As the book buyer for a local independent book store, I have the great joy of being able to see what books are coming, what publishers are excited about, and more, a good three to nine months before the books are actually released. While this is normally very exciting, it also means that by the time the book comes out, I’ve most likely already read, and therefore forgotten, about it. My hope here is to a, share some exciting new titles with you, lovely book lovers and b, remind myself of all the books that will be arriving in the store this month! While the release dates are for US editions, most will be available internationally around the same time or shortly thereafter. In the USA, I recommend purchasing through IndieBound, in the UK, and many other parts of the world, I recommend Blackwell’s, and if neither of those cover where you live, I recommend checking out your local booksellers before turning to major chains/online for your book buying needs.
I’ve chosen a collection of books in a variety of genres because I have a myriad of tastes and interests, hopefully one, or a few, will appeal to you! Reviews will be posted for some of the titles as they are released!
Tuesday, October 1, 2019
- The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys – I have loved Ruta Sepetys for a few years now (see Between Shades of Gray/Ashes in the Snow and Salt to the Sea reviews for unabashed fangirling) and when our children’s buyer at the store told me she had a new one out, I couldn’t wait! Ruta is part of my YA Fab Five and I’m so excited to have a new book from her to share with everyone I meet who loves historical fiction. This particular one is set in mid-twentieth-century Spain and is written from multiple points of view, just like Salt to the Sea.
- Daughters of Chivalry by Kelcey Wilson-Lee – A great addition to my nonfiction book list and continues my love of the early/mid-medieval Europe time period, as well as my fascination with British royals and badass princesses! The writing is engaging and this is a book that will probably fly under people’s radar, but is definitely worth a glance is awesome medieval princesses are your jam. It’s published by W. W. Norton in the states and is more likely to be found on a university bookstore shelf. Presently only available in the US and territories, but can be shipped worldwide I’m sure.
- A Pirate’s Life for She by Laura Sook Duncombe – A few years ago the adult version of this book, Pirate Women, was released and was one of the last books my grandmother read. We were at an event and we had some downtime and she wanted a book – I had with me Pirate Women (which I hadn’t yet read) and a graphic novel – she picked Pirate Women. When the publisher told me they were doing a young readers edition (and still mention my own book-in-progress’ protagonist), I knew I was one I would have to share with my friends and family, along with customers at the store. Another small press book, it might be hard to find on the shelves in stores, but should be widely order-able.
- Where I Come From by Aaron Sanchez – I love a good culinary memoir, especially since I won’t have a new Anthony Bourdain memoir ever again, and Aaron delivers a moving book about his life and what led him to becoming a chef. He touches on some similar issues to Tony, and after watching him as a judge on Chopped for many years, picking up his memoir was a no-brainer for me. Unfortunately, another small-ish press, but hopefully his culinary star status means that it will find it’s way to quite a few shelves.
- The Dark Lord Clementine by Sarah Jean Horwitz – This is one of the best middle grade fantasy books I’ve read in years. On of our reps (of another small publisher) told me I had to read one middle grade book a year and that I should let her pick. She also knows what a sucker I am for books by authors who share my name – I’ve yet to be let down by a fellow Sarah author! It’s a great family story with a spunky protagonist, and makes a wonderful read-aloud before bed, or anytime you’re looking for a book to share with kids, or just enjoy for yourself!
Tuesday, October 8, 2019
- Change is the Only Constant by Ben Orlin – I LOVE a good math book – it’s the geeky math teacher in me showing through. When I tell customers at the bookstore I used to teach, they tell me I must have made a great English teacher. I love surprising them by telling them I taught math (and everything else through adult education and to middle schoolers). This is Ben Orlin’s second math book, so clearly he’s doing something that math geeks and non-geeks alike are able to relate to and enjoy! And the line drawings add greatly to the explanations of concepts throughout the book.
- Reading Quirks by The Wild Detectives – A smaller format gift-y book for book lovers, Reading Quirks is a series of New Yorker-style cartoons about books and book lovers. It does have a political bent (that I happen to agree with), so I would suggest paging through it yourself before giving it as a gift.
- Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo & The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh – I’m loving the fact that 3 of my Fab Five authors have books coming out in October! Leigh’s adult debut is definitely more on the horror fantasy spectrum and is set at Yale! I’m always a sucker for a good Ivy League novel and Leigh’s delivers spectacularly. Full of her signature wit and fabulous characters, Ninth House is sure to delight her more die-hard fans, as well as newcomers to her work. The Beautiful brings back the vampires, saving them from being perpetually sparkly in the dark dungeon of YA lit where they were nearly doomed to stay for the next few years. Renee’s vampires live in New Orleans and it has a distinct air of The Originals (The Vampire Diaries spin off) about it but is an enjoyable new tale. Flame in the Mist and Renee’s debut, The Wrath and the Dawn are still my favorites, but The Beautiful is a great addition to Renee’s catalog.
Tuesday, October 15, 2019
- Life Undercover by Amaryllis Fox – Life Undercover continues my love of women’s memoirs from the Middle East. From journalists, to jet pilots, to CIA agents, I love reading about women’s experiences in that particular corner of the world and how widely the differ from those had in the US. While I’ve also enjoyed the works of women who grew up and live(d) in that part of the world as well, the women who made a choice to travel their intrigue me most ardently.
- The Body by Bill Bryson – Bill Bryson is back to my favorite of his nonfiction writing. As much as I enjoy traveling around to places, The Body is most reminiscent of my favorite of his works, A Short History of Nearly Everything. He explores the body as if it were a travel journey, marrying together two of his trademark writing styles. I enjoyed it more than Stiff and found that after my earlier distaste of The Road to Little Dribbling, I can now count myself among his fans.
While there are still two Tuesdays in October I didn’t cover, they don’t hold many new releases that I’m particularly excited about so they have been omitted. As we near the holiday season, the publishers in the US stop releasing as many new books so November and December will be combined next month. But I’ve a solid stack of 20-some books for January that I’m very excited to share with you, lovely book lovers!