Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: 2019 Adult Book Releases

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week, I’m telling you about the intriguing adult books coming out in the second half of 2019. If you want to know about other books coming out this year, check out my posts on January-June adult and young adult releases, and my post on July-December young adult releases. This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a commission from qualifying purchases.

2019 Adult Book Releases

The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead

July 2019

As the Civil Rights movement begins to reach the black enclave of Frenchtown in segregated Tallahassee, Elwood Curtis takes the words of Dr. Martin Luther King to heart: He is "as good as anyone." Abandoned by his parents, but kept on the straight and narrow by his grandmother, Elwood is about to enroll in the local black college. But for a black boy in the Jim Crow South in the early 1960s, one innocent mistake is enough to destroy the future. Elwood is sentenced to a juvenile reformatory called The Nickel Academy, whose mission statement says it provides "physical, intellectual and moral training" so the delinquent boys in their charge can become "honorable and honest men."

In reality, The Nickel Academy is a grotesque chamber of horrors, where the sadistic staff beats and sexually abuses the students, corrupt officials and locals steal food and supplies, and any boy who resists is likely to disappear "out back." Stunned to find himself in such a vicious environment, Elwood tries to hold on to Dr. King's ringing assertion "Throw us in jail and we will still love you." His friend Turner thinks Elwood is worse than naive, that the world is crooked and the only way to survive is to scheme and avoid trouble.

The tension between Elwood's ideals and Turner's skepticism leads to a decision whose repercussions will echo down the decades. Formed in the crucible of the evils Jim Crow wrought, the boys' fates will be determined by what they endured at The Nickel Academy.
Why I’m excited: No, I still haven’t read any of Colson Whitehead’s other books, but this one is based on a true story, and that’s a quick way to get my attention. I love when fiction teaches me about history.

Deep River by Karl Marlantes

July 2019

In the early 1900s, as the oppression of Russia's imperial rule takes its toll on Finland, the three Koski siblings—Ilmari, Matti, and the politicized young Aino—are forced to flee to the United States. Not far from the majestic Columbia River, the siblings settle among other Finns in a logging community in southern Washington, where the first harvesting of the colossal old-growth forests begets rapid development, and radical labor movements begin to catch fire. The brothers face the excitement and danger of pioneering this frontier wilderness—climbing and felling trees one-hundred meters high—while Aino, foremost of the books many strong, independent women, devotes herself to organizing the industry's first unions. As the Koski siblings strive to rebuild lives and families in an America in flux, they also try to hold fast to the traditions of a home they left behind.
Why I’m excited: It’s historical fiction set in a forest. That’s very “me.”

Three Ways To Disappear by Katy Yocom

July 2019

Leaving behind a nomadic and dangerous career as a journalist, Sarah DeVaughan returns to India, the country of her childhood and a place of unspeakable family tragedy, to help preserve the endangered Bengal tigers. Meanwhile, at home in Kentucky, her sister, Quinn—also deeply scarred by the past and herself a keeper of secrets—tries to support her sister, even as she fears that India will be Sarah's undoing.

As Sarah faces challenges in her new job—made complicated by complex local politics and a forbidden love—Quinn copes with their mother's refusal to talk about the past, her son's life-threatening illness, and her own increasingly troubled marriage. When Sarah asks Quinn to join her in India, Quinn realizes that the only way to overcome the past is to return to it, and it is in this place of stunning natural beauty and hidden danger that the sisters can finally understand the ways in which their family has disappeared—from their shared history, from one another—and recognize that they may need to risk everything to find themselves again.
Why I’m excited: Sisters, family secrets, and tigers. What’s not to like?

We Love Anderson Cooper by R.L. Maizes

July 2019

In this quirky, humorous, and deeply human short story collection, Pushcart Prize-nominated author R.L. Maizes reminds us that even in our most isolated moments, we are never truly alone.

In We Love Anderson Cooper, characters are treated as outsiders because of their sexual orientation, racial or religious identity, or simply because they look different. A young man courts the publicity that comes from outing himself at his bar mitzvah. When a painter is shunned because of his appearance, he learns to ink tattoos that come to life. A paranoid Jewish actuary suspects his cat of cheating on him—with his Protestant girlfriend.
Why I’m excited: It’s been a long time since I read a great short story collection. The early reviews of this one have been positive.

Marilou Is Everywhere by Sarah Elaine Smith

July 2019

Fourteen-year-old Cindy and her two older brothers live in rural Pennsylvania, in a house with occasional electricity, two fierce dogs, one book, and a mother who comes and goes for months at a time. Deprived of adult supervision, the siblings rely on one another for nourishment of all kinds. As Cindy's brothers take on new responsibilities for her care, the shadow of danger looms larger and the status quo no longer seems tolerable.

So when a glamorous teen from a more affluent, cultured home goes missing, Cindy escapes her own family's poverty and slips into the missing teen's life. As Jude Vanderjohn, Cindy is suddenly surrounded by books and art, by new foods and traditions, and most important, by a startling sense of possibility. In her borrowed life she also finds herself accepting the confused love of a mother who is constitutionally incapable of grasping what has happened to her real daughter. As Cindy experiences overwhelming maternal love for the first time, she must reckon with her own deceits and, in the process, learn what it means to be a daughter, a sister, and a neighbor.
Why I’m excited: Well, not because of the cover. I almost scrolled past this book because the cover is not my kind of thing. The synopsis sounds awesome, though! I want to know how one person takes over another’s life.

Bethlehem by Karen Kelly

July 2019

Karen Kelly weaves a shattering debut about two intertwined families and the secrets that they buried during the gilded, glory days of Bethlehem, PA.

A young woman arrives at the grand ancestral home of her husband’s family, hoping to fortify her cracking marriage. But what she finds is not what she expected: tragedy haunts the hallways, whispering of heartache and a past she never knew existed.

Inspired by the true titans of the steel-boom era, Bethlehem is a story of temptation and regret, a story of secrets and the cost of keeping them, a story of forgiveness. It is the story of two complex women—thrown together in the name of family—who, in coming to understand each other, come finally to understand themselves.
Why I’m excited: I know very little about this book, but the early reviews are good, and the lady on the cover has a very nice hat. I like very nice hats.

The End Of Time by Gavin Extence

July 2019

Beneath the stars, on a stony beach, stand two brothers.

They are wearing lifejackets that are too big for them and their most precious belongings are sealed in waterproof bags tucked inside the rucksacks on their backs.

Turkey is behind them. Two or three kilometres' swim away is the Greek island of Samos, now only a smudge in the moonlight.

Their feet are blistered from walking, their energy is failing.

They wade forward into the Aegean Sea and count one, two, three.

This is the story of what happens next.

This is the story of Mohammed and Zain.

Brothers. Sons. Refugees.
Why I’m excited: “Excited” is probably the wrong word because I know nothing about this book. I haven’t seen any reviews or promotion. I came across this novel by accident on Goodreads. The synopsis reminds me of The Optician of Lampedusa, which I loved, so I’m curious.

Gods Of Jade And Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

August 2019

The Jazz Age is in full swing, but Casiopea Tun is too busy cleaning the floors of her wealthy grandfather’s house to listen to any fast tunes. Nevertheless, she dreams of a life far from her dusty small town in southern Mexico. A life she can call her own.

Yet this new life seems as distant as the stars, until the day she finds a curious wooden box in her grandfather’s room. She opens it—and accidentally frees the spirit of the Mayan god of death, who requests her help in recovering his throne from his treacherous brother. Failure will mean Casiopea’s demise, but success could make her dreams come true.

In the company of the strangely alluring god and armed with her wits, Casiopea begins an adventure that will take her on a cross-country odyssey, from the jungles of Yucatán to the bright lights of Mexico City—and deep into the darkness of the Mayan underworld.
Why I’m excited: I’ve visited the Mayan cities in the Yucatán, but I’ve never read any books about them. This novel sounds delightfully bizarre.

The Testaments (The Handmaid’s Tale #2) by Margaret Atwood

September 2019

Margaret Atwood’s sequel picks up the story 15 years after Offred stepped into the unknown, with the explosive testaments of three female narrators from Gilead.

Why I’m excited: Guys, I’m terrified! I read The Handmaid’s Tale as a teenager, and it started my love of dystopian fiction. I really hope this book doesn’t ruin the first one.

This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger

September 2019

1932: Located on the banks of the Gilead River in Minnesota, Lincoln School is home to hundreds of Native American boys and girls who have been separated from their families. The only two white boys in the school are orphan brothers Odie and Albert who, under the watchful eyes of the cruel superintendent Mrs. Brickman, are often in trouble for misdeeds both real and imagined. The two boys’ best friend is Mose, a mute Native American who is also the strongest kid in school. And they find another ally in Cora Frost, a widowed teacher who is raising her little girl, Emmy, by herself.

When tragedy strikes down Mrs. Frost, it’s the catalyst for a series of events that will send Odie, Albert, and Mose to rescue Emmy and flee down the river in a canoe, heading for the mighty Mississippi, leaving a dead body in their wake. Soon they are wanted by the law and they know that Mrs. Brickman will stop at nothing to track them down for dark reasons of her own.

Over the course of this unforgettable summer, Odie, Albert, Mose, and Emmy carefully make their way through the small river towns and big cities filled with people who are by turns desperate and generous, cruel and kind. As they search for a place to belong, these four remarkable children will lose their innocence but gain the strength to survive in the face of terrible loss.
Why I’m excited: A dead body and children on the run? Count me in.

What upcoming releases are you looking forward to?


  1. The cover of Bethlehem is gorgeous! Gods of Jade and Shadow made my list this week, too. Great list!

  2. Marilou Is Everywhere sounds fascinating. But I’m curious about how that would work, Is Cindy a doppelgänger for the missing girl? I’m intrigued.

  3. The Testaments is on my list this week, too. I can't explain how excited I am for it. I've been waiting so long to see what happened after The Handmaid's Tale. While the TV show is fun, it's going to be cool to get an update straight from Margaret Atwood.

    My TTT.

  4. I just about managed a list of ten by tweaking the topic a bit!

  5. Yes we share Gods of Jade and Shadow <3 I can't wait for that one.

  6. Marilou is Everywhere does have an odd cover and I can't say it's doing the synopsis any favors. I would totall skip it if I saw it on the shelves.

  7. I can't wait t have a chance to read Deep River. I haven't heard of Three Way to Disappear, but it sounds great. Bethlehem also sounds really good!

  8. I've never heard of DEEP RIVER before, but it sounds really good. I grew up in a small logging community on the Columbia River, so the setting definitely intrigues me :) Thanks for the heads-up!

    Happy TTT!

  9. You are so funny. I was cackling, when I read your thoughts about Marilou. It really is a terrible cover, but I remember being intrigued by the synopsis as well. I will be keeping an eye out for your review.

  10. I think these are all new to me, Bethlehem sounds so interesting! (and I love the hat, too)

  11. GAH I keep forgetting about The Testaments, what is wrong with me!? Super excited for Gods of Jade and Shadow too! Great picks!

  12. You know I don't read many adult books anymore, but THE END OF TIME sounds pretty amazing. I can't wait to see what you think of it!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

  13. The Testaments- I love that silhouette cover. And really interested where she'll take the story.

  14. There's a second Handmaid's Tale book??? Thank you for alerting me to this!

  15. I didn't realize there was an upcoming sequel to The Handmaid's Tale until I started seeing it on everyone's lists this week, lol. Great cover, and I also love the cover for Gods of Jade and Shadow!

  16. Several of these books look good. I need to find more time to read!

  17. MARILOU IS EVERYWHERE does look really good. I agree, the cover isn't that great, though.


  18. I don't know anything of Karen Kelly but I must confess that this cover and blurb really appeal to me!

  19. I am excited to see what everyone thinks about Gods of Jade and Sorrow! 👍✨

    I have been keeping my eyes open for short story antholgies because I like having them on hand to get myself over reading slumps, and Everyone Loves Anderson Cooper sounds like just the thing I look for. 📚✨

  20. I hope this doesn't send twice because my internet is super spotty and I don't know if it's sent or not!! BUT, so many good titles heading our way. I feel the same about the sequel to The Handmaid's Tale. I'm nervous and excited and terrified and thrilled about it.

  21. I haven't heard of any of these, but they look good. I'm especially interested in GODS OF JADE AND SHADOW.

  22. Sounds as if there are some good books coming up. Deep River sounds especially interesting.


  23. Ahh this is a lovely list, thank you so much for sharing, so many new books to discover here. Very curious about Three Ways To Disappear, I love siblings vibes and family secrets in stories!! :D

  24. So many fascinating books on this list! Well, they SOUND fascinating anyway. I'm down for the logging town book and the taking over another girl's life book for sure. I'm excited/nervous about the new Atwood too, and plan to re-read The Handmaid's Tale soon, for the first time in decades.

  25. I liked the last Morena-Garcia book I read and looking forward to Gods of Jade and Shadow.

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

  26. I forgot to put Atwood's new book on my list this week but I'm definitely excited for it. Colson Whitehead's new one sounds really good too.

  27. I'm so excited about Gods of Jade and Shadow. =D

    Happy readings! ;)
    Tânia @MyLovelySecret

  28. What's not to like with tigers?? Makes me think of the Life of Pi!