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December 30, 2023

Looking Forward to 2024 Books

by Donna Huber

Have you started building your 2024 to-be-read list? I have! I have advance review copies lined up for the first 5 months of 2024. Here is the list of my most anticipated read for January - May.

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January 2024

Firetrap by Otho Eskin

book cover of thriller Firetrap by Otho Eskin
January 2024; Oceanview Publishing;  978-1608095704
ebook, print (320 pages); thriller

is book 3 in the Marko Zorn series. I really like the main character of this thriller series. If you haven't started this series, you have a little time to catch up as it doesn't come out until January 16. Check out my reviews of The Reflecting Pool (book 1) and Headshot (book 2).

A dangerous drug is spreading through Washington, D.C.—can Marko Zorn take down the company behind it? Washington, D.C. homicide detective Marko Zorn takes on a far-reaching, complicated investigation when a narcotic more deadly than fentanyl spreads across the city, causing countless fatalities. His search for the people behind the off-label drug leads him to a Big Pharma company run by mysterious, psychopathic twin brothers. Anyone who crosses them is dead. Marko discovers that the company will soon release another dangerous prescription opioid analgesic, but when the company learns that this information has been leaked, more bodies pile up. Let down by his higher-ups, Marko sets off to solve the deadly ring of crime that now surrounds him, all while evading repeated attempts to kill him. Marko will need all his wits, skills, and contacts both inside and outside of the law to shut down the twin brothers' criminal drug empire. Can a painting from a major art theft decades earlier provide the key to how Marko can cripple the whole operation? Only if Marko isn't killed first. (Goodreads)

Buy Firetrap at Amazon

February 2024

The Women by Kristin Hannah

book cover of historical fiction novel The Women by Kristin Hannah
February 2024; St. Martin's Press; 978-1250178633
audio, ebook, print (480 pages); historical fiction

I loved The Four Winds when I read it a couple of years ago. It is a time period I really enjoy reading about. The Women is set during the 1960s and the Vietnam War. It is period that I'm not as familiar with - it was "too current" to be covered in history classes. So not only am I looking forward to a great read, I'm also hoping to learn something.

“Women can be heroes, too.”

When twenty-year-old nursing student Frances “Frankie” McGrath hears these unexpected words, it is a revelation. Raised on idyllic Coronado Island and sheltered by her conservative parents, she has always prided herself on doing the right thing, being a good girl. But in 1965 the world is changing, and she suddenly imagines a different choice for her life. When her brother ships out to serve in Vietnam, she impulsively joins the Army Nurse Corps and follows his path.

As green and inexperienced as the men sent to Vietnam to fight, Frankie is overwhelmed by the chaos and destruction of war, as well as the unexpected trauma of coming home to a changed and politically divided America.

The Women is the story of one woman gone to war, but it shines a light on the story of all women who put themselves in harm’s way to help others. Women whose sacrifice and commitment to their country has all too often been forgotten. A novel of searing insight and lyric beauty, The Women is a profoundly emotional, richly drawn story with a memorable heroine whose extraordinary idealism and courage under fire define a generation. (Goodreads)

Buy The Women at Amazon

March 2024

The Mystery Writer by Sulari Gentill

book cover of mystery novel The Mystery Writer by Sulari Gentill
March 2024; Poisoned Pen Press; 978-1728290362
audio, ebook, print (400 pages); mystery

It is difficult to choose a most anticipated read for March as I have several favorite authors with books coming out in March. Right now it is the month that I have the most review copies for. I really enjoyed Sulari Gentill's 2022 mystery novel The Woman in the Library. It's the first book I've read by the author and I'm hoping for another unforgettable novel.

There's nothing easier to dismiss than a conspiracy theory—until it turns out to be true

When Theodosia Benton abandons her career path as an attorney and shows up on her brother's doorstep with two suitcases and an unfinished novel, she expects to face a few challenges. Will her brother support her ambition or send her back to finish her degree? What will her parents say when they learn of her decision? Does she even have what it takes to be a successful writer?

What Theo never expects is to be drawn into a hidden literary world in which identity is something that can be lost and remade for the sake of an audience. When her mentor, a highly successful author, is brutally murdered, Theo wants the killer to be found and justice to be served. Then the police begin looking at her brother, Gus, as their prime suspect, and Theo does the unthinkable in order to protect him. But the writer has left a trail, a thread out of the labyrinth in the form of a story. Gus finds that thread and follows it, and in his attempt to save his sister he inadvertently threatens the foundations of the labyrinth itself. To protect the carefully constructed narrative, Theo Benton, and everyone looking for her, will have to die.  (Goodreads)

Buy The Mystery Writer at Amazon

April 2024

The Backyard Bird Chronicles by Amy Tan

book cover of nature writing The Backyard Bird Chronicles by Amy Tan
April 2024; Knopf; 978-0593536131
audio, ebook, print (320 pages); nature writing

April is another difficult month as a couple of my favorite cozy mysteries have new books coming out then. But I'm choosing The Backyard Bird Chronicles as my most anticipated read. I've been trying to increase my ability of identify birds, plus I'm already looking forward to going to Nature Camp again in June. I think this book will be a good primer.

Tracking the natural beauty that surrounds us, The Backyard Bird Chronicles maps the passage of time through daily entries, thoughtful questions, and beautiful original sketches. With boundless charm and wit, author Amy Tan charts her foray into birding and the natural wonders of the world.

In 2016, Amy Tan grew overwhelmed by the state of the Hatred and misinformation became a daily presence on social media, and the country felt more divisive than ever. In search of peace, Tan turned toward the natural world just beyond her window and, specifically, the birds visiting her yard. But what began as an attempt to find solace turned into something far greater—an opportunity to savor quiet moments during a volatile time, connect to nature in a meaningful way, and imagine the intricate lives of the birds she admired. (Goodreads)

May 2024

Love at First Book by Jenn McKinlay

book cover of romantic comedy Love at First Book by Jenn McKinlay
May 2024; Berkley; 978-0593545744
audio, ebook, print (368 pages); romantic comedy

May is the start of the beach read season. I'm sure there will be many novels I'm looking forward to but right now of the books I already have on my list, Jenn McKinlay's rom-com is my most anticipated read. I'm super excited that I was able to snag an advance copy already. 

Emily Allen, a librarian on Martha’s Vineyard, has always dreamed of a life of travel and adventure. So when her favorite author, Siobhan Riordan, offers her a job in the Emerald Isle, Emily jumps at the opportunity. After all, Siobhan’s novels got Em through some of the darkest days of her existence. Helping Siobhan write the final book in her acclaimed series—after a ten-year hiatus due to a scorching case of writer’s block—is a dream come true for Emily. If only she didn’t have to deal with Siobhan’s son, Kieran Murphy. He manages Siobhan’s bookstore, and the grouchy bookworm clearly doesn’t want Em around.Emily persists, and spending her days bantering with the annoyingly handsome mercurial Irishman only makes her fall more deeply in love with the new life she’s built – and for the man who seems to soften toward her with every quip she throws at him. But when she discovers the reason for Kieran's initial resistance, Em finds herself torn between helping Siobhan find closure with her series and her now undeniable feelings for Kier. As Siobhan's novel progresses, Emily will have to decide if she’s truly ready to turn a new page and figure out what lies in the next chapter. (Goodreads)

Buy Love at First Book at Amazon

I don't have any June books lined up yet, but I do have a book on my wishlist for July:

The Black Bird Oracle by Deborah Harkness

book cover of fantasy novel The Black Bird Oracle by Deborah Harkness
July 2024; Ballantine Books; 978-0593724774
ebook, print (496 pages); fantasy

I love this series and I have my fingers crossed for an Advance Review Copy.

Deborah Harkness first introduced the world to Diana Bishop, Oxford scholar and witch, and vampire geneticist Matthew de Clairmont in A Discovery of Witches. Drawn to each other despite long-standing taboos, these two otherworldly beings found themselves at the center of a battle for a lost, enchanted manuscript known as Ashmole 782. Since then, they have fallen in love, traveled to Elizabethan England, dissolved the Covenant between the three species, and awoken the dark powers within Diana’s family line.

Now, Diana and Matthew receive a formal demand from the Congregation: They must test the magic of their seven-year-old twins, Pip and Rebecca. Concerned with their safety and desperate to avoid the same fate that led her parents to spellbind her, Diana decides to forge a different path for her family’s future and answers a message from a great-aunt she never knew existed, Gwyneth Proctor, whose invitation simply reads: It’s time you came home, Diana.

On the hallowed ground of Ravenswood, the Proctor family home, and under the tutelage of Gwyneth, a talented witch grounded in higher magic, a new era begins for Diana: a confrontation with her family’s dark past, and a reckoning for her own desire for even greater power—if she can let go, finally, of her fear of wielding it. (Goodreads)

Buy The Black Bird Oracle at Amazon

Are any of these books already on your 2024 reading list? What books are you most looking forward to?

Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the founder of Girl Who Reads and the author of how-to marketing book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour.

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