The Winter Reading Group Guide Preview

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The American Booksellers Association’s Winter 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 10.

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 here. All titles are trade paperback unless otherwise noted.

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

Dazzling Debuts

All Her Little Secrets: A Novel
By Wanda M. Morris
(William Morrow Paperbacks, 9780063082465, $16.99, Nov. 2, 2021)

“Be prepared to stay up late to finish this extremely smart page-turner. Ellice digs deep to find out what’s going on in her company after she discovers the dead body of her lover/boss. Gripping, fast-paced, perfect for thriller lovers.”
—Audrey Huang, Belmont Books, Belmont, MA

As You Were
By Elaine Feeney
(Biblioasis, 9781771964432, $16.95, Oct. 5, 2021)

“Elaine Feeney’s As You Were is an absolute rollercoaster! Always funny, at times deeply emotional, this unconventional novel explores motherhood, illness, friendship, and marriage in a way that’s rarely so direct and relatable.”
—Kasey Kane Charbonneau, Country Bookshelf, Bozeman, MT

A Certain Hunger
By Chelsea G. Summers
(Unnamed Press, 9781951213435, $17, Oct. 18, 2021)
“Protagonist Dorothy is an unforgettable character — unapologetic and snobby, a confident aesthete who is a killer psychopath writing her memoir from prison. Reminiscent of early Donna Tartt and Bret Easton Ellis.”
—Mimi Hannan, La Playa Books, San Diego, CA

Of Women and Salt: A Novel
By Gabriela Garcia
(Flatiron Books, 9781250776709, $16.99, Jan. 4)

“Interwoven stories of women and their pain, love, sacrifice, betrayal, roots, and identity will challenge you and stay with you long after you finish. Perfect for book clubs: you’ll want to discuss it as soon as you put it down.”
—Emily Autenrieth, A Seat at the Table Books, Elk Grove, CA

The Orchard: A Novel
By David Hopen
(Ecco, 9780062974754, $17.99, Sept. 28, 2021)

“This was riveting — couldn’t stop. Hopen’s book has all the elements to pull you in, and I found it to be one of the best stories of the power of loneliness I’ve ever read. Chaim Potok on speed.”
—Tanya Parker Mills, The Book Bungalow, St. George, UT

Win Me Something
By Kyle Lucia Wu
(Tin House Books, 9781951142735, $16.95, Nov. 2, 2021)

“Willa is a young, biracial Chinese American woman whose loneliness and disconnection from those around her are palpable on every page. A beautiful story of a woman desperately searching for a place to belong, to be seen, to be cared for.”
—Margaret Leonard, Dotters Books, Eau Claire, WI


Family & Coming of Age

The Fortunate Ones
By Ed Tarkington
(Algonquin Books, 9781643752006, $16.95, Oct. 5, 2021)

“A poor boy gets the chance to live among Nashville’s elite, and what follows is a tale of relationships, money, and good old Southern grandeur. Tight, effective prose illuminates the dark side of generosity and so-called good fortune.”
—Talia Smart, Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, NC

Infinite Country: A Novel
By Patricia Engel
(Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster, 9781982159474, $17, Oct. 5, 2021)

“Gorgeous. A powerful snapshot of one family’s immigration experience and the cultural division, adapted understanding of home, and relearned experience of one another that it brings.”
—Becca Sloan, Novel., Memphis, TN

Jacket Weather
By Mike DeCapite
(Soft Skull, 9781593766931, $16.95, Oct. 12, 2021)

“This semi-autobiographical novel is a love letter to New York, to food, to music, and to love itself. This rhapsodic, poetic book is honest and gritty, but the grain is like the finest sandpaper.”
—Grace Harper, Mac’s Backs, Cleveland Heights, OH

Leave the World Behind: A Novel
By Rumaan Alam
(Ecco, 9780062667649, $16.99, Nov. 23, 2021)

“It starts out as an unremarkable family vacation, then slowly, a mounting sense of dread begins to take over. As claustrophobia and confusion grow, you begin to realize, along with the characters, that the world will never be the same...”
—Marisa Neyenhuis, Chapter One Book Store (MT), Hamilton, MT

Memorial: A Novel
By Bryan Washington
(Riverhead Books, 9780593087282, $17, Oct. 26, 2021)

“Mike has dropped everything to be with his absentee father as he succumbs to cancer in Japan, and Benson is left in their one-room apartment in Texas with Mike’s mother. This sweet book is a rumination on what tethers us to one another.”
—Hillary Smith, Copperfield’s Books, Sebastopol, CA

Nights When Nothing Happened: A Novel
By Simon Han
(Riverhead Books, 9780593086063, $17, Nov. 16, 2021)

“Han has written a masterful novel about the interior life of a suburban family, each dealing with their own struggles, fears, and desires as he weaves their stories in a way that adds up to greater than the excellent individual parts.”
—Pat Cawiezell, Magic City Books, Tulsa, OK


Historical Fiction

Beheld: A Novel
By TaraShea Nesbit
(Bloomsbury Publishing, 9781635576559, $17, Oct. 19, 2021)

“Nesbit destroys the myth of righteousness and dedication surrounding the Plymouth landing and colony and describes a people driven by greed and a hunger for power. Book groups will find much to discuss in this fresh look at the colony.”
—Linda Bond, Auntie’s Bookstore, Spokane, WA

The House on Vesper Sands: A Novel
By Paraic O’Donnell
(Tin House Books, 9781951142988, $17.95, Jan. 11)

“This unnerving novel is delightfully creepy and features the best entrance into the detective game since Tana French. Classic mystery and horror tropes, and a pair of investigators as keen as they are funny.”
—Hannah Oliver Depp, Loyalty Bookstores, Washington, DC

The Liar’s Dictionary: A Novel
By Eley Williams
(Anchor, 9780593311868, $16, Nov. 9, 2021)

“Williams has crafted a text that does more than spin a great yarn. It will lead you, like a will-o’-the-wisp, into a mysterious new realm: the fascinating study of words both real and fake.”
—Terrance Hudson, Epilogue: Books Chocolate Brews, Chapel Hill, NC

Outlawed: A Novel
By Anna North
(Bloomsbury Publishing, 9781635578249, $17, Jan. 15)

“Part Western, part parable, with equal amounts gun-toting action and intellectual depth, Outlawed explores the fate of those left outside heteronormative structures, from infertility to queerness to discrimination of all kinds.”
—Anastasia Metzger, Watermark Books & Cafe, Wichita, KS

Send for Me: A Novel
By Lauren Fox
(Vintage, 9781101972045, $16.95, Sept. 7, 2021)

“A really beautiful addition to WWII fiction about the heartbreaking truth of separating families and the bonds between mothers and daughters.”
—Hannah Harlow, Book Shop of Beverly Farms, Beverly Farms, MA

A Thousand Ships: A Novel
By Natalie Haynes
(Harper Perennial, 9780063065406, $16.99, Nov. 9, 2021)

“Returning to the Greek myths, this is a feminist retelling of the Trojan War as seen through the women who lived it. It incorporates the classical story with a fresh perspective of the characters. Highly enjoyable.”
—Gerard Villegas, Warwick’s, La Jolla, CA


Other Worlds

Elder Race
By Adrian Tchaikovsky
(Tordotcom, 9781250768728, $14.99, Nov. 16, 2021)

“Anthropologist, or sorcerer? Demon, or alien? This utterly relatable tale of finding one’s purpose in the face of depression and anxiety is a must-read for sci-fi fans. It’s comic yet touching.”
—Lizy Coale, Copper Dog Books, Beverly, MA

Magic Lessons: Book #1 of the Practical Magic Series
By Alice Hoffman
(Simon & Schuster, 9781982108854, $17, Sept. 7, 2021)

“Pure magic. We meet Maria, the matriarch of the Owens family. We get a firsthand account of her life, her love story, and the beginning of the Owens family curse. You don’t have to have read Practical Magic or Rules of Magic to enjoy this gem.”
—Liberty Goldstein, Title Wave Books (NM), Albuquerque, NM

The Midnight Bargain
By C. L. Polk
(Erewhon, 9781645660293, $18.95, Dec. 7, 2021)

“This victorian-esque fantasy is like Bridgerton with witches. An easy escape into a different life, but have no fear, there is no cliffhanger at the end of this book.”
—Amy McClelland, Bright Side Bookshop, Flagstaff, AZ

The Once and Future Witches
By Alix E. Harrow
(Redhook, 9780316422017, $17.99, Sept. 28, 2021)

“Exhilarating and punchy, blurring the line of fantasy and reality. Great characters, a thoughtful take on history, and the clever use of classic fairy tales and nursery rhymes informing both spell and story.”
—Tomoko Bason, BookPeople, Austin, TX

People from My Neighborhood: Stories
By Hiromi Kawakami, Ted Goossen (Transl.)
(Soft Skull, 9781593767112, $15.95, Nov. 30, 2021)

“Reading these stories is like visiting a friend to stroll their neighborhood — every corner has a surprise and every home has fantastical tales. Totally charming with plenty of imaginative oddities that kept me walking at a brisk pace.”
—Luis Correa, Avid Bookshop, Athens, GA

By Susanna Clarke
(Bloomsbury Publishing, 9781635577808, $17, Sept. 28, 2021)

“This beguiling story proves that a slim novel can be epic in scope, and that complex is not the same as abtruse. The mystery surrounding Piranesi and the House he lives in immediately draws one in. An engaging and thought-provoking novel.”
—Keith Glaeske, East City Bookshop, Washington, DC


Thrills & Chills

The Anomaly: A Novel
By Hervé Le Tellier, Adriana Hunter (Transl.)
(Other Press, 9781635421699, $16.99, Nov. 23, 2021)

“Buckle your seat belts! Especially on Flight 006 from Paris to NYC in June 2021. Prepare not to sleep until you finish this everything-jammed-into-one novel. Sci-fi? Fantasy? Heartfelt character interaction? Philosophy? Check.”
—Valerie Koehler, Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, TX

The Butchers’ Blessing
By Ruth Gilligan
(Tin House Books, 9781951142742, $16.95, Nov. 16, 2021)

“A beautiful mix of legends, nature, love, family, passion, and the unrelenting passage and destruction of time. Not to be confused with a simple thriller and probably the only book you’ll ever read about a mystical slaughter technique.”
—Anne Whalen, Brown University Bookstore, Providence, RI

Death at Greenway: A Novel
By Lori Rader-Day
(William Morrow Paperbacks, 9780062938046, $16.99, Oct. 12, 2021)

“Agatha Christie fans will enjoy this novel, set during WWII at Greenway House, Christie’s holiday home in South Devon, England. Murder, missing persons, ersatz nurses, homesick small children. Rader-Day’s research is meticulous.”
—Kami Day, Raven Book Store, Lawrence, KS

The Shadows: A Novel
By Alex North
(Celadon Books, 9781250318046, $16.99, Sept. 28, 2021)

“The best psychological thriller I’ve read in a long time. An intense look at lucid dreams; an intriguing take on a concept that previously has only really been explored in films. Don’t expect The Whisper Man in this new kind of thriller.”
—Stephanie Csaszar, Books Around the Corner, Gresham, OR

True Crime Story: A Novel
By Joseph Knox
(Sourcebooks Landmark, 9781728245867, $16.99, Dec. 7, 2021)

“A really fun whodunit set in northern UK. The structure is a manuscript of a true crime book, with emails between two authors piecing the story together. Absolutely every character — and even the author — is a suspect. What a winter treat!”
—Sissy Gardner, Parnassus Books, Nashville, TN

We Keep the Dead Close: A Murder at Harvard and a Half Century of Silence
By Becky Cooper
(Grand Central Publishing, 9781538746851, $17.99, Sept. 14, 2021)

“We follow Becky Cooper as she investigates the murder of a Harvard student from forty years ago. Not only are we trying to solve the mystery, we get a view of the secret world of Harvard. An addicting read true crime enthusiasts will enjoy!”
—Deanna Bailey, Story on the Square, McDonough, GA