Kiddosphere: Can’t Wait to Read – Grown Up Books
Spring 2015 books are coming in fast and furious. Over the next several weeks, I’ll discuss my most anticipated reads in adult fiction/nonfiction, children’s books, and young adult books. Some books may already be on our shelves and I haven’t had a chance to get to them; others may have a later release date.
I still have a ton of adult fiction/nonfiction books from 2014 to read, but my 2015 list is happily overflowing with fantastic titles.
I love entertainment history, so 1965: The Most Revolutionary Year in Music is right up my alley. Simon and Garfunkel and The Rolling Stones had their first number one hits and Bob Dylan went electric in 1965. Soul/funk, jazz, and country also made critical gains (glad the focus isn’t just on pop music!). Available now.
Ashley’s War hasn’t been released yet, but Reese Witherspoon’s production company has already bought the movie rights, so better read it now before there’s a long wait list (like Wild). Ashley White and her fellow soldiers were the first American women to serve with Special Ops forces; military stories are always hugely popular (American Sniper, etc), so get on the waiting list while you can (if this interests you).
Speaking of waiting lists (and Reese Witherspoon, who starred in the film version of Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants) – At the Water’s Edge isn’t available yet, but the waiting list is already impressive. This World War II story set in rural Scotland has received mixed reviews, but that’s not going to dampen interest in this story.
I love history books focused on one specific city, so I’m excited about Beale Street Dynasty. The life story of Robert Church, a slave who became the first African-American millionaire, is key to the narrative.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been reading biographies of each president (been working on this since October 2012, and I just took home a biography of Kennedy). I’ve often wanted to read biographies of the First Ladies, but other than a handful of titles about the most famous ones (Martha Washington, Abigail Adams, Eleanor Roosevelt, Jacqueline Kennedy, etc), there’s not much available. Very often, save for the more contemporary ladies (Eleanor Roosevelt and onward), there’s not much available on the other First Ladies because there are not a lot of letters, diaries, newspaper accounts, and such left behind about them (personal correspondences were also destroyed by family members). I’m on pins and needles waiting for First Ladies: Leading Presidential Historians on the Lives of 45 Iconic American Women; it’s received excellent reviews.
Willie Nelson’s autobiography comes out in May (just after his 82nd birthday), and I am SO excited. This man has lived a long, fascinating, controversial and complicated life. Can’t wait to read his stories.
Shadow of the Crescent Moon is set in a Pakistan/Afghanistan border town, in which a man’s brother and wife are taken hostage by the Taliban. The author is the niece of Benazir Bhutto, the assassinated Prime Minister of Pakistan, which adds an interesting touch.
Epic family sagas told through different generations of family members don’t usually grab my interest, but The Shore is set in the Chesapeake Bay (Virginia section), which makes a difference.
The holds list for The Wright Brothers is growing, which is not a huge surprise for a forthcoming David McCullough book. I have never read a biography of Orville and Wilbur Wright (other than a children’s book), so I’m eager to read this. I’m happy that sister Katharine Wright’s important contributions to their work is given due (Jane Yolen wrote a beautiful picture book about her).
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Jennifer Schultz, Youth Services Librarian, Fauquier County Public Library
For book lists, reviews and staff suggestions for children published prior to January 2015, visit Kiddosphere, our blog about children/young adult fiction and non-fiction.