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One of the things that struck me about December is how few new releases there were compared to previous months. This isn't necessarily the case in every industry. For instance, the movie industry often lards releases into December because they know we'll be home more and because it is getting close to Oscar season. But it makes perfect sense for the publishing industry. December is a month for year reviews, a time to buy the best books of the year, rather than releasing a ton of new books. Those in or close to the industry might always to see the new, new, new, but one of our most popular books in December was Educated, which came out in February. 

This isn't to say that there aren't big releases in December. We've sold a lot of copies of Dog Man #6, and that came out Christmas Eve. But it certainly was a quieter month for releases. As we move into 2019, we'll see the new release schedule ramp back up. Next Tuesday, for instance, there are six books coming out next Tuesday that I'm super excited about.

Two Can Keep a Secret, by Karen M. McManus: Karen's first book, One Of Us Is Lying, was on the New York Times bestsellers list for a whole year. Two Can Keep a Secret is not a follow-up to One Of Us Is LyingTwo Can Keep a Secret takes place in the fictional but oh so real town of Echo Ridge, Vt., where homecoming queens have the unfortunate habit of turning up dead. When Ellery, who is new to town, ends up on the Homecoming Court, suddenly her life could be in danger. But from who? The answer surprised me. Karen will be here for an event with author Sara Farizan on Jan. 19, don't miss it!

, by Jessica Barry: I flew through this book, which is Jessica's debut novel. She is a Massachusetts native and Boston University graduate. The book alternates between Allison Carpenter, the sole survivor of a small plane crash in the Rocky Mountains, and her mother in Maine. Carpenter is a relatable heroine who is easy to root for, and the back and forth story between mother and daughter works well. What's more, Jessica thought of every detail. Any time I would think, "but what about this?," an answer was quickly provided. The twists and turns kept my pulse pounding and the pages turning! We're hoping to have Jessica out this spring, stay tuned for details on that!

Anonymous Girl, by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen: This is the follow-up to last year's smash hit, The Wife Between Us, which is out now in paperback. Anonymous Girl, which is a novel of psychological suspense and obsession just like the first one, has already been picked up by the same production company that brought Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn to HBO, which is a huge vote of confidence!

Looker, by Laura Sims: While Sims has published four books of poetry, this is her debut novel. It is being heaped with praise: Vogue, Entertainment Weekly, Literary Hub and Southern Living have put the book on their "anticipated" lists for either January or 2019 as a whole. It centers on a woman whose obsession with the beautiful actress on her block drives her to the edge.

The Wicked King, by Holly Black: This is the follow-up to last year's novel, The Cruel Prince, which won the New England Independent Booksellers Association's award for best Young Adult book. This enchanting and bloodthirsty sequel is heavy on the political ties that bind, as the main character Jude must keep those close to her safe, while ensuring their future by playing a dangerous game with the king, who, while fascinated by Jude, is not an easy person to control.

Sugar Run, by Mesha Maren: Finally, we come to our fiction subscription pick of the month. Also a debut author, Mesha's book has earned praise from author Lauen Groff, as well as Entertainment Weekly, Publishers Weekly, Shelf Awareness, Kirkus Reviews, Booklist, and a starred review from Library Journal. After 17 years in prison, Jodi is released into the world, but doesn't feel right returning home. She falls in love with Miranda, a troubled single mother living in a motel with her children, and together they try to make a fresh start back in insular West Virginia. But is that possible in a small town where no one forgets the past?

This is but the tip of the proverbial iceberg. There are so many books we're excited about this coming year, and we hope to tell you about them all in good time. It's going to be a good year!


Meghan joined our staff in August, and has been a great addition to the store. She recently moved back to New England after moving around the world for the previous 25 years. She's always loved words and languages and used to teach German, and loves being surrounded by books. Hiking and baking are her other two favorite hobbies. She answered a few questions for this week's newsletter, so that people can get to know her better!

Favorite Book: Bleak House by Charles Dickens
Favorite Genres: Current events and mystery
Who would you pick to write a novel based on you? Michael Chabon
Who's on your literary Mt. Rushmore? Dickens, Vonnegut, Dosteyevsky, and Georg Buchner.
What's your favorite cookie? Ginger spice
What book are you reading right now? Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
Do you read one book at a time or do you have a few you go back and forth between? One at a time, which I finish even if I don't like it!
What book are you looking forward to reading next? Milkman by Anna Burns

January 15
6 pm
Middle Grade Book Club with Rebecca Caprara:
Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai

January 19
5 pm
Author Event: Karen M. McManus in conversation with Sara Farizan
Two Can Keep a Secret

January 20
3 pm
Book Launch Party: Sarah Brannen's Bear Needs Help

January 26
11 am
Saturday Morning Story Time: Brian Lies

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