Monthly Book Preview - January 2022 Releases

Posted January 3, 2022 by stuckint in Features, Monthly Book Preview / 2 Comments

Hey everyone and welcome back to Stuck in the Stacks, we’re so excited to start the new year reviving an old favorite of ours- and yes I said ours! Late last year Emily and I started chatting again and decided that we were better as a blogging duo and that we seriously missed each other.

Today we’re talking about the book we’re excited to see hit shelves in the coming month.

Haley’s List

Olga Dies Dreaming by Xochiti Gonzalez

Olga Dies Dreaming by Xóchitl González
Published by Flatiron Books on January 4, 2022
Pages: 384

A blazing talent debuts with the tale of a status-driven wedding planner grappling with her social ambitions, absent mother, and Puerto Rican roots, all in the wake of Hurricane Maria
It's 2017, and Olga and her brother, Pedro "Prieto" Acevedo, are bold-faced names in their hometown of New York. Prieto is a popular congressman representing their gentrifying Latinx neighborhood in Brooklyn while Olga is the tony wedding planner for Manhattan's powerbrokers.
Despite their alluring public lives, behind closed doors things are far less rosy. Sure, Olga can orchestrate the love stories of the 1%, but she can't seem to find her own...until she meets Matteo, who forces her to confront the effects of long-held family secrets...
Twenty-seven years ago, their mother, Blanca, a Young Lord-turned-radical, abandoned her children to advance a militant political cause, leaving them to be raised by their grandmother. Now, with the winds of hurricane season, Blanca has come barreling back into their lives.
Set against the backdrop of New York City in the months surrounding the most devastating hurricane in Puerto Rico's history, Olga Dies Dreaming is a story that examines political corruption, familial strife and the very notion of the American dream--all while asking what it really means to weather a storm.

One of the January Book of the Month picks, this contemporary novel is as much about siblings as it is about finding one’s place in the world. I am definitely trying to read more adult fiction in 2022 I think this book about a young Latinx women grappling with the idea of the American dream in wake of Hurricane Maria.

No Land To Light On by Yara Zgheib

No Land to Light On by Yara Zgheib
Published by Atria Books on January 4, 2022
Pages: 304

Exit West
meets An American Marriage in this breathtaking and evocative novel about a young Syrian couple in the throes of new love, on the cusp of their bright future…when a travel ban rips them apart on the eve of their son’s birth—from the author of The Girls at 17 Swann Street.
Hadi and Sama are a young Syrian couple flying high on a whirlwind love, dreaming up a life in the country that brought them together. She had come to Boston years before chasing dreams of a bigger life; he’d landed there as a sponsored refugee from a bloody civil war. Now, they are giddily awaiting the birth of their son, a boy whose native language would be freedom and belonging.
When Sama is five months pregnant, Hadi’s father dies suddenly in Jordan, the night before his visa appointment at the embassy. Hadi flies back for the funeral, promising his wife that he’ll only be gone for a few days. On the day his flight is due to arrive in Boston, Sama is waiting for him at the airport, eager to bring him back home. But as the minutes and then hours pass, she continues to wait, unaware that Hadi has been stopped at the border and detained for questioning, trapped in a timeless, nightmarish limbo.
Worlds apart, suspended between hope and disillusion as hours become days become weeks, Sama and Hadi yearn for a way back to each other, and to the life they’d dreamed up together. But does that life exist anymore, or was it only an illusion?
Achingly intimate yet poignantly universal, No Land to Light On is the story of a family caught up in forces beyond their control, fighting for the freedom and home they found in one another.

I think I’m ready to read books set in the politically tumultuously Trump years and how his policies impact average Americans like the young and married Syrian refugees at the center of No Land To Light On. I really want to work more immigrant stories into my 2022 reading and I can’t wait to pick up this one.

The Latinist by Mark Prins

The Latinist by Mark Prins
Published by W. W. Norton Company on January 4, 2022
Pages: 352

Tessa Templeton has thrived at Oxford University under the tutelage and praise of esteemed classics professor Christopher Eccles. And now, his support is the one thing she can rely on: her job search has yielded nothing, and her devotion to her work has just cost her her boyfriend, Ben. Yet shortly before her thesis defense, Tessa learns that Chris has sabotaged her career—and realizes their relationship is not at all what she believed.
Driven by what he mistakes as love for Tessa, Chris has ensured that no other institution will offer her a position, keeping her at Oxford with him. His tactics grow more invasive as he determines to prove he has her best interests at heart. Meanwhile, Tessa scrambles to undo the damage—and in the process makes a startling discovery about an obscure second-century Latin poet that could launch her into academic stardom, finally freeing her from Chris’s influence.
A contemporary reimagining of the Daphne and Apollo myth, The Latinist is a page-turning exploration of power, ambition, and the intertwining of love and obsession.

It should surprise no one that my Classicist heart is gravitating towards this title. For those who haven’t been here long, I got my Masters degree in a cross disciplinary program that focuses on Classics and Theology so I will basically read any dark academia book set in a Classical context. The Latinist sounds like a solid thriller with a strong female lead, I will definitely let you know what I think of it.

A Flicker in the Dark by Stacy Willingham

A Flicker in the Dark by Stacy Willingham
Published by Minotaur Books on January 11, 2022
Pages: 368

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.
When Chloe Davis was twelve, six teenage girls went missing in her small Louisiana town. By the end of the summer, Chloe’s father had been arrested as a serial killer and promptly put in prison. Chloe and the rest of her family were left to grapple with the truth and try to move forward while dealing with the aftermath.
Now 20 years later, Chloe is a psychologist in private practice in Baton Rouge and getting ready for her wedding. She finally has a fragile grasp on the happiness she’s worked so hard to get. Sometimes, though, she feels as out of control of her own life as the troubled teens who are her patients. And then a local teenage girl goes missing, and then another, and that terrifying summer comes crashing back. Is she paranoid, and seeing parallels that aren't really there, or for the second time in her life, is she about to unmask a killer?
In a debut novel that has already been optioned for a limited series by actress Emma Stone and sold to a dozen countries around the world, Stacy Willingham has created an unforgettable character in a spellbinding thriller that will appeal equally to fans of Gillian Flynn and Karin Slaughter.

Another Book of the Month pick, this atmospheric thriller seems like a perfect winter read. I also really enjoy books about psychologists and Chloe seems like a solid female protagonist. Jumping back and forth between past and present, this debut seems like a tense, suspenseful read.

How High We Go In The Dark by Sequoia Nagamatsu

How High We Go in the Dark by Sequoia Nagamatsu
Published by William Morrow on January 18, 2022
Pages: 304

For fans of Cloud Atlas and Station Eleven––Follow a cast of intricately linked characters over hundreds of years as humanity struggles to rebuild itself in the aftermath of a climate plague
Beginning in 2030, a grieving archeologist arrives in the Arctic Circle to continue the work of his recently deceased daughter at the Batagaika crater, where researchers are studying long-buried secrets now revealed in melting permafrost, including the perfectly preserved remains of a girl who appears to have died of an ancient virus.
Once unleashed, the Arctic Plague will reshape life on Earth for generations to come, quickly traversing the globe, forcing humanity to devise a myriad of moving and inventive ways to embrace possibility in the face of tragedy. In a theme park designed for terminally ill children, a cynical employee falls in love with a mother desperate to hold on to her infected son. A heartbroken scientist searching for a cure finds a second chance at fatherhood when one of his test subjects—a pig—develops the capacity for human speech. A widowed painter and her teenaged granddaughter embark on a cosmic quest to locate a new home planet.
From funerary skyscrapers to hotels for the dead to interstellar starships, Sequoia Nagamatsu takes readers on a wildly original and compassionate journey, spanning continents, centuries, and even celestial bodies to tell a story about the resiliency of the human spirit, our infinite capacity to dream, and the connective threads that tie us all together in the universe.

I’m really craving some longer books in 2022 and I’m really hoping to dive into some more literary fiction like How High We Go In The Dark which sounds like Cloud Cuckoo Land meets a dystopian fiction like The Book of M by Peng Shepard. With a wide cast of characters and rich setting, it seems like a beautiful novel to sink into a cold winter night.

Love & Other Disasters by Anita Kelly

Love & Other Disasters by Anita Kelly
Published by Forever on January 18, 2022
Pages: 384

The first openly nonbinary contestant on America’s favorite cooking show falls for their clumsy competitor in this delicious romantic comedy debut “that is both fantastically fun and crack your heart wide open vulnerable.” (Rosie Danan, author of The Roommate)
Recently divorced and on the verge of bankruptcy, Dahlia Woodson is ready to reinvent herself on the popular reality competition show Chef’s Special. Too bad the first memorable move she makes is falling flat on her face, sending fish tacos flying—not quite the fresh start she was hoping for. Still, she's focused on winning, until she meets someone she might want a future with more than she needs the prize money. 
After announcing their pronouns on national television, London Parker has enough on their mind without worrying about the klutzy competitor stationed in front of them. They’re there to prove the trolls—including a fellow contestant and their dad—wrong, and falling in love was never part of the plan.
As London and Dahlia get closer, reality starts to fall away. Goodbye, guilt about divorce, anxiety about uncertain futures, and stress from transphobia. Hello, hilarious shenanigans on set, wedding crashing, and spontaneous dips into the Pacific. But as the finale draws near, Dahlia and London’s steamy relationship starts to feel the heat both in and outside the kitchen—and they must figure out if they have the right ingredients for a happily ever after.

I’m all for reading what you love and one of the things I love a good romance novel. Love & Other Disasters is unique because it features a nonbinary protagonist, set on a competitive cooking show. A feel good, delightful romance that is sure to cheer you up, I really think this one has potential as a favorite of the year!

Road of Bones by Christopher Golden

Road of Bones by Christopher Golden
Published by St. Martin's Press on January 25, 2022
Pages: 240

A stunning supernatural thriller set in Siberia, where a film crew is covering an elusive ghost story about the Kolyma Highway, a road built on top of the bones of prisoners of Stalin's gulag.
Kolyma Highway, otherwise known as the Road of Bones, is a 1200 mile stretch of Siberian road where winter temperatures can drop as low as sixty degrees below zero. Under Stalin, at least eighty Soviet gulags were built along the route to supply the USSR with a readily available workforce, and over time hundreds of thousands of prisoners died in the midst of their labors. Their bodies were buried where they fell, plowed under the permafrost, underneath the road.
Felix Teigland, or "Teig," is a documentary producer, and when he learns about the Road of Bones, he realizes he's stumbled upon untapped potential. Accompanied by his camera operator, Teig hires a local Yakut guide to take them to Oymyakon, the coldest settlement on Earth. Teig is fascinated by the culture along the Road of Bones, and encounters strange characters on the way to the Oymyakon, but when the team arrives, they find the village mysteriously abandoned apart from a mysterious 9-year-old girl. Then, chaos ensues.
A malignant, animistic shaman and the forest spirits he commands pursues them as they flee the abandoned town and barrel across miles of deserted permafrost. As the chase continues along this road paved with the suffering of angry ghosts, what form will the echoes of their anguish take? Teig and the others will have to find the answers if they want to survive the Road of Bones.

The publisher sent this one to me as a widget and I am dying to sink my teeth into it once I’ve gotten some blog related reading done. Road of Bones is a chilling novel set in Siberia on an allegedly haunted highway. As someone who lives right against the Sierra Nevadas, I’m in a snowy mood and this seems like the perfect wintery read.

Light Years From Home by Mike Chen

Light Years From Home by Mike Chen
Published by Mira on January 25, 2022
Pages: 352

Every family has issues. Most can’t blame them on extraterrestrials.
Evie Shao and her sister, Kass, aren’t on speaking terms. Fifteen years ago on a family camping trip, their father and brother vanished. Their dad turned up days later, dehydrated and confused—and convinced he'd been abducted by aliens. Their brother, Jakob, remained missing. The women dealt with it very differently. Kass, suspecting her college-dropout twin simply ran off, became the rock of the family. Evie traded academics to pursue alien conspiracy theories, always looking for Jakob.
When Evie's UFO network uncovers a new event, she goes to investigate. And discovers Jakob is back. He's different—older, stranger, and talking of an intergalactic war—but the tensions between the siblings haven't changed at all. If the family is going to come together to help Jakob, then Kass and Evie are going to have to fix their issues, and fast. Because the FBI is after Jakob, and if their brother is telling the truth, possibly an entire space armada, too.
The perfect combination of action, imagination and heart, Light Years From Home is a touching drama about a challenge as difficult as saving the galaxy: making peace with your family…and yourself.

I was telling my husband recently that I really want to read more science fiction and MIke Chen seems like an incredibly accessible place to start. Light Years From Home is Chen’s take on an alien abduction story with lots of heart and humor.

Goliath by Tochi Onyebuchi

Goliath by Tochi Onyebuchi
Published by Tordotcom on January 25, 2022
Pages: 336

In the 2050s, Earth has begun to empty. Those with the means and the privilege have departed the great cities of the United States for the more comfortable confines of space colonies. Those left behind salvage what they can from the collapsing infrastructure. As they eke out an existence, their neighborhoods are being cannibalized. Brick by brick, their houses are sent to the colonies, what was once a home now a quaint reminder for the colonists of the world that they wrecked.
A primal biblical epic flung into the future, Goliath weaves together disparate narratives—a space-dweller looking at New Haven, Connecticut as a chance to reconnect with his spiraling lover; a group of laborers attempting to renew the promises of Earth’s crumbling cities; a journalist attempting to capture the violence of the streets; a marshal trying to solve a kidnapping—into a richly urgent mosaic about race, class, gentrification, and who is allowed to be the hero of any history.

This near future, dystopian novel features a world where the wealthy have left earth for space colonies and the impoverished are left behind to scavenge and struggle to survive. Goliath is a brutal and socially prescient novel that asks difficult questions of its readers and our culture at large. After the year we’ve had of record breaking climate phenomena, it seems like a thought provoking book.

Devil House by John Darnielle

Devil House by John Darnielle
Published by MCD on January 25, 2022
Pages: 416

Gage Chandler is descended from kings. That's what his mother always told him.
Now, he is a true crime writer, with one grisly success--and movie adaptation--to his name, along with a series of subsequent lesser efforts that have paid the bills but not much more. But now he is being offered the chance for the big break: To move into the house--what the locals call "The Devil House"--in which a briefly notorious pair of murders occurred, apparently the work of disaffected 1980s teens. 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.

I am out to discover to both read outside of my comfort and explore sub-genres within it and that includes reading more horror year around. Devil’s House kind of gives me Sinister vibes and I love that movie. A washed up writer moves into a house where some grisly murders happened years before. While some reviewers are saying the horror elements are tame compared to his other works, I think this character driven story has potential.

At The End of Everything by Marieke Nijkamp

At the End of Everything by Marieke Nijkamp
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on January 25, 2022
Pages: 400

The Hope Juvenile Treatment Center is ironically named. No one has hope for the delinquent teenagers who have been exiled there; the world barely acknowledges that they exist.
Then the guards at Hope start acting strange. And one day...they don't show up. But when the teens band together to make a break from the facility, they encounter soldiers outside the gates. There's a rapidly spreading infectious disease outside, and no one can leave their houses or travel without a permit. Which means that they're stuck at Hope. And this time, no one is watching out for them at all.
As supplies quickly dwindle and a deadly plague tears through their ranks, the group has to decide whom among them they can trust and figure out how they can survive in a world that has never wanted them in the first place.

I have read almost every book by Marieke Nijkamp and I am stoked about Nijkamp’s newest coming out at the end of the month. A rapidly spreading infectious disease has ravaged the world outside of of the Hope Juvenile Treatment Center and left all the patients stuck inside while their supplies dwindle and the illness claims some of their own.

Emily’s List

Where The Drowned Girls Go by Seanan McGuire

Where the Drowned Girls Go (Wayward Children, #7) by Seanan McGuire
Published by Tordotcom on January 4, 2022
Pages: 160

Welcome to the Whitethorn Institute. The first step is always admitting you need help, and you've already taken that step by requesting a transfer into our company.
There is another school for children who fall through doors and fall back out again. It isn't as friendly as Eleanor West's Home for Wayward Children. And it isn't as safe.
When Eleanor West decided to open her school, her sanctuary, her Home for Wayward Children, she knew from the beginning that there would be children she couldn't save; when Cora decides she needs a different direction, a different fate, a different prophecy, Miss West reluctantly agrees to transfer her to the other school, where things are run very differently by Whitethorn, the Headmaster.
She will soon discover that not all doors are welcoming...

This series turned Seanan McGuire into an instant buy author for me and I have no regrets. I adore these books - basically exploring what happens when children return from the pocket worlds they get pulled into - and the diversity and representation in them. I can’t wait to see what this next installment brings!

Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan

Daughter of the Moon Goddess (The Celestial Kingdom Duology, #1) by Sue Lynn Tan
Published by Harper Voyager on January 11, 2022
Pages: 512

A captivating debut fantasy inspired by the legend of Chang'e, the Chinese moon goddess, in which a young woman’s quest to free her mother pits her against the most powerful immortal in the realm.
Growing up on the moon, Xingyin is accustomed to solitude, unaware that she is being hidden from the feared Celestial Emperor who exiled her mother for stealing his elixir of immortality. But when Xingyin’s magic flares and her existence is discovered, she is forced to flee her home, leaving her mother behind.
Alone, powerless, and afraid, she makes her way to the Celestial Kingdom, a land of wonder and secrets. Disguising her identity, she seizes an opportunity to learn alongside the emperor's son, mastering archery and magic, even as passion flames between her and the prince.
To save her mother, Xingyin embarks on a perilous quest, confronting legendary creatures and vicious enemies across the earth and skies. But when treachery looms and forbidden magic threatens the kingdom, she must challenge the ruthless Celestial Emperor for her dream—striking a dangerous bargain in which she is torn between losing all she loves or plunging the realm into chaos.
Daughter of the Moon Goddess begins an enchanting, romantic duology which weaves ancient Chinese mythology into a sweeping adventure of immortals and magic—where love vies with honor, dreams are fraught with betrayal, and hope emerges triumphant.

I’ve been seeking out more Chinese-inspired fantasy ever since I read and loved The Library of Legends by Janie Chang. This book seems like exactly what I’ve been wanting - a romance/adventure based on Chinese mythology with a strong protagonist? Sign me up.

The Maid by Nita Prose

The Maid by Nita Prose
Published by Ballantine Books on January 4, 2022
Pages: 304

Molly Gray is not like everyone else. She struggles with social skills and misreads the intentions of others. Her gran used to interpret the world for her, codifying it into simple rules that Molly could live by.
Since Gran died a few months ago, twenty-five-year-old Molly has been navigating life’s complexities all by herself. No matter—she throws herself with gusto into her work as a hotel maid. Her unique character, along with her obsessive love of cleaning and proper etiquette, make her an ideal fit for the job. She delights in donning her crisp uniform each morning, stocking her cart with miniature soaps and bottles, and returning guest rooms at the Regency Grand Hotel to a state of perfection.
But Molly’s orderly life is upended the day she enters the suite of the infamous and wealthy Charles Black, only to find it in a state of disarray and Mr. Black himself dead in his bed. Before she knows what’s happening, Molly’s unusual demeanor has the police targeting her as their lead suspect. She quickly finds herself caught in a web of deception, one she has no idea how to untangle. Fortunately for Molly, friends she never knew she had unite with her in a search for clues to what really happened to Mr. Black—but will they be able to find the real killer before it’s too late?
A Clue-like, locked-room mystery and a heartwarming journey of the spirit, The Maid explores what it means to be the same as everyone else and yet entirely different—and reveals that all mysteries can be solved through connection to the human heart.

In 2021 I entered (or, really, re-entered) a massive mystery phase, and especially mysteries with female detectives. This one sounds incredible and is getting really great reviews. I’ve already added it to my BOTM box and can’t wait to see how it turns out!

Akata Woman by Nnedi Okorafor

Akata Woman (Akata Witch, #3) by Nnedi Okorafor
Published by Penguin Random House on January 18, 2022
Pages: 400

From the moment Sunny Nwazue discovered she had magic flowing in her blood, she sought to understand and control her powers. Throughout her adventures in Akata Witch and Akata Warrior, she had to navigate the balance between nearly everything in her life–America and Nigeria, the “normal” world and the one infused with juju, human and spirit, good daughter and powerful Leopard Person.
Now, those hard lessons and abilities are put to the test in a quest so dangerous and fantastical, it would be madness to go…but deadly not to. With the help of her friends, Sunny embarks on a mission to find a precious object hidden deep in a magical realm. Defeating the guardians of the prize will take more from Sunny than she has to give, and triumph will mean she will be forever changed.

Akata Witch is one of my favorite-ever audio books and I’ve been meaning to return to the series since then. I absolutely loved the magic and mythology of the first book in the series and the third one being released means I can binge the next two!

What About You?

What January releases are you excited about? What do you think of our list? Let us know in the comments!

2 responses to “Monthly Book Preview - January 2022 Releases

  1. Ann

    Can someone help me out on here?

    There was a title I saw somewhere that was compared to Where The Crawdads Sing, but now I cannot find it. Not sure if it was here.

    I usually add books to my TBR on Goodreads, but this one seems to have fallen through the cracks.

    I follow so much book content on IG, there is no telling where I saw it.

    This is what happens when the library has backed up and I cannot add to my wait list 😢

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