Top 10 books to watch for this month
The New Year begins with a new batch of books, including novels, short stories, memoirs, and a couple of stunning debuts. Here are 10 highlights slated for publication in the month of January.
The Bear and the Nightingale
by Katherine Arden
Fans of “Uprooted” and “The Night Circus” will want to pick up this magical debut about a young woman who must defy her evil stepmother and call on her hidden powers to save their Russian village from the nefarious forces she learned about in fairy tales.
The Man Who Shot Out My Eye Is Dead: Stories
by Chanelle Benz
A monk in 16th-century England loses his faith. A young man is embarrassed by his incarcerated father. A brother and sister become outlaws. These are a few of the tales in this wildly original debut collection about people whose longing for escape and adventure lead them rushing toward difficult choices.
by Emma Flint
Inspired by a true event, “Little Deaths” is compelling literary crime fiction about a mother who is accused of murdering her two children in New York City in 1965. When a journalist begins digging into the story of the supposedly murderous mother, he discovers there is more to the murders than meets the eye.
History of Wolves
by Emily Fridlund
Linda is a lonely teen girl in northern Minnesota who desperately wants to fit in with her peers, who call her “freak” and “commie.” When the chance to be accepted arrives in the form of a young mother and her son who move across the lake from Linda, she is drawn into their lives and secrets that will ultimately have devastating consequences. This is one of 2017’s best debut novels.
Always Happy Hour: Stories
by Mary Miller
Miller, author of the wonderful novel “The Last Days of California,” returns with these savagely funny, brutally honest stories of deeply flawed young women struggling to find their place in the world, despite all the damage and baggage they’ve already incurred.
by Joshua Mohr
Novelist Mohr has penned an astonishingly honest memoir about his years of substance abuse and his struggles against relapse. Moving and fierce, this is not a story about finding redemption but about a father and writer simply trying to lead a decent life and come out from under the influence.
by Emily Ruskovich
Another of 2017’s incredible debut novels is about a woman attempting to discover what happened to her husband’s first wife and children before his memory disappears, and the mysterious and shocking act that brought them together. The writing in this astonishing novel is off the charts.
The Brand New Catastrophe
by Mike Scalise
After a tumor burst in Scalise’s brain, he was left with a serious ailment, while “competing” with his chronically ill mother for the status of “best sick person.” This is a moving, often hilarious memoir, about illness, family, and personal stories.
by Samanta Schweblin (translated by Megan McDowell)
If you want to read something that terrifies and upsets you, and makes you feel like you’re going crazy, yet also makes you feel like you can’t put it down and you never want it to end because you love it so much, this is the book for you! It opens with Amanda, a young woman dying in a hospital while a young boy named David sits by her bed and engages her in an extremely disturbing discussion. Don’t say you weren’t warned. (But holy cats, it’s so good.)
by Shanthi Sekaran
Two women are bound together by their love for a baby boy in this moving novel of motherhood, immigration, and privilege. Solimar crossed the Mexican border into California to find a better life, but now she is pregnant and alone. Kavya has always dreamed of being a mother, and when Solimar is placed in immigrant detention, her baby is placed in Kavya’s care. But when Soli fights to get her baby back, the two women will experience the anguish and heartbreak of broken dreams and second chances.