by | Feb 9, 2022 | Jenny Milchman | 16 comments

By Jenny Milchman


Sydney Green is Brooklyn born and raised, but her neighborhood seems to change every time she blinks. Condos sprouting like weeds, FOR SALE signs popping up overnight, and the neighbors she’s known all her life disappearing. Sydney channels her frustration into a walking tour and finds an unlikely and unwanted assistant in her new neighbor, Theo. But Sydney and Theo’s deep dive into history becomes a dizzying descent into paranoia and fear. Their neighbors may not have moved to the suburbs after all, and the push to revitalize the community may be more deadly than advertised.

LAKEWOOD by Megan Giddings

When Lena Johnson’s beloved grandmother dies, and the full extent of the family debt is revealed, the millennial drops out of college to support her family. But her new job seems too good to be true. High paying. A free place to live. All Lena must do is participate in a secret program, lie to her friends and family…and survive.


Ever wondered what going to one of those blue chip prep schools would be like if you’re not a blue chip kinda person? Now imagine going as a child of color. This memoir is one part analysis of our society and time, one part first-person account, and one part rip-roaring tale.

LUSTER by Raven Leilani

Edie is stumbling her way through her twentiessharing a subpar apartment in Bushwick, clocking in and out of her admin job, making a series of inappropriate choices. She is also haltingly, fitfully giving heat and air to the art that simmers inside her. And then she meets Eric, a digital archivist with a family in New Jersey, including a wife who has agreed to an open marriagewith rules.

SUCH A FUN AGE by Kiley Reid

If you weren’t having so much fun gaping at the polished, pristine trainwreck of a life white and wealthy Alix Chamberlain is living, you might miss the ways in which themes of race, power, and class in the United States today are explored in this wild ride of a novel. Is Alix or her nanny, Emira Tucker, better suited to caring for the adorable Briar? (Hint: I rooted for the nanny all the way).

Coming Soon and Worth a Pre-Order

POST-TRAUMATIC by Chantal V. Johnson

To the outside observer, Vivian is a success story–a dedicated lawyer who advocates for mentally ill patients at a psychiatric hospital. Privately, Vivian contends with the memories and aftereffects of her bad childhood. For years, she has self-medicated with a mix of dating, dieting, dark humor and smoking weed with her BFF, Jane. But after a family reunion prompts Vivian to take a bold step, she finds herself alone in new and terrifying ways.

 WHEN WE WERE BIRDS by Ayanna Lloyd Banwo

In the old house on a hill, where the city meets the rainforest, Yejide’s mother is dying and leaving behind a legacy. But after years of suffering her mother’s neglect and bitterness, Yejide is looking for a way out. Raised in the countryside by a devout Rastafarian mother, Darwin has abided by the religious commandment not to interact with death. But when the only job he can find is grave digging, he must betray the life his mother built for him. Yejide and Darwin will meet inside the gates of an ancient and sprawling cemetery, where the dead lie uneasy in their graves and a reckoning with fate beckons them both.

Bonus! A second nanny book for fans of this sub-sub-genre:

THE PERFECT NANNY by Leila Slimani

Their nanny has the keys to their apartment. She knows everything about their children, their routines, their lives. She has embedded herself so deeply amidst them that it now seems impossible to remove her. But what happens when they must?

What are you reading this chilling February? Is the frost melting yet where you are?

Don’t Miss a Thing!



  1. Karna Small Bodman

    When I read the title of your blog about “Chilling Reads” – it really seemed to fit with these terrific frigid temps we’re experiencing all over the country. And you’ve certainly created an amazing list of compelling tales here. Thanks for a most interesting blog!

    • Jenny Milchman

      Hope you enjoy one or more of them, Karna!

    • Beth V

      My opinion of WHEN NO ONE IS WATCHING:

      It contains too much foul language and bitterness and way too much whining.

  2. Lisa Black

    What an eclectic mix!! Drama abounds. And, even though I’ve never had kids, I love a good nanny book too. I was researching for a book and read The Nanny Diaries–totally addicting.

  3. Gayle Lynds

    Boy oh boy, Jenny these sure like chilling and engrossing reads. Thank you for assembling such a great mix … and Maine has the temps to go right with them! ☃

  4. Emma Goldman-Sherman

    I’m super-excited about Post-Traumatic! Thanks so much for bringing it to my attention!

    • Jenny Milchman

      Great to hear your responses, Gayle, Lisa, Emma, Vickie, Kelly, and Teresa! I immediately ordered the ones I’d heard about but hadn’t read yet myself 🙂 So many great books coming out!

  5. Vickie Watts

    I really enjoyed SUCH A FUN AGE and ended up getting a copy for my sister to read, too. I would like to read THE PERFECT NANNY. Meanwhile, I will definitely add some of these to my TBR list.

  6. Kelly Martin

    I’m reading Eight Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson. It really is the perfect read as we wait for the snow and ice to melt away. I’ll be adding some of these titles to my TBR!

  7. Teresa Allen

    All of these sound great. Can’t wait to read all of them!

  8. Beth V

    I read SUCH A FUN AGE. I admit, I did not expect to like it. On the basis of its description on the book’s flap, I thought it was a book that concentrated on racism, which every-other book seems to be about lately. So I would have passed it by if my book club hadn’t chosen it.

    Joke’s on me. I shouldn’t have read the book flap.

    Although I do question parts of the book, I will say that SUCH A FUN AGE is excellent. It didn’t offend me, as I had expected. The end, though, was too rushed.

  9. Theresa Norris

    A great selection of books. Adding them to my TBR list.

  10. Jenny Milchman

    I love all these comments and reactions! Thank you, all, for weighing in!

  11. StuffSmart

    I’m not reading anything at the moment but am interested in several of the titles above.

  12. Venetia B.

    Right now, I’m immersed in WHEN THE LIGHTS GO OUT by Mary Kubica — so good!!! Jenny, your list looks wonderful; I’ll definitely have to look into a few of them soon.

    As for our weather here in northeast Ohio, we have WAY more than frost unfortunately, and it snowed again today, adding to the mountains of snow piles dotting the landscape ! Between the constant ice scraping and snow shoveling, my back, butt, hips (and arms!) have never had it so bad!🤣 [OUCH!😣] Well, now if I only had the time to relax and recuperate with some hot chocolate and one of those good books above!! I’ll just have to make the time, yes, that’s it! Stay safe all and plenty of warmth to everyone that needs it!!💘

  13. Burma Turner

    I just finished My Darling Husband, it was good! These books look great!