When looking for new reads, don’t settle for just any old recommendation—take it from the professionals. In our latest roundup of books for the fall season, we reached out to some of the top editors in the publishing industry to find out which books have a special place on their shelves.
“Every book editor knows the adage, ‘When you cry, you buy,’ i.e. acquire the manuscript for publication immediately. I was such an emotionally wrecked, tear-stained mess as I finished WE ARE THE LIGHT that I had a hard time even locating my phone to tell the literary agent that I had to publish it. So I envy you the good cry you’re in for when you read this beautiful, life-affirming new novel by the author of THE SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK..” —Jofie F., VP, Publisher
From Matthew Quick, the New York Times bestselling author of The Silver Linings Playbook—made into the Academy Award–winning movie starring Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper—comes a poignant and hopeful novel about a widower who takes in a grieving teenager and inspires a magical revival in their small town.
Lucas Goodgame lives in Majestic, Pennsylvania, a quaint suburb that has been torn apart by a recent tragedy. Everyone in Majestic sees Lucas as a hero—everyone, that is, except Lucas himself. Insisting that his deceased wife, Darcy, visits him every night in the form of an angel, Lucas spends his time writing letters to his former Jungian analyst, Karl. It is only when Eli, an eighteen-year-old young man whom the community has ostracized, begins camping out in Lucas’s backyard that an unlikely alliance takes shape and the two embark on a journey to heal their neighbors and, most importantly, themselves.
From Matthew Quick, whose work has been described by the Boston Herald as “like going to your favorite restaurant. You just know it is going to be good,” We Are the Light is an unforgettable novel about the quicksand of grief and the daily miracle of love. The humorous, soul-baring story of Lucas Goodgame offers an antidote to toxic masculinity and celebrates the healing power of art. In this tale that will stay with you long after the final page is turned, Quick reminds us that life is full of guardian angels.
“An imaginative, genre-bending novel about love, sacrifice, and interwoven lives that’s sure to entice readers of Matthew Sullivan’s MIDNIGHT AT THE BRIGHT IDEAS BOOKSTORE and and Anthony Horowitz’s MAGPIE MURDERS. A prolific author named David Asha weaves together three stories: his own, in which he writes to his son whom he’d abandoned; a disgraced officer whose discovery of a woman’s distressed note catapults her into the lives of David and company; and a brilliant man with a peculiar goal. When readers reach the end, they’ll be shaken as each puzzle piece slots satisfyingly and mind-bendingly into place.”—Loan L., Editor
“I couldn’t stop thinking about the story’s incredible twist…like no crime novel I’ve ever read.” —James Patterson
For fans of Matt Haig and Anthony Horowitz, an “intriguing and thought-provoking” (Liv Constantine, author of The Last Mrs. Parrish) novel in which the lives of a disgraced police officer, a prolific author, and an upstanding citizen are inextricably bound together by a series of mysterious deaths.
The Other Side of Night begins with a man named David Asha writing about his biggest regret: his sudden separation from his son, Elliot. In his grief, David tells a story.
Next, we step into the life of Harriet Kealty, a police officer trying to clear her name after a lapse of judgment. She discovers a curious inscription in a secondhand book—a plea: Help me, he’s trying to kill me. Who wrote this note? Who is “he”?
This note leads Harri to David Asha, who was last seen stepping off a cliff. Police suspect he couldn’t cope after his wife’s sudden death. Still, why would this man jump and leave behind his young son? Quickly, Harri’s attention zeroes in on a person she knows all too well.
Ben Elmys: once the love of her life. A surrogate father to Elliot Asha and trusted friend to the Ashas.
Ben may also be a murderer.
The Other Side of Night is a thought-provoking, moving “head-spinner of a novel” (John Connolly) with intriguing narratives and plot swerves that will leave you reeling. By the end, you’ll be shaken as each piece slots satisfyingly into place.
“In GILDED MOUNTAIN, Kate Manning deftly explores labor rights, women’s rights, and immigration, but somehow the story doesn’t feel overburdened by issues—there’s also a love triangle, gorgeous sentences, and a driving plot that keeps the pages turning. Her descriptions of the Colorado mountain town where the story takes place are breathtaking, and readers will root for complicated heroine Sylvie Pelletier.” —Kara W., Executive Editor
Set in early 1900s Colorado, the unforgettable tale of a young woman who bravely faces the consequences of speaking out against injustice.
In a voice spiked with sly humor, Sylvie Pelletier recounts leaving her family’s snowbound mountain cabin to work in a manor house for the Padgetts, owners of the marble-mining company that employs her father and dominates the town. Sharp-eyed Sylvie is awed by the luxury around her; fascinated by her employer, the charming “Countess” Inge, and confused by the erratic affections of Jasper, the bookish heir to the family fortune. Her fairy-tale ideas of romance take a dark turn when she realizes the Padgetts’ lofty philosophical talk is at odds with the unfair labor practices that have enriched them. Their servants, the Gradys, formerly enslaved people, have long known this to be true and are making plans to form a utopian community on the Colorado prairie.
Outside the manor walls, the town of Moonstone is roiling with discontent. A handsome union organizer, along with labor leader Mary Harris “Mother” Jones, is stirring up the quarry workers. The editor of the local newspaper—a bold woman who takes Sylvie on as an apprentice—is publishing unflattering accounts of the Padgett Company. Sylvie navigates vastly different worlds and struggles to find her way amid conflicting loyalties. When the harsh winter brings tragedy, Sylvie must choose between silence and revenge.
Drawn from true stories of Colorado history, Gilded Mountain is a tale of a bygone American West seized by robber barons and settled by immigrants, and is a story infused with longing—for self-expression and equality, freedom and adventure.
“1930s Shanghai is a captivating world, gilded with glamour and glitz to hide the violent, bleeding heart of civil war and foreign expansion underneath. Rosalind and Orion are both deeply flawed characters that carry the burden of a past they are desperate to atone for, and their slow-burn romance will sweep you in from their very first meeting. FOUL LADY FORTUNE is one of those stories that will stay with you for a long time to come.” —Sarah M., Senior Editor
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of These Violent Delights and Our Violent Ends comes the first book in a captivating new duology following an ill-matched pair of spies posing as a married couple to investigate a series of brutal murders in 1930s Shanghai.
It’s 1931 in Shanghai, and the stage is set for a new decade of intrigue.
Four years ago, Rosalind Lang was brought back from the brink of death, but the strange experiment that saved her also stopped her from sleeping and aging—and allows her to heal from any wound. In short, Rosalind cannot die. Now, desperate for redemption for her traitorous past, she uses her abilities as an assassin for her country.
Code name: Fortune.
But when the Japanese Imperial Army begins its invasion march, Rosalind’s mission pivots. A series of murders is causing unrest in Shanghai, and the Japanese are under suspicion. Rosalind’s new orders are to infiltrate foreign society and identify the culprits behind the terror plot before more of her people are killed.
To reduce suspicion, however, she must pose as the wife of another Nationalist spy, Orion Hong, and though Rosalind finds Orion’s cavalier attitude and playboy demeanor infuriating, she is willing to work with him for the greater good. But Orion has an agenda of his own, and Rosalind has secrets that she wants to keep buried. As they both attempt to unravel the conspiracy, the two spies soon find that there are deeper and more horrifying layers to this mystery than they ever imagined.
“When THE CLOISTERS first crossed my desk, I read it in one sitting, staying up late into the night until I reached the final hair-raising, blink-and-you-miss-it reveal on the last page. I devoured the fascinating details about astrology, botany, and tarot, but it was the dark relationships, mercurial characters, and arcane atmosphere that won me over so completely. Filled with mystery, complex themes about fate versus choice, and razor-sharp insights into power dynamics and class divides, THE CLOISTERS is a tour de force that heralds the coming of an explosive new talent in the literary thriller landscape.” —Natalie H., Senior Editor
The Secret History meets Ninth House in this sinister, atmospheric novel following a circle of researchers as they uncover a mysterious deck of tarot cards and shocking secrets in New York’s famed Met Cloisters.
When Ann Stilwell arrives in New York City, she expects to spend her summer working as a curatorial associate at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Instead, she finds herself assigned to The Cloisters, a gothic museum and garden renowned for its medieval art collection and its group of enigmatic researchers studying the history of divination.
Desperate to escape her painful past, Ann is happy to indulge the researchers’ more outlandish theories about the history of fortune telling. But what begins as academic curiosity quickly turns into obsession when Ann discovers a hidden 15th-century deck of tarot cards that might hold the key to predicting the future. When the dangerous game of power, seduction, and ambition at The Cloisters turns deadly, Ann becomes locked in a race for answers as the line between the arcane and the modern blurs.
A haunting and magical blend of genres, The Cloisters is a gripping debut that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
“I was already a Jess Kidd fan before I even became her US editor. She can write about ghosts (HIMSELF), patron saints (MR. FLOOD’S LAST RESORT), and mermaids (THINGS IN JARS), and make these folkloric elements feel fresh, charming, and oh-so-real. THE NIGHT SHIP is another highly anticipated Jess Kidd book, which marry past and almost-present timelines—the vivid historical details of a real tragic shipwreck, narrated by a passenger, a motherless girl; and the coming-of -age of a motherless, lonely boy. Both timelines will pull at your heart’s strings. Jess Kidd has out-Jess Kidd herself with this sweeping novel. (Yes, she’s so good that her name can be used as a proper noun, adjective, and verb).” —Loan L., Editor
Based on a real-life event, an epic historical novel from the award-winning author of Things in Jars that illuminates the lives of two characters: a girl shipwrecked on an island off Western Australia and, three hundred years later, a boy finding a home with his grandfather on the very same island.
1629: A newly orphaned young girl named Mayken is bound for the Dutch East Indies on the Batavia, one of the greatest ships of the Dutch Golden Age. Curious and mischievous, Mayken spends the long journey going on misadventures above and below the deck, searching for a mythical monster. But the true monsters might be closer than she thinks.
1989: A lonely boy named Gil is sent to live off the coast of Western Australia among the seasonal fishing community where his late mother once resided. There, on the tiny reef-shrouded island, he discovers the story of an infamous shipwreck…
With her trademark “thrilling, mysterious, twisted, but more than anything, beautifully written” (Graham Norton, New York Times bestselling author) storytelling, Jess Kidd weaves a unputdownable and charming tale of friendship and sacrifice, brutality and forgiveness.
“Alison Cochrun’s debut novel THE CHARM OFFENSIVE was an in-house favorite, and it wasn’t hard to see why. Charming, hilarious, and full of nuanced conversations about sexuality and mental health, the novel struck a chord with a wide range of readers. Alison brings all that and more to her sophomore novel KISS HER ONCE FOR ME—adding a fake engagement, a hipster coffee shop, bookstore dates, and a holiday setting to the mix for the perfect fall rom-com.”—Kaitlin O., Editor
The author of the “swoon-worthy debut” (Harper’s Bazaar) The Charm Offensive returns with a festive romantic comedy about a woman who fakes an engagement with her landlord…only to fall for his sister.
One year ago, recent Portland transplant Ellie Oliver had her dream job in animation and a Christmas Eve meet-cute with a woman at a bookstore that led her to fall in love over the course of a single night. But after a betrayal the next morning and the loss of her job soon after, she finds herself adrift, alone, and desperate for money.
Finding work at a local coffee shop, she’s just getting through the days—until Andrew, the shop’s landlord, proposes a shocking, drunken plan: a marriage of convenience that will give him his recent inheritance and alleviate Ellie’s financial woes and isolation. They make a plan to spend the holidays together at his family cabin to keep up the ruse. But when Andrew introduces his new fiancée to his sister, Ellie is shocked to discover it’s Jack—the mysterious woman she fell for over the course of one magical Christmas Eve the year before. Now, Ellie must choose between the safety of a fake relationship and the risk of something real.
Perfect for fans of Written in the Stars and One Day in December, Kiss Her Once for Me is the queer holiday rom-com that you’ll want to cozy up with next to the fire.
“For the longest time, I didn’t see Vietnamese American women like me in fiction. We were background characters, dead bodies, docile servants, fetishized fantasies, or suffering individuals traumatized by constant war. I always thought, There’s so much more to our lives. There’s so much to celebrate. Vietnamese women are joyful, loud, stubborn, angry, funny, loving. We are everything. Carolyn Huynh’s big-hearted debut, THE FORTUNES OF JADED WOMEN, is absolute proof. It follows various Vietnamese women’s disparate lives, which intersect after a powerful psychic makes a startling prediction about their family’s fate and happiness. Layered with laugh-out-loud humor, some heartbreak, and healing, this vibrant novel is a life-affirming love letter to women everywhere.” —Loan L., Editor
For fans of Jonathan Tropper, KJ Dell’Antonia, and Kevin Kwan, this “sharp, smart, and gloriously extra” (Nancy Jooyoun Kim, The Last Story of Mina Lee) debut follows a family of estranged Vietnamese women—cursed to never know love or happiness—as they reunite when a psychic makes a startling prediction.
Everyone in Orange County’s Little Saigon knew that the Duong sisters were cursed.
It started with their ancestor, Oanh, who dared to leave her marriage for true love—so a fearsome Vietnamese witch cursed Oanh and her descendants so that they would never find love or happiness, and the Duong women would give birth to daughters, never sons.
Oanh’s current descendant Mai Nguyen knows this curse well. She’s divorced, and after an explosive disagreement a decade ago, she’s estranged from her younger sisters, Minh Pham (the middle and the mediator) and Khuyen Lam (the youngest who swears she just runs humble coffee shops and nail salons, not Little Saigon’s underground). Though Mai’s three adult daughters, Priscilla, Thuy, and Thao, are successful in their careers (one of them is John Cho’s dermatologist!), the same can’t be said for their love lives. Mai is convinced they might drive her to an early grave.
Desperate for guidance, she consults Auntie Hua, her trusted psychic in Hawaii, who delivers an unexpected prediction: this year, her family will witness a marriage, a funeral, and the birth of a son. This prophecy will reunite estranged mothers, daughters, aunts, and cousins—for better or for worse.
A multi-narrative novel brimming with levity and candor, The Fortunes of Jaded Women is about mourning, meddling, celebrating, and healing together as a family. It shows how Vietnamese women emerge victorious, even if the world is against them.
“One father, five children, four mothers: welcome to the modern family of South London. As she so exquisitely rendered in her debut QUEENIE, Candice Carty-Williams’s new novel PEOPLE PERSON digs deep into the trauma of what it means to be a person navigating the complicated, noisy gauntlet of the contemporary world. And in this quite funny, ultra-modern story she once again shows that family can come in all kinds of forms proving the ties that bind can often be surprising.” —Alison C., VP, Executive Editor
The author of the “brazenly hilarious, tell-it-like-it-is first novel” (Oprah Daily) Queenie returns with another witty and insightful novel about the power of family—even when they seem like strangers.
If you could choose your family...you wouldn’t choose the Penningtons.
Dimple Pennington knows of her half siblings, but she doesn’t really know them. Five people who don’t have anything in common except for faint memories of being driven through Brixton in their dad’s gold jeep, and some pretty complex abandonment issues. Dimple has bigger things to think about.
She’s thirty, and her life isn’t really going anywhere. An aspiring lifestyle influencer with a terrible and wayward boyfriend, Dimple’s life has shrunk to the size of a phone screen. And despite a small but loyal following, she’s never felt more alone in her life. That is, until a dramatic event brings her half siblings Nikisha, Danny, Lizzie, and Prynce crashing back into her life. And when they’re all forced to reconnect with Cyril Pennington, the absent father they never really knew, things get even more complicated.
From an author with “a flair for storytelling that appears effortlessly authentic” (Time), People Person is a vibrant and charming celebration of discovering family as an adult.
“I was alone in an unfamiliar hotel when I first read A HISTORY OF FEAR on submission. Bad choice. I couldn’t sleep at night, afraid that fiends—bird-like terrors—were stalking me from outside my window. Shadows turned into horrifying shapes; light was not enough to scare them away. Luke Dumas’s haunting literary suspense-horror gets under your skin. Is the devil a figment of our imagination? Or is the devil real? Well, you’ll have to find out yourself, but make sure to read this novel somewhere warm, open, and sunny. That’s the only way you’ll feel safe.”—Loan L., Editor
“Readers, beware: this novel is not safe and will have you questioning what’s real for many sleepless nights to come.” —Clay McLeod Chapman, author of The Remaking
“A disorienting, creepy, paranoia-inducing reimagining of the devil-made-me-do-it tale” (Paul Tremblay, author of The Cabin at the End of the World) following the harrowing downfall of a tortured graduate student arrested for murder.
The Devil is in Scotland.
Grayson Hale, the most infamous murderer in Scotland, is better known by a different name: the Devil’s Advocate. The twenty-five-year-old American grad student rose to instant notoriety when he confessed to the slaughter of his classmate Liam Stewart, claiming the Devil made him do it.
When Hale is found hanged in his prison cell, officers uncover a handwritten manuscript that promises to answer the question that’s haunted the nation for years: was Hale a lunatic, or had he been telling the truth all along?
Unnervingly, Hale doesn’t fit the bill of a killer. The first-person narrative that centers this novel reveals an acerbic young atheist, newly enrolled at the University of Edinburgh to carry on the legacy of his recently deceased father. In need of cash, he takes a job ghostwriting a mysterious book for a dark stranger, but has misgivings when the project begins to reawaken his satanophobia, a rare condition that causes him to live in terror that the Devil is after him. As he struggles to disentangle fact from fear, Grayson’s world is turned upside-down after events force him to confront his growing suspicion that he’s working for the one he has feared all this time—and that the book is only the beginning of their partnership.
A History of Fear is a propulsive foray into the darkness of the human psyche, marrying dread-inducing atmosphere and heart-palpitating storytelling.
“An immersive, absorbing look at how closely guarded secrets and long-held sorrows can derail families, this debut novel introduces a gifted storyteller whose richly drawn characters and vivid evocation of the endangered natural world will remind readers of WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING.” —Jackie C., Senior Editor
For fans of Where the Crawdads Sing, this “marvelous debut” (Alice McDermott, National Book Award–winning author of The Ninth Hour) follows a Washington, DC, artist as she faces her past and the secrets held in the waters of Florida’s lush swamps and wetlands.
Loni Murrow is an accomplished bird artist at the Smithsonian who loves her job. But when she receives a call from her younger brother summoning her back home to help their obstinate mother recover after an accident, Loni’s neat, contained life in Washington, DC, is thrown into chaos, and she finds herself exactly where she does not want to be.
Going through her mother’s things, Loni uncovers scraps and snippets of a time in her life she would prefer to forget—a childhood marked by her father Boyd’s death by drowning and her mother Ruth’s persistent bad mood. When Loni comes across a single, cryptic note from a stranger—“There are some things I have to tell you about Boyd’s death”— she begins a dangerous quest to discover the truth, all the while struggling to reconnect with her mother and reconcile with her brother and his wife, who seem to thwart her at every turn. To make matters worse, she meets a man in Florida whose attractive simple charm threatens everything she’s worked toward.
Pulled between worlds—her professional accomplishments in Washington, and the small town of her childhood—Loni must decide whether to delve beneath the surface into murky half-truths and either avenge the past or bury it, once and for all.
The Marsh Queen explores what it means to be a daughter and how we protect the ones we love. Suzanne Feldman, author of Sisters of the Great War, writes that “fans of Delia Owens and Lauren Groff will find this a wonderful and absorbing read.”
“While there are books featuring non-neurotypical people like Eleanor Oliphant, this is one of the only books I’ve ever read in which a person with intellectual disabilities is one of the main characters. Jeannie Zusy has created a wonderful cast of primary and secondary characters, and while they all will make you laugh and cry, it’s determined, stubborn, impervious Ginny you won’t soon forget.”—Trish T., VP, Executive Editor
Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine meets Early Morning Riser with a dash of Where’d You Go, Bernadette in this very funny, occasionally romantic, and surprisingly moving novel about how one woman’s life is turned upside down when she becomes caregiver to her sister with special needs.
Every family has its fault lines, and when Maggie gets a call from the ER in Maryland where her older sister lives, the cracks start to appear. Ginny, her sugar-loving and diabetic older sister with intellectual disabilities, has overdosed on strawberry Jell-O.
Maggie knows Ginny really can’t live on her own, so she brings her sister and her occasionally vicious dog to live near her in upstate New York. Their other sister, Betsy, is against the idea but as a professional surfer, she is conveniently thousands of miles away.
Thus, Maggie’s life as a caretaker begins. It will take all of her dark humor and patience, already spread thin after a separation, raising two boys, freelancing, and starting a dating life, to deal with Ginny’s diapers, sugar addiction, porn habit, and refusal to cooperate. Add two devoted but feuding immigrant aides and a soon-to-be ex-husband who just won’t go away, and you’ve got a story that will leave you laughing through your tears as you wonder who is actually taking care of whom.
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