With temperatures dropping and the new year right around the corner, it’s the perfect time to figure out what books you (and maybe those on your gift list) want to snuggle up with heading into 2023. These six titles were all new to paperback this December and cover a wide range of stories, perfect for folks with varied tastes. Whether you are in the mood for a razor-sharp psychological thriller or an unbelievable and poignant based-on-a-true-story, these books will engross and satisfy even the most distractible reader. Make sure to pick up a few for yourself while you are getting books for others, too.
International bestselling author Heidi Perks offers a stylish psychological thriller in THE WHISPERS. Devoted wife and mother Anna allows herself one release amidst her busy days: a girls’ night out with her friends after her kids are in bed. But when Anna goes missing after one night out that gets a bit out of hand, her son, husband, and friends are all worried sick. Most concerned of all is her childhood best friend Grace, who decides that she will do whatever it takes to find Anna, even if it means discovering a trail of toxic relationships to do so.
A woman embarks on a desperate search for her missing best friend and uncovers a twisted web of lies in this “razor-sharp and impossible to put down” (Daily Mail, London) thriller from the internationally bestselling author of Her One Mistake.
Anna loves Girls’ Night with her friends. With the kids safely in bed, it’s a chance for the women to let loose, enjoy some wine, and just laugh. But after one lively evening, Anna doesn’t arrive for school drop-off the next morning—or the next, or the next.
Everyone, especially her husband and young son, is frantic with worry, but none more so than Grace, her childhood best friend. Grace is certain that someone is hiding the truth about Anna’s unexplained disappearance. As rumors fly and accusations are whispered among neighbors, Grace decides to take matters into her own hands and find out what happened to Anna…or die trying, in this “original, clever, and gripping thriller about toxic female friendships with a killer twist” (Claire Douglas, author of Just Like the Other Girls).
Edward Dickens is the tenth son of beloved author Charles Dickens. He’s also a failure. Desperate to keep Edward’s increasingly public disappointments out of the press, his family sends him to Australia, hoping the exile will convince him to apply himself. There, Edward lands among native Aboriginals, scheming colonialists, and a ragtag group of ex-convicts. Despite it all, he’s determined to reach great heights. A rogue-to-riches, coming-of-age story based on a real, overlooked figure, THE DICKENS BOY is a charming and engrossing novel by the author of SCHINDLER’S LIST.
The award-winning author of modern classics such as Schindler’s List and Napoleon’s Last Island is at his triumphant best with this “engrossing and transporting” (Financial Times) novel about the adventures of Charles Dickens’s son in the Australian Outback during the 1860s.
Edward Dickens, the tenth child of England’s most famous author Charles Dickens, has consistently let his parents down. Unable to apply himself at school and adrift in life, the teenaged boy is sent to Australia in the hopes that he can make something of himself—or at least fail out of the public eye.
He soon finds himself in the remote Outback, surrounded by Aboriginals, colonials, ex-convicts, ex-soldiers, and very few women. Determined to prove to his parents and more importantly, himself, that he can succeed in this vast and unfamiliar wilderness, Edward works hard at his new life amidst various livestock, bushrangers, shifty stock agents, and frontier battles.
By reimagining the tale of a fascinating yet little-known figure in history, this “roguishly tender coming-of-age story” (Booklist) offers penetrating insights into Colonialism and the fate of Australia’s indigenous people, and a wonderfully intimate portrait of Charles Dickens, as seen through the eyes of his son.
No one expected greatness of Ray McMillian, a Black boy raised in rural North Carolina. But Ray knows he has a gift with the violin, and he’s determined to take the world of classical music by storm, despite the profession’s deep-set, systemic racism. While Ray struggles at first to find the funding and opportunities to play, doors suddenly open for him after he discovers that his old family fiddle is actually a rare Stradivarius. By on the eve of the world-famous Tchaikovsky Competition, Ray discovers his violin has been stolen and, with it, a piece of himself.
A powerful account based on a true story of one woman’s journey to change the literary landscape forever, THE PARIS BOOKSELLER tells the tale of the now world-famous Shakespeare and Company. American Sylvia Beach opens a small new bookstore called Shakespeare and Company in Paris in 1919. Soon, it becomes the refuge for writerly ex-pats like Ernest Hemingway, and the breeding ground for Sylvia’s own friendship with controversial writers like James Joyce. After Sylvia takes a risk and publishes Joyce’s explosive ULYSSES, she must fight to keep her friendships, her reputation, and her bookstore afloat.
In THE DARKNESS KNOWS, Arnaldur Indridason, master crafter of Icelandic thrillers, reintroduces readers to Konrad, the retired detective from THE SHADOW DISTRICT. Konrad no longer works cases, but when the body of a businessman who disappeared thirty years earlier is found in a glacier, he can’t resist returning. Years ago, Konrad led the extensive search and investigation, but after the case ended in a dead end, it’s haunted him for years. Now, as a woman comes forward with new information, Konrad begins to believe he might be able to solve it once and for all.
In this thought-provoking memoir, one woman must save as many lives as she can while avoiding the suspicion of history’s most notorious villains. Kindergarten teacher Magda Hellinger was twenty-five years old in 1942, when she and a thousand other young women became the first Jews to be sent to Auschwitz. Once there, she was selected to be in charge of Experimental Block 10, where she witnessed unimaginable horrors and built unexpected relationships with the women she watched over, doing all she could—including befriending infamous Nazi officers—to save them as well as herself.
The “thought-provoking…must-read” (Ariana Neumann, author of When Time Stopped) memoir by a Holocaust survivor who saved an untold number of lives at Auschwitz through everyday acts of courage and kindness—in the vein of A Bookshop in Berlin and The Nazi Officer’s Wife.
In March 1942, twenty-five-year-old kindergarten teacher Magda Hellinger and nearly a thousand other young women were deported as some of the first Jews to be sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp.
The SS soon discovered that by putting prisoners in charge of the day-to-day accommodation blocks, they could deflect attention away from themselves. Magda was one such prisoner selected for leadership and put in charge of hundreds of women in the notorious Experimental Block 10. She found herself constantly walking a dangerously fine line: saving lives while avoiding suspicion by the SS and risking execution. Through her inner strength and shrewd survival instincts, she was able to rise above the horror and cruelty of the camps and build pivotal relationships with the women under her watch, and even some of Auschwitz’s most notorious Nazi senior officers.
Based on Magda’s personal account and completed by her daughter’s extensive research, this is “an unputdownable account of resilience and the power of compassion” (Booklist) in the face of indescribable evil.
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