HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE
J.K. Rowling (Scholastic, $29.99, July)
If the sixth installment of Rowling’s series — due July 16 in a record-setting 10.8-million first printing — is not the best-selling book of the summer, it will be an upset on par with…sorry, but why waste time even thinking of an analogy? It’s not gonna happen.
Michael Cunningham (FSG, $24, June)
This follow-up to The Hours is composed of three strange and interconnected tales, each with three similar characters, as well as the spirit of American bard Walt Whitman.
UNTIL I FIND YOU
John Irving (Random House, $27.95, July)
His A Prayer for Owen Meany (let’s all agree) is probably the best popular novel of our time, and now John Irving returns with an almost 800-page biggie, a bildungsroman featuring a hero with a cad dad and an Irvingian fixation on older women.
THE WONDER SPOT
Melissa Bank (Viking, $24.95, May)
Six years after her hit debut, The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing, Bank returns with another book — and like her first, it’s built around one looking-for-love woman.
THE UNDOMESTIC GODDESS
Sophie Kinsella (Dial, $23, July)
The Shopaholic creator’s new novel follows a workaholic lawyer who flees the rat race to the country, where, in a screwball twist, she ends up taking a job as a housekeeper, and sort of liking it.
NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN
Cormac McCarthy (Knopf, $24.95, August)
All the Pretty Horses author McCarthy, in his first novel since he finished his Border Trilogy seven years ago, abandons his usual cowboy theme for a present-day novel about a guy hunting antelope near the Rio Grande who stumbles onto dead bodies, a heroin stash, and millions in cold cash.
Jennifer Saginor (HarperEntertainment, $24.95, June)
MY FRIEND LEONARD
James Frey (Riverhead, $24.95, June)
On the memoir front, we recommend his and hers: Playground is about growing up in and around the Playboy Mansion (Saginor’s dad was Hef’s Dr. Feelgood), while Frey continues his amazing life story where his addiction tale, A Million Little Pieces, left off in 2003.
THE TWINS OF TRIBECA
Rachel Pine (Miramax Books, $23.95, June)
A former Miramax publicist attempts a Devil Wears Prada-style fictional punking on the Weinstein brothers — although, strangely, the publisher is Miramax Books!
IN THE SHADOW OF THE LAW
Kermit Roosevelt (FSG, $24, June)
Roosevelt, an assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, debuts with a legal novel set around one of the mightiest law firms on K Street in D.C. A big attraction is the book’s young, smart cast of go-getting lawyers — sort of sounds like Grey’s Anatomy meets John Grisham.
A LONG WAY DOWN
Nick Hornby (Riverhead, $24.95, June)
The About a Boy author opens his new novel on a rooftop, where four people who each want to kill themselves end up forming one of the wackiest support groups you’ve ever seen.
Bret Easton Ellis (Knopf, $25, August)
In Lunar Park, a character named Bret Easton Ellis behaves badly — snorting coke with somebody named Jay McInerney, for example — but that funny little phrase, ”A Novel,” promises it’s all just made-up.