by Jocelyn McClurg)
1. Hollow City by Ransom Riggs (Quirk, fiction, on sale Jan. 14)
What it's about: In this "Second Novel of Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children," Jacob Portman and friends go to London to try to find a cure for their beloved headmistress, who is trapped in bird form.
The buzz: This sequel to the best-selling young-adult novel again uses eerie vintage photos; a movie of the first novel is due in 2015.
2. Andrew's Brain by E.L. Doctorow (Random House, fiction, on sale Jan. 14)
What it's about: Structured as a series of conversations, this novel is about a man unburdening himself about his life, loves and misfortunes.
The buzz: Publishers Weekly calls the latest novel by the author of The March and Billy Bathgate "intriguing … brilliant in parts."
3. Shovel Ready by Adam Sternbergh (Crown, fiction, on sale Jan. 14)
What it's about: In a derelict Manhattan in the near future, a former garbageman becomes a hit man; debut novel by the culture editor of The New York Times Magazine.
The buzz: It's an Indie Next pick of independent booksellers. "Gritty, taut, and compelling," says Raymond Lawrason of Copperfield's Books in Sebastopol, Calif.
4. For the Benefit of Those Who See: Dispatches from the World of the Blind by Rosemary Mahoney (Little, Brown, non-fiction, on sale Jan. 14)
What it's about: The author of Down the Nile looks into blindness, and visits an international training center for blind adults in India.
The buzz: "A sparkling exploration," says Oprah magazine.
5. The Answer to the Riddle Is Me by David Stuart MacLean (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, non-fiction, on sale Jan. 14)
What it's about: In this "Memoir of Amnesia," the author recounts the severe side effects of malarial medication he took for a trip to India.
The buzz: "A mesmerizing debut," says Kirkus Reviews.