Winter is the best time to catch up on your reading list. Days are short, nights are long, and it’s so cold outside that you don’t really want to spend any more time out there than you have to.
If you’re struggling to find a new read that speaks to you, though, I understand. Sometimes when your reading backlog is so long, it only makes sense to ignore it and add another book to the pile. No… just me?
Anyway, these are the books that we’re going to be reading this winter. From inspirational to comedy, self-help, romance, and more. Grab a cup of coffee or hot cocoa, a warm blanket, and crack open that spine. Or, uh, turn on your Kindle. Look, I’m not the boss of you, okay?
Books that are coming out this winter
Written by Michael Farris Smith, Nick is a historical fiction book that is sort of an unofficial prequel to The Great Gatsby. It’s all about Nick Carraway’s life before moving to West Egg, including his travels through Paris, New Orleans, and his service in WWI.
This is a fun, unique take on the historical fiction genre, and I have high hopes for it. Nick is already out, having been released January 5, 2021.
Kamala’s Way: An American Life
This biography of Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris, written by Dan Morain, is shaping up to be an interesting look into the unconventional life of the first female VP. If you ever wondered how she was as a prosecutor, or how she treats others, or just who she is as a person, this is a must-read.
Kamala’s Way: An American Life comes out on January 12, 2021.
Not to get all Pocahontas on you, but can you ever really own land? Can anyone? How do you own something so old, powerful, immovable? Simon Winchester explores this and more in his new book, Land. (Winchester also wrote Guns, Germs, and Steel) It looks at land not just from a geological perspective, but from a social and legal point of view. His interest and deep curiosity really come through.
Land comes out January 19, 2021.
The Devil You Know: A Black Power Manifesto
Few moments in our lifetime will be as poignant as this one, and it would be remiss to ignore that in our reading list. The Devil You Know: A Black Power Manifesto by bestselling author Charles Blow looks at the history behind racial inequality in America. Blow also proposes a plan moving forward how to fix some of the damage and change the world we’re in.
It’s depressing, uplifting, hopeful, and crushing, all at the same time. The Devil You Know: A Black Power Manifesto comes out later this month, on January 26, 2021.
Girl With No Job: The Crazy Beautiful Life of an Instagram Thirst Monster
Girl With No Job by Claudia Oshry is an interesting, hilarious, and insightful look into the life of those who live and die by the world of pop. Oshry never wanted a traditional job, and when her Instagram account blew up, she learned what it was really like to live as an Instagram influencer – and what it meant to not have a ‘real’ job.
Girl With No Job comes out January 26, 2021.
Everyone Has a Podcast (Except You)
I’m pretty sure everyone thought about starting a podcast in 2020. Or a YouTube channel, at the very least. The title is right – everyone does seem to have a podcast except for me. In this book, written by the McElroy Brothers, you’ll be taken step-by-step on how to start your own podcast and not be so left out. The brothers have found a lot of success both individually and together, so this is sure to be full of actual, real advice – and probably plenty of humor.
If you’re considering starting a podcast, Everybody Has a Podcast (Except You) comes out January 26, 2021.
Four Hundred Souls
Okay, okay, one more political commentary book – this one seems incredible. Co-edited by Keisha N. Blain and Ibram X. Kendi (of How to Be An Antiracist fame), Four Hundred Souls is a collection of stories from 90 writers to tell a “community history” of African Americans, from 1619 to 2019.
Each of the 90 writers focuses on a 5 year span, and all genres are covered, from personal essays, poetry, fiction, and more. This is one of those books we’re going to be hearing about for a long, long time.
Four Hundred Souls comes out February 2, 2021.
My Year Abroad: A Novel
I can’t be the only one missing traveling, right? Right? My Year Abroad: A Novel by Chang-rae Lee (from the author that gave us Native Speaker, if you’ve ever read it) details the account of an American college student who travels across Asia as a protégé to a Chinese businessman.
The story tackles how we see ourselves, how we see our world, and what really is reality in those moments. My Year Abroad: A Novel comes out on February 2, 2021.
The Committed (and also, The Sympathizer)
I’ve tried to avoid sequels, but this one is looking to be a stand out piece of work. The Sympathizer, written by Viet Thanh Nguyen, won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2016. This sequel follows the story of the Sympathizer as he travels to France with his brother, and end up in Paris dealing. The story ends up all about love, addiction, hope, and betrayal.
The Committed comes out March 2, 2021, but if you haven’t read The Sympathizer first, it’s a great winter read to get you ready.
Books we’re reading anyway (though they’re already out)
Radically Happy: A User’s Guide to the Mind
The past several months have been… challenging, let’s just say. It’s hard to remember what it was like to go to the movies, eat out with friends, or just exist in a state of happiness. Radically Happy shares how author Phakchok Rinpoche lives his life full of happiness and joy, even when there is nothing going on. The book weaves interpersonal stories with mindfulness exercises and thoughtful questions that make you realize, maybe there really isn’t anything to be upset about.
Radically Happy: A User’s Guide to the Mind released in 2018, and is available at most booksellers.
Long Bright River: A Novel
You all know I love horror novels, and winter is really the best time to settle in with a good thriller. Nothing like getting dark at 5pm to really get in the creepy spirit! Long Bright River by Liz Moore follows two sisters who don’t speak anymore, living totally different lives… until one disappears, forcing the other to sit up and take notice. It’s full of twists, turns, and suspense. It’s the perfect vibe for an otherwise-lazy Saturday evening during winter.