Before I had a full time job and was independently earning my own money, I wouldn’t be researching new releases, because I knew I wouldn’t be able to afford them, and my library rarely had them. I would content myself with reading whatever I could find in the charity shops – my local one used to have a five books for £1 deal, which is how I could sustain my reading. However, now I can afford to a little more, I like to keep up to date with new releases (although I still have a keen eye for a bargain, and still love my little library). These are the new releases I am most anticipating for the month of January – some I have pre-ordered, whilst some I will wait for a drop in price for or look for at my library. Let me know in the comments if there are any books you are eagerly anticipating in the upcoming months.
1. Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid – 7th January 2020
I preordered this one, based on the early positive reviews it has been receiving and the synopsis promising to raise some important questions. Emira is accused of kidnapping the child she is babysitting whilst shopping in a supermarket. Reid subsequently addresses Emira’s relationship with her employer and the society around her plus a whole host of issues surrounding race, class and stereotypes within the media. If these messages are handled well, I feel as though this book could make this year’s Women’s Prize for Fiction longlist, so I’d love to get a head start.
2. The Magical Language of Others by E.J. Koh – 7th January 2020
This book follows Eun Ji Koh’s experience being left in America with her brother when her parents move back to South Korea for work. Eun Ji finds her mother’s letters from South Korea in a box some time later and begins to translate them. The synopsis suggests an exploration of how distance affects the display of love and how the passage of history can help us answer questions we have about ourselves and those we are surrounded by. I’m thoroughly excited to read it, but will wait until the price drops for this one, because it’s a little out of my price range at the moment.
3. The Shapeless Unease by Samantha Harvey – 9th January 2020
This is the account of Samantha Harvey‘s year battling insomnia with no respite or relief. Since I was a teenager, I have suffered from sleep disorders ranging from horrific nightmares to sleep paralysis to bouts of insomnia that range from mild to severe in intensity. This made me extremely interested to read about someone who also struggles with sleep when it becomes an issue. People don’t often think about sleep as a basic human need, but once it begins to elude you, it’s all you realistically can think about. This could be a good non-fiction book to pair with My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh, so I’m certainly excited to get to it.
4. American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins – 21st January 2020
American Dirt concerns the illegal crossing of the US/Mexico border and the implications for the individual involved in this dangerous effort. The book sounds like it is going to explore the reasons why people make these crossings and the treatment they receive through every step of their journey. There is unfortunately stigma attached to immigration, especially since the rising popularity of politicians with outdated opinions, which makes it increasingly difficult for individuals to flee dangerous geographical areas and seek basic human rights. This book will hopefully provide insight into the feelings of someone who is forced to make rash decisions in order to escape fear and danger, and therefore, make people think before buying into the xenophobic stigma. I’ll be reading this as soon as I receive it in the mail on release date, so will have a review up a couple of days afterwards.
5. Pine by Francine Toon – 23rd January 2020
Pine sounds like it is going to quench my need for scary reads after having a massive reading slump around Halloween. It sounds like a chilling gothic horror that blurs the boundaries between nature and urbanity through the medium of the village Lauren and her father live in alongside the forest that surrounds it. I simply cannot wait for this one, and preordered it as soon as I heard about it. This is another book I will be reviewing on here a couple of days after its release date.
6. Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson – 23rd January 2020
What interested me about this book is that the synopsis suggests it will be exploring the way young people are forced to make decisions about their future before they have time to fully develop as individuals. They can be pushed into career paths that do not suit them and are forced to conform in ways that don’t allow them to blossom into who they feel comfortable identifying as. Alongside themes of desire, class and parenthood, this one should raise some interesting questions and contribute to some important debates.
7. Untold Night and Day by Bae Suah – 30th January 2020
Recently I have been wanting to read some more literature from South Korea and this sounds fantastic. Suah seems to explore the boundary between past and present, reality and the ways it can be disrupted. The summer setting may also thaw out my sad winter soul and give me something to look forward to also, so I’m excited to get to this one.
Obviously I won’t be able to get to all of this books this month with the backlist titles I’m also reading, but hopefully over the course of the year, I will be able to read the majority of them, and I’ll be reviewing any I do get to on here, of course.