The other day at the San Diego Central Library I noticed a card catalog and it reminded me of the way I used to do research projects in high school and the first year or two of college. I have not opened a card catalog in almost twenty years. I loved research projects in school because they would lead to unexpected discoveries and open up unknown worlds. The first research project I remember was in fourth or fifth grade in my “Program for the Academically Talented” class (do they still have this program or is it a remnant of the 80’s?). The project involved Greek and Roman Gods, and as soon as I started learning about them I wanted to know everything. One discovery led to another, and over time the little bit that I learned led me to Homer, Sophocles, Socrates, and so much more.
Zelda Fitzgerald was the subject of my 9th research project and I chose her because of my obsession with “The Great Gatsby.” Researching Zelda led me to authors like Edna St. Vincent Millay (same biographer), Ernest Hemingway (Zelda could not stand him), and Sylvia Plath (she always reminded me of Zelda). Learning is a continuous, exciting cycle where little flickers of interest move us to diverse things.
Part of the fun of reading for me is deciding what to read next, I like researching upcoming books. The sources I turn to the most are IndieBound, the New York Times, and The Guardian. I also get ideas for what to read next from walking through bookstores. The books below are all going to be added to my library list in 2014.
“California” by Edan Lepucki (expected Summer 2014)
I am a little jealous of this book because it sounds like an idea I had a few months ago. Of course, I never even wrote the first sentence, and this woman wrote the entire book…The book centers on a couple in post-apocalyptic California. It sounds as though it takes place in the near future and it explores love, humanity, and resilience. Can’t wait to read it.
“The Invention of Wings” by Sue Monk Kidd (out now)
Oprah brought her book club back about a year ago as Oprah 2.0. I am an Oprah junkie, and have read almost all of her book picks over the years, so I’ll be reading this one. She only picks about two books a year, the last two books, “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed and “The Twelve Tribes of Hattie” by Ayana Mathis were great reads.
“Cutting Teeth” by Julia Fiero (expected May 2014)
I found this book on Flavorwire’s 15 most anticipated books list. I am intrigued because Fiero has been compared to Meg Wolitzer, and Karen Thompson Walker (who wrote “The Age of Miracles”) wrote, “Fiero’s writing feels like real life. She captures the anxiety of our times with authority, insight, and humor.”
“The City of Mirrors” by Justin Cronin (expected Fall 2014)
If you have not read the first two books in this trilogy, “The Passage” and “The Twelve,” you still have time to get caught up before the final book comes out next fall. “The City of Mirrors” will be the end of The Passage Trilogy and I am hoping for a satisfying ending. These books are creepy and will keep you awake all night. Cronin writes incredibly well, and the world he has created in these books will always haunt me.
“Oh She Glows Cookbook” by Angela Liddon (expected Spring 2014)
Angela creates no-fail recipes on her blog www.ohsheglows.com and I know this book will be full of delicious recipes and gorgeous pictures.
“Delicious!” by Ruth Reichl (expected Spring 2014)
Reichl is a memoirist who wrote two of the best book memoirs of all time: “Comfort Me With Apples” and “Tender at the Bone: Growing up at the Table.” This book will be her first work of fiction. The Amazon website describes it as a: “…dazzling fiction debut—a novel of sisters, family ties, and a young woman who must find the courage to let go of the past in order to embrace her own true gifts.” Reichl has a gift for storytelling, so I think this will be fantastic.
“And the Dark Sacred Night” by Julia Glass (expected Spring 2014)
“Three Junes” will always be one of the books on my Top Ten books of all time list. I am so excited about this book because she brings back characters from that book. Glass published her first book in her late 40’s – inspiring!
“The Museum of Extraordinary Things” by Alice Hoffman (February 2014)
Alice Hoffman. Enough said.
“The Bone Clocks” by David Mitchell (Fall 2014)
If you have not read Mitchell’s “Cloud Atlas” you are missing out! The website The Bookseller says the following about his upcoming novel: “The “rich and strange” novel will follow the story of Holly Sykes, who runs away from home in 1984 and 60 years later can be found in the far west of Ireland, raising a granddaughter as the world’s climate collapses.” Mitchell tells unique, haunting stories that should not be missed.
Untitled Short Story Collection by Margaret Atwood (Fall 2014)
I will read a grocery list if Atwood writes it. Can’t wait to read these stories.