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Tertulia Staff Picks: 10 Books Coming in January That We Can't Wait to Read

Tertulia staff •
Dec 27th, 2023

Every month, we share the books we can't wait to read. This month we've got the much-anticipated sophomore novel by Booker Prize long-listed author Kiley Reid, a punk CEO's takedown of capitalism, a history of Black feminism and a debut getting breathless praise as a "hilarious marvel of a novel" that "renders the full spectrum of life, and death, with great beauty."


You Only Call When You're in Trouble by Stephen McCauley (Jan. 9)

What better way to digest the holidays than curling up with a warm and funny family drama whose endearing dysfunction isn’t your own! Tom, a Boston architect specializing in tiny houses, is on the verge of building the mini masterpiece of his dreams for a client, but gets sidetracked by a call from his ditzy sister in Woodstock, NY and his beloved niece, who’s swept up in an academic scandal at her university. As always, Tom drops everything and rushes off to the idyllic upstate New York village to save the day. According to Kirkus, that’s where The Object of My Affection author lets his “descriptive gifts shine in his evocations of Woodstock.” Add a bit of intrigue around the identity of Tom’s niece's father, and this one’s got all the elements for a cozy, light-hearted weekend read. (Fernanda Gorgulho)

Martyr! by Kaveh Akbar (Jan. 23)

I can be a bit cynical about book marketing blurbs but the advance praise from authors like Lauren Groff and Tommy Orange for poet Kaveh Akbar's first novel - wow. A simple description won't do this book's multi-layered themes and perspectives justice, but I'll give it my best shot. The novel follows a newly sober, 30-something orphan named Cyrus Shams who is set on committing suicide once he finishes writing his book. The book project, partly inspired by the violence his parents and ancestors experienced, leads him to a mysterious woman who lives in the Brooklyn Museum. Cyrus's quest to find meaning in his life has had a staggering effect on early readers so I'm bracing myself! (Laurann Herrington)

Come and Get It by Kiley Reid (Jan. 30)

A novel set on a college campus about a resident assistant's complicated relationship with an enigmatic visiting professor? Say less! This is the kind of story that I'll never get tired of reading and I can't wait to see Reid's spin on the campus novel. She has a talent for capturing the nuances and social context of relationships (you could cut the tension with a knife right out of her debut, Such a Fun Age), so I'm sure this will be an refreshing addition to a beloved genre. (Laurann Herrington)

Good Material by Dolly Alderton (Jan. 30)

I'm still holding out hope for a revival of Dolly's High Low podcast that got so many of us through the pandemic with some good laughs. Since then, as Lena Dunham put it, Alderton has become "the bard of modern day love" with her memoir (a massive Booktok hit) and her debut rom-com Ghosts. Now, I’m excited to dive into her latest—a novel about heartbreak, but centered around a man struggling after a brutal breakup, trying to figure out what truly went wrong. I'm intrigued to see how she depicts the inner workings of relationships from a man’s perspective. (Fernanda Gorgulho)

Hard by a Great Forest by Leo Vardiashvili (Jan. 30)

Leo Vardiashvili’s debut novel follows Saba, a Londoner much like the author himself, who journeys back to the country of his birth, Georgia, which he fled with this family when he was 12. Saba is in search of his father and brother, the latter of whom has suddenly disappeared while looking for the former. The Kirkus review describes Vardiashvili's book as “an unforgettable aria to a lost homeland, full of anger, sorrow, and longing" with “an indefinably Eastern European sensibility combining melancholy, cynicism, and absurdist wit.” The setup is intriguing in its own right, and I'm especially drawn to reading books set in the region these days, given the shadow looming over Russia's neighbors. (Emmanuel Hidalgo-Wohlleben)


The Rebels: Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and the Struggle for a New American Politics by Joshua Green (Jan. 9)

As we barrel towards perhaps the most consequential American election of the century, this book seems like the perfect companion to reflect and make sense of the politics of the last few years. I've been especially fascinated by the surge of populism on both sides of the aisle. Having told the Republican side of this story in his previous book, here journalist Joshua Green dives into the far left's movement to remake the Democratic party by focusing on the rising influence of Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

(Emmanuel Hidalgo-Wohlleben)

The Other Side: A Story of Women in Art and the Spirit World by Jennifer Higgie (Jan. 2)

In 2018, a blockbuster Guggenheim museum show launched the late Swedish artist Hilma af Klint to meteoric celebrity, into the realm of male art history mammoths like Kandinsky and Mondrian. But so very many women artists who also practiced spiritualism in their art have been sorely neglected. Jennifer Higgie has written a long overdue survey of female artists who engaged with other realms, interrogating the space between what is seen and what is hidden in their work. (Laurann Herrington)

Black Women Taught Us: An Intimate History of Black Feminism by Jenn M. Jackson (Jan. 23)

The title says it all. This is the complex, beautiful history that rarely gets taught in classrooms. It's up to us to educate ourselves. (Iliyah Coles)

Our Enemies Will Vanish: The Russian Invasion and Ukraine's War of Independence by Yaroslav Trofimov (Jan. 9)

As we approach the two-year mark since Russia’s brazen invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Ukrainian foreign affairs correspondent Yaroslav Trofimov’s reportage on the initial phase of the war is an insightful glimpse into conflict through the first-hand accounts of fighters and civilians, as well as official reports. As the war becomes increasingly politicized around the world, Trofimov’s reporting is an important reminder of the grisly realities and grave implications of this continuing conflict. (Emmanuel Hidalgo-Wohlleben)

I Survived Capitalism and All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt: Everything I Wish I Never Had to Learn about Money by Madeline Pendleton (Jan. 16)

Living paycheck to paycheck not so long ago, Madeline Pendleton decided to think differently about money and business and managed to create a multi-million dollar company from absolutely nothing. So yeah, I think I'm gonna check this one out... (Iliyah Coles)

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