I wanted to celebrate some of the new releases that I read this year, some are stand alone books while others are continuations of series I’m enjoying. While they might show up in some of my other lists, I also wanted to highlight these books that you maybe haven’t heard of yet! They were all released sometime this year, and once again they show the diversity of genres that I explored this year; so you’ll see a mixture of fiction and non-fiction. Hope you enjoy!
What Your Mind Needs for Anxious Moments by Holley Gerth
This sixty day devotional came at just the perfect time for me. I highly recommend it for anyone who struggles with, or know someone who struggles with, anxiety of any kind. Right alongside the nuggets of spiritual wisdom come practical strategies for helping to calm your anxious mind; and I love seeing science incorporated in a healthy way into spiritual discipline. Definitely worth checking out!
I Guess I Haven’t Learned That Yet by Shauna Niequist
I read one of Niequist’s books a few years ago and enjoyed it; so when my counselor recommended checking out her newest release it was a natural yes. This book easily has become my go-to recommendation for non-fiction fans! It’s written in a conversational style, so there’s not necessarily a plot or chronological order to her thoughts. But it’s filled with stories about what life looks like when you think you’ve arrived…and then you suddenly haven’t. Whether it’s a pandemic or a job change or a new family situation that’s thrown you off kilter, this book is filled with encouragement that can help you through the difficult transitions of life.
A Crown as Sharp as Pines by Jennifer Kropf
I stumbled onto this series a couple years ago while I was waiting to board a plane, and it’s easily become one of my favorite indie author series. With all it’s Christmassy vibes and fun lyrical writing style, this is the perfect book to curl up with by the fire and watch the snow fall. And the last book in the series (A Beast as Dark as Night) actually came out a few weeks ago! I haven’t read it yet; but after the heart-wrenching way this book ended, I can’t wait much longer!
The sequel to the amazing first collection of anime themed devotionals will not disappoint any otakus out there! It’s got a HUGE assortment of devos from fan favorite animes to lesser known works; and each one is written straight from the heart. This was also a special read for me, as I have three pieces included in the devotional based on some of my favorite animes: Cells at Work, Violet Evergarden, and Your Lie in April.
A Lonely Dance by Selina Gonzalez
I read the first book in this series last year, which was my first read from Gonzalez; and I fell in love with her characters and writing style. This book also happened to be a retelling of one of my favorite less popular fairytales: the Twelve Dancing Princesses. But more importantly, it continued the story of a character you thought you needed to hate in the first book…but in this story you get to love him and root for him instead. I love a good redemption story.
Starganauts: Retribution by C.E. Stone
Okay, so we all know sequels that let you down; but I’ve been pleasantly surprised with many of the sequels I read this year, including this next installment from Stone. Honestly, I loved this sequel even better than the first one. It takes a look at some of the natural questions that arise when you’re a hero who’s saved the world once, but you don’t really want to do it again. I love the character relationships and the action woven in as they travel the galaxies and discover truths about themselves along the way.
The Good Fight by Kaylie Night
This was the third book in this series; and after the first two, I honestly wasn’t sure where the author would go. But she took this opportunity to not only explore a fascinating character introduced in the second book, but she also expanded the world she was building to open up all kinds of new possibilities and questions that I desperately need answers to! If you’re looking for a contemporary superhero story, then this series might be right up your alley.
This debut novel by Pratt was a fascinating look at a world where everything is kind of different from what our world looks like: only women are allowed to be engineers, men are meant to be waitresses and cooks, and androids can be humorous companions. It’s a sci-fi dystopian story that asks big questions and comes back with deep answers wrapped in an entertaining story.
The Awakening by Joshua Kapusinski
Another sci-fi dystopia that I enjoyed from a debut author! (Apparently, I read a lot of sci-fi and non-fiction this year…). It’s set in outer space, so you’ve got fun technology and New Earth scenarios set alongside government conspiracies and underground revolutions. I enjoyed the world building in this one, and I’d recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good sci-fi read.
Finishing off my list with another anthology. This one was filled with creative retellings of the Rapunzel story, and it touched on everything from space to zombies to werewolves! It also includes a contemporary retelling from me, where a rickety fire escape is what stands between Rapunzel and her “freedom”. This is the second fairytale anthology from Ye Olde Dragons, and I highly recommend checking it out for some light humorous reads