16 Books to Watch for in January 2012

A coming-of-age novel about a mesmerized Muslim boy, a literary thriller set in North Korea, a rollicking account of one woman's search for a new best friend, and more. Start off the new year by cozying up to one of these captivating reads.
The Winter Palace

The Winter Palace

464 pages; Bantam
A sweeping novel about Catherine the Great's ascent from young outsider to ruler of Russia, as told by a palace maid-and-spy who helped her rise to power.
— Karen Holt