What it is: an epistolary novel comprised primarily of emails and blog posts.
Why you might like it: Poignant (it centers on the death of 33-year-old Iris), hopeful (will Iris' boss and her sister find comfort in each other?), and humorous (intern Carl is...a bit much), this debut offers quirky characters and a fun format.
Want a taste? "I thanked him for his honesty, because that's what you do when someone bothers to point out they're being honest."
Starring: time-traveling special agent Kin Stewart, stranded in the 1990s.
What happens: Stuck in the past, Kin eventually makes a life for himself, so it's a shock when, 18 years later, he's "rescued" -- and forced to give up everything, including his daughter, whose life (as a timeline "error") is suddenly in danger.
Why you might like it: A quick pace, a fair amount of humor, and the brain-bending rules of time travel make for a "smart, fun, and affectionate" debut (Kirkus Reviews).
What happens: An educational road trip to the U.S.-Mexico border turns harrowing when the children of the unnamed narrators disappear into the desert.
Book buzz: With immigration a hot topic, this complex novel is timely. Author Valeria Luiselli illuminates the devastating plight of migrants by mixing Apache history, contemporary stories of immigrant families separated at the border, and ephemera such as poems, photos, and scraps of music.
Starring: Cyril Avery, born in 1945 to an unmarried teenager and adopted by a wealthy if rather eccentric Dublin couple.
What happens: Every seven years, we get to peek into Cyril's life as he comes to terms with his homosexuality in a violently repressive Ireland, flees his home country, and falls in love.
Why you might like it: With richly drawn characters, plausibly life-altering choices, and an absorbing, often humorous writing style, The Heart's Invisible Furies may well appeal to fans of John Irving's work (it is, in fact, dedicated to him).
What it's about: Though trying to keep her head down amid the Troubles, the young female narrator nevertheless attracts the unwelcome attention of a man -- a powerful dissident, as it turns out -- known as "the milkman."
Is it for you? While it's a challenging read, theconversational writing style beautifully depicts the dangers of living in a paramilitary state, caught between the government, its opposition, and a culture too ready to blame the victim.
Book Buzz: Anna Burns wonthe 2018 Man Booker Prize for Milkman, the first Northern Irish author to do so in the award's history.