Friday Book Chat: Most Anticipated Books of 2015

As many of you know, I’m a bit obsessive passionate about books. Since many of you are also readers, I’ve decided to start a Friday Book Chat series to create a space to write about some of my favorite books, to share reviews, and to let you know about any great reads that are currently on sale.

To kick this series off I wanted to share my most anticipated new releases of 2015. If you aren’t interested in this, you can skip to the bottom where I mention some current Kindle deals.

Fiction

God in RuinsA God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson. (May 5th) Ok, Kate Atkinson is just fantastic. Her Jackson Brodie mysteries are maybe the best literary mysteries I’ve ever read, but her non-mystery fiction is also terrific. This book is a companion to her most recent book Life After Life which followed the life (lives?) of Ursula Todd as she is born and dies over and over making different decisions in each life that drastically change the events of her life and even of history. It’s a masterful, fascinating book. The new novel centers on the character of Ursula’s brother. Teddy, an ordinary man living in extraordinary times. The novels are set in England before and during the WWII era.

The Lake House by Kate Morton. (October 13th) Kate Morton is an Australian novelist whose previous books (The Forgotten Garden, The Distant Hours, The House at Riverton, The Secret Keeper) have all been huge hits for me. The setting plays a huge role in each of Morton’s books which read like gothic mysteries – old houses full of old family secrets. I haven’t seen a synopsis for this book yet, but I don’t even care. I’ve enjoyed her other books so much I’m willing to buy this one blind.

Non-Fiction

searching for sundaySearching For Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church by Rachel Held Evans. (April 14th) Evans is a well-known Christian writer and blogger who often writes about feminism and patriarchy and other hot-button issues. While I sometimes find her blog a little aggressive, I’ve loved her two previous books. In fact, her first book, Faith Unraveled, is one of my all-time favorite spiritual memoirs because I relate to it so much. I also really enjoyed A Year of Biblical Womanhood. This book is organized around the seven sacraments and takes readers through Evans’s journey from cynicism to hope in being able to make peace with the Church.

Big MagicBig Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert. (Sept. 22nd) Gilbert is, of course, most famous for Eat, Pray, Love (which I mostly enjoyed as a book and adored as a movie) but she’s also written some really great literary fiction as well (The Signature of All Things). I’m mostly intrigued by this book after reading this TED talk she gave on the topic of your elusive creative genius.

 

 

out of sortsOut of Sorts by Sarah Bessey. (August 11th) I’m going to include this even though I’m not entirely sure how much I’m anticipating it. Bessey’s first book, Jesus Feminist, was a good book with some really good things to say about how being a Christian and being a feminist go hand-in-hand, but ultimately it was more about women in the Church than it was about feminism in general. I also expected it to be more relational because her blog is so beautiful and personal, but it turned out to be more exegetical than I expected. My friend, Karissa, described it as being mis-marketed and I think that’s true. (You should still read it, though!) The publisher describes the new book this way: “”As she candidly shares her wrestlings with core issues—such as who Jesus is, what place the Church has in our lives, how to disagree yet remain within a community, and how to love the Bible for what it is rather than what we want it to be—she teaches us how to walk courageously through our own tough questions.”

Addie Zierman has a new book coming out sometime this year (haven’t seen a title or publication date announcement on this yet) which I am thrilled about because her debut book, When We Were On Fire, is the reason I got up the courage to start working on my own book. Because i resonated with her story so deeply it made me feel like mine just might matter too. Also, she is a STUNNING writer.

What are you looking forward to? Anything I should know about?

Kindle Deals

On Sale as of 2/06/2015

*Note: I use the US Amazon site – it’s possible that prices are different if you are shopping from elsewhere.

The Fault in Our Stars, John Green ($2.99) So good, but read with tissues.

The Invention of Wings, Sue Monk Kidd ($3.99) This was on many “best of the year” lists for 2014.

Eleanor and Park, Rainbow Rowell ($4.99) Reading this right now and it’s great.

Leaving Church, Barbara Brown Taylor ($3.79) One of my favorite spiritual writers. I wrote about this book in my January What I’m Into post.

An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith, Barbara Brown Taylor ($3.09)

Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith CrisisLauren Winner ($1.99) I just finished this book recently and it was one of those books that didn’t stand out as a whole, but there were certain bits that were very, very good.

Big Little Lies, Liane Moriarty ($3.99) Wrote about this here. Really love all of her books.

Three Wishes, Liane Moriarty ($2.99)

Name of the Wind, Patrick Rothfuss ($4.99) I’ve already talked about this like 7 times, but if you need a refresher, read the blurb on this post.

The Wise Man’s Fear, Patrick Rothfuss ($5.99) See above.

The Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern ($4.99) I adore this book.

 

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30 comments

  1. The three on my list for the year, you’ve mentioned. i’m very excited to read the new books from Sarah Bessesy, Rachel Held Evans and Addie Zierman. Will check out the others on your list too…

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  2. Ha ha! Don’t know that I’ll read Sarah Bessey’s new one . . . I have been enjoying her blog again, though. But even part of that blurb . . . loving the Bible for what it is, not what we want it to be – that’s from a blog series that Rachel Held Evans did! Like almost word for word! I enjoy Kate Morton a lot. However, when I read the most recent one (The Secret Keeper), I felt like it was basically the same Kate Morton formula just applied to a new set of characters. Family secret, back and forth in time, etc. I’ll still probably read the new one, though. I can’t wait to read Searching for Sunday!!!

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    1. I hear you. 🙂 I didn’t know that about RHE’s blog series. I will probably read it, but I don’t know if I’ll like pre-order it or anything like that. Lauren Winner has a new book coming out this spring and I sort of feel the same way about it. I just finished reading Still and while it had some good moments, I wasn’t wildly impressed overall.

      I’m really looking forward to Kate Morton’s new book, but I felt similarly about the last book seeming to take on an almost formulaic feeling. We’ll have to see…Do you know of anything else amazing coming out this year?

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  3. I just finished The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin. It made me laugh out loud and has the added bonus of lots of great reading recommendations sprinkled throughout the story. It’s heartwarming, quirky, and hopeful.
    I’m now reading The Perfume Collector by Kathleen Tessaro.

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    1. I have not heard of the The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, but your recommendation has intrigued me. I’ll look for it! I’ve read The Perfume Collector. I enjoyed it, but it wasn’t one of those books that really stayed with me. I don’t think I connected with the main character as much as I wanted to. I’d be interested to hear what you think when you’re finished!

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  4. I just downloaded “The GIrl on The Train”…I hate getting swept up with books that have all the hype…but sometimes I just can’t help it!This one has been mentioned everywhere!

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    1. I’ve heard it’s a great book for fans of Gone Girl. I read Gone Girl a year or so ago, before the movie hype, and I didn’t really like it. But the reasons I didn’t like it were very specific to the particular story – I like those kinds of books in general. I also really liked the movie version of Gone Girl (although it was super creepy). So The Girl on the Train is on my “watch” list for now. You’ll have to tell me what you think when you finish.

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  5. I’ve been rediscovering some classics lately and so my most anticipated book of the year has got to be the recently announced Go Set a Watchmen by Harper Lee!! It doesn’t come out for several months though, so I’ll have to check out some of your favorites in the meantime! P.S. Elizabeth Gilbert’s TED talk is one of my absolute favorites!

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    1. I have mixed feelings about Harper Lee’s book – I’m sort of afraid it can’t possibly live up to To Kill a Mockingbird. And also that she’s being manipulated into releasing it in the first place. I’m sure I’ll read it, it’s just making me nervous, haha. Let me know if you read any of these!

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      1. ugh- I know, I really hope that she isn’t being taken advantage of. I’m hoping that everything is on the up and up so I can read it guilt-free. I’m not expecting it to “live up” to To Kill a Mockingbird as much as I am just very, very curious about the story!

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      2. I know…it’s such a weird situation. It’s a sort of prequel isn’t it? I heard that this was the original book she submitted to her publisher and her publisher was like, “Mmmm…not so much. Maybe you should write more about Scout.” So I’m also curious if it’s any good.

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  6. Girl on the Train turned out to be rather average, in my opinion. I did like Gone Girl and haven’t seen the movie yet.

    This is the first time I’ve seen a title for the new Kate Morton! How exciting!

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  7. I LOVE Kate Morton! Her books are so atmospheric and fun! Can’t wait to read The Lake House when it comes out! And you have thoroughly piqued my interest with Kate Atkinson. I’ve seen you mention her more than once so her books have been added to my Goodreads to-read shelf 🙂

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    1. Ahhhh, Kate Atkinson is AMAZING. Her Jackson Brodie mysteries are so great because they are really more like literary fiction where a mystery is also being solved than like genre fiction. The characters and situations are so interesting. And Life After Life was really fascinating. I think you’d really like her!

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    1. I never used to read non-fiction until a couple of years ago and now at least half of what I read is non-fiction. I think when I was younger and still in school (or just out of school) reading non-fiction felt too academic for it to be enjoyable because I was already doing so much other academic reading. Now though I really enjoy it because I feel like I’m always learning something and I really hope to be a life-long learner. What kinds of non-fiction are your favorite? I like a lot of memoirs and faith books, but also food books and inspirational books and historical books.

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      1. The nerd part of me loves psychological, social, and cultural theory type books (Susan Cain’s ‘Quiet”, Malcom Gladwell ‘Outliers’, Feakonomics, etc…). I also enjoy quirky memoirs and biographies about important people in history, especially women.

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  8. I’m really looking forward to Searching for Sunday! I’m also excited about Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome: A Memoir of Humor and Healing in 30 Religions Reba Riley. And Wearing God: Clothing, Laughter, Fire, and Other Overlooked Ways of Meeting God by Lauren F. Winner might be what I’m looking forward to the most (I read her book Still last year and LOVED it).

    I’ve been wanting to read Leaving Church and the Night Circus so thank you for letting me know they’re on sale!

    Also, I completely agree with your comment about Jesus Feminist. I was expecting (hoping?) it’d be more about the intersection of feminism and Christianity, but it wasn’t nearly as much about feminism as it was about women in church. There were a couple of chapters that I loved, but I was honestly kind of disappointed by it because of how little feminism was talked about. Maybe I just wasn’t the target audience.

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    1. I actually just finished reading Still and I was only kind of “Meh” about it. The parts that I like I really, really liked, but for a lot of the book Winner just felt sort of distant – it was also just sort of a hard book for me to categorize. I think it might be because her narrative voice sometimes waxes very academic and I found that distancing from some of the more personal parts. But, like I said, the parts that I liked I thought were just great. But I will probably read Winner’s new book, I just don’t know that it will be one I buy like the day it comes out.

      Glad to know you also felt that way about Jesus Feminist. I felt almost sacrilegious saying that, haha. It’s become such a “sacred text” in some circles.

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