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5 Great Books To Read In January

A roundup of recent favorites we’ve reviewed in the BuzzFeed Books newsletter.

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Chris Ritter / BuzzFeed

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

Louis Kapeleris

Jennifer Niven makes a strong YA debut with All the Bright Places, a heartrending story about two troubled high school students who literally talk each other down from a ledge. Violet and Finch shouldn't even be friends — Violet the popular girl still reeling from her sister's death, Finch the misunderstood but well-meaning outcast — but together they become more than that after a school assignment sends them chasing after all of the awe-inspiring things around them. It's touching, vibrant, and an impressively honest depiction of depression. —Arianna Rebolini

A Man of Good Hope by Jonny Steinberg


In A Man of Good Hope, South African journalist Jonny Steinberg tells the story of Asad Abdullahi, who at the age of 8 is caught up in the diaspora caused by civil strife in Somalia, and comes to survive in many different locations all over the continent. A tale of luck, hustle, survival, and determination, A Man of Good Hope is an extraordinary examination of what it means to be human. —Isaac Fitzgerald

Preparation for the Next Life by Atticus Lish

Tyrant Books
Shelton Walsmith

Preparation for the Next Life is a powerful love story, both tender and brutal, about a troubled Iraq War veteran and a Chinese Muslim immigrant who meet in New York. Atticus Lish writes with beauty, striking attention to detail, and painful honesty about life on the margins of America — about the people we don't see, the places we don't go. —I.F.

Deep Down Dark: The Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine, and the Miracle That Set Them Free by Héctor Tobar

Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Patrice Normand / Opale

The utterly compelling and suspenseful story of 33 Chilean miners trapped for 69 days, Deep Down Dark also places emphasis on the personal stories of each of the miners, showing us their lives before and after the event. The book is an extraordinary and humane account that will keep you turning pages late into the night. —I.F.

Horrorstör by Grady Hendrix

Quirk Books
Grady Hendrix

Horrorstör by Grady Hendrix is exactly what you didn't know you needed: a gruesome horror story and a parody of consumerism, all in one. Horrorstör is clearly inspired by Ikea, from its story (about a young woman who reluctantly works overnight at the local big-box furniture warehouse to investigate strange occurrences with her colleagues) to the physical book itself (glossy, oversized, illustrated, and easily confused with an Ikea catalog), but it's unlike anything else I've read in a long, long time. Genuinely funny and scary, the whole book is a blast — and it's in development for a TV series! —A.R.

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