12 June 2017

12 Books from the Big Publishers (BookExpo 2017: Part 3)

My final roundup of BookExpo highlights books from the big publishing houses. As I did for my previous posts (5 books for your wish list; 8 books from smaller presses), I'm leaving out the really big authors, whose books you're unlikely to miss (for example, both Alice Hoffman and Philip Pullman have novels coming out this year). My intent is to share just some of the books I discovered in New York. You'll be hearing about more over the coming months.

The following 12 books are a mix of fiction and nonfiction, and all but one is geared to an adult audience. Pay attention to the publishing date; some will be in bookstores this summer, but most won't be available until fall.

  • 12 Books to read in 2017The Address by Fiona Davis (Dutton, August): When the New York City apartment building the Dakota was built in the late nineteenth century, it was considered to be in the hinterlands, a haven for the rich and famous. This novel takes place in two time periods--the 1880s and the 1980s--and explores life within the walls of the iconic building.
  • Calling My Name by Liara Tamani (Greenwillow, October): Set in Houston, Texas, this story is told from the view point of an African American girl, who reflects on her teen years, from middle school through senior year of high school. In the short chapters of this emotionally strong novel, we see Taja trying to balance the conservative values she learns at home with her experiences in the outside world.
  • The Dark Lake by Sarah Bailey (Grand Central Publishing, October): This first in a new police procedural thriller / mystery series is set in rural Australia. As Detective Sergeant Gemma Woodstock investigates the murder of a former high school classmate, her own past secrets threaten to bubble to the surface. The novel has been billed as being dark and complex.
  • Island of the Blue Foxes by Stephen R. Brown (De Capo Press, November): Did you know that Czar Peter the Great funded a major expedition through Siberia and the polar waters into North America, ultimately "discovering" what is now Alaska. Led by Captain Vitus Bering, the adventure had mixed success: it opened up the northwest fur trade but cost dearly in terms of human suffering. This is the true-life account of that Russian journey of exploration.
  • 12 Books to read in 2017The Last Castle by Denise Kiernan (Touchstone, September): I couldn't resist picking up a copy of this true story about Edith Dresser who married George Vanderbilt and was one of the key forces behind keeping the beautiful Biltmore house and estate running smoothly, even during tough economic times. Although many of us have heard of the magnificent North Carolina chateau and the Vanderbilt family who occupied its rooms, few of us know Edith's role in preserving the grounds and her husband's legacy.
  • A Moonless, Starless Sky by Alexis Okeowo (Hachette, October): Written by a journalist who was once based in Nigeria, this book follows four threads that expose real life in today's Africa. The people we meet are from different countries and have had different experiences, some unimaginable to those of us in the comfortable West. The publisher's summary to this nonfiction account says it's about "ordinary people doing the extraordinary" to make lives better for all Africans.
  • A Secret History of Witches by Louisa Morgan (Redhook, September): This novel was pitched as a family saga, spanning several generations, and set in France and England. It focuses on mother-daughter relationships and, of course, has a bit of magic.The story spans the early 1800s through to World War II and is billed as being good for fans of Discovery of Witches.
  • Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak (Berkley, October): I couldn't resist the premise of this novel: A family is quarantined in their home over Christmas week because one member has just returned to the UK after being part of a team that treated victims of a viral epidemic in Liberia. No one can leave the house and no one can enter. Will they survive each other's quirks while keeping their own secrets to themselves?
  • 12 Books to read in 2017Sourdough by Robin Sloan (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, September): What happens when a non-cooking Bay Area software engineer inherits a sourdough starter? In this fun foodie novel, Lois is transformed by her new charge, learning to bake and getting involved in San Fransisco's underground food culture.
  • South Pole Station by Ashley Shelby (Picador, July): This novel introduces us to a young painter who is accepted into a National Science Foundation retreat program for artists and writers. Sounds like heaven--that is, if your idea of heaven is Antarctica, with six months of no sun and subzero temperatures. Personal growth, the politics of climate change, and making unlikely friendships are at the heart of this book.
  • The Twelve-Mile Straight by Eleanor Henderson (Ecco, September): Set on a family farm in 1930s Georgia, this novel explores family secrets, racial tensions, violence, and economic hardship. This multigenerational story shows us both the strength of individual spirit and the ugliness that arises from hate of those who are different from us.
  • Watch Me Disappear by Janelle Brown (Spiegel & Grau, July): This novel's tagline caught my attention: "Who you want people to be makes you blind to who they really are." Billie, a seemingly happy and successful woman, goes missing while on a solo hike in the American west, leaving behind a daughter and husband, who can only assume she has died. When father and daughter begin to search into Billie's past for clues of her fate, they realize they never actually knew her at all.


Sarah (Sarah's Book Shelves) 6/12/17, 7:42 AM  

Thanks for this!

Calling My Name, Seven Days of Us, Sourdough, and South Pole Station sound really good! Have added all to my watch list. And keeping an eye on 12 Mile Straight too...it's long, so will wait for some others to read it first!

bermudaonion 6/12/17, 7:57 AM  

I got 3 of those books but really need to pick up The Last Castle since we're so close to Asheville.

Tina 6/12/17, 9:25 AM  

I just added six of these titles to my Goodreads to-read list! I am so happy to get the scoop from your BookExpo.

Katherine P 6/12/17, 9:39 AM  

The Address is on my TBR and Dark Lake sounds like it needs to be! I love the sound of the nonfiction - especially The Last Castle. While I have visited the Biltmore several times I'd really love to know more about the people who lived there.

sherry fundin 6/12/17, 10:16 AM  

Watch Me Disappear jumped right out at me.
sherry @ fundinmental

Vicki 6/12/17, 11:51 AM  

Sourdough, South Pole Station, The Twelve-Mile Straight, & Watch Me Disappear sound so good! Putting them on my list.

Daryl 6/12/17, 11:59 AM  

oh lots of good read here ... thanks

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz 6/12/17, 12:17 PM  

I love the sound of South Pole Station and Sourdough. I came home with The Address, but I've already agreed to share it with another blogger.

Unknown 6/12/17, 12:19 PM  

So many of these sound good!! The Address has been popping up on several places for me. Watch Me Disappear has a great tag line!
Thanks for sharing. I'll never read all the books I want to.

Nise' 6/12/17, 1:07 PM  

Thanks for sharing. The Dark Lake and Seven Days of Us caught my attention.

Greg 6/12/17, 7:30 PM  

Island of the Blue Foxes looks good, I haven't heard of that one, but the subject matter is really interesting. I like exploration stories like that, especially if they're real events. and Watch Me Disappear is one I had seen, that cover caught my eye- I am looking forward to that one!

Laurel-Rain Snow 6/13/17, 10:50 AM  

So many tempting titles! The Address grabbed me right away, as so many events have happened at The Dakota. Thanks for sharing!

Yvonne 6/13/17, 2:19 PM  

What a great list of books! I need to add some of these to my list.

Iliana 6/13/17, 6:23 PM  

More books for the list! A Secret History of Witches sounds promising but then again a bunch of these do. Did you get some of these titles?

Deb in Hawaii 6/17/17, 11:33 AM  

Some great books for my TBR on here--thanks for the preview! ;-)

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