With the end of the year drawing towards its close many are using this time to reflect back, take stock, put things into perspective,  and make 'best of' lists.  If you're interested in catching up with reading, have a look at EarlyWord's downloadable spreadsheet.  If, however, you're ready to put 2015 behind you and look squarely toward the future of 2016, I have some reading suggestions for you. Expect to see the titles in the online catalog beginning in January. (All descriptions are provided by the publisher)

Mr. Splitfoot by Samantha Hunt (January)

Ruth and Nat are orphans, packed into a house full of abandoned children run by a religious fanatic. To entertain their siblings, they channel the dead. Decades later, Ruth’s niece, Cora, finds herself accidentally pregnant. After years of absence, Aunt Ruth appears, mute and full of intention. She is on a mysterious mission, leading Cora on an odyssey across the entire state of New York on foot. Where is Ruth taking them? Where has she been? And who — or what — has she hidden in the woods at the end of the road?

Dictator by Robert Harris (January)

The long-awaited final volume of Robert Harris's Cicero Trilogy encompasses some of the most epic events in human history: the collapse of the Roman republic, the subsequent civil war, the murder of Pompey and the assassination of Julius Caesar. Its theme is timeless: how is political freedom to be safeguarded against the triple threats of unscrupulous personal ambition, of an electoral system dominated by vested financial interests, and of the corrupting impact of waging ceaseless foreign wars?

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald (January)

​Broken Wheel, Iowa, has never seen anyone like Sara, who traveled all the way from Sweden just to meet her pen pal, Amy. When she arrives, however, she finds that Amy's funeral has just ended. Luckily, the townspeople are happy to look after their bewildered tourist—even if they don't understand her peculiar need for books. Marooned in a farm town that's almost beyond repair, Sara starts a bookstore in honor of her friend's memory. All she wants is to share the books she loves with the citizens of Broken Wheel and to convince them that reading is one of the great joys of life. But she makes some unconventional choices that could force a lot of secrets into the open and change things for everyone in town.

Doubter's Almanac by Ethan Canin (February)

​Milo Andret is born with an unusual mind. A lonely child growing up in the woods of northern Michigan in the 1950s, Milo gives little thought to his talent, and not until his acceptance at U.C. Berkeley does he realize the extent, and the risks, of his singular gifts. California in the seventies is an initiation and a seduction, opening Milo’s eyes to the allure of both ambition and indulgence. The research he begins there will make him a legend; the woman, and the rival, he meets there will haunt him always. For Milo’s brilliance is inextricably linked to a dark side that ultimately threatens to unravel his work, his son and daughter, and his life.

What is Not Yours is Not Yours by Helen Oyeyemi (March)

Playful, ambitious, and exquisitely imagined, this collection is cleverly built around the idea of keys, literal and metaphorical. The key to a house, the key to a heart, the key to a secret—Oyeyemi’s keys not only unlock elements of her characters’ lives, they promise further labyrinths on the other side.

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