Learning about 2021 Books January – February: A Guide for Everybody

Learning about 2021 Books January – February: A Guide for Everybody March 6, 2021
Recently I highlighted what  Music and Movies  have come out so far in 2021.
So now Book Lovers, here are  21 new titles that have come out so far as well.
We have Catholic, Fiction, and Non-Fiction books listed including fiction written by some fellow Catholics.
So here are some titles to add to your never-ending book list.

These are books I find intriguing and interesting based on either the author or book description.

If I ever have the time I might read some of them. Perhaps you might find something that catches your eye and add it to your book list.

Catholic Books

Falling Home: Creating a Life That Catches You When You Fall (2021) by Hallie Lord

My dreams have never been an assurance that, should I one day find myself strapped into a crashing plane, everything will be fine. But they are a reminder that maybe, just maybe, when I feel like life is spiraling out of control and my worst nightmares have become a reality, there might be a metaphorical taco party at the end of it. One that I would have missed out on had God not intervened. Because that’s what these crash landings are about, after all. They’re about my refusal to listen to the quiet promptings of God when I’m booking my travel through life, leaving him no choice but to send me hurtling toward my divinely ordained destination, whether I like it or not.

Falling Home: Creating a Life That Catches You When You Fall by [Hallie Lord]

The Holy Mass (Sayings of the Fathers of the Church)  (2021) by Mike Aquilina and Thomas G. Weinandy  NO EBOOK

The Catholic University of America Press is proud to present the third volume in its Sayings of the Fathers of the Church series. Featuring esteemed scholars and writers compiling material from our acclaimed Fathers of the Church volumes, each title is devoted to select areas of theology. The inaugural volumes covered the Seven Deadly Sins and the Four Last Things, and now we turn to The Holy Mass.

The documents of early Christianity are rich in mentions of the Mass and its component parts. Sometimes they’re detailed descriptions, sometimes quick allusions. In this volume Mike Aquilina, a popular author on early Christianity, takes readers step by step through the Mass, from the Sign of the Cross through the Dismissal, illuminating the way with the words of the Fathers. Along the way readers encounter familiar rites, words, and gestures, but also familiar complaints ― about long homilies, bad singing, liturgical abuses, and distracted congregations.

The Holy Mass is divided into chapters based on the parts of the Mass known to modern Catholics of the Roman Rite. The Mass did not follow this sequence through the entirety of the era of the Fathers. Gregory the Great moved the position of the Lord’s Prayer. There were geographic variants for the placement of the Sign of Peace. Some ancient liturgies lacked a specific penitential rite ― though all the liturgies had a penitential dimension to their prayers.

Mike Aquilina’s introduction provides historical context and describes the rich development of the liturgy through the Church’s first few centuries. A foreword by Thomas Weinandy, a member of the Vatican’s International Theological Commission, speaks of the relevance of this material for worshipers today.- Amazon Description. 

Learning to Pray: A Guide for Everyone by James Martin(2021)

Whenever we pray, we are united with believers across the world who are lifting their hearts and minds to God. We are also united with those who have gone before us, who continue their prayers before God. This is one part of what Catholics mean by the “communion of saints.” Not long ago a friend told me that when she prays the Rosary, the series of prayers counted out on beads, she remembers all the people she knows, living and dead. In this way, she says, even when alone, she is praying the Rosary with other people. That kind of prayer also expands us. If we are more aware of others when we pray, we are enlarged.

Learning to Pray: A Guide for Everyone by [James Martin]

Our Not-Quite-Holy Family: A Practical Guide for Catholic Parents (2021) by Mark Hart and Melanie Hart

Slowly, she lowered her beautiful naked body into the bathtub. You weren’t expecting a “Catholic parenting book” to begin with that sentence, were you? Well, this isn’t your typical Catholic parenting book, so keep reading. . . .

Nothing can ready you, as a couple, for your first pregnancy or experience of childbirth. You can read all the books and take all the classes. Those things help, but nothing can properly prepare someone for all that childbirth (and child-rearing) brings with it. Whether the birth occurs in a hospital or at home, naturally or with an epidural, everyone has a story, and every story is unique. In the end, the entire experience is like a beautiful car accident: there is terror and noise, screaming and fluids (oh, so many fluids), trained medical professionals, possibly some scarring, and your life is forever different afterward. Obviously, we jest . . . sort of.

#Rules_of_Engagement: 8 Christian Habits for Being Good and Doing Good Online by Ann M. Garrido 

Social media today makes the Wild West of the past look like a child’s sandbox. It’s chaotic, perplexing, and hard to tell who is calling the shots. People behave in this territory unlike the way they behave at home . . . or is this how they actually behave at home and we just never knew? It almost makes you want to abandon social media entirely.

To retreat into a cabin in the peaceful woods, maybe to a time before the internet was ever a thing. (Did I hear someone say “television”?)

It is hard to guesstimate how many social media users self-identify as Christians. But, globally, it is surely less than a quarter. At our best, we show up in this space like the leaven Jesus talks about in Matthew 13:33—that teaspoon of yeast that affects the whole dough in a wildly disproportionate way. So often, though, it seems as if the contagion is working in the opposite direction. Christians on social media seem to be absorbing the meanness and deceit of the digital continent rather than transforming it. Our ways of pinging and dinging, tweeting and posting look a lot like those who have no relationship with Christ. Our online lives show no point of connection with Gospel values.

Tolkien’s Modern Reading: Middle-earth Beyond the Middle Ages (2021) by Holly Ordway

Middle-earth evidently owes much to the Middle Ages, and Tolkien’s deep and broad debts to medieval source material in The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, and The Silmarillion have been amply and rightly acknowledged by scholars. Yes, Tolkien was, above all things, a medievalist. That is obvious, and it cannot be gainsaid, but it does not follow that he had no interest in literature beyond the Middle Ages.

His modern reading was both more far-reaching than people have realized, and more significant for his creative imaginationn4 than has been assumed. If we recognize this, our understanding of and appreciation for Middle-earth—and of Tolkien himself—will be enriched. Tolkien said of The Lord of the Rings that such a story “grows like a seed in the dark out of the leaf-mould of the mind: out of all that has been seen or thought or read, that has long ago been forgotten, descending into the deeps.”

Fiction

Across the Green Grass Fields by Seanan McGuire

Across the Green Grass Fields is another fun book in the Wayward Children series. It’s a stand-alone novel and I missed revisiting some of the characters from previous books. This time we visit a new world, the Hooflands. Jenna on GoodReads.

Centaurs, unicorns, kelpies, fauns, perytons … Teenage Me would’ve loved this book. I was the type of girl who rode horses whenever the occasion offered and used my artistic talents to draw them, all the time, to the point where horses are still the only animal I can reliably draw well without needing to look at a picture. So I came to Across the Green Grass Fields predisposed to like it. This entry in the WAYWARD CHILDREN series doesn’t have any obvious links to Eleanor’s Home for Wayward Children or the characters in the other books in the series, at least at this point.
Tadiana ✩Night Owl FantasyLiterature.com:

Wayward Children
   1. Every Heart a Doorway (2016)
   2. Down Among the Sticks and Bones (2017)
   3. Beneath the Sugar Sky (2018)
   4. In an Absent Dream (2019)
   5. Come Tumbling Down (2020)
   6. Across the Green Grass Fields (2021)

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The Desolations of Devil’s Acre by Ransom Riggs

Let me start off by saying that the book itself, like all the others in this series, is beautiful. From the naked cover to the lush endpapers and chapter headers to the fascinating vintage photographs, the physical book is stunning.

The story picks up right where the last book left off, takes off running from there, and never lets up. Jacob Portman and his gang of peculiar friends (fire-wielding Emma, light-eating Noor, dead-reviver Enoch, and stronger-than-ten-men Bronwyn, to name a few) must join forces with Miss Peregrine and the other ymbryne guardians, the peculiars of Devil’s Acre, and a few surprising allies along the way to defeat the resurrected Caul and his monstrous wights and hollowgasts.

Ransom Riggs builds worlds upon worlds and takes you running through all of them, from present day Florida to Victorian England, to the front lines of WWI and back again, jumping loops through the Panloopticon and dodging enemies left and right. The cast of characters is large but each character is wonderfully realized, unique in both personality and peculiarity, and as a reader I loved them all.

The real photographs that Riggs builds his characters around are fascinating, the gritty realness of battle scenes sobering.

These books are considered Young Adult but I read them all in my 30s and loved them.

The storyline of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children has arced over six books (so far?) and I would happily read six more. This is a coming of age story, a tale of friendship and bravery, of loving people for who they are, of not judging by appearances. It’s a story of young love and aching loss, danger and pain but also of happiness and belonging.

I highly recommend these books to all lovers of adventure, be they young or old. Heather 5.0 out of 5 stars The Best One Yet on Amazon

Miss Peregrine’s Children
   1. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (2011)
   2. Hollow City (2014)
   3. Library of Souls (2015)
   4. A Map of Days (2018)
   5. The Conference of the Birds (2020)
   6. The Desolations of Devil’s Acre (2021)
   Tales of the Peculiar (2016)

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What would you do if you woke up and found yourself in a parallel universe under an alien sky? This is the question Zax Delatree must answer every time he closes his eyes.

Every time Zax Delatree falls asleep, he travels to a new reality. He has no control over his destination and never knows what he will see when he opens his eyes. Sometimes he wakes up in technological utopias, and other times in the bombed-out ruins of collapsed civilizations. All he has to live by are his wits and the small aides he has picked up along the way – technological advantages from techno-utopias, sedatives to escape dangerous worlds, and stimulants to extend his stay in pleasant ones.

Thankfully, Zax isn’t always alone. He can take people with him, if they’re unconscious in his arms when he falls asleep. But someone unwelcome is on his tail, and they are after something that Zax cannot spare – the blood running through his veins, the power to travel through worlds…

File Under: Science Fiction [ Green Power Sweat Dreams Waking Nightmare Zax of all Trades ] Goodreads Description

Doors of Sleep

Game Changer by Neal Shusterman

ll it takes is one hit on the football field, and suddenly Ash’s life doesn’t look quite the way he remembers it.

Impossible though it seems, he’s been hit into another dimension—and keeps on bouncing through worlds that are almost-but-not-really his own.

The changes start small, but they quickly spiral out of control as Ash slides into universes where he has everything he’s ever wanted, universes where society is stuck in the past…universes where he finds himself looking at life through entirely different eyes.

And if he isn’t careful, the world he’s learning to see more clearly could blink out of existence… Goodreads Description

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The Mysterious Disappearance of Aidan S. by David Levithan

Aidan disappeared for six days. Six agonizing days of searches and police and questions and constant vigils. Then, just as suddenly as he vanished, Aidan reappears. Where has he been? The story he tells is simply. . . impossible. But it’s the story Aidan is sticking to.

His brother, Lucas, wants to believe him. But Lucas is aware of what other people, including their parents, are saying: that Aidan is making it all up to disguise the fact that he ran away.

When the kids in school hear Aidan’s story, they taunt him. But still Aidan clings to his story. And as he becomes more of an outcast, Lucas becomes more and more concerned. Being on Aidan’s side would mean believing in the impossible. But how can you believe in the impossible when everything and everybody is telling you not to? Goodreads Description

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The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles | Goodreads

Based on the true World War II story of the heroic librarians at the American Library in Paris, this is an unforgettable story of romance, friendship, family, and the power of literature to bring us together, perfect for fans of The Lilac Girls and The Paris Wife.

Paris, 1939: Young and ambitious Odile Souchet has it all: her handsome police officer beau and a dream job at the American Library in Paris. When the Nazis march into Paris, Odile stands to lose everything she holds dear, including her beloved library. Together with her fellow librarians, Odile joins the Resistance with the best weapons she has: books. But when the war finally ends, instead of freedom, Odile tastes the bitter sting of unspeakable betrayal.

Montana, 1983: Lily is a lonely teenager looking for adventure in small-town Montana. Her interest is piqued by her solitary, elderly neighbor. As Lily uncovers more about her neighbor’s mysterious past, she finds that they share a love of language, the same longings, and the same intense jealousy, never suspecting that a dark secret from the past connects them.

A powerful novel that explores the consequences of our choices and the relationships that make us who we are—family, friends, and favorite authors—The Paris Library shows that extraordinary heroism can sometimes be found in the quietest of places. Goodreads Description

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Planetary Anthology Series: Saturn  Book 11 of 11: Planetary Anthology Series

Saturn. The Ringed Planet. Harbinger of ideas and wonder. The planet that gave birth to the modern era of science envisioning the myriad of multi-colored rings circling the planet, one of the reasons for the invention of the telescope and the second largest in our solar system. These are the stories of Saturn, the great Titan. Tales of time, age and endings. With stories by Richard Paolinelli and the queen of Catholic Sci-Fi Karina Fabian as well as her husband Rob Fabian.  Amazon Description

Planetary Anthology Series: Saturn by [Bokerah Brumley, Karl Gallagher, Carlton Herzog, G. Scott Huggins, C.S. Johnson, P.A. Piatt, J.F. Posthumus, James Pyles, Denton Salle, Ben Wheeler, Joshua M. Young, Richard Paolinelli, Arlan Andrews Sr., J.M. Anjewierden, Dana Bell, Vonnie Winslow Crist, Karina L. Fabian, Rob Fabian, A.M. Freeman, Julie Frost]

Galen’s Way: A Starquest 4th Age Adventure Book 1 of 1: Starquest 4th Age | by Richard Paolinelli 

Besides being in Saturn Richard has also come out with this new book.

A KIDNAPPED PRI,NCESS.
THE ANDROMEDA GALAXY’S MOST FEARED MERCENARY.
AN EVIL EMPIRE ABOUT TO BE BORN.

The Princess Rhiannon of Salacia has been kidnapped and is being held for ransom on the fortress planet Nammu. Galen Dwyn, the most feared mercenary in the Andromeda Galaxy has been hired to rescue her and bring her home.

But even as his rescue mission succeeds, Galen will soon find himself on the run with the Princess. Caught in the middle of a web of political intrigue, even as he begins to fall for the Princess, he will have to use every ounce of his skill and cunning to keep them both alive as forces from several planets seek them out.

For her love, he will stand alone against the forces looking to establish a new, and very evil, empire.

Galen will look to keep her safe and bring the budding empire to a halt before it can gain a foothold in the galaxy. He will choose to do so the only way he knows how.

Galen’s Way.

Dragon Award finalist Richard Paolinelli takes us on a grand adventure in this Space Opera offering set in the first book of the Starquest Saga. Set in the 4th age of Dragon Award winner John C. Wright’s Starquest universe that will feature several books by Paolinelli, Wright, and other authors in the months and years to come. Amazon Description

Galen's Way: A Starquest 4th Age Adventure by [Richard Paolinelli]

Doall’s Do-Over: A Space Traipse Story by Karina Fabian

Besides being in Saturn, Karina  has also come out with this new book.

Space Traipse strikes again with this parody of ST: TAS “Yesteryear.” An away mission in time erases Ensign Ellie Doall, replacing her with a busybody alternate self that wreaks havoc across the Union. Now a vengeful warlord razes the galaxy on a mission to kill her, and her former friends are glad to help. Can Ellie stop her younger self from ruining their life?Cringe at the improbable character ‘shipping. Learn the secret to the Impulsive’s Miracle Ensign. Watch Warlord Enigo LaFuentes put Khan to shame. Snag this Space Traipse adventure and let’s do the time plot as only the HMB Impulsive can!A laugh-out-loud parody that fondly skewers the tropes of the world’s most beloved science fiction show, and of sci-fi in general. Space Traipse: Hold My Beer is highly recommended for people who love science fiction, parody, and just good fun.
Amazon Description

 

Non-Fiction

Daughters Of Kobani’

The Fight against ISIS is being lead by the ‘Daughters Of Kobani’

When we spoke, they made clear that their ambition went well beyond this sliver of Syria: they wanted to serve as a model for the region’s future, with women’s liberation a crucial element of their quest for a locally led, communal, and democratic society where people from different backgrounds lived together. This story was not only a military campaign, I realized, but also a political one: without the military victories, the political experiment could not take hold. For the young women fighting, what mattered most was long-term political and social change. That was why they’d signed up for this war and why they were willing to die for it. They believed beating ISIS counted as simply the first step toward defeating a mentality that said women existed only as property and as objects with which men could do whatever they wanted. Raqqa was not their destination, but only one stop in their campaign to change women’s lives and society along with it.
Gayle Tzemach Lemmon,   The Daughters of Kobani (2021). Penguin Publishing Group

Icebound: Shipwrecked at the Edge of the World by Andrea Pitzer

Over centuries, the idea of a warm North Pole had also infiltrated the minds of adventurous sailors and merchants, who began to dream of an easily navigable sea, one that might carry them over the top of the world and deliver them to profitable lands. It’s a mark of both the draw of the unknown and the solidity of Plancius’s reputation as a geographer that both Barents and Dutch merchants took the idea seriously, because it would turn out to be a lethal delusion.

Icebound: Shipwrecked at the Edge of the World by [Andrea Pitzer]

Four Lost Cities: A Secret History of the Urban Age by Annalee Newitz | Goodreads

The “lost city” is a recurring trope in Western fantasies, suggesting glamorous undiscovered worlds where Aquaman hangs out with giant seahorses. But it’s not just a love of escapist stories that makes us want to believe in lost cities. We live in an era when most of the world’s population lives in cities,2 facing seemingly unsolvable problems like climate crisis and poverty. Modern metropolises are by no means destined to live forever, and historical evidence shows that people have chosen to abandon them repeatedly over the past eight thousand years. It’s terrifying to realize that most of humanity lives in places that are destined to die. The myth of the lost city obscures the reality of how people destroy their civilizations. This book is about that reality, which we’ll explore in four of the most spectacular examples of urban abandonment in human history.

Four Lost Cities: A Secret History of the Urban Age by [Annalee Newitz]

 

A Swim in a Pond in the Rain: In Which Four Russians Give a Master Class on Writing, Reading, and Life by George Saunders

For a young writer, reading the Russian stories of this period is akin to a young composer studying Bach. All of the bedrock principles of the form are on display. The stories are simple but moving. We care about what happens in them. They were written to challenge and antagonize and outrage. And, in a complicated way, to console. Once we begin reading the stories, which are, for the most part, quiet, domestic, and apolitical, this idea may strike you as strange; but this is a resistance literature, written by progressive reformers in a repressive culture, under constant threat of censorship, in a time when a writer’s politics could lead to exile, imprisonment, and execution. The resistance in the stories is quiet, at a slant, and comes from perhaps the most radical idea of all: that every human being is worthy of attention and that the origins of every good and evil capability of the universe may be found by observing a single, even very humble, person and the turnings of his or her mind.

A Swim in a Pond in the Rain: In Which Four Russians Give a Master Class on Writing, Reading, and Life by [George Saunders]

A Shot in the Moonlight: How a Freed Slave and a Confederate Soldier Fought for Justice in the Jim Crow South by Ben Montgomery

In the winter of 2018, I was passing through Montgomery, Alabama, and I visited for the first time the new National Memorial for Peace and Justice, more commonly called the Lynching Memorial, which aims to ask white America to reckon with its bloodthirst for supremacy. It sits on six manicured acres overlooking the Alabama State Capitol. The memorial’s main feature is a long walkway through and eventually under 800 coffin-sized steel boxes, each bearing the name of an American county and the names of those who were lynched there. There are 4,400 names memorial,.

As I moved through the powerful memorial,I began to wonder about what was missing. Who was not listed here? It wasn’t so much that I wondered about the lynching victims whose deaths had gone unrecorded, the extrajudicial killings that had not generated a single newspaper mention or public record. I suspect there are hundreds, if not thousands, of those. No, I wondered about the close calls, about the men and women who, against the odds, successfully defended themselves. I wondered about those who escaped the night riders. I wondered about those who survived and sought revenge or retribution or justice. This is one of those stories.A Shot in the Moonlight: How a Freed Slave and a Confederate Soldier Fought for Justice in the Jim Crow South by [Ben Montgomery]

Unmasked: Inside Antifa’s Radical Plan to Destroy Democracy by Andy Ngo

UNMASKED IS THE end result of years of reporting on antifa, even before I understood what they were. It has taken me on the streets of Portland, Seattle, New York, London, and more. As any good journalist should know, you don’t want to become part of the story. However, whether I wanted to or not, antifa decided to make me part of their story. After my 2019 beating, I became antifa’s public enemy number one. They’ve sent me death threats, stalked me, and even showed up at my family’s home on several occasions. They have threatened to shoot me and to set me on fire. They’ve released my exact whereabouts in real time on social media. They’ve threatened my friends. The criminal threats are reported to local police, but no one is ever held accountable.

By 2020, antifa grew to become a near-household name in the United States following months of street violence and property destruction. President Trump moved to have his administration treat them as a domestic terrorist organization after promising to do so for a year. Predictably, this prompted a new wave of countless reports, op-eds, and essays defending or whitewashing antifa. Few of the people who write about them actually know what this movement is and what its goals are. In fact, misconceptions, misinformation, and disinformation abound about antifa in both left-wing and right-wing media. On the right, antifa are portrayed as street hooligans—violent but also weak, gender-confused “soy” boys and girls. On the left, they are characterized as brave heroes who defend their communities against white supremacists and fascists. Neither side captures what antifa fully are nor the true threat they pose to liberal democracy and the American republic. So, what exactly are the “antifa,” and what do they want?

Unmasked: Inside Antifa's Radical Plan to Destroy Democracy by [Andy Ngo]


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2 responses to “Learning about 2021 Books January – February: A Guide for Everybody”

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