We’re halfway through January now, and it’s time to buckle down on those reading resolutions some of us might already be tempted to put off! The best way to smash those reading goals is, of course, to read… and the best way to make that reading actually happen is by choosing books no one could put down.
This week, our Hot Pick is Lee Child‘s Past Tense, a sensational Jack Reacher book that might help you solve the mystery of why you haven’t picked it up yet! Our Coffee Shop Read is Ben Philippe‘s The Field Guide to The North American Teenager, an endearing YA bildungsroman with a viral dedication. And our Dark Horse, a book you’ll wish you’d heard of sooner, is Chisty Stillwell‘s profound and atmospheric novel The Wolf Tone.
Our Hot Pick:
Past Tense by Lee Child
Image Via Goodreads
Jack Reacher plans to follow the autumn sun on an epic road trip across America, from Maine to California. He doesn’t get far. On a country road deep in the New England woods, he sees a sign to a place he has never been – the town where his father was born. He thinks, what’s one extra day? He takes the detour.
At the very same moment, close by, a car breaks down. Two young Canadians are trying to get to New York City to sell a treasure. They are stranded at a lonely motel in the middle of nowhere. It’s a strange place … but it’s all there is.
The next morning in the city clerk’s office, Reacher asks about the old family home. He’s told no one named Reacher ever lived in that town. He knows his father never went back. Now he wonders, was he ever there in the first place?
So begins another nail-biting, adrenaline-fuelled adventure for Reacher. The present can be tense, but the past can be worse. That’s for damn sure.
The New York Times said of this book: “Child is one writer who should never be taken for granted.” As this is the twenty-third book in the Jack Reacher collection, it’s clear that nobody is sleeping on this successful and respected thriller author. People and critics alike love him; Entertainment Weekly’s review called it “an electrifying thriller,” and, based on its #1 NYT bestseller status, that seems like an understatement. So run down to your local bookstore—since this one’s on the bestseller shelf, it’ll be as easy to find as it is to devour.
Our Coffee Shop Read:
The Field Guide to The North American Teenager by Ben Philippe
Images Via Amazon and Imgur
Norris Kaplan is clever, cynical, and quite possibly too smart for his own good. A black French Canadian, he knows from watching American sitcoms that those three things don’t bode well when you are moving to Austin, Texas. Plunked into a new high school and sweating a ridiculous amount from the oppressive Texas heat, Norris finds himself cataloging everyone he meets: the Cheerleaders, the Jocks, the Loners, and even the Manic Pixie Dream Girl. Making a ton of friends has never been a priority for him, and this way he can at least amuse himself until it’s time to go back to Canada, where he belongs.
Yet, against all odds, those labels soon become actual people to Norris. Be it loner Liam, who makes it his mission to befriend Norris, or Madison the beta cheerleader, who is so nice that it has to be a trap. Not to mention Aarti the Manic Pixie Dream Girl, who might, in fact, be a real love interest in the making. He even starts playing actual hockey with these Texans.
But the night of the prom, Norris screws everything up royally. As he tries to pick up the pieces, he realizes it might be time to stop hiding behind his snarky opinions and start living his life—along with the people who have found their way into his heart.
Teens and adults alike will love this new YA release, with its hilarious dedication (which has since gone viral!) just a snippet of the heartwarming humor to come. Author Ben Philippe describes himself as a “Black French-Canadian writer living in NYC. The guy across the hall if your life was a sitcom.” Philippe’s sense of humor is, as Kirkus Reviewwould suggest, “spot-on.” The author writes about this immigrant teen from a place of more experience than most—not only did Philippe move to the U.S. from Canada, but he also first moved to Canada from Haiti. Publisher’s Weeklycalls this release a “crowd-pleaser,” as in please do yourself a favor with this one.
Our Dark Horse:
The Wolf Tone by Christy Stillwell
Image Via Christy Stillwell
In this exhilarating debut, cellist Margot Fickett is ambushed by Eva Baker, a twenty-year-old claiming that her son is Margot’s grandchild. Now involved with a divorced veteran, Eva seeks child support to invest in his medical marijuana business. The unlikely friendship that unfolds beneath Montana’s big sky will leave readers breathless.
This recipient of the 2017 Elixir Press Fiction Award might not have made it to your bookshelf yet, only because of its small printing number, but it’s very much a winner. Megan Staffel, acclaimed author of The Exit Coach, offered a glowing review: “The Wolf Tone is a wild, roller coaster ride through the mysteries of ambition and desire.” The richly-realized Montana setting gives this debut a powerful, immersive atmosphere, and it is not, under any circumstances, to be missed!