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From cold cases that suddenly aren’t so cold to funny essay collections and meditations on dog-ownership, here are seven new books we can’t wait to read this month.

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1. Open House by Katie Sise

A decade ago, in upstate New York, art student Emma McCullough walked into the woods and was never seen again—a mystery that still haunts her bucolic university town. But then, the first piece of evidence is found: Emma's bracelet, lodged in a frozen piece of earth at the bottom of a gorge. For many, the chilling trinket is more than a clue in a resurrected cold case. It's a trigger. Then a woman is attacked during an open house, and the connections between the two crimes, ten winters apart, begin to surface.

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2. Survival of the Thickest: Essays by Michelle Buteau

Buteau is a standup comedian and actress you probably know from movies and shows like Always Be My Maybe, Someone Great, Russian Doll and Tales of the City. Her debut collection of essays covers growing up Caribbean, Catholic and thick in New Jersey, going to college in Miami, working as a newsroom editor during 9/11, getting started in standup by opening for male strippers, and so, so much more.

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3. Dancing in the Mosque: An Afghan Mother’s Letter to Her Son by Homeira Qaderi

In the days before Homeira Qaderi gave birth to her son in the early 2010s, the road to the hospital in Kabul was often barricaded because of frequent suicide explosions. When it was time to give birth, she walked through blood and wreckage to reach the hospital doors, but the joy of her son’s arrival was soon overshadowed by the misogynistic social order she was forced to endure. When her husband announced his plans to take a second wife, Qaderi refused, her husband divorced her and took their son. This searing letter to the son she was forced to leave behind is a meditation on the meaning of motherhood, sacrifice and survival.

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4. Black Futures edited by Kimberly Drew and Jenna Wortham

Edited by art curator and writer Drew (This Is What I Know About Art) and New York Times writer and Still Processing podcast co-host Wortham, this collection of images, essays, memes, dialogues, recipes, tweets and more tells the story of the radical, imaginative, provocative and beautiful world that Black creators are bringing forth today, and what it means to be Black and alive right now.

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5. The Particulars of Peter: Dance Lessons, DNA Tests and Other Excuses to Hang Out with My Perfect Dog by Kelly Conaboy

Anyone who’s ever had a dog knows how quickly you fall in love—bordering on obsession—with your pup. This is a funny exploration of the joy found in loving a dog so much it makes you feel like you're going to combust, and the author's potentially codependent relationship with her own fur baby, Peter. From learning about Peter's DNA, to seeing if dogs can sense the presence of ghosts, The Particulars of Peter is a smart, funny exploration into our infatuation with our four-legged friends.

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6. The Book of Moods: How I Turned My Worst Emotions Into My Best Life by Lauren Martin

Five years ago, Martin convinced herself there was something wrong with her: She had a good job in New York, an apartment in Brooklyn and a boyfriend, yet every day she wrestled with feelings of inferiority, anxiety and irritability. So, she set out to better understand the hold that these moods had on her, and began to blog about the wisdom she uncovered. Her blog quickly exploded into an international online community of women (Words of Women) who felt like she did. In her first book, Martin blends science, philosophy, witty anecdotes and effective forms of self-care to show readers that you can turn your worst moods into your best life.

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7. The Wrong Family by Tarryn Fisher

This winter-break ready thriller follows Juno, a retired therapist who, after a grim diagnosis, wants a place to live out the rest of her days in peace. Enter the Crouch family—a seemingly perfect mother, father and son—who agree to take Juno in. Now that she's living in their beautiful house though, she sees the cracks in the crumbling facade are too deep to ignore—especially when she overhears a chilling conversation that has her wondering about who these gracious strangers actually are. The latest from Fisher (The Wives), sees its protagonist getting involved in a dangerous game of cat and mouse. In other words, it’s unputdownable.

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