Buzz Books 2018: Fall/Winter

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 15 Jan 2019

Member Reviews

I liked having access to these books to preview. Some were better than others so I skimmed through those. I found ones that I really liked...The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides kept me in terrifying suspense to the very twisty ending!  Dianne Chamberlain is a favorite author of mine and  I loved Dream Daughter. Thanks for this collection  that helps me to see if I like them enough to read the whole  book.
Was this review helpful?
This Buzz Book had forty different excerpts to read through to get an idea of some of the books coming out, this might be my favourite selection to date as it had so many different options that appealed to me. Did I like every item? No, but I liked the ability to see if I might like it!

I'm quite excited about Lisa Gabriele's "The Winters" which is a reimagining of Du Maurier's "Rebecca" and Stephen Carter's "Invisible: The Forgotten Story of a Black Woman Lawyer Who Took Down America's Most Powerful Mobster."

Also, thrilled to see Deborah Blum has a book here, I really loved her book "The Poisoner's Handbook" on the NY Coroner's Office. I've picked up Christine Lagorio-Chafkin's "We Are The Nerds" already.
Was this review helpful?
Buzz Books always manage to provide some great extracts and this 2018 Fall/Winter edition is no different
Was this review helpful?
Excellent preview of upcoming titles - appreciated the format as well as the selection.  Added a number to my TBR list!
Was this review helpful?
This helps me talk about upcoming titles that are sure to be popular. The sneak preview gives me a chance to prepare readalike suggestions to keep patrons satisfied if the holds queue is long.
Was this review helpful?
I love these opportunities to sample upcoming releases. This has helped me add several new authors to my reading list. I’m looking forward to the release of several of these stories.
Was this review helpful?
Here is another wonderful collection of suggestions for future reading - and so my Wish List grows longer.

It's great when you discover another book by a favourite author such as Diane Chamberlain who has written Dream Daughter, or Barbara Kingsolver with Unsheltered. But it's also wonderful to discover a new author to try out, as in Stephen Giles (The Boy at the Keyhole) or Hiro Arikawa (The Travelling Cat Chronicles).
I also discovered a book that sounds fascinating amongst the non-fiction - Maid by Stephanie Land.
Amongst the debut authors I was immediately drawn to Friday Black by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah and White Dancing Elephants by Chaya Bhuvaneswar.
And my final choice from this selection was Leif Enger's Virgil Wander.

Yet again, spoilt for choice. Thank you Buzz Books.
Was this review helpful?
The Buzz Books give you a look at forthcoming books. They also provide, in some cases, a few pages of the book so you can get a sense of the quality of the writing.
Was this review helpful?
I so appreciate the Buzz Books previews, it's such a nice way to find out and sample what's coming up!  Thank you!
Was this review helpful?
Great info as always! The Buzz Books always help me add to my TBR list. I look forward to seeing what is coming because it helps me plan out some of my reading schedule.
Was this review helpful?
Loving all these samples and being able to read excerpts of upcoming books! They’re worthwhile so we can see which books grips us from the beginning
Was this review helpful?
Very helpful for me, as always. Obviously not applicable for library purchase, etc.

Thanks, as always, for this helpful tool.
Was this review helpful?
Fabulous resource for upcoming titles! This was my first time utilizing the resource, and I'll be happy to use them in the future as time permits. I enjoyed the variety of titles included.
Was this review helpful?
Love this opportunity to see what’s available. Thanks so much to Netgalley and the publishers for the opportunity to preview.
Was this review helpful?
Looking forward to many of these titles...especially Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver.  Also found several debut works that are worthy of consideration.  I enjoy reading these and the excepts to help decide titles to add.  Thank you!
Was this review helpful?
Buzz Books always combines nice excerpts from many much anticipated upcoming books. While terrible for the TBR, it does give a great overview and gives one the impression that he/she is ready for the upcoming book season. Would recommend.
Was this review helpful?
The Publishers Lunch Buzz Books are always fun. 
Looking forward to:
The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton
Lies by T.M Logan
Was this review helpful?
Thank you for sharing this sampler. I found several stories that I am interested in. I will definitely be reading several of these novels!
Was this review helpful?
I love having access to the books Publishers Lunch is buzzing for the upcoming seasons.  I always find things I want to read in their selections.
Was this review helpful?
Book Review
Title: Buzz Books 2018: Fall/Winter
Author: Publishers Lunch 
Genre: Compilation
Rating: ***
Review: As per my other Buzz Books reviews, I will be reviewing each excerpt individually. This instalment is split into sections as well. 
Part One: Fiction
Hiro Arikawa, The Travelling Cat Chronicles 
All I know about The Travelling Cat Chronicles is that this novel gives voice to Nana the cat and his owner, Satoru, as they take to the road on a journey with no other purpose than to visit three of Satoru’s long-time friends. Or so Nana is led to believe...
I really loved this excerpt it is told from Nana’s point of view who is a male cat, but Nana means 7 in Japanese. He develops a strange bond with a human named Satoru and through some strange events Nana becomes Satoru’s cat for five years until for some reason Satoru has to give him away. I really liked Nana sarcastic voice and how he seems to embody what all cats are thinking, and I will definitely be picking this book up. 
Sarah Bird, Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen 
Again, this is another novel I knew nothing about and that’s probably because it is historical fiction which is a genre, I don’t read much from. However, the synopsis does sound interesting: “Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen shines light on a nearly forgotten figure in history. Cathy Williams was born and lived a slave—until the Union army comes and destroys the only world she’s known. Separated from her family, she makes the impossible decision—to fight in the army disguised as a man with the Buffalo Soldiers. With courage and wit, Cathy must not only fight for her survival and freedom in the ultimate man’s world, but never give up on her mission to find her family, and the man she loves. Beautiful, strong, and impactful, Cathy’s story is one that illustrates the force of hidden history come to light, the strength of women, and the power of love.”
Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen seems to be set during the American Civil War and we see that Cathy, her sister Clemmie and her mother are all slaves. However, when Union soldier destroy all their crop the leader decides that they will be taking two of the Mistress’ slaves to aid their cook and Cathy is one of the chosen slaves. As the Union soldiers take her away her mother reminds her of her warrior blood and she vows to return to them. While I am not a fan of historical fiction, I feel that I would enjoy Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen. 
Patti Callahan, Becoming Mrs. Lewis 
Becoming Mrs. Lewis is another historical fiction entry, but it caught my eye because the synopsis mentioned C. S. Lewis the creator of Narnia. When poet and writer Joy Davidman began writing letters to C. S. Lewis—known as Jack—she was looking for spiritual answers, not love. Love, after all, wasn’t holding together her crumbling marriage. Everything about New Yorker Joy seemed ill-matched for an Oxford don and the beloved writer of Narnia, yet their minds bonded over their letters. Embarking on the adventure of her life, Joy travelled from America to England and back again, facing heartbreak and poverty, discovering friendship and faith, and against all odds, finding a love that even the threat of death couldn’t destroy.
While I didn’t love this excerpt, I did like some of the ideas it presented. We follow Joy through her children in 1927 trying her best to meet her father’s insanely high expectation and through her adulthood in 1946 where she is married to Bill who seems to have PTSD from the war and she decides to write to C. S. Lewis on a whim to debate whether or not God is real. I think if I read the novel in its entirety, I would enjoy it, but this is a maybe for now. 
Diane Chamberlain, Dream Daughter 
Yet another historical fiction entry but the synopsis doesn’t sound like something I would enjoy but I am open-minded. When Caroline Sears receives the news that her unborn baby girl has a heart defect, she is devastated. It is 1970 and there seems to be little that can be done. But her brother-in-law, a physicist, tells her that perhaps there is. Hunter appeared in their lives just a few years before—and his appearance was as mysterious as his past. With no family, no friends, and a background shrouded in secrets, Hunter embraced the Sears family and never looked back. Now, Hunter is telling her that something can be done about her baby’s heart. Something that will shatter every preconceived notion that Caroline has. Something that will require a kind of strength and courage that Caroline never knew existed. Something that will mean a mind-bending leap of faith on Caroline’s part. And all for the love of her unborn child.
We meet Caroline or Carly at a hospital where she first encounters Hunter who has tried to commit suicide and won’t talk to anyone, but he takes a liking to Carly and they become close friends. Something is off about Hunter I’d say he was either from the future or a seer of some kind. We then jump forward several years where Hunter is now married to Carly’s sister Patti and they have a young son. Carly herself is pregnant but her husband died in Vietnam, but things get even worse when she learns her baby girl has a fatal heart defect but Carly refuses to abort the baby.
While I didn’t think much of the synopsis, the excerpt definitely changed my mind on Dream Daughter and I am adding it to my TBR immediately. 
Jude Deveraux, A Willing Murder 
This synopsis definitely comes across as an historical romance/ murder mystery which is something I definitely don’t read so I don’t have high hopes for this excerpt. “Jude Deveraux makes her debut in the world of mystery with a story of old secrets, deadly grudges and the improbable group of friends who are determined to uncover the truth regardless of the consequences. When two dead bodies are accidentally discovered in the quiet town of Lachlan, Florida, an unlikely trio comes together to solve a mystery everyone else seems eager to keep under wraps.”
I was right about this excerpt and it is something I know I won’t enjoy so I won’t be reading this novel. 
Leif Enger, Virgil Wander
 Midwestern movie house owner Virgil Wander is “cruising along at medium altitude” when his car flies off the road into icy Lake Superior. Virgil survives but his language and memory are altered, and he emerges into a world no longer familiar to him. Awakening in this new life, Virgil begins to piece together his personal history and the lore of his broken town, with the help of a cast of affable and curious locals—from Rune, a twinkling, pipe-smoking, kite-flying stranger investigating the mystery of his disappeared son; to Nadine, the reserved, enchanting wife of the vanished man, to Tom, a journalist and Virgil’s oldest friend; and various members of the Pea family who must confront tragedies of their own. Into this community returns a shimmering prodigal son who may hold the key to reviving their town.
While I found the subject matter of this excerpt interesting I didn’t like the flowery prose it was written in so I won’t be picking this one up either. 
Lisa Gabriele, The Winters 
A spellbindingly suspenseful new novel set in the moneyed world of the Hamptons, about secrets that refuse to remain buried and consequences that cannot be escaped. After a whirlwind romance, a young woman returns to the opulent, secluded Long Island mansion of her new fiancé Max Winter—a wealthy senator and recent widower—and a life of luxury she’s never known. But all is not as it appears at the Asherley estate. The house is steeped in the memory of Max’s beautiful first wife Rebecca, who haunts the young woman’s imagination and feeds her uncertainties, while his very alive teenage daughter Dani makes her life a living hell. She soon realizes there is no clear place for her in this twisted little family: Max and Dani circle each other like cats, a dynamic that both repels and fascinates her, and he harbours political ambitions with which he will allow no woman—alive or dead—to interfere. As the soon-to-be second Mrs. Winter grows more in love with Max, and more afraid of Dani, she is drawn deeper into the family’s dark secrets—the kind of secrets that could kill her, too.
I really liked this excerpt it was intriguing from the beginning and I feel that it would be a mystery novel with political intrigue and maybe a little murder thrown in for good measure. It certain feels like a creepy read that would suit the Halloween season. 
Stephen Giles, The Boy at the Keyhole 
The synopsis for The Boy at the Keyhole certainly comes across as a perfect suspenseful and creepy read that I would pick up around Halloween. “Nine-year-old Samuel lives alone in a once great estate in Surrey with the family’s housekeeper, Ruth. His father is dead, and his mother has been abroad for five months, purportedly tending to her late husband’s faltering business. She left in a hurry one night while Samuel was sleeping and did not say goodbye. Beyond her sporadic postcards, Samuel hears nothing from his mother. He misses her dearly and maps her journey in an atlas he finds in her study. Samuel’s life is otherwise regulated by Ruth, who runs the house with an iron fist. Only she and Samuel know how brutally she enforces order. As rumours in town begin to swirl, Samuel wonders whether something more sinister is afoot. Perhaps his mother did not leave but was murdered—by Ruth.”
I really liked this story, it has a creepy vibe from the beginning and it would perfectly suit the Halloween season and I will definitely pick it up closer to the time. 
•	The next 6 excerpts really didn’t take my fancy, so I am skipping over these. 
Micah Perks, True Love and Other Dreams of Miraculous Escape
True Love and Other Dreams of Miraculous Escape instantly reminded me of Eat, Love, Pray with more saucy bits thrown in. In these interwoven lives, ardent desire meets a keen sense of reality deep in the heart of progressive California. When Sadie opens a funky bookstore in Santa Cruz, she is swept off her feet by Daniel, a true-blue romantic—athletic, bookish, from Santiago, Chile. Their connection is heady and erotic, and it echoes through the love lives around them: from Harry Houdini’s first encounter with the widow Winchester to the threatening intimacy between a wife and her brother to a grumpy teenager who inspires her divorced parents. Years later, when Sadie and Daniel take an overdue trip to Paris, their blended family doesn’t blend so well, sending them back to rediscover their roots. In these interconnected lives, the desire for passion is as strong as the desire to escape, and the terror of claustrophobic connection competes with the deepest human yearning. An intoxicating look at the complexity and simplicity of embracing and running from love.
I really liked the characters and I found them to be compelling and interesting and this is a book on my watchlist. 
Sarah Perry, Melmoth
For centuries, the mysterious dark-robed figure has roamed the globe, hunting for those whose complicity and cowardice has fed into the rapids of history’s darkest waters—and now, in Sarah Perry’s breath-taking follow up to The Essex Serpent, it is heading in our direction.
While I found this excerpt interesting, I didn’t understand much and that may be due to the fact that this is a follow up novel so before I consider reading this, I am going to pick up The Essex Serpent and give that a go. 
Sarah Pinborough, Cross Her Heart 
Sarah Pinborough has written many books that I have enjoyed and Cross Her Heart doesn’t seem any different. Pinborough is definitely pulling everything out in this one and I will definitely be reading and not just because I share a name with one of the characters. 
Rebecca Serle, The Dinner List 
Now this novel sounds amazing as we have all asked and answered the question who we’d like to have dinner with dead or alive and it seems like it could be serious and full of humour at the same time. At one point or another, we’ve all been asked to name five people, living or dead, with whom we’d like to have dinner. Why do we choose the people we do? And what if that dinner was to actually happen? These are the questions Rebecca Serle contends with in her utterly captivating novel, The Dinner List, a story imbued with the same delightful magical realism as One Day, and the life-changing romance of Me Before You. When Sabrina arrives at her thirtieth birthday dinner, she finds at the table not just her best friend, but also three significant people from her past, and well, Audrey Hepburn. As the appetizers are served, wine poured, and dinner table conversation begins, it becomes clear that there’s a reason these six people have been gathered together. Delicious but never indulgent, sweet with just the right amount of bitter, The Dinner List is a romance for our times. Bon Appetit.
This seems like some that will be hilarious given the time to read it. It also seems like a book you have to read in one sitting to really get the full impact of it but it is on my TBR so keep your eyes open for more of my thoughts on this.
•	Natasha Solomons, House of Gold – This book really didn’t interest me, so I am skipping it. 
Taylor Stevens, Liars’ Paradox
So Liars’ Paradox definitely seems like my kind of novel and the synopsis just adds to that: “A Master of International intrigue, New York Times bestselling author Taylor Stevens introduces a pair of wild cards into the global spy game—a brother and sister who were raised to deceive—and trained to kill… They live in the shadows, Jack and Jill, feuding twins who can never stop running. From earliest memory they’ve been taught to hide, to hunt, to survive. Their prowess is outdone only by Clare, who has always been mentor first and mother second. She trained them in the art of espionage, tested their skills in weaponry, surveillance, and sabotage, and sharpened their minds with nerve-wracking psychological games. As they grew older, they came to question her motives, her methods—and her sanity… Now twenty-six years old, the twins are trying to lead normal lives. But when Clare’s off-the-grid safehouse explodes and she goes missing, they’re forced to believe the unthinkable: Their mother’s paranoid delusions have been real all along. To find her, they’ll need to set aside their differences; to survive, they’ll have to draw on every skill she’s trained them to use. A twisted trail leads from the CIA, to the KGB, to an underground network of global assassins where hunters become the hunted. Everyone, it seems, wants them dead—and, for one of the twins, it’s a threat that’s frighteningly familiar and dangerously close to home…
While this excerpt is told from Jack’s point of view we are introduced to Jill and the strange relationship dynamic between the pair and I feel that Liars’ Paradox is a book that definitely fits the feeling of the Halloween season. 
Part Two: Debut
Moving into the debut section of this book, I was disappointed to find that I hadn’t heard of a single title except The 7½ Deaths Of Evelyn Hardcastle. 
Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, Friday Black 
The synopsis of Friday Black seem interesting and might just be a book I’ll pick up in the future. These stories tackle urgent instances of racism and cultural unrest and explore the many ways we fight for humanity in an unforgiving world. In “The Finkelstein Five,” Adjei-Brenyah gives us an unforgettable reckoning of the brutal prejudice of our justice system. In “Zimmer Land,” we see a far-too-easy-to-believe imagining of racism as sport. And “Friday Black” and “How to Sell a Jacket as Told by IceMan” show the horrors of consumerism and the toll it takes on us all. Entirely fresh in its style and perspective, and sure to appeal to fans of Colson Whitehead, Marlon James, and George Saunders, Friday Black confronts readers with a complicated, insistent, wrenching chorus of emotions, the final note of which, remarkably, is hope.
While the synopsis was interesting the excerpt wasn’t great whether the section was poorly chosen, I don’t know but I felt nothing while reading this other than confusion and the unusual writing style doesn’t help. Passing on this one. 
Susana Aikin, We Shall See the Sky Sparkling 
While this book is set during the Russo-Japanese war which is an area in history that hold particular interest for me, the synopsis was bland and generic, so I am also passing on this one. 
Jessica Barry, Freefall 
The synopsis for Freefall is only a single sentence and peaked my interest: “A propulsive debut novel for readers of Gone Girl and Before the Fall about survival at all costs and the unbreakable bond between a mother and daughter.”
Freefall while it doesn’t have the unmistakeable creepy and dark atmosphere of Gone Girl, it does have the same feeling that something is very wrong with the situation and I will have to pick it up to find out what happens next. 
Chaya Bhuvaneswar, White Dancing Elephants 
White Dancing Elephants spotlights diverse women of color—cunning, bold, and resolute—facing sexual harassment and racial violence, and occasionally inflicting that violence on each other. This seems like an amazing novel if it is done right. 
While I liked the excerpt it doesn’t seem like something I will enjoy reading as a whole novel but as individual stories I enjoyed them a lot. 
•	The next 10 excerpt either aren’t in genres I like to read or just don’t interest me, so I am skipping over them. 
Stuart Turton, The 7½ Deaths Of Evelyn Hardcastle
The 7½ Deaths Of Evelyn Hardcastle is a book I have heard a lot about along with the 7 husbands of Evelyn Hugo which I am definitely picking up no matter what because I have had several recommendations from people, I trust to know my reading tastes.
I am pleased to say the recommendations about this book were right it was intriguing and dark from the outset and I can’t wait to pick it up for myself 
Part Three: Nonfiction 
I won’t be reading anything in the non-fiction section as they cover topics that hold no interest for me. 
Overall, I found that most of the excerpts in the collection were either in genres I don’t enjoy reading or just didn’t interest me at all but there were a few in here that I will definitely be picking up and adding to my TBR and there are a few others that will go on the maybe pile for the future.
Was this review helpful?