It’s February friends, and what would the shortest month be without a blizzard?! Yes, we are hunkered down in Chicago and it’s the perfect day to cozy up and read. A new month on the blog also means I get to reflect on the books I’ve read and also look over my tagged items on Edelweiss for upcoming releases. There were close to 50 books originally tagged and then I went through each synopsis, deciding on the stories that really caught my attention. Now down to 30, I still wasn’t looking to write a post blurbing about each and every one. So I decided to focus this post on the debuts. (Don’t worry, a second TBR list post will be later this week highlighting favorite authors returning with new books this month).
Do we really need to add more books to a never ending TBR list? Absolutely not. My focus this year is to really tackle that backlist I’ve been building up for years. The purpose of this monthly post is to bring attention to new authors, new books and even returning authors who don’t have a lot of shelf space. I see this way too much at the library:
Yes, it’s all about supply and demand and what’s “popular” for most libraries and bookstores. What sells. I get it, but these eight still deserve their due.
The Upstairs Wife: An Intimate History of Pakistan by Rafia Zakaria (Feb. 3) Zakaria’s family immigrated from Bombay to Pakistan in the early 60s and this is the memoir of her life, Pakistani history, and how the military dictators changed the path for women when they allowed men to take additional wives in the 80s.
The Orphan Sky by Ella Leya (Feb. 3) In 1979 Azerbaijan, a young piano prodigy named Leila Badalbeili is ordered by her Communist mentor to spy on a suspicious shop owner, Tahir. They fall in love and she has a very difficult choice to make.
My Sunshine Away by M.O. Walsh (Feb. 10) In the summer of 1989, 15-year old Liddy Simpson is the victim of a horrible crime. This coming-of-age novel is narrated by the boy who has loved her from afar and while the community tries to figure out who committed the crime, he grapples with innocence lost and how events in life affect who we become.
She Weeps Each Time You’re Born by Quan Barry (Feb. 10) Barry’s first novel (her backlist features poetry collections) follows Rabbit, a young girl who is born during the war in Vietnam and has the mysterious ability to hear dead people. Magical Realism and Historical Fiction meshed into one debut many are talking about.
The Secrets of Midwives by Sally Hepworth (Feb. 10) Three generations of midwives share their relationship to one another, their experiences as midwives and the secrets they keep.
Find Me by Laura Van den Berg (Feb. 17) The very few reviews I’ve read say NOT to read the blurbs, go in blind, otherwise it gives away much of the story. This Dystopia/Sci-Fi/Literary Adult Fiction novel follows Joy who is one of the few who is immune to a disease that is sweeping the nation. Van den Berg has written short stories but this is her first novel and her short story fans are thrilled.
The Room by Jonas Karlsson (Feb. 17) I don’t know what to make of this tiny book (128 pages) but it caught my eye. Bjorn discovers a secret room at his office and when he is in there all of his coworkers only see him staring into space. While they find this behavior creepy, they try to have him fired but he turns the tables on them with the help of the room.
Finding Jake by Bryan Reardon (Feb. 24) Simon Connolly is a stay-at-home-Dad and gets the phone call all parents dread. There has been a school shooting at the high school. While Simon waits anxiously to be reunited with his son Jake, he is the last parent waiting. And no child is returned. Jake is the only child missing and so the mysteries of the day, of life, of really knowing someone begin.