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Book preview: Winter releases bring rhapsodic romance and posthumous publication

(By Nikole Liang/Daily Bruin)

By Kaycie Rippe, Reid Sperisen, Emma Mieszala, Skylar Fiebrich, and Sydney Gaw

Jan. 23, 2024 12:55 p.m.

This post was updated Jan. 23 at 7:38 p.m. 

Winter reads will undoubtedly warm bookworms’ hearts.

As temperatures fall, excitement for new books rises. From thrilling heists to touching romance, this season brings a blizzard of enthralling stories that will sweep bibliophiles off their feet.

Bundle up and read on for Daily Bruin’s winter literary recommendations.

[Related: Student-run TikTok page michelle.reads offers a place for book lovers to connect]

(Courtesy of Grand Central Publishing)
The cover of “A Love Song for Ricki Wilde” is pictured. Tia Williams’s new novel pays homage to the Harlem Renaissance. (Courtesy of Grand Central Publishing)

“A Love Song for Ricki Wilde” by Tia Williams (Grand Central Publishing)

Tia Williams is transporting her readers back to the Harlem Renaissance in a matter of pages.

The Brooklyn-based author’s newest love story, “A Love Song for Ricki Wilde,” will be released Feb. 6. Telling the story of Ricki, a young socialite who favors the music, drama and excitement of New York over her family’s wealth and status, Williams is sure to capture a romance that embodies the unpredictability of the art scene. With the Harlem Renaissance acting as a shimmering inspiration, readers can expect to be enchanted and dazzled by the people Ricki encounters as she pursues her new life.

Through her writing, Williams aims to showcase how women can lead enriching lives while navigating obstacles and rocky moments. She strives to create characters that embody life’s messiness as well as the strength to overcome it. In addition to the release of “A Love Song for Ricki Wilde,” Williams is working on a television adaptation of her novel, “The Perfect Find,” which won the African American Literary Award for Best Fiction in 2016.

Likewise, “A Love Song for Ricki Wilde” will be the tune readers can’t get out of their heads.

– Skylar Fiebrich

(Courtesy of Feiwel and Friends)
The cover of “With a Little Luck” is pictured. Marissa Meyer’s new novel will have a much different tone than her dark fairy tale retellings. (Courtesy of Feiwel and Friends)

“With a Little Luck” by Marissa Meyer (Feiwel and Friends)

Marissa Meyer is spinning a new tale about love and luck just in time for Valentine’s Day.

“With a Little Luck,” the stand-alone novel that parallels Meyer’s previously published “Instant Karma,” will hit bookshelves Feb. 13. Meyer’s latest book follows Jude, a shy teenage boy whose life changes when he stumbles across mysterious dice that give him a bout of supernatural good luck. With his newfound fortune, Jude wonders if he can venture into the spotlight long enough to win over the girl of his dreams or if his luck with love is cursed.

Meyer’s upcoming novel takes readers back to the charming coastal town of Fortuna Beach, where Jude’s twin sister Prudence stars in a dynamic enemies-to-lovers romance featured in “Instant Karma.” “With a Little Luck” promises a lighthearted rom-com-esque story in contrast to her usual fairytale retellings – notably, “Cursed,” the concluding book to Meyer’s most recent dark fantasy reimagining of Rumpelstiltskin. As Meyer takes on contemporary romance with a twist, readers are sure to get a taste of the magical creativity from which she crafts her stories.

For readers looking to lighten up their lives, “With a Little Luck” provides an escape from the mundane.

– Sydney Gaw

(Courtesy of Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
The cover of “A Tempest of Tea” is pictured. The novel is the first book of a planned duology. (Courtesy of Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

“A Tempest of Tea” by Hafsah Faizal (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

In Hafsah Faizal’s newest duology, blood may not run thicker than tea.

The first release in the young adult “Blood and Tea” duology, “A Tempest of Tea,” will brew up a storm in bookstores Feb. 20. Arthie Casimir and her tearoom live double lives, with her esteemed business turning into an illegal bloodhouse for vampires at twilight. When one of Arthie’s shipments is seized by the authorities, she must gain the help of friends and foes to get it back. In a heist fit for fans of “Six of Crows,” the crew of five must insinuate themselves into the vampire society to save Arthie’s business.

Faizal is The New York Times bestselling author of her debut novel “We Hunt the Flame.” A bit north of the previous duology’s kingdom, “A Tempest of Tea” takes place in Ettenia, a country inspired by Victorian England. Even though the book takes place in the same universe, Faizal said the new series led to a substantial change in her writing style, matching her crooked cast.

Beware: “A Tempest of Tea” could make audiences nocturnal from late nights reading.

– Kaycie Rippe

(Courtesy of HarperCollins)
The cover of “The House of Hidden Meanings: A Memoir” is pictured. RuPaul’s autobiography will be released March 5. (Courtesy of HarperCollins)

“The House of Hidden Meanings: A Memoir” by RuPaul (HarperCollins)

It’s time to see another side of RuPaul.

The international drag superstar’s new memoir, “The House of Hidden Meanings,” will be released March 5. His third book and first since “GuRu” in 2018, “The House of Hidden Meanings” promises to be the most open and personal piece yet from the reality television icon. The pop culture personality asserts that he is more honest than ever as he looks back on his own story of self-acceptance and growth with fresh eyes.

“The House of Hidden Meanings” will delve into RuPaul’s upbringing in new ways. Born in San Diego, RuPaul faced discrimination against him as a young Black queer man and lacked steady support from his divorced parents. He explored drag and punk in Atlanta and New York before reaching global prominence in the 1990s, and over the past three decades, he has found love and built a chosen family. 

For any reader, new meanings of life are sure to be found in RuPaul’s latest work.

– Reid Sperisen

[Related: Q&A: Justin Torres talks pushing creative boundaries in new novel ‘Blackouts’]

(Courtesy of Penguin Random House)
The cover of “Until August” is pictured. The rediscovered novel will be published a decade after Gabriel García Márquez’s death. (Courtesy of Penguin Random House)

“Until August” by Gabriel García Márquez (Penguin Random House)

The voice of Gabriel García Márquez is speaking from the grave in his newest, posthumously published novel.

“Until August,” a novel by the late Colombian author, will be published March 12, 10 years after his death. Having penned celebrated novels like “One Hundred Years of Solitude” and “Love in the Time of Cholera,” Márquez is widely considered to be one of the greatest novelists of the 20th century. Often credited with popularizing the style of magical realism, he earned the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1982 for his lifelong literary achievements.

Márquez wrote “Until August” in his final years of life, a time during which he struggled with dementia. Despite Márquez expressing that he did not wish to publish the novel, his sons have decided that the book should be released, stating that it stands as a testament to their father’s will to create. “Until August” follows the story of Ana Magdalena Bach, who, every August on the anniversary of her mother’s death, travels to the island where she is buried. In signature Márquez fashion, the novel will explore the idea of loneliness, as well as notions of freedom, desire and regret.

Just like Ana returning to her mother’s grave, “Until August” is a testament to an author’s ability to turn back to their craft even in the face of adversity.

– Emma Mieszala

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Kaycie Rippe
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