Great new books for Spring!


(It’s coming!)

If all these snow days have left your TBR list a little short, never fear – we’re here with a great new list of books to build it back up again!

One of my favorites, Peter Swanson (The Girl with a Clock for a Heart), returns with his latest Highsmith-infused suspense thriller, All the Beautiful Lies. For fans of quirky puzzle mysteries a la Mr. Penumbra or Haruki Murakami there’s Nova Jacobs’ The Last Equation of Isaac Severy. For historicals this round we have All the Beautiful Girls, a glamorous drama set in 1960’s Vegas, although fans of the The Light Between Oceans (M. L. Stedman) should pick up As Bright As Heaven, set in post-WWI Philadelphia during the Spanish Flu epidemic. Years ago, I laughed and cried over Jonathan Miles’ brilliant little novel Dear American Airlines, so I’m really excited to read his latest, Anatomy of a Miracle, an hilarious and heartbreaking story of an Afghanistan War-veteran that spontaneously regains the ability to walk. And of course, we have included the latest from perennial favorites, Melanie Benjamin (The Aviator’s Wife) Chris Bohjalian (The Sandcastle Girls) Peter Carey (Crimson Petal and the White) and Amy Bloom (Away), as well as many great debuts, such as Chelsey Johnson’s Stray City, a different, sweet, engaging sort of coming of age story that is really well-written.

Don’t forget to join Lisa and I for our next live Friday Fiction presentation on April 20 at 10:30 AM. We’ll have lots of great new titles to get you through to summer! In the meantime, let us know if we can suggest anything else, and keep us posted about what you’re reading!

Jess’s Picks:

All the Beautiful Lies, by Peter Swanson: Devastated when his father commits suicide days before his college graduation, Harry returns to his home in Maine, where he is baffled by the increasingly sensual attentions of a mysterious woman and his own alluring stepmother, who he comes to realize are hiding dangerous secrets.
All the Beautiful Girls, by Elizabeth Church: A spirited young woman fights the demons of her past by becoming a dancer in 1960s Las Vegas, where her sensual beauty leads to her work in glamorous productions and a consuming affair with a fiery photographer.
Anatomy of a Miracle, by Jonathan Miles: Confined to a wheelchair after a paralyzing injury, an Afghanistan War veteran endures a hardscrabble existence in his sister’s ramshackle Mississippi home before spontaneously regaining his ability to walk, an apparent miracle that subjects him to scientific and religious debates and exposes his most private secrets.
Census, by Jesse Ball: Learning that he does not have long to live and will need to figure out how to provide for his developmentally disabled adult son, a widower signs up as a census taker for a mysterious government bureau and leaves town with his son on a cross-country journey of memories and revelations.
Freshwater, by Akwaeke Emezi: Traces the experiences of a deeply troubled young woman who alarms her devout Nigerian family as she succumbs to multiple personality disorder and begins to display increasingly dark and dangerous traits in accordance with her fractured personalities.
The Girls in the Picture, by Melanie Benjamin: An intimate reimagining of the powerful creative partnership between Hollywood superstars Frances Marion and Mary Pickford traces their friendship and boundary-breaking achievements against a backdrop of pre-World War I Hollywood.
In Every Moment We are Still Alive, by Tom Malmquist: Tom tries to raise his newborn baby daughter by himself after the sudden death of his wife from acute Leukemia right after she gave birth.
The Last Equation of Isaac Severy, by Nova Jacobs: Receiving a cryptic letter from her famous mathematician grandfather just before his suicide, adopted granddaughter Hazel, the owner of a struggling bookstore in Seattle, is charged with tracking down and protecting a dangerous equation before dangerous enemies can exploit it.
A Long Way From Home, by Peter Carey: The award-winning author of Amnesia finds a speed-loving woman, her car salesman husband and a thrill-seeking quiz-show champion entering a dangerous race that circumnavigates the natural obstacles of 1954 Australia.
My Lady’s Crossing, by Kitty Curran: A choose-your-own-adventure romance with Jane Austen flair. You are a spirited but penniless heroine in eighteenth-century society and courtship season has begun. Go!
Stray City, by Chelsea Johnson: Building a home for herself in the thriving but insular lesbian underground of Portland away from her Midwestern Catholic childhood, a young artist becomes unexpectedly pregnant after a reckless night and is forced to come to terms with her past a decade later when her precocious daughter asks about her father.
Lisa’s Picks:
As Bright as Heaven, by Susan Meissner:  The award-winning author of Secrets of a Charmed Life and A Bridge Across the Ocean presents a tale set in 1918 Philadelphia during the Spanish flu epidemic and traces the experiences of a family reeling from the losses of loved ones and changes in their adopted city, a situation that is further shaped by their decision to take in an orphaned infant.
The Flight Attendant, by Chris Bohjalian: A binge-drinking flight attendant wakes up in an unfamiliar hotel room beside a dead body and sneaks back to her work, telling a series of lies that complicate her ability to figure out what really happened. By the best-selling author of Midwives.
Girls Burn Brighter, by Shobha Rao: Forging a deep friendship with impoverished but passionate fellow weaver Savitha, motherless Poornima begins to reconnect with the beauty of the world before a devastating act of cruelty drives her friend away, compelling her to leave behind everything she knows to search for her friend in the darkest corners of India’s underworld and beyond.
The Gone World, by Tom Sweterlisch: Time-travel secret agent Shannon Moss visits future time periods for clues about a Navy SEAL astronaut’s murdered family and the disappearance of his teenage daughter, a case that is complicated by the SEAL’s and Shannon’s own impact on the timeline.
Happiness, by Aminatta Forna: An American scientist and a Ghanaian psychologist become unlikely partners and friends during a search for a missing child that challenges their perspectives on their careers and happiness.
How to Stop Time, by Matt Haig: A man with a secret rare condition that has enabled him to survive for centuries moves to London to become a high-school history teacher and considers defying his protective guardians’ rule against falling in love when he becomes entranced by a captivating colleague. By the best-selling author of Reasons to Stay Alive.
The Monk of Mokha, by Dave Eggers: The best-selling author of The Circle traces his upbringing as a Yemeni-American in San Francisco and his dream of resurrecting the ancient art of cultivating, roasting and importing Yemeni coffee, an endeavor that is challenged by the brutal realities of Yemen’s 2015 civil war.
Need to Know, by Karen Cleveland: A dedicated CIA counterintelligence analyst assigned to uncover the leaders of Russian sleeper cells in the United States stumbles on a secret dossier of deep-cover agents before facing an impossible choice that tests her loyalties to the agency and her own family.
The Queen of Hearts, by Kimmery Martin: Two doctors who have been best friends since early adulthood find their bond tested by the return of a former colleague who unearths a secret one of them has been harboring for years.
The Which Way Tree, by Elizabeth Crook: Surviving a panther attack that kills her mother and leaves her with scars, a tenacious young woman resolves to find and kill the unusually aggressive cat with the assistance of a charismatic Mexican American, a haunted preacher, her traumatized half-brother and an old hunting dog. By the award-winning author of The Night Journal.
White Houses, by Amy Bloom: A New York Times best-selling author presents a novel inspired by the life of Lorena Hickok, and by her love affair and enduring friendship with First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt.
The Widows of Malabar Hill, by Sujata Massey: A debut entry in a new series by the Agatha Award-winning author of The Sleeping Dictionary introduces Bombay’s first female lawyer, Oxford graduate Perveen Mistry, as she investigates a suspicious will on behalf of three Muslim widows living in strict purdah seclusion who become subject to a murderous guardian’s schemes for their inheritances.