Public Library Association Galley Roundup 2018

1206 HarperCollins

Big-Name Fiction: Beatriz Williams’s The Summer Wives, smart, absorbing reading as a clash between have-a-lots and not-so-fortunates leads to murder on a scrap of land in Long Island Sound; Graeme Simsion & Anne Buist’s Two Steps Forward, falling in love while walking the Camino de Santiago; Anthony Horowitz’s The Word Is Murder, with a writer named Anthony Horowitz helping to solve a murder that was predicted by its victim; and Man Book short-listed Patrick deWitt’s French Exit, genial chaos as a widow and her laze-about son escape social opprobrium on the Upper East Side for Paris.

Page-Turners: Paul Tremblay’s The Cabin at the End of the World, with seven-year-old Wen vacationing with parents Eric and Andrew, who are suddenly hauled off to save the world; Mary Hogan’s Left: A Love Story, coping with a husband’s dementia, with the award-winning YA author continuing her work in adult fiction; Sarah Beth Durst’s The Queen of Sorrow, wrapping up the award-winning “Queens of Renthia” trilogy; Linwood Barclay’s A Noise Downstairs, with a malevolent typewriter disturbing a man already unsettled after seeing a murderer dispose of his victims; and Adrienne Sharp’s The Magnificent Esme Wells, coming-of-age in Golden Age Hollywood and gangster-ridden Las Vegas.

Big-Deal Debuts: Leah Franqui’s America for Beginners, an award-winning playwright’s beautifully crafted debut about a woman from India searching in America to find out what happened to her gay son; Peng Shepherd’s The Book of M, one couple’s travails in a scary new world where people who lose their shadow also lose their memory; and Caz Frear’s Sweet Little Lies, with DC Cat Kinsella facing her estranged father’s possible complicity in a crime.

Essential Nonfiction: Madeleine Albright’s Fascism: A Warning, with the former secretary of state, who grew up in Czechoslovakia under the Nazi and Communist regimes, assessing the rise of reactionary tendencies in the world today; and Mohammed Al Samawi’s The Fox Hunt: A Refugee’s Memoir of Coming to America, how a devout young Yemeni Muslim began reading the Bible, became empathetic to Jews, and was forced to flee his homeland.

1211 Harlequin

Top Pick: Spencer Wise’s The Emperor of Shoes, a heartfelt work featuring a young Jewish American expat who takes charge of his family’s shoe factory in China, coming to empathize with the workers and falling in love with one of them.

More Picks: Dan Abrams & David Fisher’s Lincoln’s Last Trial: The Murder Case That Propelled Him to the Presidency, with Abraham Lincoln for the defense as he contemplates becoming president; and Aimee Agresti’s Campaign Widows, the YA novelist’s adult take on women and the campaigning men in their lives.

In-Booth Signings, Thursday, 3/22: 11:00 a.m., Falguni Kothari, My Last Love Story, about a dying husband’s wish that his wife have his baby—and reconcile with an old flame; 2:00 p.m., Jon Cohen, Harry’s Trees, with a young widower helped by spunky little Oriana, who believes in magic (there’s a wily librarian in the mix); and 4:00 p.m., Christina Dodd, Dead Girl Running, whose heroine gets drawn into a mystery while hiding from her husband at a Pacific Coast resort.

1307–1317 Ingram Content Group

Crooked Lane Crooks: Gale Massey’s The Girl from Blind River, a debut novel set in upstate New York; Eva Gates’s The Spook in the Stacks: A Lighthouse Library Mystery, enjoying Halloween on the Outer Banks, with the award-winning Vicki Delany writing under a different name; Victoria Gilbert’s Shelved Under Murder: A Blue Ridge Library Mystery, with librarian Gilbert entertaining us in the historic Virginia village of Taylorsford; Laurie Petrou’s Sister of Mine, domestic suspense from Canadian award winner Petrou, featuring two orphaned sisters; and D.A. Bartley’s Blessed Be the Wicked: An Abish Taylor Mystery, a debut exploring secrets deep within a quiet Mormon family in Utah.

Poisoned Press Puzzlers: Mark de Castrique, The Singularity Race, assassins attacking a conference on artificial intelligence, and Hidden Scars, which has private eyes Sam Blackman and Nakayla Robertson investigating a mysterious death seven decades ago; and Thomas Kies’s Random Road, with veteran reporter Geneva Chase taking her bow as she covers vile murder in upper-crust Connecticut.

Severn House, Computers & Cats: Karen E. Olson’s Shadowed, with computer hacker Nicole Jones living incognito and realizing she’s being watched (from inside her laptop), and Vanished, with computer hacker Tina Adler also on the run, heading for Paris and former lover boy Zeke, an FBI agent; and Clea Simon’s Into the Grey: A Dulcie Schwartz Cat Mystery, with Dulcie discovering a dead professor, and Cross My Path, with private investigator Care and her whiskered buddy, Blackie, facing an old enemy. Meow!

1315A Grove Atlantic

Top Picks: Walter Mosley’s John Woman, a long-in-the-making novel of ideas about young Cornelius Jones, son of an Italian American mother and black father, who remakes himself as Professor John Woman to spread his father’s unorthodox teachings about history; and Patrick O’Donnell’s The Unknowns, the award-winning military historian’s account of the creation of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the eight veterans who served as Body Bearers when the tomb was first dedicated.

Key Fiction: Kent Wascom’s The New Inheritors, with mysterious painter Isaac and rebellious heiress Kemper falling in love on the Gulf Coast as World War I looms; Mark Billingham’s The Killing Habit, another spin with Tom Thorne, whose investigation of animal killings leads to a serial killer even as DI Nicola Tanner tracks the emergence of a dangerous new drug; and Martin Solares’s Don’t Send Flowers, a crime-framed literary read as Carlos Treviño attempts to find a kidnapped 17-year-old girl in Mexico.

Key Fiction Debuts: Lisa Locascio’s Open Me, Roxana’s sexually voracious gap year in Denmark, caught between her guide and a refugee of the recent Balkan Wars; and Tracy Borman’s The King’s Witch, launching a historical fiction trilogy about a young woman in the Jacobean-era court of King James.

1406–1407 Penguin Random

Eight Topnotch Giveaways: Ingrid Rojas Contreras’s Fruit of the Drunken Tree, with the Bogotá-born author chronicling the relationship between seven-year-old Chula and the teenage family maid in violence-torn 1990s Colombia; John Straley’s Baby’s First Felony, next in Shamus Award winner Straley’s series featuring Sitka, AK, starring criminal defense investigator Cecil Younger; Gaël Faye’s Small Country, the Burundi-born, French-based songwriter/rapper’s taut and moving debut novel, based on his own experiences and a multi-award winner; Christie Watson’s The Language of Kindness, a nurse’s memoir, with literary edges; Rosie Walsh’s Ghosted, the English author’s American debut, with Sarah worried when the just-met love of her life doesn’t call from the airport; Sarah Winman’s Tin Man, a Costa short-listed novel about two boys who are close friends and eventually more, but where does that end?; Naomi Novik’s Spinning Silver, the award-winning fantasy author’s reimagining of Rumpelstiltskin; and JP Delaney’s Believe Me, starring a down-and-out actress working as a decoy for divorce lawyers when one of her targets is suspected of killing his wife.

1607 Macmillan

Top Picks: Sarah Bird’s Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen, reimagining the life of a former slave who disguised herself as a man to serve with the Buffalo Soldiers, the U.S. Army’s African American unit; best-selling author Diane Chamberlain’s Dream Daughter, about a mother in the 1970s who risks everything to save her unborn baby girl, who she learns has a heart defect; Cherise Wolas’s The Family Tabor, following the smashing debut The Resurrection of Joan Ashby, with a Palm Springs celebration undercut by family troubles; Allison Pearson’s How Hard Can It Be?, a sequel to the standard-setting I Don’t Know How She Does It, with Kate Reddy dealing with headachy teenagers and the need to return to work; and Paul French’s City of Devils: The Two Men Who Ruled the Underworld of Old Shanghai, making big money off the music halls, bars, theaters, slot machines, and all-’round vice that ruled 1930s Shanghai.

Big Chills: Lisa Scottoline’s After Anna, about a happily remarried widower accused of murdering his monstrously disruptive, ultimately sociopathic stepdaughter; B.A. Paris’s Bring Me Back, whose protagonist gets engaged to his wife’s sister years after she vanishes—and then the questions start churning; and Olen Steinhauer’s The Middleman, the two-time Edgar Award finalist’s stand-alone about a domestic left-wing terrorist group.

Newbie Chills: Mariah Fredericks’s A Death of No Importance, the YA author’s first adult novel, set in gilded 1910 New York and starring a young maid who investigates when her mistress’s bad-boy fiancé is murdered; English author T.M. Logan’s Lies, whose protagonist is suspected of murdering a man with whom he quarreled, never mind the absence of a body; Ellison Cooper’s Caged, about an FBI neuroscientist investigating a particularly vicious killer; and Zoje Stage’s Baby Teeth, featuring a mother who must cope with a murderous young daughter.

In-Booth Signing, Wednesday, 3/21: 3:30 p.m., Con Lehane, Murder in the Manuscript Room, second in a series, featuring more murder at New York City’s iconic 42nd Street Library. Watch out!

1614 Sourcebooks

Grab Some Galleys: Thursday, 3/22, 11:00 a.m. Stuart Turton’s The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, a creepy, much-anticipated thriller whose eponymous character dies repeatedly as protagonist Aiden Bishop inhabits different bodies, desperately trying to identify the killer; Friday, 3/23, 9:30 a.m., Elizabeth Leiknes’s The Lost Queen of Crocker County, with film critic Jane Willow returning years later to her Iowa hometown, site of her disastrous crowning as 1993 Corn Queen; and 11:00 a.m., Gene Nora Jessen’s Sky Girls: The True Story of the First Women’s Cross-Country Air Race, a new edition of a 2002 classic.

In-Booth Signings: Wednesday, 3/21, 4:00 p.m., Susanna Kearsley, Bellewether, about a contemporary historian reconstructing a Revolutionary War–era romance between a captured French Canadian lieutenant and the daughter of the Long Island family with whom he’s billeted; and Thursday, 3:00 p.m., Kate Moore, The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women, the New York Times best seller and LibraryReads Best of the Best pick about the young American women felled by illness after being hired to paint glowing dials in the early 1900s.

1627 W. W. Norton

Key Fiction: Chuck Palahniuk’s Adjustment Day, smart literary satire about a dystopian day of reckoning; Lydia Millet’s Fight No More: Stories, an in-your-face collection after two LibraryReads novels, set in California and tied together by brisk but affecting real estate agent Nina; and Mark Slouka’s All That Is Left Is All That Matters: Stories, wide-ranging short stories from a winner of PEN/O. Henry and Best American Short Stories honors

Rising Novelists with Prizes: Pushcart Prize winner Alice Mattison’s Conscience, unfolding events surrounding three radical young Sixties women, one of whom dies during a protest; Orange Prize winner Diana Evans’s Ordinary People, a tale of two couples defining personal and marital complications in the 21st century; Shakespeare & Co. writer-in-residence Harriet Alida Lye’s The Honey Farm, dark secrets on a drought-stricken farm turned artist’s colony; and Pushcart Prize winner Blair Hurley’s The Devoted, with a Zen practitioner seeking to wrestle free of her mentor.

Key Nonfiction: Jonathan Green’s Sex Money Murder: A Story of Crack, Blood, and Betrayal, an award-winning journalist’s portrait of the 1980s–1990s Bronx soaked in murder and drugs; Ruby Lal’s Empress: The Astonishing Reign of Nur Jahan, about the 1600s Muslim woman who helped her husband rule the Mughal Empire; Paul Collins’s Blood & Ivy: The 1849 Murder That Scandalized Harvard, about a Boston Brahmin’s disappearance after visiting Harvard’s medical school (yes, nonfiction); and Robert W. Fieseler’s Tinderbox: The Untold Story of the Up Stairs Lounge Fire and the Rise of Gay Liberation, about arson at the Up Stairs Lounge in New Orleans, which also destroyed the city’s under-the-radar, blue-collar gay community.

In-Booth Signings, Wednesday, 3/21: 4:00 p.m., Tom McAllister, How To Be Safe, searingly relevant writing about a high school teacher dealing with a shooting at her school; and 5:15 p.m., Rosalie Knecht, Who Is Vera Kelly?, a buzzing, smoky charmer about a woman spy in 1960s New York and Argentina.

1711 Other Press

Galleys To Go: Costa short-listed author Rupert Thomson’s Never Anyone but You, part love story and part thriller as the Nazis invade the Channel Islands; National Jewish Book Award winner Evan Fallenberg’s The Parting Gift, a hot-hot story set on Israel’s Mediterranean coast as an unnamed narrator unfolds his attraction to spice merchant Uzi; Nadal Prize winner Victor del Arbol’s A Million Drops, whose protagonist learns that his sister committed suicide, possibly after killing the Russian gangster who killed her son; Fenice-Europa Prize winner Emmanuelle de Villepin’s The Devil’s Reward, with free-spirited 86-year-old Christiane helping her straitlaced daughter deal with her husband’s infidelity; Swedish novelist Therese Bohman’s Eventide, an acute study of a woman at a crossroads in midlife; and Nieman Fellow Issac J. Bailey’s My Brother Moochie: Regaining Dignity in the Midst of Crime, Poverty, and Racism in the American South, chronicling what Bailey’s family endured when his older brother killed a man.

Books To Go: Oliver Hilmes’s Berlin 1936, Moshe Sakal’s The Diamond Setter, Mark Mazower’s What You Did Not Tell, Edgar Feuchtwanger’s Hitler, My Neighbor: Memories of a Jewish Childhood, and Elisabeth Asbrink’s 1947.

1727 Hachette

Top Fiction: Jamie Brenner’s The Husband Hour, whose heroine must recover her life after her husband is killed in action; Jeffery Deaver’s The Cutting Edge, with newly married Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs going up against the Fiancé Killer; Elise Juska’s If We Had Known, about an English professor who realizes that the perpetrator of a local massacre was a former student; James Tait Black short-listed  Daniel Mason’s The Winter Soldier, about a young Austrian medical student who takes on the awful burden of running a field hospital during World War I with the help of a lone nurse; NBCC memoir finalist Rahna Reiko Rizzuto’s Shadow Child, featuring twin sisters from Hawaii, ranging from World War II to 1970s New York; and best-booked Claire North’s 84K, about an auditor’s rebellion in a world where anyone committing a crime simply forks over the cash that’s been calculated as compensation.

Top Debut Fiction: Katharine Dion’s The Dependents, about a widower’s strained relationship with his daughter even as he relies on a decades-old friendship; Jake Tapper’s The Hellfire Club, a political thriller by CNN’s chief Washington correspondent profiling a 1950s congressman caught up in shady Washington, DC, doings; and JM Holmes’s How Are You Going to Save Yourself, a debut collection of linked stories about what it’s like to be young, black, and male in America.

Top Nonfiction: Condoleezza Rice & Amy B. Zegart’s Political Risk: How Businesses and Organizations Can Anticipate Global Insecurity, geopolitical guidance for the business-oriented from former U.S. secretary of state Rice and Stanford University professor Zegart; Barbara Ehrenreich’s Natural Causes: An Epidemic of Wellness, the Certainty of Dying, and Our Illusion of Control, limning our inability to control death in these health-obsessed times; Franchesca Ramsey’s Well, That Escalated Quickly: Memoirs and Mistakes of an Accidental Activist, how the author became a social justice advocate when her YouTube video “What White Girls Say. . . to Black Girls” went hugely viral; Jimmy O. Yang’s How To American: A Narcissistic Memoir Disguised as an Immigrant Story, the stand-up comic and actor’s immigrant-to-Hollywood story; Darnell L. Moore’s No Ashes in the Fire: A Memoir, from a Black Lives Matter founder, starting with being set on fire as a teenager; Allie Rowbottom’s JELL-O Girls, a troubled-family memoir from Rowbottom, whose great-great-great-uncle smartly bought the Jell-O patent from its inventor in 1889; Beth Macy’s Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company That Addicted America, a singular portrait of America’s opioid crisis; and Lucy Cooke’s The Truth About Animals: Stoned Sloths, Lovelorn Hippos, and Other Tales from the Wild Side of Wildlife, insights from an award-winning filmmaker with an advanced degree in zoology from Oxford.


Barbara Hoffert About Barbara Hoffert

Barbara Hoffert (, @BarbaraHoffert on Twitter) is Editor, LJ Prepub Alert; past chair of the Materials Selection Committee of the RUSA (Reference and User Services Assn.) division of the American Library Association; and past president, treasurer, and awards chair of the National Book Critics Circle.


  1. Robin Beerbower says:

    Barbara, I don’t know how you do this for ALA, PLA, and BEA (along with everything else you do), but I greatly appreciate these round-ups of galleys. I’m not going to anything this year but I certainly won’t miss out on anything due to your efforts. Thanks.

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