10 Favorite Reads from our Monthly Highlights

Every month throughout the year, we feature 5 brand-spanking-new titles, as well as keeping a running of adult fiction books that are creating buzz. Here are the favorites from 2018! And, don't forget to check out the booklist New December 2018 Books You'll Want to Read.

A memoir for the masses: Educated: A Memoir.

Featured in 5 Hot New Titles for FebruaryBorn to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, author Tara Westover knew how to prepare for the end of the world, but she had never stepped foot inside a classroom. Tara's family was so isolated from society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education. As a way out of her predicament, Tara began to educate herself, learning enough to be admitted to Brigham Young University at the age of seventeen. Her quest for knowledge would transform her, taking her to places she only dreamed of going. "Tara Westover has crafted a universal coming-of-age story that gets to the heart of what an education offers: the perspective to see one's life through new eyes, and the will to change it." (from the publisher

A moving testimonial to love and family: An American Marriage.

Featured on the list New February Books You'll Want to Read. Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are settling into a life routine together when a visit back to Roy's hometown in Lousiana lands him in hot water.As she lies in police custody on the asphalt, next to her unjustly accused husband, Celestial recalls the pronouncement from their wedding: "What God has brought together, let no man tear asunder." But an American marriage - especially if a black man is involved - can easily be ruptured by institutionalized racism. This is an insightful look into the lives of people who are bound and separated by forces beyond their control. (from the publisher)

An absorbing and powerful tale of a black-sheep goddess: Circe.

Featured on the list New April 2018 Books You'll Want to Read. Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, is blessed with a daughter. But Circe inherits strange abilities that are neither powerful like her father's nor alluring like her mother's - the beautiful sea nymph Perse. After turning her mortal lover into a god, she discovers she does have powers - magical ones, at that. But after transforming Scylla, a rival, into a monster, she is banished from Olympia. As Circe's moving story unfolds, we see her encounter some of the famous faces in mythology: the Minotaur, Daedalus, Medea, and, of course, the mighty Odysseus. Although she becomes feared by the gods, she faces a lifetime of lonely immortality. Will that be enough for her? (from the publisher

Sit back and enjoy the wild thrill ride in The Death of Mrs. Westaway.

Featured on the list New May 2018 Books You'll Want to Read. What if you received a letter bequeathing a hefty inheritance from someone you've never met before? That's exactly what happens to Hal, a down-on-her-luck tarot card reader. She immediately realizes the message was sent to the wrong person - but, her "cold-reading" tarot card skills may help her claim the money - which she obviously needs. Soon, Hal finds herself at the funeral of the deceased . . . where she realizes there's something very, very wrong about the situation, and she's in the middle of it. Called the "Agatha Christie of our time," Ruth Ware's fourth novel is her "best yet." (from the publisher)

Face the untamed and unpredictable Alaskan wilderness in The Great Alone.

Featured in 5 Hot New Titles for February. Meet the Allbrights - father Ernt, mother Cora, and teenaged daughter Leni: the latest family to come to the wilds of Alaska in 1974. Ernt, the PTSD-afflicted patriarch, inherits a remote homestead from a fallen Vietnam War army buddy. His vision? Self-sufficiency and overall independence from a nation whose reason for war is on shaky ground. Why not start everything over in America's last true frontier? But, as winter approaches and days of darkness settle in on Alaska, Ernt's already fragile mind begins to deteriorate, and the family of three begins to fall apart. Soon, the perils outdoors will be small compared to what may happen inside the house. For in the wild, you see, there is no one to help you but yourself. (from the publisher)

Predict the future - and possibly your death - in The Immortalists.

Featured in 5 Hot New Titles for January. In 1969, the four Gold children - Simon, Klara, Daniel, and Varya - decide to visit a psychic on Manhattan's Lower East Side who can supposedly predict the date each of them will die. The prophecies the mystic inform the children of their next five decades: youngest Simon looking for love in the 1980s San Francisco gay scene; dreamy Klara becoming a magician and stage illusionist in Las Vegas; serious Varya becomes deeply involved - ironically - in longevity research; while eldest Daniel marries and becomes a post-9/11 army doctor. With these curious and sometimes dangerous futures established, author Chloe Benjamin creates a deeply moving testament to the power of story, the nature of belief, and the pull of family bonds. (from the publisher)

A sweet and refreshing debut romance novel: The Kiss Quotient

Featured in 5 Hot New Titles for June. Econometrician Stella Lane is more comfortable with statistics than with people. With her ever-pressing mother on her back, Stella is at a loss in the love department. It doesn't help that she has Asperger's, and sex and dating are strange subjects to her. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice - with a professional, perhaps. Which is why she hires a Vietnamese-Swedish escort, Michael Phan. Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses, but also crave all of the other things he's making her feel. And, the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic. (from the publisher)

A multi-generational, shattering portrait of a nation in There There.

Featured on the list New June 2018 Books You'll Want to Read. Hundreds of Native Americans come to the Big Oakland Powwow for different reasons every year. For example, the now-sober Jacquie Red Feather is trying to make it back to the family she left behind in shame; Dene Oxedrene has come to work the Powwow and to honor his recently-passed uncle's memory; Edwin Frank has come to find his true father; Bobby Big Medicine has come to drum the Grand Entry; Opal Viola Victoria Bear Shield has come to watch her nephew Orvil Red Feather dance; Orvil Red Feather has taught himself Indian dance through YouTube videos, and he has come to the powwow to dance in public for the very firsttime. And, Tony Loneman, a young Native American, has come to the Powwow with darker intentions - intentions that will destroy the lives of everyone in his path. A story about violence and recovery, hope and loss, identity and power, dislocation and communion, and the beauty and despair that are woven into the history of a nation and its people. (from the publisher)

A fake date may lead to something more in The Wedding Date.

Featured on the list New January 2018 You'll Want to Read. Alexa Monroe just agreed to go to a wedding with a guy she got stuck in an elevator with. Smooth move. But, there is something about Drew Nichols that's too hard to resist. From the best man's toast to the bouquet toss, Alexa and Drew have more fun than they ever thought possible. But before they know it, Drew has to fly back to Los Angeles and his job as a pediatric surgeon, and Alexa heads home to Berkeley, where she's the mayor's chief of staff. Too bad they can't stop thinking about the other. They're just two high-powered professionals on a collision course toward the long-distance-dating disaster of the century - or closing the gap between what they think they need and what they truly want. (from the publisher)

If it's paranoia, or is it really happening in The Woman in the Window?

Featured in 5 Hot New Titles for January. Anna Fox hadn't always lived alone. A former child psychologist with an escalating anxiety disorder, she has become a recluse in her Harlem brownstone, drinking too much wine, and watching old movies . . . and spying on her neighbors. When the intriguing Russells move next door, it reminds Anna of her "past family" (with whom she stays in contact but never sees): a father, a mother, and their teenaged son. The perfect family. But when Anna sees something she shouldn't, her world begins to crumble - and its shocking secrets are laid bare. What is real? What is imagined? Who is in danger? Who is in control? (from the publisher)