If you’re looking for galleys to pull from your TBR stack, or to download for the long weekend coming up, take a look at the favorite titles from our most recent GalleyChat, rounded up by our GalleyChatter columnist Robin Beerbower.
And, if you love any of these titles, be sure to consider nominating them for LibraryReads. We’ve noted in red the deadlines for those titles are still eligible.
Please join us for the next GalleyChat on September 6, 4 to 5 p.m. ET, 3:30 for virtual cocktails. What better way to pick up your spirits the day after Labor Day?. Details here.
Psychological thrillers, epic sagas, and a fabulous memoir were at the forefront of the most recent GalleyChat. There is still time to download DRCs of most of these perfect beach reads. Every one of them will keep you reading until the sun sets.
For a complete list of titles mentioned during the chat, check the compiled Edelweiss list here.
And if you missed earlier columns from the summer, you can read them here:
May — Was Oprah listening? We picked Colson Whitehead’s Underground Railroad, before she did (it hits #1 on the upcoming NYT best seller list)
June — Features The Woman in Cabin 10, which not only hit best seller lists, but has brought readers to Ruth Ware’s earlier title.
July — features several forthcoming titles still available as DRC’s.
Psychological suspense novels are perfect choices for vacation reading and Catherine McKenzie’s nail-biting domestic thriller, Fractured (Amazon/Lake Union, October, available on NetGalley) is definitely at the top of my list. Told from the viewpoints of a bestselling female author and her male neighbor (both are married to others, yet there’s definitely an attraction), McKenzie carefully doles out the clues that lead to the ultimate tragedy in a family’s life.
Peter Swanson’s The Kind Worth Killing was an under-the-radar favorite of librarians (there were even those who said it’s better than Gone Girl). Judging from the reaction of GalleyChatters, his next book, Her Every Fear (HarperCollins/Morrow, January LibraryReads deadline: NOV. 20), should be just as well received. One glowing report comes from Jane Jorgenson of Madison (WI) Public Library who called it “tightly written and claustrophobic ” and went on to say, “Kate is trying to face some pretty major personal fears, so she’s agreed to an apartment swap with a distant cousin that brings her from London to Boston. On her first day in her new home, she learns that the woman next door has been murdered. And one of the possible suspects is her cousin.”
I’m hoping thatShari Lapena’s The Couple Next Door (PRH/Pamela Dorman, August) fulfills my prediction that it will be a late summer blockbuster. Jennifer Winberry from Hunterdon County Library summed it up well, “Anne and Marco are devastated and wracked with guilt when they return home from a dinner party next door to find their infant daughter missing. The investigation that follows is full shocking twists and turns as chilling secrets are revealed creating a baffling crime that ends with a final shocking and unexpected act.” Susan Balla (Fairfield County Library, CT) also warns readers, “Be prepared to lose some sleep over this one.”
What She Knew by Gilly Macmillan was a superbly crafted thriller and her follow-up, The Perfect Girl (HC/William Morrow, September) is also compelling and engrossing. Susan Balla reported, “After causing the deaths of 3 classmates, Zoe along with her mother Maria have made a fresh start in a new city. It seems their carefully crafted second chance at life hasn’t gone according to plan when Zoe’s past comes back to haunt her and Maria ends up dead. Told from the perspectives of five different characters, this is a psychological thriller, mystery, and study in human nature all in one.”
And if you race through all of the above, try A. J. Banner’s eagerly awaited sophomore effort, The Twilight Wife (S&S/Touchstone, December, DRC on NetGalley; LibraryReads deadline: NOV, 20). The publisher’s comparison to S. J. Watson’s Before I Go To Sleep is perfectly apt.
Epic Historical Fiction
Summers are perfect for sagas with terrific narrative drives and three are offered by well-respected librarians.
Jen Dayton, collection development librarian from Darien, CT, raved about Ashes of Fiery Weather by Kathleen Donohoe (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, August). “I have immense love for this debut novel about six generations of women and their connection to the New York Fire Dept. The writing is lush and lovely even and most especially when the story is at its harshest and most unforgiving.”
Winston Groom’s western adventure, El Paso (Liveright/WW Norton, October) takes place in the dusty Southwest during the late 1800’s and features Pancho Villa, warring barons, and families in peril. Kimberly McGee from Lake Travis (TX) Community Library says “It is an epic worthy of James Michener or Larry McMurtry.” She also says, “The easy going style found in Winston Groom’s Forrest Gump is used here to help soften the violence and add little touches of innocence.”
The Ballroom by Anna Hope (PRH, September), was loved by three chatters and as soon as it was reported that it was set in a Yorkshire asylum in 1911, others rushed to submit their DRC requests. According to Anbolyn Potter of Chandler (AZ) Public Library, it’s an “enchanting love story with gorgeous writing. Every Friday the inmates of the asylum congregate in a beautiful ballroom where they dance and socialize and it’s where John and Ella begin their relationship. They’re both in the asylum long term and not allowed to see each other outside of the ballroom – can their love survive?”
Many have seen astronaut Mike Massimino on the TV series The Big Bang Theory, but many may be unaware of his accomplishments so his memoir, Spaceman: An Astronaut’s Unlikely Journey to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe (PRH/Crown Archetype, October) will be an informative surprise. Joseph Jones from Cuyahoga County (OH) Public Library gave it five stars saying, “I want to be like Mike! He takes us through his journey to become an astronaut from the highest highs to the lowest lows with humor, honesty, and a true joy for what he does. Give this to anyone who has ever looked up at the stars with wonder and had a dream.” Try this for teen boys who need something inspiring yet relatable.
Please join us for our next GalleyChat on Tuesday, September 6, starting at 3:30 (ET) for virtual happy hour. For up-to-the-minute posts of what DRCs I’m excited to read, friend me on Edelweiss.