My Most Anticipated Reads for January through March 2019
There are so many amazing titles coming out next year and I knew I was in trouble when I looked at my 2019 TBR list and saw that I already have almost 200 titles flagged. I have been working hard on a few bookstagram specific resolutions as the New Year approaches to help me maximize my reading time…so this is a condensed list of titles (releasing between January and March only) that I really, really, really want to read. The covers are gorgeous and bright, the stories are powerful and thought provoking and our bookshelves and reading lives will no doubt be incredibly enriched by them all. If you click on the image of the book it will take you straight to Goodreads where you can add anything that interests you to your TBR shelf. And don’t worry book lovers! A list of my most anticipated reads for April through the summer is in the works and will be posted at a later date!
The Weight of a Piano by Chris Cander - releasing January 22. “Cander explores the legacy of loss, the intersections of art and music, and what happens when physical objects assume outsized symbolism.” (Publisher’s Weekly starred review). I grew up playing the piano and music was and still is, a huge part of my life. I love to read stories that incorporate music in to the plot and the fact this is also a debut, female author checks all the boxes for me.
An Orchestra of Minorities - Chigozie Obioma, releasing January 8th. Kirkus Reviews calls this contemporary take on The Odyssey, “A deeply original book that will have readers laughing at, angry with, and feeling compassion for a determined hero who endeavors to create his own destiny.”
Sugar Run by Mesha Maren, releasing January 8th. “This impressive first novel combines beautifully crafted language and a steamy Southern noir plot to fine effect.” (Kirkus Reviews). I love debut authors and Southern fiction is one of my favorite genres. Sugar Run centers around a young woman who finds herself going home after serving an 18 year sentence for manslaughter. The author has said that “the more that I began to write Jodi’s story, the more interested I became in realistically depicting the difficulties of post-prison life in the Unites States.” This book is described as “a searing and gritty debut about making a break for another life, the use and treachery of makeshift families, and how, no matter the distance we think we’ve traveled from the mistakes we’ve made, too often we find ourselves standing in precisely the place we began.” (Book jacket synopsis)
The New Iberia Blues by James Lee Burke, releasing January 8. Kirkus and Publisher’s Weekly both gave starred reviews and lavished praise on this latest release in Burke’s Southern thriller series. I have never heard of this series before but it has a New Iberia and New Orleans setting (I love reading anything local), mafia ties (huge fan of mob stories) and bodies popping up in the bayou arranged to mimic tarot cards. I am SOLD. This is the 22nd book in the series so I will be breaking my rule of reading a series in order, but the synopsis on this one just sounds too good to pass up.
Learning To See by Elise Hooper, releasing January 22. "At a time when women were supposed to keep the home fires burning, Dorothea Lange, creator of the most iconic photographs of the 20th century, dared to be different” (Learning To See). Capturing images of the Depression, the Dust Bowl exodus as well as documenting the forced internment of Japanese Americans during WWII, Dorothea's desire to affect social change through her images heavily influenced the field of photojournalism that we know today. This is her story.
We Cast A Shadow by Maurice Carlos Ruffin, releasing January 29th. This electrifying debut asks the question “How far would you go to protect your child?” In a future America, racism runs rampant and one father is terrified of what may become of his biracial son. He decides the only way to save him is to have an experimental procedure performed on him that would make him appear completely Caucasian. The author “fearlessly shines a light on the violence we inherit, and on the desperate things we do for the ones we love” (sentence taken from Goodreads).
Inheritance by Dani Shaprio, releasing January 15th. “What makes us who we are? What combination of memory, history, biology, experience, and that ineffable thing called the soul defines us? In the spring of 2016, through a genealogy website to which she had whimsically submitted her DNA for analysis, the author received the stunning news that her father was not her biological father. She woke up one morning and her entire history—the life she had lived—crumbled beneath her.” (Goodreads summary) This is her story and how she dealt with the aftermath of her stunning discovery.
The Falconer by Dana Czapnik, releasing January 29th. “Coming-of-age in Manhattan may not have been done this brilliantly since Catcher in the Rye. That comparison has been made before, but this time, it's true. Get ready to fall in love.” (Kirkus starred review). What an endorsement! I am very excited to get my hands on this one!
The Golden Child by Claire Adam, releasing January 29th. This is the second book released through Sarah Jessica Parker’s Hogarth publishing imprint and seeing as I still haven’t recovered from A Place For Us, I added this one to my TBR immediately. “A deeply affecting debut novel set in Trinidad, following the lives of a family as they navigate impossible choices about scarcity, loyalty, and love” (sentence taken from Goodreads).
Hollywood’s Eve by Lili Anolik, releasing January 8th. “From one of Vanity Fair’s rising stars comes a brilliant, star-studded portrait of the glamorous and brazen Hollywood artist, muse, and writer Eve Babitz.” YES, PLEASE!!
The Bold World: A Memoir of Family and Transformation by Jodie Patterson, releasing January 29th. “The world is unkind to people it doesn’t understand—to those who don’t live by its rules,” Jodie writes. The author’s journey of familial love and fearless motherhood will particularly resonate with parents of transgender children and anyone who has struggled to be loved or accepted” (Kirkus Reviews).
The Winter Sister by Megan Collins, releasing February 5th. I am loving this cover and the thriller genre is one of my favorites. “In this spellbinding and suspenseful debut, a young woman haunted by the past returns home to care for her ailing mother and begins to dig deeper into her sister’s unsolved murder.” (Goodreads)
An Affair of Poisons by Addie Thorley, releasing February 26th. Based on true events, “a teenage alchemist and a disgraced royal bastard scheme their way through a magical reimagining of pre-Revolutionary Paris” (Kirkus Reviews). Any historical fiction lovers out there? This one sounds fantastic!
The Atlas of Reds and Blues by Devi Laskar, releasing February 5th. “An arresting debut novel which bears witness to American racism and abuse of power, tracing one woman's shift from acquiescence to resistance” (Goodreads). If that doesn’t hook you, I don't know what will. And this cover!! Counterpoint’s art department is hands down my favorite when it comes to beautiful books.
The Pianist from Syria: A Memoir releasing February 12th. “An astonishing but true account of a pianist’s escape from war-torn Syria to Germany offers a deeply personal perspective on the most devastating refugee crisis of this century. “ (Goodreads)
The Source of Self-Regard by Toni Morrison, releasing February 12th. Kirkus has already bestowed upon this collection a starred review and called it “powerful, brilliantly incisive and highly compelling”. I can not WAIT to read this.
Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli, releasing February 12th. “A fiercely imaginative novel about a family's summer road trip across America--a journey that, with breathtaking imagery, spare lyricism, and profound humanity, probes the nature of justice and equality in America today. (Goodreads).
The Last Romantics by Tara Conklin, releasing February 19th. “A sweeping yet intimate epic about one American family, The Last Romantics is an unforgettable exploration of the ties that bind us together, the responsibilities we embrace and the duties we resent, and how we can lose—and sometimes rescue—the ones we love. A novel that pierces the heart and lingers in the mind, it is also a beautiful meditation on the power of stories—how they navigate us through difficult times, help us understand the past, and point the way toward our future” (Goodreads).
The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls by Anissa Gray, releasing February 19. This debut is being described as The Mothers meets An American Marriage. That’s all I need to know!
The Secret of the Clouds by Alyson Richman, releasing February 26th. “An emotionally charged story about a mother's love, a teacher's promise, and a child's heart.....” (Goodreads). I get the feeling that you may want a box of tissues close by as you read this one.
The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo, releasing February 12th. “Mythical creatures, conversations with the dead, lucky numbers, Confucian virtues, and forbidden love provide the backdrop for Choo’s superb murder mystery. Mining the rich setting of colonial Malaysia, Choo wonderfully combines a Holmes-esque plot with Chinese lore.” (Publisher’s Weekly, starred review) Doesn’t this sound amazing?? And this cover!!! I absolutely love it!
Roam by C.H. Armstrong, releasing February 5th. “A mother’s misdeed leads to scandal, ending friendships and forcing a family move to a new state and into a life of homelessness.” (Kirkus Reviews)
The Path Made Clear by Oprah Winfrey, releasing March 26th. The older I get, I find myself looking at life very differently…. wondering if I am doing what I am “supposed” to be doing, am I on the right path, am I making a difference? So when I read that one of my all time favorite people had a new book coming out addressing these very things, I knew immediately that this title must be on my shelf. Goodreads calls it, “a beautiful resource for achieving a life lived in service of your calling - whatever it may be.”
Where the Forest Meets the Stars by Glendy Veranderah, releasing March 1st. I have really high hopes for what promises to be a magical debut about “a mysterious child who teaches two strangers how to love and trust again.” Also, I am obsessed with Glendy’s Instagram account. She takes the most beautiful pictures of nature and I have a feeling that her written words will be just as gorgeous as her photographs.
A Woman is No Man by Etaf Rum, releasing March 5th. This is one of my most anticipated reads of the year. I meet Etaf through Instagram and I admire her so very much. In her debut novel, she has bravely provided us with a story about “the lives of conservative Arab women living in America. In a note accompanying an advance copy of her book, Rum acknowledges that writing her intergenerational saga meant "violating [the] code of silence” and might even bring “shame to [her] community.” Nonetheless, in telling this compelling tale, Rum—who was born in Brooklyn to Palestinian immigrants herself—writes that she hopes readers will be moved “by the strength and power of our women.” (Kirkus Reviews). I am in awe of Rum’s bravery to tell this story and I am 100% here for it. I hope that you will be too.
Sing To It by Amy Hempel by March 26th. “ These fifteen exquisitely honed stories reveal Hempel at her most compassionate and spirited, as she introduces characters, lonely and adrift, searching for connection. In “A Full-Service Shelter,” a volunteer at a dog shelter tirelessly, devotedly cares for dogs on a list to be euthanized. In “Greed,” a spurned wife examines her husband’s affair with a glamorous, older married woman. And in “Cloudland,” the longest story in the collection, a woman reckons with the choice she made as a teenager to give up her newborn infant.” (Goodreads)
Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls: A Memoir by T. Kira Madden, releasing March 19th. “Madden's raw and redemptive debut memoir is about coming of age and reckoning with desire as a queer, biracial teenager amidst the fierce contradictions of Boca Raton, Florida, a place where she found cult-like privilege, shocking racial disparities, rampant white-collar crime, and powerfully destructive standards of beauty hiding in plain sight.” (Goodreads)
Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams, releasing March 19th. “Bridget Jones’s Diary meets Americanah in this disarmingly honest, boldly political, and truly inclusive novel that will speak to anyone who has gone looking for love and found something very different in its place.” (Goodreads)