Beauman, Sally. The Visitors. Harper. Jul. 2014. 544p. ISBN 9780062302687. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062302717. LITERARY/HISTORICAL
This isn’t simply the story of the friendship between delicate Lucy, sent from England to recover from typhus in sun-glazed Egypt, and a girl she meets there, the daughter of an American archaeologist. It’s also the story of the hunt for the tomb of the boy pharaoh Tutankhamun, which makes the girls visitors not just to Egypt but to the past. Atmosphere! From the New York Times best-selling author of Rebecca’s Tale; with a 50,000-copy first printing.
Bitov, Andrei. The Symmetry Teacher. Farrar. Jul. 2014. 320p. ISBN 9780374273514. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780374712099. LITERARY
Lots of interesting things going on in this novel by Bitov, considered one of the greatest writers of late 20th-century Russia and a forerunner of postmodernism. A man on a park bench meets the devil, bearing scary photographs of both past and future, and a king reigning over all possible worlds shuts off the stars and turns out to be a compiler of the Encyclopaedia Britannica. The authorial voice says it’s just the memory of a British novel; clearly for the sharp of mind.
The Creator of Rich Kids of Instagram & Maya Sloan. Rich Kids of Instagram. Gallery. Jul. 2014. 336p. ISBN 9781476764061. $24. POP FICTION
Drawn from the relentlessly popular Rich Kids of Instagram blog, which averages 850,000 unique visitors a month, this novel presents a pack of insanely rich, insanely spoiled kids who drive Ferraris, enjoy weekend getaways on private jets, and are better at power plays than your average CEO. These industry heiresses and Mayflower legacies really clobber the nouveau riche kid in their midst. If you like this kind of thing….
Deveraux, Jude. For All Time. Ballantine. Jul. 2014. 288p. ISBN 9780345541826. $32. CD: Random Audio. ROMANCE
In the second contemporary romance in her “Nantucket Brides” trilogy, Deveraux—the 2013 Romantic Times Pioneer Award winner for her lifetime of devotion to the genre—offers a charming tale of improbable romance. When Toby meets Graydon Montgomery, heir to the Lanconian throne, she can distinguish him from his twin, Rory—something no one else can do. According to legend, that means she is his true love. Alas, Graydon is unhappily set to marry an eligible royal. Will love and legend or duty win out?
Evanovich, Stephanie. The Sweet Spot. Morrow. Jul. 2014. 352p. ISBN 9780062234810. $26.99. CD: Harper Audio. lrg. prnt. ROMANCE
Evanovich returns with a novel that nicely echoes her debut, Big Girl Panties, which made the New York Times extended best sellers list. Pro baseball player Chase Walker falls instantly for Amanda when he spots her in a restaurant, but she’s an independent-minded entrepreneur uninterested in competing with the skinny groupies surrounding Chase. With a 150,000-copy first printing and a five-city tour to Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and Philadelphia.
Garwood, Julie. Fast Track. Dutton. Jul. 2014. 352p. ISBN 9780525954453. $26.95. ROMANCE
Cordelia has convinced hotel magnate Aiden Madison, her best friend’s older brother, to take her to Sydney, Australia—not because she’s always had a crush on him but so that she can meet the mother she never knew she had. Unfortunately, Aiden has angered a corrupt politician, which puts them both in (romance-inducing) danger. A fast-track novel.
Hellenga, Robert. The Confessions of Frances Godwin. Bloomsbury USA. Jul. 2014. 288p. ISBN 9781620405499. $26. LITERARY
Because Hellenga is the author of Snakewoman of Little Egypt and The Sixteen Pleasures, readers of serious fiction will want to grab this new book, the fictional memoir of a retired high school Latin teacher. Frances looks back on her life with some regrets but remains in the here and now, intervening when her daughter’s husband gets abusive.
Iggulden, Conn. Wars of the Roses: Stormbird. Putnam. Jul. 2014. 496p. ISBN 9780399165368. $27.95. HISTORICAL
Iggulden is a New York Times best-selling author of historical fiction, so pay attention to this first in a new series. In 1437, the Lancaster king Henry VI ascends the throne of England amid doubts that he’ll be an effective leader because he’s a pious milquetoast. Then a secret truce is negotiated with France to trade British territories for a royal bride, and in England all hell breaks loose.
Lawrenson, Deborah. The Sea Garden. Harper. Jul. 2014. 320p. ISBN 9780062279668. $26.99. HISTORICAL/SUSPENSE
Lawrenson’s debut, The Lantern, a tale of suspense set in lavender-strewn Provence, sold nicely at 40,000 copies, so you’ll want to consider this second book, a collection of novellas also set in the south of France or an island of its coast. The three novellas are connected, and all echo with the tensions created by World War II. With a 40,000-copy first printing.
Lisboa, Adriana. Crow Blue. Bloomsbury USA. Jul. 2014. 240p. ISBN 9781620403365. pap. $16. LITERARY
Winner of the José Saramago Literary Prize in 2003 and named one of the best Latin American writers under 39 by the Hay Festival in 2007, Lisboa is a writer for serious readers to investigate. When her mother dies, 13-year-old Vanja leaves Rio de Janeiro for Colorado to live with her stepfather, who’s shadowed by his violent past as a guerrilla. But she still wants to find her biological father.
Mapson, Jo-Ann. Owen’s Daughter. Bloomsbury USA. Jul. 2014. 320p. ISBN 9781620401477. $26. POP FICTION
Mapson, popular for novels like Blue Rodeo, Solomon’s Oak, and Finding Casey, mixes characters from all three in her latest, not a sequel to any of them but a work that stands on its own. After Skye Elliot gets out of rehab, she searches for daughter Gracie, now in the custody of her ex-husband, even as recovering alcoholic Owen Garret searches for a painter named Margaret he once loved.
Mark, David. Sorrow Bound. Blue Rider. Jul. 2014. 352p. ISBN 9780399168208. $26.95. THRILLER
Too bad gray skies and an awful new drug lord are making things hard for DS Aector McAvoy in Hull, Yorkshire; there’s also a serial killer to be caught. Mark has indeed made his mark in the UK, where the first in this series, Dark Winter, was a “Richard & Judy” book club pick and sold scads. The publisher is looking to break him out here.
Rasmussen, Rebecca. Evergreen. Knopf. Jul. 2014. 352p. ISBN 9780385350990. $25.95. LITERARY
In 1938, Eveline is a new bride living happily in the wilderness with her husband and infant son, Hux. But when her husband leaves to care for his father, Eveline becomes pregnant by a stranger passing through. She gives away her daughter, who years later is tracked down by Hux. Rasmussen did nicely with her debut, The Bird Sisters, which won a handful of awards. Watch.
Siddons, Anne Rivers. The Girls of August. Grand Central. Jul. 2014. 240p. ISBN 9780446527958. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780446565844; lib. ebk. ISBN 9781935170952. CD/downloadable: Hachette Audio. WOMEN’S FICTION
“The Girls of August”: four women who have vacationed together at the beach (in a different house each summer) from the time their husbands were in medical school. They spin apart when one dies tragically, but a new marriage brings them together again for a heartfelt reunion on one of South Carolina’s barrier islands. Classic beach reading.
Steel, Danielle. A Perfect Life. Delacorte. Jul. 2014. 320p. ISBN 9780345530943. $28. POP FICTION
A classic Steel story, with a mother and daughter keeping up appearances as they overcome tragedy and learn a thing or two about themselves. Steel’s Until the End of Time, published a year ago, debuted in the top spot on the New York Times best sellers list, and her publisher believes that she has new wind under her wings.
Su, Bernie & Kate Rorick. The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet. Touchstone. Jul. 2014. 288p. ISBN 9781476763149. $24. POP FICTION
The executive producer, cocreator, head writer, and director of the Emmy Award–winning The Lizzie Bennet Diaries now becomes an author as well, giving us this contemporary update of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice starring video blogger Lizzie Bennet. For Lizzie, what began as a graduate student thesis has expanded into a video peak into her life with her sisters Jane and impossible Lydia. Then friend Bing introduces her to even more impossible William Darcy. Look for a reading group guide; featured at the American Library Association conference this summer.
Thor, Brad. Untitled #13: A Thriller. Emily Bestler: Atria. Jul. 2014. 384p. ISBN 9781476717128. $27.99. THRILLER
I can tell you that this is the next Scot Harvath thriller from No. 1 New York Times best-selling author Thor, that there will be extensive publicity, and that there will be author appearances in Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Phoenix, San Antonio, and Washington, DC. I just can’t tell you anything about the plot.
Thorpe, Rufi. The Girls from Corona del Mar. Knopf. Jul. 2014. 256p. ISBN 9780385351966. $24.95. CD: Random Audio. LITERARY
Mia is a toughie who as a teenager had to contend with boy troubles, contentious younger brothers, and a heavy-drinking mother, while her longtime friend Lorrie Ann was always all sweetness and light, protected by her family. Then tragedy strikes Lorrie Ann, and she becomes a shockingly different person. With a reading group guide; this debut is making some waves.
Woodman, Betsy. Emeralds Included: A Jana Bibi Adventure. Holt. Jul. 2014. 288p. ISBN 9780805093582. $27; ebk. ISBN 9781627790543. LITERARY
Woodman triumphed with Jana Bibi’s Excellent Fortunes and then Love Potion Number 10,
both set in India, where Woodman was raised. In this third Jana Bibi novel, Jana is at home in the topsy-turvy town of Harma Naga, where she has inherited a house, awaiting the arrival from Scotland of son Jack and his Hungarian fiancée. The stress, both emotional and financial, might mean her doing something unwise with her precious Treasure Emporium emeralds.