I've recently realized that I've never posted about books before, which I found slightly strange considering I'm an indie bookstore worker by day and a constant reader by night. My favourite parts of my job are when I get to match a reader to their perfect read and when I get to hear about all the forthcoming new releases, and I figured I could do a little bit of both here.
I've listed some of the new releases that I'm most excited about, but this is nowhere near an exhaustive list of all the good books that will be released this year. I tend to read books about the struggles of being human and mankind's relationship with nature, choices that are reflected on this list, but you just may find something that interests you regardless of your reading preferences.
All the Bright Places // Jennifer Niven // January 6, 2015
I'm so glad that this book is being released right at the beginning of the year, as it's been on my to-be-read list for months. Jennifer Niven's debut novel follows the unlikely friendship of a boy, Finch, and a girl, Violet, who meet on top of a bell tower where Finch talks Violet out of jumping. Teenage love stories are a dime a dozen, but rarely does a story come along that portrays mental illness and suicide in such a realistic and unflinching manner. Already set to be a film starring Elle Fanning, All the Bright Places promises to be a funny and heart-breaking read about young love, old struggles and the art of trying to get by.
Binary Star // Sarah Gerard // January 13
Sarah Gerard's lyrical account of a young woman struggling with anorexia and the road trip she takes with her alcoholic, long-distance boyfriend has been creating quite the buzz throughout the literary community. While circumnavigating the United States, the two protagonists happen across a book on veganarchism and believe they've finally found a direction for their lives, a direction that will keep them from fading away. An intense read about two lost lovers and the society that keeps them sick, I preordered this book as soon as I heard a fellow bookseller raving about it. Check out an excerpt of the book here.
Etta and Otto and Russel and James // Emma Hooper // January 29
Eighty-two year old Etta's greatest unfulfilled wish is to see the ocean – a wish made difficult by the fact that she lives in the rolling farmlands of Saskatchewan, some 2,000 miles away from the Atlantic. One morning, she wakes up early and takes a rifle, some chocolate and her best walking boots and begins walking towards the waters of Halifax. Meanwhile, her husband Otto waits patiently back at their farm, left only with his memories and letters he writes to Etta but never sends. This book comes recommended by my most trusted book reviewer and I'm hoping it will whisk me away like Michael Crummey's Sweetland did earlier this summer.
I'll Meet You There // Heather Demetrios // February 5
Seventeen year old Skylar wants nothing more to escape her town of Creek View, a town here the only future for young women is one in a double-wide trailer with a baby on the hip.After graduating, the only thing standing between her and art school is three months of minimum-wage work – until something happens that leaves her torn between her dreams and those she loves. Nineteen year old Josh escaped Creek View a year back when he joined the Marines, but is forced to return after his leg is blown off in Afghanistan. When he meets Skylar at his job at the Paradise Motel, their shared isolation results in a beautiful friendship against a dark backdrop of alcoholism, poverty and war.
Our Endless Numbered Days // Claire Fuller // March 17
A father obsessed with survivalism takes his eight year old daughter from their home in London to a remote hut in the woods and tells her that the rest of the world has been destroyed in this gripping and chilling debut. When Peggy finds a pair of boots in the forest and beings to search for their owner, she unknowingly unravels the series of events that brought her to the woods and, in doing so, finds the strength she needs to go back to the home and mother she had lost forever. A story of growing up, the perils of isolation and obsession, and the power of trauma, Fuller's debut will be a perfect companion on my first Spring camping trip.
It's a Long Story // Willie Nelson // May 5
Having recently turned 80, Willie Nelson has written his complete, unvarnished biography leaving no moment or experience unturned from Texas and Nashville to Hawaii and his legendary bus. Although this is not Nelson's first book, this is the first “tell-all” style biography and it promises to shed light on everything from his drive to write music to his biggest lows (his bankruptcy) and his biggest highs (the founding of Farm Aid). As a lover of classic country artists such as Willie, Johnny and Merle, I'm looking forward to reading this on my front porch this summer as I replay memories of my time in Nashville between the pages.
If You Feel Too Much: Thoughts on Things Found and Lost and Hoped For // Jamie Tworkowski // May 12
In 2006, Jamie Tworkowski wrote a piece called To Writer Love on Her Arms about helping a friend through her struggles of addiction that immediately went viral. Nine years later, the non-profit that his writing gave birth to has raised millions, is an internationally-recognized leader in suicide and addiction prevention and is a source of hope and resources for people worldwide. Jamie's first book is a collection of essays that invite readers to admit their pains, believe that hope is not admit and know that it is always okay to ask for help. Tworkowski is a huge inspiration in my life, not only as a philanthropist but as a writer, and I so look forward to reading this in May.
The Mountain Can Wait // Sarah Leipciger // May 19
As a lover of the wilderness and an inhabitant of a rural village, books with strong nature writing and small town politics are always winners with me and Leipciger's debut is sure to be no exception. A telling of one family's unraveling in a Canadian Rocky Mountain logging community, The Mountain Can Wait tells the stories of a reclusive single father and a disappeared son who must each confront their private demons if they are to have any hope of reconciliation and redemption. This novel hailed for its beautiful imagery and psychologically gripping plot and I look forward to reading about a setting I love so dearly.
Which of these books are you thinking of reading? If none of them have piqued your interest, let me know what you like to read in the comments and I'll see if I can find you your perfect book match.
Also, let me know if you'd be interested in more book-related posts – I'd love to hear what you think!