This Month in Adult Books: January 2024

Reading recommendations for adults
January 17, 2024
Featured Title
A book cover showing a black woman's head lying opposite a black man's head with blue and green light reflecting off their faces. The book title, ‘A Love Song for Ricki Wilde” is written in white text over the image.A Love Song for Ricki Wilde by Tia Williams
When the opportunity to live and work in New York is presented to Ricki Wilde, she grabs it, tired of the daily struggle to fit into her Atlanta family. In Harlem she is able to pursue her dream of owning a flower shop, living in an historic brownstone with one of the legends of the neighborhood, Ms Della. Then one evening, with the scent of jasmine filling the air, Ricki meets Ezra Walker, a talented jazz musician with a decided air of mystery. The story of their swoon-worthy romance will ultimately take the reader back to the glory and glamour of the Harlem Renaissance. This is a love letter to found family, to history, and to Harlem. It is a must read for all romance fans.

What's New This Month
Late January and early February bring some very exciting debut novels such as Martyr! By Kaveh Akbar, a story about a Midwestern poet writing a novel about martyrs while struggling with addiction and grief. Booklist calls it “dazzling and profound.” Dixon Descending is a debut novel from Karen Outen about two brothers, one a former Olympic level runner, who make a disastrous attempt to climb Mount Everest.
Several authors make welcome returns this month, such as Come & Get It by Kiley Reid, the author of Such a Fun Age. This time around Reid examines power dynamics and responsibility in a sharp, modern day send up of academia. Kristin Hannah also returns after two hugely successful novels with The Women, which observes a young nurse during and after the Vietnam war.
What's Hot This Month
A list of romance novels coming in the first months of 2024.  
What We Are Reading
Book cover with a photo of Christian Cooper looking into the sky with binoculars. The book title, "Better Living Through Birding: notes from a Black man in the natural world" is written in black text across the top of the photo.Better Living Through Birding: notes from a Black man in the natural world by Christian Cooper
This is delightful for a number of reasons. The sheer pleasure he finds in the sight and sound of birds and the experiences he has in pursuit of them is absolutely contagious. He is an outstanding ambassador for birds and birding. Cooper has gone to some amazing places for a variety of reasons (not all of them bird related) and his experiences in wild places around the world are so exciting. As the jacket says, this is a book about claiming his space in the world as a gay Black man. He speaks honestly of the pain of the repression of his early years, but this isn’t a book about that. This is about how he came to embrace himself and live his life openly, confidently, and joyfully despite a world that doesn’t always support him. Part of that self-acceptance was his gay identity, but another part was his full embrace of all things nerdy which was equally joyful, along with his activism, both accidental and deliberate. There are dark things in his story, of course there are, but there is also so much light. It makes for quite the uplifting read. This is a great choice for those interested in memoir, queer stories, and the natural world.
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