I was very fortunate to receive several advanced readers copies of January releases and am excited to say that I can recommend all of them.
This first one is a short story collection that just left me saying, WOW.
The first story in this collection, I Will Follow You, hits you with a wallop. It Lets you know this is not a collection of happy, go lucky stories to provide you an escape. However, this is a collection of truth, everyone one of these stories digs deep into real life and the complexities we find there. These are real women and men, warts and all. Some of these stories have a fantastical element, but Gay is able to still have them relay the true life essence underneath. Be warned this is not a collection to read if you have any kind of triggers, but if you are like me and like to read stories that connect you to the characters and feel, I highly recommend this book. (I received a copy of this book from the publisher for an honest review.)
I also highly recommend her essay collection Bad Feminist
This amazing debut exemplifies the notion that reading fiction fosters empathy. Johnson’s beautiful prose and well developed characters, in the end, enabled me to understand and care about each of these characters, even the most unlikable of the bunch. Employing the structure of following a different one of the half dozen characters in each chapter we are able to see each one’s motivations. On top of all this she manages to tell a compelling story that keeps you turning the pages until the very end. I can’t say enough about this book and I will definitely be following Lindsey Lee Johnson anxiously awaiting her next book.(I received a copy of this book from the publisher for an honest review.)
Another Debut - A suspenseful, page turning tale that is a coming of age, beautiful imagery, delves deep into the ideas of guilt and identity and secrets and faith.
The structure that wanders back and forth in time at times is confusing but ultimately just adds to the suspense and slow unraveling of the story.
There are a few things I had problems with, her portrayal of a four year old I found myself questioning whether he was believable as that age. She does touch on some subjects that some may find her handling of questionable, but overall I thought it was a well written and compelling debut. (I received a copy of this book from the publisher for an honest review.)
What makes a family? Kevin Wilson’s second novel asks that question. This is a darkly comic tale of ten families pregnant with their first child become part of a research project The Infinite Family and what happens as they try to define “family”. I enjoyed this book, (not as much as Wilson’s first novel The Family Fang) It is quick read,uplifting read, not too heavy. I’d recommend it.
(I received a copy of this book from the publisher for an honest review.)
I have two other January releases that I did not get a chance to read yet but you may want to check out. Those would be Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney and The River at Night by Erica Ferencik
That's all I've got this month.. I hope you found some books you are interested in. I'll be back next month with my picks for February.