The perfect kind of date

Recently, a few PPL staff members had the good fortune to attend Book Expo America, an annual gathering of publishers, editors, booksellers, librarians and superfans of reading. It’s sort of like fashion week for the book industry, where publishers pull out all of the stops in an effort to reveal and promote the books they are most excited about for the upcoming months.

This year, I attended an event called “Book Group Speed Dating,” in which participants were assigned tables, and every 10 minutes, a new publisher or editor appeared to tell us about new and thought-provoking books that would make for excellent discussion. The books were intruiging, funny, relatable, exciting, and I couldn’t wait to learn more about them. All in all, they made for the perfect date! Here are just a few of my favorites that you might like to consider adding to your reading wish lists:

The Affairs of Others by Amy Grace Lloyd (publishing in August) – Celia, a young widow who refuses to let go of her grief, uses the money from her husband’s death to purchase a Brooklyn brownstone. She carefully selects low-maintenance tenants to help her pay her bills while affording her a private life. But things don’t go as planned, as Celia becomes drawn into eavesdropping on the love affair happening in the apartment above her. She soon finds herself entwined in a love affair with one of these people. This book articulates the intensity of grief, the beauty of New York City, and a story of rediscovering love.

Just What Kind of Mother Are You? by Paula Daly (publishing in September) – In this debut thriller, an overwhelmed working mother with a busy job, marriage, and three children, loses her best friend’s daughter when she forgets to pick her up from school. To make matters worse, there is a pedophile terrorizing the town. This is a perfect fit for fans of Gillian Flynn’s “Gone Girl.”

Margot by Jillian Cantor (publishing in September) – In this reimagining of Margot Frank’s life (Anne Frank’s sister), rather than dying in the concentration camp, Margot fakes her death and escapes to Philadelphia, changing her name and working as a lawyer. Her boyfriend also escapes but she can’t track him down because he hasn’t registered under the alias they had agreed upon. As Margot finds herself completely alone in a new world, Anne’s diaries have been publicized and the film comes out. She must find a way to assimilate back into humanity on her own while constantly being reminded of the atrocities she experienced and the things she lost.

David & Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell (publishing in October) – In his first book in five years, Gladwell turns the idea of the underdog on its head. When is a traumatic childhood a good thing? When does a disability leave someone better off? Do you really want your children to go to the best schools they can get into?

Perfect by Rachel Joyce (publishing in January) – After the success of Joyce’s touching love story debut, “The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry,” there are very high expectations for her next novel. Byron, a precocious 10-year-old who is highly aware of everything around him, views his mother as perfect. One morning, she is driving him to school and takes a shortcut down a street that Byron’s father has said never to go down. Byron sees his mother hit a girl on a bicycle and then drive away, never mentioning it. Byron decided to confront his mother, who says she doesn’t know what he is talking about. Is his mother keeping secrets? Is Byron seeing things?

Though these titles have yet to be published, all of them are available for reserving in our catalog, so go ahead and place hold on any of them and start the process of finding your next great read! If you participate in a local book group and would like to select any of these titles for your discussions, you can fill out our form to request multiple copies for your group.

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