Skip to main content Bets On...

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 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.

Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin

September 2017

In YOUNG JANE YOUNG, Gabrielle Zevin, who many of our readers know from THE STORIED LIFE OF A.J. FIKRY, has written a book that at its core looks at what happens when you are young and make a mistake. Well, not just any mistake, but rather you have an affair with your very high-profile boss, a Congressman, when you are an intern and you get outed for it. Where does one go on after this? Well, if you are Aviva Grossman, you leave South Florida and head to Allison Springs, Maine --- and you change your name to Jane Young and become an event planner. Yes, you are following me here, an event planner in Maine.

Unraveling Oliver by Liz Nugent

September 2017

About six months ago, I read an advance copy of Liz Nugent’s UNRAVELING OLIVER in a few hours while my husband was watching a golf match in the other room. I was so excited about it that it’s been hard to not have it in stores to share with our readers until a couple of weeks ago. What kept me plastered to that couch? Liz’s plotting chops as they produced one reveal after the next. One really does unravel Oliver Ryan from page one. Ahhhh Oliver!

A Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena

August 2017

I enjoyed Shari Lapena’s A STRANGER IN THE HOUSE as much as her mega-hit from last year, THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR. It’s the kind of book where my head was swiveling while I was reading as the plot twisted one way and the next. I love swift plot changes, as they keep me reading! Shari also has a very distinctive voice and style after just two books. Just reading the opening paragraphs, I knew she was the writer.