New year, new books! As much as I’m ready for things to be different in 2021, there is a change I’m not looking forward to in the book world. A combination of COVID and the economy means publishers have been getting a lot stingier about sending advance copies of books to book bloggers. For the first time in a long time my 2021 winter preview includes books I haven’t received and don’t know if I’ll get at all. I’ll put them on hold at the library, but I may not be able to read and review books in advance of publication the way I normally do. It’s disappointing and a little scary.
Change aside, here are the eight books I’m most excited about this winter!
(To learn more about each book click on title link for the Goodreads synopsis)
Olga Grushin’s novel, Forty Rooms, was one of my favorites the year it came out. It is a highly creative, unique look at one woman’s life. Her new novel looks to be just as inventive. The Charmed Wife is about Cinderella 13 years into her marriage to Prince Charming. My sense it’s going to be anything but a fairy tale. (January 12, Putnam)
The Center of Everything by Jamie Harrison is about a young woman who suffers a head injury that mixes up the past and present in her mind, unleashing events she’s forgotten. Things get worse when an old friend disappears. (January 12, Counterpoint)
I love anything having to do with Greek mythology and especially the Trojan War, so I’m really looking forward to A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes. The novel is set in the final year of the war, just as Troy falls. It’s told by various women impacted by the war. The premise is reminiscent of another Trojan War novel I loved The Silence of the Girls. I’m always ready for novels written from a female perspective. (January 26, Harper)
When I read Against the Loveless World last year it showed me how woefully uninformed I was about the Israeli-Palestinian situation. Going forward, I knew I’d be on the lookout for any fiction on the subject so I was pleased to see City of a Thousand Gates. The novel centers around a series of events as experienced from multiple point-of-view. (February 2, Harper)
You don’t often hear Muslim and humor in the same sentence so I’m very intrigued by the debut, The Bad Muslim Discount. The novel follows a Pakistani and an Iraqi family from their move to the U.S. in the 1990s up to life in San Francisco in 2016. I’m counting on the potential the potential humor; this winter I’m going to need it. (February 2, Doubleday)
The Arsonists’ City is a multinational family saga from a debut author I enjoyed. Idris is Lebanese, his wife is Syrian, and their 3 children are American. The family’ close ties are strained when they return to Beirut to sell their ancestral home. (March 9, HMH)
My second sophomore novel is How Beautiful We Were. It follows the people in a fictional African village as they struggle with the long-term toxic impact of the oil industry. If the book is as haunting as its title it will be outstanding. (March 9, Random House)
On paper We Run the Tides has so much going for it: I love the author’s sharp take on women, it’s about teenage BFFs, and conflicting perceptions. If it’s as good as it sounds it will be another winner from Vendela. (Feburary 9, Ecco)
I’ve shared the lesser known books I’m looking forward to, but know that people also like to see the big books coming out each season. These are three of winter’s most anticipated releases. I’m confident about The Committed because it’s the sequel to The Sympathizer, which I loved. I’m a lot less certain about The Four Winds because I intensely disliked her last novel. The Ishiguro falls somewhere in between. I’ve thought his previous books were beautiful, but the premise of this one is very unusual. In Klara and the Sun, Klara is an Artificial Friend in a store, waiting to be bought.
Still need more reading ideas? I’m back with my friend Sarah and we’ve got 18 more upcoming winter releases. 9 more books from me! Click here or photo below for link.
What are you looking forward to reading this winter?
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