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by Allison Duncan

Commuter reads are essential to starting and ending the day right. Those of us with lengthy commutes know they’re hard to handle day after day without a good book. To pass the time, we’ve rounded up a collection of engrossing thrillers and captivating love stories that make hours feel like minutes Trust us: a Netflix binge has nothing on a great read. 

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The Good Goodbye by Carla Buckley – January 12, 2016

How well do we know our children? That’s the premise of Carla Buckley’s The Good Goodbye, the story of a family’s struggle to hold together while their secrets threaten to tear them apart. Natalie Falcone would say she knows her daughter, Arden, very well, and she isn’t too worried as she sends her off to college – that is, until she gets the call that Arden’s been in a terrible fire, along with her cousin and best friend, Rory. Both girls are critically injured and another student has died. The police suspect arson.

The story moves at the whiplash pace of a thriller and crackles with moral ambiguity, while being instantly relatable as it explores the circumstances of a normal family coping with impossible choices. 

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The Ex by Alafair Burke – January 26, 2016

He’s your ex – the one who got away. In your memories, he will always be a good guy. But what if, in reality, he was not the man you thought he was?

From this ‘what if’ emerges New York Times’ bestselling author Alafair Burke’s The Ex, a novel that reunites former lovers under shocking circumstances in a suspenseful psychological thriller.

“As I wrote about Olivia and Jack, I thought about my own ex,” says Burke. “Was I truly the bad guy? Was he really so devastated? Am I remembering what we were actually like or only what I’ve been telling myself over the years? I don’t know and probably never will. Some relationships belong in the past.”

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The Forgetting Time by Sharon Guskin – February 2, 2016

The Forgetting Time by Sharon Guskin is a captivating, thought-provoking novel that explores what we regret in the end of our lives, hope for in the beginning and everything in-between.

A mother gets a call from school that she needs to come in to discuss her young son’s behavior – he is saying inappropriate things, dark things that concern his teacher. Across town, another mother’s young son has been missing for eight years when three strangers show up on her doorstep and change everything.

The stories converge with equal parts mystery and a testament to the profound connection between a child and parent, The Forgetting Time marks the debut of a major new talent.

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Opening Belle by Maureen Sherry – February 2, 2016

Maureen Sherry’s debut adult novel Opening Belle situates readers just before the 2008 crash, on the trading floor where the few women who have made it up the ranks endure obscene nicknames, sexual pranks and daily reminders that theirs is a world still run by men.

To succeed on Wall Street, women find themselves shoehorned into a few different types, like the Seductress (while she likes to think she didn’t get promoted because she’s gymnastical on a boardroom table, she did. You had better not cross her because whatever you deny, she has video to prove otherwise) or the Compartmentalizer (often a working mother who never shares anything about her personal life. A determined professional at work, she has radar for wasted time. Please don’t ask her to join you for a drink).

Stereotypes aside, the novel’s fresh look at women’s lives in the workplace is, at its core, a great story of love, career and motherhood. Keep an eye out for the upcoming film – Reese Witherspoon has already optioned rights to produce and star with a screenplay underway.

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The Ramblers by Aidan Donnelley Rowley – February 9, 2016

Although it’s early, we’ve already committed to Aidan Donnelley Rowley’s The Ramblers as one of our favorite books of the year. The Ramblers is the sweeping, sumptuous story of three lost souls, bound together by friendship and family, struggling to find themselves over the course of one life-changing Thanksgiving week.

As the fateful week unfolds, these three friends – Clio, Smith and Tate – find they must let go of the past in order to make room for the future and uncertainty and promise it holds. You’ll at once fall in love with both the characters and with New York City itself – the author is a native, marking the novel as a love letter to the city she knows and loves and captures so well.

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The Widow by Fiona Barton – February 16, 2016

How well can you really know someone? What secrets live within a marriage? These are two of the questions at the heart of Fiona Barton’s stunning debut novel, a haunting psychological thriller that is already drawing comparisons to recent successes like Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train – we’d agree with both.

In The Widow, Jean Taylor is the wife of a man who may be a monster. Though never convicted, Glen Taylor was the prime suspect in a horrible crime that captivated people across England and had camera crews camping out on the Taylors’ front lawn. Now, a week after Glen’s death, journalist Kate Waters shows up at Jean’s door seeking the scoop of a lifetime and though Jean kept quiet during the trial, she is finally ready to break her silence.

The desperate search for answers and the stories of the widow, the journalist and the detective converge in a shocking ending that will leave you eager to make The Widow your next book club read.

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I’m Glad About You by Theresa Rebeck – February 23, 2016

I’m Glad About You, the latest from Pulitzer Prize-nominated playwright and creator of NBC’s hit series Smash, is a glittering study of how far the compromises two people make will take them from the lives they were meant to live.

Alison and Kyle’s meeting in a parking lot outside a high school football game was all-at-once both completely forgettable and utterly life-changing. Because no matter how you look at it, it is bad luck to meet the love of your life… before your life has even started.

Even as their fates rocket them forward and apart, neither can fully let go of the past. And when their lives inevitably intersect, they must face each other in the revealing light of their decisions.

At times funny, at others sad, we loved the tenderhearted characters and relatable storyline that almost begs you to take a second look at the choices of your past before landing on an ending that is heartbreaking in its honesty. 

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The Assistants by Camille Perry – May 3, 2016

As the assistant to one of the most powerful businessmen in America, Tina Fontana sees money every day. But not in her own paycheck – in the outrageous, outsize expense accounts she submits on her boss’ behalf. So when an accounting snafu results in Tina erroneously getting a relatively small taste of that corporate largesse, can you blame the educated, underpaid assistant from cashing the check and using it to pay off her student loan?

“I see Tina as fairly typical of her generation – she’s worked hard, tried to make good decisions, basically done everything she was told to do in order to be a successful adult, and yet she’s nowhere near where she thought she’d be by now,” says debut author Camille Perri. “She’s very much an illustration of how I felt in my late twenties, minus the stealing.”

Full of not-so-harmless fun and intriguing characters, The Assistants is a rallying cry for the leagues of overeducated and underpaid women who wonder, perhaps daily, why they’re still assistants.

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Before the Fall by Noah Hawley – May 31, 2016

You heard it here first – we can almost guarantee that Noah Hawley’s Before the Fall will have its film rights optioned before the novel is released in May. After all, Hawley is the author and Emmy/Golden Globe/PEN/Peabody Award-winning screenwriter and producer that is currently executive producer and writer on FX’s series Fargo.

Not only that, but the story’s utterly engrossing plot that twists between past and present, ultimately heightening the mystery and suspense, is practically made for the big screen.

On a foggy summer night, 11 people (10 privileged, 1 down-on-his-luck painter) depart Martha’s Vineyard headed for New York. Just sixteen minutes later, the unthinkable happens: the passengers disappear into the ocean. The only survivors are Scott Burroughs (the painter) and a 4-year-old boy (now the last remaining member of a wealthy and powerful media mogul’s family), whom Scott saved from the sea.

We read it in one day – need we say more?

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A Certain Age by Beatriz Williams – June 28, 2016

Beatriz Williams quickly became one of our most beloved authors after penning the enchantingly beautiful novels A Hundred Summers, The Secret Life of Violet Grant, and more – so when we heard Williams was in the midst of penning a tribute to the roaring 20’s set within a tale of romance and scandal in New York society, we knew it’d be irresistible – and of course, we were right.

As the freedom of the Jazz Age transforms New York City, the iridescent Mrs. Theresa Marshall of Fifth Avenue and Southampton, Long Island, has done the unthinkable: she’s fallen in love with her young paramour, Captain Rofrano, a handsome aviator and hero of the Great War. He’s devoted to the beautiful socialite and wants to marry her but divorce for a woman of Theresa’s wealth and social standing is out of the question; plus, there’s no need – she has an understanding with her husband, a generous and well-respected philanderer.

The love triangle transforms into a saga of divided loyalties, dangerous revelations and surprising twists that eventually lead to a shocking transgression, leading Theresa to make a bittersweet choice.

Release dates are not final and may be altered at any time. Confirm with your local bookseller.