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20 new books to read in January

20 new books to read in January

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Scribner; Little, Brown and Company; Atria Books; Harry N. Abrams; Imprint

New year, new reads

The publishing industry is wasting no time getting good books out in 2019. What better way to celebrate the new year than by checking out one of January’s hottest reads? Here are the 20 to have on your radar.


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Penguin Books

Adèle, by Leila Slimani

After making her American debut with The Perfect Nanny, an exquisitely crafted portrait of creeping madness and child murder, Slimani returns with a story about a chic Parisian wife and mother overwhelmed by her compulsive sexual urges. (Jan. 8)

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Burned, by Edward Humes

The Pulitzer Prize-winning crime journalist and author (No Matter How Loud I Shout) returns with another eye-opening, suspenseful tale of murder and secrets. This time, he takes the action back to 1989, and investigates a tragic fire shrouded in mystery and conspiracy. (Jan. 8)


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Hollywood’s Eve, by Lili Anolik

The author behind the Vanity Fair profile that vaulted Eve Babitz into late-career fame expands her work with this intimate book, which is as much a biography of Babitz’s glitzy, star-studded life as it is a meditation on why so many are transfixed by her. (Jan. 8)


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Looker, by Laura Sims

Newly separated, an unnamed woman fixates intensely on the life of her famous actress neighbor. The obsession worsens, and the stakes turn dangerous. (Jan. 8)


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Little, Brown and Company

An Orchestra of Minorities, by Chigozie Obioma

A Man Booker Prize finalist, Obioma could break out with U.S. audiences with this passionate, emotional contemporary twist on Homer’s Odyssey, set in the outskirts of Umuahia, Nigeria. (Jan. 8)


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Harry N. Abrams

The Sopranos Sessions, by Matt Zoller Seitz and Alan Sepinwall

The two veteran critics offer in-depth, episode-by-episode analysis of one of the greatest TV series ever. But a juicy bonus lurks for fans: a new, wide-ranging interview with Sopranos creator David Chase. And in it, he just might shed some light on that perennially controversial final scene. (Jan. 8)


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Algonquin Books

Sugar Run, by Mesha Maren

A tense, atmospheric Southern noir spiked with queer themes, Sugar Run weaves between two timelines in its depiction of Jodi, a woman just finishing an 18-year prison sentence. (Jan. 8)


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The New Press

Thick, by Tressie McMillan Cottom

In this searingly written collection, Cottom, a proven author (Lower Ed) and assistant professor of sociology at Virginia Commonwealth University, mixes cultural criticism with personal reflection, recalling the best of Janet Mock and Roxane Gay. The latter has already called Thick “transgressive, provocative, and brilliant.” (Jan. 8)


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To Keep the Sun Alive, by Rabeah Ghaffari

Ghaffari’s fiery debut tenderly depicts a family against the harrowing backdrop of the 1979 Iranian revolution. (Jan. 8)


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The Water Cure, by Sophie Mackintosh

This dystopian novel centers on three young sisters who’ve lived their whole lives in isolation with their parents, kept away from a world that has become violent toward women. (Think The Handmaid’s Tale set on the outskirts of Gilead.) But when their father dies, they’re forced to face the danger beyond their walls — and find the strength to survive it. (Jan. 8)


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Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

The Wicked King, by Holly Black

Black promises to do more with the follow-up to her smash success The Cruel Prince than merely set up the final act in her Folk of the Air trilogy, an epic saga of palace intrigue and deception. Expect new blood to be shed. (Jan. 8)


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Random House

The Dreamers, by Karen Thompson Walker

Walker was behind one of the biggest debuts in recent memory, in the form of the coming-of-age sci-fi tale The Age of Miracles. Now she’s finally arrived with her encore: the saga of a town being put to sleep (literally) by a mysterious illness. (Jan. 15)


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Grove Press

The Far Field, by Madhuri Vijay

A debut novel that finds a young woman visiting India in the wake of her mother’s death, where she seeks answers about her family’s past — and herself. (Jan. 15)


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Scout Press

You Know You Want This, by Kristen Roupenian

Roupenian inked a huge book deal off her buzzy New Yorker short story “Cat Person,” and here’s the first result: a collection that provocatively tackles sex and power. Read an excerpt. (Jan. 15)


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The Current, by Tim Johnston

Johnston dazzled with his breakout thriller, Descent; his follow-up is a more ambitious page-turner, unpacking how a shocking murder impacts the denizens of a small Minnesota town as they weather suspicion, guilt, and grief. (Jan. 22)


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Little, Brown and Company

Talent, by Juliet Lapidos

This satirical debut centers on an intellectually ambitious graduate student desperately seeking inspiration as she struggles to finish her disseration. She finds it in the life (and potential unfinished, unknown project) of a deceased author. (Jan. 22)


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Atria Books

The Falconer, by Dana Czapnik

One of the buzziest debuts of the winter may also sound a tad familiar: a coming-of-age story set in ’90s New York City. But early word is this may rank among the best in that ever-popular subgenre. (Jan. 29)


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King of Scars, by Leigh Bardugo

Kicking off a new duology, Scars centers on Nikolai Lantsov, the mysterious and roguish prince from Bardugo’s original Grisha trilogy who quickly emerged as a fan favorite, and it also features at least one character from her Six of Crows duology. (As to whom, that remains under wraps.) Bardugo fans probably don’t want to miss this one. (Jan. 29)


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The Wolf in the Whale, by Jordanna Max Brodsky

Calling fans of Diana Gabaldon and Sharon Kay Penma: Brodksy’s new fantasy imagines a consequential meeting between Vikings and the Inuit in the year 1000, surrounding the clash with gods and romance and tragedy. (Jan. 29)


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Little, Brown and Company

The World According to Fannie Davis, by Bridgett M. Davis

Novelist Davis (Into the Slow-Go) tries her hand at nonfiction in this emotional, nuanced tribute to her mother, who became known as an iconic lottery “numbers runner” in her mid-century Detroit community. (Jan. 29)

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