It is time to curl up in a sweatshirt and read! Here are 20 books to look forward to this winter!
The Chanel Sisters by Judithe Little- December 29th
A novel of survival, love, loss, triumph—and the sisters who changed fashion forever
Antoinette and Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel know they’re destined for something better. Abandoned by their family at a young age, they’ve grown up under the guidance of nuns preparing them for simple lives as the wives of tradesmen or shopkeepers. At night, their secret stash of romantic novels and magazine cutouts beneath the floorboards are all they have to keep their dreams of the future alive. The walls of the convent can’t shield them forever, and when they’re finally of age, the Chanel sisters set out together with a fierce determination to prove themselves worthy to a society that has never accepted them. Their journey propels them out of poverty and to the stylish cafés of Moulins, the dazzling performance halls of Vichy—and to a small hat shop on the rue Cambon in Paris, where a boutique business takes hold and expands to the glamorous French resort towns. But the sisters’ lives are again thrown into turmoil when World War I breaks out, forcing them to make irrevocable choices, and they’ll have to gather the courage to fashion their own places in the world, even if apart from each other.
The Mystery of Mrs. Christie by Marie Benedict- December 29th
The New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Only Woman in the Room returns with a thrilling reconstruction of one of the most notorious events in literary history: Agatha Christie’s mysterious 11-day disappearance in 1926.
In December 1926, Agatha Christie goes missing. Investigators find her empty car on the edge of a deep, gloomy pond, the only clues some tire tracks nearby and a fur coat left in the car — strange for a frigid night. Her World War I veteran husband and her daughter have no knowledge of her whereabouts, and England unleashes an unprecedented manhunt to find the up-and-coming mystery author. Eleven days later, she reappears, just as mysteriously as she disappeared, claiming amnesia and providing no explanations for her time away. The puzzle of those missing eleven days has persisted. With her trademark historical fiction exploration into the shadows of the past, acclaimed author Marie Benedict brings us into the world of Agatha Christie, imagining why such a brilliant woman would find herself at the center of such murky historical mysteries. What is real, and what is mystery? What role did her unfaithful husband play, and what was he not telling investigators?
The Wrong Family by Tarryn Fisher- December 29, 2020
The author of the instant New York Times bestseller The Wives comes another twisted psychological thriller guaranteed to turn your world upside down. Have you ever been wrong about someone?
Juno was wrong about Winnie Crouch. Before moving in with the Crouch family, Juno thought Winnie and her husband, Nigel, had the perfect marriage, the perfect son—the perfect life. Only now that she’s living in their beautiful house, she sees the cracks in the crumbling facade are too deep to ignore. Still, she isn’t one to judge. After her grim diagnosis, the retired therapist simply wants a place to live out the rest of her days in peace. But that peace is shattered the day Juno overhears a chilling conversation between Winnie and Nigel…She shouldn’t get involved. She really shouldn’t. But this could be her chance to make a few things right. Because if you thought Juno didn’t have a secret of her own, then you were wrong about her, too.
Lie, Lie Again by Stacy Wise- January 1st
For three women with so much to hide, there’s no such thing as a little white lie… Lies, secrets, and revenge. For three neighbors with stakes so high, someone is headed for a downfall.
All three women who live at 1054 Mockingbird Lane have secrets…and with a body at the bottom of their apartment building’s staircase, those secrets need to stay buried. Sylvia Webb has a plan. And a potential Mr. Right. He’s sweet, simple, and dependably clueless about what she’s up to. The only thing unpredictable about him is his needy ex-girlfriend, who is this close to shattering Sylvia’s dreams. But Sylvia’s not going to let that happen. Riki McFarlan has a good career and an amazing boyfriend who wants to settle down. If only she didn’t have feelings for her neighbor—who happens to be her close friend’s husband. With everything going so right, why is Riki flirting with something so wrong, so…dangerous? Embry Taylor is as devoted to her children as she is to her husband, who’s a bartender by night, an aspiring actor by day. She is his biggest fan. But with his career not taking off and tensions high, even sweet Embry has something she’s desperate to keep hidden.
The Marriage Code by Brooke Burroughs– January 1st, 2021
In Brooke Burroughs’s endearing debut novel set in vibrant India, enemies turned allies encounter obstacles in an unexpected multicultural romance only to discover that in the end, love is love.
Emma has always lived her life according to a plan. But after turning down her boyfriend’s proposal, everything starts to crumble. In an effort to save the one thing she cares about—her job—she must recruit her colleague, Rishi, to be on her development team…only she may or may not have received the position he was promised. (She did.) Rishi cannot believe that he got passed over for promotion. To make matters worse, not only does his job require him to return home to Bangalore with his nemesis, Emma, but his parents now expect him to choose a bride and get married. So, when Emma makes him an offer—join her team, and she’ll write an algorithm to find him the perfect bride—he reluctantly accepts. Neither of them expect her marriage code to work so well—or to fall for one another—which leads Emma and Rishi to wonder if leaving fate up to formulas is really an equation for lasting love.
Our Darkest Night by Jennifer Robson- January 5, 2021
To survive the Holocaust, a young Jewish woman must pose as a Christian farmer’s wife in this unforgettable novel from USA Today bestselling author Jennifer Robson—a story of terror, hope, love, and sacrifice, inspired by true events, that vividly evokes the most perilous days of World War II.
It is the autumn of 1943, and life is becoming increasingly perilous for Italian Jews like the Mazin family. With Nazi Germany now occupying most of her beloved homeland, and the threat of imprisonment and deportation growing ever more certain, Antonina Mazin has but one hope to survive—to leave Venice and her beloved parents and hide in the countryside with a man she has only just met. Nico Gerardi was studying for the priesthood until circumstances forced him to leave the seminary to run his family’s farm. A moral and just man, he could not stand by when the fascists and Nazis began taking innocent lives. Rather than risk a perilous escape across the mountains, Nina will pose as his new bride. And to keep her safe and protect secrets of his own, Nico and Nina must convince prying eyes they are happily married and in love. Even worse, their distrust is shared by a local Nazi official with a vendetta against Nico. The more he learns of Nina, the more his suspicions grow—and with them his determination to exact revenge. As Nina and Nico come to know each other, their feelings deepen, transforming their relationship into much more than a charade. Yet both fear that every passing day brings them closer to being torn apart . .
The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins- January 5, 2021
A delicious twist on a Gothic classic, Jane Eyre. The Wife Upstairs pairs Southern charm with atmospheric domestic suspense.
Meet Jane. Newly arrived to Birmingham, Alabama, Jane is a broke dog-walker in Thornfield Estates––a gated community full of McMansions, shiny SUVs, and bored housewives. The kind of place where no one will notice if Jane lifts the discarded tchotchkes and jewelry off the side tables of her well-heeled clients. But her luck changes when she meets Eddie Rochester. Recently widowed, Eddie is Thornfield Estates’ most mysterious resident. His wife, Bea, drowned in a boating accident with her best friend, their bodies lost to the deep. Jane can’t help but see an opportunity in Eddie––not only is he rich, brooding, and handsome, he could also offer her the kind of protection she’s always yearned for. Yet as Jane and Eddie fall for each other, Jane is increasingly haunted by the legend of Bea, an ambitious beauty with a rags-to-riches origin story, who launched a wildly successful southern lifestyle brand. How can she, plain Jane, ever measure up? With delicious suspense, incisive wit, and a fresh, feminist sensibility, The Wife Upstairs flips the script on a timeless tale of forbidden romance, ill-advised attraction, and a wife who just won’t stay buried. Which Mrs. Rochester will get her happy ending?
The Ex Talk by Rachel Lynn Solomon- January 26, 2021
Public radio co-hosts navigate mixed signals in Rachel Lynn Solomon’s sparkling romantic comedy debut.
Shay Goldstein has been a producer at her Seattle public radio station for nearly a decade, and she can’t imagine working anywhere else. But lately it’s been a constant clash between her and her newest colleague, Dominic Yun, who’s fresh off a journalism master’s program and convinced he knows everything about public radio. When the struggling station needs a new concept, Shay proposes a show that her boss green-lights with excitement. On The Ex Talk, two exes will deliver relationship advice live, on air. Their boss decides Shay and Dominic are the perfect co-hosts, given how much they already despise each other. Neither loves the idea of lying to listeners, but it’s this or unemployment. Their audience gets invested fast, and it’s not long before The Ex Talk becomes a must-listen in Seattle and climbs podcast charts. As the show gets bigger, so does their deception, especially when Shay and Dominic start to fall for each other. In an industry that values truth, getting caught could mean the end of more than just their careers.
The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah- February 2, 2021
From Kristin Hannah, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Nightingale and The Great Alone, comes an epic novel of love and heroism and hope, set against the backdrop of one of America’s most defining eras—the Great Depression.
Texas, 1934. Millions are out of work and a drought has broken the Great Plains. Farmers are fighting to keep their land and their livelihoods as the crops are failing, the water is drying up, and dust threatens to bury them all. One of the darkest periods of the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl era, has arrived with a vengeance. In this uncertain and dangerous time, Elsa Martinelli—like so many of her neighbors—must make an agonizing choice: fight for the land she loves or go west, to California, in search of a better life. The Four Winds is an indelible portrait of America and the American Dream, as seen through the eyes of one indomitable woman whose courage and sacrifice will come to define a generation.
Girls With Bright Futures by Tracy Dobmeier and Wendy Katzman- February 2, 2021
The perfect book club read with a suspenseful bite—when it comes to their daughters’ future, three women are about to discover if there are any lines not worth crossing…
College admissions season at Seattle’s Elliott Bay Academy is marked by glowing acceptances from top-tier institutions and students as impressive as their parents are ambitious. But when Stanford alerts the school it’s allotting only one spot to EBA for their incoming class, three mothers discover the competition is more cutthroat than they could have imagined. Tech giant Alicia turns to her fortune and status to fight for her reluctant daughter’s place at the top. Kelly, a Stanford alum, leverages her PTA influence and insider knowledge to bulldoze the path for her high-strung daughter. And Maren makes three: single, broke, and ill-equipped to battle the elite school community aligning to bring her superstar down.That’s when, days before applications are due, one of the girls suffers a near-fatal accident, one that doesn’t appear to be an accident at all. As the community spirals out of control, three women will have to decide what lines they’re willing to cross to secure their daughters’ futures…and keep buried the secrets that threaten to destroy far more than just college dreams.
The Last Tiara by M.J. Rose- February 2, 2021
From New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller M.J. Rose comes a provocative and moving story of a young female architect in post-World War II Manhattan, who stumbles upon a hidden treasure and begins a journey to discovering her mother’s life during the fall of the Romanovs.
Sophia Moon had always been reticent about her life in Russia and when she dies, suspiciously, on a wintry New York evening, Isobelle despairs that her mother’s secrets have died with her. But while renovating the apartment they shared, Isobelle discovers something among her mother’s effects—a stunning silver tiara, stripped of its jewels. The facts elude her until she meets a young jeweler, who wants to help her but is conflicted by his loyalty to the Midas Society, a covert international organization whose mission is to return lost and stolen antiques, jewels, and artwork to their original owners. In 1915, young Sofiya Petrovitch, favorite of the royal household and best friend of Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna, tends to wounded soldiers in a makeshift hospital within the grounds of the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg and finds the love of her life. In 1948 New York, Isobelle Moon works to break through the rampant sexism of the age as one of very few women working in a male-dominated profession and discovers far more about love and family than she ever hoped for.
The Nature of Fragile Things by Susan Meissner- February 2, 2021
April 18, 1906: A massive earthquake rocks San Francisco just before daybreak, igniting a devouring inferno. Lives are lost, lives are shattered, but some rise from the ashes forever changed.
Sophie Whalen is a young Irish immigrant so desperate to get out of a New York tenement that she answers a mail-order bride ad and agrees to marry a man she knows nothing about. San Francisco widower Martin Hocking proves to be as aloof as he is mesmerizingly handsome. Sophie quickly develops deep affection for Kat, Martin’s silent five-year-old daughter, but Martin’s odd behavior leaves her with the uneasy feeling that something about her newfound situation isn’t right. Then one early-spring evening, a stranger at the door sets in motion a transforming chain of events. Sophie discovers hidden ties to two other women. The first, pretty and pregnant, is standing on her doorstep. The second is hundreds of miles away in the American Southwest, grieving the loss of everything she once loved. The fates of these three women intertwine on the eve of the devastating earthquake, thrusting them onto a perilous journey that will test their resiliency and resolve and, ultimately, their belief that love can overcome fear.
The Kindest Lie by Nancy Johnson- February 9, 2021
Blurbed by none other than Jodi Picoult, The Kindest Lie is A masterful, eye-opening novel about the profound racial injustices and class inequalities roiling society in America. A promise could betray you.
It’s 2008, and the inauguration of President Barack Obama ushers in a new kind of hope. In Chicago, Ruth Tuttle, an Ivy-League educated Black engineer, is married to a kind and successful man. He’s eager to start a family, but Ruth is uncertain. She has never gotten over the baby she gave birth to—and was forced to leave behind—when she was a teenager. She had promised her family she’d never look back, but Ruth knows that to move forward, she must make peace with the past. Returning home, Ruth discovers the Indiana factory town of her youth is plagued by unemployment, racism, and despair. As she begins digging into the past, she unexpectedly befriends Midnight, a young white boy who is also adrift and looking for connection. Just as Ruth is about to uncover a burning secret her family desperately wants to keep hidden, a traumatic incident strains the town’s already searing racial tensions, sending Ruth and Midnight on a collision course that could upend both their lives.
The Love Proof by Madeleine Henry- February 9th, 2021
A brilliant physicist studying the nature of time embarks on a journey to prove that those we love are always connected to us, leading to surprising revelations in this fresh and unique love story.
Sophie Jones is a physics prodigy on track to unlock the secrets of the universe. But when she meets Jake Kristopher during their first week at Yale, they instantly feel a deep connection, as if they’ve known each other before. Quickly, they become a couple. Slowly, their love lures Sophie away from school. When a shocking development forces Sophie into a new reality, she returns to physics to make sense of her world. She grapples with life’s big questions, including how to cope with unexpected change and loss. Inspired by her connection with Jake, Sophie throws herself into her studies, determined to prove that true loves belong together in all realities. Spanning decades, The Love Proof is an unusual love story about lasting connection, time, and intuition. It explores the course that perfect love can take between imperfect people and urges us to listen to our hearts rather than our heads.
When We Were Young by Jaclyn Goldis- February 16, 2021
Three generations of women come together in this page-turning debut full of family secrets, heart-wrenching drama, and the promise of second chances.
Corfu, 1942: To sixteen-year-old Sarah Batis, the Nazis are a distant danger—of far greater threat is the opposing needs of her heart and her people. Tradition demands that Sarah marry a Jewish man. Only Sarah has fallen in love with a fisherman outside their community. And when the Nazis invade, Sarah must watch from afar as her family is taken away. . .Corfu, 2004: Sarah’s daughter, Bea, has built a happy life with a steadfast husband and two independent daughters. Their summers on the Greek island with the Winn family appear idyllic, especially the love that blossoms between Bea’s daughter Joey and Leo Winn. But there is a secret threatening their beach paradise. Florida, 2019: Joey is only days away from marrying the nice Jewish man her family adores. The arrival of Leo, Joey’s first love, sends her reeling. Even after fifteen years, the attraction between them burns bright—but Leo isn’t looking for a happy reunion. He’s there to reveal why he really broke up with her during their last summer together. Weddings have a way of bringing out the best—and worst—in those you love the most. And as the revelations of her family flood to the surface, what Joey learns will either bring them closer together . . . or tear them apart forever.
Love At First by Kate Clayborn- February 23, 2021
From Kate Clayborn, the acclaimed author of Love Lettering, comes a sparkling, tender novel about bickering neighbors, surprise reunions, and the mysterious power of love . .
Sixteen years ago, a teenaged Will Sterling saw—or rather, heard—the girl of his dreams. Standing beneath an apartment building balcony, he shared a perfect moment with a lovely, warm-voiced stranger. It’s a memory that’s never faded, though he’s put so much of his past behind him. Now an unexpected inheritance has brought Will back to that same address, where he plans to offload his new property and get back to his regular life as an overworked doctor. Instead, he encounters a woman, two balconies above, who’s uncannily familiar . . . No matter how surprised Nora Clarke is by her reaction to handsome, curious Will, or the whispered pre-dawn conversations they share, she won’t let his plans ruin her quirky, close-knit building. Bound by her loyalty to her adored grandmother, she sets out to foil his efforts with a little light sabotage. But beneath the surface of their feud is an undeniable connection. A balcony, a star-crossed couple, a fateful meeting—maybe it’s the kind of story that can’t work out in the end. Or maybe, it’s the perfect second chance . . .
Accidentally Engaged by Farah Heron- March 2, 2021
A delightful romantic comedy featuring a Muslim woman who fakes an engagement to the boy next door in the hopes of winning a couples cooking contest.
When it comes to bread, Reena Manji knows exactly what she’s doing. She treats her sourdough starters like (somewhat unruly) children. But when it comes to Reena’s actual family — and their constant meddling in her life-well, that recipe always ends in disaster. Now Reena’s parents have found her yet another potential Good Muslim Husband. This one has the body of Captain America, a delicious British accent, and lives right across the hall. He’s the perfect, mouthwatering temptation . . . and completely ruined by the unwelcome side dish of parental interference. Reena refuses to marry anyone who works for her father. She won’t be attracted to Nadim’s sweet charm or gorgeous lopsided smile. That is, until the baking opportunity of a lifetime presents itself: a couples’ cooking competition with the prize of her dreams. Reena will do anything to win — even asking Nadim to pretend they’re engaged. But when it comes to love, baking your bread doesn’t always mean you get to eat it too.
Band of Sisters by Lauren Willig- March 2, 2021
A group of young women from Smith College risk their lives in France at the height of World War I in this sweeping novel based on a true story—a skillful blend of Call the Midwife and The Alice Network—from New York Times bestselling author Lauren Willig.
A scholarship girl from Brooklyn, Kate Moran thought she found a place among Smith’s Mayflower descendants, only to have her illusions dashed the summer after graduation. When charismatic alumna Betsy Rutherford delivers a rousing speech at the Smith College Club in April of 1917, looking for volunteers to help French civilians decimated by the German war machine, Kate is too busy earning her living to even think of taking up the call. But when her former best friend Emmeline Van Alden reaches out and begs her to take the place of a girl who had to drop out, Kate reluctantly agrees to join the new Smith College Relief Unit. Four months later, Kate and seventeen other Smithies, including two trailblazing female doctors, set sail for France. The volunteers are armed with money, supplies, and good intentions—all of which immediately go astray. The chateau that was to be their headquarters is a half-burnt ruin. Despite constant shelling from the Germans, French bureaucracy, and the threat of being ousted by the British army, the Smith volunteers bring welcome aid—and hope—to the region. But can they survive their own differences? With the Germans threatening to break through the lines, can the Smith Unit pull together and be truly a band of sisters?
Dear Black Girl: Letters From Your Sisters on Stepping Into Your Power by Tamara Winfrey Harris – March 9, 2021
“Dear Black Girl is the empowering, affirming love letter our girls need in order to thrive in a world that does not always protect, nurture, or celebrate us. This collection of Black women’s voices… is a must-read, not only for Black girls, but for everyone who cares about Black girls, and for Black women whose inner-Black girl could use some healing.” – Tarana Burke, Founder of the ‘Me Too’ Movement
“Dear Dope Black Girl, You don’t know me, but I know you. I know you because I am you! We are magic, light, and stars in the universe.” So begins a letter that Tamara Winfrey Harris received as part of her Letters to Black Girls project, where she asked black women to write honest, open, and inspiring letters of support to young black girls aged thirteen to twenty-one. Her call went viral, resulting in a hundred personal letters from black women around the globe that cover topics such as identity, self-love, parents, violence, grief, mental health, sex, and sexuality. In Dear Black Girl, Winfrey Harris organizes a selection of these letters, providing “a balm for the wounds of anti-black-girlness” and modeling how black women can nurture future generations. Each chapter ends with a prompt encouraging girls to write a letter to themselves, teaching the art of self-love and self-nurturing. Winfrey Harris’s The Sisters Are Alright explores how black women must often fight and stumble their way into alrightness after adulthood. Dear Black Girl continues this work by delivering pro-black, feminist, LGBTQ+ positive, and body positive messages for black women-to-be—and for the girl who still lives inside every black woman who still needs reminding sometimes that she is alright.
Everything After by Jill Santopolo- March 9, 2021
The Light We Lost mixes with a touch of Daisy Jones and the Six in this novel of first love, passion, and the power of choice–and how we cannot escape the people we are meant to be. Two loves. Two choices. One chance to follow her dreams.
Emily has come a long way since she lost her two passions fifteen years ago: music, and Rob. She’s a psychologist at NYU who helps troubled college students like the one she once was. Together with her caring doctor husband, Ezra, she has a beautiful life. They’re happy. They hope to start a family. But when a tragic event in Emily’s present too closely echoes her past, and parts of her story that she’d hoped never to share come to light, her perfect life is suddenly upturned. Then Emily hears a song on the radio about the woman who got away. The melody and voice are hauntingly familiar. Could it be? As Emily’s past passions come roaring back into her life, she’ll find herself asking: Who is she meant to be? Who is she meant to love?
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2 thoughts on “The 20 Best Books of Winter”
Great list! So many books to look forward to!