The booksellers who sit on the selection committee for our Discover Great New Writers program are always on the hunt for the next great read. Our Spring 2018 picks are a mix of novels, memoir, travel writing, women’s studies, and essays.
We have the perfect recommendation for readers who loved bestsellers like The Interestings, by Meg Wolitzer; The Book of Speculation, by Erika Swyler; A Little Life, by Hanya Yanagihara; City on Fire, by Garth Risk Hallberg; Commonwealth, by Ann Patchett; The Son, by Philip Meyer; and Stephen King’s It. There’s a memoir here that had more than one of us holding our breath as we read, and another that made us want to move to India. We loved hanging out (on the page) with Brittney Cooper and Morgan Jerkins, and think you will, too. Some of these books are available now, with more landing in February, March, and April.
We hope you love them as much as we do. (And just wait until you see what we’re working on for Summer 2018…)
Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions, by Mario Giordano
Part Auntie Mame, part Precious Ramotswe of Alexander McCall Smith’s No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, Auntie Poldi is our new favorite amateur sleuth. This spunky, breezy, witty story of death and misadventure is terrific fun, a marvelous escape while we wait for summer to return.
Brass, by Xehnet Aliu
We couldn’t stop reading this beautifully told, often very funny, and always big-hearted story of an unforgettable mother and daughter. We’re not alone in our love for this novel: Sherman Alexie and Celeste Ng are also fans of Xhenet Aliu’s whip-smart prose and sharp insight.
The Chalk Man, by C.J. Tudor
Sticks and stones will break my bones…
A childhood game gone terribly wrong jumpstarts this creepy thriller that cuts between past and present. Some of our readers were reminded of Stephen King’s classic novel It, others were reminded of Stranger Things, and the rest of us just didn’t sleep for a week.
Educated, by Tara Westover
Tara Westover’s powerful memoir starts as a searing story of growing up off the grid, and becomes an inspirational story of a young woman who saves her own life through her love of books and learning. (P.S. More than one us held our breath while we were reading, waiting to see what happened next.)
Eloquent Rage, Brittney Cooper
We can’t get enough of Brittney Cooper’s often hilarious and always laser-sharp observations about feminism, friendship—and rage, which she argues can be used to drive positive social change. In the words of Rebecca Traister (All the Single Ladies), “Brittney Cooper is a national treasure…this book is just so good.”
Every Other Weekend, by Zulema Renee Summerfield
It is 1988 and America is full of broken homes. This melancholic, and often very funny, story of life after divorce is narrated by an irresistible young girl. Our booksellers love this unforgettable debut like they love Tell the Wolves I’m Home, by Carol Rivka Brunt, and Commonwealth, by Ann Patchett.
Fire Sermon, by Jamie Quatro
But this story begins where others end: a boy and a girl in love, a wedding, a happily-ever-after. This is a magnetic—and provocative—story of love and obsession, and the complexities of marriage; a map of one woman’s emotional, psychological, and spiritual desires, and the decisions those desires inform.
The Gunners, by Rebecca Kauffman
Our booksellers were reminded of The Interestings, by Meg Wolitzer, as we read this beautiful, melancholy, smart story of friendship and growing up. The writing is gorgeous, and the characters are so good we’d like nothing more than to keep hanging out with them.
Heart Berries, by Terese Marie Mailhot
This memoir by a First Nation woman wowed us. This is an incredible story of survival, of growing up indigenous and mentally ill in a colonial world, told with grace and deep emotional resonance, in a voice that is wildly funny, enraged, and always, always honest. Roxane Gay and Sherman Alexie are fans, too.
The House of Impossible Beauties, by Joseph Cassara
Did you love the emotional intensity of A Little Life, by Hanya Yanagihara? Are you a fan of City on Fire, by Garth Risk Hallberg, looking for another side of New York City? Or do you just want to get lost in a heartbreaking story of love and family and home, told in a voice that is witty, angry, tender, and wise? This debut novel set in the world of the Harlem ball scene is for you.
The Immortalists, by Chloe Benjamin
If you knew the date of your death, how would you live your life? This dazzling novel asks big questions about life and death and love and family. If you loved the fantastic novel The Book of Speculation, by Erika Swyler, as much as we did, you won’t want to miss this incredible story of destiny vs. choice.
Love, Hate, and Other Filters, by Samira Ahmed
Being a teenager is hard enough, and being torn between worlds really doesn’t help. This timely novel is full of universal themes about parents and school and real life, but it was the novel’s terrific narrative voice that grabbed us—a voice our readers couldn’t get enough of and definitely won’t forget.
The Milk Lady of Bangalore, by Shoba Narayan
On a map, it’s a little more than 8,000 miles from New York to Bangalore, but luckily for readers, this charming story covers that distance and more, as the search for a perfect cow—and the friendship between two women that results—turns into an adventure that is fresh, funny, and unforgettable.
Only Killers and Thieves, by Paul Howarth
Discover alum and bestselling author Paulette Jiles (Enemy Women and News of the World) loves Paul Howarth’s debut novel as much as the Discover selection committee readers do. This is a classic story of brothers and revenge, injustice and honor that will remind some readers of The Son, by Phillip Meyer.
This Will Be My Undoing, by Morgan Jerkins
Morgan Jerkins writes beautifully and with great honesty, covering universal subjects like body image, home and family, faith, and books. Readers who couldn’t get enough of the essay collections Bad Feminist, by Roxane Gay, or The Empathy Exams, by Leslie Jamison, won’t want to miss this fabulous debut.
Tangerine, by Christine Mangan
With nods to The Talented Mr. Ripley and the gothic novels of Daphne du Maurier, this debut novel set in Tangier, 1956—a city on the verge of revolution—sent shivers down our spines. Isolated and overwhelmed, trapped in a loveless marriage, this is not what Alice expected from her post-collegiate life…
White Chrysanthemum, by Mary Lynn Bracht
More than one of our readers stayed awake deep into the night to finish reading this heartbreaking story of two Korean sisters brutally separated by World War Two. This is the best kind of historical fiction: a thought-provoking story brought fully to life by the voices of incredible characters.
The Woman in the Window, by A. J. Finn
Her husband’s almost home. He’ll catch her this time. We love puzzling out stories with unreliable narrators. And we’re not the only fans of this twisty, page-turning psychological thriller: bestselling authors Gillian Flynn, Ruth Ware, and Louise Penny have nothing but praise for this riveting debut.