Looking forward to January

The year we thought would never end is finally over. Let’s hope 2021 chills out a little and goes easier on us. While personally – aside from my miscarriage – the year hasn’t been all too bad for me, it has definitely been awful for many others. I wish you all the best for this year and hope you find more love than heartbreak from all corners of your life.

I have an exciting reading year ahead of me, full of ARCs, challenges, the Cosmere Conquest, and some personal goals, such as reading more sci-fi and books off my physical TBR. But this post is all about the ARCs that I will be reading in January or have already read. Several of the ones I still need to read are from my favorite publisher, Orbit, and I even got some of them as print ARCs, which is always exciting. I have loved every single title from them so far so I know I won’t be disappointed this month either.

I’m going to split them up differently this time. Usually, I sort them by children’s books, fiction, and non-fiction but today I’ll do it by what I’ve already read and what I still have ahead of me.

ARCs I’ve already read

To Be Honest // by Michael Leviton

Pub Day: January 05, 2021

Publisher: Abrams Books

Synopsis:

If you’re like most people, you probably lied today. It may have been a small one, some insignificant falsehood meant to protect someone’s feelings or guard your true thoughts. Now imagine if your parents had raised you to never lie, if they’d ingrained in you a compulsion to never, under any circumstances, withhold the truth or fail to speak your mind. It might be wonderfully freeing. Everyone else might not appreciate it so much.
 
To Be Honest is Michael Leviton’s extraordinary account of being raised in a family he calls a “little honesty cult.” For young Michael, his parents’ core philosophy felt liberating. He loved “just being honest.” By the time he was twenty-nine years old, Michael had told only three “lies” (by most people’s understanding of the word) in his entire life. But this honesty had consequences—in friendships, on dates, and at job interviews. And when honesty slowly poisoned a great romance, Michael decided there had to be something to lying after all. He set himself the task of learning to be as casually dishonest as the rest of us.
 
To Be Honest is a tender and darkly comic memoir about what it means and how it feels to tell more than the truth.

Affiliate link: Buy here.

Tales from the Hinterland // by Melissa Albert

Book 2.5 of The Hazel Wood series

Pub Day: January 12, 2021

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Synopsis:

Before The Hazel Wood, there was Althea Proserpine’s Tales from the Hinterland…

Journey into the Hinterland, a brutal and beautiful world where a young woman spends a night with Death, brides are wed to a mysterious house in the trees, and an enchantress is killed twice—and still lives.

Perfect for new readers and dedicated fans alike, Melissa Albert’s Tales from the Hinterland features full-page illustrations by Jim Tierney, foil stamping, two-color interior printing, and printed endpapers.

Affiliate link: Buy here.

The Lost Manuscript // by Cathy Bonidan

Pub Day: January 12, 2021

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Synopsis:

Sometimes a book has the power to change your life…

When Anne-Lise Briard books a room at the Beau Rivage Hotel for her vacation on the Brittany coast, she has no idea this trip will start her on the path to unearthing a mystery. In search of something to read, she opens up her bedside table drawer in her hotel room, and inside she finds an abandoned manuscript. Halfway through the pages, an address is written. She sends pages to the address, in hopes of potentially hearing a response from the unknown author. But not before she reads the story and falls in love with it. The response, which she receives a few days later, astonishes her…

Not only does the author write back, but he confesses that he lost the manuscript 30 years prior on a flight to Montreal. And then he reveals something even more shockingthat he was not the author of the second half of the book.

Anne-Lise can’t rest until she discovers who this second mystery author is, and in doing so tracks down every person who has held this manuscript in their hands. Through the letters exchanged by the people whose lives the manuscript has touched, she discovers long-lost love stories and intimate secrets. Romances blossom and new friends are made. Everyone’s lives are made better by this bookand isn’t that the point of reading? And finally, with a plot twist you don’t see coming, she uncovers the astonishing identity of the author who finished the story.

Affiliate link: Buy here.

Minus Me // by Mameve Medwed

See my full review here. I don’t usually share reviews for ARCs this early but I made an exception this time.

Pub Day: January 12, 2021

Publisher: Alcove Press

Synopsis:

Annie and her devoted but comically incompetent childhood sweetheart Sam are the owners and operators of Annie’s, a gourmet sandwich shop, home to the legendary Paul Bunyan Special Sandwich–their “nutritionally challenged continual source of income and marital harmony and local fame.”

But into their mostly charmed marriage comes the scary medical diagnosis for Annie–and the overwhelming challenge of finding a way to help Sam go on without her. Annie decides to leave Sam step-by-step instructions for a future without her, and considers her own replacement in his heart and their bed.Her best-laid plans grind to a halt with the unexpected appearance of Ursula, Annie’s Manhattan diva of a mother, who brings her own brand of chaos and disruption into their lives.

Affiliate link: Buy here.

Love Songs for Skeptics // by Christina Pishiris

Pub Day: January 19, 2021

Imprint: Sourcebooks Landmark

Synopsis:

Zoë Frixos gets the whole love song thing. Truly, she does. As an editor at a major music magazine, it’s part of her job description. But love? Let’s just say Zoë’s been a bit off-beat in that department. After falling hard for her best friend, Simon, at thirteen and missing every chance to tell him how she felt before he left town, Zoë came to one grand conclusion:

Love stinks.

Twenty years later, Simon is returning to London, newly single and as charming as ever, and Zoë vows to take her second chance. But, with an arrogant publicist out to challenge her career, Simon’s perfect ex-girlfriend’s sudden arrival, and her brother’s big(ish) fat(ish) Greek wedding on the horizon, Zoë begins to wonder if, after all these years, she and Simon simply aren’t meant to be.

What if, despite what all the songs and movies say, your first love isn’t necessarily the right one? In the wake of a life-changing choice, Zoë must decide if she’s right to be skeptical about love, or if it’s simply time to change her tune…

Affiliate link: Buy here.

The Beautiful Things Shoppe // by Philip William Stover

Book 2 of the Seasons of New Hope series

Pub Day: January 26, 2021

Publisher:

Synopsis:

Their collections may clash but their hearts are a perfect match.

Moving to eclectic New Hope, Pennsylvania, and running The Beautiful Things Shoppe is a dream come true for elegant and reserved fine arts dealer Prescott J. Henderson. He never agreed to share the space with Danny Roman, an easygoing extrovert who collects retro toys and colorful knickknacks.

And yet here they are, trapped together in the quaint shop as they scramble to open in time for New Hope’s charming Winter Festival.

Danny has spent years leading with his heart instead of his head. The Beautiful Things Shoppe is his chance to ground himself and build something permanent and joyful. The last thing he needs is an uptight snob who doesn’t appreciate his whimsy occupying half his shop.

It’s only when two of New Hope’s historic landmarks—each as different as Danny and Prescott—are threatened that a tentative alliance forms. And with it, the first blush of romance. Suddenly, running The Beautiful Things Shoppe together doesn’t seem so bad…until Danny’s secret threatens to ruin it all.

Affiliate link: Buy here.

ARCs I still need to read in January

Wie Lie with Death // by Devin Madson

Book 2 of The Reborn Empire series

Note: We Ride the Storm published in 2020 but I just received both of these books in the mail from the publisher so I am reading book 1 currently to be ready for book 2 – because I really needed a bigger TBR this month. lol Thank you so much to Orbit and Angela Man for these books!

Pub Day: January 12, 2021

Publisher: Orbit

Synopsis:

There is no calm after the storm. 

In Kisia’s conquered north, former empress Miko Ts’ai is more determined than ever to save her empire. Yet, as her hunt for allies grows increasingly desperate, she may learn too late that power lies not in names but in people. Dishiva e’Jaroven is fiercely loyal to the new Levanti emperor. Only he can lead them, but his next choice will challenge everything she wants to believe about her people’s future.  Abandoned by his Second Swords, Rah e’Torin must learn to survive without a herd. But honor dictates he bring his warriors home-a path that could be his salvation or lead to his destruction. And sold to the Witchdoctor, Cassandra Marius’ desperate search for a cure ties her fate inextricably to Empress Hana and her true nature could condemn them both.

Affiliate link: Buy here.

The Mask of Mirrors // by M. A. Carrick

Book 1 of Rook & Rose

Pub Day: January 19, 2021

Publisher: Orbit – again, thank you so much for this beautiful copy!

Synopsis:

This is your past, the good and the ill of it, and that which is neither . . .

Arenza Lenskaya is a liar and a thief, a pattern-reader and a daughter of no clan. Raised in the slums of Nadezra, she fled that world to save her sister. 

This is your present, the good and the ill of it, and that which is neither . . .

Renata Viraudax is a con artist recently arrived in Nadezra. She has one goal: to trick her way into a noble house and secure her fortune. 

This is your future, the good and the ill of it, and that which is neither . . .

As corrupt nightmare magic begins to weave its way through the city of dreams, the poisonous feuds of its aristocrats and the shadowy dangers of its impoverished underbelly become tangled—with Ren at their heart. And if she cannot sort the truth from the lies, it will mean the destruction of all her worlds.

Affiliate link: Buy here.

Hall of Smoke // by H.M. Long

Pub Day: January 19, 2021

Publisher: Titan Books

Synopsis:

Hessa is an Eangi: a warrior priestess of the Goddess of War, with the power to turn an enemy’s bones to dust with a scream. Banished for disobeying her goddess’s command to murder a traveller, she prays for forgiveness alone on a mountainside.

While she is gone, raiders raze her village and obliterate the Eangi priesthood. Grieving and alone, Hessa – the last Eangi – must find the traveller and atone for her weakness and secure her place with her loved ones in the High Halls. As clans from the north and legionaries from the south tear through her homeland, slaughtering everyone in their path Hessa strives to win back her goddess’ favour. 

Beset by zealot soldiers, deceitful gods, and newly-awakened demons at every turn, Hessa burns her path towards redemption and revenge. But her journey reveals a harrowing truth: the gods are dying and the High Halls of the afterlife are fading. Soon Hessa’s trust in her goddess weakens with every unheeded prayer.

Thrust into a battle between the gods of the Old World and the New, Hessa realizes there is far more on the line than securing a life beyond her own death. Bigger, older powers slumber beneath the surface of her world. And they’re about to wake up.

Affiliate link: Buy here.

The Knockout // by Sajni Patel

Pub Day: January 26, 2021

Publisher: North Star Editions

Synopsis:

If seventeen-year-old Kareena Thakkar is going to alienate herself from the entire Indian community, she might as well do it gloriously. She’s landed the chance of a lifetime, an invitation to the US Muay Thai Open, which could lead to a spot on the first-ever Olympic team. If only her sport wasn’t seen as something too rough for girls, something she’s afraid to share with anyone outside of her family. Despite pleasing her parents, exceling at school, and making plans to get her family out of debt, Kareena’s never felt quite Indian enough, and her training is only making it worse.

Which is inconvenient, since she’s starting to fall for Amit Patel, who just might be the world’s most perfect Indian. Admitting her feelings for Amit will cost Kareena more than just her pride—she’ll have to face his parents’ disapproval, battle her own insecurities, and remain focused for the big fight. Kareena’s bid for the Olympics could very well make history—if she has the courage to go for it.

Affiliate link: Buy here.

We Came, We Saw, We Left // by Charles Wheelan

Pub Day: January 26, 2021

Publisher: W.W. Norton & Company

Synopsis:

Charlie Wheelan and his family do what others dream of: they take a year off to travel the world. This is their story.

What would happen if you quit your life for a year? In a pre-COVID-19 world, the Wheelan family decided to find out; leaving behind work, school, and even the family dogs to travel the world on a modest budget. Equal parts “how-to” and “how-not-to”—and with an eye toward a world emerging from a pandemic—We Came, We Saw, We Left is the insightful and often hilarious account of one family’s gap-year experiment.

Wheelan paints a picture of adventure and connectivity, juggling themes of local politics, global economics, and family dynamics while exploring answers to questions like: How do you sneak out of a Peruvian town that has been barricaded by the local army? And where can you get treatment for a flesh-eating bacteria your daughter picked up two continents ago? From Colombia to Cambodia, We Came, We Saw, We Left chronicles nine months across six continents with three teenagers. What could go wrong?

Affiliate link: Buy here.

As you see, the majority of my reading I have left for this month is fantasy. I’m also reading Elantris by Brandon Sanderson, so there’s even more fantasy! But I’m excited for it. They all sound very promising!

What are you reading this month? Let me know in the comments!

Thank you to all the publishers for these awesome ARCs. As always, I love to be a part of your reviewer group!

5 thoughts on “Looking forward to January

Add yours

  1. I’m so sorry for your loss. Hopefully, 2021 will be a better year for everybody.
    Thank you for sharing this list! I added some of the books to my already massive TBR ;D

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!

      Don’t we all have giant TBRs…. it’s actually a goal this year to get my goodreads TBR below 1000. I’ve been going through it and deleting books and I’m trying to just keep the ones I really do want to read.

      Like

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