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Editor's Picks
 


The Remedy: Robert Koch, Arthur Conan Doyle, and the Quest to Cure Tuberculosis by Thomas Goetz (April 3, Gotham) Most people in the United States have forgotten what it was like to be constantly threatened by deadly communicable diseases. Just a century and a half ago, though, tuberculosis caused the deaths of a full third of the population and the scientific community was not even sure what caused it, nor how it spread. In The Remedy, Goetz tells the fascinating story of Robert Koch’s discovery of the bacteria that caused TB, and of his ill-fated attempts to cure the disease in a way that was easily accessible, even by those with no more than high school biology. Woven into this story is that of Arthur Conan Doyle, and his ever-engrossing creation, Sherlock Holmes. Combining the history of medicine and literature may seem an odd choice, by Koch and Conan Doyle’s lives and work intersect in ways that help Goetz clearly illuminate the lasting influence of both. â€”Jen Karsbaek

The Promise by Ann Weisgarber (April 1, Skyhorse Publishing) The Promise is an intriguing and poignant “outsider” tale juxtaposing the narratives of two strong women who are forced to interact when a hastily arranged marriage remakes them as maid and mistress in the household of a grieving widower and his young son.  The novel superbly explores women’s limited choices and agency in both love and career at the beginning of the 20th century. Weisgarber wisely sets her tale of longing and heartbreak against the haunting backdrop of logistically isolated Galveston, Texas, on the eve of one of the most destructive storms of the twentieth century. The Promise is an achievement not only for its fascinating historical perspective and detail, but for its deeply drawn characters and intimate portrayal of the demands of duty, loyalty, love and sacrifice. —Nicole Bonía
 


All that is Solid Melts into Air by Darragh McKeon (April 29, Harper Perennial) Set in 1986, the year of the meltdown at Chernobyl, this novel traces the aftermath of the disaster and with it the collapse of the Soviet Union through the viewpoint of several distinct and intertwining characters. The devastation serves as the impetus, the spark behind the change and reshaping of their lives. A brilliant and dramatic debut, this novel leaves behind a message that both inspires and terrifies.—Jenn Lawrence

Be Safe I Love You by Cara Hoffman (April 1, Simon & Schuster) Gorgeous and moving, Be Safe I Love You provides a glimpse into the mind of a woman trying to come home after serving in Iraq. Though there is a thread of mystery surrounding Lauren’s wartime experiences, it’s really the astoundingly written relationships that are at the heart of this luminous novel.—Swapna Krishna

                        
Frog Music by Emma Donoghue (April 1, Little, Brown and Company) Set in 1870s San Francisco, a French burlesque dancer and courtesan struggles to stay alive after the murder of her unorthodox friend.  The dark world of dandies, pimps, and prostitutes is made vibrant and real by Donoghue’s electric prose.  Written in the present tense, the story races from both the dramatic plot - a small pox epidemic, a crippling heatwave, babyfarms - and the messy world inhabited by the main characters. â€”Audra Friend

Hidden by Catherine McKenzie (April 1, New Harvest) What happens when a man’s death leaves two women mourning? Alternately told by Jeff, his wife Claire, and his co-worker Tish, Hidden explores the definitions and boundaries of love, loyalty, and adultery in the age of Facebook, email, and video conferencing.  McKenzie immediately engages readers with her fast paced and witty storytelling and leaves them reevaluating long after they finish. -Jennifer Conner



Natchez Burning by Greg Iles (April 29, 2014, William Morrow) The explosive first installment of a new trilogy, Natchez Burning whisks readers into the deep South where the crimes, secrets, and lies of the Civil Rights era still burn deep, only to resurface when least expected. Iles does not disappoint with his first novel in five years, successfully mixing a languid Southern atmosphere with a dizzying plot pace certain to keep readers riveted. â€”Michele Jacobsen

Mr. Loverman by Bernadine Evaristo (April 1, Akashic Books) Mr. Loverman is a hilarious and thought-provoking read about identify, secrecy, and what it means to be free.  Barrington “Barry” Walker is seventy-four year old, has been married for fifty years, and is harboring a huge secret. He’s secretly in love with his best friend, Morris. Everything about this book is unusual but only a writer of Evaristo’s talent could pull it off. Mr. Loverman is beautifully written book that will leave readers wanting to discuss it with everyone they know.  â€”Natasha Vasillis



Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Celebrating the Joys of Letter Writing by Nina Sankovitch (April 15, Simon & Schuster) When Sankovitch’s son headed off to college she began to think about the long tradition of letter writing. She thoughtfully explores not only the advantages that written correspondence has over electronic communications but also surveys a variety of notable notes, all of which explore different facets of what letters have meant to both writers and recipients. â€”Jen Karsbaek


The Geometry of Love by Jessica Levine (April 8, She Writes Press) Unfulfilled artistic longing and a pathological bent for uncertainty drives an aspiring poet to risk her staid, yet stable relationship in pursuit of an influential creative from her past. Set in 1980s New York City, the angst nearly bleeds from the page in this sharp look at one woman’s impassioned attempts at self-realization in both love and art. â€”Nicole Bonía



Plus One by Elizabeth Fama (April 8,  Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)) Don't call it dystopian, but Fama's thrilling new novel tackles a society where people have permission to either be out during the day (rays) or the night (smudges), but not both. While trying to do a favor for her dying grandfather, Smudge Sol breaks her curfew and goes on the run with a day boy, setting up an epic star-crossed romance. Plus One is heartbreakingly perfect. —Lenore Appelhans

Postcards from Cookie: A Memoir of Motherhood, Miracles, and Whole Lot of Mail by Caroline Clarke (April 15, Harper) Caroline Clarke approached her adoption agency simply looking for a basic medical history. She never imagined the details they provided would lead her to the woman who gave her up 37 years ago, Carole “Cookie” Cole, the daughter of crooner Nat King Cole. Clarke’s reconnection to her mother through a dizzying array of correspondence is the backbone of this touching tribute to the power of families of all kinds. —Kim Ukura



The Here and Now by Ann Brashares (April 8, Delacorte Press) In The Here and Now, Brashares tells a riveting tale of time travel that is equal parts mystery, thriller, and forbidden romance. The difficult choice and impossible consequences give a depth and nuance to a story that will have readers racing through the pages to know how the shape of the future can be changed. —Amy Riley

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin (April 1, Algonquin Books) Book lovers everywhere will flock to The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, an enchanting story of a cynical and down-trodden bookstore owner who finds hope and redemption in the most unexpected of places. Uniquely plotted and overflowing with a delightful and eccentric cast of characters, Zevin has penned a love letter to the transformative power of books in our lives. —Michele Jacobsen



The Word Exchange by Alena Graedon (April 8, Doubleday) A decade in the future, paper books are a thing of the past and people rely on handheld Memes for nearly every task. The final print edition of the North American Dictionary of the English Language is about to launch, but when its editor in chief disappears, it’s up to his daughter to find him. This literary thriller is a smart, funny, thought-provoking love letter to language and literature. —Leah Mosher

There Goes Gravity: A Life in Rock and Roll by Lisa Robinson (April 22, Riverhead) Although they say if you remember the 70s you weren't really there, clearly that's not the case for Robinson, who was in the founding class of rock-and-roll journalists. There Goes Gravity is a gossipy, witty, sometimes nostalgic insider's look at the popular music scene both on the road and at home. Sharply written and revealing without being mean, this memoir introduces us to everyone from Robert Plant to Lady Gaga. —Candace B. Levy



Island of Doves by Kelly O’Connor McNees (April 1, Berkley) McNees brings early 19th century America to life with her trademark style and empathy. She tells the story of two women, one who lost her sister to the abuse of a violent man and another at risk of meeting the same end. Susannah believes that Magdelaine is saving her life, but the benefits to their beautifully written and intensely realistic relationship go both ways, making for a very moving tale. —Jen Karsbaek
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Book bloggers can submit any titles appearing in print for the first time in hard back or paperback at this page. Selections are due by the 20th of the month prior to the month of the newsletter they are submitting for (e.g., May titles must be submitted by April 20th).

Bloggers needing more information should contact Jennifer Karsbaek (jen@bloggers-recommend.com).

Publishers may submit titles for newsletter consideration. For more information on participation, contact Swapna Krishna (swapna@bloggers-recommed.com). To inquire about advertising, please contact Nicole Bonía (nicole@bloggers-recommend.com).

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