Book on my radar – Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano

 

Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano

I have a lot to do in the next week, but I find myself looking for new books to read, instead of churning through many tasks. And I have no business adding more books to my list, but still, I do! Here’s one I’m sure to read in 2020:

From book blurb:

One summer morning, twelve-year-old Edward Adler, his beloved older brother, his parents, and 183 other passengers board a flight in Newark headed for Los Angeles. Among them is a Wall Street wunderkind, a young woman coming to terms with an unexpected pregnancy, an injured vet returning from Afghanistan, a septuagenarian business tycoon, and a free-spirited woman running away from her controlling husband. And then, halfway across the country, the plane crashes. Edward is the sole survivor.

Edward’s story captures the attention of the nation, but he struggles to find a place for himself in a world without his family. He continues to feel that a piece of him has been left in the sky, forever tied to the plane and all of his fellow passengers. But then he makes an unexpected discovery–one that will lead him to the answers of some of life’s most profound questions: When you’ve lost everything, how do find yourself? How do you discover your purpose? What does it mean not just to survive, but to truly live?

Dear Edward is at once a transcendent coming-of-age story, a multidimensional portrait of an unforgettable cast of characters, and a breathtaking illustration of all the ways a broken heart learns to love again.

Ann Napolitano is the author of the novels A Good Hard Look and Within Arm’s Reach. She is also the Associate Editor of One Story literary magazine. She received an MFA from New York University; she has taught fiction writing for Brooklyn College’s MFA program, New York University’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies and for Gotham Writers’ Workshop. In November 2020, Ann was long-listed for the Simpson/Joyce Carol Oates Literary Prize.

Book blurb and author info from annnapolitano.com

I tend to gravitate toward coming-of-age stories and books about overcoming adversity. Is this a book you’d be interested in reading? I think it would make a good book club book. What new books are you looking forward to reading in 2020?

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New fiction in 2020 – on my list!

Image: Pixabay

I don’t like to overcommit to reading lists, because then where’s the fun of picking up a book on a whim? But I like to see what’s ahead by authors of books I’ve liked and pick a couple new ones. Here are two I’m excited to read:


The Glass Hotel – Emily St. John Mandel

Due out March 2020

From Mandel’s website:

“My fifth novel is a ghost story that’s also about white collar crime and container shipping.”

Knopf’s jacket copy:

“Vincent is a bartender at the Hotel Caiette, a five-star glass and cedar palace on the northernmost tip of Vancouver Island. New York financier Jonathan Alkaitis owns the hotel. When he passes Vincent his card with a tip, it’s the beginning of their life together. That same day, Vincent’s half-brother, Paul, scrawls a note on the windowed wall of the hotel: “Why don’t you swallow broken glass.” Leon Prevant, a shipping executive for a company called Neptune-Avramidis, sees the note from the hotel bar and is shaken to his core. Thirteen years later Vincent mysteriously disappears from the deck of a Neptune-Avramidis ship.

Weaving together the lives of these characters, The Glass Hotel moves between the ship, the towers of Manhattan, and the wilderness of remote British Columbia, painting a breathtaking picture of greed and guilt, fantasy and delusion, art and the ghosts of our pasts.”

I have only read Station Eleven, but I enjoyed it very much. You can check out my review here.


All Adults Here – Emma Straub

Due out May 2020

From Straub’s website

A warm, funny, and keenly perceptive novel about the life cycle of one family–as the kids become parents, grandchildren become teenagers, and a matriarch confronts the legacy of her mistakes. From the New York Times bestselling author of Modern Lovers and The Vacationers.

When Astrid Strick witnesses a school bus accident in the center of town, it jostles loose a repressed memory from her young parenting days decades earlier. Suddenly, Astrid realizes she was not quite the parent she thought she’d been to her three, now-grown children. But to what consequence?

Astrid’s youngest son is drifting and unfocused, making parenting mistakes of his own. Her daughter is pregnant yet struggling to give up her own adolescence. And her eldest seems to measure his adult life according to standards no one else shares. But who gets to decide, so many years later, which long-ago lapses were the ones that mattered? Who decides which apologies really count? It might be that only Astrid’s thirteen-year-old granddaughter and her new friend really understand the courage it takes to tell the truth to the people you love the most.

In All Adults Here, Emma Straub’s unique alchemy of wisdom, humor, and insight come together in a deeply satisfying story about adult siblings, aging parents, high school boyfriends, middle school mean girls, the lifelong effects of birth order, and all the other things that follow us into adulthood, whether we like them to or not.

This is Straub’s third book. I had a lot of fun reading The Vacationers (read my review here), and I’m looking forward to this one!


Have you read any books by these authors? Do you line up books for the coming year? What reads are in your future?

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Library book strategies – managing (or not managing) holds on the new and popular books

Last week I scored big on a library book. My Facebook friends group is about to discuss Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes. The holds list is a mile long, but I was able to grab the one-week rental copy (no holds allowed) and read it quickly! It worked out great. (Read my review here.)

But now I’m in a bit of a library holds bind. Many of my other holds on new and popular books have come in at the same time. I have one eAudiobook on my phone and three eBooks on my Kindle and the clock is ticking!

It’s a little ambitious to think I’ll be able to read the three eBooks in the two-week period, but I’m going to try. I’m not so sure if I’ll have time for the eAudiobook, though. The good news about that one is that my eBook hold of the same title is coming up soon!

Here’s what’s on deck. (All book blurbs are from Amazon.)


The Warehouse by Rob Hart

I’ve seen a lot of blog reviews about this one and have already started the audio of this one.

 

Cloud isn’t just a place to work. It’s a place to live. And when you’re here, you’ll never want to leave.

“A thrilling story of corporate espionage at the highest level . . . and a powerful cautionary tale about technology, runaway capitalism, and the nightmare world we are making for ourselves.”—Blake Crouch, New York Times bestselling author of Dark Matter

Film rights sold to Imagine Entertainment for director Ron Howard!


The Escape Room by Megan Goldin

I didn’t think I’d get this one so fast. My mystery book club at work is going to read it…next June! I’ll probably read it twice.

 

“One of my favorite books of the year.” ―Lee Child

“Cancel all your plans and call in sick; once you start reading, you’ll be caught in your own escape room―the only key to freedom is turning the last page!” ―Kirkus Reviews (starred)

“A sleek, well-crafted ride.” ―The New York Times

In Megan Goldin’s unforgettable debut, The Escape Room, four young Wall Street rising stars discover the price of ambition when an escape room challenge turns into a lethal game of revenge.


We Are All Good People Here by Susan Rebecca White

I saw this one reviewed by a few bloggers and it sounded interesting to me.

 

From the author of A Place at the Table and A Soft Place to Land, an “intense, complex, and wholly immersive” (Joshilyn Jackson, New York Times bestselling author) multigenerational novel that explores the complex relationship between two very different women and the secrets they bequeath to their daughters.


Refugee by Alan Gratz

Saw this reviewed and wanted to read it!

 

 

A New York Times bestseller!

JOSEF is a Jewish boy living in 1930s Nazi Germany. With the threat of concentration camps looming, he and his family board a ship bound for the other side of the world . . .

ISABEL is a Cuban girl in 1994. With riots and unrest plaguing her country, she and her family set out on a raft, hoping to find safety in America . . .

MAHMOUD is a Syrian boy in 2015. With his homeland torn apart by violence and destruction, he and his family begin a long trek toward Europe . . .

All three kids go on harrowing journeys in search of refuge. All will face unimaginable dangers — from drownings to bombings to betrayals. But there is always the hope of tomorrow. And although Josef, Isabel, and Mahmoud are separated by continents and decades, shocking connections will tie their stories together in the end.


We have a feature at our library that allows you to “freeze” specific holds and not lose your place in line. I haven’t tried that, but I’m thinking it would be a good idea.

I’m going to try to read all of them before they are due. Which would you read first? What’s your library book strategy?

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Book Talk – Alone by Brett Archibald

Image: Pixabay

Welcome to a new and occasional feature on Book Club Mom called Book Talk, home to quick previews of new books that catch my eye.

Today’s book is Alone by Brett Archibald. Published in November 2017, it’s the author’s account of his incredible survival at sea. In 2013, Archibald, age 50, was on a surf charter boat in Indonesia when he became ill and fell overboard unnoticed, without a life jacket and 60 miles from shore. Eight hours later, when his friends discovered he was missing, they began a desperate search, hoping for a miracle. His wife and children in South Africa feared the worst. And for 28 hours, Archibald, battled raging seas, aggressive sharks, biting fish, stinging jellyfish and seagulls poking at his eyes. Through resolve and strength, Archibald defied the odds. He was rescued by an Australian surfing boat and, other than being exhausted, dehydrated and sunburned, he was otherwise okay.

It’s no surprise to me that after this experience, Archibald became a motivational speaker, sharing his story and teaching perseverance!

I’m not sure when I’m going to fit this in, but I checked it out at the library just to have a look! You can too. Click here to view on Amazon and here for Goodreads reviews.

Have you experienced a life-changing event? What is your story?

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