January is all about new beginnings, fresh starts, and for our team, big plans to read lots (and lots!) of books. Now that we're nearing the end of the month, we're sharing some of the books our book-loving team is most excited to read this year. Below you’ll find romance novels, thrillers, cookbooks, reading challenges, and more!
Our Team's Book Bucket List This Year
- The Villa by Rachel Hawkins: This suspense novel -- set in an Italian villa with a dark history -- came out earlier this month. As soon as I read the summary that involves a girls' trip to Italy, dual timelines, and clues of a murder hidden within a horror novel, I knew I had to pick it up.
- Happy Place by Emily Henry: Fellow Emily Henry fans, mark your calendars for April 25th for another sure-to-be swoon-worthy romance novel.
- The Reading List by Sarah Adams: I love books about books, so I have no doubt I'm going to enjoy this novel.
- The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton: I've heard nothing but rave reviews about this murder mystery!
- Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson: This family saga is about two estranged siblings as they delve into their mother's hidden past and discover how it all connects to her traditional Caribbean black cake.
- The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry by John Mark Comer: As a new mom, I'm especially excited to read this book by pastor and author John Mark Comer about slowing down and limiting commitments for a fuller life.
The list goes on and on… (:
My reading goal last year was 20 books and I got to 22! This year I’m going to try to double that with the help of audiobooks on my commute to work. I love to use different methods to consume books so I can get to as many as possible. I have a good combination of books, kindle unlimited downloads, and whatever audiobooks I can find! The audiobook section at the library has been my go-to lately. And yeah, they still come in CD format, unfortunately. Aside from finishing the ACOTAR series, the top books on my TBR are:
- Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune: I read The House On the Cerulean Sea last year and still think about it often, so I’m excited to read more by this author this year!
- The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liz Constantine: Recommended by Gloria :) I have no idea what it’s about, but this will be my first audiobook of 2023!
- The Butcher and the Wren by Alaina Urquhart: A cohost from one of my favorite podcasts, Morbid, came out with this thriller and I can’t wait to read her debut. I love a good thriller and Alaina is a captivating storyteller that really does her research.
- The Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley Heller: I’m always following Reese’s book club so I had to pick one from there. I’ve heard this book sounds like something Taylor Jenkins Reid would write and I loved her last year!
- The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley: Also a rec from Gloria! Lucy Foley has been pretty popular lately and I've heard this is her best book.
- Yours Truly by Abby Jimenez: Lots of darkness in my TBR so I love to mix it up with a good romance novel. This book had the highest rating I've seen on Goodreads in a while!
- Doctor Sleep by Stephen King: This was one of the best movies I watched last year and I can’t wait to read the book! Stephen King always delivers for me!
This year, I’m participating in the Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge for the third time. Full disclosure: I didn’t complete the challenge last year… or the one before that! But it’s been one of my favorite ways to branch out to different authors and types of books that I wouldn’t normally gravitate toward—and I’ve stumbled upon so many of my most treasured reads thanks to this challenge.
A few on my list (so far!) include:
- The Charm Offensive by Alison Cochrun: This book had me at the cover and summary. It’s a queer love story that involves reality TV… so I purchased it instantly.
- Blue Highways by William Least Heat-Moon: This was recommended to me by a friend after I did a long road trip. I know nothing about it, but I'm excited to read it.
- Home is Where the Eggs Are by Molly Yeh: I was given this cookbook as a gift for the holidays and can’t wait to dive in (the cover makes me so happy every time I see it too!).
- Tattoos on the Heart by Gregory Boyle: Ann Patchett recommends this book in her collection of essays These Precious Days and I’ve been a longtime admirer of Gregory Boyle, the author and founder of Homeboy Industries, the largest gang rehabilitation, and re-entry program.
- While We Were Dating by Jasmine Guillory: I adore Jasmine Guillory’s love stories (The Proposal and The Wedding Date are two of my all-time favorite rom-coms). I bought this a few years ago and don't know why I haven’t read it already!