I want to start something new: I will update on the ARCs I received, link to the reviews of the ones I have already read and generally talk about how excited I am. I also hope this will keep me organized. I don’t know how often I will need to post such lists because I seem to be seriously lacking in self-control when it comes to books I want to read and review. (Seriously, do you remember my bookish resolutions? I apparently don’t.)
I have last posted in the middle of January talking about the ARCs I still needed to read. You can find that post here. Since that post I have received 9 eArcs from NetGalley. The books are in no particular order below.
Still to be read:
Publication Date: April 3rd
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Blurb (from Goodreads): London. A fox makes its way across Waterloo Bridge. The distraction causes two pedestrians to collide–Jean, an American studying the habits of urban foxes, and Attila, a Ghanaian psychiatrist there to deliver a keynote speech. From this chance encounter, Aminatta Forna’s unerring powers of observation show how in the midst of the rush of a great city lie numerous moments of connection.
Attila has arrived in London with two tasks: to deliver a keynote speech on trauma, as he has done many times before; and to contact the daughter of friends, his “niece” who hasn’t called home in a while. Ama has been swept up in an immigration crackdown, and now her young son Tano is missing.
When, by chance, Attila runs into Jean again, she mobilizes the network of rubbish men she uses as volunteer fox spotters. Security guards, hotel doormen, traffic wardens–mainly West African immigrants who work the myriad streets of London–come together to help. As the search for Tano continues, a deepening friendship between Attila and Jean unfolds.
Meanwhile a consulting case causes Attila to question the impact of his own ideas on trauma, the values of the society he finds himself in, and a grief of his own. In this delicate tale of love and loss, of cruelty and kindness, Forna asks us to consider the interconnectedness of lives, our co-existence with one another and all living creatures, and the true nature of happiness.
Why I requested it: This has been compared to KazuoIshiguro’s The Remains Of The Day, which I loved. The author was born in Glasgow and raised in Sierra Leone. Plus, the blurb sounds fantastic.
Publication Date: March 22nd
Publisher: Random House UK/ Transworld Publishing
Blurb (from Goodreads): Farouk’s country has been torn apart by war.
Lampy’s heart has been laid waste by Chloe.
John’s past torments him as he nears his end.
The refugee. The dreamer. The penitent. From war-torn Syria to small-town Ireland, three men, scarred by all they have loved and lost, are searching for some version of home. Each is drawn towards a powerful reckoning, one that will bring them together in the most unexpected of ways.
Why I requested it: This sounds beautiful and timely. I have had a peak at the first couple of pages and I am sure I will adore this.
Publication Date: April 3rd
Blurb (from Goodreads): The widely beloved, uproarious, first essay collection and the basis for the upcoming FX Studios series from smart, edgy, hilarious, and unabashedly raunchy Samantha Irby.
Samantha Irby exploded onto the printed page with this debut collection of essays about trying to laugh her way through failed relationships, taco feasts, bouts with Crohn’s disease, and more. Every essay is crafted with the same scathing wit and poignant candor thousands of loyal readers have come to expect from visiting her notoriously hilarious blog, bitchesgottaeat.com.
Why I requested it: I loved Samantha Irby’s second essay collection and have been enjoying personal essays a whole lot recently. I am so very excited to read this!
Publication Date: March 6th
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Blurb (from Goodreads): Trapped on the ice-planet of Delon, gamer girl Sofi and Ambassador Miguel have discovered that nothing is what it seems, including their friends. On a quest to rescue her brother, Shilo, a boy everyone believes is dead, they must now escape and warn Earth of Delon’s designs on humanity. Except the more they unearth of the planet and Sofi’s past, the more they feel themselves unraveling, as each new revelation has Sofi questioning the very existence of reality.
Meanwhile, back on Earth, Sofi’s mom, Inola, is battling a different kind of unraveling: a political one that could cost lives, positions, and a barely-rebuilt society, should they discover the deal made with the Delonese.
But there’s a secret deeper than all that. One locked away inside Sofi and ticking away with the beginnings, endings, and answers to everything. Including how to save humanity.
Why I requested it: I liked the first book in this series (and the emphasis on siblings relationships) and was kind of curious to see where this goes. As I have been struggling with YA, I will have to see how I’ll like it.
Publication Date: July 10th
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton, Sceptre
Blurb (from Goodreads): In this debut set in near future NYC—where lives last 300 years and the pursuit of immortality is all-consuming—Lea must choose between her estranged father and her chance to live forever.
Lea Kirino is a “Lifer,” which means that a roll of the genetic dice has given her the potential to live forever—if she does everything right. And Lea is an overachiever. She’s a successful trader on the New York exchange—where instead of stocks, human organs are now bought and sold—she has a beautiful apartment, and a fiancé who rivals her in genetic perfection. And with the right balance of HealthTech™, rigorous juicing, and low-impact exercise, she might never die.
But Lea’s perfect life is turned upside down when she spots her estranged father on a crowded sidewalk. His return marks the beginning of her downfall as she is drawn into his mysterious world of the Suicide Club, a network of powerful individuals and rebels who reject society’s pursuit of immortality, and instead chose to live—and die—on their own terms. In this future world, death is not only taboo; it’s also highly illegal. Soon Lea is forced to choose between a sanitized immortal existence and a short, bittersweet time with a man she has never really known, but who is the only family she has left in the world.
Why I requested it: I am currently reading more science fiction and this looked very appealing. Plus, written by a woman of colour. I am also very much loving this minimalistic cover.
Publication Date: June 22nd
Publisher: Grove Atlantic
Blurb (from Goodreads): From New York Times -bestselling powerhouse Roxane Gay, Ayiti is a powerful collection exploring the Haitian diaspora experience. Originally published by a small press, this Grove Press paperback will make Gay’s debut widely available for the first time, including several new stories. In Ayiti, a married couple seeking boat passage to America prepares to leave their homeland. A young woman procures a voodoo love potion to ensnare a childhood classmate. A mother takes a foreign soldier into her home as a boarder, and into her bed. And a woman conceives a daughter on the bank of a river while fleeing a horrific massacre, a daughter who later moves to America for a new life but is perpetually haunted by the mysterious scent of blood. These early stories showcase Gay’s prowess as one of the voices of our age” (National Post, Canada).
Why I requested it: It’s Roxane Gay. I love her writing.
Publication Date: January 16th
Publisher: Harper Collins UK
Blurb (from Goodreads): Five women. One question. What is a woman for?
In this ferociously imaginative novel, abortion is once again illegal in America, in-vitro fertilization is banned, and the Personhood Amendment grants rights of life, liberty, and property to every embryo. In a small Oregon fishing town, five very different women navigate these new barriers alongside age-old questions surrounding motherhood, identity, and freedom.
Ro, a single high-school teacher, is trying to have a baby on her own, while also writing a biography of Eivør, a little-known 19th-century female polar explorer. Susan is a frustrated mother of two, trapped in a crumbling marriage. Mattie is the adopted daughter of doting parents and one of Ro’s best students, who finds herself pregnant with nowhere to turn. And Gin is the gifted, forest-dwelling homeopath, or “mender,” who brings all their fates together when she’s arrested and put on trial in a frenzied modern-day witch hunt.
Why I requested it: This sounds AMAZING. Like, seriously. The reviews have been mixed but the main criticism seems to be the experimental writing style which usually is right up my alley. Plus the people who like this book seem to love it. Also: how ridiculously gorgeous is the cover?!
Publication Date: June 7th
Publisher: Random House UK, Vintage Publishing
Blurb (from Goodreads): This Is Just My Face is the whirlwind tour of Gabourey Sidibe’s life so far. In it, we meet her polygamous father, her gifted mother who fed the family by busking on the subway, and the psychic who told her she’d one day be ‘famous like Oprah’.
Gabby shows us round the Harlem studio apartment where she grew up, relives the debilitating depression that hit her at college, and reminisces about her first ever job as a phone sex ‘talker’ (less creepy than you’d think).
With exhilaratingly honest (and often hilarious) dispatches on friendship, depression, celebrity, haters, fashion, race, and weight, This Is Just My Face will resonate with anyone who has ever felt different – and with anyone who has ever felt inspired to make a dream come true.
Why I requested it: I mean, this is RIGHT up my alley. Like ridiculously so. The only reason why it took me a while to request it was because I was considering listening to the audiobook instead.
Already read and reviewed:
The Rending and the Nest by Kaethe Schwehn
Publication Date: February 20th
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Blurb (from Goodreads): When ninety-five percent of the world’s population disappears for no apparent reason, Mira does what she can to create some semblance of a life: She cobbles together a haphazard community named Zion, scavenges the Piles for supplies they might need, and avoids loving anyone she can’t afford to lose. Four years after the Rending, Mira has everything under control. Almost.
Then Mira’s best friend, Lana, announces her pregnancy, the first in this strange world and a new source of hope for Mira. But Lana gives birth to an inanimate object—and soon other women of Zion do, too—and the thin veil of normalcy Mira has thrown over her new world begins to fray. As the community wrestles with the presence of these Babies, a confident outsider named Michael appears, proselytizing about the world outside Zion. He lures Lana away and when she doesn’t return, Mira has to decide how much she’s willing to let go in order to save her friend, her community, and her own fraught pregnancy.
Why I requested this: It has been compared to Station Eleven which I just LOVED. The premise intrigued me and the cover was pretty. My feelings on the book were a bit more complicated in the end.
What are your thoughts on these books? Have you read any? Which are you most excited about?