The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel
Mandel’s luminous post-apocalyptic novel Station Eleven was a critical and commercial success. Readers have been waiting six years for a followup. Happily, she delivers with The Glass Hotel. Like Station Eleven, it follows a cast of seemingly unrelated characters through a web of surprising connections. A young man plagued by a heroin addiction, his enigmatic half-sister, and the financier at the heart of a massive Ponzi scheme take center stage. With deftly drawn characters and artful prose, this haunting novel explores guilt, responsibility, and the surprising impact of small choices.
Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes
MLB player Dean has lost his ability to pitch; young widow Evvie Drake is still processing the death of her husband. When Dean, fleeing the media, rents the apartment above Evvie’s house in small-town Maine, they begin an unlikely friendship. A charming, warmhearted novel about baseball, love, and starting over.
The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach
Another warmhearted baseball novel, The Art of Fielding follows five characters, including shortstop prodigy Henry Skrimshander. Their lives become intertwined as the Westish College baseball team moves toward its division championships. The Art of Fielding is big, beautifully written, and delightfully old-fashioned.
Emily Calkins is the readers’ services program coordinator for KCLS, where she specializes in connecting readers with stories, authors, and each other. She also is the co-host of KCLS’ podcast, The Desk Set. As a reader, she likes flawed characters, atmospheric world-building, and anything with a slow-burn romance.