Monday, March 4, 2013

Books On My Wishlist + Bloggers Recommend

I kept meaning to do a post of books I was looking forward to in 2013 but now it's already March 5th and I still haven't done the post. So this is just a post of a few books I want to read, most of which are out or out soon and that I hope are good! I guess I'll try to do these more often, because everytime I think about trying to put together a comprehensive post like this I feel exhausted but doing a few at at time isn't so bad!

The Sky Beneath My Feet by Lisa Samson

Lisa Samson is finally back and this book sounds delightful. It comes out this month from Thomas Nelson.

Beth's husband won't be joining the family on vacation at the beach this year. He's not even joining them in the house. Instead, Rick has holed up alone in the backyard shed. Nobody knows exactly what he's up to. Maybe he's immersing himself in prayer. Maybe he's lost his mind. Maybe he's even the modern-day prophet or the saint the neighborhood artist imagines him to be. But while "St. Rick" waits for an epiphany, Beth will have to figure out what to do with herself and their teenage sons, possibly for the rest of her life.

What happens next is both uproarious and bittersweet: a peace march turns violent, her son is caught with drugs, and she embarks on an ambitious road trip that turns into something nearly surreal. Will Beth rediscover the idealistic woman she used to be, once upon a time? Can her marriage survive Rick's backyard vigil? Will anything ever be the same? And should it be?

Truthful, comic, heartbreaking, and magical in the very best sense of the word, The Sky Beneath My Feet gently tears the veil off our egos and expectations to reveal the throbbing, redemptive, and achingly beautiful life beyond and within us.

The Lucy Variations by Sara Zarr

Sara Zarr! Need I say more? Out in May from LBYR.

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.

If You Could Be Mine by Sara Farizan

In case you missed Algonquin started a Young Readers line and this YA book sounds...I don't know it just sounds really different to me. Out August.

In Iran, it’s a crime punishable by death to be gay. Sex reassignment surgery is covered by the government health program, though, and regarded by many as a way to fix a “mistake.” Sahar, seventeen, has been in love with her best friend, a girl named Nasrin, since they were six. Sahar even lets herself dream that one day they might marry. But when Nasrin’s parents announce her arranged marriage will take place in a matter of months, Sahar must decide just what lengths she’ll go to for true love.

The Movement of Stars by Amy Brill

The Quakers fascinate me a lot and this book sounds good! Plus I really like stories about women and women and science is cool, I guess. (I know I'm supposed to be like rah rah women and science but I hate science--I'm terrible at all, I barely scraped by in school so I'm not into it as it seems other people are.) Dut out in April from Riverhead Books. Oh and the author's name is Amy so automatic points!

A love story set in 1845 Nantucket, between a female astronomer and the unusual man who understands her dreams.

It is 1845, and Hannah Gardner Price has lived all twenty-four years of her life according to the principles of the Nantucket Quaker community in which she was raised, where simplicity and restraint are valued above all, and a woman’s path is expected to lead to marriage and motherhood. But up on the rooftop each night, Hannah pursues a very different—and elusive—goal: discovering a comet and thereby winning a gold medal awarded by the King of Denmark, something unheard of for a woman.

And then she meets Isaac Martin, a young, dark-skinned whaler from the Azores who, like herself, has ambitions beyond his expected station in life. Drawn to his intellectual curiosity and honest manner, Hannah agrees to take Isaac on as a student. But when their shared interest in the stars develops into something deeper, Hannah’s standing in the community begins to unravel, challenging her most fundamental beliefs about work and love, and ultimately changing the course of her life forever.

Inspired by the work of Maria Mitchell, the first professional female astronomer in America, The Movement of Stars is a richly drawn portrait of desire and ambition in the face of adversity.

Baseball as a Road to God by John Sexton

It's true that I struggle with nonfiction but I do love baseball and also I like God. This sounds RIGHT UP MY ALLEY and I hope to read it.

A love letter to America's most beloved sport and an exploration of the deeper dimensions it reveals

For more than a decade, New York University President John Sexton has used baseball to illustrate the elements of a spiritual life in a wildly popular course at NYU. Using some of the great works of baseball fiction as well as the actual game's fantastic moments, its legendary characters, and its routine rituals—from the long-sought triumph of the 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers, to the heroic achievements of players like the saintly Christy Mathewson and the sinful Ty Cobb, to the loving intimacy of a game of catch between a father and son—Sexton teachers that through the game we can touch the spiritual dimension of life.

Baseball as a Road to God is about the elements of our lives that lie beyond what can be captured in words alone—ineffable truths that we know by experience rather than by logic or analysis. Applying to the secular activity of baseball a form of inquiry usually reserved for the study of religion, Sexton reveals a surprising amount of common ground between the game and what we all recognize as religion: sacred places and time, faith and doubt, blessings and curses, and more.

In thought-provoking, beautifully rendered prose, this book elegantly demonstrates that baseball is more than a game, or even a national pastime: It can be a road to a deeper and more meaningful life.

Due out this week from Gotham!

Bloggers Recommend

Jen of Devourer of Books and Nicole of Linus's Blanket have started a new venture that they've invited me to be a part of and it's the first time I've felt excited about a blogging related project in ages. They've started Bloggers Recommend which will be a newsletter that comes out every month with recommendations of the best books of the month from bloggers. I'll be contributing starting soon, but all book bloggers are encouraged to contribute. You should check out the site and sign up for the newsletter because I think it will be pretty awesome. They pitched it to me as a sort of IndieNext list but from bloggers which I love.


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