Anna

Anna lives in New York City in a tiny studio crammed full of books. Someday, she might even own a couch to read them on.

 

 

 

Grasshopper Jungle, by Andrew Smith

Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith:

It’s hard to describe the glory that is Andrew Smith’s Grasshopper Jungle, but I’ll try: it’s a clever, brilliant coming-of-age novel best described as “Vonnegut-esque” with all the fun and excitement of high-concept B-movie, in which a teenage boy in rural Iowa unleashes an unstoppable horde of six-foot-tall preying mantises that only want to eat and, well…you’ll see.

 

 

 

 

The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt, illus. by Oliver Jeffers

The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt, illus. by Oliver Jeffers:

One of the funniest picture books I’ve ever read, and a favorite among the kids in my life, who are notorious for abusing their crayons. What happens when the crayons just can’t take it anymore? They revolt, of course, and because they’re writing implements, they all send letters of resignation (complete with a laundry list of complaints) to their unsuspecting owner. Hilarious, with a sweet ending, The Day the Crayons Quit is perfect for the child in your life who hates staying within the lines.

 

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins:

I’m not just saying this because the main character and I share a name—I love this book! Set in Paris, with a great cast of a characters and a delicious, irresistible love interest, Anna is ultimately a book about friendship, becoming who you are, and the triumphs and tribulations of falling in love…with your best friend. And did I mention it was set in Paris?

 

 

 

 

Bloodlines, by Richelle Mead

The Bloodlines series by Richelle Mead:

Maybe this is cheating, but I really want to recommend the entire Bloodlines series (which is still being published—there are two books to come!), especially book 4, The Fiery Heart. Richelle’s previous series, Vampire Academy, is so awesome and incredibly beloved by me and millions of other fans, and Richelle brings it to the next level in Bloodlines, which has a slow burning but ultimately boiling romance, lots of action, and a great cast of characters you can’t help but love.

 

 

 

Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Ruben and Daniel Salmieri

Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Ruben and Daniel Salmieri:

I love tacos. You love tacos. Who doesn’t love tacos? It turns out dragons love tacos as much—maybe more—as anybody else, so if you want dragons to come to your party, you’d best serve them. Just keep them away from the salsa. With fun, colorful art and a hilarious story, Dragons Love Tacos is as much a gift for the parent as it is for a child.

 

 

If I Stay by Gayle FormanWhere She Went by Gayle Forman

If I Stay and Where She Went by Gayle Forman;

OK, OK, cheating again, but these books (which are a duet, although they can both be read separately) are some of my favorite YA novels of all time—favorite novels, period, in fact. Without giving too much away about either one, I will say that they are emotional, beautiful, and incredibly romantic. A punch to the gut and a balm to the heart. Read them ASAP.

Find more books on the Young Readers Category page!


Julie

Julie works with romance and women’s fiction at the Berkley imprint of Penguin Random House. She lives in Brooklyn and is a big fan of MTV True Life and thunderstorms.

 

 

 

True, by Erin McCarthy

True by Erin McCarthy

I love a great good girl/bad boy story, and this one is set on a college campus, with really smart, believable protagonists. The university details make me nostalgic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Hundred Summers, by Beatriz Williams

A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams

I give this one the title of “My Favorite Beach Read.” It’s got an impossible love story, family drama, great New England historical detail, and an impending hurricane, which gives the whole thing an ominous, atmospheric feel.

 

 

 

 

 

V!RG!N, by Radhika Sanghani

V!RG!N by Radhika Sanghani

This book made me laugh embarrassingly loud on the subway. It’s like Bridget Jones for the 20-something set – so accurate and so so funny.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Smuggler Wore Silk by Alyssa Alexander

The Smuggler Wore Silk by Alyssa Alexander

I’m a TINY bit biased because I’m the editor of this book, but I personally think it’s historical romance at its best; strong heroine, dashing hero, and just the right amount of suspense.

 

 

 

 

 

 

While They Were Watching Downtown Abbey by Wendy Wax

While They Were Watching Downtown Abbey by Wendy Wax

Although there’s lots of romance to be found here, to me the heart of this novel is all about the power, strength, and love behind female friendships.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hemingway’s Girl by Erika Robuck

Hemingway’s Girl by Erika Robuck

Hemingway is one of my favorite classic authors, and this book made me feel like I was living in Depression-era Key West right alongside him and his conflicted (fictional) love interest, Mariella.

 

 

 

 

 

Deception Cove by Jayne Castle

Deception Cove by Jayne Castle

Jayne Ann Krentz (writing here as Jayne Castle) always gets it just right in her books, but I think she’s at her most fun in this futuristic series set on paranormal-tinged Rainshadow Island. The heroine of this one, Alice, is super witty and badass.

 

 

 

 

 

Find more books on the Romance Category Page!


Christopher

Christopher Nelson’s first job out of college was as an assistant in the Putnam and Riverhead Marketing Department, and he’s been there ever since, now serving as Associate Director. He lives with his wife on Long Island in a house that is quickly running out of room for all the books they keep acquiring.  That’s what happens when someone in publishing marries an English teacher. When he doesn’t have his eyes glued to a book or some electronic device to monitor his fantasy sports teams, he tries to find time for marathon baking sessions that produce pounds and pounds of baked good to share with his co-workers (and occasionally his wife.)

Stone Cold, by C.J. Box

Stone Cold by C. J. Box

There are a number of great parts of working in publishing, but two of the most exciting are publishing the first book by a brand new author that I feel is destined for great success and the first time an author hits the New York Times bestseller list. I count myself lucky that I’ve been involved with both of those milestones with C.J. Box, and it’s been a pleasure to work on every one of his Joe Pickett books. He delivers a fast-paced, suspense-filled book with a great plot and unique twist every time, and his latest, Stone Cold, is no exception.

 

 

 

The Devil's Workshop, by Alex Grecian

The Devil’s Workshop by Alex Grecian

I really thought it was going to be impossible for Alex Grecian to top his first book, The Yard, which was one of my favorite debuts, in any genre, of the last ten years. Fortunately, when I read The Devil’s Workshop, I was happily proven wrong. He once again captures the grittiness of Victorian London, and the members of the Scotland Yard Murder Squad and their associates are a fascinating cast of characters, but this time he dials things up a notch with one of the most notorious villains of all time—Jack the Ripper!

 

 

 

Loyalty by Ingrid Thoft

Loyalty by Ingrid Thoft

I sure as heck wouldn’t want to be part of the Ludlow family, who are at the center of Thoft’s debut mystery Loyalty (as well as the upcoming Identity), but they definitely make for fun reading. PI Fina Ludlow, the black sheep of the group, isn’t above doing whatever she needs in order to solve a case, and that makes her one of the more interesting characters I’ve come across in quite some time. Thoft does an expert job of building suspense throughout the book and delivers a twist at the end that sets this mystery apart from so many others.

 

 

 

The Professionals, by Owen Laukkanen

The Professionals by Owen Laukkanen

Minnesota state investigator Kirk Stevens and FBI Special Agent Carla Windermere may be the protagonists of Owen Laukkanen’s well-crafted thrillers, but the real “stars” of each one are the criminals that the duo finds themselves pursuing. Laukkanen does such an incredible job of crafting intriguing villains that I sometimes find myself rooting for them, even when they’re doing wrong. This is certainly the case in his debut thriller, The Professionals, which features four friends who, faced with seemingly no way to make ends meet, turn kidnapping into a lucrative career—until they kidnap the wrong guy and everything starts going quickly downhill.

 

 

Monkeewrench, by P. J. Tracy

Monkeewrench by P. J. Tracy

I’m a sucker for a cast of quirky characters, so the Monkeewrench crew from mother-daughter writing team P.J. Tracy is right up my alley. A group of eccentric software developers, each with somewhat of a sordid past, finds itself in quite a conundrum when a killer starts mimicking the murders in a game they’ve developed even though it hasn’t been widely released to the public. I find the phrase “page turner” often overused, but that’s exactly what this book is; I found myself racing through it at breakneck speed. Each subsequent book from P.J. Tracy has been great, and it’s always fun to see the Monkeewrench crew in action, but this first book stands out as my favorite of the series.

 

 

The Muse Asylum, by David Czuchlewski

The Muse Asylum by David Czuchlewski

Maybe it’s because of my job, but I’ve developed an affinity for works of fiction that deal with the powerful draw of writers and books, and it all started with The Muse Asylum. The mystery at the heart of the book is the true identity of a reclusive author and his motives for staying out of the public eye. Watching how the search for the truth affected the lives of the three characters seeking it was a fascinating examination of motivation and consequences, and the book has stuck with me even though it’s been more than a decade since I first read it.

 

 

 

Find more books on the Suspense & Mystery Category Page!


Kristine

Kristine Swartz is an editorial assistant at The Berkley Publishing Group, where she deals primarily (and happily) with all sorts of romance and paranormal books.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Omens, by Kelley Armstrong

Omens, by Kelley Armstrong

You can never go wrong with Kelley Armstrong. I’ve been a huge fan of hers since I started reading her Otherworld series back in high school. Omens in particular is a compelling, atmospheric read. Just take a peek at the Prologue, and you’ll see exactly what I mean! This is a series to watch.

 

 

 

 

 

Iron Duke, by Meljean Brook

The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook

This was one of the first steampunk romances I ever read, and it is still a favorite of mine. Meljean expertly balances complex world-building with authentic romance and adventure. The fourth book in this series, The Kraken King, is coming out as a serial in April, and I, like all her other fans, will be anxiously awaiting each installment!

 

 

 

 

Heart of Obsidian, by Nalini Singh

Heart of Obsidian by Nalini Singh

Nalini is a mastermind at plotting! Each Psy/Changeling book builds on the last one in such an intricate and immensely satisfying way. Even though I have access to galleys of Shield of Winter, the next in the series, I’m waiting until the hardcovers arrive so I can take a copy home and keep it forever! (I get a little protective over these books).

 

 

 

 

Lover At Last, by J.R. Ward

Lover At Last by J.R. Ward

I was so happy when I heard whose book this would be—J.R. Ward sowed the seeds for this novel years ago! I became really attached to Blay and Qhuinn when they were secondary characters, so it made reading their book even more special. I’m all for two hot guys falling in love!

 

 

 

 

 

Murder of Crows, by Anne Bishop

Murder of Crows by Anne Bishop

The first book in this series, Written in Blood, was so unique that I just had to read the sequel as soon as it was available. You won’t find characters like these in another book, or a world quite like this. If you’re in the mood for something that is a little dark and different, then try this series!

 

 

 

 

 

Bitter Spirits, by Jenn Bennett

Bitter Spirits by Jenn Bennett

What an intoxicating read (pun intended)! Jenn Bennett weaves together a story filled with all of my favorite things: speakeasies, spirits and sexy bootleggers! This is a new series that I will be closely following. Luckily I know the editor and have already called dibs on a copy of the sequel, Grim Shadows, when the book releases in June.

 

 

 

 

Generation V, by M.L. Brennan

Generation V by M.L. Brennan

Generation V straddles the line between being paranormal and urban fantasy, but I love it so it’s on my list of favorites! The main character is probably the least excited vampire-to-be that every existed, but he handles his plight with so much charm and quirk that I can’t help but root for him. Although I’m still undecided on whether or not I want him to become a vampire or remain (mostly) human.

 

 

 

 

Find more books on the Paranormal Category page!


Colleen

Colleen is Associate Director of Marketing, Social Media & Reader Experience for Penguin’s Berkley and NAL Publishing Groups. She has been a professional nerd since 1984.

 

 

 

Daughter of the Sword, Steve Bein

Daughter of the Sword by Steve Bein:

Daughter of the Sword is a debut novel that doesn’t fit neatly into any category, but it’s exactly that originality that made this one of my favorite novels of last year. A skillful blend of Japanese historical fantasy, urban fantasy, and contemporary police procedural, and Bein’s protagonist Mariko Oshiro – the only female detective in Tokyo’s most elite police unit – is a wonderful addition to the ranks of urban fantasy heroes.

 

 

 

 

Neuromancer, by William Gibson

Neuromancer by William S. Gibson:

Neuromancer is a classic science fiction title now celebrating its 30th anniversary. It won the Hugo, the Nebula, and the Philip K. Dick Award, and was nominated for the British Science Fiction Award the same year. Gibson invented an entire genre with Neuromancer; its influence still reverberates throughout current pop culture. I read this when it first came out (yes, I’m that old!) and have never been able to get Gibson’s vision of the future out of my head.

 

 

 

Among Thieves by Doug Hulick

Among Thieves by Doug Hulick:

I read this just a few weeks ago, while prepping for a panel I’ll be moderating with the author next month, and I absolutely loved it! Imagine a town very much like Shakespeare’s Verona, run by a hierarchy of thieves, spies, rogues, and assassins, throw in some magic with sensible rules, a little ribald good humor, a quest for a forbidden object, and a lot of excellent swordplay, and, well, basically you’ve got Among Thieves. Hulick is a wonderful world-builder and his characters will stay with you long after you finish the book. Enjoy!

 

 

 

The Thousand Names, by Django Wexler

The Thousand Names by Django Wexler:

An utterly compelling military-themed epic fantasy with characters that become more complex and more believable the deeper you delve into the novel. Wexler sets his story in Khandar, an arid land reminiscent of nineteenth-century Sudan, where unrest is brewing against the foreigners who long-ago colonized their country, and the desolate Colonial soldiers left behind to police the citizens. Wexler brilliantly melds the horror of combat with the politics of colonialism, giving the reader reasons to care for characters on both sides of the conflict. An exceptional debut novel!

 

 

Skinwalker, by Faith Hunter

Skinwalker by Faith Hunter:

I love urban fantasy, and Faith Hunter’s Jane Yellowrock series is one of my favorites in this genre. Jane Yellowrock is a skinwalker of Cherokee descent, and the last of her kind. Jane shares her body with the soul of a mountain lion she calls Beast, and the conversations between Jane and Beast – conversations that take place inside Jane’s head! – are some of the best and most human parts of these books. There’s also a cast of vampires, weres, and bad-boy love interests, but the true heart of these books is the relationship between Jane and Beast. Start with Skinwalker and work your way through the whole series. Just trust me on this!

 

 

Midnight Crossroad, by Charlaine Harris

Midnight Crossroad by Charlaine Harris:

Charlaine Harris leaves Bon Temps and Sookie Stackhouse behind in Midnight Crossroad, the first in a brand-new series set in the town of Midnight, Texas.  At its heart, Midnight Crossroad is a murder mystery, and Harris draws heavily on her roots as a mystery writer here, mixing small-town eccentricities with darker paranormal elements to create a quirky town where most of the residents have something to hide. I confess to tearing through this book in about a day, missing several subway stops on the way to work (sorry boss!) to read the last chapter. I can’t wait to see what the fine folks of Midnight get up to next!

Watch the exciting book trailer here!

 

Find more books on the Scifi/Fantasy Category page! 


Ben

Ben Platt is an Associate Editor at The Penguin Press, where he began his career in 2010. He is a graduate of the University of Chicago.

 

 

 

Detroit, by Charlie LeDuff

Detroit: An American Autopsy by Charlie LeDuff

The only book you will ever need about the Motor City, the American Dream, and the unforgettable LeDuff–who spends these exhilarating pages generally raising hell and asking The Powers That Be all the tough questions how the country’s richest city became the capital of foreclosures, unemployment, and much else. Muckraking like we need, gonzo journalism at its best.

 

 

 

 

Command and Control by Eric Schlosser

Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety, by Eric Schlosser

Reading this terrific book, one quickly realizes that America’s nuclear arsenal is less DR. STRANGELOVE and more Marx Brothers. Launch levels are accidently pulled, bombs mistakenly dropped on American soil, missiles secured by little more than high-school combination locks. But by centering on one terrible accident–a fire in a nuclear missile silo, in 1980 Arkansas–Schlosser takes what could be a litany of woe and turns it into a page-turning, unforgettable read.

 

 

 

The Good Food Revolution By Will Allen with Charles Wilson

The Good Food Revolution: Growing Healthy Food, People, and Communities, by Will Allen with Charles Wilson

Urban farming at its most extreme. Using old-school community activism and revolutionary aquaponics–a technology that grows plants and fish simultaneously, the life cycle of one feeding the other–Will Allen and his organization GROWING POWER are changing the way cities will feed themselves in the future. Based around Allen’s extraordinary life story–son of a sharecropper, star  in professional basketball, successful businessman, and finally farming entrepreneur–The Good Food Revolution is good stuff.

 

 

Thinking the Twentieth Century, by Tony Judt with Timothy Snyder

Thinking the Twentieth Century, by Tony Judt with Timothy Snyder

One of the last books of Tony Judt–the author of another personal favorite, Postwar–along with Timothy Snyder–the historian behind the harrowing Blood LandsThinking the Twentieth Century is truly a gift. Arranged as a free-wheeling dialogue between these two unorthodox experts of recent history, the book has all the makings of a masters-course-in-one-volume but reads as easy as can be. A wonderful experience.

 

 

 

Diaries of an Unfinished Revolution edited by Layla Al-Zubaidi & Matthew Cassel

Diaries of an Unfinished Revolution: Voices from Tunis to Damascus, edited by Layla Al-Zubaidi & Matthew Cassel

Finally, the story of the Arab Spring has lived and witnessed by its actual participants. Drawing on short accounts from different actors across the Middle East, Diaries of an Unfinished Revolution breaks many of our easy certainties and offers up many hard truths about this pivotal series of events, and reveals the true cost of making change today. It won’t give anything away to say that the book’s last line is, “And the demonstrations go on, into the unknown.”

 

 

 

Find more books on the History & Current Events category page!


Steinbeck Leather Bound 1Born and raised in Oklahoma, I grew up with the distant ghosts of the dust bowl.  As a twenty-one year-old-graphic artist, I too, left Oklahoma for the romance and opportunities of California.  Luckily, unlike the Joads, California greeted me with open arms—lapping waves, palm trees, exciting new ideas, food, glorious weather and refreshing open-minded attitudes—clearly, a different era.  Forty years later, I am still embracing California and all of her opportunities and natural beauty.  Proud of my Oklahoman roots, I feel honored and grateful to contribute to this historic edition of The Grapes of Wrath

Michael Schwab is a Graphic Artist. His studio designed the end papers that are in both the hardcover and the limited edition, as well as the cover of the limited edition.

Click here for more photos of the 75th Anniversary Edition.


erikarobuckSteinbeck is the voice of a time and place that previously had no voice. From animal-like migrant working conditions, to family stories of drama, evolution, and generational redemption, Steinbeck presents an unflinching look at the sins of society against the underprivileged, but always offers a glimmer of hope. His writing is bold and forces the reader to confront harsh truths, but the antidote is never far, and often comes in unexpected ways.

The ending of The Grapes of Wrath is perhaps the most powerful ever rendered—when a young woman who has lost her baby feeds a starving man from her breast. It is the very image of self-sacrifice, human growth, and the capacity for nurturing we hold; a fitting ending to a novel of raw humanity.

May Steinbeck’s work and his voice always endure.

Erika Robuck is the critically acclaimed author of Hemingway’s GirlCall Me Zelda and Fallen Beauty.  Born and raised in Annapolis, Maryland, Erika was inspired by the cobblestones, old churches, and the mingling of past and present of the Eastern Shore.  Erika writes about and reviews historical fiction.  For more information please visit www.erikarobuck.com, and Twitter @ErikaRobuck.


ohsheglowsThis week is a busy one for us here at Avery/Gotham Books. We are all planning for our big VegWeek Celebration to take place April 21—27. We flipped through some of our favorite cookbooks, including Budget Bytes and The Oh She Glows Cookbook for some tasty vegetarian ideas. Below are some of the highlights we have planned:

BETH PARKER
Publicity

Everything in The Oh She Glows Cookbook looks amazing, but I might have to go with my old standby: Roasted Veggie Soup!

Chop 1 head cauliflower, 3 small (yellow) potatoes, 1 onion, 4 cloves of garlic, chopped up and roasted with garlic salt, pepper and olive oil at 450 for 45 mins, until everything is starting to brown plus approx. 3.5 -5 cups of veggie broth (homemade or canned) – throw it all in a blender and mix until smooth and the thickness you like. Serve with bread. Delicious.

It’s easy to prep at the last minute, delicious to eat and there are always leftovers – tastes great heated up the next day, too. And it is so filling! And cheap to make! (someone call Budget Bytes!)

P.S. – one time I made this with purple cauliflower. It looked super weird but tasted delicious.

LINDSAY GORDON
Publicity

With “Glowing Strawberry-Mango Guacamole” from Oh She Glows, I get to mix two of my favorite fruits into a guacamole for chips and dip – there couldn’t be a better combo. Can’t wait to munch on this all week!

EMILY WUNDERLICH
Editorial

I’ve made this recipe once before and loved it, so I’ll definitely be calling on it during Veg Week: it’s Angela Liddon’s Butternut Squash Sauce with Pasta and Greens, from her blog. It’s a vegan answer to mac n’ cheese, with a smoky, rich sauce that satisfies my comfort food cravings while being surprisingly virtuous (and also KALE!). Plus, this one freezes well for work lunches!

ANNE KOSMOSKI
Publicity

Call me a dreamer but I am really looking forward to making the Sweet-Potato & Black Bean Enchiladas with Avocado-Cilantro Cream Sauce. Pretty much all of my favorite things in one dish.  (Don’t worry, it looks like it takes more time to write the title than make the enchiladas). Addison and Avery (ages 3 and almost 1) are looking forward to Banana Soft Serve – we may even have to make it this weekend!

GIGI CAMPO
Editorial

I can’t wait to make Beth Moncel’s delicious Mango, Jalapeno & Quinoa Salad from Budget Bytes, and follow it up with Angela Liddon’s addictive Cacao Crunch Almond Butter-Banana Bites from Oh She Glows Cookbook! Very excited to go vegan and give my body—and the planet—a break.

FARIN SCHLUSSEL
Marketing

The 15-Minute Creamy Avocado Pasta from The Oh She Glows Cookbook has all of my favorite things: pasta, avocados, and basil pesto! I can’t wait to whip this up for dinner one day during VegWeek, although it looks so delicious that I’m pretty sure I’ll eat it in one go…


JoGrapeshn Steinbeck was born and raised in Salinas, a small city in the central coast of California known as the Salad Bowl of the World.  In the midst of the incredible natural beauty of the Salinas Valley, there were incredible stories of struggle and resilience that were to inspire his best work.  Nearly one hundred years later, it was through Steinbeck’s characters that I first glimpsed into the lives of the field workers that I saw everyday working in the fields from sun up to sun down in my hometown of Salinas.  It was through Ma Joad that I learned to recognize stoicism in the eyes of a mother who stood in line at the grocery store, with children clinging to her skirt while she counted her money, hoping it was enough to buy the small number of items in her basket.  Through Tom I understood the quiet rage of the young men who challenged one another with hand gestures on the downtown streets.  Because of The Grapes of Wrath I developed empathy for the people I lived among but hardly knew.  And so many years later, John Steinbeck’s work inspires me still.  My life’s work is now to advance John Steinbeck’s legacy, and to champion the causes he championed in his time.  Today, the National Steinbeck Center celebrates our common humanity by giving voice to the stories of Steinbeck’s people through the work of contemporary artists, writers and, social change agents.

Colleen Bailey
Executive Director
The National Steinbeck Center