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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 Girl from Widow Hills by Megan Miranda

June 2020

THE GIRL FROM WIDOW HILLS by Megan Miranda is a brisk suspense/thriller. In it, Arden Maynor was six years old when she sleepwalked away from her house, fell into a river and was swept away in a rainstorm. Days later, she was found alive and became a celebrity for it. But that celebrity was too much for her. She has changed her name and tried to move on from her unwanted “fame.”

The Last Flight by Julie Clark

June 2020

THE LAST FLIGHT is a tautly plotted thriller that I wanted to read from the moment I heard Julie Clark tell me about it back in January at a publisher preview event. And it completely delivered.

What's Left of Me Is Yours by Stephanie Scott

June 2020

WHAT'S LEFT OF ME IS YOURS by Stephanie Scott is a brilliant debut novel set in modern-day Japan. It revolves around the tradition of “wakaresaseya,” where one person is hired by another to seduce a spouse and break up a marriage, with a goal that this will bring a better settlement in a divorce.

Two Truths and a Lie by Meg Mitchell Moore

June 2020

TWO TRUTHS AND A LIE is a brisk read set in the beach town of Newburyport, Massachusetts, which is where author Meg Mitchell Moore lives. She made me want to visit there.

The Guest List by Lucy Foley

June 2020

THE GUEST LIST by Lucy Foley is set on a remote island off the coast of Ireland.

The bride runs a magazine, and the groom is an actor with a hit show. The attendees include the best man’s fraternity brothers, who harbor a dark secret; the bridesmaid, who is a bit offbeat; the best man’s wife, who knows that her husband had a thing with the bride; and the wedding planner, who is holding it all together.

The Second Home by Christina Clancy

June 2020

THE SECOND HOME by Christina Clancy hits on a theme to which many baby boomers can relate. The older parents in a family have passed away, and it’s time to figure out what to do with the family vacation home that has been around for the children’s entire lives.

Hollywood Park: A Memoir by Mikel Jollett

June 2020

HOLLYWOOD PARK by Mikel Jollett is a brilliant memoir, with a unique storytelling structure that enhances the read.

As a young child, Mikel lived in what started as a commune in California that later devolved into a cult called the Church of Synanon. I confess to being riveted to the behavior that happens in a group like this, but I knew little about Synanon as I started reading.

The Paris Hours by Alex George

May 2020

THE PARIS HOURS by Alex George is set over one day in 1927 in Paris. This is Paris at a time when the arts and culture scene is brilliant and dynamic --- and, yes, many well-known names like Ernest Hemingway, Marcel Proust and Josephine Baker, and their work, are swirling through the city and giving it so much energy. But Alex chose not to write about those personalities, but rather four ordinary people: three men and one woman. They go about their days toiling at their work, each with secrets and backstories that Alex gradually weaves together.

The Heirloom Garden by Viola Shipman

May 2020

I dare you to read THE HEIRLOOM GARDEN and not want to garden --- or at least visit a garden, or arrange some flowers. This book, the fifth in Viola Shipman’s Heirloom series, is the best one, which is saying something as I loved THE SUMMER COTTAGE last year.

Tiny Imperfections by Alli Frank

May 2020

I read TINY IMPERFECTIONS back in January after meeting the authors, Alli Frank and Asha Youmans, at the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting. Their presentation was so good that I could not wait to read it. In fact, Asha handed me her personal copy, which her mother had wrapped in a fabulous plastic cover.