Cast your vote for the next pick

By Brandi Broxson
Updated January 06, 2016
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Stack of books
When I first started writing, I had a very hard time getting published. Over the course of 14 years, I collected about 250 rejection slips. I could have just gotten hurt and depressed. But I chose to become defiant, saying to myself, “Someday they’ll be sorry. I’ll write an even better story, and I won’t send it to them.” To this day, each time I’m criticized, I take that negative energy and use it to go back to work and push even harder.Lisa Alther is the author of six novels. Her most recent novel is Washed in Blood ($26, She lives in New York City and Burlington, Vermont.
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Happy New Year bookies,

After a jam-packed holiday season I bet you’re ready for some R&R. May I suggest cozying up with a book? Bonus points if reading more is your resolution! All of this month’s picks debuted after the New Year and are brimming with weighty, unique plots to get lost in.

Check out the options below and pick your favorite by 11:59 p.m. ET on Sunday, Jan. 10. Come back on Jan. 11 to find out which book took the top spot. After that, we'll be hosting an ongoing discussion on Twitter about the winning book, where we encourage you to post your thoughts with #RSbookclub, the official book club hashtag.


My Name is Lucy Barton, by Elizabeth Strout
Following what was supposed to be a relatively simple procedure, Lucy Barton’s mother comes to see her. The two have been estranged for some time after Lucy left her troubled family in Illinois, hoping she could piece her life back together and start a writing career in New York. Tension rises to the surface during those five days in the hospital as Lucy’s mother tells stories of her daughter’s harsh upbringing. The characters and their stories are richly developed in this latest novel from Strout.
To buy: $15,

The Past, by Tessa Hadley
Four adult siblings bring their families to what was once their grandparents’ English cottage. The visit is bittersweet, as the house will soon be sold. The novel alternates between past and present as the siblings share memories and unfold secrets, giving readers a psychological look into one family’s drama.
To buy: $18,

First Love, by James Patterson
Patterson’s latest tells the story of young lovers, Alexandra and Robinson, who meet during their time in chemo treatment. The two set out on a cross-country road trip that doesn’t go exactly as planned from the start. The novel draws on real experiences of the author’s own life, providing an extra layer to the already-emotional plot line.
To buy: $7,

Grave of Hummingbirds, by Jennifer Skutelsky
Mystery, crime, and the supernatural collide in this novel set in the Andean village of Colibri. A boy discovers a being with the body of an angel and the face of a dead woman, which strangely resembles a doctor’s wife who was recently murdered. When another woman goes missing with the same characteristics as the first, the boy and the doctor set out to expose the killer.
To buy: $10,