Winter 2018 Fiction Preview: A Psychic, a Polaroid, and a Pulitzer Finalist

Winter 2018 Fiction Preview: A Psychic, a Polaroid, and a Pulitzer Finalist

Here at Bookish, we think winter is underrated. Sure, it can get cold outside and sometimes stepping in a freezing puddle doesn’t feel great. But on the other hand, it’s the perfect time of year to hole up with a stack of books and not emerge until spring. Get a jump start on your literary hibernation with this list of upcoming novels being released this winter; all you need is your favorite reading nook, a blanket, and some tasty snacks.

Three Daughters of Eve

A night to remember

Elif Shafak is a bestselling author in Turkey, and now English-speaking readers can enjoy her work in translation. One evening, a woman named Peri goes to a dinner party near the coast in Istanbul. On her way, however, someone tries to steal her purse. The purse contains an old photograph that means a lot to Peri, and she spends the rest of the night reflecting on the long-repressed memories that the picture brings to the surface. That same evening, terrorist attacks rock the city of Istanbul. History, culture, religion, and relationships mix in this deeply engrossing novel.

On shelves: December 5


Cabin in the woods

It’s not every day that a debut novel winds up a finalist for the Man Booker Prize, so you know already that Elmet (which The Economist called “a quiet explosion of a book”) isn’t an ordinary debut. Teenager Daniel lives in the woods of Great Britain with his father, John, and his sister, Cathy. They don’t need much from the outside world: They kill and gather their own food for meals, and they built their house from the ground up. But the outside world is not content to leave the family alone, and before long, things take a violent turn. We predict this is a story that readers won’t soon forget.

On shelves: December 5

Now That You Mention It

You can’t go home again

Kristan Higgins fans: It’s your lucky day. It seemed like everything was going Nora Stuart’s way before the accident. She was headed for the medical career of her dreams, and she was in love with her boyfriend. Then, in an instant, a car hit her and everything changed. She heads home to Maine to pick up the pieces, but the small town she grew up in isn’t exactly the peaceful haven she remembers. Nora is immediately drawn back into her family members’ lives, and must step up to help care for her niece. But in the midst of numerous challenges at home, Nora just might find exactly what she is looking for.

On shelves: December 26

A State of Freedom

The lives of others

For readers who love novels with multiple storylines and characters whose lives are linked, Neel Mukherjee’s A State of Freedom is sure to fit the bill. This books follows five characters, all of whom are living in modern India and working to change their lives in one way or another. Their experiences are all very different, but each character grapples with the same themes which ultimately make this novel into a cohesive whole. In a starred review, Kirkus wrote that A State of Freedom is “A calm, compelling, unshrinking portrait of humanity in transition; both disturbing and dazzling.”

On shelves: January 2

The Immortalists

Spoiler warning

The book world has been abuzz about Chloe Benjamin’s The Immortalists for months, and with good reason. This novel will transport readers to Manhattan, where four young members of the Gold family receive some unbelievable news from a psychic: Each is told exactly when he or she will die. This information proves impossible to ignore or forget, and it will impact the way each of the four Golds spends the time that they have left. Along the way, Benjamin probes fascinating questions about mortality, fate, and self-fulfilling prophecies.

On shelves: January 9

The Largesse of the Sea Maiden

Tell me a story

National Book Award-winner and Pulitzer Prize finalist Denis Johnson (whom readers likely know for his book Jesus’ Son) passed away earlier this year, and five previously unpublished stories are gathered in this posthumous collection. Johnson takes on a variety of subjects in these tales, from Elvis Presley to life in jail to substance abuse. Despite the range exhibited here, each piece is recognizably his work and will delight fans still mourning his loss.

On shelves: January 16

This Love Story Will Self-Destruct

Not your average rom-com

If you’re looking for a will-they-or-won’t-they story to dive into this winter, then Leslie Cohen’s new novel is the perfect book to pick up. Eve and Ben are two young adults living in New York City. They meet… and nothing happens. It’s not exactly the stuff of romantic comedies. But they keep bumping into each other, and eventually they begin to grow close. Maybe they’ll fall in love, maybe they won’t. If you’re tired of love stories that seem all too choreographed, and want something that feels fresh and realistic, then this is the novel for you.

On shelves: January 23


Small-town life

Elsie and Luljeta are a mother-daughter pair living in an old brass mill town in Connecticut. They both feel stuck, albeit for different reasons. When Lulu finds out that she hasn’t gotten into New York University for college, she panics that she may be stuck in Connecticut forever. On the heels of this news, she decides to dig into her own past and see if that might give her some ideas about how to move forward. Her father has never been an active part of her life, and she decides to learn as much as she can about him. What she finds will illuminate her relationship with Elsie.

On shelves: January 23

An American Marriage

Wrongful imprisonment

Celestial and Roy are a recently married couple with a world of possibilities open in front of them. But then, the unthinkable happens: Roy is arrested and put in prison. Celestial is positive that he is innocent, and he is, but Roy is sentenced to 12 years anyway. While Roy is in prison, the book takes an epistolary form until his release five years later. Those five years take a real toll on the union between Celestial and Roy. For readers interested in stories about race and the justice system, this novel will be thought-provoking.

On shelves: February 6

The Great Alone

The last frontier

Ernt Allbright was a prisoner of war in Vietnam, and now he is coming home to his family and moving the household to Alaska. But the Ernt who reappears after the war is not the same man his family said goodbye to, and his wife Cora and daughter Leni notice the change almost immediately. Readers will find themselves immersed in Alaska’s landscape, and also in the lives of the members of the Allbright family. The novel garnered starred reviews from both Publishers Weekly and Kirkus, and we are willing to bet you’ll be engrossed by it too.

On shelves: February 6

The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore


For some kids, summer camp is a treasured childhood memory. But in Kim Fu’s novel, summer camp takes a dark turn when a group of girls is stranded during a kayaking expedition. This mishap balloons into a crisis that Andee, Nita, Isabel, Siobhan, and Dina will never forget. Of course, there are many ways to be lost, and as the narrative unfolds, readers learn that the adult Andee, Nita, Isabel, Siobhan, and Dina have carried some of the experience into their grown-up lives. For readers interested in evolving friendships and stories that move forward and backward in time, this book is sure to be a hit.

On shelves: February 13

White Houses

A First Lady in love

Amy Bloom’s latest novel is narrated from the fictionalized perspective of Lorena Hickok, a journalist who fell in love with Eleanor Roosevelt. Bloom’s version of this romance will captivate readers—especially lovers of historical fiction and those who are interested in the Roosevelts. In a starred review, Kirkus wrote: “Bloom elevates this addition to the secret-lives-of-the-Roosevelts genre through elegant prose and by making Lorena Hickok a character engrossing enough to steal center stage from Eleanor Roosevelt.” This is a captivating love story with historical flair.

On shelves: February 13


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