NYTBR’s “Best Books of the Year (So Far)”: 6 of 7 Fiction, 3 of 5 Nonfiction Are Ours


With the weather getting sunnier and warmer, Summer is arriving, at last. With Summer, naturally, comes Summer Reading, which the New York Times Book Review ushers in every first Sunday in June with its much-anticipated Summer Reading issue of books they recommend, published in the past half-year.

This season’s edition has a surprise: a first-ever “The Best Books of the Year (So Far)” list,  now available online, compiled by the editors. This surprise is a delightful one  for us—because six of the seven Fiction, and three of the five Nonfiction titles they have selected are published by our Doubleday, Knopf, Viking, Random House, and Penguin Press imprints. They range from books familiar to many, to those now becoming better known.

Warm congratulations to their authors, editors, and publishing teams of all nine, presented below with captions for each from the Book Review.

A reminder that we soon will be offering many more Summer Reading recommendations of our own, from several of our Sales Colleagues, at our companywide Town Hall, on Tuesday, June 11, at 4 pm, in the Cerf/Lane Room on 14.  The live event will also be streamed here on OurHouse.

As we bask in this near-mid-year “Best” NYTBR recognitions, it is exciting to remind ourselves that we have seven more months ahead of many PRH potential year’s Best books to publish.


James by Percival EverettJAMES by Percival Everett (Doubleday)
“This reworking of the “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” Jim, the enslaved man who accompanies Huck down the Mississippi River, is the narrator, and he recounts the classic tale in a language that is his own, with details that reveal a far more resourceful, cunning and powerful character than we knew.”

Good Material by Dolly AldertonGOOD MATERIAL by Dolly Alderton (Knopf)
“Alderton’s novel, about a 35-year-old struggling to make sense of a breakup, delivers the most delightful aspects of romantic comedy — snappy dialogue, realistic relationship dynamics, funny meet-cutes and misunderstandings — and leaves behind clichéd gender roles and the traditional marriage plot. ”

Martyr! by Kaveh AkbarMARTYR! by Kaveh Akbar (Knopf)
“A young Iranian American aspiring poet and recovering addict grieves his parents’ deaths while fantasizing about his own in Akbar’s remarkable first novel, which, haunted by death, also teems with life — in the inventive beauty of its sentences, the vividness of its characters and the surprising twists of its plot.”

The Hunter by Tana FrenchTHE HUNTER by Tana French (Viking)
“For Tana French fans, every one of the thriller writer’s twisty, ingenious books is an event. Once again sees the retired Chicago cop Cal Hooper, a perennial outsider in the Irish west-country hamlet of Ardnakelty, caught up in the crimes — seen and unseen — that eat at the seemingly picturesque village.”

Wandering Stars by Tommy OrangeWANDERING STARS by Tommy Orange (Knopf)
“This follow-up to Orange’s debut, “There There,”  it trails the young survivor of a 19th-century massacre of Native Americans, chronicling not just his harsh fate but those of his descendants. In its second half, the novel enters 21st-century Oakland, following the family in the aftermath of a shooting.”

Headshot by Rita BullwinkelHEADSHOT by Rita Bullwinkel (Viking)
“Set at a women’s boxing tournament in Reno, Nev., this novel centers on eight contestants, and the fights — physical and emotional — they bring to the ring.  Headshot is a portrait of the desire, envy, perfectionism, madness, and sheer physical pleasure that motivate young women to fight.”



Knife by Salman RushdieKNIFE: Meditations After an Attempted Murder by Salman Rushdie (Random House)
“In his candid, plain-spoken and gripping new memoir, Rushdie recalls the attempted assassination he survived in 2022 .His attacker had piranhic energy. He also had a knife. Rushdie lost an eye, but he has slowly recovered thanks to the attentive care of doctors and the wife he celebrates here.”

Everyone Who Is Gone Is Here by Jonathan BlitzerEVERYONE WHO IS GONE IS HERE: The United States, Central America, and the Making of a Crisis by Jonathan Blitzer (Penguin Press)
“This urgent and propulsive account of Latin American politics and immigration makes a persuasive case for a direct line from U.S. foreign policy in Central America to the current migrant crisis.”

The Wide Wide Sea by Hampton SidesTHE WIDE WIDE SEA: Imperial Ambition, First Contact and the Fateful Final Voyage of Captain James Cook by Hampton Sides (Doubleday)
“This urgent and propulsive account of Latin American politics and immigration makes a persuasive case for a direct line from U.S. foreign policy in Central America to the current migrant crisis.”

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Posted: May 28, 2024