I’ve been in a little bit of a book rut the past few days, reading the same book for over a week now. It’s a perfectly good book (The Wangs vs. the World), but for some reason it’s slow going. Plus, you know, life sometime gets in the way; as much as I’d love to, I can’t constantly have my nose stuck in a book. Anyway, in making this list, I’m excited for the new books on the horizon, and I’m hoping it will kick me into gear. Once I finish this read, there’s so much to look forward to!
Without further ado, here’s a look at what’s next for me:
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Though this memoir has been popular since its release about 4 years ago, I have yet to pick it up. My office’s diversity book club chose it as our February read, and with a brand new copy in hand, I’m looking forward to finally diving in… as well as the discussion that follows!
In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of “race,” a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men—bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden?
Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates’s attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son. Coates shares with his son—and readers—the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world through a series of revelatory experiences, from Howard University to Civil War battlefields, from the South Side of Chicago to Paris, from his childhood home to the living rooms of mothers whose children’s lives were taken as American plunder. Beautifully woven from personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, Between the World and Me clearly illuminates the past, bracingly confronts our present, and offers a transcendent vision for a way forward.
*If, Then by Kate Hope Day
I’ve been sitting on an ARC for this sci-fi novel for a while now and really need to get a move on, since its release date is about a month away. Re-reading the description got me excited about it all over again! It might be the first one of the bunch I pick up.
In the quiet haven of Clearing, Oregon, four neighbors find their lives upended when they begin to see themselves in parallel realities. Ginny, a devoted surgeon whose work often takes precedence over her family, has a baffling vision of a beautiful co-worker in Ginny’s own bed and begins to doubt the solidity of her marriage. Ginny’s husband, Mark, a wildlife scientist, sees a vision that suggests impending devastation and grows increasingly paranoid, threatening the safety of his wife and son. Samara, a young woman desperately mourning the recent death of her mother and questioning why her father seems to be coping with such ease, witnesses an apparition of her mother healthy and vibrant and wonders about the secrets her parents may have kept from her. Cass, a brilliant scholar struggling with the demands of new motherhood, catches a glimpse of herself pregnant again, just as she’s on the brink of returning to the project that could define her career.
At first the visions are relatively benign, but they grow increasingly disturbing—and, in some cases, frightening. When a natural disaster threatens Clearing, it becomes obvious that the visions were not what they first seemed and that the town will never be the same.
Startling, deeply imagined, and compulsively readable, Kate Hope Day’s debut novel is about the choices we make that shape our lives and determine our destinies—the moments that alter us so profoundly that it feels as if we've entered another reality.
*The Wolf and the Watchman by Niklas Natt och Dag
Another NetGalley title, and another March release I need to get going on. It sounds like captivating historical fiction, but what really got me to pick it up was the simple description by the amazing Fredrik Backman, who called it “Thrilling, unnerving, clever, and beautiful.”
One morning in the autumn of 1793, watchman Mikel Cardell is awakened from his drunken slumber with reports of a body seen floating in the Larder, once a pristine lake on Stockholm’s Southern Isle, now a rancid bog. Efforts to identify the bizarrely mutilated corpse are entrusted to incorruptible lawyer Cecil Winge, who enlists Cardell’s help to solve the case. But time is short: Winge’s health is failing, the monarchy is in shambles, and whispered conspiracies and paranoia abound.
Winge and Cardell become immersed in a brutal world of guttersnipes and thieves, mercenaries and madams. From a farmer’s son who is lead down a treacherous path when he seeks his fortune in the capital to an orphan girl consigned to the workhouse by a pitiless parish priest, their gruesome investigation peels back layer upon layer of the city’s labyrinthine society. The rich and the poor, the pious and the fallen, the living and the dead—all collide and interconnect with the body pulled from the lake.
Breathtakingly bold and intricately constructed, The Wolf and the Watchman brings to life the crowded streets, gilded palaces, and dark corners of late-eighteenth-century Stockholm, offering a startling vision of the crimes we commit in the name of justice, and the sacrifices we make in order to survive.
Three Junes by Julia Glass
I’m really glad to be participating in the Reading Women Challenge this year, but I have yet to read a book from one of the categories. I’ve had this novel on my shelves for a bit, and it perfect fulfills the “multigenerational family saga” category, so I’m hoping to finally make time to read it this month.
A luminous first novel, set in Greece, Scotland, Greenwich Village, and Long Island, that traces the members of a Scottish family as they confront the joys and longings, fulfillments and betrayals of love in all its guises.
In June of 1989 Paul McLeod, a newspaper publisher and recent widower, travels to Greece, where he falls for a young American artist and reflects on the complicated truth about his marriage.
Six years later, again in June, Paul's death draws his three grown sons and their families back to their ancestral home. Fenno, the eldest, a wry, introspective gay man, narrates the events of this unforeseen reunion. Far from his straitlaced expatriate life as a bookseller in Greenwich Village, Fenno is stunned by a series of revelations that threaten his carefully crafted defenses.
Four years farther on, in yet another June, a chance meeting on the Long Island shore brings Fenno together with Fern Olitsky, the artist who once captivated his father. Now pregnant, Fern must weigh her guilt about the past against her wishes for the future and decide what family means to her.
In prose rich with compassion and wit, Three Junes paints a haunting portrait of love's redemptive powers.
Persuasion by Jane Austen
Believe it or not, I’ve never read this Austen novel. (In fact, I’ve only read Pride and Prejudice.) I also chose this for a reading challenge -- a novel over 100 years old in the Book Challenge by Erin -- and I bought a copy the other day, so I’m ready to go! I’m a little nervous it will be slow-moving, like most classics, but I just need to give it a chance, and I’m sure I’ll be drawn in by Austen’s wit and on-the-nose observations.
Twenty-seven-year old Anne Elliot is Austen's most adult heroine. Eight years before the story proper begins, she is happily betrothed to a naval officer, Frederick Wentworth, but she precipitously breaks off the engagement when persuaded by her friend Lady Russell that such a match is unworthy. The breakup produces in Anne a deep and long-lasting regret. When later Wentworth returns from sea a rich and successful captain, he finds Anne's family on the brink of financial ruin and his own sister a tenant in Kellynch Hall, the Elliot estate. All the tension of the novel revolves around one question: Will Anne and Wentworth be reunited in their love?
Jane Austen once compared her writing to painting on a little bit of ivory, 2 inches square. Readers of Persuasion will discover that neither her skill for delicate, ironic observations on social custom, love, and marriage nor her ability to apply a sharp focus lens to English manners and morals has deserted her in her final finished work.
I’m also optimistically including Mesha Maren’s Sugar Run, which I included in last month’s TBR list… but I’m still waiting on a copy from the library. There’s only one person ahead of me, so I’m crossing my fingers I get it soon!
Which books are you looking forward to picking up this month? Share in your comments below or post your TBR post link to our linkup below!Inlinkz Link Party
TBR Mix ‘n’ Mingle is hosted by Rachel at Never Enough Novels, Allison at My Novel Life, the other wonderful bloggers at Literary Quicksand, and myself. In the bookish community, TBR stands for “To Be Read,” but it can mean different things to different people; in fact, Book Riot has a wonderful post exploring all the possible definitions. To me, it just means a book I haven’t read but want to read eventually. We share our TBR Lists on the 1st of every month. We'd love for you to join us!
*I received a free digital copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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I'm excited to see a Jane Austen book on your list! Emma and Pride and Prejudice are my two favorites, but I haven't read Persuasion in ages so maybe it's time to go back for a reread. Hope you enjoy!
I have never read a Jane Austen novel! I feel like I should sometimes, but I know it would take me forever to get through it and I just don't have the time right now! I loved Between the World and Me. It can be dense at times, but it made me cry like a baby all the way through. It's emotionally exhausting, but required reading in today's times.
I imagine Between the World and Me won't be an easy read but definitely necessary. Glad you liked it.
Hannah | The Cozy Reading Nook says
I think you'll like Persuasion! Austin just has that magic touch. I'm interested in The Wolf and the Watchman - that description really does sound “Thrilling, unnerving, clever, and beautiful.” Definitely adding it to my TBR!
I hope I do like Persuasion -- it's one of my best friend's favorites and she's excited I'm finally picking it up.
Allison | Mind Joggle says
I liked Three Junes! It was a bit of a slow-mover, for me, but overall it was a pretty satisfying character-driven novel. I'll be interested to see what you think!