While families stockpile toilet roll, food and all other basic fundamental essentials, I’m going to be stockpiling books. Obviously we’ve all got to eat, but many of us also fear the we’ll have nothing to do while we’re locked up in doors… If indeed it eventually comes to it. The UK and Europe are looking at a second wave of COVID-19 with the possibility of the USA not too far behind. Instead of the vicious cycle of video games, Netflix box sets and other distractions let’s do something productive. Here is a list of five brand new books, perfect for casual reading.

Confessions on the 7:45 by Lisa Unger

If you’re into suspense and thrillers, Confessions on the 7:45 could be the book of your dreams. Lisa Unger, The New York Times best-seller, is credited for being a master of suspense. With commercially successful adventures like Ink and Bone and In the Blood the literary world is excited to get their hands on Unger’s new novel: Confessions on the 7:45. 

Selena Murphy is commuting home from her job in the city when the train stalls out on the tracks. She strikes up a conversation with a beautiful stranger in the next seat, and their connection is fast and easy. The woman introduces herself as Martha and confesses that she’s been stuck in an affair with her boss. Selena, in turn, confesses that she suspects her husband is sleeping with the nanny. When the train arrives at Selena’s station, the two women part ways, presumably never to meet again.

But days later, Selena’s nanny disappears.

Soon Selena finds her once-perfect life upended. As she is pulled into the mystery of the missing nanny, and as the fractures in her marriage grow deeper, Selena begins to wonder, who was Martha really? But she is hardly prepared for what she’ll discover.   

Confessions on the 7:45 Synopsis

In a Hollidaze by Christina Lauren 

Christina Lauren, the New York Times bestselling author of The Unhooneymooners, is back with a more festive adventure. The book is a more comedic adventure for the reader, as a pose to Unger’s Confession on the 7:45, but it is equally as beguiling.  

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…but not for Maelyn Jones. She’s living with her parents, hates her going-nowhere job, and has just made a romantic error of epic proportions. But perhaps worst of all, this is the last Christmas Mae will be at her favorite place in the world—the snowy Utah cabin where she and her family have spent every holiday since she was born, along with two other beloved families. Mentally melting down as she drives away from the cabin for the final time, Mae throws out what she thinks is a simple plea to the universe: Please. Show me what will make me happy.

The next thing she knows, tires screech and metal collides, everything goes black. But when Mae gasps awake…she’s on an airplane bound for Utah, where she begins the same holiday all over again. With one hilarious disaster after another sending her back to the plane, Mae must figure out how to break free of the strange time loop—and finally get her true love under the mistletoe.

Jam-packed with yuletide cheer, an unforgettable cast of characters, and Christina Lauren’s trademark “downright hilarious” (Helen Hoang, author of The Bride Test) hijinks, this swoon-worthy romantic read will make you believe in the power of wishes and the magic of the holidays. 

In a Hollidaze Synopsis

Closer to Nowhere by Ellen Hopkins 

If you’re a fan of poetry, Closer to Nowhere will be a fantastic read for you. Ellen Hopkins’ new book is written completely in verse. A nice change of pace from the majority of novels we pick up and an exciting new addition to October’s upcoming releases. 

For the most part, Hannah’s life is just how she wants it. She has two supportive parents, she’s popular at school, and she’s been killing it at gymnastics. But when her cousin Cal moves in with her family, everything changes. Cal tells half-truths and tall tales, pranks Hannah constantly, and seems to be the reason her parents are fighting more and more. Nothing is how it used to be. She knows that Cal went through a lot after his mom died and she is trying to be patient, but most days Hannah just wishes Cal never moved in.

For his part, Cal is trying his hardest to fit in, but not everyone is as appreciative of his unique sense of humor and storytelling gifts as he is. Humor and stories might be his defense mechanism, but if Cal doesn’t let his walls down soon, he might push away the very people who are trying their best to love him.

Told in verse from the alternating perspectives of Hannah and Cal, this is a story of two cousins who are more alike than they realize and the family they both want to save.  

Closer to Nowhere Synopsis

Every Last Secret by A.R. Torre 

If you love the mysterious and psychological, there’s a good chance you’ll vibe with this thriller. The international bestselling author, A.R. Torre is famous for her works The Girl in 6E and Do Not Disturb. Her latest novel is in a similar vein and becomes the next instalment of her brand of psychological thrills and rollercoaster mystery.  

Cat Winthorpe has worked hard to get what she has: a gorgeous home; social standing; and William, her successful, handsome husband. Then a friendly new couple moves into the estate next door. While cautious, a good neighbour like Cat greets them with open arms and warm hospitality.

Neena Ryder isn’t a fellow lady of leisure. A life coach with off-the-rack dresses, personal issues, and a husband who hasn’t delivered, she’s anxious to move up in the world. This beautiful new town is a step in the right direction. It’s also making Neena aware of what she doesn’t have. Namely, William. When Neena’s infatuation escalates into obsession, it’s just a matter of eliminating a few obstacles to get the life she wants. The life next door.

As Neena’s secret fixation grows, so does her friendship with Cat. But beneath their cordial interactions is a wealth of temptations, secrets, and toxic jealousy. For both women, the desire for a perfect life can turn perfectly dangerous.

Every Last Secret Synopsis

Odd Bird by Lee Farnsworth 

Odd Bird is an intriguing tale and something of a wildcard in this particular list. Lee Farnsworth’s romantic novel piqued my interest due to a rather intriguing synopsis. If you like romance and perhaps feel like reading something a little different, this book seems like an ideal read.   

Simon Selwood is an academic expert on the monogamous sexual behaviour of birds, but hopeless at finding human love. Then he meets Kim, and at last something is more important to him than ornithology.

Kim doesn’t give a hoot about birds. And at first she isn’t very interested in Simon either. Relying on what he has gleaned from observing the opportunistic pied flycatcher and other species, plus the unorthodox advice of old friend Phil, Simon sets out on a mission to discover love for himself.

But will he make the right choice?

Odd Bird takes a light-hearted look at the battle of the sexes, drawing on the surprising parallels between the courtship behaviours of humans and birds.

Odd Bird Synopsis

What’s on Your List?    

What do you think of my list? Are you guys excited to read any of these new books? Let me know what you think down in the comments. I’d love to know what other books you’re excited for too. Let me know if I missed any.