Is there a better TBR list than a winter TBR list? Winter can be busy, and we all know it can be dark and dreary (I’m looking at you, standard time), but winter is also one of the best opportunities to cuddle up with a good book and a hot beverage. So get your blankets and sweaters ready and make sure you add these books to your list this season!
Setterfield’s masterful mystery tells of a young girl who appears to have come back from the dead on the night of the winter solstice. While the town scrambles to identify her, the mute girl poses a mystery that no one seems ready to solve and raises other questions about people in town and their way of life. This gothic historical fiction is remarkably perceptive and straddles the line between fantasy and reality in a way that makes it even more authentic.
In his second historical fiction about World War II, Armando Lucas Correa once again expertly weaves together the past and present and invites us to read about the tragedies of the war, particularly those faced by children, in this intimate, heartbreaking novel. THE DAUGHTER’S TALE tells the story of just one of the many displaced children. A mother bravely sends away her older daughter and saves the younger one from a death camp. We follow the younger daughter, Lina, as she moves throughout Europe and later the world, desperately trying to find safety and family.
Bestselling author Philippa Gregory’s latest novel, TIDELANDS, takes place in 1648 and centers around a woman named Alinor. Not only is Alinor’s husband missing, but she is also the descendent of wise women and makes a living as an herbalist and midwife, activities that are viewed with suspicion. When she crosses paths with James, a young priest, Alinor faces difficult, and possibly supernatural, choices about the life she intends to lead. TIDELANDS transports readers to another world, and though you may not find that world warm and full of sunshine, it is utterly engrossing.
This New York Times bestseller from “one of the great storytellers of our time” (San Francisco Book Review) turns from the glamour of the royal courts to tell the story of an ordinary woman, Alinor, living in a dangerous time for a woman to be different.
On Midsummer’s Eve, Alinor waits in the church graveyard, hoping to encounter the ghost of her missing husband and thus confirm his death. Until she can, she is neither maiden nor wife nor widow, living in a perilous limbo. Instead she meets James, a young man on the run. She shows him the secret ways across the treacherous marshy landscape of the Tidelands, not knowing she is leading a spy and an enemy into her life.
England is in the grip of a bloody civil war that reaches into the most remote parts of the kingdom. Alinor’s suspicious neighbors are watching each other for any sign that someone might be disloyal to the new parliament, and Alinor’s ambition and determination mark her as a woman who doesn’t follow the rules. They have always whispered about the sinister power of Alinor’s beauty, but the secrets they don’t know about her and James are far more damning. This is the time of witch-mania, and if the villagers discover the truth, they could take matters into their own hands.
“This is Gregory par excellence” (Kirkus Reviews). “Fans of Gregory’s works and of historicals in general will delight in this page-turning tale” (Library Journal, starred review) that is “superb… A searing portrait of a woman that resonates across the ages” (People).
Twenty-five-year-old Queenie is a Jamaican British woman who can’t catch a break. Between her dating experiences, relationships with friends and family, and a job where she feels undervalued, Queenie feels like her life is falling apart. QUEENIE is a much-needed exploration of mental health and the stress young women face in a modern world. QUEENIE’s amazing main character and warm-hearted ending remind us of the importance of self-care, and that those who truly love us will always have our backs.
Author Picks: 5 Novels That Perfectly Capture the Wonderful and Messy Nature of Complicated Families
THE STATIONERY SHOP is a can’t-miss love story about what could’ve been. Set during the 1953 Iranian coup, THE STATIONERY SHOP is about a young couple who are separated the night before their wedding and reunite 60 years later in the US after having led separate lives. Equally as heartbreaking as it is uplifting, THE STATIONERY SHOP juxtaposes beauty and romance with life’s realities and asks us to carefully consider the ways we look at love and happiness.
A poignant, heartfelt new novel by the award-nominated author of Together Tea—extolled by the Wall Street Journal as a “moving tale of lost love” and by Shelf Awareness as “a powerful, heartbreaking story”—explores loss, reconciliation, and the quirks of fate.
Roya, a dreamy, idealistic teenager living amid the political upheaval of 1953 Tehran, finds a literary oasis in kindly Mr. Fakhri’s neighborhood stationery shop, stocked with books and pens and bottles of jewel-colored ink.
Then Mr. Fakhri, with a keen instinct for a budding romance, introduces Roya to his other favorite customer—handsome Bahman, who has a burning passion for justice and a love for Rumi’s poetry—and she loses her heart at once. Their romance blossoms, and the little stationery shop remains their favorite place in all of Tehran.
A few short months later, on the eve of their marriage, Roya agrees to meet Bahman at the town square when violence erupts—a result of the coup d’etat that forever changes their country’s future. In the chaos, Bahman never shows. For weeks, Roya tries desperately to contact him, but her efforts are fruitless. With a sorrowful heart, she moves on—to college in California, to another man, to a life in New England—until, more than sixty years later, an accident of fate leads her back to Bahman and offers her a chance to ask him the questions that have haunted her for more than half a century: Why did you leave? Where did you go? How is it that you were able to forget me?
This coming-of-age tale about 17-year-old Lucy Adler, an ultra-talented basketball player in New York City in the early nineties, is the story so many of us have been waiting for. Lucy is smart, socially aware, and brave but struggles to find her place in a world where she doesn’t feel like she belongs. She navigates a relationship with her best friend and unrequited love interest and tries to understand what it means to be her own person in a world that places so much emphasis on gaining the approval of men. The writing is snappy and poetic, and Lucy’s perceptive nature guides this relatable book.
A new and fresh take on the old western, WHISKEY WHEN WE’RE DRY follows 17-year-old Jessilyn Harney on her journey to find her outlaw brother and save her family’s homestead. Disguised as a man, Jess embarks on a journey filled with danger and adventure that forces her to come to terms with her brothers’ crimes, as well as part of her own identity she’d rather keep hidden. This epic novel is hailed as original and exciting and is a throwback to classic tales of adventure.
Bestselling author Barbara Kingsolver’s UNSHELTERED tells two stories of two families in two centuries connected by their shared address. Willa Knox has always been responsible, but she and her family have lately experienced one crisis after another. In the late 19th century, Thatcher Greenwood experiences similar setbacks. But the families learn to connect with each other through the house they work together to fix. UNSHELTERED is an incredible examination of family ties and the values that make us human.
This sprawling tale is about the several generations of a single family that owns a candlepin bowling alley in a New England town. The bowling alley serves as the connecting factor, and the family members are, at various times, empowered by it or trapped by it. Though this may seem like an ordinary family with an ordinary family business, the family’s incredibly unique story means that there are secrets to be revealed, stones to be unturned, and endless stories waiting to be told in this epic tale.
Whitney Scharer’s debut novel follows former Vogue model Lee Miller as she travels to Paris to pursue a career as a photographer in 1929. Lee finds a home, and love, in Paris, and through her artful eye we see historical events as well as her incredible personal life. Through it all, Lee’s remarkable ambition to be her own person, and a world-class photographer and artist, keeps her going, even as she struggles in the shadow of her romantic love life.