What’s In The Box!- Aardvark November 2022 Predictions

Posted October 30, 2022 by stuckint in Uncategorized / 1 Comment

Happy weekend everyone! We have been waiting all week for every Aardvark hint to be released before making this post. We are excited to try our hand at Aardvark predictions.

A few notes before we dive in. Unlike our Book of the Month Predictions, these will be a lot less systematic since we don’t really have an established pattern with Aardvark picks yet like we do with Book of the Month. As always, we will endeavor to offer diverse and interesting suggestions.

As always, keep in mind that these posts are purely speculative. We could be complete wrong come the first of the month.

If you love what we do, be sure to subscribe to the blog and follow us on social media so you never miss a post!

Our Guesses

Hint 1: 🧮(math) 🏜️(desert)📮(mail) 🔭(telescope)

Guess 1: Singer Distance by Ethan Chatagnier (Literary Science Fiction)

What’s In The Box!- Aardvark November 2022 PredictionsSinger Distance by Ethan Chatagnier
Published by Tin House Books on October 18, 2022
Pages: 288
Goodreads

The odds of the planet next door hosting intelligent life are—that’s not luck. That’s a miracle. It means something.
In December 1960, Crystal Singer, her boyfriend Rick, and three other MIT grad students take a cross-country road trip from Boston to Arizona to paint a message in the desert. Mars has been silent for thirty years, since the last time Earth solved one of the mathematical proofs the Martian civilization carved onto its surface. The latest proof, which seems to assert contradictory truths about distance, has resisted human understanding for decades. Crystal thinks she’s solved it, and Rick is intent on putting her answer to the test—if he can keep her from cracking under the pressure on the way. But Crystal’s disappearance after the experiment will set him on a different path than he expected, forever changing the distance between them.
Filled with mystery and wonder, Ethan Chatagnier’s Singer Distance is a novel about ambition, loneliness, friendship, exploration, and love—about how far we’re willing to go to communicate with a distant civilization, and the great lengths we’ll travel to connect with each other here on Earth.

This is the guess we feel most certain of on this list. Singer Distance is a literary science fiction novel that released in mid Occtober and fits all of the hints that Aardvark gave. With comparisons to popular titles like In The Quick by Kate Hope Day and The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker. Chatagnier’s novel follows a group of friends who travel to the middle of the Arizona desert to send a message to Mars. It s a novel about friendship, connection, loneliness, exploration. Haley especially loves science fiction and plans to add this to her box if it’s a pick!

Guess 2: A Wilderness Of Stars by Shea Ernshaw (YA Fantasy)

What’s In The Box!- Aardvark November 2022 PredictionsA Wilderness of Stars by Shea Ernshaw
on November 29, 2022
Pages: 400
Goodreads

An illness cursing the land forces a teen girl astronomer to venture across the wilderness in search of the stars’ message that will, hopefully, save them all.
If magic lives anywhere, it’s in the stars…
Vega has lived in the valley her whole life—forbidden by her mother to leave the safety of its borders because of the unknown threats waiting for her in the wilds beyond. But after her mother dies, and Vega sees the fabled twin stars in the sky, it’s an omen she can no longer ignore, forcing her to leave the protective boundaries of the valley. But the outside world turns out to be much more terrifying than Vega could have imagined. People are gravely sick—they lose their eyesight and their hearing, just before they lose their lives.
What Vega keeps to herself is that she is the Last Astronomer—a title carried from generation to generation—and she is the only one who carries the knowledge of the stars. Knowledge that could hold the key to the cure. And so when locals spot the tattoo on Vega’s neck in the shape of a constellation—the mark of an astronomer—chaos erupts as the threats her mother warned her about become all too real.
Fearing for her life, Vega is rescued by a girl named Cricket who leads her to Noah, a boy marked by his own mysterious tattoos. On the run from the men who are hunting her, Vega, Cricket, and Noah set out across the plains in search of the cure the stars speak of. But as the lines between friend and protector begin to blur, Vega must decide whether to safeguard the sacred knowledge of the astronomer. Or if she will risk everything to try to save them all.

It’s unclear if Aardvark would choose a YA novel but Shea Ernshaw is a subscription box favorite and her latest- A Wilderness of Stars- seems like a prefect pick. Arguably, Aardvark might not pick up this title because of its fantastical elements, but it fits the hints otherwise. Our main character is Vega, a seventeen year old girl obsessed with the stars, who sets out on a trip through the wilderness to discover the message hidden in the constellations. But the world is much more chaotic and terrifying than she could have ever imagined and soon she is hunted by those who would wish her harm. Haley is reading this one and really likes it so far! Vega is a compelling protagonist and Ernshaw’s writing is as beautiful as ever. We’ll see if Aardvark snaps it up as a November selection in a few days!

Hint 2:📰(newspaper)🚨(siren)⌚(watch)💉(shot)

Guess 1: The Appeal by Janet Hallet (Crime Thriller)

What’s In The Box!- Aardvark November 2022 PredictionsThe Appeal by Janice Hallett
Published by Atria Books on November 1, 2022
Pages: 448
Goodreads

INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER
“[W]itty, original…a delight.” —Th​e New York Times
Perfect for fans of Ruth Ware and Lisa Jewell, this international bestseller and “dazzlingly clever” (The Sunday Times, London) murder mystery follows a community rallying around a sick child—but when escalating lies lead to a dead body, everyone is a suspect.
The Fairway Players, a local theatre group, is in the midst of rehearsals when tragedy strikes the family of director Martin Hayward and his wife Helen, the play’s star. Their young granddaughter has been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, and with an experimental treatment costing a tremendous sum, their castmates rally to raise the money to give her a chance at survival.
But not everybody is convinced of the experimental treatment’s efficacy—nor of the good intentions of those involved. As tension grows within the community, things come to a shocking head at the explosive dress rehearsal. The next day, a dead body is found, and soon, an arrest is made. In the run-up to the trial, two young lawyers sift through the material—emails, messages, letters—with a growing suspicion that the killer may be hiding in plain sight. The evidence is all there, between the lines, waiting to be uncovered.
A wholly modern and gripping take on the epistolary novel, The Appeal is a “daring…clever, and funny” (The Times, London) debut for fans of Richard Osman and Lucy Foley.

Aardvark hasn’t really featured a thriller yet, but this set a hint has it hopeful that we will get an idea of what kind of thrillers the team likes. The Appeal by Janet Hallet is a crime thriller coming to the US at the beginning of November is a murder mystery set in a community rallying around a sick child. A theatre group is in the middle of rehearsal when the director’s granddaughter is diagnosed with a rare form of cancer and the troupe rallies to raise money for an experimental treatment. During the final dress rehearsal someone is murdered, arrests are made and the community is left in turmoil as two young lawyers sift through the material evidence looking for answers. Its a race against the clock mystery with plenty twists that speaks to how trauma impacts individuals and groups. Thought provoking and poignant,

Guess 2: The Other Side of Night by Adam Hamdy (Psychological Thriller)

What’s In The Box!- Aardvark November 2022 PredictionsThe Other Side of Night by Adam Hamdy
Published by Atria Books on October 11, 2022
Pages: 304
Goodreads

The Other Side of Night begins with a man named David Asha writing about his biggest regret: his sudden separation from his son, Elliot. In his grief, David tells a story.
Next, we step into the life of Harriet Kealty, a police officer trying to clear her name after a lapse of judgment. She discovers a curious inscription in a secondhand book—a plea: Help me, he’s trying to kill me. Who wrote this note? Who is “he”?
This note leads Harri to David Asha, who was last seen stepping off a cliff. Police suspect he couldn’t cope after his wife’s sudden death. Still, why would this man jump and leave behind his young son? Quickly, Harri’s attention zeroes in on a person she knows all too well.
Ben Elmys: once the love of her life. A surrogate father to Elliot Asha and trusted friend to the Ashas.
Ben may also be a murderer.​

Word on the street is that The Other Side of Night is a confirmed pick and we felt that out of all the emoji hints, these fit the title best. The novel opens with a written account of a father to a son about why he had to leave him behind. Then we have Harriet, a disgraced police officer who is trying to clear her name. It’s a race against the clock as she tries to figure out the meaning by a note, “Please help me, he’s trying to kill me.” With scientific elements- though arguably not as extensive as the works of Blake Crouch or Andy Weir- The Other Side of Night fits these clues quite well. But the emojis are vague enough that this might not be a thriller/mystery at all! We cannot wait to see come November 1st!

Hint 3:☕(coffee) 🧠(brain) 🛏️(bed) 🍰(cake)

Guess 1: Kiss Her Once For Me by Alison Cochrun (Romance)

What’s In The Box!- Aardvark November 2022 PredictionsKiss Her Once for Me by Alison Cochrun
Published by Atria Books on November 1, 2022
Pages: 368
Goodreads

The author of The Charm Offensive returns with a festive romantic comedy about a woman who fakes an engagement with her landlord…only to fall for his sister.
One year ago, recent Portland transplant Ellie Oliver had her dream job in animation and a Christmas Eve meet-cute with a woman at a bookstore that led her to fall in love over the course of a single night. But after a betrayal the next morning and the loss of her job soon after, she finds herself adrift, alone, and desperate for money.
Finding work at a local coffee shop, she’s just getting through the days—until Andrew, the shop’s landlord, proposes a shocking, drunken plan: a marriage of convenience that will give him his recent inheritance and alleviate Ellie’s financial woes and isolation. They make a plan to spend the holidays together at his family cabin to keep up the ruse. But when Andrew introduces his new fiancée to his sister, Ellie is shocked to discover it’s Jack—the mysterious woman she fell for over the course of one magical Christmas Eve the year before. Now, Ellie must choose between the safety of a fake relationship and the risk of something real.
Perfect for fans of Written in the Stars and One Day in December, Kiss Her Once for Me is the queer holiday rom-com that you’ll want to cozy up with next to the fire.

Will Aardvark book club ever feature a romance novel? We sure hope so! Kiss Her Once For Me would be the perfect romantic read for the holidays, and not just because of it’s holiday adjacent title! Ellie, working her dream job as an animator, has a meet cute with that leads Ellie to fall madly in love over the course of one night. After losing her job- and everything really- she finds work at a local coffee shop. If that isn’t complicated enough, she ends up pretending to get married to the cafe’s landlord for reasons and they getaway to a cabin for the holidays to maintain the ruse. But of course, there she finds Jack- the woman she felt in love with all those Christmases ago. Here on Stuck in the Stacks we adore a good holiday romance and it’s the prefect time of year for it!

Guess 2: The Italian Girls by Debbie Rix (Historical Fiction)

What’s In The Box!- Aardvark November 2022 PredictionsThe Italian Girls by Debbie Rix
Published by Forever on November 22, 2022
Pages: 416
Goodreads

She began to turn the pages of the paper more quickly, searching for the details about the war, the scandal, the trial... She thought back to those days at the end, when trust in Italy was in short supply. Betrayal was everywhere and the world went mad.
Italy, 2019: Each morning Livia Moretti drinks espresso in her favorite café in Florence. The tourists simply walk on by. They don’t know of her role in saving this beautiful city during the dark days of World War II. Days that now seem long gone. But in the morning newspaper one day, Livia sees a familiar name—Isabella Bellucci. And she’s jolted back to the past.
Italy, 1942: As an Italian Resistance fighter, Livia monitors radio transmissions and decodes messages that could have the power to safeguard her country and those closest to her. Until the day her life intersects with movie star Isabella Bellucci. A siren of the silver screen, Isabella has cultivated the right connections to ensure her rise to stardom. But when Rome falls to the Nazis, Isabella must make a devastating choice.
As war ravages Europe, Isabella and Livia’s lives are forever entwined as they risk everything to protect the ones they love.

Our list was in desperate need for a historical fiction pick and we think The Italian Girls is a great one. Told in two alternating timelines by our intrepid protagonist Livia, an Italian resistance fighter, who monitors radio transmissions and decodes mysterious messages that could aid in Allies forces war effort. Aardvark has already shown that they love their historical fiction and an intelligent women who drinks coffee daily in an Italian cafe fits many of these clues beautifully. Regardless of whether it’s a pick or not, The Italian Girls will be a must read for historical fiction lovers

Hint 4:👛(purse) 🐈(pet) 🎨(paint) 🍎(apple)

Guess 1: Self Portrait With Nothing by Aimee Pokwatka (Literary Fiction)

What’s In The Box!- Aardvark November 2022 PredictionsSelf-Portrait with Nothing by Aimee Pokwatka
Published by Tordotcom on October 18, 2022
Pages: 295
Goodreads

If a picture paints a thousand worlds...
Abandoned as an infant on the local veterinarian’s front porch, Pepper Rafferty was raised by two loving mothers, and now at thirty-six is married to the stable, supportive Ike. She’s never told anyone that at fifteen she discovered the identity of her biological mother.
That’s because her birth mother is Ula Frost, a reclusive painter famous for the outrageous claims that her portraits summon their subjects’ doppelgangers from parallel universes.
Researching the rumors, Pepper couldn’t help but wonder:Was there a parallel universe in which she was more confident, more accomplished, better able to accept love?A universe in which Ula decided she was worth keeping?A universe in which Ula’s rejection didn’t still hurt too much to share?
Sometimes living our best life means embracing the imperfect one we already have…

A combination of science fiction and mystery, Self Portrait With Nothing is being described as Orphan Black meets Fringe. Our protagonist is Pepper Lafferty, abandoned on veterinarian’s doorstep, she was raised by two mothers. But when she was 15 she discovered that her biological mother is none other than Ula Frost, the painter whose work is rumored to bring its subject’s doppelganger from parallel universes. While we are unsure whether Aardvark would feature two science fiction picks in a month – I mean they did have three historical fiction picks last month- we love the very artsy focus of this book. Though the other emojis and their meaning are anyone’s guess!

Guess 2: The Socialite’s Guide To Murder by SK Golden (Historical Mystery)

What’s In The Box!- Aardvark November 2022 PredictionsThe Socialite's Guide to Murder by S.K. Golden
Published by Crooked Lane Books on October 11, 2022
Pages: 320
Goodreads

The hotel was her refuge, but scandal is afoot—and a killer stalks the halls in this charming series debut perfect for fans of Rhys Bowen and Ashley Weaver.
It’s 1958 and Evelyn Elizabeth Grace Murphy has not left the Pinnacle Hotel in fourteen months. She suffers from agoraphobia, and what’s more, it’s her father’s hotel, and everything she needs is there. Evelyn’s always been good at finding things, she discovered her mother dead in a Manhattan alleyway fifteen years earlier. Now she’s finding trouble inside her sanctuary. At a party for artist Billie Bell, his newest work is stolen, and Evelyn’s fake boyfriend (and real best friend), movie star Henry Fox, is accused of the theft. But just as Evelyn sets out to prove Henry’s innocence, she finds Billie Bell dead.
The murder weapon links the crime to the hotel’s chief of security. But why would he use a knife with his initials on the handle? With her beloved home in disarray, Evelyn joins up with hotel employee (and her secret crush) Mac Cooper to get to the bottom of the case.
As Mac picks locks and Evelyn snoops around the hotel, they discover the walls around them contain more secrets than they previously knew. Now, Evelyn must force herself to leave the hotel to follow the clues—but when she and Mac set off to chase a lead, their car crashes and they barely escape with their lives. Someone snipped Evelyn’s brake lines, and now the stakes have become dangerously high.
Evelyn’s knack for sleuthing—and her playful imagination—are always hard at work, and she throws an elaborate party at the hotel where every guest is a suspect. But will the killer emerge from the glamorous lineup? If not, Evelyn just might find herself…next in line for murder.

This guess comes courtesy of the Aardvark Book Club fan group, we could not sleuth through hundreds of releases with ideas from so many of you! Following a wealthy, socialite who has made her father’s hotel her home she becomes embroiled in a murder mystery that has her teaming up with an unlikely team of hotel staff and her secret crush- to solve the case. Did we mentioned that her mother was murdered in a Manhatten alleyway fifteen years previously and that the murder victim has a piece of art stolen from a showing, before he ends up dead. It’s pretty perfect as far as the hint goes and color us intrigued!

Hint 5:

Guess 1: Gilded Mountain by Kate Manning (Historical Fiction)

What’s In The Box!- Aardvark November 2022 PredictionsGilded Mountain by Kate Manning
Published by Scribner on November 1, 2022
Pages: 464
Goodreads

Set in early 1900s Colorado, the unforgettable tale of a young woman who bravely faces the consequences of speaking out against injustice.
In a voice spiked with sly humor, Sylvie Pelletier recounts leaving her family’s snowbound mountain cabin to work in a manor house for the Padgetts, owners of the marble-mining company that employs her father and dominates the town. Sharp-eyed Sylvie is awed by the luxury around her; fascinated by her employer, the charming “Countess” Inge, and confused by the erratic affections of Jasper, the bookish heir to the family fortune. Her fairy-tale ideas of romance take a dark turn when she realizes the Padgetts’ lofty philosophical talk is at odds with the unfair labor practices that have enriched them. Their servants, the Gradys, formerly enslaved people, have long known this to be true and are making plans to form a utopian community on the Colorado prairie.
Outside the manor walls, the town of Moonstone is roiling with discontent. A handsome union organizer, along with labor leader Mary Harris “Mother” Jones, is stirring up the quarry workers. The editor of the local newspaper—a bold woman who takes Sylvie on as an apprentice—is publishing unflattering accounts of the Padgett Company. Sylvie navigates vastly different worlds and struggles to find her way amid conflicting loyalties. When the harsh winter brings tragedy, Sylvie must choose between silence and revenge.
Drawn from true stories of Colorado history, Gilded Mountain is a tale of a bygone American West seized by robber barons and settled by immigrants, and is a story infused with longing—for self-expression and equality, freedom and adventure.

So real talk, we don’t need to make a second guess for this one because Gilded Mountain fits so well. There’s literally a bag of money and a mountain, never mind the fact that it tells the story of a woman who works for a family that own a marble mining company. We know we included this one on our Book of the Month predictions post but after seeing potential confirmation that this would be an Aardvark pick, and comparing the synopsis with the emoji’s provided above, we have very little doubt that Gilded Mountain will be an Aardvark selection for November!

What About You?

What do you hope to see from Aardvark in November? What do you think of our guesses? Did we miss any glaringly obvious titles? Let us know in the comments!

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