Gift Card Books
For years I would get a gift card to a favorite bookstore as a kid and then when I would go right after Christmas, or even in January, the store would be out of stock on most things and to order anything would take ages. I have since found out that this is because the publishers are closed between Christmas and New Year's, and for years, January was in general a dead month in the publishing world. But! Things are changing - January is slowly becoming a dynamic month for new releases, the books that I call the "gift card books" - books that may not get a ton of hype before the holidays and aren't really big summer blockbusters, but books that people with gift cards can find and buy for themselves! I've cobbled together some favorites here - some are late 2020 releases, some are January releases, all are worthy of your precious gift card funds! - SARAH
Greer's writing is always so atmospheric - you immediately feel transported to the time and place of her story. The characters of The Arctic Fury immediately drew me in and I couldn't wait to see how the expedition turned out based on the opening scenes.
I've always been intrigued by Mademoiselle Chanel, but I didn't know much about her before her iconic fashion house. I delighted in getting a glimpse into her childhood, as well as her family connections. This book inspired me to admire her even more than I already did.
I have been anxiously awaiting Julia's follow up to Be Frank With Me for five years and am happy to report that this is a very strong sophomore novel. I knew nothing of divorce ranches before reading, and the characters all leapt off the page and right into my heart (and I'll always have a soft spot for a female aviator!)
Ever since reading Word by Word, I've found myself particularly interested in lexicography and funky words are always fun. While I started this book expecting a good read, what I wasn't expecting was a thoroughly entertaining novel about dictionaries to cross my path, but I'm ever so glad it did!
Siri, Who Am I is a fun and quirky millennial mystery, full of pop culture references and thoroughly 2010s social media and technology. I loved how Mia's voice came through clearly from the start, I felt I knew her better than she knew herself!
I love the influx of polar exploration books that have been coming out lately and Icebound is a worthy addition to this new pantheon of polar works. I enjoyed reading about the Dutch as a new and young country (a story I knew little about) as well as that of Barents!
I love a good fairy tale retelling, especially a dark and twisty one with witches that has me turning page after page, desperate to know the decision that Cinderella ultimately makes!
Having just finished another of Cohen's books, I enjoyed reading more of his work. As a child hockey player (a goalie, on the long list for a college team), I appreciated all the nuances of kids sports, but this time from the parents' perspective. It was a fun and fully engrossing read, and the perfect book for recovering child players, and parents of said child players in need of a refreshed perspective.
Paraic O’Donnell leavens the dark foreboding of a truly sinister, otherworldly mystery with distinctively clever storytelling and a decidedly marvelous cast of characters. You are in the best of hands with Inspector Cutter and Gideon Bliss on the case, along with the intrepid and resourceful reporter Octavia Hillingdon. Beautifully done! - Peter Sherman, Wellesley Books, Wellesley, MA
You absolutely cannot go wrong with Jenny Colgan. Every single one of her books is a heartwarming classic - she's basically the British Elin Hilderbrand. I have loved each and every character she has created and this one, set in London, is yet another delightful story, perfect for every Anglophile!