between the jarring worlds of the English newcomers and the American Indians as they move towards inevitable war. Alinor writes to him that she knows—without doubt—that her son is alive and the widow is an imposter. But how can she prove it?

Set in the poverty and glamour of Restoration London, in the golden streets of Venice, and on the tensely contested frontier of early America, this is a novel of greed and desire: for love, for wealth, for a child, and for home.

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Things in Jars
by Jess Kidd

This October, a dazzling new title from award-winning author Jess Kidd is coming! In classic Jess Kidd fashion, her new novel, THE NIGHT SHIP, will immerse readers in a historical time period packed with mysticism and lore. While I’m waiting for this new novel to publish, I’ve been rereading one of my favorite Kidd books, THINGS IN JARS. A no-nonsense, pipe-smoking female detective, Bridie Devine, has been tasked with finding a missing child named Christabel. But she’s no ordinary girl, and this is no ordinary case. Christabel’s supernatural powers have garnered the attention of collectors, and Bridie must fend off kidnappers, unearth secrets, and brave the sooty Victorian London streets to solve this mystery.

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Things in Jars
Jess Kidd

In this “miraculous and thrilling” (Diane Setterfield, #1 New York Times bestselling author) mystery for fans of The Essex Serpent and The Book of Speculation, Victorian London comes to life as an intrepid female sleuth wades through a murky world of collectors and criminals to recover a remarkable child.

Bridie Devine—flame-haired, pipe-smoking detective extraordinaire—is confronted with the most baffling puzzle yet: the kidnapping of Christabel Berwick, secret daughter of Sir Edmund Athelstan Berwick, and a peculiar child whose reputed supernatural powers have captured the unwanted attention of collectors in this age of discovery.

Winding her way through the sooty streets of Victorian London, Bridie won’t rest until she finds the young girl, even if it means unearthing secrets about her past that she’d rather keep buried. Luckily, her search is aided by an enchanting cast of characters, including a seven-foot-tall housemaid; a melancholic, tattoo-covered ghost; and an avuncular apothecary. But secrets abound in this foggy underworld where nothing is quite what it seems.

Blending darkness and light, Things in Jars is a stunning, “richly woven tapestry of fantasy, folklore, and history” (Booklist, starred review) that explores what it means to be human in inhumane times.

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The Cider House Rules
by John Irving

World-renowned author John Irving is back after seven years with a new novel. THE LAST CHAIRLIFT, publishing this October, is expected to be a sweeping story of ghosts, love, and sexuality. Before it publishes, dive into another of his famous books, THE CIDER HOUSE RULES. This novel tells the story of Homer Wells, an orphan who becomes the protégé of Dr. Wilbur Larch, who helps women deliver unwanted babies and performs illegal abortions. It’s in this role that Homer meets a young couple and comes to understand the complicated world outside his orphanage, as THE CIDER HOUSE RULES explores the important issues of abortion, addiction, and racism.

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The Cider House Rules
John Irving

John Irving’s 973-page classic recounts the coming of age of Homer Wells, an un-adopted orphan and protégé of orphanage director and abortionist Dr. Wilbur Larch. The film won two Academy Awards—one for best supporting actor Michael Caine and one for best adapted screenplay by John Irving.

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Beartown
by Fredrik Backman

The third and final book of Fredrik Backman’s Beartown series is on the horizon. THE WINNERS will tie up the loose ends of the previous stories and dive into the complexities of life, loss, friendship, and identity. Anyone who has yet to begin this series should do so before this fall. Start with BEARTOWN (now an HBO Original Series), which follows a junior ice hockey team from a small town with big dreams into the national semifinals. But amid the hype surrounding the match, a violent crime befalls the town. With his signature wit and charm, Backman touches on profound elements of everyday life through the lens of this small forest community.

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Beartown
Fredrik Backman

Now an HBO Original Series

“You’ll love this engrossing novel.” —People

Named a Best Book of the Year by LibraryReads, BookBrowse, and Goodreads

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Anxious People, a dazzling and profound novel about a small town with a big dream—and the price required to make it come true.

By the lake in Beartown is an old ice rink, and in that ice rink Kevin, Amat, Benji, and the rest of the town’s junior ice hockey team are about to compete in the national semi-finals—and they actually have a shot at winning. All the hopes and dreams of this place now rest on the shoulders of a handful of teenage boys.

Under that heavy burden, the match becomes the catalyst for a violent act that will leave a young girl traumatized and a town in turmoil. Accusations are made and, like ripples on a pond, they travel through all of Beartown.

This is a story about a town and a game, but even more about loyalty, commitment, and the responsibilities of friendship; the people we disappoint even though we love them; and the decisions we make every day that come to define us. In this story of a small forest town, Fredrik Backman has found the entire world.

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Queenie
by Candice Carty-Williams

The brilliant Candice Carty-Williams returns with a hilarious, witty, and insightful novel about the power of family: PEOPLE PERSON, which published this week, is a vibrant and charming tale of found family. If the writing is anything like that in her previous novel, QUEENIE, then readers are in for a treat. I’ll be brushing up on this fabulous novel until I can finally crack open a copy of PEOPLE PERSON. QUEENIE, packed with wit and inspiration, follows a twenty-five-year-old Jamaican British woman in London. As she navigates life between two cultures, Queenie explores what it means to be a modern woman. Described as “disarmingly honest and unapologetically Black,” this novel by Candice Carty-Williams is a must-read.

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Queenie
Candice Carty-Williams

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It Ends with Us
by Colleen Hoover

Colleen Hoover’s IT ENDS WITH US has swept social media, just in time for its sequel to arrive this October. IT STARTS WITH US will pick up right where IT ENDS WITH US left off, so now is the time to check out this literary phenomenon. IT ENDS WITH US digs deep into the nuances of love and the generational trauma that follows us through life. Lily, who grew up in a less-than-perfect home, has always worked hard to build the life she wants and deserves. This includes her stubborn yet brilliant newfound love, Ryle. But as Lily navigates this new relationship, she can’t help but think about her first love, Atlas. And when he suddenly reappears in her life, Ryle feels threatened, and questions Lily has been avoiding must be answered.

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It Ends with Us
Colleen Hoover

In this “brave and heartbreaking novel that digs its claws into you and doesn’t let go, long after you’ve finished it” (Anna Todd, New York Times bestselling author) from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of All Your Perfects, a workaholic with a too-good-to-be-true romance can’t stop thinking about her first love.

Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town where she grew up—she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. And when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life seems too good to be true.

Ryle is assertive, stubborn, maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily. And the way he looks in scrubs certainly doesn’t hurt. Lily can’t get him out of her head. But Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing. Even as Lily finds herself becoming the exception to his “no dating” rule, she can’t help but wonder what made him that way in the first place.

As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan—her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.

An honest, evocative, and tender novel, It Ends with Us is “a glorious and touching read, a forever keeper. The kind of book that gets handed down” (USA TODAY).

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My Notorious Life
by Kate Manning

Kate Manning, the critically acclaimed author, is publishing a new novel this November. GILDED MOUNTAIN, set in 1900s Colorado, follows a young woman and the consequences she faces after speaking out against injustice. Before you read this upcoming historical tale, pick up a copy of Manning’s novel MY NOTORIOUS LIFE. This book, inspired by a real midwife who became the central figure in a Victorian New York controversy, is filled with action, love, and power. Axie Muldoon is the child of impoverished Irish immigrants but grows up to become one of the wealthiest women of her day, as she and her husband establish a thriving midwifery business. But Axie’s services attract headlines, and the public is enraged. All of Axie’s strength and courage will be needed in her fight for women’s freedom and social reform.

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My Notorious Life
Kate Manning

A memorable novel inspired by a real midwife, Axie Muldoon, who became one of the most controversial figures of Victorian New York City by defying the law in the name of women’s reproductive rights. This story is sure to further conversations about women’s rights issues that have been the subject of debate for centuries.

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Photo Credit: iStock / Jelena990

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