3 Books I Want to Read This Winter

It’s getting very cold in my part of the world, so I thought it would be fun to compile a list of books I want to read this winter with a hot beverage and selection of snacks. What’s on your TBR list?

A young woman with a long pony tail is sitting at an instrument. There are flames at the low part of the cover. Behind her head is a moon shape and arrows seem to have been shot into the wall behind her as there are feathers visible.Strike the Zither (Kingdom of Three #1) by Joan He, illustrations by Kuri Huang
Roaring Brook Press

The year is 414 of the Xin Dynasty, and chaos abounds. A puppet empress is on the throne. The realm has fractured into three factions and three warlordesses hoping to claim the continent for themselves.

But Zephyr knows it’s no contest.

Orphaned at a young age, Zephyr took control of her fate by becoming the best strategist of the land and serving under Xin Ren, a warlordess whose loyalty to the empress is double-edged—while Ren’s honor draws Zephyr to her cause, it also jeopardizes their survival in a war where one must betray or be betrayed. When Zephyr is forced to infiltrate an enemy camp to keep Ren’s followers from being slaughtered, she encounters the enigmatic Crow, an opposing strategist who is finally her match. But there are more enemies than one—and not all of them are human. — Cover image and summary via Goodreads

Book cover has sunflowers at bottom of image. Young girl is behind them and her image fills the rest of the cover except a bit of dark blue sky with stars. She has light brown skin, brown eyes, some freckles and curly hair. Some of her hair is blowing in front of her face. She is staring straight at the reader in a serious way.We Deserve Monuments by Jas Hammonds
Roaring Brook Press

What’s more important? Knowing the truth or keeping the peace?

Seventeen-year-old Avery Anderson is convinced her senior year is ruined when she’s uprooted from her life in DC and forced into the hostile home of her terminally ill grandmother, Mama Letty. The tension between Avery’s mom and Mama Letty makes for a frosty arrival and unearths past drama they refuse to talk about. Every time Avery tries to look deeper, she’s turned away, leaving her desperate to learn the secrets that split her family in two.

While tempers flare in her avoidant family, Avery finds friendship in unexpected places: in Simone Cole, her captivating next-door neighbor, and Jade Oliver, daughter of the town’s most prominent family—whose mother’s murder remains unsolved.

As the three girls grow closer—Avery and Simone’s friendship blossoming into romance—the sharp-edged opinions of their small southern town begin to hint at something insidious underneath. The racist history of Bardell, Georgia is rooted in Avery’s family in ways she can’t even imagine. With Mama Letty’s health dwindling every day, Avery must decide if digging for the truth is worth toppling the delicate relationships she’s built in Bardell—or if some things are better left buried.

A Black teenage girl wears a gorgeous multi-tiered rainbow dress with a very full skirt. She appears to be dancing or twirling with her hands on her hips, the skirt flared out, and her eyes closed as she tosses her head. She has long curly hair and is wearing rainbow earrings.Friday I’m in Love by Camryn Garrett
Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers

Mahalia Harris wants.

She wants a big Sweet Sixteen like her best friend Naomi.
She wants the super cute new girl Siobhan to like her back.
She wants a break from worrying–about money, snide remarks from white classmates, pitying looks from church ladies . . . all of it.

Then inspiration strikes: It’s too late for a Sweet Sixteen, but what if she had a Coming Out Party? A singing, dancing, rainbow-cake-eating celebration of queerness on her own terms.

The idea lights a fire in her, and soon Mahalia is scrimping and saving, taking on extra hours at her afterschool job, trying on dresses, and awkwardly flirting with Siobhan, all in preparation for the Coming Out of her dreams. But it’s not long before she’s buried in a mountain of bills, unfinished schoolwork, and enough drama to make her English Lit teacher blush. With all the responsibility on her shoulders, will Mahalia’s party be over before it’s even begun?

A novel about finding yourself, falling in love, and celebrating what makes you you.