All the Books I Meant to Read… (Fall 2014)

It’s time for another round-up of all the books I meant to read…

In what’s likely to become a seasonal feature, I’m taking a moment to salute the ARCs that I didn’t end up reading, whether for lack of time or simply because I wasn’t in the right mood at the right time.

Here are books released from September through November that I thought sounded great — but I just didn’t get around to. Tell me, please: Which of these have you read? Do any especially appeal to you? Would you consider any of these a must-read?

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Winterkill by Kate A. Boorman

Emmeline knows she’s not supposed to explore the woods outside her settlement. The enemy that wiped out half her people lurks there, attacking at night and keeping them isolated in an unfamiliar land with merciless winters. Living with the shame of her grandmother’s insubordination, Emmeline has learned to keep her head down and her quick tongue silent.When the settlement leader asks for her hand in marriage, it’s an opportunity for Emmeline to wash the family slate clean—even if she has eyes for another. But before she’s forced into an impossible decision, her dreams urge her into the woods, where she uncovers a path she can’t help but follow. The trail leads to a secret that someone in the village will kill to protect. Her grandmother followed the same path and paid the price. If Emmeline isn’t careful, she will be next.

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Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth

The amazing power and truth of the Rapunzel fairy tale comes alive for the first time in this breathtaking tale of desire, black magic and the redemptive power of love

French novelist Charlotte-Rose de la Force has been banished from the court of Versailles by the Sun King, Louis XIV, after a series of scandalous love affairs. At the convent, she is comforted by an old nun, Sœur Seraphina, who tells her the tale of a young girl who, a hundred years earlier, is sold by her parents for a handful of bitter greens…

After Margherita’s father steals parsley from the walled garden of the courtesan Selena Leonelli, he is threatened with having both hands cut off, unless he and his wife relinquish their precious little girl. Selena is the famous red-haired muse of the artist Tiziano, first painted by him in 1512 and still inspiring him at the time of his death. She is at the center of Renaissance life in Venice, a world of beauty and danger, seduction and betrayal, love and superstition.

Locked away in a tower, Margherita sings in the hope that someone will hear her. One day, a young man does.

Award-winning author Kate Forsyth braids together the stories of Margherita, Selena, and Charlotte-Rose, the woman who penned Rapunzel as we now know it, to create what is a sumptuous historical novel, an enchanting fairy tale retelling, and a loving tribute to the imagination of one remarkable woman.

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The Wonder of All Things by Jason Mott

On an ordinary day, at an air show like that in any small town across the country, a plane crashes into a crowd of spectators. After the dust clears, a thirteen-year-old girl named Ava is found huddled beneath a pocket of rubble with her best friend, Wash. He is injured and bleeding, and when Ava places her hands over him, his wounds disappear. 

Ava has an unusual gift: she can heal others of their physical ailments. Until the air show tragedy, her gift was a secret. Now the whole world knows, and suddenly people from all over the globe begin flocking to her small town, looking for healing and eager to catch a glimpse of The Miracle Child. But Ava’s unique ability comes at a great cost, and as she grows weaker with each healing, she soon finds herself having to decide just how much she’s willing to give up in order to save the ones she loves most. 

Elegantly written, deeply intimate and emotionally astute, The Wonder of All Things is an unforgettable story and a poignant reminder of life’s extraordinary gifts.

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A Sudden Light by Garth Stein

When a boy tries to save his parents’ marriage, he uncovers a legacy of family secrets in a coming-of-age ghost story by the author of the internationally bestselling phenomenon, The Art of Racing in the Rain.

In the summer of 1990, fourteen-year-old Trevor Riddell gets his first glimpse of Riddell House. Built from the spoils of a massive timber fortune, the legendary family mansion is constructed of giant, whole trees, and is set on a huge estate overlooking Puget Sound. Trevor’s bankrupt parents have begun a trial separation, and his father, Jones Riddell, has brought Trevor to Riddell House with a goal: to join forces with his sister, Serena, dispatch Grandpa Samuel—who is flickering in and out of dementia—to a graduated living facility, sell off the house and property for development into “tract housing for millionaires,” divide up the profits, and live happily ever after.

But Trevor soon discovers there’s someone else living in Riddell House: a ghost with an agenda of his own. For while the land holds tremendous value, it is also burdened by the final wishes of the family patriarch, Elijah, who mandated it be allowed to return to untamed forestland as a penance for the millions of trees harvested over the decades by the Riddell Timber company. The ghost will not rest until Elijah’s wish is fulfilled, and Trevor’s willingness to face the past holds the key to his family’s future.

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Let me know if you especially recommend any of the above… or if any have caught your eye enough to make you go out and get a copy!

11 thoughts on “All the Books I Meant to Read… (Fall 2014)

    • Maybe you’ll read it before me and let me know how it is! I saw a lot of people with Bitter Greens on their to-read lists this fall, but I haven’t read any reviews yet.

      • OK, will definitely let you know when I get to it. Hopefully I can say something more intelligent than the above comment – lol – it’s on my TBR but I haven’t read it yet. That’s great. 🙂

      • So, I finally checked out BItter Greens and started it…. and… meh. I just couldn’t get into it. That doesn’t necessarily mean it was a bad book, of course.

  1. I haven’t read any of them, but Bitter Greens looks really good! There are so many books released this year that I haven’t gotten around too. Maybe I can get to some of them before the end of the year. Ha

    • Sign me up! I love a good ghost story — and I agree, winter nights, cuddling up in warm blankets, are the perfect time. I hope to get to this one… eventually. 🙂

  2. I have read none of those. But The Wonder of All Things is on my TBR list. And OMG I hadn’t heard of Bitter Green, but my BFF is a huge Rapunzel fan so I’ll have to check that one out. I’m a bit afraid to read Garth Stein’s new one, though.

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