January 7 is the first big book day of the year, and there are so many exciting releases coming out not only on Jan 7 but also in 2020 that it is truly overwhelming. Check out my most anticipated of 2020 list for an overview of what’s coming the first half of the year, and let me know what you’re particularly excited about in the comments — or find me on Twitter @lemonsand or Instagram @theangelashelf.
LONG BRIGHT RIVER, Liz Moore. A Good Morning America book club pick, a Book of the Month early release, and one of my favorite books in recent months (read my review here). The hype is well-deserved. Mickey is a Philadelphia cop who becomes obsessed with tracking down a possible serial killer — who may have targeted Mickey’s own sister. Aggregated critical reviews, Indiebound, Amazon.
CREATURES, Crissy Van Meter. On the eve of her wedding, with the groom potentially lost at sea and in the company of her mostly-absent mother, a woman contemplates her neglected childhood off the coast of California. I’m thrilled to add this one to my growing list of West Coast-based books to read ASAP. Aggregated critical reviews, Indiebound, Amazon.
BEFORE AND AFTER THE BOOK DEAL: A WRITER’S GUIDE TO FINISHING, PUBLISHING, PROMOTING, AND SURVIVING YOUR FIRST BOOK, Courtney Maum. This author always has the prettiest book covers, and this one is no exception. I think the title clearly lays out what this book is about — which is to say, I am very excited to need it in a year or so (hopefully). Indiebound, Amazon.
HOUSE ON ENDLESS WATERS, Emuna Elon. When visiting the Jewish Museum in his ancestral city of Amsterdam, an author discovers a photograph of his mother — with a baby he doesn’t recognize. Indiebound, Amazon.
KILL REPLY ALL: A MODERN GUIDE TO ONLINE ETIQUETTE, FROM SOCIAL MEDIA TO WORK TO LOVE, Victoria Turk. Victoria is a delightful writer, and anyone with questions about how to behave online absolutely needs this book. Indiebound, Amazon.
LADY HOTSPUR, Tessa Gratton. A fantastical retelling of Henry IV. When the heir to the throne is deposed by her best friend’s mother and exiled, she must choose between giving up everything she’s ever known and allowing the rebels — and former best friend — to lead her kingdom, or take up arms and lose the person she loves most. Indiebound, Amazon.
WELCOME TO THE PINE AWAY MOTEL AND CABINS, Katarina Bivald. When she dies in an accident, a woman becomes a ghost determined to help her friends and family find happiness, despite the impending loss of their beloved motel. Aggregated critical reviews, Indiebound, Amazon.
TWO BLANKETS, THREE SHEETS, Rodaan Al Galidi, Jonathan Reeder (Translator). After escaping conscription into Saddam Hussein’s army and wandering for seven years, a man finds asylum in a Dutch dorm, where he will spend another nine years with 500 housemates. Indiebound, Amazon.
TOPICS OF CONVERSATION, Miranda Popkey. A Book of the Month pick for January, with a blurb by Cristina Arreola, brilliant former books editor at Bustle, which tells the story of the past 20 years of the unnamed narrator’s life through a series of conversations. I cannot wait to read this one. Aggregated critical reviews, Indiebound, Amazon.
QUALITYLAND, Marc-Uwe Kling. In a futuristic country where society is ruled by algorithm, a machine scrapper with a penchant for collecting the items he’s supposed to trash finds a product that could call into question everything that makes his country possible. Indiebound, Amazon.
THE BLACK CATHEDRAL, Marcial Gala, Anna Kushner (translator). A preacher and his family move to a Cuban city, which the preacher thinks God has ordered him to transform into a new Jerusalem. Aggregated critical reviews, Indiebound, Amazon.
THE HEAP, Sean Adams. Once a magnificent building 500 stories tall, Los Verticales is now a crumbling, dilapidated ruin known as The Heap. When a man discovers that his brother is the sole survivor of the collapse, he begins talking to him nightly on his hugely popular radio show, while conducting a rescue mission and fending off the encroaching forces of hungry, manipulative advertisers. Aggregated critical reviews, Indiebound, Amazon.
WOVEN IN MOONLIGHT, Isabel Ibañez. One of my most anticipated books of 2020! A young woman who can weave thread from moonlight plots revenge against the man who usurped the royal family. Indiebound, Amazon.