Happy New Year!
Have you decided to read more books this year? Do you want to explore a variety of genres? Are you interested in what we are adding to our (already hopelessly behind) stack of stuff to read? This post is for you!
At the beginning of every month, we scour the interwebs for info about new book releases. We read a lot of sites for recommendations: Amazon, B&N, other bloggers in our WordPress Feed, NYT, Washington Post, AV Club, Ars Technica, Popular Mechanics, and many many more that google-fu or spam email might provide. We each make lists of the particularly interesting stuff that stands out to us, we talk about them, and we get really excited about the coming month! This year, we’ve decided to share those monthly lists with the public!
Here are the books on our radar screen for January 2020:
American Dirt ~ Jeanine Cummins (Release Date January 21, 2020)
Why Is This a Pick? It is Amazon’s January Spotlight Pick. Amazon’s Spotlight Picks usually wind up being players in the major award competitions like the Man Booker and the National Book Awards. Why do their selections end up being such big time players? Because they are usually really good. The book is also on the New York Times’ list of “10 Books to Watch for in January” and Goodreads’ “33 Highly Anticipated Books of 2020.” American Dirt appears to be about a family fleeing a Mexican cartel and seeking asylum in the United States. The first sentence of the book is: “One of the very first bullets comes in through the open window above the toilet where Luca is standing.” That’s a strong start, and I want to read more!
Come Tumbling Down ~ Seanan McGuire (Release Date January 7, 2020)
Why Am I Looking Forward to This? This is the fifth book in the Wayward Children series. Having read all of the previous books in this series, I can safely say I’m a fan. These stories are equal parts semi-surreal magic and touching stories about supporting children for who they are. I have recommended all of them multiple times over the past few years, and expect to be as impressed by this one as its predecessors. If you’re still on the fence, consider checking out Byron’s review of the first award-winning entry
Dear Edward ~ Ann Napolitano (Release Date January 6, 2020)
Why Am I Looking Forward to This? Routinely compared to the work of Celeste No and Ann Patchett, this compassionate and realistic look at loss and recovery as experienced by one young boy sounds like just the kind of inspiring and challenging story I want to begin my year with.
The Vanished Birds ~ Simon Jimenez (Release Date January 14, 2020)
Why Am I Looking Forward to This? Yet another story of young kids in space? Yes, please! Already lauded as a heartwarming story of finding home and family, this story was a shoe-in for my TBR list without a doubt. And if you’re interested in discovering new authors, you’ll be pleased to find that this is Simone Jimenez’ debut.
Little Gods ~ Meng Jin (Release Date January 14, 2020)
Why Am I Looking Forward to This? Another debut, this story from Meng Jin tells a multigenerational, multilingual, and multicultural story of family, loss, and cultural roots. Though some early reviews have suggested this book is a touch overwritten, I’m expecting a thoughtful and poetic meditation on cultural roots set against a family’s journey through loss.
What do you think? Are we excited about the right books, or did we miss some? And what about you? How do you get excited about new books – and who do you share your excitement with? We’d love to do more of these monthly posts, so be sure to comment below if you want to see more of these from us in the future.