Winter books preview: From Nancy Horan to Robin Roberts

Celebrity books are coming from Rob Lowe, Robin Roberts and Chelsea Handler.

It’s a new year, and time for a crop of new books to entice readers. USA TODAY’s Jocelyn McClurghighlights 10 noteworthy titles heading our way January through April.

1. Under the Wide and Starry Sky by Nancy Horan(Ballantine, fiction)

A sneak peek: Novel explores the marriage of Robert Louis Stevenson (Treasure Island) and his strong-willed American wife, Fanny, an artist and divorcee 10 years his senior.

FYI: This is Horan’s first book since her best-selling 2007 novel Loving Frank (as inLloyd Wright), which launched the “women behind the famous men” book craze.

On sale: Jan. 21

2. An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris (Knopf, fiction)

A sneak peek: A novel about the infamous Dreyfus affair in 1890s France, in which a Jewish officer was wrongly convicted of treason.

FYI: Harris has brought his thriller-writing skills to best sellers such as Fatherland andThe Ghost Writer.

On sale: Jan. 28

3. Still Life with Bread Crumbs by Anna Quindlen (Random House, fiction)

A sneak peek: Life seems to be on a downward path for once-famous photographer Rebecca Winter, until she leaves the city for the country and meets a younger man.

FYI: Quindlen, who writes best-selling fiction and non-fiction, gives us a love story for midlife.

On sale: Jan. 28

4. Blood Will Out by Walter Kirn (Liveright, non-fiction)

A sneak peek: Kirn (Up in the Air) tells the story of his 15-year friendship with infamous imposter “Clark Rockefeller,” revealed to be Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter and now in prison for committing murder.

FYI: Gerhartsreiter remains an object of fascination, the subject of a Lifetime movie and inspiration for the novel Schroder by Amity Gaige.

On sale: March 3

5. Uganda Be Kidding Me by Chelsea Handler (Grand Central, non-fiction)

A sneak peek: “Absurd” travel tales by the tart-tongued talk show host, among them her search for a toga party in Rome.

FYI: Handler’s previous humor books have been hits, and Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang peaked at No. 2 on USA TODAY’s Best-Selling Books list in 2010.

On sale: March 4

6. You Can Date Boys When You’re Forty by Dave Barry (Putnam, non-fiction)

A sneak peek: Essays by the humorist on topics including raising kids and a guy’s take on reading Fifty Shades of Grey.

FYI: Barry (whose daughter is a teenager) proudly offers thoughts “On Parenting and Other Topics He Knows Very Little About.”

On sale: March 4

7. Frog Music by Emma Donoghue (Little, Brown, fiction)

A sneak peek: Historical fiction inspired by the unsolved murder in 1870s San Francisco of a woman named Jenny Bonnet.

FYI: Donoghue, who was born in Dublin and now lives in Ontario, broke through to U.S. audiences in a big way in 2010 with Room.

On sale: April 1

8. Love Life by Rob Lowe (Simon & Schuster, non-fiction)

A sneak peek: The actor, who proved his storytelling chops with his first memoir, a USA TODAY top 20 best seller, writes a sequel.

FYI: Lowe’s 2011 autobiography Stories I Only Tell My Friends was called “charming” by Booklist.

On sale: April 8

9. Updike by Adam Begley (Harper, non-fiction)

A sneak peek: A biography of novelist John Updike (Rabbit, RunThe Witches of Eastwick), who died in 2009.

FYI: Begley, son of novelist Louis Begley, is former book editor of The New York Observer.

On sale: April 8

10. Everybody’s Got Something by Robin Roberts (Grand Central, non-fiction)

A sneak peek: The co-host of Good Morning America, author of From the Heart, writes a memoir.

FYI: Roberts discusses her recent health issues, returning to Good Morning America, and her relationship with girlfriend Amber Laign.

On sale: April 22

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