January Books


Moonrise Over New Jessup, by Jamila Minnicks

It’s 1957, and after leaving the only home she has ever known, Alice Young steps off the bus into the all-Black town of New Jessup, Alabama, where residents have largely rejected integration as the means for Black social advancement. Instead, they seek to maintain, and fortify, the community they cherish on their “side of the woods.” Alice falls in love with Raymond Campbell, whose clandestine organizing activities challenge New Jessup’s longstanding status quo and could lead to the young couple’s expulsion — or worse — from the home they both hold dear. But as Raymond continues to push alternatives for enhancing New Jessup’s political power, Alice must find a way to balance her undying support for his underground work with her desire to protect New Jessup from the rising pressure of upheaval from inside, and outside, their side of town. Minnicks’ debut novel is both a celebration of Black joy and an examination of the opposing viewpoints that attended desegregation in America.

Just the Nicest Couple, by Mary Kubica

Jake Hayes is missing. This much is certain. At first his wife, Nina, thinks he is blowing off steam at a friend’s house after their heated fight the night before. But then a day goes by. Two days. Five. And Jake is still nowhere to be found. Lily Scott, Nina’s friend and co-worker, thinks she may have been the last to see Jake before he went missing. After Lily confesses everything to her husband, Christian, the two decide that nobody can find out what happened leading up to Jake’s disappearance, especially not Nina. But Nina is out there looking for her husband, and she won’t stop until the truth is discovered in this high-octane, edge-of-your-seat thriller.

The Mitford Affair, by Marie Benedict

Between the World Wars, the six Mitford sisters — each more beautiful, brilliant and eccentric than the next — dominate the English scene. Though they’ve weathered scandals before, the family falls into disarray when Diana divorces her wealthy husband to marry a fascist leader, and Unity follows her sister’s lead all the way to Munich, inciting rumors that she has become Hitler’s mistress. As the Nazis rise to power, Nancy Mitford grows suspicious of her sisters’ constant visits to Germany and the high-ranking fascist company they keep. When she overhears alarming conversations and uncovers disquieting documents, Nancy must make excruciating choices as Great Britain goes to war with Germany.

The Faraway World, by Patricia Engel

Two Colombian expats meet as strangers on the rainy streets of New York City, both burdened with traumatic pasts. In Cuba, a woman discovers her deceased brother’s bones have been stolen, and the love of her life returns from Ecuador for a one-night visit. A cash-strapped couple hustle in Miami, to life-altering ends. The Faraway World is a collection of arresting stories from the New York Times bestselling author of Infinite Country. The Washington Post calls Engel “a gifted storyteller whose writing shines even in the darkest corners.” Intimate and panoramic, these stories bring to life the vibrancy of community, and the epic deeds and quiet moments of love.

Exiles, by Jane Harper

At a busy festival site on a warm spring night, a baby lies alone in her pram, her mother vanishing into the crowd. A year on, Kim Gillespie’s absence casts a long shadow as her friends and loved ones gather deep in the heart of South Australian wine country to welcome a new addition to the family. Joining the celebrations is federal investigator Aaron Falk. But as he soaks up life in the lush valley, he begins to suspect this tight-knit group may be more fractured than it seems. Between Falk’s closest friend, a missing mother, and a woman he’s drawn to, dark questions linger as long-ago truths begin to emerge.



The Creative Act: A Way of Being, by Rick Rubin

Many famed music producers are known for a particular sound. Rubin is known for something else: creating a space where artists of all different genres and traditions can hone in on who they really are and what they really offer. He has made a practice of helping people transcend their self-imposed expectations in order to reconnect with a state of innocence from which the surprising becomes inevitable. Over the years, as he has thought deeply about where creativity comes from and where it doesn’t, he has learned that being an artist isn’t about your specific output, it’s about your relationship to the world. Creativity has a place in everyone’s life, and everyone can make that place larger. The Creative Act is a beautiful and generous course of study that illuminates the path of the artist as a road we all can follow.



Ice! Poems about Polar Life, by Douglas Florian

Brrrrfect poetry for the winter months. Ice! will warm the hearts of young readers with funny frozen antics of penguins, caribou, narwhals and other cold climate critters. (Ages 3-7.)

The Year of the Cat, by Richard Ho

Rat, pig, dog, sheep, monkey, rooster, horse, snake, dragon, tiger, rabbit and ox — all are stars of the zodiac. But whatever happened to Cat? Find out the rest of the story in this fun tale that’s the perfect way to honor the Chinese New Year. (Ages 5-7.)

Groundhog Gets it Wrong, by Jessica Townes

Predicting the weather is a big job, so when Groundhog takes over as the spring seer, and things don’t go exactly as planned, he has to get creative to make meteorological magic happen. Not your normal Groundhog Day title, this humorous take on the celebration also includes a few historical facts to make the day even more fun. (Ages 3-6.)

Moon Rising: A Graphic Novel, by Tui Sutherland

The Wings of Fire series is the hottest property on the market for voracious readers in grades 3-6 and with a scheduled print run of 500,000 this sixth graphic novel adaptation is sure to be the book in every backpack when it lands on Dec 27. (Ages 8-12.)  PS

Compiled by Kimberly Daniels Taws and Angie Tally.

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