(Every week I add new titles to CCLaP's ever-growing "to-read" list, mostly through the free library monitoring service Wowbrary.com; and now thanks to a reader's suggestion, I share that list of new additions each week here at the blog as well, including brief descriptions of why I added them to my list. For the entire reading list including its hundreds and hundreds of titles, visit either CCLaP's Goodreads.com profile or its Amazon wish list.)
The Rise and Fall of the Bible: The Unexpected History of an Accidental Book, by Timothy Beal
It's fairly well-known by now that what we call today the Christian Bible originally started out as a much larger collection of unrelated tales, edited and sometimes excised until becoming the manuscript we have now; and this 2009 "NPR-worthy" title purports to explain it all, including the fact that there was no Bible at all for the first several hundred years of Christianity, and that its current compilation essentially boiled down to a series of bitter fights between individual churches, each of which had their own unique version of "holy texts."
Deep Down True, by Juliette Fay
A character-based author with a small but intensely passionate audience, Juliette Fay's newest is apparently a look at a too-nice middle-aged recent divorcee whose goth teen niece has just moved in with her, fraying her nerves to the breaking point. Not a book I'll specifically seek out, but one I'll probably pick up if randomly running across it.
Miss Me When I'm Gone, by Philip Stephens
Indie alt-country musician returns to his small Missouri hometown, where a local murder and the village's growing homogenization forces him to take a new, adult look at the former childhood friends who are now meth cookers and moonshiners. Sounds fascinating, and makes me wonder if it's as good as the dust jacket copy.
The Fates Will Find Their Way, by Hannah Pittard
This hotly anticipated literary debut is getting ratings all over the spectrum right now; but my acquaintance Kevin Sampsell at Powell's really liked it, which is enough to add it to my own 'to-read' list. It's the story of a teenage girl who goes missing one day, and the smitten boys around her who spend years still obsessed over the unsolved case; fans say that the prose is striking and beautiful, while critics say it's an almost exact ripoff of Jeffrey Eugenides' The Virgin Suicides.