Reckless Girls: A Novel by Rachel Hawkins

January 4, 2022

ONE ISLAND

Beautiful, wild, and strange—Meroe Island is a desolate spot in the middle of the Pacific Ocean with a mysterious history of shipwrecks, cannibalism, and even rumors of murder. It’s the perfect destination for the most adventurous traveler to escape everything… except the truth.

SIX VISITORS

Six stunning twentysomethings are about to embark on a blissful, free-spirited journey—one filled with sun-drenched days and intoxicating nights. But as it becomes clear that the group is even more cut off from civilization than they initially thought, it starts to feel like the island itself is closing in, sending them on a dangerous spiral of discovery.

COUNTLESS SECRETS

When one person goes missing and another turns up dead, the remaining friends wonder what dark currents lie beneath this impenetrable paradise—and who else will be swept under its secluded chaos. With its island gothic sensibility, sexy suspense, and spine-tingling reimagining of an Agatha Christie classic, Reckless Girls will wreck you.

Midlife Bites: Anyone Else Falling Apart, Or Is It Just Me?

January 4

Jen Mann had what appeared to be the perfect life: a successful career as a bestselling author and award-winning blogger, a devoted husband, teenage kids who weren’t total jerks, and a badass minivan. So imagine her surprise when, at forty-seven years old, a midlife crisis kicked her straight in the ladybits.

Midlife Bites offers Jen’s trademark wit and honesty when it comes to important conversations and observations about women in midlife. Here, readers will be able to come together and find anecdotes and practical ideas to help navigate through this major point in their lives. For women who may feel isolated or overlooked, this collection of original essays offers valuable insights, takeaways, and, most important, a productive way forward. Jen shares her own story as well as advice and wisdom from the online community she built, tackling everything that bites about midlife, where nothing is off-limits: raging hormones; sex (after forty); finding your purpose; learning to make new friends (yes, even as a grown-up); moving out of your comfort zone; having conversations that count, no more small talk; and how to deal with rogue chin hairs (and other nuisances).

Jen Mann is leading the movement to create a new space where middle-aged women can share openly and honestly with one another. This no-BS collection of essays will help start the conversation and keep it going, because as women, we all have a right to be happy, fulfilled, and whole, no matter what stage of life.

Brown Girls: A Novel by Daphne Palasi Andreades

January 4

Welcome to Queens, New York, where streets echo with languages from all over the globe, subways rumble above dollar stores, trees bloom and topple over sidewalks, and the funky scent of the Atlantic Ocean wafts in from Rockaway Beach. Within one of New York City’s most vibrant and eclectic boroughs, young women of color like Nadira, Gabby, Naz, Trish, Angelique, and countless others, attempt to reconcile their immigrant backgrounds with the American culture in which they come of age. Here, they become friends for life—or so they vow.

Exuberant and wild, together they roam The City That Never Sleeps, sing Mariah Carey at the tops of their lungs, yearn for crushes who pay them no mind—and break the hearts of those who do—all while trying to heed their mothers’ commands to be obedient daughters. But as they age, their paths diverge and rifts form between them, as some choose to remain on familiar streets, while others find themselves ascending in the world, beckoned by existences foreign and seemingly at odds with their humble roots.

A blazingly original debut novel told by a chorus of unforgettable voices, Brown Girls illustrates a collective portrait of childhood, adulthood, and beyond, and is a striking exploration of female friendship, a powerful depiction of women of color attempting to forge their place in the world today. For even as the conflicting desires of ambition and loyalty, freedom and commitment, adventure and stability risk dividing them, it is to one another—and to Queens—that the girls ultimately return.

Shit Cassandra Saw: Stories by Gwen E. Kirby

January 11

Cassandra may have seen the future, but it doesn’t mean she’s resigned to telling the Trojans everything she knows. In this ebullient collection, virgins escape from being sacrificed, witches refuse to be burned, whores aren’t ashamed, and every woman gets a chance to be a radioactive cockroach warrior who snaps back at catcallers. Gwen E. Kirby experiments with found structures–a Yelp review, a WikiHow article–which her fierce, irreverent narrators push against, showing how creativity within an enclosed space undermines and deconstructs the constraints themselves. When these women tell the stories of their triumphs as well as their pain, they emerge as funny, angry, loud, horny, lonely, strong protagonists who refuse to be secondary characters a moment longer. From “The Best and Only Whore of Cym Hyfryd, 1886” to the “Midwestern Girl Is Tired of Appearing in Your Short Stories,” Kirby is playing and laughing with the women who have come before her and they are telling her, we have always been this way. You just had to know where to look.

A Flicker in the Dark: A Novel by Stacy Willingham

January 11

When Chloe Davis was twelve, six teenage girls went missing in her small Louisiana town. By the end of the summer, her own father had confessed to the crimes and was put away for life, leaving Chloe and the rest of her family to grapple with the truth and try to move forward while dealing with the aftermath.

Now twenty years later, Chloe is a psychologist in Baton Rouge and getting ready for her wedding. While she finally has a fragile grasp on the happiness she’s worked so hard to achieve, she sometimes feels as out of control of her own life as the troubled teens who are her patients. So when a local teenage girl goes missing, and then another, that terrifying summer comes crashing back. Is she paranoid, seeing parallels from her past that aren’t actually there, or for the second time in her life, is Chloe about to unmask a killer?

From debut author Stacy Willingham comes a masterfully done, lyrical thriller, certain to be the launch of an amazing career. A Flicker in the Dark is eerily compelling to the very last page.

Enough Already: Learning to Love the Way I Am Today by Valerie Bertinelli

January 18

Beloved actress and New York Times best-selling author Valerie Bertinelli returns with a heartfelt look at turning sixty, the futility of finding happiness in numbers on a scale, learning to love herself the way she is today, and tips for a healthier outlook on life.

Valerie Bertinelli shares an inspiring blueprint that offers women in midlife support and hope. She shares personal stories that many women will relate to from her past decade: hitting her fifties, taking care of her dying mother, the evolving relationship with her husband, a career change, her relationship with food, and the battle to believe in herself as she is.

Despite her success receiving Emmys for her Food Network show and critical praise for her books and cookbook, Bertinelli still judged herself harshly if she gained a pound or showed too many wrinkles. But after her mother died, she found an old recipe box with notes of the strong women that came before her, reminding her that she has to find out who she is and take care of herself. Saying, “enough already!” Bertinelli set out on a journey to love herself and see that perfection is not the goal; it’s the joy we can find every day in our lives, our loved ones, and the food we share. Recipes and advice will be sprinkled throughout the book.

How to Win The Bachelor: The Secret to Finding Love and Fame on America’s Favorite Reality Show by Chad Kultgen & Lizzy Pace

January 18

Perfect for fans of Bachelor Nation and Seinfeldia, an illuminating deep dive into the most successful reality TV franchise of all time—The Bachelor.

Since its premiere in 2002, ABC’s The Bachelor has become a staple of American television. Now, discover the fascinating history of the show, uncover the ins and outs of the phenomenon that has become Bachelor Nation, and take a deeper look at what separates the winners from the losers.

From how best to exit the limo on Night One, to strategies for making a run for the all-important First Impression Rose, to how to avoid being labeled a villain, this clear-eyed guide illustrates the rules and strategies any would-be contestant should know.

The ultimate must-read for every fan, How to Win the Bachelor gives you an inside look at the franchise where The Rose holds all the power.

I’ll Be There (But I’ll Be Wearing Sweatpants): Finding Unfiltered, Real-Life Friendships in This Crazy, Chaotic World by Amy Weatherly & Jess Johnston

January 25

If you’ve ever wondered why it seems like such a struggle to make and maintain friendships as an adult–you aren’t alone. The number of Americans who claim to have no close friends has drastically increased over the last few decades. Loneliness doesn’t care what age you are, how many Instagram followers you have, or where you call home. It doesn’t care how “put together” you appear to the outside world. Women have a collective wound that only authentic sisterhood can heal.

It’s time to ditch cliché, empty friendship advice that leaves us feeling even more alone than we did before. Amy and Jess, creators of the popular online community “Sister, I Am With You” share an easy-to-follow road map to the place we all desperately want to be–standing beside other women who see us, know us, and love us for who we truly are.

With real-life vulnerability and “I’ve been there, too” wisdom about building deep and satisfying friendships, Amy and Jess show us how to:

  • break free from unhealthy habits that keep you from experiencing real connection
  • find the confidence to live freely and without fear of rejection
  • be a good friend even though you can’t be a perfect one
  • heal from a friend breakup–and find the courage to try again
  • intentionally pursue friends in everyday life

You deserve a community of loving, supportive, there-for-you friends. If you’re ready to change the way you think about friendship, I’ll Be There (But I’ll Be Wearing Sweatpants) is your new go-to guide for navigating the ups and downs of everyday life with your nearest and dearest. Let’s start making friendship a priority–together.

Manywhere: Stories by Morgan Thomas

January 25

The nine stories in Morgan Thomas’s shimmering debut collection witness Southern queer and genderqueer characters determined to find themselves reflected in the annals of history, whatever the cost. As Thomas’s subjects trace deceit and violence through Southern tall tales and their own pasts, their journeys reveal the porous boundaries of body, land, and history, and the sometimes ruthless awakenings of self-discovery.

A trans woman finds her independence with the purchase of a pregnancy bump; a young Virginian flees their relationship, choosing instead to immerse themself in the life of an intersex person from Colonial-era Jamestown. A writer tries to evade the murky and violent legacy of an ancestor who supposedly disappeared into a midwifery bag, and in the uncanny title story, a young trans person brings home a replacement daughter for their elderly father.

Winding between reinvention and remembrance, transition and transcendence, these origin stories resound across centuries. With warm, meticulous emotional intelligence, Morgan Thomas uncovers how the stories we borrow to understand ourselves in turn shape the people we become. Ushering in a new form of queer mythmaking, Manywhere introduces a storyteller of uncommon range and talent.

Devil House: A Novel by John Darnielle

January 25

From John Darnielle, the New York Times bestselling author and the singer-songwriter of the Mountain Goats, comes an epic, gripping novel about murder, truth, and the dangers of storytelling.

Gage Chandler is descended from kings. That’s what his mother always told him. Years later, he is a true crime writer, with one grisly success—and a movie adaptation—to his name, along with a series of subsequent less notable efforts. But now he is being offered the chance for the big break: to move into the house where a pair of briefly notorious murders occurred, apparently the work of disaffected teens during the Satanic Panic of the 1980s. Chandler finds himself in Milpitas, California, a small town whose name rings a bell––his closest childhood friend lived there, once upon a time. He begins his research with diligence and enthusiasm, but soon the story leads him into a puzzle he never expected—back into his own work and what it means, back to the very core of what he does and who he is.

Devil House is John Darnielle’s most ambitious work yet, a book that blurs the line between fact and fiction, that combines daring formal experimentation with a spellbinding tale of crime, writing, memory, and artistic obsession.

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