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!

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 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

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

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

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 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!

IMG_20150401_140930Zarren Mykhail Kuzma is a Sales Analyst for Penguin Young Readers Group. By day, he reads vertically in many excel grids. By night, he reads horizontally in many books. His B minus sense of humor is well known throughout the land. You can follow him on Twitter @zmkuzma… if you dare.



The Toymaker’s Apprentice by Sherri L. Smith

So, we read a lot of books here. (It’s the nature of the work, and, of course, many Penguins are also book nerds.) But, for me, there are some moments when lethargy strikes and it’s difficult to really get into a groove with a book. I might recklessly start and stop any number of titles, looking for something to scratch that reading itch, but nothing seems to work. Toymaker’s Apprentice is a book that brought me out of one of these funks, and in a way, reminded me why I like to read. On its surface, it’s a clever retelling of the Nutcracker, but at its core it’s an adventure, an exploration of secrets and magic, and a truly imaginative storytelling wonder.



The Glass Sentence by S. E. Grove

The Glass Sentence flew under my radar at first. It sat on my shelf for ages before I decided to give it a try even though the premise always stuck out to me: Earth placed in utter chaos because of a mysterious disaster that has thrown every continent into a different historical period of time. It wasn’t until I started this book that I began to realize that it was legitimately marvelous. I mean look at this example list of things that you’ll encounter if you read it: magical maps, ghosts, pirates, plant people, train escapes, and steampunk. Can you really ask for anything else?

Start Reading an Excerpt!



Circus Mirandus by Cassie Beasley

When I read Circus Mirandus, two images come to my mind. The first is the story itself. This book transports you to place that is warm, magical, and filled with wonder. It honestly has the feel of an instant classic in the mold of Roald Dahl or J. M. Barrie. The second image—which is related—is of a parent and a child reading together, sharing this book. This is one of those books that you keep on the nightstand and read a little every night to your children before they fall asleep. (I say that, and I don’t even have kids.) I think it’s the kind of book that can inspire a lifelong love of reading and will be remembered by many for years and years to come.

Start Reading an Excerpt!




An Ember In The Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

There are books that cause me to miss my subway/train stop. There are also books that—after finishing them—make me miss the main characters because of everything that I’ve endured with them. An Ember in the Ashes does both. This YA novel is particularly special because of one key trait: honesty. That might seem strange to say, but this fantasy boldly confronts some of the terrible things that we encounter in real life. Sexism, abuse, slavery, violence—Ember in the Ashes rips away the veil and forces you to openly confront the potential for people to be both good and evil.

Start Reading an Excerpt!



Philip K. Dick: Four Novels of The 1960s by Philip K. Dick

I remember the first story I read by Philip K. Dick. At the time, I didn’t know that he was one of the most famous science fiction authors of all time, whose works have spawned a hefty number of films. Blade Runner (1982), Total Recall (1990 and 2002), and Minority Report (2002), are just a few. The story is called “Shell Game”, and I remember my exact emotional arc: utterly confused at the beginning, mesmerized by the clarity and reveals in the middle, and shocked (and a little depressed) at the end. “Shell Game” and, in fact, much of Philip K. Dick’s work plays with expectations, challenges reality, and in an odd way says quite a bit about human nature. After reading “Shell Game”, I picked up this exact collection of his novels and became a Philip K. Dick fan 4 lyfe.



The Corpse Exhibition: And Other Stories of Iraq by Hassan Blasim

I don’t even know where to begin with this one. It’s jarring, it’s comic, it’s fantasy and reality smashed together in a bleakly dark wartime scenario. I was recently asked by a friend of mine, “What book that’s come out recently do you think that everyone should read?” I tend to recommend books based on who’s asking for the suggestion, but this question warranted only one answer: The Corpse Exhibition. There are so many reasons to read this book both social (it’s about the Iraq war from an Iraqi perspective) and literary (Hassan Blasim is, in my mind, an Iraqi Gabriel García Márquez or Julio Cortázar). But ultimately, this collection simply opens you up to something completely new. Just one story in and you know that you’re about to read something that you’ve never seen before.


Find more books on the Sci-Fi & Fantasy page

See Staff Picks for all our categories!


Tyler Fields is the publicity assistant for Tarcher & Perigee. He is from Texas, has lived in Indiana, and is glad finally to call NYC home.  @TD_Fields


Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi

To begin, allow me to recall Porochista Khakpour’s (author of the stunning novel, The Last Illusion) New York Times review of Oyeyemi’s inimitable Boy, Snow, Bird in which she references both Kanye West’s infamous “Bound 2” music video and Freud’s notion of the uncanny in the first paragraph. If this doesn’t absolutely sell you – as it did me – then here’s more: Oyeyemi’s fifth novel contorts itself through myriad genres as it investigates, comments upon, and criticizes the complexities of race, identity, gender, and so much more in the modern age.

Start Reading an Excerpt!


Panic in a Suitcase by Yelena Akhtiorskaya

What point to highlight first? Akhtiorskaya’s beautiful and swift prose? That this is my favorite emigrate-to-America novel since Jeffrey Eugenides’s Middlesex (2002)? Or that such a brilliant novel could possibly be a debut? Regardless of why you choose to begin this searing novel, you’ll finish wondering why you hadn’t yet devoured the cross-cultural portrait of hope, ambition, and discovery in the first place.

Start Reading an Excerpt!


frog-by-mo-yan 2

Frog by Mo Yan

Nobel-laureate Mo Yan’s eleventh novel, Frog is about a woman called Gugu whose staunch attempts to prove her alliance to China’s Communist Party and its one-child policy lead her to performing compulsory IUDs, vasectomies, and late-term abortions. It is about loyalty, allegiance, and the fine line between the two. And above all, Yan’s epic is a pointed commentary about political, economic, and social behavior under which women continue to suffer at the hands of reckless male politicians and son-fixated husbands.

Start Reading an Excerpt!

fates-and-furies-by-lauren-groff 2

Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff

For those of you reading this before September 15, 2015, delight in this preview to what is sure to be one of the most widely talked about and highly acclaimed novels of the year.

For those of you reading this post-publication, delight in the knowledge that Groff’s unforgettable novel is available to read at this very moment.

Personally, I will glean joy in remembering how a galley described to me only as “an exhilarating novel about marriage, creativity, art, and perception,” stunned me with penetrating, surprising prose and a unique, wholly original narrative. This book is not about the aforementioned aspects, it is an immersive experience with them.

hiding-in-plain-sight-by-nuruddin-farah 2

Hiding in Plain Sight by Nuruddin Farah

To my mind, by and far the most striking element of Farah’s novel is his uncanny ability to utilize the narrative of a woman’s journey to Nairobi as a mirroring device from which he reflects upon the instability of the region wherein the novel is set. Absolutely, Farah is a gifted writer, but more importantly, he is able to highlight beautifully the consequences of displacement – both as it affects a single woman, but also as it applies to an entire population.

Start Reading an Excerpt!


BONUS because this is, as far as I can tell, not the second, but the third time the following title has been recommended.

everything-i-never-told-you-by-celeste-ng 2

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

The potential energy wrapped into the opening of Ng’s novel, “Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet,” is tantamount to the zenith of a rising object – all that’s left is to fall. Everything I Never Told You is the story of a Chinese American family living in 1970s small-town Ohio, forced to confront and live with the death of a child. Poignant, profound, and deeply moving, this novel is the portrait of a family and its individual members whose lives come crashing from a highest height.

Start Reading an Excerpt!



Find more books on the Literary Fiction page.

See Staff Picks for all our categories!
















Briana Woods-Conklin is an Associate Manager of Advertising and Consumer Marketing for Penguin Young Readers. Books are one of her favorite things, and she loves surrounding herself with them. But boy, are they heavy when you’re moving to a new apartment!

roll-of-thunder-hear-my-cry-by-mildred-d-taylor 2


Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor

I remember reading this book in sixth grade. And I remember it so clearly because when I was reading, I was so engrossed in the story that I didn’t want to do anything else. Everything just seemed to get in the way. Years later, Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry is still one of my favorite books, as rich and lovely as ever. A story of family, struggle, and the fight to understand both the world and ourselves, this book is as timeless as it is powerful.


counting-by-7s-by-holly-goldberg-sloan 2


Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan

The best books are the ones that make me want to read slowly — to linger over the language, to reread that excellent piece of dialogue, to turn the pages just a little bit slower, delaying the end and prolonging my time with the narrative. And this book made me do just that. From the very beginning, I knew this book was special. Giving the reader a look into the lives of often overlooked individuals, Counting by 7s is full of humor, sadness, joy, hope, and that intangible bit of story-magic that makes a book one you want to go back to again and again.

Start Reading an Excerpt!

madeline-by-ludwig-bemelmans 2


Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans

“In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines, lived twelve little girls in two straight lines.” I love the way this text sounds aloud! Full of rich artwork and simple but compelling text, Madeline’s grand adventures and misadventures have a special place in my heart (as does Miss Clavel!). There are so many great Madeline books, but this is the one that started it all!


ratscalibur-by-josh-lieb 2


Ratscalibur by Josh Lieb

An unexpected story where squirrels do “squagic” instead of magic, and magical rats are called “ragicians,” and one seventh grade boy-turned-rat is expected to save the kingdom, Ratscalibur is an action-packed page-turner that will keep you engaged all the way through. With fun character names, new magical terms, and an abundance of wordplay, and this is a great read-aloud. A little bit scary, a little bit gross, and full of danger, Ratscalibur is definitely a whole lot of fun.

Start Reading an Excerpt!



Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson

Roller Girl! Every time I mention this title, I feel like I need to put an exclamation point at the end of the sentence. Because Roller Girl is just so much fun! This graphic novel tackles the difficulties of friendship and the fear of trying new things through the wonderful setting of the roller derby. Not only is the art fantastic, but the story is great, too. Roller Girl speaks to all of us, who sometimes need a little encouragement to follow our passions and the bravery to be a little bit different from our friends.



Find more books on the Young Readers page.

See Staff Picks for all our categories!

10291325_2968756093118_256798680805842578_n 2


Molly Pieper is the Marketing Assistant for Plume. She lives in Connecticut but doesn’t mind the commute – it gives her plenty of time to delve into a good book!









Other People We Married by Emma Straub

I really enjoyed Straub’s collection of short stories because of her familiar and fallible characters.

Themes of love, or rather romance in some form, is a commonality throughout these twelve stories but Straub strikes a great balance.

These stories are neither cheesy nor predictable but are relatable nonetheless.  My personal favorite is “Some People Must Really Fall in Love.”






About a Boy by Nick Hornby

An oldie but a goodie. This is one of those books I’ve read over and over again and never tire of. It’s a great feel-good read.

Will Freeman, the classic bachelor type, has his world turned upside down when he meets twelve year old Markus as the result of his latest dating scheme.

As their friendship evolves, Hornby’s simultaneously funny and poignant novel reveals to the reader that when it comes to people, there is always more than meets the eye.

Start Reading an Excerpt!




This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper

I think by now most people are aware of Tropper’s novel because of the 2014 movie adaptation—but this really is a book worth reading on its own merits.

It’s more than your typical family drama. Tropper hits that sweet spot between laugh out loud funny and emotionally gripping in this portrait of a dysfunctional American family.

Start Reading an Excerpt!






Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

This was an emotional read. Ng’s portrait of a fractured family is painful, yet so beautifully written. Her third person narration and seamless movement throughout time make for an intelligently written and dynamic read. This novel is more than the tale of a young girls death and the aftermath and ensues, it’s about sacrifices and what can become of all of us after making one.

Start Reading an Excerpt!






The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

First off, I must say this book really does deserve all of the hullabaloo. It’s a smart, enthralling thriller that was hard to step away from. Hawkins protagonist Rachel is unreliable in the best kind of way; you both doubt her credibility and want to believe her. The way in which the narrative moves back and forth between different characters perspective is another element of this great book that keeps the reader devouring pages. I found myself trying to predict the ending of Girl on the Train, and was pleasantly surprised when I was completely wrong.

Start Reading an Excerpt!



Find more books on the Literary Fiction page.

See Staff Picks for all our categories!

LindseyAndrewsLindsey designs middle grade and young adult book covers for all of Penguin’s Children imprints. In her spare time she reads even more YA with her book club and fits literary trips into her travels (for example, Beatrix Potter to Harry Potter throughout the UK). She also loves wine nights in with a good rom-com or two.


me-before-you-by-jojo-moyes 2

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Guys. This book. So many feels. Me Before You came out a few years ago, but it deserves to be at the top of peoples’ to-read stack. A movie is currently in the works and you’ll be able to see Emilia Clarke (Daenerys from Game of Thrones) and Sam Claflin (Finnick from Hunger Games) take the leading roles in 2016! This book will put you on a roller coaster of emotions as you see Louise Clark try to break through the impenetrable wall that is Will Traynor after his motorcycle accident makes him a quadriplegic. But, oh how sweet it is when those walls start to crumble. Get those tissues ready (both for tears of laughter and joy and some of heartbreak).

Start Reading an Excerpt!



Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

Do you ever just get this urge to run away to Paris and fall in love with a cute boy and run around Europe together? Well, you can at least pretend and gather all of the warm fuzzies that you can in Isla and the Happily Ever After. This is the third book by Stephanie Perkins set in the same world as Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door. Isla and Josh are both from New York City but are attending the School of America in Paris. And you even get a dash of Barcelona thrown in. This book is for those travel lovers who also love a good, fun beach read. Isla and Josh’s relationship isn’t all sunshine and roses , there are some real bumps thrown in. But, it makes it all worth it.

Start Reading an Excerpt!



Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed

We need more diverse books. And this is one of them! Aisha Saeed gives you the star-crossed lovers kind of romance that you love. But, she delivers it in the form of a Pakistani-American teen whose strict immigrant parents thrust her into an unwanted marriage. Her only hope of escape is Saif, the boy she fell in love with back in America who was forbidden to her. Can he find her before it’s too late? This book is smart and eye-opening while giving you a side of love you don’t often hear about. I highly recommend it!

Start Reading an Excerpt!





Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

Let’s start at the beginning, shall we? Richelle Mead is one of the best fantasy writers out there, heavy on the romance! She’s created some of the most swoon-worthy characters and seriously complicated relationships. In the Vampire Academy series, you’ll fall for Russian bodyguard, Dimitri. He just so happens to be our main heroine’s teacher at a school for vampires. Add in some evil vampires, lots of kickbutt action, and some atypical high school drama and you get a really fun read. Also check out Richelle’s spin-off series, Bloodlines, where you get to fall in love with artistic, bad boy Adrian.

Start Reading an Excerpt!



Hold Me Closer by David Levithan

Okay, so maybe this isn’t your typical romance. If you read Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan, then you’ve already met Tiny Cooper. If you haven’t, you’re about to. Written as a screenplay to an onstage musical, (not-so-) Tiny Cooper tells you his life story through song. And lots of glitter. I don’t know how you can’t see this as a romance with titles of songs like “Summer of Gay”, “Parade of Ex-boyfriends”, and “You’re Wonderful! I Don’t Want to Date You!”. For fans of John Green, musicals, and Barbra Streisand, get out there and GET THIS BOOK!

Start Reading an Excerpt!



Find more books on the Romance page.

See Staff Picks for all our categories!



Sarah Jean Grimm is an Associate Publicist at Putnam, where she has worked for two years. She also edits on an online poetry quarterly, Powder Keg Magazine. Originally from New Jersey, she now lives in Brooklyn with her orange cat, Theodore.






We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler

This is one of the most emotionally intelligent novels I’ve ever encountered. It had me crying in public as I read it on my commute, and I still find myself thinking about its deeply captivating characters. It’s hard to articulate the particular appeal of this novel without giving away some major plot twists, but suffice it to say that Karen Joy Fowler is a master at exploring nuance, collapsing boundaries, and exposing nerves. This book takes an unblinking look at families, forgiveness, science, and language—ultimately uncovering the ways in which they overlap as part of the human (and nonhuman) experience. Devastating and necessary, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves will change you.


On Such A Full Sea by Chang-rae Lee

Chang-rae Lee’s dystopian future is that rare imaginative feat that strikes readers as simultaneously alien and impossible—if only it weren’t so likely. Set in the stratified society of a colonized America where urbanites labor for an unseen elite, a young diver named Fan ventures out of her settlement in search of her boyfriend, who has mysteriously disappeared. Lee’s writing is mesmerizing, and the world he creates is so realized and unnervingly familiar. It’s a haunting and absorbing pleasure to discover the details of this future alongside “our Fan,” whose story quickly becomes the stuff of legend.




The Peripheral by William Gibson

William Gibson’s most recent novel completely colonized my brain. Much of The Peripheral is an exercise in cognitive dissonance: the lexicon, technology, and setting are so fresh as to be almost disorienting. But Gibson’s knack for world building is a marvel; his ability to transform recognizable elements into something uncanny is unsurpassed. Add to that a gripping plot, a mystery spanning two timelines, and a cast of compelling characters. The result is hyper literary science fiction that reads like a dangerous blueprint for our own era.




Black Glass: Short Fictions by Karen Joy Fowler

In fifteen short stories, Karen Joy Fowler stretches her wit and showcases her characteristic humor. Originally published in 1998, this book will be reissued in hardcover this summer. It’s a romp through the mind of one of today’s most talented and enchanting writers. Blending the generic conventions of satire, magical realism, science fiction, myth, and more, this diverse collection investigates complex themes with profound acuity. This is immersive storytelling at its finest—a tour de force of intricate plotting, elegant prose, and humor that gives way to unexpected depth.




The Life and Death of Sophie Stark by Anna North

Told from the alternating perspectives of those closest to the title character, The Life and Death of Sophie Stark is a portrait of a visionary filmmaker whose uncompromising pursuit of her art puts her relationships at risk. Sophie Stark uses the lives of those around her as material for her films, and as her career grows, so does the cost of translating life into art. Through a medley of voices, each one vivid and distinct, Anna North examines the nature of ambition and asks to what extent it is possible to truly know someone. You’ll race through this darkly engrossing novel.


Find more books on the Literary Fiction page.

See Staff Picks for all our categories!




Anna Romig is a Marketing Coordinator for Putnam Books, where she’s worked for the last two years. She’s originally from Anchorage, Alaska.







Where All Light Tends to Go by David Joy

When I finished this book, I remember needing to physically walk away from it. It’s rare that I read something that jars me so intensely, but in a great way. David Joy’s novel, which he describes as “Appalachian noir” is a family saga, a love story about child sweethearts, and a crime thriller all at once. The story is told through the eyes of Jacob McNeely, the child of the local drug kingpin who controls the town, the people, and the police. When Jacob’s first love graduates high school and is about to leave their sleepy mountain town, Jacob fights to break away from the position he was destined to be in as his father’s heir and find a new life away from it all.




Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi

Snow White set in 1950’s New England. Boy Novak escapes New York City and her father, an abusive man who literally catches rats for a living, only to end up in the quite town of Flax Hill. As in all great fairy tales, things are not quite what they appear, and when Boy marries a local man with an enchanting daughter, Snow, things start to slowly fall apart. Without giving away the plot, there IS an evil stepmother in this fairytale, but it’s not who you think.




My Sunshine Away by M.O. Walsh

M.O. Walsh’s debut novel starts with the line, “There were four suspects in the rape of Lindy Simpson.” Obviously, this novel was not going to be bright and sunny like the title implies. Instead, it’s a dark and haunting novel set in the suburbs of Baton Rouge. Everyone knows everyone: the victim, and the suspects. As the plot unfolds, the narrator, now an adult, looks back at his ruined childhood and you realize, you never really know anyone. Even if you’re not from the south or a small town, Walsh’s prose makes you imagine yourself in this small town: a glossy picture, where just one crack exposes everything lying beneath the surface.



The Strangler Vine by MJ Carter

The Strangler Vine, the first in a new series that was a huge hit when it was published in the UK last year, introduces us to a new crime-solving duo in a novel that is part historical fiction/part mystery. Think Sherlock and Watson, plucked from London and placed in 19th century British colonized India. William Avery, a by-the-books soldier is tasked with fetching Jeremiah Blake, a secret agent who has gone rogue and run off to live with the local inhabitants, and bringing him back to civilization to find the mysterious Thuggee cult. As they travel through India, they encounter tribal wars, corrupt British government officials, and the problems that come from their own troubled pasts.



Find more books on the Literary Fiction page.

See Staff Picks for all our categories!