For 2020, I want to introduce a new monthly feature on this blog, highlighting some of the books released in this particular calendar month that I am particularly excited about. These can be ones I’ve already reviewed, ones I still need to review, or have pre-ordered, or simply books that I really want to read because they have an interesting premise.
My number one for January 2020 is, as anyone who knows me might have guessed, Anna-Marie McLemore’s Dark and Deepest Red. They write the most wonderful, magical queer stories, and I have loved every single one of their books, and this one is based on the late medieval dancing plague in Strasbourg. So, basically catnip for me. I’ve been craving this book since I first saw it being announced and then even more once the cover was out. I’m still slightly upset that I didn’t manage to get an ARC, as it is a US only release, but I do have two pre-orders coming (don’t ask) and am planning on reading this in one sitting the day I get my greedy little fingers on it. It’ll also be very relevant for my dissertation, so I can even claim it as research. WIN! Pre-order it yourself on BookDepository or from your retailer of choice.
A second book I’m very intrigued by is Blood Countess by Lana Popović. Another story inspired by late medieval/early modern history, this novel is based on the infamous Elizabeth Bathory, who allegedly bathed in the blood of maidens to keep herself looking young and fresh. I’ve always been fascinated by the Countess Bathory, especially given that none of the allegations against her have ever been proven and she has become such a figure of mystery and legend over the centuries. I fell in love with Lana’s writing in her fairy-tale inspired first duology set in Montenegro (starting with Wicked like a Wildfire, I highly recommend you check it out), so I’m very curious to see what she did with the story. The book apparently also features a queer storyline, which is always a plus and might also be relevant for my dissertation, so I’ll definitely be getting myself a copy and checking it out! If you are intrigued as well, BookDepository link is here, and otherwise you know your favourite way to pre-order!
The third book I’d like to hype for January is The Hand on the Wall by Maureen Johnson. This is the third in her Truly Devious trilogy of YA contemporary mysteries, so a bit off the beaten track from what I usually talk about on this blog. I received the first in the series, Truly Devious in a book box back when it first came out a couple of years ago, and really enjoyed it. It is great YA, and back when I myself was in the target range for YA, I think this series would have topped any favourite books list for me. I was in love with mystery novels and clever girls (looking back it’s a wonder it took me so long to figure out my sexuality!) and reading these books makes me lose myself in nostalgia for the time I first moved out from home to study forensic science and spent my late summer afternoons down at the lake reading crime novels. Anyway, I completely recommend you pick up these wonderful novels, especially now that the trilogy is complete – pre-order The Hand on the Wall from BookDepository or your local indie!
What do you think of this new feature? Does it help you pick your way through the jungle of new releases? Do you have any books you think should have been included or any suggestions for the February issue of the Libri Draconis Hype Post?