12 great new books for the new year
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Between the Covers1 of 13
By Shannan Rouss
There's nothing like a good book to completely take you out of your head for a few hours, possibly an entire day. To help you escape, the Glo team has rounded up 12 new reads that will transport you to Paris in the 1960s, a mysterious silk factory in Japan and a charming hotel in the Irish countryside. The best part? You never have to leave home. Heck, you don't even have to get out of bed.
In a Word: Steamy2 of 13
The Boy by Lara Santoro
It's like a much, much more sophisticated 50 Shades of Grey, without the S&M stuff and lyrically written—so actually not like 50 Shades at all. The narrator is a recovering alcoholic and a single mother, who is drawn to her neighbor's college dropout son, the titular boy half her age. The 192-page book is a quick read with an ending that's both inevitable and heartbreaking.
In a Word: Witty3 of 13
Truth in Advertising by John Kenney
Plenty of books are described as "wickedly funny," but few of them actually are. This novel is one of the few. The most fought-over new read to arrive at Glo, Truth in Advertising is the story of Finbar Dolan, an adman slaving away for a diaper account and trying to keep his personal life together, after calling off his wedding and learning that his estranged father is dying. Let the hilarity ensue.
In a Word: Nostalgic4 of 13
A Week in Winter by Maeve Binchy
Dissatisfied with small-town life in Stoneybridge, Ireland, a girl's infatuation with an American boy prompts her to run away with him to New York City. When her fairy tale doesn't go as planned, she returns to Stoneybridge and turns a run-down mansion into a charming hotel by the sea. Binchy's final novel (she passed away in 2012) invites you to spend a week with the hotel's first guests, including a movie star incognito, a married couple struggling with death and a librarian with psychic visions.
In a Word: Haunting5 of 13
Vampires in the Lemon Grove by Karen Russell
With rich and vivid imagery, the chilling stories from the author of Swamplandia and St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves will linger in your mind long after you've finished them. There's the title story of a vampire in the Italian countryside who learns to subsist on lemons, a group of half-girl, half-caterpillar hybrids who must reel their own silk and a mutilated scarecrow that resembles a boy who's gone missing.
In a Word: Complicated6 of 13
The Affair by Colette Freedman
Told from the perspective of a wife, her husband and his alleged mistress, this novel offers a glaringly intimate glimpse into a marriage. You'll feel sympathy for all of the characters as each tells their side of the story.
In a Word: Authentic7 of 13
Tenth of December by George Saunders
This collection of ten stories has a sly humor that belies its deep sincerity. Saunders' characters may come off as quirky (like the naive teenage girl in "Victory Lap" who thinks her parents are "awesome" and wonders if you have to "like push the milk out" when you breast feed), but each one is strikingly real and human.
In a Word: Cerebral8 of 13
The Woman Destroyed by Simone de Beauvoir
In honor of the 105th anniversary of the author's birth, this book has been reissued with a sexy, updated cover that will no doubt draw in new readers. What you'll find is a gritty, not-always-flattering portrayal of three women, struggling to cope with their fading minds, bodies and love.
In a Word: Inventive9 of 13
The Last Girlfriend on Earth by Simon Rich
For anyone craving some comic relief, this offbeat collection will surprise and delight you. There's a re-imagining of Genesis, which includes God's needy girlfriend (she accuses him of "acting distant"), a love story told from the perspective of a never-opened condom, and an assortment of imagined missed connections from dogs.
In a Word: Nuanced10 of 13
The House Girl by Tara Conklin
Connecting the past and present, this book interweaves the story of Josephine, a 17-year-old house slave in the 1850s, and Lina, an ambitious New York lawyer in 2004. When Lina starts digging into a class-action lawsuit on behalf of the descendants of slaves, she begins to unravel Josephine's story and make sense of her own mother's mysterious death 20 years earlier.
In a Word: Passionate11 of 13
The Aviator's Wife by Melanie Benjamin
When Anne Morrow first meets the handsome Charles Lindbergh, she assumes he barely notices her. Instead, his invitation to take her on a plane ride leads to a budding romance. If you like your romance novels with a little history, plus some tragedy and betrayal thrown in for good measure, this fictional biography will keep you intrigued.
In a Word: Enchanting12 of 13
As Sweet as Honey by Indira Ganesan
As the author describes her own novel, it's about a very tall woman who marries a very short man. The tall woman is Aunt Meterling and much of her story is told by her young cousin Mina. Set mostly on the imaginary island of Pi in the Bay of Bengal, As Sweet As Honey combines a bit of magical realism with a tale of family, culture and finding love.
In a Word: Irreverent13 of 13
The Love Song of Jonny Valentine by Teddy Wayne
Whether you love or hate pop culture, you'll be able to appreciate this wry novel narrated by an 11-year-old singing sensation dealing with fame and family troubles. It's your classic coming-of-age story set in a heightened version of our celebrity-obsessed, tween-worshipping society.