To Be Read // February 2017

For once, I think I might actually PLAN what I want to read for the next month. Heretofore, I’ve always subscribed to a serendipitous schedule: if I’m meant to read a book, it will find me! (Har, har. I know… That’s like waiting in one’s apartment for the love of her life to just knock on the door. Naive, naive.)

I’ve been racing through books so fast this year thanks to NetGalley and Blogging for Books that I’ve decided I might want to take stock of what I have and what I should read based on upcoming publication dates and events. Look at these beautiful specimens of literary magnificence below! I can hardly wait!

For more on my February TBR list and information about an author’s book reading that—gasp!—isn’t taking place in New York City or Chicago or some other urban metropolis which I cannot access… please read on. 

The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley* by Hannah Tinti is set to be published by Random House (Dial Press) in March. NetGalley provided the following description: 

After years spent living on the run, Samuel Hawley moves with his teenage daughter, Loo, to Olympus, Massachusetts. There, in his late wife’s hometown, Hawley finds work as a fisherman, while Loo struggles to fit in at school and grows curious about her mother’s mysterious death. Haunting them both are twelve scars Hawley carries on his body, from twelve bullets in his criminal past—a past that eventually spills over into his daughter’s present, until together they must face a reckoning yet to come. This father-daughter epic weaves back and forth through time and across America, from Alaska to the Adirondacks. Both a coming-of-age novel and a literary thriller, The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley explores what it means to be a hero, and the cost we pay to protect the people we love most.

Is the Bible Good for Women?** by Wendy Alsup is set to be published by Penguin Random House this March. Blogging for Books provided the following description: 

In this fascinating look at God’s work of redemption from Creation to today, Wendy Alsup explores questions such as:
* How does God view justice and equal rights for women?
* What does it mean to be made in the image of God? …
* How does the Bible explain the Bible to us?

What is the difference between a modern view of feminism and the feminism that Scripture models?

Using a Jesus-centered understanding to look at both God’s grand storyline and specific biblical passages, Alsup gives practical, accessible tools for understanding the noble ways God speaks to and about women in its pages and the dignity He places on His daughters.

Everything You Want Me to Be by Mindy Mejia was published Jan. 3rd, 2017, by Atria/Emily Bestler Books. She is set to speak at Prairie Lights Book Store in Iowa City on February 26th, so I definitely would like to read it before then! Goodreads provides the following description: 

Full of twists and turns, Everything You Want Me to Be reconstructs a year in the life of a dangerously mesmerizing young woman, during which a small town’s darkest secrets come to the forefront…and she inches closer and closer to her death.

High school senior Hattie Hoffman has spent her whole life playing many parts: the good student, the good daughter, the good citizen. When she’s found brutally stabbed to death on the opening night of her high school play, the tragedy rips through the fabric of her small town community. Local sheriff Del Goodman, a family friend of the Hoffmans, vows to find her killer, but trying to solve her murder yields more questions than answers. It seems that Hattie’s acting talents ran far beyond the stage. Told from three points of view—Del, Hattie, and the new English teacher whose marriage is crumbling—Everything You Want Me to Be weaves the story of Hattie’s last school year and the events that drew her ever closer to her death.

Evocative and razor-sharp, Everything You Want Me to Be challenges you to test the lines between innocence and culpability, identity and deception. Does love lead to self-discovery—or destruction?

My friend over at That Book Lady Blog, also reviewed it awhile back. She’s always ahead of the game on great books, and she’s a fantastic reviewer. 🙂 Thanks for telling me about this one, Megan! 

IF TIME: Anything is Possible* by Elizabeth Strout is set to be published in April by Random House. Since I did read Lucy Barton, I am curious to review this continuation. NetGalley provided the following description: 

“As I was writing My Name Is Lucy Barton,” Strout says, “it came to me that all the characters Lucy and her mother talked about had their own stories—of course!—and so the unfolding of their lives became tremendously important to me.” Here, among others, are the “Pretty Nicely Girls,” now adults: One trades self-respect for a wealthy husband, the other finds in the pages of a book a kindred spirit who changes her life. Tommy, the janitor at the local high school, has his faith tested in an encounter with an emotionally isolated man he has come to help; a Vietnam veteran suffering from PTSD discovers unexpected solace in the company of a lonely innkeeper; and Lucy Barton’s sister, Vicky, struggling with feelings of abandonment and jealousy, nonetheless comes to Lucy’s aid, ratifying the deepest bonds of family.

With the stylistic brilliance and subtle power that distinguish the work of this great writer, Elizabeth Strout has created another transcendent work of fiction, with characters who will live in readers’ imaginations long after the final page is turned.

*These books were provided to me as an advanced ebook copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

**This book will be provided to me as an advanced reader copy via Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review. 

Now, what are YOU going to read? 🙂

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