Can't Wait To Read!

Big thank you to bestselling writer Erika Robuck for curating this week’s Can’t Wait To Read, presented below in alpha order by author. Robuck’s next work of historical fiction centers around Virginia Hall, a real-world SOE/OSS agent during WWII. If you’re a writer interested in curating an upcoming list, email Spine Authors Editor Susanna Baird,


The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates

One World, September 24, 2019. Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates’ National Book Award-winning letter to his son about growing up black in America, was eye-opening and devastating, to say the least. The Water Dancer is Coates’ first novel—an historical fantasy about an enslaved man whose life is forever changed by a near-drowning experience. It promises to be a bold and imaginative look at America’s darkest chapter, whose consequences continue to poison us.

UK cover (Fourth Estate). US cover (Henry Holt and Co.) not available at time of publication.

UK cover (Fourth Estate). US cover (Henry Holt and Co.) not available at time of publication.

The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel

Henry Holt and Co., March 10, 2020. The final novel of the critically acclaimed, international bestselling Thomas Cromwell trilogy comes out in the spring of 2020, and I can’t wait. Mantel’s books are work, and they are worth working for. The first book in the series, Wolf Hall, had me equal parts confused and enthralled, until the master author began bringing all the threads together to reveal the bold tapestry of the story. The second, Bring up the Bodies, was a masterpiece from start to finish. The bar is high for the third, and I’m eager to see if Mantel achieves the summit to which she has been building. 


Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid 

Ballantine Books, March 2019. Is it shallow to say the package sold this book to me? The title, the cover, the subject—1970s rock stars—is cool and interesting. It’s a book I want on my shelf. My only regret in buying the hardcover is that numerous people have told me the audio is phenomenal. Maybe I’ll experience the story both ways. 


And They Called It Camelot by Stephanie Marie Thornton

Berkley, March 10, 2020. Since JFK’s death on my mother’s eleventh birthday, she had always felt a sad connection to him and to his large, troubled, Irish Catholic family, which reminded her of her own. I’ve absorbed the Kennedy obsession by osmosis, so when I saw this novel, starring Jacqueline Bouvier, I immediately added it to my “To Read” shelf. 


The Sadness of Beautiful Things by Simon Van Booy

Penguin Books, October 2018. I was introduced to the work of Van Booy by an independent bookseller at One More Page in Arlington, Virginia. She pressed Van Booy’s novel, Everything Beautiful Began After, into my hands and said it was the best book she’d read that year. I agreed, and have since read all of Simon’s works. He is one of the most generous, empathetic, and hopeful writers I know, and I have no doubt this story collection will be brilliant. 


The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware 

Gallery/Scout Press, August 2019. Nothing stimulates my imagination like a dark, twisty gothic novel. Though I usually stick to works set in the past, a contemporary story can entice me if it somehow removes me from the normal flow of life. When I saw Ware’s latest book described as a “gripping, modern-day haunted house thriller,” set in an estate in the Scottish Highlands, I knew I couldn’t resist. 


Erika Robuck is a writer and a teacher. Her works include bestsellers Hemingway’s Girl and Call Me Zelda. Her forthcoming novel features a real-life superhero of WWII, secret agent, Virginia Hall. Robuck lives in Annapolis, Maryland with her husband, three sons, and a spunky miniature schnauzer. Find Robuck online at and on Twitter @ErikaRobuck.