Books I’m Excited to Read in January

Read Along With Me

Welcome to 2021! Today, I’m excited to share with you the books I’m looking forward to reading in January. These are the titles that will be appearing in my weekly book review posts throughout the month.

What books are on your list this month? I hope you’ll add your suggestions in the comments.

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The Ferret by Tom Minder

As an LDS elder, Louie Kimble, is assigned as construction foreman in Testimony Acres, a high-end real estate development, fifty miles north of Las Vegas. He discovers it’s a money laundering scheme put together by his religious superiors. Confronted by the FBI, he agrees to provide evidence and testify in exchange for his freedom.

After surgery to fix an unfortunate resemblance to a domesticated animal, he is given a new name and history and relocated to South Jersey. He rebuilds his life, with a girlfriend, a great job, and season tickets to the local pro football team.

Then one bright Saturday morning, there is a knock on his front door. His visitor will bring back his past, and change his life forever.

Turning Homeward: Restoring Hope and Nature in the Urban Wild by Adrienne Ross Scanlan

Turning Homeward: Restoring Hope and Nature in the Urban Wild is the journey of a newcomer to the Pacific Northwest who learns that home isn’t simply where you live, but where you create belonging.

Set in Seattle and Western Washington’s urban and suburban “altered” landscapes, Turning Homeward creates an accessible narrative of the complicated joys of rolling up one’s sleeves to help repair our beautiful, broken world. Adrienne Scanlan’s personal story blends into the natural history of Puget Sound and the tangled issues around urban renewal and river restoration. In the process, readers move with her into a meaningful, hope-filled engagement with place and another understanding of the idea of home.

Adrienne explores how seasons spent restoring the city’s salmon runs help her make peace with her father’s death and build a new marriage. Turning Homeward speaks to a simple truth spreading through our society: The nature we cherish lives alongside us, and by restoring it we heal both home and heart.

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The Writer’s Library by Nancy Pearl & Jeff Schwager

Before Jennifer Egan, Louise Erdrich, Luis Alberto Urrea, and Jonathan Lethem became revered authors, they were readers. In this ebullient book, America’s favorite librarian Nancy Pearl and noted-playwright Jeff Schwager interview a diverse range of America’s most notable and influential writers about the books that shaped them and inspired them to leave their own literary mark. 

Illustrated with beautiful line drawings, The Writer’s Library is a revelatory exploration of the studies, libraries, and bookstores of today’s favorite authors—the creative artists whose imagination and sublime talent make America’s literary scene the wonderful, dynamic world it is. A love letter to books and a celebration of wordsmiths, The Writer’s Library is a treasure for anyone who has been moved by the written word. 

Forget Russia by L. Bordetsky-Williams

“Your problem is you have a Russian soul,” Anna’s mother tells her. In 1980, Anna is a naïve UConn senior studying abroad in Moscow at the height of the Cold War-and a second-generation Russian Jew raised on a calamitous family history of abandonment, Czarist-era pogroms, and Soviet-style terror. As Anna dodges date rapists, KGB agents, and smooth-talking black marketeers while navigating an alien culture for the first time, she must come to terms with the aspects of the past that haunt her own life. With its intricate insight into the everyday rhythms of an almost forgotten way of life in Brezhnev’s Soviet Union, Forget Russia is a disquieting multi-generational epic about coming of age, forgotten history, and the loss of innocence in all of its forms.

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