Spot-Lit for April 2014

Spot-Lit

Lots of good fiction is headed your way this month. Click the titles below and then the Full Display button to read summaries or reviews or to place titles on hold.

General Fiction / Literary Fiction    

American Romantic    Frog Music    Storied Life    Lovers at the Chameleon Club    Plover

American Romantic  by Ward Just
Frog Music  by Emma Donoghue
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry  by Gabrielle Zevin
Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932  by Francine Prose
The Plover  by Brian Doyle

First Novels / Fiction

Whiskey Barons    Past the Shalllows    Sedition    Steal the Summer    Skookum

The Whiskey Baron  by Jon Sealy
Past the Shallows  by Favel Parrett
Sedition  by Katharine Grant
Steal the North  by Heather Bergstrom
Skookum Summer  by Jack Hart

Crime Fiction /Suspense

Until You're Mine    Destroyer Angel    Waiting for Wednesday    Cold Nowhere    By Its Cover

Until You’re Mine  by Samantha Hayes
Destroyer Angel  by Nevada Barr
Waiting for Wednesday  by Nicci French
The Cold Nowhere  by Brian Freeman
By Its Cover  by Donna Leon

SF / Fantasy / Horror

Goblin Emperor    Bird Eater    Days of the Deer    Afterparty    Battle Royale

The Goblin Emperor  by Katherine Addison
The Bird Eater  by Ania Ahlborn
The Days of the Deer  by Liliana Bodoc
Afterparty  by Daryl Gregory
Battle Royale – Remastered  by Koushun Takami  

Romance

                            Bet    Hotelles    Far Gone

The Bet  by Rachel Van Dyken
Hotelles  by Emma Mars
Far Gone  by Laura Griffin

To see all on-order fiction, click here.

Spot-Lit for March 2014

Spot-Lit

Here’s our hand-picked list of fiction titles coming out in March. Click the titles below and then the Full Display button to read summaries or reviews or to place holds.

General Fiction / Literary Fiction  

Bark    Orchard of Lost Souls    Curse on Dost    Blazing World    Boy, Snow, Bird

Bark: stories  by Lorrie Moore
The Orchard of Lost Souls  by Nadifa Mohamed
A Curse on Dostoevsky  by Atiq Rahimi
The Blazing World  by Siri Hustvedt
Boy, Snow, Bird  by Helen Oyeyemi

First Fiction

Redeployment    Burnable Book    Wives of Los Alamos    Precious Thing    Weight of Blood

Redeployment  by Phil Klay
A Burnable Book  by Bruce Holsinger
The Wives of Los Alamos  by Tarashea Nesbit
Precious Thing  by Colette McBeth
The Weight of Blood  by Laura McHugh

Crime Fiction /Suspense

Accident    Disappeared    Why Kings Confess    Black-Eyed Blonde    Watching You

The Accident  by Chris Pavone
The Disappeared  by Kristina Ohlsson
Why Kings Confess  by C.S. Harris
The Black-Eyed Blonde  by Benjamin Black
Watching You  by Michael Robotham

SF / Fantasy / Horror

Man Came Out    Undead Pool    Murder of Crows    Trpoic of Serpents    Code Zero

A Man Came Out of a Door in the Mountain  by Adrianne Harun
The Undead Pool  by Kim Harrison
A Murder of Crows  by Anne Bishop
The Tropic of Serpents  by Marie Brennan
Code Zero  by Jonathan Maberry

Romance

                    Evening Stars          Replacement Wife          Love Comes Calling

Evening Stars  by Susan Mallery
The Replacement Wife  by Tiffany Warren
Love Comes Calling  by Siri Mitchell

To see all on-order fiction, click here.

Spot-Lit for February 2014

Spot-Lit

Lots of good fiction is coming out this February, including many strong debuts. Click the titles below and then the Full Display button to read reviews or to place titles on hold.

General Fiction / Literary Fiction 

Still Life Bread Crumbs    I Shall Be Near to You    Unnecessary Woman    Golden State    I Always Loved You

Still Life with Bread Crumbs  by Anna Quindlen
I Shall Be Near to You  by Erin McCabe
An Unnecessary Woman  by Rabih Alameddine
Golden State  by Michelle Richmond
I Always Loved You  by Robin Oliveira 

First Fiction

Spinning Heart    Archetype    Dust    While Beauty Slept    One More Thing

The Spinning Heart  by Donal Ryan
Archetype  by M.D. Waters
Dust  by Yvonne Owuor
While Beauty Slept  by Elizabeth Blackwell
One More Thing  by B.J. Novak

Crime Fiction / Suspense

Runner    Cold Storage    After I'm Gone    Officer and a Spy    Poisoned Pawn

Runner  by Patrick Lee
Cold Storage, Alaska  by John Straley
After I’m Gone  by Laura Lippman
An Officer and a Spy  by Robert Harris
The Poisoned Pawn  by Peggy Blair

SF / Fantasy / Horror

Annihilation    Darkling Sea    Martian    Influx    Red Rising

Annihilation  by Jeff Vandermeer
A Darkling Sea  by James Cambias  (debut)
The Martian  by Andy Weir  (debut)
Influx  by Daniel Suarez
Red Rising  by Pierce Brown  (debut)

To see all the on-order fiction, click here.

Spot-Lit for January 2014

Spot-Lit

The books listed below are some of the most buzzed and highly anticipated fiction of the month. Click the titles and then the Full Display button to read summaries or reviews or to place titles on hold.

General Fiction / Literary Fiction 

Under the Wide and Starry Sky    Orfeo    Carthage    Wind Is Not a River     Perfect

Under the Wide and Starry Sky  by Nancy Horan

Orfeo  by Richard Powers

Carthage  by Joyce Carol Oates

The Wind Is Not a River  by Brian Payton

Perfect  by Rachel Joyce

First Fiction

Shovel Ready    Kept    Radiance of Tomorrow    Last Days of Califormia    What I Had Before I Had You

Shovel Ready  by Adam Sternbergh

The Kept  by James Scott

Radiance of Tomorrow  by Ishmael Beah

The Last Days of California  by Mary Miller

What I Had Before I Had You  by Sarah Cornwell

Crime Fiction / Suspense

             Last Death of Jack Harbin    The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches    Dead Mans Fancy    Purity of Vengeance

The Last Death of Jack Harbin  by Terry Shames

The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches  by C. Alan Bradley

Dead Man’s Fancy  by Keith McCafferty

The Purity of Vengeance  by Jussi Adler-Olsen

To see all the on-order fiction, click here.

Spot-Lit for December 2013

Spot-Lit

Here at areadinglife, we’re getting ready to share our list of books published in 2013 that staff members have most enjoyed. Until then, take a look at our fiction buyer’s selection of notable new fiction coming your way this December.

Click the titles below to read more or to place holds.

General Fiction / Literary Fiction 

  Vatican Waltz      Brown Dog      Someone Else's      Supreme Macaroni

Vatican Waltz  by Roland Merullo
Brown Dog  by Jim Harrison
Someone Else’s Love Story  by Joshilyn Jackson
The Supreme Macaroni Company  by Adriana Trigiani

Crime Fiction / Suspense

  Innocence      Billionaire Blend      Noose      Going Dark

Innocence  by Dean Koontz
Billionaire Blend  by Cleo Coyle
Noose  by Bill James
Going Dark  by James W. Hall

First Novels

                                   Communion Town      Housemaid's Daughter

Communion Town  by Sam Thompson
The Housemaid’s Daughter  by Barbara Mutch

To see all the on-order fiction, click here.

Spot-Lit for November 2013

Spot-Lit

Some of the new releases we’re especially looking forward to this month include Sebastian Faulks revival of Wodehouse’s Jeeves and Wooster; a powerful family drama centered around the practice of fracking (Fractures); a penetrating look at our consumer culture and the world of “stuff” – wanted or not (Want Not); and the return of popular Amy Tan. Among first novels, we have a laid-off war correspondent tracking down her friend’s killer in Big Sky country (Montana); two highly-praised historical novels; and the Danish Crime Novel of the Decade (The Dinosaur Feather). Speaking of crime, Paretsky, Bruen, Smith and Spencer-Fleming are always known to deliver. As is Gene Wolfe, in the Fantasy genre, and his new book sounds particularly fine. Elsewhere in SF/Fantasy, Cherie Priest wraps up her Clockwork Century steampunk series, and an alternative history of the 20th century featuring an alien-engineered peace is guaranteed to shake you up (Burning Paradise). Finally, if the spirit of Halloween is still haunting you, check out the gothic Victorian thriller Rustication.

Click the titles below to read more or to place them on hold.

General Fiction / Literary Fiction  

Jeeves     Fractures     Want Not     Valley of Amazement

Jeeves and the Wedding Bells  by Sebastian Faulks
Fractures  by Lamar Herrin
Want Not  by Jonathan Miles
The Valley of Amazement  by Amy Tan

First Novels

Montana     Dinosaur Feather     Red Sky in Morning     Cartographer

Montana  by Gwen Florio
The Dinosaur Feather  by S.J. Gazan
Red Sky in Morning  by Paul Lynch
The Cartographer of No Man’s Land  by P.S. Duffy

Crime Fiction / Suspense

Tatiana     Critical Mass     Purgatory     Through the Evil Days

Tatiana  by Martin Cruz Smith
Critical Mass  by Sara Paretsky
Purgatory  by Ken Bruen
Through the Evil Days  by Julia Spencer-Fleming

SF / Fantasy / Horror

Land Across     Fiddlehead     Burning Paradise     Rustication

The Land Across  by Gene Wolfe
Fiddlehead  by Cherie Priest
Burning Paradise  by Robert Charles Wilson
Rustication  by Charles Palliser

To see all the on-order fiction, click here.

Spot-Lit for October 2013

Spot-Lit

Here’s our fiction selector’s picks for October releases based on early reviews.

And quite a variety it is. From a Kite Runner read-alike set in Croatia (The Hired Man), to going below-stairs with the servants of Pride and Prejudice (Longbourn), to Dan Simmon’s latest icy thriller, to the first new novel from Donna Tartt in over a decade. In the crime category find previously unpublished stories by Grand Master veteran Lawrence Block, and a new thriller from the redoubtable George Pelecanos (who you may know for his scriptwriting in The Wire). Fantasy author Stephen Donaldson wraps up his long-running, ten-volume Thomas Covenant series, and Mercedes Lackey similarly delivers the goods in her latest Valdemar novel. Fans of speculative short fiction should take a look at Rachel Swirsky’s How the World Became Quiet.

Finally, a mention of a highly anticipated debut featuring the unlikely romance between a genetics professor and a barmaid (The Rosie Project), a set-up not unlike that in Courting Greta – another acclaimed debut we Spot-Lit this past June.

That’s only touching on some of these selections – click on the titles below for additional information or to place items on hold.  Happy reading!

General Fiction / Literary Fiction 

Longbourn     Hired Man     Goldfinch     Two Hotel Francforts

Longbourn  by Jo Baker

The Hired Man  by Aminatta Forna

The Goldfinch  by Donna Tartt

The Two Hotel Francforts  by David Leavitt

First Fiction

Rosie Project     Night Guest     Paris Architect     Last Animal

The Rosie Project  by Graeme Simsion

The Night Guest  by Fiona McFarlane

The Paris Architect  by Charles Belfoure

The Last Animal  by Abby Geni

Crime Fiction / Suspense

Abominable     Catch and Release     Pagan Spring     Double

Abominable  by Dan Simmons

Catch and Release  by Lawrence Block

Pagan Spring  by G.M. Malliet

The Double  by George Pelecanos

SF / Fantasy / Horror

Last Dark     How the World Became Quiet     Bastion     Wolves

The Last Dark  by Stephen R. Donaldson

How the World Became Quiet  by Rachel Swirsky

Bastion  by Mercedes Lackey

The Wolves of Midwinter  by Anne Rice

To see all the on-order fiction, click here.

Spot-Lit for September 2013

Spot-Lit

To read reviews or place holds, click the titles below then click the Full Display button.

General Fiction / Literary Fiction 

Dissident Gardens    Enon    Lowland    Woman Who Lost Her Soul    Maids Version

Dissident Gardens  by Jonathan Lethem

Enon  by Paul Harding

The Lowland  Jhumpa Lahiri

The Woman Who Lost Her Soul  by Bob Shacochis

The Maid’s Version  by Daniel Woodrell

First Novels

Edge of Normal       Burial Rites       Just What Kind of Mother Are You       Alex

The Edge of Normal  by Carla Norton

Burial Rites  by Hannah Kent

Just What Kind of Mother Are You?  by Paula Daly

Alex  by Pierre Lemaitre

Crime Fiction / Suspense

Execution       Strangled in Paris       Then We Take Berlin

Execution  by Adrian Magson

Strangled in Paris  by Claude Izner

Then We Take Berlin  by John Lawton

SF and Fantasy

Maddaddam       Mage's Blood       Gideon Smith       Vicious

MaddAddam  by Margaret Atwood

Mage’s Blood  by David Hair

Gideon Smith and the Mechanical Girl  by David Barnett

Vicious  by V.E. Schwab

Romance and Western

Tear You Apart        Blackmoore       Rebellious Heart       Wreaths of Glory

Tear You Apart  by Megan Hart

Blackmoore  by Julie Donaldson

Rebellious Heart  by Jody Hedlund

Wreaths of Glory  by Johnny Boggs

To see all the on-order fiction, click here.

Spot-Lit for August 2013

Spot-Lit

Lots of good fiction is headed your way this month. Click the titles below and then the Full Display button to read summaries or reviews or to place titles on hold.

General Fiction / Literary Fiction  

Infatuations    Girl You Left Behind    Amor and Psycho    Claire    Tumbledown

The Infatuations  by Javier Marias

The Girl You Left Behind  by Jojo Moyes

Amor and Psycho  by Carolyn Cooke

Claire of the Sea Light  by Edwidge Danticat

Tumbledown  by Robert Boswell

First Novels

Returned    Wicked Girls    People in the Trees    Queens Gambit    Bone Season

The Returned  by Jason Mott

The Wicked Girls  by Alex Marwood

The People in the Trees  by Hanya Yanagihara

Queen’s Gambit  by Elizabeth Fremantle

The Bone Season  by Samantha Shannon

Crime Fiction / Suspense

 Let Me Go   Sandrine's Case   Good Thief   How the Lighht Gets In   Bad Blood   Place of confinement

Let Me Go  by Chelsea Cain

Sandrine’s Case  by Thomas Cook

Good Thief’s Guide to Berlin  by Chris Ewan

How the Light Gets In  by Louise Penny

Bad Blood  by Arne Dahl

A Place of Confinement  by Anna Dean

SF / Fantasy

Thinking Woman          Kill City Blues          Children of Fire

The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Real Magic  by Emily Barker

Kill City Blues  by Richard Kadrey

Children of Fire  by Drew Karpyshyn

Romance

Passion of the Purple          Serving of Scandal          Storm Warrior

The Passion of the Purple Plumeria  by Lauren Willig

A Serving of Scandal  by Prue Leith

Storm Warrior  by Dani Harper

To see all the on-order fiction, click here.

Spot-Lit for June 2013

Spot-Lit

This month marks the one-year anniversary of Spot-Lit, so we thought we’d take a look back.

Spot-Lit’s objective is to help you easily discover worthwhile new fiction from both established and emerging authors, while giving the edge to deserving authors who might be overlooked. The main reason for this slant is because we know you can always click the On Order or Most Popular links in the catalog to easily find the most highly anticipated and in-demand titles. But we’re open to featuring any good book – and we did choose Gone Girl before it went on to dominate the bestseller lists for the past year.

We got some validation for our efforts from a recent round-up of The Year’s Best Crime Novels by Booklist magazine – almost half of their picks were also featured in Spot-Lit (see the titles we agreed on here). Of course, the advance reviews published by Booklist and other trade sources help us select materials for the library and aid us in making our Spot-Lit picks.

Additionally, we featured a number of titles as they came out that ended up winning some major awards. In addition to Hilary Mantel’s Bring Up the Bodies (Man Booker Prize), we highlighted these crime fiction award-winners:

We’re just sayin’ – you could do worse when looking for new book recommendations.

With the self-aggrandizement out of the way – on to this month’s selections! As always, simply click on the titles below to read more or to place holds.

General Fiction / Literary Fiction 

TransAtlanticTransAtlantic  by Colum McCann
In a tale that spans 150 years, McCann beautifully weaves together multiple narratives that include the first nonstop transatlantic flight, Abolitionist Frederick Douglass, four generations of women from an Irish family, and more. From the National Book Award winner of Let the Great World Spin.

We Are All Completely Beside OurselvesWe Are All Completely Beside Ourselves  by Karen Joy Fowler
As Publishers Weekly notes: “It’s worth the trouble to avoid spoilers, including the ones on the back cover.” So we’ll only say that this story of a middle class American family has it all – plus a twist. It’s one you really don’t want to miss.

Last Summer of the CamperdownsThe Last Summer of the Camperdowns  by Elizabeth Kelly
A 12-year-old girl witnesses a violent crime but says nothing to her eccentric parents who are enmeshed in running a political campaign in Massachusetts in 1972. Tense, witty and mordantly funny.

First Novels

Good Kings Bad KingsGood Kings Bad Kings  by Susan Nussbaum
Nussbsaum’s debut takes us inside a privately run Chicago facility for learning-disabled students, where profit-driven decisions only add to the hardship of the students’ courageous, resilient, disadvantaged lives. Winner of the PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction.

Lullaby of Polish GirlsThe Lullaby of Polish Girls  by Dagmara Dominczyk
When a young Polish-American girl returns to Poland to visit her grandmother, she makes strong friendships with two other girls. They stay in touch over the years though their lives have taken them in very different directions, and then a murder brings them back to the city where their friendship began.

Square of RevengeThe Square of Revenge  by Pieter Aspe
International bestselling author Aspe’s U.S. debut includes a mysterious crime at a jewelry store where gems are dissolved in acid rather than stolen, a series of notes whose Latin words take the shape of a square, and a kidnapper who demands a priceless collection of art as ransom.

Blood of HeavenThe Blood of Heaven  by Kent Wascom
Wascom’s red hot debut is set in the violent frontier of West Florida in the nation’s early years, where a young man falls in with renegade founding father Aaron Burr’s secessionist movement. If you liked Blood Meridian, you’ll want to get your hands on this.

Courting GretaCourting Greta  by Ramsey Hootman
An unlikely romance between a nerdy computer programmer, who leaves his well-paid job to teach high school computer classes, and a tough-talking high school gym coach.

Crime Fiction / Suspense

Crime of PrivilegeCrime of Privilege  by Walter Walker
When Assistant DA George Becket decides to take on a powerful family and reopens the investigation of a young woman’s murder, he has to confront his own hesitant complicity in an abuse case from many years before. Strong characterization, plotting and puzzle-solving.

Her Last BreathHer Last Breath  by Linda Castillo
A hit-and-run “accident” kills an Amish buggy driver along with two of his children. As ex-Amish congregant and current police chief Kate Burkholder sets out to investigate the death of her friend, human remains with a connection to her past are found in an abandoned grain elevator.

Last Kind WordThe Last Kind Word  by David Housewright
Millionaire and unlicensed investigator Rushmore McKenzie is in over his head when he agrees to help the ATF infiltrate a gun-running operation near the Canadian border.

 SF / Fantasy

Ocean at the End of the LanejpgThe Ocean at the End of the Lane  by Neil Gaiman
Speculative fiction master Gaiman’s first novel for adults since 2005’s Anansi Boys. The publisher calls it a “whimsical, imaginative, bittersweet, and at times, deeply scary modern fantasy about fear, love, magic, sacrifice, and the power of stories to reveal and to protect us from the darkness inside.”

Abaddon's GateAbaddon’s Gate  by James S.A. Corey
In this top-notch space opera, the alien artifact that has been troubling Earth and Mars inhabitants has now built a massive gate that reaches out of the solar system. A flotilla of ships, including Jim Holden’s Rocinante, head out to investigate, but Holden is implicated in the gate’s appearance and is targeted in an act of political revenge.

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Good writing remains good writing long after a book is first published, so if nothing in this month’s post exactly suits your mood, why not browse the Spot-Lit archive? There must be something there you’ll like.