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Best of Book Expo 2019

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  • Best of Book Expo 2019
  • Photo from Book Expo 2019
    You can’t miss all the big upcoming bestsellers advertised in the conference’s main foyer. Photo by Jessica Sheff
  • Photo from Book Expo 2019
    Each year, Book Expo takes over the Jacob Javits Centre in New York (May 2019). Photo by Jessica Sheff

Jessica, Preston | August 1, 2019

If you are looking for the ultimate preview of upcoming book releases, there’s no better place to go than Book Expo, North America’s largest publishing trade show, held each spring in New York City. This year I was lucky enough to attend: I learned about the latest publishing trends, saw famous authors in person, and – most importantly – I got all the details on the biggest books of Fall 2019. Read on for some of the buzz-worthiest fiction and nonfiction coming this fall to an Idea Exchange near you:

No Judgments by Meg Cabot (September 2019): Stuck in the Florida Keys after a hurricane wipes out the only bridge to her island, an animal-lover decides to rescue all the pets left behind by their evacuated owners … with the assistance of her boss’s sexy nephew. Fans are eagerly awaiting this, Meg Cabot’s first adult contemporary romance since 2016’s “The Boy Is Back.”

The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates (September 2019): Ta-Nehisi Coates (“Between the World and Me,” “We Were Eight Years in Power”) drew a huge crowd at Book Expo’s adult author panel, as he spoke about his highly-anticipated debut novel. “The Water Dancer” is historical fiction meets magical realism. It follows a young man in slavery who – despite having an exceptional memory – cannot remember his own mother. In order to save himself and the people he loves, he will have to come to terms with the memories he cannot face … and the mysterious power he possesses.

Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell (September 2019): Malcolm Gladwell is back! Gladwell appeared at Book Expo’s adult author panel to promote his first book since 2013’s “David and Goliath.” In “Talking to Strangers,” Gladwell is tackling the ways in which strangers fundamentally misunderstand one another. During his address, he used the trial of Amanda Knox and the death of Sandra Bland as examples of how these misunderstandings can lead to tragedy. As with his other books (and his hit podcast, Revisionist History), “Strangers” promises to be a thought-provoking read.

The World That We Knew by Alice Hoffman (September 2019): Judging by the extremely long lineups to grab advanced copies of this book at Book Expo, fans of Alice Hoffman (“Practical Magic,” “The Dovekeepers”) are eagerly anticipating her latest work of magical realism. “The World That We Knew,” is a story of the French Resistance during the Second World War. It follows a young Jewish girl who has escaped from Germany accompanied by a golem (a creature from Jewish folklore), and the extraordinary people they meet along their journey to safety.

High School by Sara Quin & Tegan Quin (September 2019): Why did Canadian pop duo Tegan and Sara take a break from their highly successful music career to write a joint memoir about their high school experience? At a panel, they explained that when they meet fans, the most frequently asked questions they receive are about their adolescence and the genesis of their career. “High School” promises to answer fans’ most burning questions, while also providing an interesting and relatable story for everyone else.

Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson (September 2019): Award-winning author Jacqueline Woodson (“Brown Girl Dreaming,” “Another Brooklyn”) had a very busy Book Expo: In addition to hosting the keynote roundtable discussion about modern storytelling, she was also there to promote her latest novel. “Red at the Bone” is a contemporary family drama following three generations at different points in time. If early reviews are anything to go by, Woodson’s writing is just as poetic as ever.

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo (October 2019): It was standing room only when bestselling author Leigh Bardugo (“Shadow and Bone,” “King of Scars”) was interviewed on stage at Book Expo. While she did dish about the upcoming Netflix adaptation of her acclaimed YA fantasy, “Six of Crows,” the main topic of conversation was her adult debut. Inspired by her own experience as a student at Yale, “Ninth House” is a dark fantasy about the occult activities of the school’s secret societies.

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern (November 2019): In “The Starless Sea,” a young man encounters a mysterious book … and discovers an episode from his own past within its pages. This discovery leads him on an epic quest which includes a dangerous secret society, a pirate (who is really a metaphor), owl kings, a hidden underground library, and true love. The anticipation surrounding Erin Morgenstern’s follow-up to “The Night Circus” is best exemplified by the frenzied mob that surrounded a bemused Random House representative at Book Expo to demand advanced copies. Reserve your copy ASAP.