Ever since I started working in a bookstore, Tuesdays have been my favorite day of the week because that’s when most new releases hit shelves. Now, that’s not a strict rule. For example, James Patterson’s titles almost always come out on Mondays. I guess when you’re the world’s highest-paid author you can grease the wheels a little for a tad more exclusivity than your peers are afforded.
Featured below are eight new titles (with links for purchase included, of course) that are sure to bring loads of delight over the holiday season. If you’re looking for gift ideas, there’s a little something for everyone here: romance, mystery, science fiction, business, personal growth, and more.
Wish You Were Here: A Novel by Jodi Picoult
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Page Count: 336
Synopsis: Diana O’Toole is perfectly on track. She will be married by thirty, done having kids by thirty-five, and move out to the New York City suburbs, all while climbing the professional ladder in the cutthroat art auction world. She’s an associate specialist at Sotheby’s now, but her boss has hinted at a promotion if she can close a deal with a high-profile client. She’s not engaged just yet, but she knows her boyfriend, Finn, a surgical resident, is about to propose on their romantic getaway to the Galápagos—days before her thirtieth birthday. Right on time.
But then a virus that felt worlds away has appeared in the city, and on the eve of their departure, Finn breaks the news: It’s all hands on deck at the hospital. He has to stay behind. You should still go, he assures her, since it would be a shame for all of their nonrefundable trip to go to waste. And so, reluctantly, she goes.
Almost immediately, Diana’s dream vacation goes awry. Her luggage is lost, the Wi-Fi is nearly nonexistent, and the hotel they’d booked is shut down due to the pandemic. In fact, the whole island is now under quarantine, and she is stranded until the borders reopen. Completely isolated, she must venture beyond her comfort zone. Slowly, she carves out a connection with a local family when a teenager with a secret opens up to Diana, despite her father’s suspicion of outsiders.
In the Galápagos Islands, where Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection was formed, Diana finds herself examining her relationships, her choices, and herself—and wondering if when she goes home, she too will have evolved into someone completely different.
Check out the free downloadable pdf Book Club Kit available on Jodi Picoult’s website.
Publisher: Jimmy Patterson
Page Count: 437
Synopsis: “Don’t struggle, Lei-zhi. It’s time to take you back to the Hidden Palace. You’re going home.”
The final pages of Girls of Storm and Shadow brought a jaw-dropping conclusion that had the fates of Lei and Wren hanging in uncertainty. But one thing was certain – the Hidden Palace was the last place that Lei would ever consider home. The trauma and tragedy she suffered behind those opulent walls would plague her forever. She could not be trapped there with the sadistic king again, especially without Wren. The last Lei saw of the girl she loved, Wren was fighting an army of soldiers in a furious battle to the death. With the two girls torn apart and each in terrorizing peril, will they find each other again or have their destinies diverged forever?
Girls of Fate and Fury is the epic conclusion to the “glittering” and “adrenaline-soaked” series by Natasha Ngan, hailed as “a stunning, new talent” for her “beautiful, lush, lyrical” writing.
Atlas of the Heart: Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human Experience by Brené Brown, Ph.D., MSW
Publisher: Random House
Page Count: 336
Synopsis: In Atlas of the Heart, Brown takes us on a journey through eighty-seven of the emotions and experiences that define what it means to be human. As she maps the necessary skills and an actionable framework for meaningful connection, she gives us the language and tools to access a universe of new choices and second chances—a universe where we can share and steward the stories of our bravest and most heartbreaking moments with one another in a way that builds connection.
Over the past two decades, Brown’s extensive research into the experiences that make us who we are has shaped the cultural conversation and helped define what it means to be courageous with our lives. Atlas of the Heart draws on this research, as well as on Brown’s singular skills as a storyteller, to show us how accurately naming an experience doesn’t give the experience more power, it gives us the power of understanding, meaning, and choice.
Brown shares, “I want this book to be an atlas for all of us, because I believe that, with an adventurous heart and the right maps, we can travel anywhere and never fear losing ourselves.”
Twelve and a Half: Leveraging the Emotional Ingredients Necessary for Business Success by Gary Vaynerchuk
Publisher: Harper Business
Page Count: 224
Synopsis: In his sixth business book, bestselling author, entrepreneur, and investor Gary Vaynerchuk explores the twelve essential emotional skills that are integral to his life—and business—success and provides today’s (and tomorrow’s) leaders with critical tools to acquire and develop these traits.
For decades, leaders have relied on “hard” skills to make smart decisions, while dismissing the importance of emotional intelligence. Soft skills like self-awareness and curiosity aren’t quantifiable; they can’t be measured on a spreadsheet and aren’t taught in B-schools or emphasized in institutions. We’ve been taught that emotional intelligence is a “nice to have” in business, not a requirement. But soft skills can actually accelerate business success, Gary Vaynerchuk argues. For analytical minds, it’s challenging to understand how to get “better” at being self-aware, curious, or empathetic—or even why it’s important to try.
In this wise and practical book, Gary explores the 12 human ingredients that have led to his success and happiness and provides exercises to help you develop these traits yourself. He also shares what the “half” is—that emotional ingredient of leadership he’s weakest at and makes the most effort to improve. Working through the ideas and exercises in the book, he teaches you how to discover your own “halves” and offers insight on how to strengthen them.
Gary’s secret to success is using these twelve traits in varying mixtures, depending on the situation. But how do we know when to balance patience with ambition? Humility with conviction? Gary provides real-life examples involving common business scenarios to show you how to use them together for optimum results.
This iconoclastic book will help you refine your ingredients and improve your leadership capabilities. When implemented in the proper situation, these ingredients can help leaders land promotions, retain core employees, move faster than competitors, win the loyalty of customers, and build successful organizations that last.
Gentleman Seeks Bride: A Hazards of Dukes Novel by Megan Frampton
Page Count: 362
Synopsis: It’s a well-known fact that when a man is in search of a bride, a good dowry is never a hindrance.
Thomas Sharpe is handsome, well-bred, and desperately in need of a wealthy bride. His father has lost their income, his sister needs looking after, and so to save them all from a life of poverty he travels to London in search of an heiress.
Enter Lady Jane Capel. After her fiancé ended their engagement two years ago, Jane boldly left her parents’ home and moved in with her half-brother Percy. What does one more scandal matter to a family with such a curious reputation? Jane is independent, but not as well versed in life—and love—as she wants.
The two of them strike a deal: Thomas will show her all there is to know about the world —and intimacy—and Jane will help him find a bride. But the more time they spend together and the closer they get, the two of them soon realize that things aren’t so simple when it comes to men and women…
Nanny Dearest: A Novel by Flora Collins
Page Count: 336
Synopsis: In this compulsively readable novel of domestic suspense, a young woman takes comfort in reconnecting with her childhood nanny, until she starts to uncover secrets the nanny has been holding for twenty years.
Sue Keller is lost. When her father dies suddenly, she’s orphaned in her mid-twenties, her mother already long gone. Then Sue meets Annie. It’s been twenty years, but Annie could never forget that face. She was Sue’s live-in nanny at their big house upstate, and she loved Sue like she was her own.
Craving connection and mothering, Sue is only too eager to welcome Annie back into her life; but as they become inseparable once again, Sue starts to uncover the truth about Annie’s unsettling time in the Keller house all those years ago, particularly the manner of her departure—or dismissal. At the same time, she begins to grow increasingly alarmed for the safety of the two new charges currently in Annie’s care.
Told in alternating points of views—Annie in the mid-’90s and Sue in the present day—this taut novel of suspense will keep readers turning the pages right up to the shocking end.
Check out my recent post The Nefarious Nannies Reading List to find readalikes for Flora Collins’s new novel.
Leviathan Falls: The Final Volume in The Expanse by James S.A. Corey
Page Count: 528
Synopsis: The Laconian Empire has fallen, setting the thirteen hundred solar systems free from the rule of Winston Duarte. But the ancient enemy that killed the gate builders is awake, and the war against our universe has begun again.
In the dead system of Adro, Elvi Okoye leads a desperate scientific mission to understand what the gate builders were and what destroyed them, even if it means compromising herself and the half-alien children who bear the weight of her investigation. Through the wide-flung systems of humanity, Colonel Aliana Tanaka hunts for Duarte’s missing daughter. . . and the shattered emperor himself. And on the Rocinante, James Holden and his crew struggle to build a future for humanity out of the shards and ruins of all that has come before.
As nearly unimaginable forces prepare to annihilate all human life, Holden and a group of unlikely allies discover a last, desperate chance to unite all of humanity, with the promise of a vast galactic civilization free from wars, factions, lies, and secrets if they win.
But the price of victory may be worse than the cost of defeat.
You’ll Be the Death of Me by Karen M. McManus
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Page Count: 336
Synopsis: From the author of One of Us Is Lying comes a brand-new pulse-pounding thriller. It’s Ferris Bueller’s Day Off with murder when three old friends relive an epic ditch day, and it goes horribly—and fatally—wrong.
Ivy, Mateo, and Cal used to be close. Now all they have in common is Carlton High and the beginning of a very bad day. Type A Ivy lost a student council election to the class clown, and now she has to face the school, humiliated. Heartthrob Mateo is burned out from working two jobs since his family’s business failed. And outsider Cal just got stood up . . . again.
So when the three unexpectedly run into each other, they decide to avoid their problems by ditching. Just the three of them, like old times. Except they’ve barely left the parking lot before they run out of things to say. . .
. . . until they spot another Carlton High student skipping school—and follow him to the scene of his own murder. In one chance move, their day turns from dull to deadly. And it’s about to get worse. It turns out Ivy, Mateo, and Cal still have some things in common…like a connection to the dead kid. And they’re all hiding something.
Could it be that their chance reconnection wasn’t by chance after all?
Note: All synopses in the preceding post came from their respective publishers.
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