January is the only month where I spend more time on the internet than I do reading, but that is only because I spend hours combing through all of "most anticipated" book lists of the upcoming year. The result is that I already have over 30 books on my pile that I desperately want to read—and that is only in the first half of the year! It should be a good year for books.
Lucky for us, January is already proving to be a month with a number of incredible titles hitting our shelves. I started the year out by reading Such a Fun Age by Kelly Reid. Like Ann Patchett or Celeste Ng, Reid's skill is developing novels with unforgettable characters that, when combined with a story that addresses issues of race, class and bias, become unforgettable reads. Following that, I am deep into Long Bright River by Liz Moore—a gritty story of two sisters, one a police officer and one addicted to opioids, that not only tells the story of our time but tells the story of how women of today grapple with issues of our time. Then, it seems like the whole world is breathlessly anticipating next Tuesday the 21st when American Dirt by Jeannie Cummins is finally released. I haven't seen this kind of buzz since the days when All the Light You Cannot See hit the shelves, and it not only meets that expectation but exceeds it. We love this book so much that we are launching a whole program around it—stay tuned to hear more on Tuesday when the book finally makes it into the world.
Beyond these reads, 2020 marks a year with new releases by Hilary Mantel , Isabel Allende , Louise Erdrich , Julia Alvarez , Emily St. John Mandel , Erik Larson , Colum McCann , Elena Ferrante, and many more. My daughter and I are already having a fight over who is more excited to read the prequel to the Hunger Games out in May. I hope you are getting a jump start to this year of reading—one in which I hope we share books together all along the way.
Casey Coonerty Protti
Bookshop Santa Cruz