Autumn excitement abounds in the book aisles | Fresh Reads

By David Brewster | Oct 24, 2018
Courtesy of: Harper

Among the perks of running a bookstore is the opportunity to read new books before they are published.

Edmonds Bookshop receives advance readers copies (ARCs, or galleys) of works as early as six months before pub date.

Publishers send these galleys, often with laudatory letters from their editors, to booksellers all over, in the hope that some enthusiasm will be built and transmitted to their customers once the book appears for sale.

As fall is the most active time for publishers, galleys pile up during the summer, and we like to unearth new work by favorite authors, as well as uncover some new voices, in order to make recommendations and keep customers informed.

Here are a number of forthcoming books selected by several Edmonds Bookshop staff that we are excited to see published soon.


“Unsheltered,” by Barbara Kingsolver, $29.99, Oct. 16 publication date

From the beloved author (“Bean Trees,” “The Poisonwood Bible”) comes this is new and highly readable story of two families, in two centuries, who live at the corner of Sixth and Plum in Vineland, New Jersey.

Willa and her husband Iano have a great family and typical struggles … but they all actually love each other. And in the parallel story there is Thatcher and his friendship with his neighbor, Mary Treat (a correspondent of Charles Darwin), which is so honest and refreshing.

“Museum of Modern Love,” by Heather Rose, $15.95 paperback, Nov. 27

Arky Levin has reached a creative dead end. Almost by chance he stumbles upon a performance art exhibit that will change his life.

Visitors to the Museum of Modern Art sit across a table from artist Marina Abramovic for as short or long a period of time as they choose. Although some go in skeptical, almost all leave moved.

Arky finds himself returning daily to watch others with Abramovic. And other characters in the book are connected to Abramovic’s work in deeply moving ways. This small book is full of meaningful vignettes, and reads like a book of short stories (one of my favorite genres).


“The Feral Detective,” by Jonathan Lethem, $26.99, Nov. 6

A missing-girl case drives the efforts of Charles Heist, an offbeat detective with a dark past, and a setting full of hippies and vagabonds living off the grid in the California desert adds up to a quirky and enjoyable read than builds on Lethem’s (“Motherless Brooklyn”) impressive reputation.

”The Lost Queen,” by Signe Pike, $27.99, Sept. 4

Set in sixth-century Scotland, based on real people and real events, “The Lost Queen” is the story of Languoreth – a forgotten queen of sixth-century Scotland – twin sister of Lailoken, the man who inspired the legend of Merlin.

Pike provides a fresh account of the religious disruption of the Dark Ages and brings a remarkable woman to life.

Mary Kay

“Love Is Blind,” by William Boyd, $26.95, Oct. 9

A gifted piano tuner convinces his employer, a maker of grand pianos, to join forces with a concert pianist in an endorsement deal. The tuner’s life is altered when he falls enduringly in love with the pianist’s consort

This story of a decades-long obsession takes place all across Europe, from Great Britain and Paris to Russia and on to the French Riviera.

“Kingdom of the Blind,” by Louise Penny, $28.99, Nov. 27

A wealthy woman he has never met names Inspector Gamache as one of the executors of her will. A puzzling series of events involving a ramshackle house ensues.

At the same time, the devastating effects of Gamache’s decision (in the previous installment of this wonderful series of “Three Pines” mysteries) to release a deadly drug, are threaded through the story.


“The Witch Elm,” by Tana French, $28, Oct. 9

If you’re a loyal reader of Tana French’s Dublin-based detective mysteries, “The Witch Elm” will feel like a divergence from the norm. Detectives you’ve met before don’t show up until 100-plus pages in, and even then are not central to the action.

The familiar: untrustworthy characters, a chilly, unsettling backdro, and the dark corners of the human psyche. Perfect mood for Halloween!


“Friday Black,” by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, $14.99 paperback, Oct. 23

Colson Whitehead meets George Saunders in this debut short story collection by a remarkable and urgent new voice. Adjei-Brenyah takes us into the lives and unquiet minds of characters living every day with a racism that he often treats as exaggerated and surreal, in order to imprint the force of both overt and unconscious bias on the reader.

“Nighttown,” by Timothy Hallinan, $26.95, Nov. 6

Junior Bender is a burglar by night and private investigator by day, and in this, the seventh entry in Hallinan’s California comedic-noir series, finds our hero breaking into the home of a recently deceased elderly recluse to steal, for a lucrative paycheck from an mysterious client, an antique doll.

The story deepens and darkens as Junior realizes what the doll really is all about, and that he’s not the only one interested in it.

All books are available online at



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