Book List: My Most Anticipated Reads for the First Half of 2022

Book List: My Most Anticipated Reads for the First Half of 2022

A mouthful, if I’ve ever written one. Sorry about that! This was going to be a “most anticipated” for the whole year, but I decided to split it up instead! This list will hit the novels that most excite me between now and June. 😉

Gwendy’s Final Task by Richard Chizmar and Stephen King

I think I’ve made my feelings on Stephen King’s work pretty clear by this point: the shorter, the better. Gwendy’s Button Box is no different. While not truly terrifying, I thoroughly enjoy the story in these books and the deep moral dilemma that goes along with the responsibility of the button box. I read Gwendy’s Magic Feather as well, which King didn’t work on, and found that I thoroughly enjoyed Chizmar’s writing on its own as well. I’m excited to see the duo back together on this final installment, set to release February 15th (update: publication date has been pushed out to May 31st. So sad!!). Preorder your copy here.

One Italian Summer by Rebecca Serle

Technically, I have the advance readers copy for this one, so maybe it’s not so much most anticipated release as it is “I can’t wait to read this!”. So why I’ve waited to read it, I have no idea. I absolutely adored In Five Years when I read it maybe two years ago now? Definitely quarantine times. It was so unexpected and heavy, but I thought the story was just lovely and packed with raw emotion, so I’m excited to see what Serle does next. Maybe that heaviness is the reason I haven’t been able to pick it up yet. Look for my review in the coming weeks! One Italian Summer releases March 1st, and you can pre-order a copy here.

The Book of Cold Cases by Simone St. James

I had no idea St. James had another novel coming out, but this one sounds right up my alley! I loved Broken Girls years ago. I thought it was positively eerie, if a little predictable. The book was not only an incredible yarn but it gave me goosebumps while I read. I skipped Sun Down Motel, but this new novel gives me a Riley Sager-like vibe from the description. I’m interested to see how she does with it, given that most of what I remember about Broken Girls was that sweaty and uncomfortable feeling it left on my skin – this seems like her territory. The Book of Cold Cases will be released March 15, and you can pre-order a copy here.

The Wedding Crasher by Mia Sosa

What would my list be without a good romance. I didn’t actually love Sosa’s The Worst Best Man, but The Wedding Crasher sounds like so much fun, I’m willing to give her another go. I like a good fake-dating trope, and seem to be drawn to it as of late. I also really love the cover of this one, even more than The Worst Best Man. We’ll see how it goes! The Wedding Crasher will release April 5, and you can pre-order it here.

Fangirl: the Manga: Vol. 2 by Rainbow Rowell and Sam Maggs

It’s no secret that I love Fangirl. Rainbow Rowell’s masterpiece and its scenes resonated with fourteen year old me so hard, it just echoes through my head and my life, and sets a vibe and tone to my holidays. For real. This is what love for a book looks like. It’s just one of my absolute favorites, and I loved seeing it adapted into a manga version in 2020. It was tons of fun and captured that *feeling* just perfectly. If it only it had been released in a complete form!! I’ve been dying for this second installment for approximately a year and a half, and I’ll finally get it on May 10. Pre-order yours here!

…and oh my gosh, so so many more.

I took what I knew was coming out and tried to add to it by using my Goodreads recommendations for new releases, but I ended up with a new tbr about a thousand miles long. I almost immediately hit NetGalley to try and get some ARCs. Prepare yourselves for a lot of reviews, people – it’s going to be a great year for reading!

Another reminder that I don’t get paid for these links – just trying to make it easier for you to grab a copy! I love Gibson’s Bookstore, but if you don’t want to shop with them, buy with your own indie bookstore and shop local. ❤ Maybe one day, with all our support, we can send our local bookseller to space.

Happy Friday and have a great weekend, peeps!

Adventures in Book Hunting, Volume 1

Adventures in Book Hunting, Volume 1

In Which We Visit Barnes & Noble Manchester on a Chilly January Day

If I have to pick a Barnes & Noble, Manchester, NH’s location is a personal favorite. They have a great selection and I really love the layout there, a lot more than Newington’s (my two closest B&Ns). I know you’re going to find this hard to believe, but I went in with the intention of grabbing maybe one or two things…and grabbed four. It do be like that sometimes.

I always start at the front of the store where they put out new releases. I noticed this time around that not all of these were *super* new, some were maybe a couple months old but still holding popularity (ie. The Final Girl Support Group). I actually like that they do that only because I have mentioned recently being so far behind in knowing what’s new and notable; I feel like there’s a gap in the timeline where I forgot that, in addition to my ever present tbr, new books come out sometimes and I may also want to read those…

I immediately picked this one up because of the ~vibe~.

I’ve never actually heard of John Darnielle but I liked the sound of this story. Says he’s written a couple other horror novels. The cover of this one really reminded me of The Amityville Horror cover from the version we carry at the library, and I liked that this gave me 80s horror vibes despite being a brand new book. I think 80s slasher horror and other period frights are making a resurgence and I’m living for it. I ultimately decided not to buy this guy because I picked up so many other things and I wasn’t sure if I was in the mood for it right now, but I think I might come back to it. Anyone read this one?

I sauntered through all the sale tables and display tables, picking over the romance I hadn’t read yet, and finally made my way to the fiction. I made it about halfway through fiction before I realized it wasn’t what I was truly in the mood for: I’d be content to skip over fiction in exchange for some romance and horror, and the occasional thriller. Particularly at this B&N, none of the literary fiction was drawing me in.

So off I go to romance, getting occasionally distracted by more display tables! I love that Manchester B&N has such a huge selection of romance, and not the kind that always has shirtless men on the cover. It’s a great resource for new contemporary fiction fans. I spent a while picking through the stacks but ultimately settled on a copy of Weather Girl by Rachel Lynn Solomon (I loved The Ex Talk!) and A Certain Appeal by Vanessa King to fulfill my Jane Austen-inspired prompt for The 52 Book Club Challenge. Surprisingly, I didn’t have anything on my shelves already that would fit that one! Odd, for an Austen lover. A Certain Appeal is King’s debut, and I’m really excited for the story and the backdrop of the burlesque world.

Off next to thrillers and horror! I was thinking thrillers only because I heard Riley Sager has a new one coming out, and it made me realize I’ve missed a good thriller…but nothing spoke to me this time around. Why do all thriller covers look the same?? Same color scheme, exact same font on the cover. Nothing sticks out that way!

Horror was a different story. I was proud to see all of Grady Hendrix’s works there – it used to be when I came that they only had one or two, but it looks like people got hooked just like me. 🙂 I saw House of Leaves and was drawn to it, not because the cover looks super intriguing, but because I had previously heard of it in a blog post listing books that readers had said were so terrifying they couldn’t finish them (I frequently refer back to this list for a good read!!). Once I picked it up and read the jacket, though, I knew I had to get it. House of Leaves was once a cult classic passed around in pieces or occasionally surfacing on the internet. Young people loved it, but once the older generation picked it up, they, too, took a liking to it – the true testament that there’s something in here for everybody. Something I previously hadn’t considered reading, I’m now very excited to pick up. If you’ve read it, I’d love to know what you thought. My copy is the remastered full color edition, which was visually very interesting and possibly confusing on the inside.

Last but not least, I grabbed Goblin by Josh Malerman. His newest, Pearl, doesn’t really appeal to me as a novel, but I read an awesome bookseller review of Goblin from someone whose taste I trust at Gibson’s! But the last time I was there, they didn’t have it – so I grabbed it at B&N during this trip. I’m super excited to give that one a shot too. It gives me a combination of classic horror movie vibes and I can’t wait to see how it ties together. This will be my first Malerman, even though I loved the Bird Box movie adaptation.

So here it is, my full haul!

As I was leaving I realized I should’ve taken way more pictures, but it was my first attempt at a book hunting…so you live and learn! I’ll have more shots of everything I pick up and comprehend next time around.

If you’ve read any of these, I want to hear what you thought of them! I’m so excited to read these, and I have a whole snowy weekend to snuggle into the couch and get started.

Until next time!