What to Read this Month: January

Looking for something new to read?  Check out our New and Noteworthy, Current Literature, and Overdrive collections for some good reads to enjoy! Here is a selection of books you will find in these collections!


Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, by Gabrielle Zevin. On a bitter-cold day in December of his junior year at Harvard, Sam Masur exits a subway car and sees Sadie Green amid the hordes of people waiting on the platform. He calls her name. She pretends she hasn’t heard him for a moment, but then, she turns, and a game begins: a legendary collaboration that will launch them to stardom. These friends, intimates since childhood, borrow money, beg favors, and, before graduating college, they have created their first blockbuster, Ichigo. Not even twenty-five years old, Sam and Sadie are brilliant, successful, and rich, but these qualities won’t protect them from their own creative ambitions or the betrayals of their hearts. Spanning thirty years, from Cambridge, Massachusetts, to Venice Beach, California, and lands in between and far beyond, Gabrielle Zevin’s Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow is a dazzling and intricately imagined novel that examines the multifarious nature of identity, disability, failure, the redemptive possibilities in play, and above all, our need to connect: to be loved and to love. Read or listen to NPR’s delightful review of this novel here!


The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida, by Shehan Karunatilaka. Maali Almeida―war photographer, gambler, and closet queen―has woken up dead in what seems like a celestial visa office. His dismembered body is sinking in the serene Beira Lake, and he has no idea who killed him. In a country where scores are settled by death squads, suicide bombers, and hired goons, the list of suspects is depressingly long, as the ghouls and ghosts with grudges who cluster around can attest. But even in the afterlife, time is running out for Maali. He has seven moons to contact the man and woman he loves most and lead them to the photos that will rock Sri Lanka. Ten years after his prize-winning novel Chinaman established him as one of Sri Lanka’s foremost authors, Shehan Karunatilaka is back with a “thrilling satire” (Economist). Read what The Guardian wrote about this novel: “The scenarios are often absurd – dead bodies bicker with each other – but executed with a humour and pathos that ground the reader. Beneath the literary flourishes is a true and terrifying reality: the carnage of Sri Lanka’s civil wars. Karunatilaka has done artistic justice to a terrible period in his country’s history.”


Acne: A Memoir by Laura Chinn. From the creator and star of Florida Girls comes a hilarious and profound memoir about family, happiness, and really aggressive acne. Despite having dirty-blonde hair and fair skin, Laura Chinn is mixed-race: the daughter of a Black father and a white mother, which on its own makes for some funny and insightful looks at identity. Laura’s parents were both Scientologists and nonconformists in myriad ways. They divorced early in Laura’s childhood, and she spent her teen years ping-ponging back and forth between Clearwater, Florida, and Los Angeles (with an extended stint in Tijuana for good measure). This is not a sad story. There is Jell-O wrestling. There is an abnormal amount of dancing. There is information about whether you can drink gallons of sangria while taking unregulated Accutane acquired in Mexico. But mostly there is love, and ultimately there is redemption. Laura explores her trauma through anecdotes riddled with grit and humor, proving that in the face of unspeakable tragedy, it is possible to find success, love, and self-acceptance, zits and all. Read a review from Oprah Daily to learn more.


The Dream Builders, by Oindrila Mukherjee. After living in the US for years, Maneka Roy returns home to India to mourn the loss of her mother and finds herself in a new world. The booming city of Hrishipur, where her father now lives, is nothing like the part of the country where she grew up, and the more she sees of this new, sparkling city, the more she learns that nothing—and no one—here is as it appears. Ultimately, it will take an unexpected tragic event for Maneka and those around her to finally understand how fragile life is in this city built on aspirations. Written from the perspectives of ten different characters, Oindrila Mukherjee’s incisive debut novel explores class divisions, gender roles, and stories of survival within a constantly changing society and becoming increasingly Americanized. It’s a story about India today and people impacted by globalization everywhere: a tale of ambition, longing, and bitter loss that asks what it really costs to try and build a dream.


The Family Izquierdo by Ruben Degollado. The tight-knit Izquierdo family is grappling with misfortunes none of them can explain. Their beloved patriarch has suffered from an emotional collapse and is dying; eldest son Gonzalo’s marriage is falling apart; daughter Dina, beleaguered by the fear that her nightmares are real, is a shut-in. When Gonzalo digs up a strange object in the backyard of the family home, the Izquierdos take it as proof that a jealous neighbor has cursed them-could this be the reason for all their troubles? As the Izquierdos face a distressing present and an uncertain future, they are sustained by the blood that binds them, a divine presence, and an abiding love for one another. Told in a series of soulful voices brimming with warmth and humor, The Family Izquierdo is a tender narrative of a family at a turning point. Read more about this book in The New York Times Book Review here!

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