Meredith Dros

Executive Managing Editor/Publishing Manager: I am responsible for coordinating the editorial, production, copyediting, art, and design processes for seven imprints here at Penguin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

godsofgotham

The Gods of Gotham, by Lyndsay Faye

Set in 1845 as new York City is forming its first police force, this is a detective story that has been compared (with good reason) to The Alienist. The story and the writing are that good.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

yardThe Yard, by Alex Grecian

It is the late 1880s in the newly formed Scotland Yard in London. A group of homicide detectives dubbed “The Murder Squad” must solve a bizarre string of crimes, where the latest target is one of their own.

 

 

 

 

 

 

girlonthetrain

The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins

Stop what you are doing and read this book. Do it now. This is such an exciting, twisty, must-get-to-the next-page-to-see-what-happens novel. It starts with Rachel, who sees something terrible one day on her daily train commute. I’m not going to tell you anything else; you’ll see why.

 

 

 

 

 

brokenharbor

Broken Harbor, by Tana French

Everyone has their own favorite Tana French novel, and this is mine. The setting is a half-finished development in the suburbs of Dublin left abandoned in the global economic crisis where a family is found murdered, and what looks like it should be an open-and-shut case turns out to be way more complicated.

 

 

 

 

 

littlestranger

The Little Stranger, by Sarah Waters

Sarah Waters is on fire right now with her wonderful novel, The Paying Guests. I would invite you to take a stab at The Little Stranger. It is one of the creepiest, most mysterious books I have ever read.

 

 

 

 

 

rulesofprey

Rules of Prey by John Sandford

I love John Sandford. In 2015, we will publish his 25th “Prey” novel, so I decided to go back and read the first one in the series where we first meet Minneapolis detective who plays by his own rules, Lucas Davenport. Rules of Prey is so scary because we get our hero’s point of view as well as the killer’s. Sleep with the lights on after reading this one.

 

 

 

 

 

Find more books on the Mystery & Suspense page!

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Anne Sowards

Anne Sowards is an Executive Editor at Ace and Roc. She taught herself to read at age 4, started with fairy tales, moved on to her dad’s science fiction collection, and hasn’t stopped since. She’s currently obsessed with Korean boy bands and Dragon Age: Inquisition. Find her on twitter as @AnneSowards.

 

 

 

 

 

Asking an editor to pick her favorite books is a bit like asking a parent to choose her favorite child. So I’m going old skool and sharing some of my favorite backlist titles with you. These are wonderful reads with strong resonance for me–some of the stories that stayed with me over the years.

ariel

Ariel, by Steven R. Boyett

I was absolutely obsessed with this book when I was a teenager and have reread it many, many times. It’s post-apocalyptic fantasy, about a young man struggling to survive in a world where technology no longer works…but magic does. As a fantasy reader, this story of what might happen if dragons and unicorns showed up in the “real” world fascinated me, and felt true to me on many levels.

 

 

 

 

onceandfuture

The Once and Future King, by T. H. White

This is hands down one of the best King Arthur retellings ever. Ironically, I read a ton of King Arthur books before I read this one, and in fact resisted the lure of The Once and Future King for many years because I thought I was “tired of King Arthur stories”. When I finally read it, I was kicking myself for waiting so long to try this charming and delightful novel!

 

 

 

 

blackjewels

The Black Jewels Trilogy, by Anne Bishop

OK, I’m cheating a bit since this is an omnibus of the first three books in Anne Bishop’s Black Jewels series, but they really do make up one epic storyline. With its dark tone and morally ambiguous heroes, Anne Bishop turned the tropes of fantasy upside down in this series, in a way that was groundbreaking for its time. It’s the story of Jaenelle, who as Witch, the most powerful magic-wielder in thousands of years, is destined to free and protect her people. And it’s also the story of Daemon Sa Diablo–the man who was born to be her lover. This is a sweeping, passionate, enthralling story; a page-turner well-worth reading.

 

 

dune

Dune, by Frank Herbert

This is a classic science fiction novel for a reason. I first stole this from my dad’s bookshelf when I was too young to really understand all the nuances, but I persevered because of the amazing, epic storyline. It’s about so many things: adventure, politics, genetic breeding programs, prophecy, ecology…but as a starting point, it’s the story of Paul Atreides, the scion of an aristocratic house THAT RULES AN ENTIRE PLANET. (As a young person I was blown away by this idea.) It’s the kind of novel you will not be able to stop thinking about.

 

 

 

guilty pleasures

Guilty Pleasures, by Laurell K. Hamilton

This is the book that began my love for urban fantasy. I was always more of an epic fantasy girl–until I read this first entry in the Anita Blake series, about a woman who raises the dead and is also the legal vampire executioner in the state of Missouri. I’d never read anything like it before, and the way Laurell K. Hamilton integrated magic with modern-day life was groundbreaking–and hugely entertaining.

 

 

 

 

Find more books on the Science Fiction / Fantasy page!

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john cassidy

Manager, Online & Digital Sales

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

napoleon

Napoleon, by Andrew Roberts

if you’re a sucker for a big, fat, epic biography on one of the greatest military and political minds of the past 500 years: here it is. Sure, there’s a lot of bios out there on Napoleon – but what makes this the edition you should read is because of Roberts’ incredible gift for storytelling and the extensive research he undertook: accessing more than 33,000 of Napoleon’s letters. What he presents is a totally new take on the general you thought you knew.

 

 

 

snowThe Snow Leopard, by Peter Matthiessen

Peter Matthiessen’s catalog ranged from fiction to nature writing, to sociology; even memoir. All of it is good. But The Snow Leopard is the one you should read if you haven’t read him (or want to). You might think that a travel memoir/1st person history about a writer trailing a biologist in the Himalayan mountains to study a mysterious cat seems like a boring read; it’s anything but.

 

 

 

 

dday

D-Day, by Anthony Beevor

Anthony Beevor’s incredible one-volume history on the battle of Normandy. In my opinion few historians can match Beevor’s gift for capturing the experience of battle: whether it be through the eyes of the grunts storming Omaha Beach; or all the way up the chain of command where a wrong decision ends up costing thousands of human lives. I learned so much from this book and after reading it had an incredible respect for any soldier that fought in this battle.

 

 

 

meetme

Meet Me in Atlantis, by Mark Adams

Where do you stand on the subject of Atlantis? You know, the possibly real / possibly made-up city-state-island of Ancient Greece that Plato wrote about, the one that sunk into the Mediterranean sea? You say: Just a Loch Ness-esque hype? Or are you a believer? Mark Adams gets to the bottom of the debate and seeks to uncover the truth once and for all in possibly one of the funniest and readable travelogues you’ll read this year.

 

 

 

blood

Blood Aces, by Doug Swanson

Never heard of Bunny Binion? Well, then, you don’t know Las Vegas all that well, do you? Buckle up and let Swanson take you on wild ride of the life of racketeer turned Casino owner Binion, who put Sin City on the map, who created The World Series of Poker Tournament, and, a larger than life figure: “the most unforgettable character I ever met.” Corruption, violence, greed, redemption, gambling – this has it all!

 

 

 

 

Find more books on the Current Events & History page!

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christina brower

Christina Brower is an assistant editor at New American Library, where she happily edits romances and sci-fi/fantasy. In her other life, you can find her sitting in her favorite armchair with a cup of tea and a good book, or marathoning Lord of the Rings for the umpteenth time. And despite a lifetime of looking, she has yet to find the door to Narnia.

 

 

deaduntildark

Dead Until Dark, by Charlaine Harris

New to the world of paranormal books and supernatural beings? Try the first book in Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse series on for size. When I first picked this book up, I had a hard time putting it down—and one week later I was four books into the series. It’s the perfect mixture of paranormal romance, mystery, and action with cast of enchanting characters to keep you entertained (and swooning). Really, it’s no wonder why this series is so popular.

 

 

 

fireborn

Fireborn, by Keri Arthur

What, may you ask, could be better than a book paranormal about werewolves and vampires? A book about phoenixes. Now, I’m sure Keri Arthur isn’t the first author to pen a book about these supernaturals, but throw in some fascinatingly unique mythology, a different spin on vamps, and three strong fictional crush candidates, and you have one fiery series debut.

 

 

 

 

avengers

Avengers Heat, by Katie Reus

A wolfishly sexy read that will leave you howling for more! This was the first book I picked up by Katie, and I loved it so much that I went back and started the series from the beginning. Readers looking for a unique paranormal series, will find this one full of potential and brimming with sexual tension.

 

 

 

 

 

shadowreader

The Shadow Reader, by Sandy Williams

Normally, I’m not a huge fan of books about fae, but this one completely changed my mind. It’s almost impossible to review this book without gushing. For me, one of the hardest things I think an author can take on is writing a believable and engaging love triangle. If handled badly, it can ruin the whole story. Sandy Williams has not only written an excellent love triangle that will have readers torn, but an outstanding paranormal fantasy with an equally amazing heroine.

 

 

 

Find more books on the Paranormal page

See Staff Picks for all our categories! 


Things are slowing down here at Penguin Headquarters. Thinking about how fast 2014 has felt, I wonder as usual, where does the time go? This year has been full of exciting new launches: the new Penguin.com, Penguin Hotline, Beaks & Geeks podcast, Penguin tumblr, and this very blog. Time for some well-deserved R&R over the Holidays so we can return in 2015 refreshed and ready to get started on what’s next.

The Grand Master of Adventure himself, Clive Cussler, made an appearance on the Beaks & Geeks podcast. He was such a pleasure to interview: fascinating, intelligent, charming, and full of quips. His stories both on and off paper are thrilling, and we were lucky to have him on our program. Enjoy!

 

Earlier this month, I went on a wonderful vacation to Argentina & Uruguay. I had never been to South America before, and it was everything I had hoped for and more. Being a bookworm in Buenos Aires, my first tourist stop was El Ateneo. Once a theater in the 1900′s, this space was converted into a book store. Named the 2nd Best Bookshop in the World by The Guardian, Ateneo’s magnificent display of literature is not only difficult to process, but nearly impossible to photograph. Thank Apple for that panorama feature. Check out this glorious view.

Ateneo

And with that, I must bid you all adieu. This will be our last @TheOffice post of 2014. We Penguins will see you in 2015. Signing out of TheOffice…

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy New Year!

Lindsay


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”

 

 

 

Find more Coming Soon books here

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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!