Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Wish List Wednesday: February

A new feature that I'm rolling out today is Wish List Wednesday, when I preview five new books coming out the following month. Each month, I'll be pulling out a few fiction and nonfiction selections that are either generating a lot of buzz in the literary world or are on my personal to-be-read list. Perhaps you'll see something you want to add to your wish list.

Why does February have to be so cold? Once Valentine's Day passes, the month is just plain freezing and not much to do. So here are five books you might want to curl up on the couch with while enjoying a hot beverage.

1) The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
(Feb. 3, St. Martin's)
Available via hardcover, ebook and audio
Arguably the book of the month, this tale of sisters in World War II-era France has been making waves since the first reviews trickled in last fall. Topping out at nearly 450 pages, the book has romance, suspense and intrigue as one sister is forced to house a Nazi in her home while the other rushes headlong into the French Resistance. Hannah can expect to add another bestselling book to her list of accolades with this one and I anticipate that this will show up on many best books of the year lists.

2) The Glittering World by Robert Levy
(Feb. 10, Gallery)
Available via hardcover and ebook
When I first read the description of this book, I immediately thought back to Neil Gaiman's 2013 book The Ocean at the End of the Lane, and apparently, I'm not alone. The publisher has it listed as a comparable title to this debut thriller of a New York chef who returns to his Canadian home and realizes that home contains dark truths wrapped in long-forgotten memories. Themes of alienation, family secrets and the supernatural await readers. No word yet on an audiobook version.

3) My Sunshine Away by M.O. Walsh
(Feb. 10, Putnam/Amy Einhorn)
Available via hardcover, ebook and audio
My Audible pick of the month, this book takes place deep in the heart of Louisiana, home to crawfish and LSU Tigers fans craving a national title in college football. In the summer of 1989, however, an unspeakable crime shatters the childhood of a 15-year-old girl. Growing up, memory and its power and the ability to forgive what many consider an unforgivable act play a big role in this book.

4) A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
(Feb. 24, Tor)
Available via hardcover and ebook
From the writer of the acclaimed Vicious, which put a spin on the superhero genre, comes the start of a new series aimed at fantasy. The story involves dual Londons, a courier that can travel between these parallel cities, magic, royalty and a pirate thief. Like The Nightingale, this book has also been generating a ton of excitement among online readers and it looks like it'll be a fun romp with a sequel reportedly planned for publication next year. The book is also my Kindle/hardcover pick of the month.

5) Irritable Hearts: A PTSD Love Story by Mac McClelland
(Feb. 24, Flatiron)
Available via hardcover, ebook and audio
Last year, I received a sampler from Macmillan's newest imprint Flatiron Books. Their 2015 slate heats up this month with A Kim Jong-Il Production and Irritable Hearts. McClelland's memoir suffered PTSD in 2010 during a trip to report on the Haitian earthquake. In the extended preview I had, she wrote thoroughly and openly about her struggle with the disorder and traced its history. It will likely be difficult for some readers to read because of how raw it can be at times, but if the preview was that good, I'm curious to see the finished product.

While it didn't quite make the list, it should be noted that short story writer Laura van den Berg makes the jump to novels with her highly anticipated Find Me (Feb. 17, Farrar, Straus and Giroux), which tells the story of a girl immune to a pandemic disease who tries to find her mother.

Is there a book you're looking forward to this month?

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