Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Eight Books I'm Coveting

It's been a long time since I've done a post like this because I got kind of lazy. But! I like to keep a handy reference of books I want to read in the future but can't acquire yet, so here goes! These are just books I've heard about that I want to read, they might be out, they may have been out FOR YEARS! :)

The Raft by S.A. Bodeen --Robie is an experienced traveler. She’s taken the flight from Honolulu to the Midway Atoll, a group of Pacific islands where her parents live, many times. When she has to get to Midway in a hurry after a visit with her aunt in Hawaii, she gets on the next cargo flight at the last minute. She knows the pilot, but on this flight, there’s a new co-pilot named Max. All systems are go until a storm hits during the flight. The only passenger, Robie doesn’t panic until the engine suddenly cuts out and Max shouts at her to put on a life jacket. They are over miles of Pacific Ocean. She sees Max struggle with a raft.

And then . . . she’s in the water. Fighting for her life. Max pulls her onto the raft, and that’s when the real terror begins. They have no water. Their only food is a bag of Skittles. There are sharks. There is an island. But there’s no sign of help on the way.

Why: Because I like survival stories and I'm always willing to give them a chance. The Raft is published by Feiwel and Friends and is available this week.

Amber House by Kelly Moore, Tucker Reed, and Larkin Reed--"I was sixteen the first time my grandmother died. . . ."

Sarah Parsons has never seen Amber House, the grand Maryland estate that's been in her family for three centuries. She's never walked its hedge maze nor found its secret chambers; she's never glimpsed the shades that haunt it, nor hunted for the lost diamonds in its walls.

But after her grandmother passes away, Sarah and her friend Jackson decide to search for the diamonds--and the House comes alive. She discovers that she can see visions of the House's past, like the eighteenth-century sea captain who hid the jewels, or the glamorous great-grandmother driven mad by grief. Sarah grows closer to both Jackson and a young man named Richard Hathaway, whose family histories are each deeply entwined with her own. But when her ghostly visions start to threaten the person she holds most dear, Sarah must do everything she can to get to the bottom of the House's secrets, and stop the course of history before it is cemented forever.

Why:Because Cheryl Klein is the editor and I like a lot of her stuff. Also, it sounds pleasingly creepy and perfect for fall. Amber House is available in October and is published by Arthur A. Levine books.

All of a Kind Family by Sydney Taylor--Meet the All-of-a-Kind Family -- Ella, Henny, Sarah, Charlotte, and Gertie -- who live with their parents in New York City at the turn of the century.

Together they share adventures that find them searching for hidden buttons while dusting Mama's front parlor and visiting with the peddlers in Papa's shop on rainy days. The girls enjoy doing everything together, especially when it involves holidays and surprises.

But no one could have prepared them for the biggest surprise of all!

Why: Because a bunch of you were talking about how great theses books were on Twitter and I had never heard of them! Now I want to read them. :) Available now.

Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone by Kat Rosenfield--An arresting un-coming-of-age story, from a breathtaking talent

Becca has always longed to break free from her small, backwater hometown. But the discovery of an unidentified dead girl on the side of a dirt road sends the town--and Becca--into a tailspin. Unable to make sense of the violence of the outside world creeping into her backyard, Becca finds herself retreating inward, paralyzed from moving forward for the first time in her life.

Short chapters detailing the last days of Amelia Anne Richardson's life are intercut with Becca's own summer as the parallel stories of two young women struggling with self-identity and relationships on the edge twist the reader closer and closer to the truth about Amelia's death.

Why: Because John Green said, "It is all that and more, a lyrical and keenly observed novel that is also a true page-turner. Like, imagine if Sara Zarr and I had a really awesome baby." So...I mean perfect for me, right? It's available now.

A People's History of Christianity by Diana Butler Bass -- For too long, the history of Christianity has been told as the triumph of orthodox doctrine imposed through power. Now, historian Diana Butler Bass sheds new light on the surprising ways that many Christians have refused to conform to a rigid church hierarchy and sought to recapture the radical implications of Jesus's life and message.

Why: Because it was recommended on Hearts and Minds Blog and because I need to be reading more stuff of this sort. I'd actually like to read all her work. Available now.

The Lucy Variations by Sara Zarr--Lucy Beck-Moreau once had a promising future as a concert pianist. The right people knew her name, her performances were booked months in advance, and her future seemed certain.

That was all before she turned fourteen.

Now, at sixteen, it's over. A death, and a betrayal, led her to walk away. That leaves her talented ten-year-old brother, Gus, to shoulder the full weight of the Beck-Moreau family expectations. Then Gus gets a new piano teacher who is young, kind, and interested in helping Lucy rekindle her love of piano -- on her own terms. But when you're used to performing for sold-out audiences and world-famous critics, can you ever learn to play just for yourself?

National Book Award finalist Sara Zarr takes readers inside the exclusive world of privileged San Francisco families, top junior music competitions, and intense mentorships. The Lucy Variations is a story of one girl's struggle to reclaim her love of music and herself. It's about finding joy again, even when things don't go according to plan. Because life isn't a performance, and everyone deserves the chance to make a few mistakes along the way.

Why: Because it's Sara Zarr. Because I wish I was a famous concert pianist? Available in May from Little, Brown.

The Elephant Keeper's Children by Peter Hoeg -- From the author of Smilla's Sense of Snow, an epic novel about faith and the magic of everyday life.

Told from the precocious perspective of fourteen-year-old Peter, The Elephant Keepers' Children is about three siblings and how they deal with life alongside their eccentric parents. Peter's father is a vicar, his mother is an artisan, and both are equally and profoundly devout. The family lives on the (fictional) island of Finø, where people of all religious faiths coexist peacefully. Yet, nothing is at it seems.
When Peter's parents suddenly go missing, Peter and his siblings fear the worst--has their parents' relentless quest to boost church attendance finally put them in danger? Told with poignancy and humor, The Elephant Keepers' Children is a fascinating exploration of fundamentalism versus spiritual freedom, the vicissitudes of romantic and familial love, and the triumph of the human spirit.

Why: It's both Danish and a book about faith/religion. I mean come on! The Elephant Keeper's Children will be available in October from Other Press.

Intentions by Deborah Heiligman -- Rachel thought she was grown up enough to accept that no one is perfect. Her parents argue, her grandmother has been acting strangely, and her best friend doesn't want to talk to her. But none of that could have prepared her for what she overheard in her synagogue's sanctuary.

Now Rachel's trust in the people she loves is shattered, and her newfound cynicism leads to reckless rebellion. Her friends and family hardly recognize her, and worse, she can hardly recognize herself. But how can the adults in her life lecture her about acting with kavanah, intention, when they are constantly making such horribly wrong decisions themselves? This is a witty, honest account of navigating the daunting line between losing innocence and entering adulthood—all while figuring out who you really want to be.

Why: I am always interested in that growing up moment when you have to face that people may not live up to your expectations and how that affects how you feel about them and the things they represent to you. It uses faith to explore that so that's a bonus. Intentions is available now from Knopf Books for Young Readers.

So that's eight books I'd love to get my hands on and also read if I had the time. What are some of the books you're coveting? Do any of these look good to you?


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