10 New Books to Read in January

This month's new releases include a supernatural story about grief and a modern-day Green Book tour of the South.

(Photo by Elliott Reyna on Unsplash)

There’s something refreshing about starting a new year and looking at all the new books that will come out for us to read. Sure, a certain royal memoir is getting all the attention this month, but there are plenty of other great releases to curl up with! Don’t forget to sign up for the library’s Winter Reading program, a scaled down version of Summer Reading!

The following information is provided courtesy of the Arlington Public Library.


World We MakeThe Bandit Queens
By Parini Schroff

Geeta didn’t kill her husband, but everyone in her small village assumes she did. That reputation leads to other women trapped in bad marriages to come to her for help. But with a growing body count and suspicious law enforcement, the women soon find themselves in over their heads in this acerbic debut. // Available January 3. Library catalog link here.

Punishment Of A HunterMoonrise Over New Jessup
By Jamila Minnicks

In 1957, Alice makes her way to the small town of New Jessup, Alabama, a thriving Black community. Alice falls in love with Raymond, an activist with the National Negro Advancement Society, which advocates for “keeping folks from across the woods outta our hair and our pockets for good!” As the Civil Rights movement and calls for integration make the national news, the citizens of New Jessup find themselves divided on where they stand. // Available January 10. Library catalog link here.

Before Your Memory FadesLost in the Moment and Found
By Seanan Maguire

Fleeing to escape her lecherous stepfather, Antoinette finds herself in the Shop Where Lost Things Go.  The shop is a portal of sorts—containing doors to different worlds, which Antoinette loves to explore—but opening each door has a price. If she ever finds herself, she won’t be able to get back. The eighth installment of the Wayward Children novella series stands alone as a haunting coming-of-age tale. // Available January 10. Library catalog link here.

Factory GirlsBad Cree
By Jessica Johns

After the deaths of her grandmother and sister, Mackenzie moves away from home, trying to outrun her feelings of pain and loss. When elements of her terrifying nightmares start appearing in the waking world, she returns home in search of answers in this supernatural meditation on grief and generational trauma. // Available January 10. Library catalog link here.


Ruin Of All WitchesDriving the Green Book: A Road Trip Through the Living History of Black Resistance
By Alvin Hall

Every year from 1936-1967, Victor and Alma Green published The Negro Motorist Green Book, a guide indicating where Black motorists could safely stop, shop, eat and stay while traveling in the American South. Using the book as a present-day guide, author Alvin Hall has traveled the South to see which businesses remain, and to interview locals about Black life then and now. This fascinating travel book and slice of history complements Hall’s podcast of the same name. // Available January 31. Library catalog link here.

Fatty Fattty Boom BoomHave you Eaten Yet: Stories from Chinese Restaurants Around the World
By Cheuk Kwan

Documentary filmmaker Cheuk Kwan travels the globe in search of Chinese restaurants in places from Canada to Kenya, Israel to Peru. Kwan uses food as a lens to explore the stories of the people who work in the restaurants and the history of the Chinese diaspora throughout the world, drawing fascinating comparisons and parallels between the different communities. // Available January 3. Library catalog link here.

Lego StoryCode Name Blue Wren: The True Story of America’s Most Dangerous Female Spy – And the Sister she Betrayed
By Jim Popkin

In 2001, just 10 days after Sept. 11, Defense Intelligence Agency agent Ana Montes was arrested. Her arrest went largely uncovered, but Montes had been high enough in the agency to brief the Joint Chiefs of Staff—and she had also been spying for Cuba for 17 years, making her one of the most damaging spies in American history. Montes didn’t just betray her country; she also betrayed her sister, an FBI analyst who won awards for exposing other Cuban spies, never knowing that the most damaging spy of all was right under her nose. After serving 21 years in prison, Montes was released this month. // Available January 3. Library catalog link here.

Dickens And PrinceEdible Economics: A Hungry Economist Explains the World
By Ha-Joon Chang

Economist Ha-Joon Chang explains the principles of supply and demand, globalization, colonization, climate change, austerity and more through the lens of food—from the use of okra (brought to the U.S. through the slave trade) in gumbo, to military invasions over bananas. It’s new way to look at the global economy, as well as our dinner plates. // Available January 17. Library catalog link here.

Middle Grade

Sir CallieCut!: How Lottie Reiniger and a Pair of Scissors Revolutionized Animation
By CE Winters, illustrated by Matt Schu

This illustrated biography introduces animation pioneer Lottie Reiniger. As a child in Berlin in the early 1900s, Reiniger loved making puppets using traditional cut-paper techniques to act out small plays. As an adult, she worked with movie director Paul Wegener to bring her paper cut plays to life, even inventing a new type of camera to capture her stop-motion animations. Their collaboration resulted in several short films, and The Adventures of Prince Achmed—the world’s oldest surviving full-length animated film. // Available January 24. Library catalog link here.


WhiteoutDark Testament: Blackout Poems
By Crystal Simone Smith

Blackout poems—created by blacking out the words of an existing text and leaving behind something new—are a visually arresting medium used to tackle themes of resistance and erasure. Using passages from George Saunder’s novel Lincoln in the Bardo, poet Crystal Simone Smith creates powerful poems about Black lives lost to violence, including Trayvon Martin and George Floyd. // Available January 3. Library catalog link here.

A New Library eResource!


Are you interested in learning more about computer programming, technology or business? Your Arlington Public Library card now gains you access to over 60,000 O’Reilly ebooks and 30,000 hours of training videos. This new community resource includes business and IT courses, playlists curated by industry leaders, certification prep and case studies. // Available Now. Library catalog link here.

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Categories: Arts & Entertainment