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Start the New Decade with These 13 Incredible January 2020 Reads

by  | January 10

At the dawn of a new month, a new year, and a brand-new decade, we are most excited about one thing: new books! Our minds are clear and we’re eager to start working on our 2020 reading goals. From thrillers to historical fiction to empowering self-help novels, these are a few of the reads set to hit bookshelves in January. We have a feeling you’re going to want to squeeze these titles into your To Be Read list….

The Tenant

The Tenant

by Katrine Engberg

Heather’s Pick #1:

Ever since seeing The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo at a tiny art house theater in 2009, I’ve had an appetite for a good Scandinavian crime story, which is why I leapt at the chance to read an advanced copy of The Tenant a few months ago. Katrine Engberg’s debut novel, translated from her native Danish, is not only a gripping read, but one that I can already picture on-screen as a movie or TV series as well. Veteran Copenhagen police partners Jeppe Kørner and Anette Werner (yep, Korner and Werner) catch a doozy of a case together: the vicious slaying of a young woman in her first-floor apartment. The twist? Her landlady and upstairs neighbor, aspiring author Esther de Laurenti, has somehow predicted details of the case in her manuscript....

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A Longer Fall

A Longer Fall

by Charlaine Harris

Heather’s Pick #2:

I’m fascinated by alternate history, the exploration of how one historical event going a different way would mean we’d be living in a whole different world. Comparing what would and wouldn’t have turned out the same way is half the fun. That’s why I’m looking forward to reading A Longer Fall. The second adventure in Charlaine Harris’s Gunnie Rose series is set in just such a hard-boiled alternate universe, in which FDR has been assassinated before implementing his New Deal and ending the

Great Depression—and, as a result, the United States fractured into different territories. It is in this milieu that hired gun Lizbeth Rose signs on for what she expects will be an in-and-out job. Of course, it doesn’t actually go according to plan, because life rarely does. Instead, the crate Lizbeth is supposed to deliver gets stolen in a bloody holdup. To get it back, she must team up with an old friend and go undercover….

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Deep State

Deep State

by Chris Hauty

Heather’s Pick #3: Deep State by Chris Hauty

I’m a news junkie with strong political opinions, so I’m curious to read Deep State, a thriller clearly inspired by our modern-day national issues and partisan divide. Chris Hauty’s debut novel introduces White House intern Hayley Chill, an Army veteran who’s working for the newly inaugurated populist president’s chief of staff. Unfortunately, her boss is soon found dead at home, and Hayley finds evidence to suggest he may have been murdered. What’s more, she begins to suspect there may be a bigger conspiracy at play.

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The Whispers of War

The Whispers of War

by Julia Kelly

Molly’s Pick:

Julia Kelly’s The Whispers of War follows three young women living in London at the cusp of World War II. Best friends since boarding school, Nora, Hazel, and Marie have always declared, “We’ll always be just us three.” They’re fiercely loyal to each other and fiercely independent: Nora as an employee of the Home Office’s Air Raid Precautions Department; Hazel as a top-level matchmaker (defying her husband and mother-in-law’s wish for her to be a homemaker); and Marie as a German ex-pat working at the Royal Imperial University. As the threat of internment camps becomes more of a reality, Marie begins to fear for her safety and freedom. Nora and Hazel do everything in their power to protect her. The Whispers of War is a story about friendship, resilience, and standing up for what’s right in a time when it’s most needed—an ever-relevant lesson.

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The Other People

The Other People

by C. J. Tudor

Sara’s Pick:

Ah yes, the holiday season is over and now it is time again for spooky reads! Or, if you're like me, just continuing the all-year-round thriller-fest. And who better to kick off with than master of the spine-tingling page-turner C. J. Tudor? In her new book The Other People, we meet Gabe, who has spent three long years traveling up and down the motorway. He is searching for his daughter, who was taken from him on that same road—or so he believes. While everyone else is convinced she is dead, killed in a home invasion while Gabe was away, he can't stop looking for the girl he saw in a car window that same night. But out on the road there are a lot of lost souls, including a mother on the run who knows what really happened that night. Lives crash into each other, and the damage might be more than any of them could have dreamed. If you're looking for a read that will have you glued to every word

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Tonight We Bombed the U.S. Capitol

Tonight We Bombed the U.S. Capitol

by William Rosenau

Courtney’s Pick #1:

True crime has taken over our lives from books to movies to brunch discussions. Often, the tales involve middle-aged white men who went off the rails and caused a bunch of pain and suffering, yet we can’t look away. But then there comes a time when things are changed up a bit, which is why I’m eager to read Tonight We Bombed the U.S. Capitol. This book contains the true story of M19, the first and only domestic terrorist group founded and led by women. That’s right, women. This fact alone has me itching to get my hands on a copy and delve into the minds of these unique, but still scary, individuals. These women planned and executed operations ranging from prison breakouts and armed robberies to a bombing campaign at the U.S. Capitol from 1978 through 1985. William Rosenau is sure to deliver an epic story with the help of original photos, declassified FBI documents, and his background as an intelligence and counterterrorism expert.

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F*ck Your Diet

F*ck Your Diet

by Chloé Hilliard

Courtney’s Pick #2: 

With the new year comes new resolutions. With new resolutions comes unrealistic expectations and inevitable guilt when you don’t live up to the ideal in your head. That’s why I find F*ck Your Diet: And Other Things My Thighs Tell Me so refreshing. Comedian Chloé Hilliard tells her story of growing up bigger and taller than her peers, and all the ways she tried to shrink herself, before realizing she was amazing just the way she is. A funny and inspirational story perfect for the new year, because by the time you finish the last page, you’re filled with a determination to be yourself, say no to self-harmful advertising, and change your resolution from “lose weight” to “treat my body with love and care.” A must-read for everyone trying to start the new year by loving themselves.

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When We Were Vikings

When We Were Vikings

by Andrew David MacDonald

Erin’s Pick: 

I first read this book in manuscript form almost a year ago, and I still remember exactly where I was when I finished it. I was on the train. I was rushing to get to the end of the book before my stop, and when I turned that last page, I couldn’t help but say softly to myself (as to not get too many weird looks), “Wow.” This book is extraordinary or, some might even say, legendary. The main character, Zelda, is a twenty-one-year-old Viking legends enthusiast who lives with her older brother, Gert. When Gert makes some questionable and possibly dangerous choices—getting caught up with drug dealers— Zelda, who lives with fetal alcohol syndrome, decides to launch her own quest to save her family. With an incredibly distinct voice, lovable yet flawed characters, and so many scenes that will make you laugh and cry, When We Were Vikings needs to be one of your first reads of 2020.

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The Majesties

The Majesties

by Tiffany Tsao

Ariele’s Pick:

In The Majesties, Tiffany Tsao explores the lives of two Chinese Indonesian sisters, Gwendolyn and Estella, going deep into the dark nitty-gritty of wealth and privilege in Jakarta. Think Crazy Rich Asians minus the love story, plus one sister’s poisoning of her 300-person family. As Gwendolyn lies in a coma, a side effect of her sister’s brutal act, the reader inhabits the dark tunnels and complicated tales of her past, struggling to understand how the power, secrets, and struggles of her family lead to Estella’s shocking decision to burn their empire to the ground. Compelling, thoughtful, and delicately handled, this is a story that will have you racing through the pages until you come to its startling and jaw-dropping conclusion.

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Follow Me to Ground

Follow Me to Ground

by Sue Rainsford

Holly’s Pick #1:

I have recently grown a new affinity for suspense novels (a shocking turn of events for someone who has never watched a horror movie). With that said, I can’t wait to read Follow Me to Ground by Sue Rainsford. The story is as much a haunted magical surrealist novel as a thriller—which sounds right up my alley. It follows Ada and her father, who each have a rare power to heal illnesses. They’re able to crack open sick people’s damaged bodies or temporarily bury them in dangerous Ground nearby. When Ada falls in love with one of the ill locals, she must come to terms with a decision that will forever change her life. This spellbinding book touches on conventional ideas of womanhood, one starring a bewitching, powerful female heroine. I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy.

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Cartier's Hope

Cartier's Hope

by M. J. Rose

Holly’s Pick #2: 

A story about powerful and determined female journalists is exactly what I’ve been missing from my life. In New York, in 1910, when most women reporters were still subjected to the fashion and lifestyle pages, Vera Garland is intent on making her mark. In Cartier’s Hope, she dives into hard-hitting journalism as she investigates the rumors surrounding the world-famous Hope Diamond’s new owner, Pierre Cartier. Determined to find the truth behind the diamond’s curses, Vera ultimately meets the magazine publisher whose blackmailing led to her father’s death (Vera herself is an heiress working in disguise). Cartier’s Hope looks to be an enthralling historical mystery that sophisticatedly explores both ambition and betrayal.

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Marriage on Madison Avenue

Marriage on Madison Avenue

by Lauren Layne

Saimah’s Pick #1: 

Last summer I started reading Lauren Layne’s Central Park Pact series and fell in love with the characters. Marriage on Madison Avenue is the third book in the series and can be read as a stand-alone.  (The central characters are first introduced in Passion on Park Avenue and the second book

in the series, Love on Lexington Avenue.)

Audrey Tate and Clarke West have been best friends since they were kids. They’ve attended many events and weddings together as each other’s plus-ones. Audrey has made a career of being an influencer as a Manhattan socialite. One night, Clarke’s family invites an ex-girlfriend (the-one-who-got-away) to dinner and tries to push them back together, but he lies and announces that he is engaged to Audrey.

Audrey plays along with Clarke’s lie, which benefits her as well since some internet trolls have been harassing her. Their fake engagement brings the pair closer together and leads them to share some intimate embraces that are all for the camera and Audrey’s followers. But as they start planning the wedding, Audrey realizes that her feelings may actually be real, and she starts to wonder if the engagement is really a fake….

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Such a Fun Age

Such a Fun Age

by Kiley Reid

Saimah’s Pick #2:

Officially, this book pubbed on December 31, but that’s pretty much January, so let’s call it one of the first books of the year. Such a Fun Age is also Reese Witherspoon’s January Book Club pick. The story follows a young black woman, named Emira Tucker, who works as a babysitter for the Chamberlains—a privileged white family with two young girls.

One night, while shopping at a high-end supermarket she is accused by a security guard of kidnapping one of the Chamberlain girls, two-year-old Briar, who is in her charge. A small crowd gathers and a bystander begins filming the altercation. Emira is embarrassed and furious, but she doesn’t want the situation to escalate. Alix Chamberlain, the mother of the girls, is determined to make the situation right, but Emira is wary of her desire to help.

The story explores the dynamics of race and privilege in a setting that crosses both professional and personal lines. I can’t help but now picture Reese Witherspoon cast as the mother...maybe Reese will adapt and star in this story next.

 

 

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