Winter is here—and so is our latest reading challenge! From December 16 to January 6, we're challenging you to tackle our reading prompts. Complete all six, or just a few. Pick your own books, or follow some of our personal recommendations. However you choose to participate, we want to hear all about your progress. Make sure to head over to our private Facebook group to share what you've been reading.
When you join the Winter Reading Challenge, you'll also automatically be entered to win SEVEN new and upcoming releases from our friends at Kensington—so you can continue meeting your bookish goals, even after the challenge has ended.
Look below for more information on everything you need to know, including the prompts, the giveaway prize, and more. Happy reading!
NOTE: This challenge has now ended, but you can still get great book deals by subscribing to our newsletter below!
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When is the Winter Reading Challenge?
December 16, 2019 – January 6, 2020. Just in time for winter break!
How many books am I expected to read?
We're aiming to read six books, but you can set your own goals. Keep track of your progress with our .
How do I find other reading challenge members?
Join our to share your book recommendations and reviews, and to connect with other book lovers.
Not sure which books to pick?
We've put together for each of our reading prompts. Click through to see our suggestions.
Is there a prize for completing the challenge?
Every person who signs up for the reading challenge will be entered to win SEVEN books! The Winter Reading Challenge giveaway winner will receive...
The Giveaway Prize
Release Date: December 31, 2019
In this warm and witty romance from acclaimed author Kate Clayborn, one little word puts a woman’s business—and her heart—in jeopardy.
Meg Mackworth’s hand-lettering skill has made her famous as the Planner of Park Slope, designing custom journals for her New York City clientele. She has another skill too: reading signs that other people miss. Knowing the upcoming marriage of Reid Sutherland and his polished fiancée was doomed to fail is one thing, but weaving a secret word of warning into their wedding program is another. Meg may have thought no one would spot it, but she hadn’t counted on sharp-eyed, pattern-obsessed Reid.
A year later, Reid has tracked Meg down to find out how she knew that his meticulously planned future was about to implode. But with a looming deadline and a bad case of creative block, Meg doesn’t have time for Reid’s questions—unless he can help her find her missing inspiration. As they gradually open up to each other, both try to ignore a deepening connection between them. But the signs are there—irresistible, indisputable, urging Meg to heed the messages Reid is sending her, before it’s too late . . .
Release Date: December 31, 2019
On March 25, 1942, nearly a thousand young, unmarried Jewish women boarded a train in Poprad, Slovakia. Filled with a sense of adventure and national pride, they left their parents’ homes wearing their best clothes and confidently waving good-bye. Believing they were going to work in a factory for a few months, they were eager to report for government service. Instead, the young women—many of them teenagers—were sent to Auschwitz. Their government paid 500 Reich Marks (about $200) apiece for the Nazis to take them as slave labor. Of those 999 innocent deportees, only a few would survive.
The facts of the first official Jewish transport to Auschwitz are little known, yet profoundly relevant today. These were not resistance fighters or prisoners of war. There were no men among them. Sent to almost certain death, the young women were powerless and insignificant not only because they were Jewish—but also because they were female. Now acclaimed author Heather Dune Macadam reveals their poignant stories, drawing on extensive interviews with survivors, and consulting with historians, witnesses, and relatives of those first deportees to create an important addition to Holocaust literature and women’s history.
Release Date: January 28, 2020
At age fifty-five, Meg’s life is too filled with loss for her to remember what magic feels like. All she has left is a yard brimming with plants that are wilting in the scorching Iowa summer—and a bone-deep feeling that she’s through with living.
Meg has something else too: a bottle of mysterious pills, given to her years ago by an empathetic doctor. He promised that they would offer her dying mother a quick, painless end in exactly twenty days. Though her mother never needed them, Meg does. But a strange thing happens after Meg swallows the little green pearls . . .
Now that she’s decided to leave this world, Meg is rediscovering the joy in it. She sheds everything she no longer needs—possessions, regrets, guilt—and reconnects with those she cares for. Finally confronting the depth of her grief, she’s learning that love runs deeper still. But is it too late to choose to stay?
Coconut Layer Cake Murder
Release Date: February 25, 2020
When Hannah learns that her sister Michelle’s boyfriend, Detective Lonnie Murphy, is the prime suspect in a murder case, she goes straight from a movie studio sound stage to the Los Angeles airport.
Back in frigid Minnesota, she discovers that proving Lonnie’s innocence will be harder than figuring out what went wrong with a recipe. Lonnie remembers only parts of the night he went out to a local bar and ended up driving a very impaired woman home. He knows he helped her to her bedroom, but he doesn’t recall anything else until he woke up on her couch the following morning. When he went to the bedroom to check on her, he was shocked to discover she was dead.
Hannah doesn’t know what to believe—only that exonerating a suspect who can’t remember is almost impossible, especially since Lonnie’s brother, Detective Rick Murphy, and Lonnie’s partner, Chief Detective Mike Kingston, have been taken off the case. Before everything comes crashing down on Lonnie like a heaping slice of coconut layer cake, it’ll be up to Hannah to rack up enough clues to toast a flaky killer . . .
How to Love Your Elf
Release Date: February 25, 2020
Sorcha knew the mission was dangerous. Leaving the safe grounds of her brother’s kingdom and parlaying with the elves across their border . . . well, treachery seemed at least as likely as true peace. But to support her sister, Sorcha would brave far more than the underhanded ways of the elves. Or so she thought, before she was taken hostage.
Of course, her captors didn’t count on her particular abilities—or on the help of the Woodsman, the mysterious thief who made his home in the forest. He saw the battle from the trees, saw the soldier attacking against incredible odds to save a comrade—and then saw the valiant fighter revealed as Princess Sorcha of Norveshka. He can’t tell if he wants to kidnap her or kiss her. But despite Sorcha’s stubbornness, his inconvenient honor, and a rebellion on the cusp of full war, something burns between them that neither can let go . . .
Release Date: March 31, 2020
In a remote Alaskan village, Deputy US Marshal Arliss Cutter searches for a stone-cold killer amid a hotbed of corruption, lies, and long-buried secrets . . .
Winter comes early to the rural native community of Stone Cross, Alaska—and so does hunting season. Caribou and moose are a major source of food through the long, dark months ahead. But Arliss Cutter has come here for a very different game. A federal judge is receiving death threats and refuses protection. Cutter and his deputy Lola Teariki have been assigned to shadow him on his trip to this icy outland to make sure that he’s safe. But they quickly discover that no one is ever really safe in a place like this. And no one is above suspicion . . .
When Cutter and Lola arrive, the village is already gripped with fear. A young couple has disappeared from their fishing lodge, just eight miles upriver. Their handyman has been found dead, next to a crude drawing of a mysterious symbol. To make matters worse, a dense fog has descended on the region, isolating the town from civilization. With the judge’s life still at risk, and two people still missing, Cutter and Lola have their work cut out for them. But navigating the small-town customs and blood-bound traditions of this close-knit community won’t be easy. When the secrets come out, the deadly hunt is on.
The Sunday Potluck Club
Release Date: March 31, 2020
New friends can be found in unexpected places. For Bridget and Amy, that place was the cancer ward of an Anchorage hospital. Now, as each struggles to overcome loss, they lean on each other for support—sharing suppers, laughter and tears.
Bridget and Amy aren’t about to let hardship knock them down—Bridget plans to return to her veterinarian school studies, Amy to her position as a second-grade teacher—but neither feels quite ready. And so the Sunday Potluck Club is born, a way for Bridget, Amy, and other women who have lost a loved one to find solace and understanding. Savoring favorite dishes while sharing memories and the comfort of connection, the members of the Sunday Potluck Club nourish body and soul.
As weeks go by and the group grows in unforeseen ways, both Bridget and Amy are inspired to find greater purpose. Amy reaches out to a student whose father bravely faces his own struggle. Bridget volunteers at the local animal shelter, rehabilitating dogs whose unconditional love will bring others a chance to heal. And with the help of two special men, Bridget and Amy are realizing that there’s always room at the table for love and rekindled joy . . .
For full giveaway details, see official rules.
Note: The sweepstakes is open to all legal residents of the 50 United States and Washington, DC who are 18 years of age and older by December 16, 2019.