The introduction of a budding Lee Child, riveting nonfiction set in Rwanda and Los Angeles, an affectionate tome that tugs at the heart strings, a follow-up to a beloved classic, and a fresh take on historical fiction--There truly is something for everyone in the second half of our picks for the Best Books of January.
We begin with the Jack Reacher-esque thriller, Orphan X, the first in a promising new series that Senior Editor Adrian Liang describes as “a deft high-wire act between the current-day deeds of former black-ops assassin Evan Smoak and fascinating flashbacks to the training Evan received as a young teen in the government’s secret Orphan Program.”
Speaking of thrillers, according to reviewer Penny Mann, this nonfiction account of a journalist training program in Rwanda reads like one. It’s also “very much a story of the power and need for freedom of expression wherever you are--whether in Africa or the United States.”
In 1928, the St. Francis dam in the L.A. area was breached, unleashing a wall of water that destroyed everything in its wake. Senior Editor Jon Foro points out that this story has been told before, but “Jon Wilkman is the first to separate the disaster from its larger, triumphant context.”
The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald
Giving a wink and a nod to popular reads like Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe and Bridget Jones’s Diary, Senior Editor Adrian Liang says “this charming fish-out-of-water story will remind you why you’re a book lover.”
The sequel to Bill Bryson’s cherished and hilarious classic of travel writing, Notes from a Small Island, Senior Editor Chris Schluep promises that The Road to Little Dribbling is just as laugh-out-loud funny, if a bit more cynical.
Finally, our Debut Spotlight this month is Andria Williams’s “wise, entertaining, and illuminating” The Longest Night. With any luck, Editorial Director Sara Nelson hopes that this book heralds a new kind of historical novel: one that takes not a real-life character but an incident…and imagines the lives of the people who lived through it.”