10 Books We Can’t Wait to Read in January
The start of a new year means lofty resolutions, clean slates and, most excitingly, a fresh crop of books to devour. Spanning continents and decades, January’s highly anticipated releases cover medical mysteries, unapologetically bold women, self-love journeys, redemption stories and so much more.
1. I Came All This Way to Meet You: Writing Myself Home by Jami Attenberg
The daughter of a traveling salesman in the Midwest, Attenberg (All This Could Be Yours) was drawn to a life on the road. Driving across America on self-funded book tours, she keeps writing: magazine articles, ideas for novels, anything. In this memoir, she reminisces about this time spent refining her craft, growing as an artist and learning to trust her gut and, ultimately, herself. Touching on friendship, independence, class and drive, I Came All This Way to Meet You is ultimately about finding one's way home.
2. Shit Cassandra Saw: Stories by Gwen E. Kirby
Each of the stories in this debut collection highlight the life of a famous (or infamous) woman from history, as well as some contemporary women and men. In one, the Greek goddess Cassandra receives the gift of prophesy from Apollo only to find that no one believed her visions of the future after she refuses to have sex with him. In another, a man tells a woman to smile, and she responds by revealing a mouthful of fangs, which she uses to bite off the man’s hand. Funny and ferociously feminist.
3. This Boy We Made: A Memoir of Motherhood, Genetics and Facing the Unknown by Taylor Harris
One day, out of the blue, Taylor Harris's happy and healthy 22-month-old son, Tophs, wakes up listless, barely lifting his head for water. She rushes him to the doctor, where it’s confirmed that something is wrong—though no one can tell her why. During the search for a diagnosis, Harris spends countless hours trying to navigate health and education systems that can be hostile to Black mothers and children. A crucial examination of the challenges of raising a Black son in America and how the healthcare industry fails people of color, Harris’s debut memoir is so much more than the story of a perplexing medical mystery.
4. All Day Is a Long Time by David Sanchez
The protagonist of Sanchez’s first novel, David has a mind that never shuts off. He reads Dante and Melville, Hemingway and Milton. But on Florida's Gulf Coast, one wrong move can quickly send a young person down a bad path. For David, it’s at the age of 14, when he runs away from home to pursue a girl and, on his journey, tries crack for the first time, becoming immediately hooked. Over the course of the next decade, he fights his way out of jail and rehab. Though he makes his way to a shaky sobriety, it isn't until he takes a literature class at a community college that something within him changes. His journey illuminates what it means, and what it takes, to come back from a place of little control.
5. 30 Things I Love About Myself by Radhika Sanghani
Thirtieth birthdays are supposed to be about parties and cake and loved ones. Nina's thirtieth birthday has…none of those things. She’s hit rock bottom: Recently broken up with her fiancé, she’s forced to move back into her childhood home to live with her depressed older brother and their uptight, traditional Indian mother. Her career isn't going in the direction she wants, and all her friends are too busy being successful to hang out with her. Then, she discovers a book called How to Fix Your Shitty Life by Loving Yourself and assumes it’s fate. With nothing else to lose, Nina makes a life-changing decision to embark on a self-love journey, promising herself that, by her next birthday, she's going to find thirty things she loves about herself.
6. Getting Clean with Stevie Green by Swan Huntley
Stevie Green is over binge drinking and sleeping with strange men. At 37, her lack of purpose has made her desperate enough to say yes when her mother asks her to come back to her hometown to help her move into a new house. The move ends up going so well that Stevie decides to start her own decluttering business. She stops drinking, patches things up with her formerly estranged sister and rekindles a romance with her high school sweetheart. Things are better than ever, except for the complicated past that Stevie can't seem to outrun. In Getting Clean with Stevie Green, Huntley (We Could Be Beautiful) focuses on coming to terms with who you are, dealing with the pain of your past and accepting your life in all its messy glory.
7. Beautiful Little Fools by Jillian Cantor
In this reimagining of The Great Gatsby, the women in Jay Gatsby’s life take center stage. In 1922, Gatsby is shot dead in his West Egg swimming pool, and three women fall under suspicion: Daisy Buchanan, who once thought she might marry Gatsby, Jordan Baker, Daisy's best friend who guards a secret that could derail her life and Catherine McCoy, a suffragette fighting for women's freedom and independence, especially for her sister, who's trapped in a terrible marriage. Leading up to that fateful day, each woman is pulled deeper into Jay’s romantic obsession, with devastating consequences for all of them. Beautiful Little Fools is a story of money and power, marriage and friendship, love and desire…and the murder of a man tormented by the past.
8. Fiona and Jane by Jean Chen Ho
Fiona Lin and Jane Shen have been best friends since second grade. They’ve been through everything together: Exploring the seedy bars of Los Angeles as teenagers, surviving unfulfilling romantic encounters and reckoning with their families' tumultuous pasts. When Fiona moves to New York, Jane remains in California. Thousands of miles apart, the two float in and out of each other's lives, their friendship serving as a beacon of home and a reminder of all they've lost. Told in each of their voices, this debut centers on the intensity, resentment and love of female friendships.
9. No Land to Light On by Yara Zgheib
This debut novel follows Hadi and Sama, a young Syrian couple living in Boston, who are expecting their first baby. But when Hadi’s father dies suddenly in Jordan, things turn from bad to worse when he becomes stopped on his flight back home and detained for questioning. As hours become days become weeks, the couple yearns for a way back to each other, caught up in forces beyond their control while fighting for the freedom and home they found in one another.
10. To Paradise by Hanya Yanagihara
From the author of the wildly popular (and almost oppressively sad) A Little Life comes a novel spanning three centuries and three different versions of the American experiment, about lovers, family, loss and the elusive promise of utopia. In an alternate version of 1893, New York is part of the Free States, where people may live and love whomever they please (or so it seems). In a 1993 Manhattan overwhelmed by the AIDS epidemic, a young Hawaiian man lives with his much older, wealthier partner, hiding his troubled childhood and the fate of his father. And in 2093, in a world overrun by plagues and governed by totalitarian rule, a woman tries to solve the mystery of her husband's disappearances. These three sections are linked by questions about treatments that come at a terrible cost, the definition of family and the futile quest to find an earthly paradise.