Your essential winter reading guide: 16 upcoming must-read books

They include ‘American Dirt’ by Jeanine Cummins, the latest from authors Isabel Allende, Louise Erdrich and Emily St. Jean Mandel and a look at the impact of ‘The Obama Portraits.’

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Former President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama at the unveiling of their official portraits Feb. 12, 2018, at the National Portrait Gallery. The upcoming book “The Obama Portraits” features interviews with the artists, Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald, and essays on the portraits.

Former President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama at the unveiling of their official portraits Feb. 12, 2018, at the National Portrait Gallery. The upcoming book “The Obama Portraits” features interviews with the artists, Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald, and essays on the portraits.

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There are plenty of books coming out this winter we can’t wait to read. Here are 16 that look especially good.

‘American Dirt’ by Jeanine Cummins

(Flatiron Books, fiction $27.99, Jan. 21 release)

Lydia Quixano Pérez’s comfortable life in Acapulco is upended when her journalist-husband publishes a tell-all profile on the jefe of a drug cartel. Lydia flees with her 8-year-old son, making a perilous, uncertain journey to the U.S. border. Best-selling author and border expert Don Winslow has called this “a ‘Grapes of Wrath’ for our times.”

‘Consider This’ by Chuck Palahniuk

(Grand Central Publishing, nonfiction, $27, Tuesday)

The best-selling novelist of “Fight Club” offers stories of his writing life and advice for writers.

‘Little Gods’ by Meng Jin

(Custom House, fiction, $27.99, Jan. 14)

Meng Jin’s moving debut follows 17-year-old Chinese immigrant Liya from America to her unfamiliar home country with the ashes of her recently deceased mother, a mysterious woman it seems she never really knew.

‘A Long Petal of the Sea’ by Isabel Allende

(Ballantine, fiction, $28, Jan. 21)

The “The House of Spirits” author has written a historical epic spanning decades that follows a pregnant young widow and her dead love’s brother, forced into an unwanted marriage as they flee the Spanish Civil War for a life in South America.

‘Name Drop’ by Ross Mathews

(Atria, nonfiction, $26, Feb. 4)

TV personality Ross Mathews (“RuPaul’s Drag Race,” “Chelsea Lately”) dishes on Hollywood celebrities and shenanigans.

‘The Big Goodbye’ by Sam Wasson

(Flatiron Books, nonfiction, $28.99, Feb. 4)

“Chinatown” (1974) was a watershed moment in a colorful era of American filmmaking. Sam Wasson tells the story of its making and principle players including Jack Nicholson, Roman Polanski and Robert Evans.

‘The Regrets’ by Amy Bonnaffons

(Little, Brown and Company, fiction, $27, Feb. 4)

Rachel finds herself drawn to a young man she’s noticed for weeks sitting at her Brooklyn bus stop. He’s handsome, witty, mysterious — and dead. Steamy ghost sex? You have our attention.

“The Regrets” by Amy Bonnaffons.

“The Regrets” by Amy Bonnaffons.

Little, Brown and Company

‘The Obama Portraits’ by Taina Caragol, Dorothy Moss, Richard J. Powell and Kim Sajet

(Princeton University Press/National Portrait Gallery, nonfiction, $24.95, Feb. 11)

Historians examine the “inception, evolution and impact” of Kehinde Wiley’s 2018 portrait “President Barack Obama” and Amy Sherald’s 2018 painting “First Lady Michelle Obama,” with interviews with the artists.

‘Franklin & Washington: The Founding Partnership’ by Edward J. Larson

(William Morrow, nonfiction, $29.99, Feb. 11)

Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Edward J. Larson writes a dual biography of two founding fathers, shedding light on a decades-long bond that made America possible.

‘The Adventurer’s Son’ by Roman Dial

(William Morrow, nonfiction, $28.99, Feb. 18):

On July 10, 2014, Cody Roman Dial, 27, the son of Alaskan scientist and National Geographic explorer Roman Dial, went alone into Corcovado National Park, a rainforest on Costa Rica’s remote Pacific coast, and was never seen again. This book is the result of a father’s quest to unravel the mystery of his son’s disappearance.

‘Apeirogon’ by Colum McCann

(Random House, fiction, $28, Feb. 25)

Two men — one Israeli, the other Palestinian — are connected in grief by the loss of their daughters in this ambitious, hopeful novel about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from the National Book Award-winning author of “Let the Great World Spin.”

‘The Night Watchman’ by Louise Erdrich

(Harper, fiction, $28.99, March 3)

National Book Award-winning author Louise Erdrich based her new book on the life of her grandfather, who worked as a factory night watchman and took his fight against Native dispossession from rural North Dakota all the way to Congress.

‘The Mirror & the Light’ by Hilary Mantel

(Henry Holt & Co., fiction, $30, March 10)

The final book in two-time Man Booker Prize-winner Hilary Mantel’s historical trilogy charts the rise and fall of Thomas Cromwell in the court of King Henry VIII.

Author HIlary Mantel.

Author HIlary Mantel.

Provided photo

‘The Boy from the Woods’ by Harlan Coben

(Grand Central Publishing, fiction, $29, March 17

Wilde was found living feral in the woods as a child, with no memory of his past. Thirty years later, a child goes missing, and a criminal attorney asks Wilde to use his unique skills to help find the missing girl.

‘Rise: My Story’ by Lindsey Vonn

(Dey Street Books, nonfiction, $28.99, March 2)

Lindsey Vonn, the greatest female ski racer of all time, is coming out with a memoir.

‘The Glass Hotel’ by Emily St. John Mandel

(Afred A. Knopf, fiction, $26.95, March 24)

“Station Eleven” author Emily St. John Mandel’s new novel connects two seemingly disparate events: a woman’s mysterious disappearance from a ship at sea and the collapse of a massive Ponzi scheme. Note: The author will be at The Book Stall, 811 Elm St., Winnetka, at 6:30 p.m. April 23.

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