The Winter 2023 Reading Group Guide Preview

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The American Booksellers Association’s Winter 2023 Reading Group Guide will continue as a free e-newsletter delivered to customers by email via Matchbook Marketing. This winter’s guide will be sent on February 9.

This guide includes the following categories: Dazzling Debuts, Family and Coming of Age, Historical Fiction, Other Worlds, and Thrills & Chills. The tiles are also available as an Edelweiss collection. All titles are trade paperback unless otherwise noted.

The titles appearing in the Winter Reading Group e-newsletter are:

Dazzling Debuts

Brown GirlsBrown Girls: A Novel
By Daphne Palasi Andreades
(Random House Trade Paperbacks, 9780593243442, $17, Nov. 15, 2022)

Brown Girls is a beautiful love letter to friendship, Queens, New York, and what it means to navigate this world as a brown girl. It will make you think of your childhood friends, and after reading you’ll want to reach out to those you miss.”
—Rosa Hernandez, Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park, WA

Fiona and Jane
By Jean Chen Ho
(Penguin Books, 9780593296066, $17, Jan. 3)

“A fresh and tender evocation of platonic intimacy between two women, Jean Chen Ho’s debut handles its subject matter with a nuance and a deftness that makes it a worthy addition to the Friendship Canon.”
—Bennard Fajardo, Politics and Prose Bookstore, Washington, DC

Love in the Big City
By Sang Young Park, Anton Hur (Transl.)
(Grove Press, 9780802160379, $17, Nov. 15, 2022)

“We’ve been so lucky with Korean literature translated into English. Sang Young Park opens up a milieu I’ve never seen depicted in literature: contemporary queer life in Seoul. His book is revealing, moving, and beautiful.”
—Keith Mosman, Powell’s Books, Portland, OR

Sea State: A Memoir
By Tabitha Lasley
(Ecco, 9780063030848, $16.99, Dec. 6, 2022)

“A skillful balancing act, Lasley profiles an oil industry in crisis and her own attachments to, and impressions of, the men who work in it. She treats these men with respect and honesty…or whatever else they may deserve at the moment.”
—Carter Adkins, Story on The Square, McDonough, GA

Wahala: A Novel
By Nikki May
(Mariner Books, 9780063084254, $17.99, Dec. 27, 2022)

“This captivating story explores the good, the bad, and the ugly of friendship when Isobel, a friend from Simi’s childhood, shows up and inserts herself in Simi’s life. With an explosive conclusion, this will keep you at the edge of your seat.”
—Cori Cusker, Bright Side Bookshop, Flagstaff, AZ

The Wild Hunt
By Emma Seckel
(Tin House Books, 9781953534224, $16.95, Aug. 8, 2022)

“Emma Seckel deftly uses myth and legend to explore grief and the aftermath of war. The Wild Hunt is haunting and wonderfully atmospheric; I could smell the misty Scottish shore while reading. A novel that lingers long after the last page.”
—Tarah Jennings, Mitzi’s Books, Rapid City, SD


Family & Coming of Age

BewildermentBewilderment: A Novel
By Richard Powers
(W. W. Norton & Company, 9781324036142, $17.95, Nov. 1, 2022)

“Part literary, part science fiction, part alternate history, with beautiful dollops of science and psychology, and all love story — love of the world, of the universe, of hope in the face of infinity. One of the finest new novels.”
—Mark Tiedemann, Left Bank Books, St. Louis, MO

Blue-Skinned Gods: A Novel
By SJ Sindu
(Soho Press, 9781641293532, $16, Oct. 4, 2022)

“This story, which begins in Tamil Nadu, India, is a story of family, life in an ashram, and much more. Told by Kalki, who was raised to believe that he is the 10th human incarnation of the Hindu god Vishnu, this is a unique and satisfying read.”
—Terry Gilman, Creating Conversations, Redondo Beach, CA

Cairo Circles: A Novel
By Doma Mahmoud
(Unnamed Press, 9781951213671, $18, Nov. 8, 2022)

“Sheero, a lapsed Muslim, lives a hedonistic life in NYC when he’s taken in for questioning; his estranged cousin committed a terrorist act in New York. The story spirals as Sheero, his friends’ and family’s lives all intersect and shift.”
—Audrey Huang, Belmont Books, Belmont, MA

Dava Shastri’s Last Day: A Novel
By Kirthana Ramisetti
(Grand Central Publishing, 9781538703847, $17.99, Sept. 27, 2022)

“Fans of strong matriarchs, complicated family dynamics, and scandals — rejoice! Dava Shastri’s Last Day is engrossing, funny, scandalous, and touching. You will feel like a Shastri with the juicy gossip and true details of Dava’s life.”
—Ann Branson, Beach Books, Seaside, OR

Fight Night
By Miriam Toews
(Bloomsbury Publishing, 9781635579789, $18, Jan. 31)

“Sweet, temperamental young Swiv narrates unsent letters describing life with her mother and grandmother. Swiv’s love for her family and Grandma Elvira’s reckoning with mortailty make for a dark and joyful book about cultivating ferocity.”
—Maritza Montañez, Greenlight Bookstore, Brooklyn, NY

By Laird Hunt
(Bloomsbury Publishing, 9781635578430, $16, Nov. 1, 2022)

Zorrie is a stunning testament to a singular life: Zorrie Underwood, a midwestern girl orphaned at a young age, forced to reinvent herself. Hunt portrays her with a deep richness, reflecting the power and beauty of our own humanity.”
—Cody Morrison, Square Books, Oxford, MS


Historical Fiction

Beasts of a Little Land: A Novel
By Juhea Kim
(Ecco, 9780063093584, $17.99, Dec. 6, 2022)

“A sweeping historical saga set during Japanese ocupation of Korea all the way through the Korean War. Told from alternating perspectives, Beasts of a Little Land is a breathtaking portrait of the effects of war on a people and a nation.”
—Danica Ramgoolam, Townie Books, Crested Butte, CO

Don’t Cry for Me: A Novel
By Daniel Black
(Hanover Square Press, 9781335449351, $17.99, Jan. 10)

“Daniel Black’s novel of letters from an estranged father to his queer Black son is death by a thousand cuts in the best way. Each short chapter’s reflection on fatherhood, manhood, Blackness, and gayness is another slash; get the tissues ready.”
—Conner Horak, Tattered Cover Book Store, Denver, CO

The Memoirs of Stockholm Sven
By Nathaniel Ian Miller
(Back Bay Books, 9780316592581, $16.99, Oct. 4, 2022)

“Deftly spun from a slight thread of historical fact, The Memoirs of Stockholm Sven delivers more than just a wholly believable fictional world — it gives contemporary readers new insight into the nature of love, longing, and humanity.”
—Claire Benedict, Bear Pond Books, Montpelier, VT

The Perishing: A Novel
By Natashia Deón
(Counterpoint, 9781640095601, $16.95, Nov. 1, 2022)

The Perishing is a novel about the passage of time and the way we choose to spend it. The novel reminds me of Kindred as the main character lives out her many reincarnations. There is mystery, fantastical journey, and a lot about belonging.”
—Jamie Southern, Bookmarks, Winston-Salem, NC

Pity the Beast
By Robin McLean
(And Other Stories, 9781913505523, $17.95, Oct. 18, 2022)

“Like a giant mural of the American West, cosmic and brutal in its scope while beautiful and vulnerable. Turns the entire cowboy genre on its head with a feminist story of revenge, nature, myth, and jokes. Wild, surprising, and captivating.”
—Luis Correa, Avid Bookshop, Athens, GA

The Postmistress of Paris: A Novel
By Meg Waite Clayton
(Harper Paperbacks, 9780062946997, $18, Oct. 11, 2022)

“A WWII historical novel about an American woman helping to save refugees in France and a photographer trying to escape with his young daughter. With nods to the Surrealist movement and photography, these characters thrum with life.”
—Robin Stern, Books Inc., San Francisco, CA


Other Worlds

Bindle Punk BrujaBindle Punk Bruja: A Novel
By Desideria Mesa
(Harper Voyager, 9780063056084, $17.99, Sept. 13, 2022)

Bindle Punk Bruja delivers. It reflects on identity and prejudice through a cast of characters that are as diverse as they are lovable. An ode to found family and the beauty in vulnerability, draped in speakeasy jazz and Earth magic.”
—Bee Powell, Changing Hands Bookstore & First Draft Book Bar, Phoenix, AZ

The Boy with a Bird in His Chest: A Novel
By Emme Lund
(Atria Books, 9781982171940, $17, Jan. 3)

“Quirky but endearing, this coming- of-age LGBT read tugs at the heartstrings as a metaphor for self-exploration and self-discovery. Emotionally moving with surreal characters, this book is an experience of human nature and resilience.”
—Gerard Villegas, Auntie’s Bookstore, Spokane, WA

The Kaiju Preservation Society
By John Scalzi
(Tor Books, 9781250878533, $17.99, Jan. 24)

“A parallel world of mountainous lizards that sometimes explode, ripping a hole through dimensions into our reality. In the wrong hands, it would be catastrophic. In the right hands? Well, it might not go much better…”
—Mara Luther, Chapter One Book Store, Hamilton, MT

A Marvellous Light (The Last Binding #1)
By Freya Marske
(Tordotcom, 9781250831798, $18.99, Oct. 18, 2022)

“This is a confection of a book. Robin Blyth is trying to figure out a stuffy life on the edges of the Edwardian aristocracy, when a dead-end job leads him to a hidden world of magic, danger, and romance with his magical liaison Edward Courcey.”
—Rachel Person, Northshire Bookstore, Saratoga Springs, NY

Project Hail Mary: A Novel
By Andy Weir
(Ballantine Books, 9780593135228, $20, Oct. 4, 2022)

Project Hail Mary has all the nerdy, factual charm that drew me to Andy Weir. It’s a thriller, an adventure, and a romantic ode to all those who have wondered about intelligent species in the great beyond. Don’t cryosleep on this title!”
—Kaycee Arrowood, Country Bookshelf, Bozeman, MT

The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches
By Sangu Mandanna
(Berkley, 9780593439357, $17, Aug. 23, 2022)

“Mika has always been told that witches should stay away from each other. When a strange invitation to tutor three young witches arises, she jumps at the chance. A story of found family, community, and trauma that reads like a giant warm hug.”
—John McDougall, Murder By the Book, Houston, TX


Thrills & Chills

Devil HouseDevil House: A Novel
By John Darnielle
(Picador, 9781250862884, $19, Oct. 4, 2022)

“A subtly unnerving, fiendishly fascinating story of True Crime obsession, ‘80s ‘Satanic panic,’ the weirdness of creative work, and a special brand of black magic. An unholy fusion of mystery-driven suspense and character study.”
—Jonathan Hawpe, Carmichael’s Bookstore, Louisville, KY

Girl in Ice
By Erica Ferencik
(Gallery/Scout Press, 9781982143039, $17.99, Nov. 1, 2022)

“Val Chesterfield is an introverted linguist who joins a small team of Arctic scientists to solve the mystery of a young girl found frozen in the ice. She applies her skills and digs deep to save herself and the mysterious young girl.”
—Camille Kovach, Completely Booked, Murrysville, PA

Greenwich Park: A Novel
By Katherine Faulkner
(Gallery Books, 9781982150327, $17.99, Oct. 25, 2022)

“Sit down for a few delicious hours of mystery and suspense! Meet Helen and David, Serena and Rory — college friends, colleagues, expecting parents. In comes Rachel — young, single and pregnant. She attaches herself to Helen, and then? Mayhem.”
—Jane Stiles, Wellesley Books, Wellesley, MA

The Maid: A Novel
By Nita Prose
(Ballantine Books, 9780593356173, $18, Jan. 3)

“Molly Gray loves, and lives, to clean as a maid at the upscale Regency Grand Hotel. Molly also has a tendency to land herself in tricky situations. Nothing is trickier than a dead body in a hotel room you are determined to clean.”
—Misty Adair, Lark and Owl Booksellers, Georgetown, TX

Murder Under Her Skin (A Pentecost and Parker Mystery #2)
By Stephen Spotswood
(Vintage Crime/Black Lizard, 9780593312803, $17, Oct. 11, 2022)

“I thoroughly enjoyed investigating the Hart and Halloway circus along with Will Parker and Ms. Lillian Pentecost. It was easy to picture the big top, sideshow, and variety of circus acts as we find out who murdered the Amazing Tattooed Woman.”
—Janice Rhine, The Bookworm of Omaha, Omaha, NE

The Violin Conspiracy: A Novel
By Brendan Slocumb
(Vintage, 9780593315422, $17, Dec. 6, 2022)

“Totally gripping. A heroic lead who rises above countless obstacles, a stolen family heirloom, racial reckoning and historical truths, and an elite international music competition — this is a debut novel you’ll want to recommend!”
—Maggie Robe, Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, NC