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Looking for some new books to kick off the new year? Look no further – here’s a roundup of some of the most exciting new books of 2015 from different genres.

 

blood

Blood-Drenched Beard, by Daniel Galera

“From Brazil’s most acclaimed young novelist, the mesmerizing story of how a troubled young man’s restorative journey to the seaside becomes a violent struggle with his family’s past”

 

 

 

trust

Trust No One, by Jayne Ann Krentz

“Following up on the incredible success of River Road, New York Times–bestselling author Jayne Ann Krentz delivers another masterpiece of romantic suspense.”

 

 

 

hallof

Hall of Small Mammals, by Thomas Pierce

“A wild, inventive ride of a short story collection from a distinctive new American storyteller.”

 

 

 

girlonthe

The Girl on the Train, by Paul Hawkins

“A debut psychological thriller that will forever change the way you look at other people’s lives.”

 

 

 

 

carrier

The Carrier, by Sophie Hannah

“The latest in Sophie Hannah’s internationally bestselling Zailer & Waterhouse series, named by The Sunday Times as one of the 50 Best Thrillers of the Last Five Years”

 

 

 

westof

West of Sunset, by Stewart O’Nan

“A ‘rich, sometimes heartbreaking’ (Dennis Lehane) novel of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s last years in Hollywood”

 

 

 

whenthe

When the Facts Change, by Tony Judt

“In an age in which the lack of independent public intellectuals has often been sorely lamented, the historian Tony Judt played a rare and valuable role, bringing together history and current events, Europe and America, what was and what is with what should be.”

 

 

love

Love and Friendship, by Jane Austen

“Austen’s hilarious early stories and sketches—complete with her delightfully quirky spelling habits—now collected in one gorgeous clothbound volume”

 

 

 

 

nofortunate

No Fortunate Son, by Brad Taylor

“In the latest military thriller from the retired Delta Force Operator and New York Times bestselling author, a hostage situation places America’s most powerful political elite at the mercy of its worst enemies.”

 

 

 

coldcold

Cold Cold Heart, by Tami Hoag

“#1 New York Times bestselling author Tami Hoag delivers a shocking new thriller”

 

 

 

 

insatiable

Insatiable Appetites, by Stuart Woods

“Stone Barrington returns in the new action-packed thriller from the #1 New York Times–bestselling author.”

 

 

 

brain'sway

The Brain’s Way of Healing, by Norman Doidge M.D. 

“The New York Times bestselling author of The Brain That Changes Itself presents astounding advances in the treatment of brain injury and illness”

 

 

 

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Editor's desk photoOne of the greatest pleasures of my editorial career was introducing Mark Greaney to Tom Clancy. I knew that Tom needed a new co-author, and I was absolutely sure that Mark was the best fit. He is a dedicated researcher, brilliant writer and, not incidentally, a huge Clancy fan. I knew they would be a good match both professionally and personally. Indeed, they hit it off so well at their first face to face meeting that what was supposed to be a short meet and greet turned into a three hour conversation.

Their pairing led to three #1 New York Times bestselling novels. Rarely have I been this right about something. (Just ask my wife and kids).

So when, after Tom’s untimely passing, his family decided to continue the Jack Ryan saga, I knew that Mark was the right man for the job. While I had faith in him, I recognized that this was a daunting task. It’s one thing to work with the master, but striking out on your own with a character as iconic as Jack Ryan is a formidable challenge.

Once again, I’ve been proven correct (Take that wife and kids!). Full Force and Effect is a worthy successor to Tom’s own books. It’s a sprawling story of international intrigue with plenty of high tech action and a shockingly personal twist.

A new young leader has arisen in North Korea. Like his predecessors he plans to build his nation’s nuclear program, but unlike them he has an edge. A recent discovery of mineral wealth has given the Hermit Kingdom the money it needs to accelerate those efforts. In the Oval Office, President Jack Ryan recognizes both the danger posed by a nuclear armed Korea and the limits of his ability to respond without adequate intelligence. But how does one place an agent in the most closed society on Earth?

FullForce&EffectWe may have started this project with some trepidation, but Mark Greaney has more than risen to the challenge. His great respect for the classic characters of Tom Clancy shines through in this mesmerizing thriller. It’s my absolute pleasure to share it with you.


Penguin_Hotline_Cover_Photo_2

 

We’re in full swing for the holidays, with over 300 Penguin employees working hard making personal book recommendations on the Penguin Hotline!

As John said last week, we were delighted and amazed by the huge enthusiasm you all showed for this service.

I’ve been plugging away, sending out the emails from our employees to you. I’ve even gotten some good gift ideas just from reading the recommendations.

Just to give you an idea of how thoughtful and thorough our employees are, here’s an excerpt from one of the emails, sent by our own Farin:

Happy Holidays! Thank you for contacting the Penguin Hotline. I’m so excited to pass some great book recommendations your way!

I love knitting as well and swear by Last-Minute Knitted Gifts by Joelle Halverson – the patterns are easy and beautiful and don’t take a million years to finish.

To satisfy your reader’s non-crafting reading interests, though, I highly recommend the All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness. It combines all the great elements of fantasy: supernatural beings (in this case, a witch and a vampire – but not the Twilight kind), time travel, a twisted villain, and a great love story. It’s one of my absolute favorite series. And if your reader loves Doctor Who, you will love Outlander by Diana Gabaldon – she actually took inspiration for her leading male character from a Highlander who appeared with the Second Doctor.

Finally, for historical fiction, there is no one better than Beatriz Williams, in my humble opinion, so I would definitely pick up The Secret Life of Violet Grant, which captures both 1960s New York and Berlin in 1914.

Happy reading and shopping!

Farin, Marketing

I’ll quit bragging about the Hotline now… and let a few other people do it for me! Look at the lovely things people have been saying on twitter:

 

There’s still time to ask for a personal book recommendation from the Penguin Hotline! The page is up until 12/23, for all you last minute shoppers. Let us dish about the books we think you and your giftees will love!

Penguin_Hotline_Social_Share_3


Penguin_Hotline_Personalized_Facebook_Post2When I was told I was assigned a project for the President of Penguin, scenes from The West Wing immediately flooded my head.  Would we be meeting all hours of the day and night? Did I have to perfect my walk and talk skills? Was Penguin’s President, just like President Jed Barlett, a master of the jacket flip?  If you get none of these references, then you need to immediately stop and search YouTube for “Jed Bartlett Jacket Flip” and “West Wing Walk and Talk”.  Don’t worry. I’ll wait.

All caught up?  Great.  Anyway, my first actual thought was “What is this big project?”  I soon found out: the Penguin Hotline.  Madeline McIntosh, the new President of Penguin Publishing Group, envisioned a service akin to the Butterball Turkey Hotline made so popular during the holiday season.  For more than three decades, Butterball has been answering calls — and lately tweets and e-mails — from amateur cooks who need advice about their turkeys. Why not bring that same kind of service to book selection questions, Madeline wondered?   Why struggle with the research and uncertainty involved in deciding what book to get someone when you could instead have a book publishing professional offer you a tailor-made set of recommendations?

Penguin_Hotline_Profile_Picture

Well, I’m proud to say that after weeks of hard work, the vision is complete and underway.  Penguins from across the company (317 Penguins, to be precise) banded together from all corners of the office.  Not just marketers, editors, sales people and publicists, but also colleagues from administration, legal, operations, copyrights, managing editorial, design and more—every department joined in.

With the volunteers in place, the site built and the advertising ready, only one question remained:  would they come?  We had built it, but would people use it?  Would we be recommending tons of books each day or would we be sitting around, quoting the West Wing (which, coincidentally, a lot of us can do at the same time)?   Well, I’m happy to report that after a week of the Hotline being open for business, it is most assuredly the former.   We have been flooded with (over 1,500!) requests from book lovers asking us to recommended books for them, their children, spouses, parents, grandparents, cousins, friends, neighbors, coworkers and more!

So, what are you waiting for?  Don’t know what to get the friend who loves New Girl and likes to read historical fiction?  Stumped about the cousin who hasn’t picked up a book in ages?   Concerned about what to get your neighbor who has a penchant for firearms AND baking?  Well, c’mon and ask the Hotline!  The Penguins are waiting for you.

www.penguinhotline.com


emilyhartley

Emily Hartley still can’t believe she works at Penguin and moonlights at the best little bookshop in New York City. Thanks to these two gigs, her life mostly consists of books, food, and books, supplemented by other “activities” like volleyball, running, baking, and city exploration. She likes to think she is large and contains multitudes. Though recently deemed “an honorary New Yorker” by someone whose opinion matters a lot to her, she is still a Midwesterner at heart.

 

 

christmas

A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens

You’ve probably seen the movie, maybe even the play, but have you read the story? I hadn’t since middle school, and then a few Christmases ago, I decided to re-read it, aloud, with a few friends. And thus a new tradition was born. Beyond the story’s heartwarming ending and perfect holiday-season message, Dickens’ wit and ability to turn a sentence is absolutely unmatched. I’d suggest grabbing some hot cocoa,  a warm blanket, and a copy of Penguin’s festive new Christmas Classics edition and starting your own tradition this year.

 

 

 

emerson

The Portable Emerson, by Ralph Waldo Emerson

There are lots of quotes to live your life by, but for some reason, this one from Emerson’s “The American Scholar” has stuck with me: “Time shall teach him, that the scholar loses no hour which the man lives.” This is what I love about Emerson—the idea that knowledge and experience go hand in hand, that interacting with the world is one of the best ways to learn. For me, it means never turning down a chance to try something new and looking for positive points to take away from every situation. I’ve applied Emerson to deal with everything from my high school basketball team to teaching English abroad. Basically, THE PORTABLE EMERSON is the only self-help book I’ll admit to reading, with writing that’s just as inspirational as its message.

 

oncetherewasawar

Once There Was a War, by John Steinbeck

Few people think of John Steinbeck as a war correspondent, due mostly to the fact that Once There Was a War—his collected WWII dispatches—wasn’t published until 15 years after he wrote the stories. Had this not been the case, I’m convinced you couldn’t mention Ernie Pyle’s work without bringing up Steinbeck’s, as well. The accounts in Once There Was a War are wonderfully diverse, from eerie, layered descriptions of  landing on the English shore to tongue-and-cheek stories about drunken war correspondents and soldiers’ superstitions. Together, they capture the unreality of war, the inability to describe anything but one’s own experience, and the uncertainty of calling anything the “truth.” I can say it no better than Steinbeck does in his beautifully reflective Introduction to the collection, written in 1958:

“For what they are worth, or for what they may recapture, here they are, period pieces, fairy tales, half-meaningless memories of a time and of attitudes which have gone forever from the world, a sad and jocular recording of a little part of a war I saw and do not believe, unreal with trumped-up pageantry.”

letters

Letters to a Young Poet, by Rainer Maria Rilke

I read this book twice in one evening, and still I don’t know how Rainer Maria Rilke manages to say so much about life, love, and creativity in such a brief set of writings. Rilke’s prose is every bit as lovely as his poetry, sweeping you up in its perfect pacing and making you wonder if, in the age of emails and text messages, there will ever be another set of letters written so beautifully. I was astonished by Rilke’s progressive stance on sexuality, and by the time I was done reading, I felt like one big mass of humanity, neither man nor woman, just human, full of a Whitman-esque appreciation for the interconnectedness of the world. That’s not bad for a couple of hours’ reading.

 

 

middlemarch

Middlemarch, by George Eliot

Honestly, MIDDLEMARCH has it all: politics, love, deception, redemption. I love the way the novel weaves between its comedy-of-manners romance and England’s political and social climate. It somehow feels expansive and intelligent, cozy and indulgent, all at the same time. The characters that fill this world are so complex. They are flawed, morally unsteady, and quite unreliable; or, to look at it another way, they are us, and that’s what makes them so relatable. No other book has drawn me in to Victorian England quite like this one. Here’s a proposition: you tell me you don’t like Victorian literature, and I’ll give you MIDDLEMARCH. Case closed.

 

 

Find more books on the Penguin Classics page!

See Staff Picks for all our categories! 


This morning the New York Times Book Review released their 100 Notable Books of 2014 list. We are happy to announce that 14 Penguin books made the list! How many have you read?

BoySnowGirlIn Fiction & Poetry:

Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi

From the prizewinning author of Mr. Fox, the Snow White fairy tale brilliantly recast as a story of family secrets, race, beauty, and vanity. Dazzlingly inventive and powerfully moving, Boy, Snow, Bird is an astonishing and enchanting novel. With breathtaking feats of imagination, Helen Oyeyemi confirms her place as one of the most original and dynamic literary voices of our time.

ABriefHistoryofSevenKillings
A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James

From the acclaimed author of The Book of Night Women comes one of the year’s most anticipated novels, a lyrical, masterfully written epic that explores the attempted assassination of Bob Marley in the late 1970s. 

EverythingINeverToldYouEverything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet . . . So begins the story of this exquisite debut novel, about a Chinese American family living in 1970s small-town Ohio. A profoundly moving story of family, history, and the meaning of home, Everything I Never Told You is both a gripping page-turner and a sensitive family portrait, exploring the divisions between cultures and the rifts within a family, and uncovering the ways in which mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, and husbands and wives struggle, all their lives, to understand one another. Start Reading

LenaFinkleLena Finkle’s Magic Barrel by Anya Ulinich

Anya Ulinich turns her sharp eye toward the strange, often unmooring world of “grown-up” dating in this darkly comic graphic novel. After her fifteen-year marriage ends, Lena Finkle gets an eye-opening education in love, sex, and loss when she embarks on a string of online dates, all while raising her two teenage daughters.

TheMagician's Land
The Magician’s Land by Lev Grossman

An intricate thriller, a fantastical epic, and an epic of love and redemption that brings the Magicians trilogy to a magnificent conclusion, confirming it as one of the great achievements in modern fantasy. It’s the story of a boy becoming a man, an apprentice becoming a master, and a broken land finally becoming whole. Start Reading

MotherlandFatherlandMotherland Fatherland Homelandsexuals by Patricia Lockwood

Colloquial and incantatory, the poems in Patricia Lockwood’s second collection address the most urgent questions of our time, like: what if a deer did porn? Is America going down on Canada? What happens when Niagara Falls gets drunk at a wedding? The steep tilt of Lockwood’s lines sends the reader snowballing downhill, accumulating pieces of the scenery with every turn. This book is serious and funny at the same time, like a big grave with a clown lying in it.

PanicInASuitcasePanic in a Suitcase by Yelena Akhtiorskaya

A dazzling debut novel about a Russian immigrant family living in Brooklyn and their struggle to learn the new rules of the American Dream. In striking, arresting prose loaded with fresh and inventive turns of phrase, Yelena Akhtiorskaya has written the first great novel of Brighton Beach: a searing portrait of hope and ambition, and a profound exploration of the power and limits of language itself, its ability to make connections across cultures and generations. Start Reading

ThePayingGuestThe Paying GuestS by Sarah Waters

It is 1922, and London is tense. Ex-servicemen are disillusioned; the out-of-work and the hungry are demanding change. And in South London, in a genteel Camberwell villa—a large, silent house now bereft of brothers, husband, and even servants—life is about to be transformed as impoverished widow Mrs. Wray and her spinster daughter, Frances, are obliged to take in lodgers. A love story, a tension-filled crime story, and a beautifully atmospheric portrait of a fascinating time and place, The Paying Guests is Sarah Waters’s finest achievement yet. Start Reading

Redeployment
Redeployment by Phil Klay

Phil Klay takes readers to the frontlines of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, asking us to understand what happened there, and what happened to the soldiers who returned. Interwoven with themes of brutality and faith, guilt and fear, helplessness and survival, the characters in these stories struggle to make meaning out of chaos. Start Reading

 

In Non-Fiction:

EmbattledEmbattled Rebel by James M. McPherson

History has not been kind to Jefferson Davis. His cause went down in disastrous defeat and left the South impoverished for generations. If that cause had succeeded, it would have torn the United States in two and preserved the institution of slavery. Many Americans in Davis’s own time and in later generations considered him an incompetent leader, if not a traitor. Not so, argues James M. McPherson. From the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Battle Cry of Freedom, a powerful new reckoning with Jefferson Davis as military commander of the Confederacy.

 

ForcingForcing the Spring by Jo Becker

A tour de force of groundbreaking reportage by Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Jo Becker, Forcing the Springis the definitive account of five remarkable years in American civil rights history: when the United States experienced a tectonic shift on the issue of marriage equality. Beginning with the historical legal challenge of California’s ban on same-sex marriage, Becker expands the scope to encompass all aspects of this momentous struggle, offering a gripping behind-the-scenes narrative told with the lightning pace of the greatest legal thrillers. Start Reading

Invisible
Invisible History of the Human Race by Christine Kenneally

We are doomed to repeat history if we fail to learn from it, but how are we affected by the forces that are invisible to us? In The Invisible History of the Human Race Christine Kenneally draws on cutting-edge research to reveal how both historical artifacts and DNA tell us where we come from and where we may be going. Start Reading

 

NapoleanNapoleon: A Life by Andrew Roberts
An award-winning historian, Roberts traveled to fifty-three of Napoleon’s sixty battle sites, discovered crucial new documents in archives, and even made the long trip by boat to St. Helena. He is as acute in his understanding of politics as he is of military history. Here at last is a biography worthy of its subject: magisterial, insightful, beautifully written, by one of our foremost historians.

 

WorldOrder

World Order by Henry Kissinger

Henry Kissinger offers a deep meditation on the roots of international harmony and global disorder. Drawing on his experience as one of the foremost statesmen of the modern era—advising presidents, traveling the world, observing and shaping the central foreign policy events of recent decades—Kissinger now reveals his analysis of the ultimate challenge for the twenty-first century: how to build a shared international order in a world of divergent historical perspectives, violent conflict, proliferating technology, and ideological extremism. Start Reading

 


wesley

Wesley Salazar is a Marketing & Publicity Assistant at Blue Rider Press. She lives in Brooklyn with the worst cat and many shelves of books.

 

 

 

 

 

 

citizens

Citizens of the Green Room, by Mark Leibovich

When Mark Leibovich’s book THIS TOWN was first published in 2013, it ruffled feathers across the nation for calling out major players in Washington, D.C. and beyond. It became the book on politics for both the politically savvy and the politically naive, because it was insightful, fresh and incredibly entertaining. Leibovich’s newest book is CITIZENS OF THE GREEN ROOM, a fantastic collection of profiles of today’s most compelling figures in politics, media and popular culture. The collection highlights the timelessness of Leibovich’s reporting and how even when things change, they also stay the same.

Sidenote: Did you know that before Glenn Beck became a polarizing, Mormon TV and radio host, he was a “married, divorced, ponytailed and seemingly at a dead end” alcoholic? Or that Jeb Bush really likes e-mail? These are just two things I learned from CITIZENS OF THE GREEN ROOM. I’ve read it multiple times and I still find myself returning to the profiles…and, of course, laughing out loud.

perfect kill

The Perfect Kill, by Robert B. Baer

First thing’s first: Robert B. Baer is one of the most accomplished agents to ever work for the CIA. Remember that movie Syriana starring George Clooney? Yup, that movie was inspired by his career. So if you’re at all curious about the role of political assassination in history, you might as well learn about it from a man who spent two dangerous decades pursuing one of the world’s deadliest assassins. THE PERFECT KILL is a captivating blend of memoir, analysis of the contemporary Middle East, and exploration of the concept of political murder, which ultimately asks, “What is the definition of assassination?

 

 

womenWomen in Clothes, edited by Sheila Heti, Heidi Julavits, and Leanne Shapton

Why do we wear the clothes that we wear? Editors Sheila Heti, Heidi Julavits, and Leanne Shapton sought to explore the daily ritual of getting dressed, and it turned out to be no small task. They surveyed and collected contributions from over six hundred women of diverse backgrounds (including movers and shakers like Cindy Sherman, Kim Gordon and Lena Dunham) for this beautifully made book. On the inside, the book is super visual – it’s filled with photos, interviews, personal testimonies and illustrations – and would make the perfect gift for the holidays. WOMEN IN CLOTHES presents a sort of cultural history of women’s relationships to their clothes. And it reminds us that the process of selecting clothes reflects things about our lives, whether we realize it or not.

theknife

The Knife, by Ross Ritchell

This final pick isn’t quite a history or current events book, but it is deeply steeped in today’s international landscape. THE KNIFE is a debut novel from a former soldier in the United States Special Operations Command direct-action team, Ross Ritchell. It’s a riveting read that pulls you deep, through the adrenaline rushes of battle, the horseplay of the soldiers’ downtime, and the loneliness in between. THE KNIFE is touching, bittersweet, and beautifully written; it’s one of the most intense and authentic novels I’ve read about the day-to-day life of a soldier in the Middle East. If you liked Klay’s Redeployment, you should give THE KNIFE a try.  I am a huge fan and can’t wait for other people to pick it up.

 

 

Find more books on the Current Events & History page!

See Staff Picks for all our categories! 


Sarah guan

Sarah Guan is an editorial assistant at Ace/Roc. She’s a huge nerd and loves all things holiday-related, except for shopping mall Christmas music. She tweets at @sarah_guan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

lefthand

The Left Hand of Darkness, by Ursula K. Le Guin

Le Guin is one of my all-time favorite authors in any genre, and THE LEFT HAND OF DARKNESS is, in my opinion, one of her best books. It’s the story of an intrepid ambassador from Earth who must navigate the complex politics and culture of the ice planet Gethen with the help of the inscrutable Gethenian Estraven, whom he finds almost too alien to trust.  Le Guin manages to pack an intellectual challenge and a heart-wrenching tale of love and loss into one short volume—a true sign of a master at work. This book is a science fiction classic for good reason—if you haven’t read it, you’re missing out!

 

 

fleshandspirit

Flesh and Spirit, by Carol Berg

For fans of traditional high fantasy, one of my favorite series is New Carol Berg’s Lighthouse Duet (of which FLESH AND SPIRIT is the first book). It’s got everything we love about the genre—princes, conspiracies, murky religions and secret societies—and protagonist who’s a troubled, delightfully morally ambiguous cartographer. Who steals a book. (Since he seems to be the only person who can read it, it’s not really stealing, is it?)

In case you’re worried about series attrition, there are only two books in this duology. But if you race through them (you will!) and are hankering for more… DUST AND LIGHT, book one of the next series in this universe, was just released this summer.

 

salamandastron

Salamandastron, by Brian Jacques

It’s December, so you’re probably wracking your brains for gift ideas for the children in your life. In my experience, a Brian Jacques book never goes amiss for any kid who loves animals, adventure, and rooting for the good guys. SALAMANDASTRON was my go-to Redwall novel when I was in grade school; reading about Mara, the daughter of the noble Badger Lord, and the brave young squirrel Samkin, always reassured me that the world was fair and that good would triumph over evil.

 

 

 

whofears

Who Fears Death, by Nnedi Okorafor

If you want hard-hitting, cerebral magical realism set somewhere that isn’t your usual North American or British metropolis, Nnedi Okorafor is the author for you. She’s part Octavia Butler, part Chinua Achebe, and entirely original in her take on post-apocalyptic African fiction that manages to be simultaneously gritty and lyrical. In WHO FEARS DEATH, Okorafor weaves a tale of Onyesonwu, a child of rape shunned by both her parents’ tribes, who develops powerful and unique magic that attracts the attention of someone mysterious and powerful—someone who wants her dead. It’s a moving book about identity, tradition, spirituality, and true love in the bleakest of circumstances.

 

bloodsong

Blood Song, by Anthony Ryan

If you just can’t wait another minute for George R. R. Martin’s next book, Anthony Ryan’s new Raven’s Shadow series might just hit the spot. The first book, BLOOD SONG, introduces Vaelin Al Sorna, the estranged son of the Battle Lord of the newly-Unified Realm. His father abandons him to be raised by the warrior monks of the Faith, and Vaelin never forgets that he was stripped of his birthright, even as he becomes the deadliest swordsman the Realm has ever seen. Vaelin’s destiny draws him into secrets and conspiracies that threaten the very foundations of the kingdom, and mark him for a future greater than any he had hoped to inherit from the Battle Lord. It’s a gripping medieval tale of dark magic and Byzantine intrigue—and best of all, book two, TOWER LORD, is already available.

 

Find more books on the Science Fiction / Fantasy page

See Staff Picks for all our categories! 


photo of J Wade

Jessica Wade is a senior editor, acquiring science fiction and fantasy for Ace & Roc books, and some mystery too. But she’s become an avid romance reader since working at Penguin Random House and she’s delighted to share her can’t-miss-books on Berkley/NAL’s romance list!

 

 

 

 

onlyenchanting

Only Enchanting, by Mary Balogh

When I first started reading historicals, and kept asking people who their favorite regency author was, a name that came up over and over was Mary Balogh. Her writing is emotional, lovely, and clever, and I’ve adored every book of hers I’ve read. The newest is Only Enchanting. I’m reading it right now and it’s SO GOOD. It’s got tension and angst and wonderfully nuanced characters. People told me she was the best, and they were so right!

 

 

 

 

rogue

Rogue Spy, by Joanna Bourne

Joanna Bourne’s historicals are unusual, thrilling masterworks, set among English and French spies in roughly the time of the French revolution. Bourne’s deft dialogue, unforgettable characters, swift pacing, and rich historical detail are irresistible. Her books are mostly interlinked, and focus on secondary characters you’ve met in previous novels, so it’s a ton of fun to get to know ‘old’ characters in new ways. Her most recent book is Rogue Spy, and it’s totally wonderful. I also particularly enjoyed The Forbidden Rose and The Black Hawk.

 

 

 

justthesexiest

Just the Sexiest Man Alive, by Julie James

If you haven’t read Julie James, get thee to a bookery, and I mean NOW.  These books are The. Most. Fun. Romances. EVAR. Our whole office is essentially a big Julie James fan club. Julie writes contemporaries, and most focus on lawyers and FBI agents. Her dialogue is SOLID GOLD.  The heroines are all feisty, fun, interesting modern women, and the heroes aren’t bad either. I have introduced so many friends who have never read romance to Julie James, and to a one, the response I have gotten is basically a version of “OH MY GOD WHERE HAVE THESE BOOKS BEEN ALL MY LIFE.” Right here, kids, and by right here I mean wherever books are sold. I’ll say start with Just the Sexiest Man Alive, about a lawyer who has a famous actor, with a famous ego, assigned to shadow her. High jinks ensue. But really, every one of her books is wonderful.

 

ondublin

On Dublin Street, by Samantha Young

Samantha Young writes seriously intense contemporaries. I loved ON DUBLIN STREET, which tells the story of American, early-twenty something Joss, hiding from her past in Scotland. The hero is pretty alpha, and their romance sizzles off the page… it’s ultra emotional, angsty, and engaging, and I stayed up til 2 am to finish it in one sitting.

 

 

 

 

afterhours

After Hours, by Cara McKenna

Cara McKenna writes superhot, gritty contemporaries. When I heard in a meeting that the hero of After Hours was an orderly at a psychiatric hospital, I knew this book was something really different… and I wondered how it would work. But oh my goodness, it does. She writes fluid, searing prose, and has perfected the unusual hero (and heroine). At the very top of my TBR pile are her Hard Time (which centers around a prison library) and Lay it Down (about a motorcycle gang).

 

 

 

Find more books on the Romance page

See Staff Picks for all our categories! 


amanda

Amanda Rodell is an Associate National Account Manager in Penguin Adult sales.  She sells to Brodart and Baker & Taylor, and has been at Penguin for 6 years, devouring all the free books she can get her hands on.

 

 

 

flight

Flight of the Silvers, by Daniel Price

Flight of the Silvers is a fantastic read, both science fiction, and dystopian, with a Superhero element, and wonderful characters you can’t help but love. There are romantic and sister-relationship subplots as well.  This fast-paced story of a chosen few saved from the apocalypse will hold you rapt until the end.

 

 

 

 

 

midnight

Midnight Crossroad, by Charlaine Harris

Once again, Charlaine introduces a small southern town full of uniquely quirky characters and their supernatural problems.  This is the start of a new series with lots of potential and a murder mystery from the get-go.  The second book in the series, Day Shift, comes out in May 2015, and is even more gripping, with cameos from some characters you may recognize from the Sookie Stackhouse books.

 

 

 

 

blackdagger

The Black Dagger Brotherhood series, by JR Ward

These sexy vampire romances may be too steamy to read on the subway, but are perfect for vacation or stay-cation.  There’s action as these warrior vampires fight for the survival of their race against the Lessors, but it’s the push and pull of the relationships that will keep you flipping the pages, thirsty for more.

 

 

 

deadtome

Dead to Me, by Anton Strout

I have the distinct please of working with the author, and love how well his witty and sardonic voice comes through in his books. This is the first in the Simon Canderous series, in which a paranormal investigator uses his powers to solve otherworldly crimes.  Perfect for fans of Jim Butcher, you’re sure to love this romp through the extraordinary underworld of NYC with wise-cracking detectives as your guides.

 

 

 

 

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