Explore New York City with us this summer! In celebration of the 80th Anniversary of Penguin Books we have put together an 8-week scavenger hunt!

Each week we will post 3 clues to Instagram, one per day on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday pointing to a New York City location that is linked to one of the Penguin Books 80 Bestsellers! You will have until the Sunday of that week to decipher the clues and post a photo of the location. Each week one winner will be selected from all participants. All weekly participants will be entered into a grand prize drawing. Happy hunting!

Can you decipher the mystery NYC location from Week 4?

Clue 1:

Clue 2:

Clue 3:

To Enter:

  1. Follow @penguinusa on Instagram
  2. Decipher clues posted to the Penguin Instagram
  3. Post a photo of the mystery location on your Instagram account
  4. Geo-tag the location, use the hashtag #penguin80sweepstakes, and tag @penguinusa
  5. Repeat each week all summer long!

Can’t wait to get started? Sign-Up for our Newsletter to receive all 3 clues at once rather than waiting for them to be posted each day on Instagram!


 

Penguin 80th Anniversary Sweepstakes Official Rules

Enter for a chance to win: A copy of one of the following books, or the Grand Prize of all eight books, including A Discovery of WitchesThe Omnivore’s DilemmaThe Lords of FinanceDeath of a SalesmanThe Rules of CivilityIn the WoodsMoby-Dick and The Boys in the Boat (ARV = $14.00-$26.00 each or $145.00 for all). No purchase necessary. Entry is limited to U.S. or DC residents aged 18 and above and who have a public Instagram profile. Sweepstakes begins  July 6, 2015 and ends at 11:59:59 PM Eastern Time on August 31, 2015. Winners will be selected at random weekly and on September 3, 2015 for the Grand Prize. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited by law. For the Full Rules click here.


Thank you to everyone who participated in Week 3 of our #Penguin80Sweepstakes in celebration of Penguin Books 80th Anniversary!

This weeks mystery location was The NYC Stock Exchange, on Wall Street, which we selected in honor of Lords of Finance by Liaquat Ahamed, one of the 80 all-time bestsellers from Penguin Books. Check out the full #Penguin80 Bestsellers list.

It is commonly believed that the Great Depression that began in 1929 resulted from a confluence of events beyond any one person’s or government’s control. In fact, as Liaquat Ahamed reveals, it was the decisions made by a small number of central bankers that were the primary cause of that economic meltdown, the effects of which set the stage for World War II and reverberated for decades. Lords of Finance is a potent reminder of the enormous impact that the decisions of central bankers can have, their fallibility, and the terrible human consequences that can result when they are wrong.

Congratulations to the winner of Week 3!


 

Follow along on Instagram and see if you can figure out Week 4s mystery location!

To Enter:

  1. Follow @penguinusaon Instagram
  2. Decipher clues posted to the Penguin Instagram
  3. Post a photo of the mystery location on your Instagram account
  4. Geo-tag the location, use the hashtag #penguin80sweepstakes, and tag @penguinusa
  5. Repeat each week all summer long!

Can’t wait to get started? Sign-Up for our Newsletter to receive all 3 clues at once rather than waiting for them to be posted each day on Instagram!


 

Penguin 80th Anniversary Sweepstakes Official Rules

Enter for a chance to win: A copy of one of the following books, or the Grand Prize of all eight books, including A Discovery of WitchesThe Omnivore’s DilemmaThe Lords of FinanceDeath of a Salesman;The Rules of CivilityIn the WoodsMoby-Dick andThe Boys in the Boat(ARV = $14.00-$26.00 each or $145.00 for all). No purchase necessary. Entry is limited to U.S. or DC residents aged 18 and above and who have a public Instagram profile. Sweepstakes begins July 6, 2015 and ends at 11:59:59 PM Eastern Time on August 31, 2015. Winners will be selected at random weekly and on September 3, 2015 for the Grand Prize. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited by law. For the Full Rules click here.


Thank you to everyone who participated in Week 2 of our #Penguin80Sweepstakes in celebration of Penguin Books 80th Anniversary!

This weeks mystery location was Union Square, home of the Union Square Greenmarket, which we selected in honor of The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan, one of the 80 all-time bestsellers from Penguin Books. You can check out the full #Penguin80 Bestsellers list.

In this revolutionary book, Michael Pollan explains that what we choose to eat, may determine our survival as a species. Packed with profound surprises, The Omnivore’s Dilemma is changing the way Americans thing about the politics, perils, and pleasures of eating. If you haven’t read Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma yet, you can start reading an excerpt here!

Congratulations to the winner of Week 2!


 

Follow along on Instagram and see if you can figure out Week 3s mystery location!

To Enter:

  1. Follow @penguinusaon Instagram
  2. Decipher clues posted to the Penguin Instagram
  3. Post a photo of the mystery location on your Instagram account
  4. Geo-tag the location, use the hashtag #penguin80sweepstakes, and tag @penguinusa
  5. Repeat each week all summer long!

Can’t wait to get started? Sign-Up for our Newsletter to receive all 3 clues at once rather than waiting for them to be posted each day on Instagram!


 

Penguin 80th Anniversary Sweepstakes Official Rules

Enter for a chance to win: A copy of one of the following books, or the Grand Prize of all eight books, including A Discovery of WitchesThe Omnivore’s DilemmaThe Lords of FinanceDeath of a Salesman;The Rules of CivilityIn the WoodsMoby-Dick andThe Boys in the Boat(ARV = $14.00-$26.00 each or $145.00 for all). No purchase necessary. Entry is limited to U.S. or DC residents aged 18 and above and who have a public Instagram profile. Sweepstakes begins July 6, 2015 and ends at 11:59:59 PM Eastern Time on August 31, 2015. Winners will be selected at random weekly and on September 3, 2015 for the Grand Prize. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited by law. For the Full Rules click here.


Explore New York City with us this summer! In celebration of the 80th Anniversary of Penguin Books we have put together an 8-week scavenger hunt!

Each week we will post 3 clues to Instagram, one per day on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday pointing to a New York City location that is linked to one of the Penguin Books 80 Bestsellers! You will have until the Sunday of that week to decipher the clues and post a photo of the location. Each week one winner will be selected from all participants. All weekly participants will be entered into a grand prize drawing. Happy hunting!

Can you decipher the mystery NYC location from Week 2?

Clue 1:

Clue 2:

Clue 3:


 

To Enter:

  1. Follow @penguinusa on Instagram
  2. Decipher clues posted to the Penguin Instagram
  3. Post a photo of the mystery location on your Instagram account
  4. Geo-tag the location, use the hashtag #penguin80sweepstakes, and tag @penguinusa
  5. Repeat each week all summer long!

Can’t wait to get started? Sign-Up for our Newsletter to receive all 3 clues at once rather than waiting for them to be posted each day on Instagram!


 

Penguin 80th Anniversary Sweepstakes Official Rules

Enter for a chance to win: A copy of one of the following books, or the Grand Prize of all eight books, including A Discovery of WitchesThe Omnivore’s DilemmaThe Lords of FinanceDeath of a SalesmanThe Rules of CivilityIn the WoodsMoby-Dick and The Boys in the Boat (ARV = $14.00-$26.00 each or $145.00 for all). No purchase necessary. Entry is limited to U.S. or DC residents aged 18 and above and who have a public Instagram profile. Sweepstakes begins  July 6, 2015 and ends at 11:59:59 PM Eastern Time on August 31, 2015. Winners will be selected at random weekly and on September 3, 2015 for the Grand Prize. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited by law. For the Full Rules click here.


marisa_novelloMarisa Novello is the editorial coordinator for Puffin, at Penguin Young Readers. Originally from Seacoast New Hampshire, she loves paperback books, getting hyperlinked gifs in emails, and quoting Hyperbole and a Half with coworkers.

 

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

I’m pretty sure Huntley’s first book has been recommended here before, but she’s well worth mentioning again. I suggest starting with My Life Next Door because her third book, The Boy Most Likely To (out August 2015!), centers around two of the supporting characters from this first one. Besides, it’s a really good one. Huntley has a way of building tension between her characters that makes her a romance writing queen, and these characters will give you some serious butterflies and you will fall in love. She also writes a pretty sexy story for YA, so it’s the perfect pick for a cross-over adult audience as well.

Start Reading an Excerpt!

Sweep- Book of Shadows, the Coven, and Blood Witch by Cate Tiernan

Sweep by Cate Tiernan

Sweep! This is kind of cheating, because it’s not really one book but a series. Sweep is just plain FUN! I love any kind of witchy read, but this one is like a saga that would be the perfect CW series. If you like The Vampire Diaries and The Secret Circle, then this one’s for you. It’s fun and fast paced with love triangles, spells, and teenagers saving the world while the rest of society has no idea they’re even in danger (especially those silly, naïve parents who are more concerned about grades and curfew. Jeez!) And it’s set in the 90s, which I also love. Don’t let the books’ page counts scare you off, the five volumes are bind ups of the original fifteen short stories but they’re quick reads.

 

 

Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee

Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee

I have never been a huge fan of Westerns.  I think it’s because of all the John Wayne movies my mother made me sit through when I was growing up. Sorry, John Wayne fans! But this book is Thelma and Louise meets the Oregon Trail, and has changed my mind about the Wild West as a backdrop. I also prefer my romance tucked, wrapped, and layered inside a really great story, and that’s exactly what this is! Though it’s not the main plot, it’s definitely in the forefront and I found myself falling in love along with the characters. It’s adventure, history, and a great tale about friendship, saving yourself, and looking forward after a troubled past.  You also learn some Chinese culture that really adds to the narrative. This is Stacey Lee’s debut, but you’ll see more of her. She has another historic novel on the way in Summer 2016!

Start Reading an Excerpt!

The Bourbon Kings by J.R. Ward

The Bourbon Kings by J. R. Ward

This one’s for those readers that like a sexier, contemporary romance. I had never read J. R. Ward before, but she deserves some serious credit for her world-building skills in this book. She compares this southern estate setting to that of Downton Abby, since the story revolves around a wealthy family and the staff that make their world possible. And I think it’s a fair comparison! Though the main thread follows a second-chance love story between two characters, it’s a third-person narrative that gives you a peek into the lives of the others entwined in their story as well. And the drama! There’s a lot of scandal, romance, money, and a heck of a lotta bourbon! That was probably the most fun for me; learning about the Kentucky bourbon business which I’m sure J. R. Ward put a lot of research into.

 

Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari and Eric Klinenberg

Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari and Eric Klinenberg

This counts because there’s “romance” in the title, right? Plus I just had to sneak a non-fiction title into the mix. But really, this is a great book and it is about romance. So for any of you not interested in romantic fiction, this one’s for you!

 Whenever I visit my great uncle in New Jersey he shares stories about his late wife, and by the way he talks about her I always assumed it was love at first sight. Until recently, when I asked how they met and he told me his friend knew a “nice girl” that lived close by. What?! But that’s exactly what Aziz speaks to when he begins his research about the generations before us, and how proximity and limited options were a key factor in partnership. Aziz even uses his own parents as a model of reference, mentioning his dad took less time deciding on his wife than Aziz does on his Seamless order. Then you add Eric Klinenberg’s sociology research into the mix, and we learn terms like companionate marriage and soul mate marriage while they delve into the modern technologies this generation uses to meet people. It’s interesting and funny, and they raise some insightful observations while making fun of our social behaviors in the digital age. Even with all the statistics, facts, and examples, the writing is easy and conversational. It’s sociology wrapped up in a standup routine, and while you don’t need the audio version to get Aziz’s humorous tone and inflection, it’s definitely a great format for enjoying this book!

Start Reading an Excerpt!

 

The Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall

The Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall

I think I read this in about one sitting. If you like a more action-packed romance, then this is it. It’s a fast read that takes you from a small town in Maine to the streets of Istanbul and Paris, while a compelling mystery narrative keeps the action moving. And though Avery’s story in this is not your typical teen drama, she still has those typical teen girl thoughts. Like, did Jack ask her to the prom for ulterior motives, or because he really likes her? It’s just pure fun, and though the content is completely PG rated, Maggie Hall builds up to a pretty intimate scene for YA romance that had me kind of fanning myself. While you will definitely fall for one boy more than the other in this one, I have a feeling we can expect to find more conflict between her two romantic prospects in her second book, Map of Fates, coming out Spring 2016.

Start Reading an Excerpt!

 

Love by the Book by Melissa Pimentel

Love by the Book by Melissa Pimentel

Just look at that cover! This is a really funny read that definitely holds up to its comparison to Bridget Jones. Lauren, the main character, isn’t really looking for love, though. She a modern heroine looking for a male companion to have around, serious or not. Mostly not. She gets herself into all sorts of trouble experimenting with a different book of dating advice for a certain amount of time, and seeing what kind of man and relationship she attracts. This isn’t your swoony romance, and though you won’t fall in love, the romantic debauchery will leave you feeling very entertained.

Start Reading an Excerpt!

Find more books on the Romance page.

See Staff Picks for all our categories!


picture - Julie KocsisJulie Kocsis is a Production Coordinator at Berkley. She loves reading biographies and memoirs, quoting Seinfeld, complaining about the MTA, and watching documentaries (the good kind, not the dull kind they forced you to watch in high school social studies classes). She lives in a fairly un-trendy area of Brooklyn, but enjoys visiting the trendy parts from time to time to eat ramen, dance to ‘90s pop music, wander aimlessly in comfortable shoes, and people watch.

 

Paddle Your Own Canoe- One Man’s Fundamentals for Delicious Living, by Nick Offerman

Paddle Your Own Canoe: One Man’s Fundamentals for Delicious Living, by Nick Offerman

“This isn’t a self-improvement book,” you say? “This is just a collection of essays some clown wrote!” Well, technically you’re correct. However, this book is actually chock-full of life advice. Author Nick Offerman (the actor who played Ron Swanson on Parks & Rec) takes readers through his childhood in rural Illinois, his experiences as a theater actor in both Chicago and LA, and how he met his wife (Megan Mullally). Interspersed throughout these biographical parts are bits of life advice, my favorite being, “Choose your favorite spade and dig a small, deep hole located deep in the forest or a desolate area of the desert or tundra. Bury your cell phone and then find a hobby.” One of Offerman’s personal favorite hobbies is woodworking, particularly canoe-hulling (hence the name of the book). Overall, this is a very funny and enjoyable book that could help you lead a more fulfilling life.

Start Reading an Excerpt!

A Field Guide to Awkward Silences, by Alexandra Petri

A Field Guide to Awkward Silences, by Alexandra Petri

Perhaps you’re looking for some self-help to answer the question “How can I get more out of life? I’m bored.” In this case, I would recommend reading A Field Guide to Awkward Silences by Alexandra Petri. The biggest take-away I got from this book is that Petri simply goes for it in life. This 20-something has attended and participated in conventions of all types – whistling, pun-making, and Star Wars (“As a general rule, I advise against trying to pick up men at Star Wars conventions”). Additionally, she was on Jeopardy!, was accidentally baptized into a cult, has auditioned for America’s Next Top Model, and has personally been called “bitchy” by Rush Limbaugh on-air (“If I were president [As if we’d ever elect a lady world president!] I’d ditch certain words. I’d retire them to a farm upstate… Take slut. Take bitch. Please.”). This book is hilarious, entertaining, and full of personal stories that will inspire you to say “yes” to doing more in life so that you’ll never feel unfulfilled or bored again!

Start Reading an Excerpt!

 

Lizz Free or Die, by Lizz Winstead

Lizz Free or Die, by Lizz Winstead

Although I’ve only ever been a casual watcher of The Daily Show, I’ve always been particularly interested in hearing from women who work in comedy, which is what drew me to read this collection of essays by the show’s creator Lizz Winstead. The book provides a good number of hilarious stories, particularly the ones about growing up in a Catholic household where religious items hung on every wall, (“… like the Virgin Mary on the Half Shell, or the regionally acceptable portrait of the Scandinavian-looking Jesus who could have been in an ABBA tribute band”). There are also some very emotional stories about the death of her father as well as stories about getting into stand-up comedy, moving to New York and creating The Daily Show. The best piece of advice I gathered from this book actually came from the Preface where she states, “…humor is the most useful tool to help put even the most painful moments of life into perspective.”

Start Reading an Excerpt!

Elements of Wit- Mastering the Art of Being Interesting, by Benjamin Errett

Elements of Wit: Mastering the Art of Being Interesting, by Benjamin Errett

After reading the abovementioned three books by such hilarious and witty authors, you may now be thinking, “I want to be hilarious and witty just like them! How can I go about doing that?” Though some people out there are probably a bit of a lost cause in this department (hopefully you know who you are), some people might just need a little guidance, which is where Elements of Wit comes in. This fascinating book features advice from some of the wittiest people in history – from Oscar Wilde and Shakespeare to Louis C.K. and Mae West. Though it is difficult to choose just one bit of advice from this book to share with you, I’d have to go with author Benjamin Errett’s theory on why Seinfeld’s George Costanza (an unattractive, jobless loser who lives with his parents) is able to date such beautiful women – “he’s always got something clever to say… and therein lies the real-life truth of the sitcom reality: Men with something witty to say to women are naturally going to have more of a chance at striking up a relationship.” As a female, that sounds about right to me. So to the men out there desperately trying to get the attention of women, maybe put down the iron you’ve been pumping at the gym and try your hand at saying something witty. Who knows, it worked for George!

 Start Reading an Excerpt!

 

To find Health & Self-Improvement books, click here

See Staff Picks for all our categories!


Thank you to everyone who participated in Week 1 of our #Penguin80Sweepstakes in celebration of Penguin Books 80th Anniversary!

This weeks mystery location was the New York City Public Library, which we selected in celebration of A Discovery of Witches, the first book in the All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness. All three books in the All Souls Trilogy are on the #Penguin80 Bestsellers list. In the trilogy’s first book A Discovery of Witches, Diana Bishop, a young scholar and a descendant of witches, discovers a long-lost and enchanted alchemical manuscript deep in Oxford’s Bodleian Library. While we couldn’t make it all the way to Oxford this week, the New York City Public Library is one of our favorite NYC landmarks! If you haven’t read Deborah Harkness’ All Souls Trilogy yet, you can start reading an excerpt from the first book A Discovery of Witches here!

Congratulations to the winner of Week 1!

Follow along on Instagram and see if you can figure out Week 2s mystery location!

To Enter:

  1. Follow @penguinusaon Instagram
  2. Decipher clues posted to the Penguin Instagram
  3. Post a photo of the mystery location on your Instagram account
  4. Geo-tag the location, use the hashtag #penguin80sweepstakes, and tag @penguinusa
  5. Repeat each week all summer long!

Can’t wait to get started? Sign-Up for our Newsletter to receive all 3 clues at once rather than waiting for them to be posted each day on Instagram!

Penguin 80th Anniversary Sweepstakes Official Rules

Enter for a chance to win: A copy of one of the following books, or the Grand Prize of all eight books, including A Discovery of Witches, The Omnivore’s Dilemma; The Lords of Finance; Death of a Salesman; The Rules of Civility; In the Woods; Moby-Dick andThe Boys in the Boat(ARV = $14.00-$26.00 each or $145.00 for all). No purchase necessary. Entry is limited to U.S. or DC residents aged 18 and above and who have a public Instagram profile. Sweepstakes begins July 6, 2015 and ends at 11:59:59 PM Eastern Time on August 31, 2015. Winners will be selected at random weekly and on September 3, 2015 for the Grand Prize. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited by law. For the Full Rules click here.


scavenger-hunt-newsletter

Explore New York City with us this summer! In celebration of the 80th Anniversary of Penguin Books we have put together an 8-week scavenger hunt!

Each week we will post 3 clues to Instagram, one per day on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday pointing to a New York City location that is linked to one of the Penguin Books 80 Bestsellers! You will have until the Sunday of that week to decipher the clues and post a photo of the location. Each week one winner will be selected from all participants. All weekly participants will be entered into a grand prize drawing. Happy hunting!

Can you decipher the mystery NYC location from Week 1?

Clue #1

 

 

Clue #2

 

  Clue #3

To Enter:

  1. Follow @penguinusa on Instagram
  2. Decipher clues posted to the Penguin Instagram
  3. Post a photo of the mystery location on your Instagram account
  4. Geo-tag the location, use the hashtag #penguin80sweepstakes, and tag @penguinusa
  5. Repeat each week all summer long!

Can’t wait to get started? Sign-Up for our Newsletter to receive all 3 clues at once rather than waiting for them to be posted each day on Instagram!

Penguin 80th Anniversary Sweepstakes Official Rules

Enter for a chance to win: A copy of one of the following books, or the Grand Prize of all eight books, including A Discovery of WitchesThe Omnivore’s DilemmaThe Lords of FinanceDeath of a SalesmanThe Rules of CivilityIn the WoodsMoby-Dick and The Boys in the Boat (ARV = $14.00-$26.00 each or $145.00 for all). No purchase necessary. Entry is limited to U.S. or DC residents aged 18 and above and who have a public Instagram profile. Sweepstakes begins  July 6, 2015 and ends at 11:59:59 PM Eastern Time on August 31, 2015. Winners will be selected at random weekly and on September 3, 2015 for the Grand Prize. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited by law. For the Full Rules click here.


Helen Richard_headshotHelen Richard is an Editorial Assistant at G.P. Putnam’s Sons. Originally from Colorado, Helen worked for years at the Boulder Book Store and the Tattered Cover Book Store in Denver before intuiting that she should move to New York City to work in publishing. When not reading new fiction, she can be found hiking in upstate New York, loitering in independent bookstores, hunting down Brooklyn’s best craft breweries, and enjoying all things pickled.

 

Battleborn by Claire Vaye WatkinsBattleborn by Claire Vaye Watkins

One of the first books I read after moving to New York City and taking a job in publishing, this breathtaking collection of stories reminded me of exactly why I had made such a difficult move. Claire Vaye Watkins speaks to her readers with unforgettable passion and strength, capturing a yearning for home, the weight of familial legacy, and a ruthless understanding of human connection like no other author I’ve recently encountered. Stories like “Ghosts, Cowboys” and “Heart of Graceland” left me stunned by the power of her voice and the raw beauty of her prose.  I love that she has transcended many tired tropes about the American West and created a portrait that is brutally honest and unforgettably evocative. I can’t wait for her new novel, Gold Fame Citrus, to be out this fall!

Start Reading an Excerpt!

 

The Underwriting by Michelle Miller

The Underwriting by Michelle Miller

Rarely is social satire this much fun! Michelle Miller’s take on Millenials is well-observed and so hilarious. While many characters begin the novel as recognizable stereotypes, Miller’s empathy for each shines through, and I found myself understanding even the bro-iest of bankers and the brainiest of computer programmers in a new light. It’s heartening to see someone speaking so honestly to and for the tech generation, especially when it’s set against a sexy backdrop of New York wealth and San Francisco tech, and involves a twisted murder! This is the book I’ve been telling all of my friends to read—it’s endless fun, and it’ll make you think twice before the next time you “swipe right” on a dating app.

Start Reading an Excerpt!

 

The Sound of Things Falling, by Juan Gabriel Vasquez

The Sound of Things Falling by Juan Gabriel Vásquez

I’ve long been a fan of South American fiction, and there is just something so special about Juan Gabriel Vásquez’s novel. He’s able to transform one man’s troubled memories into an unforgettable portrait of Colombia. I was mesmerized by the settings: an abandoned zoo once owned by a Colombian drug lord, a billiards club, the violent streets of Bogota. The narrator Antonio is haunted by a murder and by his relationship with ex-pilot Ricardo, and Antonio’s evolving understanding of Colombia’s violent past is absolutely riveting. Vásquez moves deftly between the decades, capturing the fear of the 1980s and a present nostalgia to create a mesmerizing portrait of a nation longing for innocence and freedom.

 

 

Movie Star by Lizzie Pepper by Hilary Liftin

Movie Star by Lizzie Pepper by Hilary Liftin

This novel will be out this July and thank god—it’s beyond perfect for a day at the beach! If you’ve ever looked at a gossip magazine and wondered what’s really going on behind the outrageous headlines, this imaginative romp through an A-list marriage will have you hooked. Written by real-life celebrity ghost writer Hilary Liftin, it’s a juicy story of a celebrity love affair gone wrong that captures the perfect mix of tabloid gossip and heartfelt narrative. I loved how real and warm Lizzie Pepper’s voice is, and how tender some moments of her star-studded journey feel. You can’t help but root for Lizzie from beginning to end, and you also can’t help but wonder if this could have happened to someone real…

Start Reading an Excerpt!

 

Find more books on the Literary Fiction page.

See Staff Picks for all our categories!

 


summer 2014 050Krista Ahlberg is an Assistant Production Editor for Viking, Puffin, and Razorbill. Besides books, she also enjoys Broadways musicals, wandering the city, and watching TV. But mostly books.

 

the-talking-eggs-by-robert-san-souci-illustrated-by-jerry-pinkney

 

The Talking Eggs by Robert D. San Souci, illustrated by Jerry Pinkney

Jerry Pinkney is one of my favorite illustrators, and here his colorful and fantastical-yet-grounded pictures enhance the folk story of two girls who meet an old woman in the forest. One girl’s kindness is rewarded with riches while the other… well, has a rather different outcome.

 

 

 

the-golden-specific-by-s-e-grove

The Golden Specific by S. E. Grove

I loved The Glass Sentence, but I think I love The Golden Specific even more. It’s great to be able to explore more of a fantasy world in a sequel, especially a world as fantastic and layered as this one, where different parts of the world have been thrown into different time periods. Now, Theo is in Boston going undercover with a secret identity (or two) in order to discover what a sinister member of parliament is up to, while Sophia is off to the Papal States to follow a lead about her parents’ disappearance. There are more maps, as well as ghosts (I always like a good ghost), mysteries, and lovely new characters, combining to make a truly magical book.

Start Reading an Excerpt!

 

zel-by-donna-jo-napoli

Zel by Donna Jo Napoli

I remember reading this book in an airport when I was thirteen, and I’ve reread it many times since then. I love fairy-tale retellings, and this is one of my absolute favorites. Switching perspective between Rapunzel, the prince, and the witch, the story becomes much more complicated than the one you thought you knew. Zel is whimsical and sometimes dark, exploring what it would actually be like to spend years locked in a tower without ever losing its lyrical, fairy-tale tone.

 

 

saint-anything-by-sarah-dessen

 

Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

This latest offering is bursting with everything there is to love about a Sarah Dessen book: a likeable protagonist who seems to express exactly what you always wanted to say but couldn’t find the words, a bevy of different familial relationships, a kickass best friend, and just a really good boy. I especially love the character of Layla and how she and Sydney complement and help each other. And the delicious descriptions of pizza and French fries in the novel are not to be missed.

Start Reading an Excerpt!

 

 

the-name-of-the-star-by-maureen-johnson

 

The Shades of London series by Maureen Johnson

As mentioned above, I love me some ghosts, and this series has all kinds. Friendly ghosts, evil ghosts, sad ghosts, annoying ghosts, and even angsty ’80s post-punk teen ghosts (easily my favorite kind). Rory is one of those teenage protagonists who is super smart (and super funny, of course; I don’t think it’s possible for Maureen Johnson to write a character who isn’t), but who also makes a lot of mistakes and doesn’t always get it right. Though the Jack the Ripper premise of the first book is hard to top, the stakes just keep getting higher, and I can’t wait to find out what happens next.

 

 

Find more books on the Young Readers page.

See Staff Picks for all our categories!