Monday, January 6, 2014

Reading Ahead: 2014 Book Preview

A new year is here and along with some lousy weather its also brought with it another chance to travel to new worlds, meet new friends, and learn something new - maybe about yourself - all in the comfort and safety of your own home in the pages of a book. Last year was a banner year for me as a reader with over 40 books read over the span of the year, setting the bar pretty high for 2014 and a possible repeat. In anticipation of discovering this year's Doctor Sleep or Gone Girl, I decided to compile a list of upcoming releases to add to my reading list. I had hoped to compile a list by cherry-picking the most interesting selections from already compiled online lists, but the few lists I found offered high-brow selections which weren't necessarily my cup of tea; none of the mysteries, thrillers or compelling dramas that I normally gravitate towards.

Taking matters into my own hands, I decided to create my own list, so taking advantage of yesterday's deep freeze and forecaster's threats of icy roads I camped out in front of my laptop for a couple of hours and went through close to 1,000 titles from Amazon's coming soon list in order to find just the right ones to tide me (and you; us) over for the first half of the year (you're welcome!). I found a perfect rainbow of genres, topics, and themes; from mysteries, thrillers, horror, young adult, medical drama, humor and I think even romance. Each title and description inspires some giddy anticipation on my part. I hope that there's something that captures your imagination and interest as well.

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd (January 7th)
Hetty “Handful” Grimke, an urban slave in early nineteenth century Charleston, yearns for life beyond the suffocating walls that enclose her within the wealthy Grimke household. The Grimke’s daughter, Sarah, has known from an early age she is meant to do something large in the world, but she is hemmed in by the limits imposed on more.

The Kept by James Scott (January 7th)
In the winter of 1897, a trio of killers descends upon an isolated farm in upstate New York. Midwife Elspeth Howell returns home to the carnage: her husband, and four of her children, murdered. Before she can discover her remaining son Caleb, alive and hiding in the kitchen pantry, another shot rings more.

The Last Dead Girl by Harry Dolan (January 9th)
On a rainy night in April, a chance encounter on a lonely road draws David into a romance with Jana Fletcher, a beautiful young law student. David would like to know her secrets, but he lets them lie—until it’s too late. When Jana is brutally more.

Hollow City by Ransom Riggs (January 14th)
This second novel in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children begins in 1940, immediately after the first book ended. Having escaped Miss Peregrine’s more.

Still Life with Bread Crumbs by Anna Quindlen (January 28th)
Still Life with Bread Crumbs begins with an imagined gunshot and ends with a new tin roof. Between the two is a wry and knowing portrait of Rebecca Winter, a photographer whose work made her an unlikely heroine for many more.

This Dark Road to Mercy to Wiley Cash (January 28th)
After their mother's unexpected death, twelve-year-old Easter and her six-year-old sister Ruby are adjusting to life in foster care when their errant father, Wade, suddenly appears. Since Wade signed away his legal rights, the only way he can get his daughters back is to steal them away in the more.

Glitter and Glue by Kelly Corrigan (February 4th)
When Kelly Corrigan was in high school, her mother neatly summarized the family dynamic as “Your father’s the glitter but I’m the glue.” This meant nothing to Kelly, who left childhood sure that her mom with her inviolable commandments and proud stoicism—would be nothing more than background chatter for the rest of Kelly’s more.

Cell by Robin Cook (February 4th)
The smartphone is poised to take on a new role in medicine, no longer as a mere medical app but rather as a fully customizable personal physician capable of diagnosing and treating even better than the real thing. It is called iDoc. George Wilson’s initial collision with this incredible innovation is devastating. He awakens one morning to find his fiancĂ©e dead in bed alongside him, not long after she participated in an iDoc beta more.

Twisted Sisters by Jen Lancaster (February 4th)
Reagan Bishop is a licensed psychologist who stars on the Wendy Winsberg cable breakout show I Need a Push, Reagan helps participants become their best selves by urging them to overcome obstacles and change behaviors. Despite her overwhelming professional success, Reagan never seems to earn her family’s respect. Her younger sister, Geri, is and always will be the Bishop family more.

The Martian by Andy Weir (February 11th)
Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely more.

The Bear by Claire Cameron (February 11th)
While camping with her family on a remote island, five-year-old Anna awakes in the night to the sound of her mother screaming. A rogue black bear, three hundred pounds of fury is pouncing on her parents as prey. At her dying mother's faint urging, Anna manages to get her brother into the family's canoe and paddle away. But when the canoe runs aground on the edge of the woods, the sister and brother must battle hunger, the elements, more.

White Space by Ilsa J. Bick (February 11th)
Seventeen-year-old Emma Lindsay has problems: a head full of metal, no parents, a crazy artist for a guardian whom a stroke has turned into a vegetable...Then she writes "White Space," a story about these kids stranded in a spooky house during a blizzard. Unfortunately, "White Space" turns out to be a dead ringer for part of an unfinished novel by a long-dead writer. The manuscript is a loopy Matrix meets Inkheart story in which characters fall out of different books and jump off the page. Thing is, when Emma blinks, she might be doing the same and, before long, she's dropped into the very story she thought she'd more.

The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon (February 11th)
West Hall, Vermont, has always been a town of strange disappearances and old legends. The most mysterious is that of Sara Harrison Shea, who, in 1908, was found dead in the field behind her house just months after the tragic death of her daughter, Gertie. Now, in present day, nineteen-year-old Ruthie lives in Sara's farmhouse with her mother, Alice, until she wakes up one morning to find that Alice has vanished without a more.

The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman (February 18th)
Coralie Sardie is the daughter of the sinister impresario behind The Museum of Extraordinary Things, a Coney Island boardwalk freak show that thrills the masses. One night Coralie stumbles upon a striking young man taking pictures of moonlit trees in the woods off the Hudson more.

Panic by Lauren Oliver (March 4th)
Panic began as so many things do in Carp, a dead-end town of twelve thousand people in the middle of nowhere: because it was summer, and there was nothing else to do. Heather never thought she would compete in Panic, a legendary game played by graduating seniors, where the stakes are high and the payoff is even higher. She'd never thought of herself as more.

We are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler (March 6th)
Meet the Cooke family: Mother and Dad, brother Lowell, sister Fern, and our narrator, Rosemary, who begins her story in the middle. She has her reasons. “I spent the first eighteen years of my life defined by this one fact: that I was raised with a chimpanzee,” she tells us. “It’s never going to be the first thing I share with someone. I tell you Fern was a chimp and already you aren’t thinking of her as my sister. But until Fern’s expulsion, I’d scarcely known a moment alone. She was my twin, my funhouse mirror, my whirlwind other half, and I loved her as a sister.” more.

I’ve Got You Under My Skin by Mary Higgins Clark (April 1st)
A Manhattan ER doctor is brazenly murdered in front of his young son in a city playground. Five years later, his killer is still at large. Meanwhile his widow, Laurie Moran, is now an award-winning TV producer. Laurie and her TV crew have just received the green light to produce a new “cold case” series. Revisiting unsolved more.

Worst.Person.Ever by Douglas Copeland (April 3rd)
A deeply unworthy book about a dreadful human being with absolutely no redeeming social value. Raymond Gunt, in the words of the author, "is a living, walking, talking, hot steaming pile of pure id."...Even though he really puts the "anti" in anti-hero, you may find Raymond Gunt an oddly likeable more.

Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King (June 14th)
In the frigid pre-dawn hours, in a distressed Midwestern city, hundreds of desperate unemployed folks are lined up for a spot at a job fair. Without warning, a lone driver plows through the crowd in a stolen Mercedes, running over the innocent, backing up, and charging again. The killer more.

That Night by Chevy Stevens (June 17th)
Eighteen-year-old Toni and her boyfriend, Ryan, were wrongly convicted for the murder of her younger sister. Seventeen years later she returns home, ready to move on with her life, but she can't. Ryan is convinced he can uncover the more.