USA Today’s Jocelyn McClurg scopes out the hottest books on sale each week.
1. Queen Victoria’s Matchmaking: The Royal Marriages That Shaped Europe by Deborah Cadbury (Public Affairs, non-fiction, on sale now)
- What it’s about: By the 1890s, when she had more than 30 grandchildren, the queen of England was determined to expand her empire through dynastic marriages, but the royal kids didn’t always like her love matches.
- The buzz: Get in the mood for Season 2 of the popular PBS series Victoria (starring Jenna Coleman as the young queen), returning to Masterpiece on Jan. 14.
2. My Brother’s Keeper by Donna Malane (Minotaur, fiction, on sale Dec. 19)
- What it’s about: Mystery set in New Zealand about the trouble that ensues when a female ex-con asks a missing-persons expert for help tracking down her 14-year-old daughter.
- The buzz: “Engrossing,” says Publishers Weekly.
- What it’s about: The pope offers a collection of homilies, speeches and messages of the day in this book subtitled “A Passionate Meditation on Earthly Existence.”
- The buzz: During this holiday season, the pontiff takes to book form in an effort to spread joy and help readers find happiness.
4. Elmet by Fiona Mozley (Algonquin, fiction, on sale now)
- What it’s about: Debut novel set in rural northern England about the violence that erupts when a family living off the grid in the woods is confronted by a landowner.
- The buzz: The book was a finalist for this year’s Man Booker Prize.
5. Waking Up in Winter: In Search of What Really Matters at Midlife by Cheryl Richardson (HarperOne, non-fiction, on sale Dec. 19)
- What it’s about: Known for helping others, Richardson this time assesses her own life and marriage in this self-help title.
- The buzz: Richardson is a life coach and author of previous best sellers including Take Time for Your Life.