Back in June, I wrote about books that I was looking forward to. Coming into the end of the year, it’s time to take stock:
- The Pearl Thief by Elizabeth Wein: read and liked this little peek into Julie’s life before the war and Code Name Verity.
- Holding Up the Universe and All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven: read/listened, liked; would recommend to anyone looking for realistic YA fiction.
- Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy: read and liked, but it’s her first novel, Dumplin’, that has stayed with me more. I may re-read or listen (I’ve heard the audio is good). Related: Moxie by Jennifer Matthieu was another excellent teen novel set in a small Southern (Texas) town.
- Girl in Disguise by Greer Macallister: haven’t read yet
- Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman: read and loved. Eleanor is such a unique character and her story is difficult and quiet and strong.
- The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson: read this for book club and loved it – it was like Jane Austen meets Downton Abbey.
- Miller’s Valley by Anna Quindlen: haven’t read yet
- Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates: read for book club. Important, especially for those in a position to ignore or forget the effects of institutional racism and police violence (i.e. most white people).
- Life on Mars by Tracy K. Smith: read and liked, but I’m not sure I’ll return to it, even though I bought a copy. I did love the line “perhaps the great error is believing we’re alone” (from “My God, It’s Full of Stars”).
- The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman: read as soon as it was published, loved it, read it again, am waiting for the next one already. Review here, contains spoilers.
- Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore: read and loved. Different from the Graceling books of course, but equally immersive, and structurally interesting (it’s sort of a Choose Your Own Adventure, but with all the options).
- Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin: read and liked this one very much, and included it on a “Books on the Bright Side” list I made for my library.
- The Runaways by Brian K. Vaughan and others: I really liked the first two volumes, didn’t like the third and fourth as much (the Young Avengers crossover lost me), but still excited for whatever Rainbow Rowell comes up with.
- Turtles All the Way Down by John Green: just as good as expected, possibly better; review here.
- Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart: haven’t read yet and might not; a trusted fellow reader found it disappointing.
Girl in Disguise and Miller’s Valley are the only two remaining from that list, but of course there are always more to look forward to; Gayle Forman, Maggie O’Farrell, and Jo Walton all have books coming out in 2018. Others I’d like to read:
- Fun Home by Alison Bechdel (graphic novel/memoir)
- Far from the Tree by Robin Benway (YA)
- Mrs. Queen Takes the Train by William Kuhn (fiction)
- The Broken Earth trilogy by N.K. Jemisin (sci-fi/fantasy)
- The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (YA)
- Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier (I read this when I was much younger and I think it went entirely over my head; at least, I don’t remember anything from it)
- Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman (nonfiction)
- Hunger by Roxane Gay (memoir)
- The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden (myth/fairytale – I’d love to hear from someone who read this and would recommend it. Reviews look good.)
- Walking Home by Simon Armitage (nonfiction/memoir/poetry)
And hey, that’s ten! If you count a trilogy as one. (Bear and Nightingale already has a sequel, as well.) What books are you looking forward to? Have you read any of the books above? What did you think?
Edited to add (12/12/17): Kate Atkinson has a new novel called Transcription coming out in September 2018!
Edited to add (12/13/17): Ken Jennings’ Planet Funny: How comedy took over our culture is coming out May 2018!