My TBR List: Winter 2018

I’m writing this post during the first winter storm in Southern California of 2018. We’re expecting two- to four-inches of rain over the next 48 hours. Here is where I would normally make a crack about the news coverage—“News alert! Winter Storm of 2018! Don’t drive anywhere!!”—but with the recent fires in the Santa Barbara area, my thoughts are with those bracing for mudslides…

It’s dark and stormy here, below freezing in other parts of the US, and generally the perfect time to get your reading list ready to ride out the winter weather. Here are some titles I’m anxious to get my hands on. I picked them because they continued a theme I’m reading right now (fairy tales, mother/daughter relationships), to support Black History Month in February, and/or because they are buzz-worthy upcoming new releases.

(Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.)

The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

“Inspired by myth, fairy tale, and folklore, #1 New York Times–bestselling author Leigh Bardugo has crafted a deliciously atmospheric collection of short stories filled with betrayals, revenge, sacrifice, and love.” Continue reading the GoodReads Synopsis

This is a book of new fairy tales written in the Grishaverse, the fantasy world created by author Leigh Bardugo in her Shadow and Bone trilogy and Six of Crows duology, both of which I really liked. I had the pleasure of meeting Leigh at a book signing last month and finished the book yesterday. [UPDATE:  See my review of the book.]

The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton

“A foundling, an old book of dark fairy tales, a secret garden, an aristocratic family, a love denied, and a mystery. The Forgotten Garden is a captivating, atmospheric and compulsively readable story of the past, secrets, family and memory from the international best-selling author Kate Morton.” Continue reading the GoodReads Synopsis

I found this book on GoodReads by searching through reader lists. This one made it onto several, including Top Book Club Recommendations, What Women Born In The 1970s Read In 2015 (caught my eye as being one of those lucky 70s births), and Stories for Book Lovers.

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

“Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: her mother is stolen away―by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother’s stories are set. Alice’s only lead is the message her mother left behind: ‘Stay away from the Hazel Wood.’” Continue reading the GoodReads Synopsis

Perfect for my current trend of reading fairy tale-ish books, I found The Hazel Wood on Book Riot’s 101 Books Coming Out in 2018 That You Should Mark Down Now. Coincidentally, author Melissa Albert is joining forces with Stephanie Garber (author of Caraval, another title on my TBR) for a book event in San Francisco at @keplersliteraryfoundation on February 6. Expected publication: January 30, 2018

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

“Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer.” Continue reading the GoodReads Synopsis

At my very first writers conference in September, many people mentioned The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas as an excellent book by a POC (person of color) writer with a story that demands authenticity (all stories do, but inauthentic stories about a POC experience have a tendency to aggravate and perpetuate biases). I’m adding this book to my TBR to stretch out of my comfort zone and support a writer from a background that has been underrepresented in the publishing industry. You can expect a book review in February in honor of Black History Month.

With Love From the Inside by Angela Pisel

“Grace Bradshaw knows the exact minute she will die. On death row for murdering her infant son, her last breath will be taken on February 15 at 12:01 a.m. Eleven years, five months, and twenty-seven days separate her from the last time she heard her precious daughter’s voice and the final moment she’d heard anyone call her Mom. Out of appeals, she can focus on only one thing—reconnecting with her daughter and making sure she knows the truth.” Continue reading the synopsis on GoodReads

We are reading this book for the Wine Lovers Book Club to be hosted by @thefunnylittle1 in February. Pisel says she came up with the idea for the book after her “obsession with TV trials” led her to research women on death row.  It’s an obsession that she shares with @thefunnylittle1, who often regals us at family get-togethers with the twisted plots of true crime stories, like the sad story of Dee Dee and Gypsy Rose in HBO’s Mommy Dead and Dearest. {Creepy}

Sunburn by Laura Lippman

“New York Times bestselling author Laura Lippman returns with a superb novel of psychological suspense about a pair of lovers with the best intentions and the worst luck: two people locked in a passionate yet uncompromising game of cat and mouse. But instead of rules, this game has dark secrets, forbidden desires, inevitable betrayals—and cold-blooded murder. . .” Continue reading the synopsis on GoodReads

Another suggestion on Book Riot’s 101 Books Coming Out in 2018 That You Should Mark Down Now, which says the book is “racking up starred reviews left and right,” guaranteeing a lot of buzz when it is released on February 20, 2018.  And there’s a redhead on the cover.  Enough said.

What are you most looking forward to reading in your cozy winter reading nook?

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