Every month, we’re profiling new-ish releases that are getting critical and commercial buzz. For August, we’re looking at an atmospheric fantasy romance set in Scotland, a celebration of friendship among commuters, a cute romance set at a news station, an engrossing anthology of Westerns with a side of mystery, two fascinating tales of real-life adventure on the high seas, and an audiobook thriller about catty rich housewives.
If you enjoy fantasy romances:
Rebecca Ross’s A River Enchanted (2022)*
Jack left Cadence, the fantastical island he is from, years ago, but he comes home after hearing about girls disappearing. He quickly teams up with Adaira, a childhood nemesis, who hopes that Jack’s musical abilities will allow them to contact the local spirits and ask them to return the girls. But they soon realize they’re developing feelings for each other while also recognizing that something much darker is going on with the disappearances. Can they stop it and uncover what is happening? This fantasy romance has gotten positive vibe for its atmospheric setting, and it is the first in a series.
Recommended for those who enjoy the work of Leigh Bardugo and Adrian Tchaikovsky.
*Ebook also available on Libby.
If you want a feel-good read:
Clare Pooley’s Iona Iverson’s Rules for Commuting (2022)**
During her daily commute, Iona Iverson is very attuned to the other regulars on the train, but even though she is more than happy to observe them and even nickname them, she never dares talk to them. But after a medical emergency on the train, the silent group of regulars finally start chatting with each other and discover some wonderful new friendships in the process.
Recommended for those who enjoy the work of Fredrik Backman, Gail Honeyman, Maria Semple, and Sophie Kinsella.
**Ebook also available on Libby
If you prefer romances with ordinary people:
Rachel Lynn Solomon’s Weather Girl (2022)
If you prefer your romances less fantastical and more rom-com-like than A River Enchanted, try this one instead. Ari used to absolutely adore her job as a TV meteorologist, but that was before her boss’s marriage to the station news manager imploded. Now, things are pretty tense, and she and Russell, the quiet sportswriter, join forces to mend the relationship, The Parent Trap style. But along the way, Ari and Russell end up falling in love themselves.
Recommended for those who enjoy the work of Emily Henry.
If you enjoy both mysteries and Westerns:
Perilous Frontier: A Quartet of Crime in the Old West (2021)
Thanks to both Carol Ann and Mary-Esther for bringing this book to my attention! It’s a collection of 4 short stories by John D. Nesbitt, Jim Jones, Phil Mills, Jr., and Larry D. Sweazy. They feature crimes in Old West settings, so saddle up for some cattle rustling, mysterious deaths, sudden disappearances, and more.
Recommended for fans of crime novels, Westerns, and anthologies.
If you love historical nonfiction about sailors:
Frederic B. Hill and Alexander Jackson Hill’s A Flick of Sunshine: The Remarkable Shipwrecked, Marooned, Maritime Adventures, and Tragic Fate of an American Original (2022)
19th century Maine mariner Richard Willis Jackson is a historical figure who deserves to be better known, and perhaps this book will help rectify that. This book chronicles his adventures–which seem ripe for a movie–including but not limited to being shipwrecked in the South Seas, being washed overboard in Cape Horn, and exploring Alaskan glaciers. His adventurous life was tragically cut short, but the book focuses on his upbeat, optimistic, often humorous letters and diary entries.
Recommended for those who enjoy biographies and Nathaniel Philbrick’s In the Heart of the Sea.
Brandon Presser’s The Far Land: 200 Years of Murder, Mania, and Mutiny in the South Pacific (2022)
The mutiny on the Bounty is one of the most famous rebellions in naval history, but what happened to the sailors who revolted against Captain Bligh afterward tends to get much less attention. The mutineers eventually made their home on the isolated island of Pitcairn, living as paranoid fugitives in hellish conditions reminiscent of Lord of the Flies, and travel writer Brandon Presser chronicles his time living on the island among the mutineer descendants and exploring more about the history of the area and people.
Recommended for those who enjoy Nathaniel Philbrick’s work.
If you like audiobooks:
Jeneva Rose’s One of Us is Dead (2022)
Lots of catty rich housewife drama in this suspense thriller set in an affluent Georgia suburb. Shannon once ruled as resident queen bee of Buckhead, but once her husband dumps her, she loses her circle of friends and social status. She wants revenge, and the power vacuum set up in her absence means it’s every woman for herself as other contenders scramble for control. That is, until complications ensue and someone turns up dead.
Recommended for those who enjoy the work of Lucy Foley, Riley Sager, and Elle Cosimano.
What’s your favorite new-ish books? What books are you buzzing about these days? Have you read any of these books? Tell us in the comments! As always, please follow this link to our online library catalog for more information on any of these items or to place them on hold.
3 thoughts on “Book Buzz: Scottish Fantasy Islands, Commuting, the Weather, Old West Crime, Seafaring Tales, and Housewife Thrillers”
Great recommendations! Thank you for sharing them.
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Thanks so much! 🙂