The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Weighs In on 2012 Discover Picks

Dear Reader,

Our home office is located in NYC, but with stores around the country, I’m always keen to see what other folks chose in seasonal or yearly roundups, and a May 25th summer reading recommendations piece from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel tags several current Discover Great New Writers selections as well as new books from Discover alumni.

2012 Discover selections:

Glaciers by Alexis M. Smith – the slim, lyrical story of a twenty-something navigating love, loss, and history.

HHhH: A Novel by Laurent Binet.  Winner of the Prix Goncourt, this hybrid of fiction and history with an incredible narrative pulse reminds us somewhat of Geoff Dyer’s Out of Sheer RageThe B&N Review piece on HHhH is here.

The Long Walk: A Story of War and the Life That Follows by Brian Castner (due 7/10).  This unforgettable memoir by a former head of an explosive ordnance disposal team in Irag talks about his wartime experiences — and what happened when he returned home.

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey. Two homesteaders find new hope when they discover a mysterious child in 1920s Alaska.  With memorable characters and lush descriptions of the sweeping terrain, this captivating novel is a love letter to resilient, independent spirits.

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed. In this captivating, audacious memoir, an almost immediate bestseller when it landed in March, a young woman–grieving her mother’s death and the end of her marriage—transforms herself as she hikes the 1100-mile Pacific Crest Trail alone.

Discover alumni:

Gods Without Men by Hari Kunzru.  A sweeping, kaledescopic novel about faith and mythology — in all their myriad forms — set in the Mojave desert and punctuated by the voices of  characters plucked boldly from different eras.  The B&N Review piece on Gods Without Men is here.

Gold by Chris Cleave (due 7/3). The author of the bestselling Little Bee and the Discover pick Incendiary returns with a novel about elite female cyclists vying for a slot on the 2012 British Olympic team.

Heading Out to Wonderful by Robert Goolrick.  A mysterious drifter disrupts life for the residents a small town in the new novel from the bestselling author of A Reliable Wife and the Discover pick The End of the World as We Know It.

Once Upon a River by Bonnie Jo Campbell.  From the author of National Book Award finalist American Salvage and the Discover pick Q Road, an unforgettable story of a 16-year-old girl who, after the death of her father (an act in which she is complicit) takes off on a dangerous, solo river journey in search for her missing mother.

The Patrick Melrose Novels (including Some Hope, a 2004 Discover pick) by Edward St. Aubyn.  The first four brilliantly bleak, blackly comic novels featuring Patrick Melrose as he makes his way in world, despite gruesome family circumstances.  The B&N Review piece on the 5th Patrick Melrose novel, At Last, is here.

And the Journal Sentinel also included our first B&N Recommends selection of 2012, William Landay’s Defending Jacob, a pulse-pounding, finely-wrought literary thriller and family drama that will appeal to fans of Rosellen Brown’s Before & After and Jonathan Burnham Schwartz’s Reservation Road, as well as fans of Jodi Picoult’s Nineteen Minutes.

Cheers, Miwa


Miwa Messer

Miwa Messer is the Director of the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers program, which was established in 1990 to highlight works of exceptional literary quality that might otherwise be overlooked in a crowded book marketplace. Titles chosen for the program are handpicked by a select group of our booksellers four times a year. Click here for submission guidelines.