Heidi’s 2013 Winter Picks

As you may have noticed here on the Top Shelf, fellow blogger Patricia Fox and I get uber excited to make tidy little lists of books – probably more than is healthy for reasonably well-adjusted 30-something women. We just. Can’t. Stop.

And so, as tradition (and book fetishism) dictates, here is my reading list for Winter 2013, to be followed by Patricia’s soon after:


Twelve Tribes of HattieThe Twelve Tribes of Hattie, by Ayana Mathis

Pub date: Dec. 6

The new pick for Oprah’s Book Club was also one of New York Times’ reviewer Michiko Kakutani’s 10 Best Books of 2012. The story follows the lives of nine children born to Hattie Shepard, who left the Jim Crow South in the 1920s to start a new life in Philadelphia.


Good KidsGood Kids, by Benjamin Nugent

Pub date: Jan 29

Described as a romantic dramedy about a teenage boy and girl who discover his dad is having an affair with her mom. For readers of Chad Harbach and Jennifer Egan.


Pain, Parties, WorkPain, Parties, Work: Sylvia Plath in New York, Summer 1953, by Elizabeth Winder

Pub date: Jan. 29

I am one of those women who read The Bell Jar as a creative writing student at University and promptly became darkly fascinated by Sylvia Plath and her tragic life. Therefore, I am darkly excited about this nonfiction account of one of her ill-fated summers.


Man in the Empty SuitMan in the Empty Suit, by Sean Ferrell

Pub date: Feb. 5

This novel appears to have it all: Existential time travel involving encountering ones’ future self (or selves, in this case), an analysis of the effects of the space-time continuum, a murder mystery and a spot of romance. Too good to be true? I’ll let you know.


The ListThe List, by Karin Tanabe

Pub date: Feb. 5

This one could’ve easily fit in with my high-brow chick lit post back in December. Inspired by Washington D.C. insider Karin Tanabe’s experiences at Politico, the story follows the life and times of an up-and-coming reporter who stumbles upon the juiciest scoop of her lifetime. Irresistible for those of us in the “recovering journalist club.”


We Live in WaterWe Live in Water, by Jess Walter

Pub date: Feb. 12

If you read my blog at all last year, you know that I am a Jess Walter evangelist. His novel, Beautiful Ruins, was my #2 pick of 2012, so it’s no surprise I’m excited for his new collection of short stories.


The Office of MercyThe Office of Mercy, by Ariel Djanikian

Pub date: Feb. 21

And finally, what would a season of reading be without a little dystopian action adventure? Natasha’s life in an underground utopian community in “America 5” is disrupted when she is selected to join the team going “outside.” Sounds like 12 Monkeys meets The Hunger Games — I’m sold!


What are you excited to read this Winter?


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