I know, I know – Why am I looking at new books when I’m supposed to be focusing on my own damn books?
I’ll tell you why: Because I don’t want to let any serious gems slip by me. I mean, they will, inevitably. Think of how many books are published every week! But I have this thing called a wish list, and every item on it is books plus acres of free time to read said books.
So while I’m no longer endlessly scouring every conceivable book list, I’m still taking a little time each month to review new books. Here are five that will join my wish list this month.
The Land of Forgotten Girls by Erin Entrada Kelly (March 1)
This children’s novel is about two sisters, Soledad and Ming, whose widowed father moves them from the Philippines to Louisiana then abandons the family. Left with their evil stepmother, the girls cling for comfort to the stories their mother used to tell them about their aunt. Not having read the novel, I’m not sure what comes next, but the descriptions I’ve read allude to the question, at what point do stories transform from comfort to unproductive escapism?
A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro (March 1)
One of the lead characters in this young adult murder mystery is Charlotte Holmes, a riff on Sherlock Holmes. So have I mentioned I have a soft spot for novels that are in conversation with classics? Charlotte is the famed detective’s great (times three) granddaughter and a student at Sherringford prep school (located in Connecticut, just like I am!). After a student dies, Charlotte and her rival Jamie are framed for murder, and Charlotte has to clear their names.
What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours by Helen Oyeyemi (March 8)
I’m counting down the days to the release of Oyeyemi’s “enchanting collection of intertwined stories.” That’s how it has been described, and I’m buying it. The writing of her novel Boy, Snow, Bird had a spell-like, grim fairy tale quality. This collection revolves around the idea of literal and metaphorical keys – the keys to a house, a heart, a secret.
The Fever of 1721: The Epidemic That Revolutionized Medicine and American Politics by Stephen Cross (March 8)
Reading Give Me Liberty last month inspired me to read more about American history. And boom – here comes this book about the smallpox epidemic of 1721, a year that (according to the description) “changed the course of medical history, American journalism, and colonial revolution.” To be honest, I haven’t the foggiest notion how these three things will come together. But I suppose if I did, I wouldn’t need to read the book, right?
The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle by Janet Fox (March 15)
The first thing I noticed about this children’s novel is that it takes place at a mysterious manor in the Scottish Highlands. Sold! All is not right at the castle, serving as a temporary boarding school for children escaping the Blitz (so World War II novel – another of my genre soft spots). Twelve-year-old Kat Bateson’s father is at war, and her mother sends Kat and her two siblings away from London. But children have begun disappearing from the castle, and Kat, her siblings, and their new best friend race to solve the mystery.
I’m a little afraid to ask, but I’ll do it anyway: What am I missing? What excellent new books are you looking forward to reading this month?