Not sure if we’ve said it enough, but we love getting warm and cozy with a good book and a fire. Winter is starting to feel more like winter and we wanted to know what good books there are to add to our list.
Here are the top nine to keep an eye out for come 2019.
Milkman is the winner of the 2018 Man Booker Prize and is sure to be one of the season’s most talked-about novels. In it, readers travel back in time to the Troubles in Northern Ireland, where an unnamed young woman (who serves as the story’s narrator) is living quietly, reading books and spending time with her mother and siblings. A man named Milkman who has a reputation as a dissident begins following her, and she soon finds herself at the center of a swirl of rumors in her town. At such a tense historical moment, these events will have far-reaching repercussions for the narrator, her family, and Milkman.
In a town on the Thames in the late 1800s, something strange is afoot at the local inn. A man staggers into the establishment, holding an apparently dead young girl in his arms. Inexplicably, the young girl begins to breathe again, and those gathered at the inn scramble to determine her identity and how she could have come back to life. Three different families are convinced that the girl is, in fact, one of their own. As this novel unfolds, readers will come to understand the lives of those families, the circumstances that took a young girl from each of them, and exactly what happened that night at the inn.
In Santa Lora, California, an epidemic is underway. It starts on the local college campus before spreading to first responders, and then, to the town at large. Victims fall asleep and do not wake up despite showing extremely high levels of brain activity. This is the world into which Karen Thompson Walker plunges her readers in her new novel, The Dreamers. As the contagion spreads and the town scrambles to figure out what is happening and how to stop it, readers will peek into the lives of those who are trying—successfully or otherwise—to avoid becoming infected.
Jeremy N. Smith’s latest takes readers into the life of a hacker who is simply known as “Alien.” She began hacking at MIT when she was a student there, and made friends with fellow hackers who practiced literal, physical trespassing rather than just the virtual kind. From there, Alien went into the field of cybersecurity, and watched as her peers worked both to protect large organizations and to infiltrate them. Alien now runs her own company that helps clients protect themselves against hacking. Kirkus called this book: “A page-turning real-life thriller, the sort of book that may leave readers feeling both invigorated and vulnerable.”
Organ transplants, if you really think about it, are nothing short of miraculous. Livers, kidneys, hearts, lungs—body parts that seems so permanent, so intrinsic to an individual’s very being can in fact be relocated from one body to another, sometimes saving a life in the process. This is the subject of Joshua D. Mezrich’s engrossing new memoir about life as a transplant surgeon. Mezrich narrates fascinating, high-stakes surgeries that succeeded, as well as some that tragically failed. He also provides readers with historical context about the history of organ transplants. For fans of Henry Marsh and Atul Gawande, this is the perfect nonfiction book to pick up this winter.
Boris Fishman’s family came to the United States from Soviet Belarus when Boris was a child, and brought with them a rich tradition of cooking. In their new country, those traditions took on new meaning and became a way of preserving a connection to their old home. Fishman writes about the foods that meant the most to him as a child as well as the new dishes that gave him insight into what food means to other families, people, and cultures. Interspersed into this book are delectable recipes from Fishman’s family. If you aren’t hungry when you start reading this book, you will be by the time you’ve finished.
Tom Fitzwilliam has many admirers in Bristol, England. He’s had a big impact on the school in Melville Heights and now serves as its headmaster. He’s also been the object of a few crushes over the years, and why not? He seems like a good guy, and he is certainly charming. But there are people in town who aren’t sure that he’s the upstanding citizen that he appears to be. There are rumors about Tom, unpleasant rumors about things like stalking and inappropriate relationships, that have kept some of the townspeople from fully trusting him. Then a murder upends the community, and everyone’s secrets start to come out.
Jessica Farris works as a makeup artist in New York City, and could use a little extra cash. That’s why she signs up to participate in the morality and ethics study she hears some of her clients talking about. The study is being conducted by Dr. Lydia Shields, and from the beginning, Jessica lies to Dr. Shields about her identity (she claims, instead, to be one of the women she heard talking about the study in the first place). The relationship between Jessica and Dr. Shields is unbalanced from the beginning, wrought with manipulation and control. Will Jessica be able to escape Dr. Shields’ clutches?
First comes love, then comes marriage. Then comes… murder? In JoAnn Chaney’s latest, a husband named Matt reels in the aftermath of his wife’s death. He and Marie had been hiking when she stumbled off of a cliff. At least, that’s what Matt says happened. It would be easier to believe him, however, had his first wife Janice not also died rather suddenly. Detective Marion Spengler and Detective Ralph Loren are assigned to the case, and are charged with answering a basic question about Matt: Is he a sociopathic, wife-killing liar? Or is he just an extremely unlucky man who has lost both of his wives to unspeakable tragedies? This twisty thriller will keep your heart rate elevated right up to the final page.
What books are on your reading list this season? We’d love to hear of ones we haven’t checked out yet!