Hello, kittens! I hope you had a wonderful holiday season full of relaxation and fun. Mine was quiet and lovely. In years past I’d say I was happy to leave an unpleasant year behind because the new one could only be better, but I don’t feel that way these days. 2018 is likely to be more of the same and I, for one, am saddened and angry. Not for myself, because I’m very fortunate. My concern lies with all the vulnerable, hardworking, marginalized communities who are being harassed and pillaged by an unscrupulous Congress and administration. It makes it hard to be optimistic.
All that dreadful real-world issues aside, let’s get back to books! There is a diverse crop of new book releases for winter 2018 that have piqued my interest. Several are from authors whose previous novels have been five star favorites. Just as important, all are scattered through the winter months so you won’t be hit with too much reading all at once (although, is that even a real thing?).
*title links go to the Goodreads synopsis
The Go-To Authors
I’m counting on Hannah, Kinsella, and Benjamin to come through for my reading once again. These are the women whose new releases smile in relief because I know I’m going to find something I love.
The Girls in the Picture (release date, January 16th): Benjamin’s last novel, The Swans of Fifth Avenue was a five star favorite for me in 2016. Her new novel, about two powerful women in the early days of Hollywood, combines so many of the thing I love—strong women, Hollywood, bad behavior. How can it go wrong?
The Great Alone (release date, February 16th): Hannah is another one of the authors I can count on for intense, but not heavy reading that blends intricate plots with nuanced characters. The Nightingale is her fabulous novel about WWII from the perspective of two sisters. I still count it as on of the best WWII novels I’ve read. This new novel is set in Alaska and involves a 13-year-old girl and her father, who wants to live off the grid.
Surprise Me (release date, February 13th): I have loved Kinsella ever since I read the first Shopaholic book and with only a few exceptions she has never disappointed. Truly, if you need something light-hearted, frothy, and fun, give her a try. In her latest, she has a couple who finds out they’ll be married for the next 70 years and decide they need to create more surprise in their life to keep their marriage alive.
The Bold and Esoteric
Also authors I trust, these three are less about subjects I may relate to and more about the unusual and difficult aspects of life.
Red Clocks (release date, January 16th): Zumas was one of the very first authors I got to meet after starting my blog. Her debut novel. The Listeners, was one of my first encounters with contemporary fiction so I am very excited to see what’s she done now.
Census (release date, March 8th): Ball’s novel, How to Set a Fire and Why, is another marvel from 2016 (that was one hell of a reading year). In Census he’s back again with intergenerational relationships, with a dying, older father and his adult Down’s syndrome son.
Anatomy of a Miracle (release date, March 20th): I loved Miles’s last novel, Want Not, for its sheer ability to make me think about things I had not considered. The subject of Anatomy is a man who regains use of his legs after being a paraplegic. Again, this one sounds like a thought provoker.
It’s no secret I love debut authors. There’s something about finding yet another writer who taps into humanity in a way I’ve not read before that thrills. Being a debut is my number one criteria for choosing them with everything else being more personal.
Asymmetry (release date February 6th): female author, New York, current social issues
The House of Impossible Beauties (release date February 6th): 1980s NYC, club scene, gay and transgender characters
Girls Burn Brighter (release date March 6th): female author, India, friendship, women’s issues
Laura & Emma (release date March 20th): female author, NYC, wealth, mother-daughter, family, social issues
What are you looking forward to reading when it’s cold and snowy (or rainy) this winter?