Have I read my most anticipated releases of 2019?

Twice a year I post lists of books I am super excited about reading – and I wanted to see whether I have actually read those books and whether I liked them or not. My reading was fairly odd last year, so I am assuming I won’t have done as well as I did in 2018.

For the first half of the year I featured ten books I could not wait to get to.

  1. The Collected Schizophrenias by Esmé Weijun Wang. I LOVED this.
  2. The City in the Middle of the Night by Charlie Jane Anders. Sadly I could not get into this book. I am fairly sure that had more to do with my wonky reading mood during 2019 and I will try to read this again at some other point because I do love Anders’ writing.
  3. Mother Winter by Sophia Shalmiyev. This seemed custom-made for me but somehow did not quite work for me.
  4. Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James. I hyped this up so much in my head and ended up bouncing off it, hard. I hated the casual violence too much to keep reading it.
  5. Long Live The Tribe Of Fatherless Girls by T Kira Madden. This is SUCH a good memoir that I cannot recommend highly enough.
  6. Storm of Locusts (The Sixth World #2) by Rebecca Roanhorse. I loved this even more than I loved the first book in the series and will from now on read every adult book Roanhorse publishes. She is just brilliant.
  7. What My Mother And I Don’t Talk About ed. by Michele Filgate. I realized after adding this book to my list that the contributors include men – so I did not get to it yet but I am planning on buying it soon.
  8. The Witches Are Coming by Lindy West. The publication date kept being pushed back but I now own this and will hopefully get to it soon.
  9. No Visible Bruises: What We Don’t Know About Domestic Violence Can Kill Us by Rachel Louise Snyder. I would like to listen to the audiobook of this but haven’t yet found it.
  10. The Dragon Republic by R. F. Kuang. I tried reading this for months but I was just not in the mental headspace to deal with its relentless bleakness and the brutality of the storyline. I am unsure whether I will ever be back in the reading mood for this.

I only read four of these books and DNFed an additional two. This is depressing.

For the second half of the year I named ten books I was super excited about.

  1. Three Women by Lisa Taddeo. I have not gotten around to this book yet but I am still super excited about it.
  2. The Need by Helen Phillips. Again, I did not get to this. I am currently trying not to buy too many books and also maybe a horror novel about pregnancy/ children is not the best idea at the moment. I still want to get to it at some point!
  3. I’m Telling the Truth But I’m Lying by Bassey Ikpi. I sadly did not love this. I found te reading experience difficult even if I can appreciate what Ikpi does on an intellectual level.
  4. Trick Mirror by Jia Tolentino. I thought this was absolutely brilliant. I listened to the audiobook which is my favourite way of consuming non-fiction.
  5. Shelf Life by Livia Franchini. I read but didn’t love this.
  6. Pet by Akwaeke Emezi. I haven’t even bought this one yet. Middle Grade is just never the age range I get excited about.
  7. In the Dream House my Carmen Maria Machado. I am still waiting for the audiobook to make it to Audible Germany. I prefer listening to memoirs on audio.
  8. How We Fight For Our Lives by Saeed Jones. I can now read this! Once I buy it, that is.
  9. Ordinary Girls by Jaquira Diaz. Another one that I am beyond excited about that I did not even purchase yet.
  10. The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern. I cannot believe I haven’t gotten around to buying this yet.

I only read three of these books and loved only one. This is even more depressing than the first part of this post. I really did not do too brilliantly on this – which was kind of to be expected, given how weird my reading year went. I hope this year will go better, most anticipated releases wise. (you can find my first post for 2019 here)

Recommendations: Books told (at least in parts) from a you-perspective

I realized a few months ago, that I often discuss the narrative style in my reviews – and that I have distinct preferences when it comes to it. One thing I adore above most other things is a well-done second person singular narration. When this (difficult) voice is done well, I am very likely to have found a new favourite book. This is, however, not something I encounter very often in literature, so I wanted to recommend the books I have read in this style and hope to get recommendations in return (mostly this if I am being honest).

36396289Everything Under by Daisy Johnson

My favourite of last year’s Booker longlist (I didn’t read super many of the books to be fair), I adored pretty much everything about this book. Johnson’s writing is incredible and especially the parts written in second person broke my heart and made me want to read everything she ever writes. This is a myth retelling that maybe works best if you don’t know what myth it retells, although knowing did not stop me from loving it. It is dark and twisted and absolutely stunningly written. My full review is here.

39689872._sx318_A Girl is a Half-formed Thing by Eimear McBride

This book is what prompted this post. I thought everything about this book was incredible (even if I didn’t always enjoy my reading experience because it is endlessly bleak and triggering) – but what made my heart hurt the most was the fact that the narrative is addressed to her brother. I adore sibling relationships in books and one this central and tragic was bound to work for me. If you can stomach the subject matter, this is absolutely worth reading (you don’t have to take only my word for it – so far everybody I buddy read this with gave it 4 stars or more). My full review is here.

19161852The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin

It wouldn’t be a recommendation post if I didn’t manage to fit at least one books written by Jemisin in. She just is my all-time favourite author. I thought this book and the whole trilogy in fact in an absolute masterpiece. It will be difficult to ever top my reading experience. The second person narration is pitch perfect and Jemisin manages to skillfully pull the rug under me more times than I thought possible. Once everything slots into place it becomes obvious just how damn well this series is constructed. My review is here.

13611052The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

I vividly remember my reading experience for this one. I found the atmosphere beyond all-encompassing and the imagination behind this incredible. I am unsure whether I wouldlove it as much now as I did when I read it more than seven years ago, but it has stuck with me. The first chapter already indicated how much I would adore it and the second person narration is a big part of the appeal.

 

Do you like second person narration? What is your favourite book featuring it? I need more!

Most anticipated releases of the second half of 2019

I love compiling these lists because I love getting excited for books. So far this year I haven’t done so great at actually reading my anticipated releases (here are the ones for the first half of the year) but who knows, maybe that’ll change. Spoiler alert: for somebody who has only read like 3 non-fiction titles this year, I sure am looking forward to many memoirs. I really need to get my reading back to normality.

44795725._sy475_Three Women by Lisa Taddeo

Bloomsbury, July 9th
Genre: Non-Fiction

Every review of this I have seen has been glowing – and it sounds like it could be just the perfect book for me. I love non-fiction about women.

46374237._sy475_The Need by Helen Phillips

Penguin / Viking, July 16th
Genre: Horror, Fiction

I read Helen Philips’ short story collection Some Possible Solutions a while ago and while I didn’t enjoy every story, those I liked I absolutely loved. I also think her vague and metaphorical style might really work for me in novel form. I also am always interesting in books about motherhood – and one with a horror slant sounds like just the book for me.

40222541I’m Telling the Truth But I’m Lying by Bassey Ikpi

Harper Perennial, August 6th
Genre: Essay Collection

I am mostly excited for this because Akwaeke Emezi loved it – and I figure everything they love, I’ll love. I also really love personal essay collections, I adore the title, and I usually enjoy the non fiction titles I read published by Harper, so this should be right up my alley.

43126457Trick Mirror by Jia Tolentino

Random House, August 6th
Genre: Essay Collection

I love Tolentino’s writing and am super excited about a full length essay collection by her. I cannot see myself not loving this. I also adore the old school hipster style cover more than I am comfortable admitting.

43862291Shelf Life by Livia Franchini

Doubleday, August 23rd
Genre: Fiction

This sounds absolutely excellent and I do adore the cover (always a plus). I love stories about women whose life have exploded around them – and this one seems to be interestingly structured as well.

44032417._sy475_Pet by Akwaeke Emezi

Faber&Faber, September 10th
Genre: YA, Fantasy

I know nearly nothing about this book except that for Emezi I am willing to read a YA novel. Their writing is exciting without end and while I am even more excited for their upcoming adult novel, I will be reading this nonetheless. But the cover is killing me (and not in the good way).

42188604In the Dream House my Carmen Maria Machado

Graywolf Press, October 1st
Genre: Memoir

This is the book I am most excited about. I adore Machado’s writing and this memoir sounds incredible (it has been getting a steady number of intriguingly high praise).

43682552How We Fight For Our Lives by Saeed Jones

Simon and Schuster, October 8th
Genre: Memoir

This is the first book published this year that made me cross with myself for choosing to not read any books written by men. I will be reading this the moment 2020 roles around. I love Jones’ writing and this memoir sounds incredible.

42152409Ordinary Girls by Jaquira Diaz

Algonquin Books, October 29th
Genre: Memoir

This is comped to Myriam Gurba’s Mean and Marie Terese Mailhot’s Heartberries. Both of which I adored.

42730332._sx318_The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

Harvill Secker, November 5th
Genre: Fiction, Fantasy

Like many others, I adore The Night Circus. So when Morgenstern’s new book finally got announced, I like many others, squealed. I cannot wait to read this. But the covers are all truly awful.

What are some of the books you are looking forward to?

Last 10 Books Tag

I saw this tag on Rachel’s blog and it looked so much fun I decided to steal it.

1. What was the last book you DNFed?

41747005I have two DNF shelves on my Goodreads, “Will probably not finish” and “on hold”. Both show how unsure I am whether a book is really properly DNFed or if I will pick it back up at some point. The last book I put down, and I am dreading admitting this because it is so very beloved, is The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne. I will maybe pick it back up at some other point but it is very much not a book for me. I can see why people love it for sure, but for me the melodrama and over-the-topness did not work. I also wished the protagonist would stop talking about his penis so much.

2. Last book you reread?

Oh, hello again, rereading questions. The last book I reread was Kassandra by Christa Wolf. It is my all-time favourite book and the only one I really make a habit out of regularly rereading.

3. Last book you bought?

32802595I preordered the UK paperback edition of Becky Chambers Record of a Spaceborn Few, the third in the Wayfarer series, which I love. I also love this title and I am so glad to proper-sized paperback edition is publishing soon.

 

 

4. Last book you said you read but didn’t?

I rarely do that. But, technically, I did not finish War and Peace because I ragequit it way too close to the end. The only character I found interesting died and I put the book down and just never picked it back up. I read enough to have an opinion of the book (and it is as follows: Tolstoy got worse the older he got and his didactics ruin an otherwise brilliant writer) and as such might have said to have read it at some point.

5. Last book you wrote in the margins of?

It’s probably the last book I bought for my thesis, and I couldn’t say which one it is. I only write in the margins of books I read for an academic purpose.

6. Last book you got signed?

None.

7. Last book you lost?

Not technically lost but I don’t have the first two books in The Hunger Games trilogy anymore and coincidentally, the exact same editions are in my youngest stepsister’s room at her mum’s house. But everybody is backing her up in that these are her books and it seems petty to argue. I still haven’t replaced the books though.

8. Last book you had to replace?

10860047A friend of mine I am no longer speaking to still has my copy of The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I went ahead and just replaced the book because it looks pretty and I really loved it when I read it.

 

 

9. Last book you had an argument over?

Not argument per se but I tried listening to It by Stephen King and when I gave up halfway through (after more than 20 hours I might add!), I may have ranted at my boyfriend for long enough for him (who is a very patient man, an attribute I adore) to tell me that maybe I am overreacting. He really likes Stephen King so it was not my most diplomatic moment. But that book drove me up the walls!

10. Last book you couldn’t get a hold of?

Lidia Yuknavitch has two short story collections that are impossible to find. I would love to be able to read those because she is my hero and I think her style would lend itself beautifully to the format.

As I wasn’t tagged, I also won’t do that but if you decide to do a post on this, please let me know!