Best of the Buzz: 5 Most Exciting Buzz Book Excerpts

The Fall/Winter Buzz Books are here! I’m always curious to see which books are spotlighted in Publishers Lunch’s epic Buzz Books—collections published twice a year of excerpts from the most highly anticipated releases for the upcoming season. Buzz Books 2020: Fall/Winter highlights 30 forthcoming titles (with sections for Fiction, Debut, Nonfiction, and Young Adult) and Buzz Books 2020: Romance showcases 14 upcoming romances. Now that the Fall/Winter editions are available to Read Now on NetGalley, I didn’t waste any time before diving in to discover the 5 excerpts that excited me the most. Read on below to find out which books I chose and why—and then download both Buzz Books to explore all the excerpts! Pro tip: At the end of most excerpts, you will find a link to the full galley on NetGalley.

The Push by Ashley Audrain

This debut excerpt hooked me from the very first line and kept me fascinated until the end. The timeline is split in three for this psychological thriller: the present day as Blythe watches her child being cared for by another woman, the past when Blythe first gave birth, and finally to the childhood of Blythe’s mother, Cecilia. I’m eager to keep reading to discover how the threads connect, and to learn more about Blythe’s mysterious relationship with her daughter.

How To Fail at Flirting by Denise Williams

Romance novels are the first books I turn to in hard times (as you can imagine I’ve been reading a lot lately). I’m interested in quite a few in this season’s Buzz Books, but the one at the top of my list is How To Fail at Flirting—I didn’t want the excerpt to end! The book follows Professor Naya Turner, whose lovingly meddling friends convince her to create a to-do list of items that will shake up her life and routine. The list leads her to Jake, who’s in town on business. The excerpt stops before they meet so I can’t wait to discover what this romance hero is like, as well as how Naya tackles career uncertainty and healing after leaving an abusive ex.

We Keep the Dead Close by Becky Cooper

Of all the nonfiction, the excerpt that stood out for me was this true crime narrative. Becky Cooper recounts hearing rumors of a murder during her undergraduate years at Harvard, and how the story continued to interest her due to its ever-changing details and the fact that no one seemed to have fought to find the killer. Already, I love the concept of stripping away the salacious rumors and getting to the heart of the woman at the center of this case: Jane Britton, a 23-year-old graduate student in Harvard’s Anthropology Department.

The Office of Historical Corrections by Danielle Evans

Lately, I’ve been wanting to read more short stories, and I think I’ve found the perfect book to start with. This excerpt included one of the tales in this collection (“Boys Go to Jupiter”), which explores grief, race, and American history through the lens of a white college student whose photo posing in a Confederate-flag bikini goes viral. Evans immediately pulled me in with her voice, style, and pacing. I’m already looking forward to finding out what else this collection holds in store.

Lore by Alexandra Bracken

Sign me up for anything inspired by mythology. Alexandra Bracken’s excerpt introduces us to Lore, the heroine at the center of this YA tale. She’s a fierce fighter, taking down opponents in the ring as she waits for the perfect moment to seek revenge on those who killed her family. In this world, every seven years Zeus turns the gods into mortals, forcing them to live in a mortal body for a week. That week is here, and it’s Lore’s chance to strike. I’m always here for teen girls saving the world, and I’m especially excited to read my first Bracken book.

Which Buzz Books are exciting you the most?

Kelly Gallucci

Kelly Gallucci is the Executive Editor of We Are Bookish, where she oversees the editorial content, offers book recommendations, and interviews authors and NetGalley members. When she's not working, Kelly can be found color coordinating her bookshelves, eating Chipotle, and watching way too many baking shows.

  1. The NetGalley book I read most recently is KINGS COUNTY by David Goodwillie. It’s a big sprawling book in the manner of Tom Wolfe, about a group of young people in current day Brooklyn and a crime in their past. Wonderful writing and a terrific read. I think this is a book people will be talking about.

  2. I’m very much into rock star romance lately and can’t get enough of them. I wish Netgalley had a genre just for them because they’re hard to find unless the words rock star are in the title.

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