You are here

Back to top

Previous "Picks"

These are books that were featured on our New Fiction Page, as well as our monthly e-newsletter.

We've moved them here as they were replaced by newer "picks" on the fiction page.

They may be a tad older, but they're still great reads.

Anxious People: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781501160837
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Atria Books - September 8th, 2020

Review from Book Bin owner, 

Jamie Morrison  I have loved Fredrik Backman since reading A Man Called Ove and especially since Beartown. Great characters robed in humanity full of foibles, insights, and humor help me both to connect to the story while simultaneously exploring the depths of my own thoughts, feelings, and needs. In his latest book, Backman sets the stage in the first paragraph revealing this book may be about a bank robbery, a hostage crisis and bad decisions. While these are the circumstances and the framework of the plot, they are not the heart of this wonderful tale. This book is about people who carry anxieties, vulnerabilities, and longings. Backman's writing engages the reader in a winsome and humorous way while inviting the audience to recognize we have far more in common than we may at first realize. We are not so much a banker, a robber, couples, or cops, but we are all anxious people dealing with the challenges of our interconnected lives. This book calls us to find the goodness in ourselves and others and is a welcome balm in our current context.

Eli's Promise: A Novel Cover Image
Email or call for price
ISBN: 9781250271464
Published: St. Martin's Press - September 22nd, 2020

Review from Book Bin owner and employee, Alli Gilley

We have come to expect so much from Ron Balson's stories that it must be hard to follow up his last one (The Girl From Berlin). In Eli's Promise, Ron brings us what he does best: a heartrending, unputdownable story from the dark days of the Holocaust and the consequences that follow. Taking place over three decades, this story begins in Poland in 1939 (a place Ron has written of before), follows Eli Rosen to a displaced persons camp in 1945, and later to in Chicago in 1965. 

In Ron's words: "

You know, my books are all historical fiction.  Each one is grounded in a specific locale and occurs at a specific time period, sometimes even more than one time period.  The plot tends to weave itself through the events of the era. Patterns emerge.  There are heroes and there are villains.  But in writing these stories, it has occurred to me that human nature remains constant, no matter the time period or the external circumstances.  Eli's Promise focuses on the strength of a family's love and its quest to stay together and protect each other through catastrophic times.  It is also the story of a ruthless profiteer who seeks influence,  financial gain and status at the expense of the most desperate during those same times.   I chose three settings for Eli's Promise; Lublin, Poland during World War II, a postwar, displaced person's camp in Allied occupied Germany, and the Albany Park neighborhood in Chicago in 1965.  A common thread connects them all.  There are stories that I found in each of the those settings that I thought were important to retell.  The plot of Eli's Promise interlaces itself through those stories.

Best always,


You don't have to read any of Ron's other books to read this one, as it does not feature his longtime characters, Catherine and Liam. What it does feature is a man searching for the truth of what happened to his wife many years ago. We can't stress enough how fun it has been to follow Ron's career from his first self-published book to now - 6 books into his contract with St. Martin's Press. He's a winner of the National Jewish Book Award, and he's a winner in the hearts of our booksellers.

The Book of Two Ways: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781984818355
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ballantine Books - September 22nd, 2020

Dawn Edelstein's life is about to change; she's on a plane when the flight attendant announces that everyone should brace themselves for a crash landing. The thoughts that enter Dawn's mind are not about her husband but of a man she worked with 15 years earlier, Wyatt Armstrong. Dawn worked with Wyatt in Egypt as an archaeology student unearthing ancient burial sites. Dawn is miraculously one of only 36 people to survive. She has built a company as a "death doula", a hospice nurse who helps ease the transition between life and death. But somewhere in Egypt is the memory of Wyatt.  Instead of going home to Boston, Dawn flies to Egypt where she feels that life has offered her a second chance to reconnect with her past and perhaps complete her research on The Book of Two Ways: the first known map of the afterlife. This is an usual book by Jodi Picoult; it isn't for everyone. There is a lot of technical information on hieroglyphics and archaeology. However, as you read and understand how the story is woven (that when given two choices that define who we become, if we chose differently what would life be), you might be drawn into the story as I was.

The Exiles: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062356345
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Custom House - August 25th, 2020

Review from Book Bin owner and employee, Alli Gilley

The author of the very successful book The Orphan Train has just released another fine work of historical fiction. In The Exiles, Christine Baker Kline takes us back to 1840, surprisingly on a ship of female convicts on a journey from England to Australia. Evangeline, having stood on trial for attempted murder and larceny, is sentenced to 14 years and "transport", where she'll be taken from her homeland to the notorious penal colony, Van Dieman's Land in Australia. She of course meets many women on this journey, but it is Olive and Hazel to whom she steadfastly clings. Simultaneously, a story of an Aboriginal Australian that has been adopted by a high class couple is unfolding; Mathinna has been taken from her home on the land to a stark and staid home because the woman of the house is a sort of "collector". What will happen to the sensitive orphan in this environment? Female friendships take center stage and Australia comes to life in this fabulous historical fiction novel.

Transcendent Kingdom: A novel Cover Image
Email or call for price
ISBN: 9780525658184
Published: Knopf - September 1st, 2020

Squeeze Me: A novel Cover Image
Email or call for price
ISBN: 9781524733452
Published: Knopf - August 25th, 2020

If you've read Carl Hiaasen before, you know what a wild ride his books take you on; this one is no different. As always, it is set in Florida, and this time it is Florida's gold coast at the height of the Palm Beach charity ball season. Kiki Pew, a rich widow and dedicated fan of the President, has shockingly gone missing from the grounds of a swank club, and the owners have spotted a gigantic python snake that they guess has eaten her. Or was it a more sinister plot from an immigrant that arrived that night to kill Kiki Pew? According to the President, that is the story you should believe. The twists and turns that this hilarious novel take are entertaining at a time when we really need it. If you want pure irreverent humor and light mystery, pick up Squeeze Me today.

His & Hers: A Novel Cover Image
Email or call for price
ISBN: 9781250266071
Published: Flatiron Books - July 28th, 2020

Review from Book Bin owner and employee, Amy Morrison

A fantastic and thrilling new novel from Alice Feeney has hit our shelves at the Book Bin, and we can't wait for you to get your (gloved) hands on it! There are two sides to every story, right? Feeney has taken this idea and added a major twist: three sides! His & Hers is the gripping story of murder in a small town and the detective and journalist who are called in to cover the story. We all know that in every small town, there is a connection between everyone and everything. This town most definitely is no exception to that. How is Jack, the detective, going to keep himself from becoming a suspect in his own investigation? How desperately does Anna, the journalist, want to seek revenge? What is the thread tying these two to the story? We don't know how Alice Feeney ties her plots together in such intricate knots, but we love trying to unravel them. His & Hers is a perfectly crafted psychological thriller from the first page to the last.

Migrations: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250204028
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Flatiron Books - August 4th, 2020

Review from Book Bin owner and employee Alli Gilley

This introspective book was the top pick by indie booksellers for the month of August. In this near future world, wildlife has dwindled down to almost nothing. Franny Stone has tagged the few remaining Arctic Terns as they migrate 50,000 miles (the longest known migration in the animal kingdom). Franny has her own "migration" to come to terms with: a tragedy in her past she is running from, both literally and emotionally. With many interesting secondary characters, Ms. McConaghy has written a rich and deep story that resonated with me.

Hamnet Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525657606
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Knopf - July 21st, 2020

Review from Book Bin employee, Nancy Randall

Hamnet is the only son of William and Agnes Shakespeare. He died at the age of eleven from the plague. Although his name is the title of O'Farrell's novel, the central character is Agnes. She was three months pregnant with her first child when she married Shakespeare and went to live at his parents' home in Stratford. Hamnet is the story of Agnes and her family. It is a tale of love, marriage, family, and grief. Hamnet is a beautifully written, vividly described novel with empathetic, complex characters. It is a masterfully done work of historical fiction.

The Lost and Found Bookshop: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062914095
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow - July 7th, 2020

Review from Book Bin employee Marla Alexander

After the shocking and unexpected death of her mother, Natalie Harper inherits her mother's charming and in need of repairs bookstore in San Francisco. The tragedy has upended her life but family comes first. Natalie has also become the caregiver for her ailing grandfather, Andrew.  She thinks it's best to move him to senior housing where he will be safe and well cared for. However, that takes money and unfortunately the bookstore is financially in the red.  To pay for it, she plans  to close the bookstore and sell the building. There's only one problem:  Grandpa Andrew owns the building and refuses to sell telling Natalie that there is a fortune in the building. The only idea that makes any sense is for Natalie to move in to the small apartment above the store that her mother lived in and hire someone to do the most necessary repairs. Andrew suggests a contractor who comes with young daughter Dorothy.  To Natalie's surprise, a connection is made with both of them and perhaps Grandpa Andrew is right all along.