Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Top Ten Tuesday: Upcoming 2020 Adult Book Releases

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Today, we’re talking about some of the adult books that are coming out between July and December 2020. Here’s what I’m looking forward to reading.

If you are interested in 2020 young adult and middlegrade releases, I have a post for that!

*This post contains affiliate links. I earn a commission from qualifying purchases.

Upcoming 2020 Adult Book Releases


A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor by Hank Green

Science Fiction
July 7, 2020

The Carls disappeared the same way they appeared, in an instant. While they were on Earth, they caused confusion and destruction without ever lifting a finger. Well, that’s not exactly true. Part of their maelstrom was the sudden viral fame and untimely death of April May: a young woman who stumbled into Carl’s path, giving them their name, becoming their advocate, and putting herself in the middle of an avalanche of conspiracy theories.

Months later, the world is as confused as ever. Andy has picked up April’s mantle of fame, speaking at conferences and online about the world post-Carl; Maya, ravaged by grief, begins to follow a string of mysteries that she is convinced will lead her to April; and Miranda infiltrates a new scientific operation . . . one that might have repercussions beyond anyone’s comprehension.

As they each get further down their own paths, a series of clues arrive—mysterious books that seem to predict the future and control the actions of their readers; unexplained internet outages; and more—which seem to suggest April may be very much alive. In the midst of the gang's possible reunion is a growing force, something that wants to capture our consciousness and even control our reality.

Why I’m excited: I didn’t completely love the first book in this series because Hank Green isn’t a good writer, but book #1’s plot is so wild that I desperately need to know what happens next. I’ve been waiting for this book since 2018. It’s finally here!

Or What You Will by Jo Walton

July 7, 2020

He has been too many things to count. He has been a dragon with a boy on his back. He has been a scholar, a warrior, a lover, and a thief. He has been dream and dreamer. He has been a god.

But “he” is in fact nothing more than a spark of idea, a character in the mind of Sylvia Harrison, 73, award-winning author of thirty novels over forty years. He has played a part in most of those novels, and in the recesses of her mind, Sylvia has conversed with him for years.

But Sylvia won't live forever, any more than any human does. And he's trapped inside her cave of bone, her hollow of skull. When she dies, so will he.

Now Sylvia is starting a new novel, a fantasy for adult readers, set in Thalia, the Florence-resembling imaginary city that was the setting for a successful YA trilogy she published decades before. Of course he's got a part in it. But he also has a notion. He thinks he knows how he and Sylvia can step off the wheel of mortality altogether. All he has to do is convince her.

Why I’m excited: It’s a book about books! Very meta. The author has won pretty much every award for fantasy writing, so I should probably see what all the hype is about.

The Shadows by Alex North

Horror / Mystery / Thriller
July 7, 2020

You knew a teenager like Charlie Crabtree. A dark imagination, a sinister smile—always on the outside of the group. Some part of you suspected he might be capable of doing something awful. Twenty-five years ago, Crabtree did just that, committing a murder so shocking that it’s attracted that strange kind of infamy that only exists on the darkest corners of the internet—and inspired more than one copycat.

Paul Adams remembers the case all too well: Crabtree—and his victim—were Paul’s friends. Paul has slowly put his life back together. But now his mother, old and senile, has taken a turn for the worse. Though every inch of him resists, it is time to come home.

It's not long before things start to go wrong. Reading the news, Paul learns another copycat has struck. His mother is distressed, insistent that there's something in the house. And someone is following him. Which reminds him of the most unsettling thing about that awful day twenty-five years ago.

It wasn't just the murder.

It was the fact that afterward, Charlie Crabtree was never seen again.

Why I’m excited: Honestly, the cover. It’s creatively creepy! I’m in the mood for horror, and Alex North’s books get rave reviews. Reviewers have described them as “atmospheric,” which is exactly what I look for in a scary story.

Pew by Catherine Lacey

Literary Fiction
July 21, 2020

In a small unnamed town in the American South, a church congregation arrives to a service and finds a figure asleep on a pew. The person is genderless, racially ambiguous, and refuses to speak. One family takes the strange visitor in and nicknames them Pew.

As the town spends the week preparing for a mysterious Forgiveness Festival, Pew is shuttled from one household to the next. The earnest and seemingly well-meaning townspeople see conflicting identities in Pew, and many confess their fears and secrets to them in one-sided conversations. Pew listens and observes while experiencing brief flashes of past lives or clues about their origins. As days pass, the void around Pew's presence begins to unnerve the community, whose generosity erodes into menace and suspicion. Yet by the time Pew's story reaches a shattering and unsettling climax at the Forgiveness Festival, the secret of their true nature—as a devil or an angel or something else entirely—is dwarfed by even larger truths.

Why I’m excited: A strange visitor and a mysterious festival? YES! I want to know who (or what) Pew is and why they’re in the American South. I want to know about the festival. This book has the potential to be all kinds of bizarre and beautiful. Goodreads describes it as “a foreboding, provocative, and amorphous fable about the world today: its contradictions, its flimsy morality, and the limits of judging others based on their appearance.”


Why Visit America: Stories by Matthew Baker

Short Stories
August 4, 2020

The citizens of Plainfield, Texas, have had it with the broke-down United States. So they vote to secede, rename themselves America in memory of their former country, and happily set themselves up to receive tourists from their closest neighbor: America. Couldn't happen? Well, it might, and so it goes in the thirteen stories in Matthew Baker's brilliantly illuminating, incisive, and heartbreaking collection Why Visit America.

The book opens with a seemingly traditional story in which the speculative element is extremely minimal—the narrator has a job that doesn't actually exist—a story that wouldn't seem much out of place in a collection of literary realism. From there the stories get progressively stranger: a young man breaks the news to his family that he is going to transition from an analog body to a digital existence. A young woman abducts a child—her own—from a government-run childcare facility. A man returns home after committing a great crime, his sentence being that his memory—his entire life—is wiped clean.

As the book moves from universe to universe, the stories cross between different American genres: from bildungsroman to rom com, western to dystopian, including fantasy, horror, erotica, and a noir detective mystery. Read together, these parallel-universe stories create a composite portrait of the true nature of the United States and a Through the Looking-Glass reflection of who we are as a country.

Why I’m excited: I like that this collection has a variety of genres. Sometimes when I read collections, the stories blur together in my brain because they’re too similar. This one sounds unique. I want to see how the author handles the different genres.

Death In Her Hands by Ottessa Moshfegh

Literary Fiction / Mystery
August 11, 2020

While on her normal daily walk with her dog in the forest woods, our protagonist comes across a note, handwritten and carefully pinned to the ground with a frame of stones. "Her name was Magda. Nobody will ever know who killed her. It wasn't me. Here is her dead body." Our narrator is deeply shaken; she has no idea what to make of this. She is new to area, having moved her from her longtime home after the death of her husband, and she knows very few people. And she's a little shaky even on her best days. Her brooding about this note quickly grows into a full-blown obsession, and she begins to devote herself to exploring the possibilities of who this woman was and how she met her fate. Her suppositions begin to find echoes in the real world, and with mounting excitement and dread, the fog of mystery starts to form into a concrete and menacing shape. But as we follow her investigation, strange dissonances start to accrue, and our faith in her grip on reality weakens, until finally, just as she seems be facing some of the darkness in her own past, we are forced to face the prospect that there is either a more innocent explanation for all this or a much more sinister one—one that strikes closer to home.

Why I’m excited: Well, definitely not the clunky writing in the synopsis. I am super-interested in the mystery and in the age of the protagonist. I love Elizabeth is Missing and Three Things About Elsie. Both of those star elderly characters with memory problems who are trying to solve mysteries. I like my narrators unreliable.

September - November

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

September 8, 2020

A bank robber on the run locks himself in with an over-enthusiastic estate agent, two bitter IKEA-addicts, a pregnant woman, a suicidal multi-millionaire and a rabbit. In the end the robber gives up and lets everyone go, but when the police storm the apartment it is . . . empty.

In a series of dysfunctional testimonies after the event, the witnesses all tell their version of what really happened and it's clear we have a classic locked-room mystery on our hands: How did the robber manage to escape? Why is everyone so angry? And: What is WRONG with people these days?

Why I’m excited: I’m an “anxious people!” This book is for me; it says so right on the cover. I’ve read a few Backman books and enjoyed them all. They’re funny and sweet without being gag-inducing. His characters are usually quirky outcasts with memorable personalities. I’ve laughed out loud many times while reading Backman books.

The Lights Of Prague by Nicole Jarvis

Historical Fantasy
September 22, 2020

In the quiet streets of Prague all manner of otherworldly creatures lurk in the shadows. Unbeknownst to its citizens, their only hope against the tide of predators are the dauntless lamplighters—a secret elite of monster hunters whose light staves off the darkness each night. Domek Myska leads a life teeming with fraught encounters with the worst kind of evil: pijavica, bloodthirsty and soulless vampiric creatures. Despite this, Domek find solace in his moments spent in the company of his friend, the clever and beautiful Lady Ora Fischer—a widow with secrets of her own.

When Domek finds himself stalked by the spirit of the White Lady—a ghost who haunts the baroque halls of Prague castle—he stumbles across the sentient essence of a will-o'-the-wisp, a mischievous spirit known to lead lost travelers to their death, but who, once captured, are bound to serve the desires of their owners.

After discovering a conspiracy amongst the pijavica that could see them unleash terror on the daylight world, Domek finds himself in a race against those who aim to twist alchemical science for their own dangerous gain.

Why I’m excited: Ug, I’m on the fence about this one. It might be too “fantasy” for me. I’m curious about it because reviewers are comparing it to VE Schwab’s books. Like her stories, it’s full of monsters and LGBT characters. On the other hand, the synopsis is giving me vibes of Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunter series, which was too melodramatic and tropey for me. If you’ve read early copies of this novel, tell me about it!

The Invisible Life Of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

October 6, 2020

France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.

Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.

But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.

Why I’m excited: This is my most-anticipated adult book of 2020. I’ll read anything V.E. Schwab writes. Her heroes are usually a little villainous. They’re the type of people you’d never want to meet in real life, but you can’t look away because they exist in moral gray areas. You’ll want to know how far they’re willing to push the boundaries.

When The Lights Go Out by Carys Bray

Literary Fiction
November 12, 2020

If you believe the world is going to end, how do you live? And what if, while preparing for disaster, you unwittingly precipitate it? While Emma Abram prepares for Christmas, her husband is stockpiling food and setting up a rabbit farm. Chris Abram is preparing for the worst; the imminent floods, and anything else he can imagine—power cuts, starvation, societal collapse. Emma longs to lower a rope and winch him from the pit of his worries. But Chris doesn't want to be rescued or even reassured; he wants to pull her in after him.

Why I’m excited: Carys Bray is one of those authors I’ve never read but I’m pretty sure I’ll like. I have a few of her books on my must-read-someday Pinterest board. The conflict between the husband and wife in this novel got my attention. I think it’d be hard to live with someone who’s obsessed with the world ending.

The Children Of Red Peak by Craig DiLouie

November 17, 2020

David Young, Deacon Price, and Beth Harris live with a dark secret. As children, they survived a religious group's horrific last days at the isolated mountain Red Peak. Years later, the trauma of what they experienced never feels far behind.

When a fellow survivor commits suicide, they finally reunite and share their stories. Long-repressed memories surface, defying understanding and belief. Why did their families go down such a dark road? What really happened on that final night?

The answers lie buried at Red Peak. But truth has a price, and escaping a second time may demand the ultimate sacrifice.

Why I’m excited: Honestly, I usually avoid horror stories based on cults because they tend to be poorly researched and sensationalized. I can’t suspend my disbelief enough to get into the story. But, I’m curious about this one because the characters are trying to sort out what happened in their past. That means they should find explanations for things, right? I’m crossing my fingers that there aren’t any nonsensical plot twists. I love horror and I love reading nonfiction about cults. Someone needs to find a logical way to combine them!

Which upcoming releases are you looking forward to?


  1. Or What You Will is one that I want to read as well. I have Addie LaRue on my list, because it sounds amazing!!!! And I chose The Shadows for my July book of the month choice. :)


  2. Or What You Will...Pew...Why Visit America...all of these sound like books I should read.

  3. Or What You Will sounds so interesting.

    My TTT .

  4. I have heard really good things about the Backman book, and I have personally enjoyed his other books. I hope to read that book as well.

  5. I'm definitely looking forward to Addie LaRue as well, the premise sounds so intriguing. Hope you'll enjoy all of these!

  6. Addie LaRue was on my list this week too!
    My TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2020/06/30/top-ten-tuesday-270/

  7. Pew has been on my radar since I first saw you mention it last month or so. Hopefully my library will nab a copy.

  8. As soon as I saw Anxious People I pre-ordered it on Audible!

  9. I haven't had much luck with V.E. Schwab, but her new one sounds really good!

  10. Great list! I'm interested in giving Or What You Will a try, too.

  11. I forgot to put it on my list but I'm excited for the new Frerik Backman book.

  12. Anxious People sounds really good. I need to add it to my TBR. I loved Beartown. Enjoy!

  13. I love the cover of The Shadows! 👍✨

  14. It probably isn't surprising that none of these are on my radar given how little our reading preferences overlap but I hope you enjoy them! There are so many books coming in the next 6 months that I'm so excited for! It's going to be a summer/autumn of good readin'! :)

  15. There are a lot on this list that on going on my list! Thanks for sharing!

  16. oooo some good looking books and they are all new to me
    sherry @ fundinmental