Friday Five: Reads to look forward to in January

Let’s start something new for the new year — a quick way to welcome the weekend, perhaps? Each Friday, we’ll list five things on our mind. Five reasons we love our libraries or indie bookstores, five authors we can’t get enough of, five ways we get reading recommendations… and so forth.

We’ll kick off with five reads we’re hearing buzz about for January. Take a peek, then offer your own thoughts in a comment!

"The Invention of Wings" by Sue Monk Kidd1. “The Invention of Wings” by Sue Monk Kidd

Kidd is well-known as the author of “The Secret Life of Bees,” published in 2002. This month, she returns with a new novel also set in the deep South, dealing with similar themes of race relations and strong female characters.

The Goodreads summary begins, “Sarah Grimké is the middle daughter. The one her mother calls difficult and her father calls remarkable. On Sarah’s eleventh birthday, Hetty ‘Handful’ Grimké is taken from the slave quarters she shares with her mother, wrapped in lavender ribbons, and presented to Sarah as a gift. Sarah knows what she does next will unleash a world of trouble. She also knows that she cannot accept. And so, indeed, the trouble begins …”

It’s already been selected for Oprah’s Book Club, so plan to hear plenty more as it’s released Jan. 7.

"The Impossible Knife of Memory" by Laurie Halse Anderson2. “The Impossible Knife of Memory” by Laurie Halse Anderson

Anderson’s “Speak,” published in 1999, was one of my favorite reads as a high schooler. In her new young adult novel, Anderson writes again about a difficult subject — this time, PTSD.

The Goodread summary reads, “For the past five years Hayley Kincain and her father, Andy, have been on the road, never staying long in one place as he struggles to escape the demons that have tortured him since his return from Iraq. Now they are back in town where he grew up so Hayley can go to a proper school. Perhaps, for the first time, Hayley can have a normal life, put aside her own painful memories, even have a relationship with Finn, the hot guy who obviously likes her but is hiding secrets of his own.”

It’s gotten plenty of four- and five-star reviews already on Goodreads, so expect a gripping read here. The release date is Jan. 7.

"12 Years A Slave" by Solomon Northup3. “12 Years A Slave” by Solomon Northup

So it’s not a new release — technically it was written and published in 1853. But Northup’s memoir is sure to be a popular read as awards seasons ramps up — the film “12 Years A Slave,” based on the memoir, was released in October. And, of course, we’re always fans of reading the book before seeing the movie.

An excerpt from the publisher’s summary reads, “Tricked by two men offering him a job as a musician in New York state in 1841, Solomon Northup was instead drugged and kidnapped. Threatened with death, Northup was forced to assume a new name and fake past. Taken to Louisiana on a disease-ridden plague ship, he was initially sold to a cotton planter. In the 12 years that followed he was sold to many different owners who treated him with varying levels of savagery, including forced labor, scant food, and numerous beatings.”

"Hands Free Mama" by Rachel Mary Stafford4. “Hands Free Mama” by Rachel Macy Stafford

“If technology is the new addiction, then multi-tasking is the new marching order.” So reads the publisher’s blurb for this nonfiction title, by a special education teacher and mother who decided enough was enough in our digital society. Stafford chooses instead to let go of the fast-paced life and focus more on meaningful connections.

It seems like each year a book comes along to tell moms (or women) how to do right by their families. Will this one stick? I couldn’t say — but it’s the No 6 best-seller on Amazon, and it’s not even out until Jan. 7. Expect to hear more about it.

"In the Blood" by Lisa Unger5. “In the Blood” by Lisa Unger

Unger is well-known as a writer of gripping tales, and her latest novel sounds no different. In fact, the focus on blurred lines between truth and lies reminds me somewhat of Gillian Flynn’s “Gone Girl.”

The Indiebound.org summary reads, “Lana Granger lives a life of lies. She has told so many lies about where she comes from and who she is that the truth is like a cloudy nightmare she can’t quite recall. About to graduate from college and with her trust fund almost tapped out, she takes a job babysitting a troubled boy named Luke. Expelled from schools all over the country, the manipulative young Luke is accustomed to controlling the people in his life. But, in Lana, he may have met his match. Or has Lana met hers?”

I’ll be interested to pick this one up when it’s released Jan. 7, but for folks who love page-turners, this certainly sounds like it could be a winner.

Also of interest:
Browse the blog’s archive of 400+ book reviews across all genres

About Sarah Chain

I'm an avid reader and book lover living and working in downtown York. Follow me on Twitter at @sarahEchain.
This entry was posted in Book news, Coming soon, Friday Five and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Friday Five: Reads to look forward to in January

  1. Pingback: Book Buzz | Review: ‘The Invention of Wings’ by Sue Monk Kidd

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>