“In the Orchard,” by Eliza Minot, uses small strokes to get at a larger picture. When Maisie Moore takes stock of her life, she finds herself both scared and bursting with love. (April 25)

Katherine Heiny, my favorite contemporary writer, cruises back on the scene with “Games and Rituals.” This short story collection finds the right balance of tenderness and anxiety. (April 18)

So many John Irving books rank among my all-time favorites so imagine my delight at having a new one to read. “The Last Chairlift” recounts a family saga, set in Aspen, Colorado, with all the twists and turns of a slalom.

Lauren Acampora’s “The Hundred Waters” brings a seductive darkness to suburbia. When Louise Rader’s staid life gets an electric jolt from a stranger, her world spins on its axis.

“Small Things Like These,” by Claire Keegan is one of those small book that comes super-charged. Wrestling with one good man’s conscience, Keegan asks us all to look closer and get involved in our world, whether in big or small ways.

Immerse yourself in the Golden Age of Hollywood by way of Anthony Marra’s “Mercury Pictures Presents.” Follow Maria Lagana as she journeys from Italy to L.A. right before WWII begins.

Bobby Finger’s “The Old Place” hunkers down inside of a person clinging to keeping everything the same, even if that is not impossible. Following Mary Alice Roth as she digs deep, this novel provides an inspiring pathway for everyone to take.

“Saint X,” by Alexis Schaitkin, tells the mystery of a girl, disappeared on a family vacation to the Caribbean, and the sister who can’t let it go, even as she grows up and begins to make a life for herself.

Andrew Sean Greer’s “Less is Lost” follows up on his Pulitzer Prize-winning “Less.” The haphazard protaganist, Arthur, finds himself struggling again, like a dog paddling in a pool with no way out.

Having finished an insightful podcast on Munchausen by Proxy, Andrea Dunlop returns to fiction with “Women Are the Fiercest Creatures.” This torn-from-the-headlines story of women grabbing back their stories and autonomy from the powers that be. (March 7)

As a huge lover of “The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry,” I was thrilled to step back into Rachel Joyce’s IP with “The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy,” and finally “Maureen.” This triptych of tales can be read alone or together.

Jane Smiley’s “A Thousand Acres” crashed up the bestseller list in 2003 and it felt like everyone was reading it at the same time. Smiley’s voice continues to ring out, her latest book, “A Dangerous Business” is a left turn into California during the Gold Rush.


Fans of iCarly and Sam & Cat will revel in Jennette McCurdy’s brutally honest memoir “I’m Glad My Mom Died.” Astonishingly tender for all of the darkness, this child actor may have found herself a new career as a writer.

Memoir + Paris = Success. “All Signs Point to Paris,” by Natasha Sizlo, is no exception. Live vicariously as Sizlo dives into love, destiny and astrology.


“What Lies in the Woods," by Kate Alice Marshall, combines small town charm with small town terror as Naomi Shaw starts sifting through the past and uncovers long buried secrets.

One of the best surprises of the year so far, “Small Game,” by Blair Braverman, takes the reality tv genre and turns it on its head. Disturbing and funny, this tale of a television show run amok will delight any fans of survivalist shows.

Michael Connelly’s “Desert Star” falls reliably where his books generally fall, in the best way possible. LAPD’s Renee Ballard teams up with the delightfully cavalier Harry Bosch to solve a murder.

With two bestsellers under her belt, Celeste Ng wins again with“Our Missing Hearts.” This dystopian story of a future where books and people get disappeared will captivate fans of “The Last of Us.”

Another Pulitzer Prize winner, “Lost & Found,” by Kathryn Schulz, juxtaposes the simultaneous death of the author’s father with her experience falling in love. The poignancy of her life at this time will resonate for just about everyone, coping with grief and life as two sides of a coin.

Sometimes mysteries can be too predictable, but Eleanor Catton keeps you guessing in “Birnam Wood.” Set in New Zealand, the story follows two opposing interests, trying to occupy an abandoned farm.