09 July 2015

6 Must-Read Novels from St. Martin's Press

I'm doing a little something different today. Instead of an imprint post, this is actually a "press post" because I want to talk about about the books from St. Martin's Press that are high up on my want-to-read list.

St. Martin's publishes such a great range of books--from beach reading to the best of literary fiction--that I always have a couple of their books calling to me. After looking over this roundup of six recent books, I bet you'll be adding titles to your reading list too.

Mystery & Magic

The Silver Witch by Paula Brackston; The Book of Speculation by Erika SylerPaula Brackston's The Silver Witch (Thomas Dunne Books, April 2015) caught my attention because it's billed as a "blending of historical fiction and fantasy," plus it's set in Wales. The story revolves around two women who live on Llangors Lake but at different time periods. Recently widowed, ceramic artist Tilda is looking to redefine her life and work through her grief. In ancient times, Seren, a shaman, also lived along the lake. Through the powers of emotion and magic, the two women find a connection across the centuries.

When I learned that Erika Syler's The Book of Speculation (St. Martin's Press, June 2015) was a book about a book, I was intrigued. I'm not sure what Simon is going to learn after he receives an unsolicited old book from an antiques dealer halfway across the country. Why is his grandmother's name in the book and how did Mr. Churhwarry find his New York address? And then there's this:

The book sits by the phone, a tempting little mystery. I won't sleep tonight; I often don't. I'll be up, fixating. On the house, on my sister, on money. I trace the curve of a flourished H with my thumb. If this book is meant for me, best find out why. (p. 11 / ARC)
Oh to Be Young Again (or Not)

Delicate Monsters by Stephanie Kuehn; Weightless by Sarah BannanDelicate Monsters by Stephanie Kuehn (St. Martin's Griffin, June 2015) promises to be one intense psychological thriller. When seventeen-year-old Sadie is sent home from boarding school for almost killing another student, she discovers that life at her family's California vineyards is just too tame. If she starts using her full arsenal of tricks (secrets, sex, guilt), however, she could stir up some trouble. But once Sadie sets events in motion, is there anyone who can stop the inevitable violence? I might have to read this one with the lights on.

I'm curious about Sarah Bannan's Weightless (St. Martin's Griffin, June 2015) for a couple of reasons. First, it's written in the first-person plural, creating an inclusive atmosphere by encircling we the readers in with the we of the book. And then this sentence from the publicity materials really sold me: "We are not hearing the perspective of the perpetrators or even the victim, but rather of the onlookers," and some of the story is told through social media (photos, Facebook, and texts). The victim in this case is high-schooler Carolyn, the new girl in town who rises quickly through the social ranks . . . until she even more quickly falls, as the result of an unfortunate video. Oh I'm so glad I wasn't a teenager in the age of the smartphone!

Take Me Away!

Beach Town by Mary Kay Andrews; Summer Secrets by Jane GreenMary Kay Andrews's Beach Town (St. Martin's Press, May 2015) looks to be a fun combination of sun, surf, and romance mixed with some deeper issues. Greer is a movie location scout scrambling to keep her career on track after some setbacks. When she discovers Cypress Key, a quaint Florida town on the Gulf coast, she sets off to sell the movie idea to the mayor. He, however, is concerned with the environmental impact of the project and is protective of his town. I'm sure romance will be the ultimate winner, and I'm looking forward to a lazy afternoon of reading on my deck.

I decided to put Jane Green's Summer Secrets (St. Martin's Press, June 2015) on my reading list because I liked the premise and the hints of underlying complexities to the story. When she was young and working as a London-based journalist, Cat took advantage of all the big city had to offer. When too much partying finally alienates her from friends and family, her life begins to unravel. Years later, struggling with sobriety and single-parenthood, Cat decides to confront her past, seeking forgiveness and reconnection. What she finds, however, is that making amends isn't as easy as it seems in the movies, and some of those she hurt may in fact have been harboring dreams of revenge. I like my escape reading to give me things to think about.


Rhiannon Johnson 7/9/15, 8:16 AM  

As I've gotten a little more organized and understanding of book requests, I've found that St. Martin's is my favorite publishing house. I usually like almost every book they have. I absolutely loved The Book of Speculation and have been really recommending that one to a lot of friends this summer. Love this compilation post!

rhapsodyinbooks 7/9/15, 8:16 AM  

Interesting collection. Definitely interested in reading more books set in Wales!

bermudaonion 7/9/15, 8:33 AM  

They all look good but the one I'm most curious about is Weightless. It sounds so good to me.

Vicki 7/9/15, 11:52 AM  

The last three are on my list to read.

Anita LeBeau 7/9/15, 12:43 PM  

I started The Book of Speculation, and set it aside, but I would like to get back to it. Weightless sounds very good and I hadn't heard of it until now. I agree, so glad my youth didn't include social media.

Stacie 7/9/15, 6:19 PM  

I haven't heard of Weightless but it sounds intriguing! Sounds like it would be a great one to get for the high school library! I think all of us are glad we didn't have smart phones and social media during our younger years. Raising teens in this age is HARD!!It is a daily issue!

Elizabeth B 7/10/15, 9:16 PM  

St. Martin's always has something I want to read also. I reviewed Book of Speculation, it was very interesting, a neat premise and told in both the present and past.

Daryl 7/11/15, 12:48 PM  

great teasers ... i thank you

Lisa 7/12/15, 6:59 PM  

Great variety!

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