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With thousands of books published each year and much attention paid to the works of bestselling and well-known authors, it is inevitable that some titles worthy of praise and discussion may not get the attention we think they deserve. Thus throughout the year, we will continue this feature that we started in 2009, to spotlight books that immediately struck a chord with us and made us say “just read this.” We will alert our readers about these titles as soon as they’re released so you can discover them for yourselves and recommend them to your family and friends.

Below are all of our selections thus far. For future "Bets On" titles that we will announce shortly after their release dates, please visit this page.

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin

January 2018

I read THE IMMORTALISTS in the spring of 2017 as I was interviewing Chloe Benjamin for the Author Buzz panel at BookExpo, and have looked forward to sharing it with readers since then. The central question from this book has stayed with me: Would I want to know the date of my death?

The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn

January 2018

My first Bets On selection of 2018 is THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW, a thriller that I have been talking about since BookExpo last May when I interviewed its author, A. J. Finn, about it, as it was one of the show’s Buzz books. It’s tough to talk about a thriller without giving anything away, so here is what I can tell you.

Parting Shot by Linwood Barclay

November 2017

I have been a longtime fan of Linwood Barclay’s work, and in PARTING SHOT he returns to Promise Falls, the upstate New York town where he has set many of his books, including the Promise Falls trilogy. Here longtime readers will reconnect with Cal Weaver, a local private investigator, and Detective Barry Duckworth. The subject here is revenge and the dark turns it can take.

The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine

October 2017

In THE LAST MRS. PARRISH by Liv Constantine (a pseudonym for the sister writing team of Lynne Constantine and Valerie Constantine), Daphne Parrish lives a fairy-tale life with a gorgeous home in Connecticut, a lake house, and a luxury lifestyle with her real estate mogul husband, Jackson, and two darling daughters. It’s the life that Amber Patterson wants.

The Dirty Book Club by Lisi Harrison

October 2017

Confession: When I first heard the title of this book, THE DIRTY BOOK CLUB, by Lisi Harrison, I was hesitant. Would this be for me? I am happy to say it completely is!

At the start, a book group tossed aside “serious reading” a few decades ago and picked up books that were “against the rules” that governed their society-ordered worlds. They talked honestly about love and real life --- and, yes, sex --- against the backdrop of these books, which included FEAR OF FLYING. These women guided each other through the messy parts of life --- you know, the ones where things happen to people instead of the sanitized ones that are all over social media --- with a trust among them. What happens at the book club stays at the book club.

Best Day Ever by Kaira Rouda

September 2017

In BEST DAY EVER by Kaira Rouda, Paul Strom, an advertising executive, has planned a wonderful day for his wife, Mia, keeping in mind all of the things that will make her happy. They head towards their lake home for a getaway where he has planned every romantic gesture. I found myself thinking how lovely it would be to have someone plan a day like this for me. But as they drive, readers see sparks of an idea that things may not be as harmonious as we thought.

Love and Other Consolation Prizes by Jamie Ford

September 2017

Those who loved HOTEL ON THE CORNER OF BITTER AND SWEET by Jamie Ford (a Bets On selection) are going to be happy to read his new book, LOVE AND OTHER CONSOLATION PRIZES. It’s a beautifully told story, framed against the backdrop of two Seattle World’s Fairs --- the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition of 1909 and the Century 21 Exposition in 1962. In the course of Jamie’s research for a new story to tell, he learned that there was a child named Ernest who was raffled off by the Washington Children’s Home Society in 1909. From there, he knew that a fictionalized story of Ernest was the one he wanted to write.

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

September 2017

Celeste Ng is someone who I have wanted to read for a while. Her debut novel, EVERYTHING I NEVER TOLD YOU, has been on my shelf since it was published, and I am kicking myself that I did not read it sooner; colleagues and readers love her. Thus, when LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE came across my desk, I was eager not to let this one pass me by. It’s set in the planned community of Shaker Heights, Ohio, a place Celeste knows well, as she grew up there.

Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart

September 2017

Our readers may remember E. Lockhart from her last book, WE WERE LIARS, which was a Bets On selection. She’s now back with GENUINE FRAUD, a brisk, sharp thriller written backwards, so you are peeling back the layers of the story as you read. Again and again, it’s not what you thought at the start. Imogen is an heiress who reinvents herself as the story unfolds. Jule has her own ways of adapting to circumstances; she’s an orphan who “plays the game” to survive. What is real, and what is imagined?

Stay with Me by Ayobami Adebayo

September 2017

I love powerful slim novels where each page matters as the writing is streamlined and thoughtful. That is what I found reading Ayobami Adebayo’s debut novel, STAY WITH ME. It opens in the early 1980s where two university students, Yejide and Akin, have met and fallen in love. At a time when polygamy is actively practiced in Nigeria, they embrace a modern approach to relationships, vowing to have a single marriage.