Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Books of 2018

It’s time to consider which books I’ll be over-enthusiastically pre-ordering and then finding cheaper elsewhere in 2018! TTT is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.

A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir
The third in the Ember in the Ashes series, I have been waiting for this book for about a year and a half. Inevitably, I have forgotten what happened in the second one.

Final Draft by Riley Redgate
I’ve enjoyed Redgate’s previous two YA novels so I’m looking forward to this one about an aspiring writer and her exacting mentor.

Black Mirror Volume 1 edited by Charlie Brooker
I’ve never actually watched Black Mirror, mainly because I am prone to being highly psychologically disturbed by imaginary things and prefer to avoid this where possible. This is less of a problem in books though, so I’m hoping to read this anthology of short stories and not need therapy.

Americanized: Rebel Without a Green Card by Sara Saedi
A true story of the author growing up in America as an undocumented immigrant from the Middle East; I’m really looking forward to this one.

Run, Riot by Nikesh Shukla
Shukla is one of my favourite people on Twitter: a real force for good in seeking diverse representation and calling out racism. I’ve read and really enjoyed one of his previous books and I’ll be grabbing this one when it comes out.

American Panda by Gloria Chao
A debut YA novel about a Taiwanese-American teenager fast-tracked to college by her ambitious parents. This sounds like an excellent read, and it’s been blurbed by David Arnold so basically it must be good.

Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
I can’t even talk about my anticipation levels here. I will need a lie-down.

Women in Sport: Fifty Fearless Athletes Who Played to Win by Rachel Ignotovsky
My little girl and I loved Women in Science, the beautiful predecessor to this book, and she’s been nagging me to get this one for months.

Begin End Begin: A LoveOzYA Anthology edited by Danielle Binks
I don’t read much Australian literature so I am keen to read this collection as a starter.

The Wicked and The Divine Volume 6: Imperial Phase, Part 2 by Kieron Gillen, Jamie Mckelvie and Matt Wilson
Apart from one dodgy volume, WicDiv has been a consistently entertaining series, so a new addition is very welcome.

The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven
I read the first chapter of this a few months ago and have been wildly jealous of everyone who got proofs at YALC. A feminist YA novel about a teenage girl facing up to the horrible tratment of girls, this is going to be awesome.

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Top Ten Tuesday: The Books I’m Hoping to Find Under the Christmas Tree

Behold, all the weird and remarkably un-festive books I decided to ask for this Christmas. Seriously, what is wrong with me? I appear to have forgotten that novels exist while making this list.  TTT, as always, hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.

Under My Thumb: Songs that Hate Women and the Women that Love Them by Rhian E. Jones
I’m all for hardcore analysis of song lyrics so this book about songs whose popularity suggests people haven’t actually listened to the lyrics sounds perfect. There’s an essay on a similar theme in Jessica Hopper’s collection of rock criticism which I enjoyed, so I’ve got high hopes for enjoying this too.

Harley Quinn: A Celebration of 25 Years by Paul Dini and Bruce Timm
I love Harley so I’m hoping to find this beautiful-looking book on Christmas morning.

Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life by Ruth Franklin
I think I have been claiming I’m desperate to read this all year but now it’s out in paperback so I’m far more likely to actually do it. I’ve read nearly everything Jackson wrote this year so I’m interested to read about her.

The Lady and Her Monsters: A Tale of Dissections, Real-Life Dr Frankensteins and the Creation of Mary Shelley’s Masterpiece by Roseanne Montillo
I’m probably going to teach Frankenstein next year so I’m trying to accumulate fascinating books about it to dazzle my students with my astounding contextual knowledge.

We Chose to Speak of War and Strife: The World of the Foreign Correspondent by John Simpson
John Simpson is the BBC’s World Affairs editor and has reported on major global events for fifty years. I reckon he might know some stuff.

Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Dr Ibram X Kendi
The title makes it pretty clear what this is about; I’m a history buff and I’ve read a lot this year about race in the USA and the UK, so this sounds fascinating.

A Secret Sisterhood: The Hidden Friendships of Austen, Bronte, Eliot and Woolf by Emily Midorikawa and Emma Claire Sweeney
Another book I’ve been meaning to get hold of for ages. I always see Christmas as the ideal time to ask for books I have deemed too expensive to buy myself. That’s the true meaning of the season, right?

The Anna Karenina Fix: Life Lessons from Russian Literature by Viv Groskop
Ironically, I hated Anna Karenina, but this book about what Russian literature tells us about life sounds cool.

Batgirl Volume 2: Family Business by Cameron Stewart, Brendan Fletcher and Babs Tarr
I was lent the first book of this new Batgirl series by someone who, very inconveniently, did not have the second one, hence its inclusion here. My daughter is really into the DC Superhero Girls and I really like showing her these books as a way to show her that interest can go on as long as she likes.

Frankenstein Dreams: A Connoisseur’s Collection of Victorian Science Fiction, edited by Michael Sims
More 19th century-related geekery. I am intrigued by this.

Top Ten Tuesday: Forgotten Favourites

This week’s TTT, hosted as always by The Broke and The Bookish, is about throwbacks; I’m listing some preblogging favourites which I know I loved when I read them but, annoyingly, can’t remember much about now.

The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood
Obviously I am obsessed with everything Atwood writes; this mythology-inspired novel is beautiful and I optimistically bought a copy last year, planning to reread it. This hasn’t happened yet.

The Rotters’ Club by Jonathan Coe
I can’t really remember anything about this book, which is very annoying as I do know I liked it a lot.

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
A massive book which I would probably be put off reading now, due to its potential for preventing me from reading a book a day.

Goodbye Johnny Thunders by Tania Kindersley
I was OBSESSED with this book circa 2006. It is very emo and angsty and features a woman moping around over an unreliable musician boyfriend, which is the kind of life I aspired to when I was 23.

Lucy Sullivan Is Getting Married by Marian Keyes
I still remember a worrying amount about this book. My mum got me into reading Marian Keyes as a teenager when I’d read everything in the library and it was cheaper to get me to read her books than letting me buy my own. I loved this book and identified very strongly with Lucy.

The Ground Beneath Her Feet by Salman Rushdie
I still sometimes claim this is my favourite book despite not having read it for at least 8 years. I have strong intentions to rectify this in the next few months.

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
Another frequently claimed favourite, I read this at university which was a depressingly long time ago.

Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger
I adored this book. I’m quite partial to anything about twins and I loved how creepy and weird this was. Obviously Time Traveler’s Wife is great but I do prefer a book that doesn’t make me nearly drown myself in tears.

How to Talk to a Widower by Jonathan Tropper
On the subject of drowning in tears, this book upset me so much I can’t believe I’m even talking about it. I have a very strong belief that it needs to be a film with Chris Evans as the lead.

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski
I recommend this book all the time despite not having read it since about 2010 and having forgotten all the details except for the fact that its based on Hamlet.

Top Ten Tuesday: The Books That Taunt Me From the Shelves

This week’s TTT, hosted by The Broke and The Bookish, is about the books we struggled with. In my epic mission to read every book ever written, I come across a few which I cannot bear to read. It makes me feel like a failure.

Ulysses by James Joyce
This is the ultimate one; I was meant to read this at uni and it was SO BLOODY BORING that I read the first chapter, the seventh chapter and the last chapter and then hid the book under my bed.

The Country of Ice Cream Star by Sandra Newman
I had very good intentions of reading this, but, as I recall, the style was really hard to get into, so I gave up. Because I am a terrible quitter.

It Can’t Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis
I bought this a couple of months ago, fascinated by its premise of a demagogue lunatic winning the US presidential election, but it was dull and, in light of the real life demagogue lunatic, life just seems too short.

The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell
I can’t actually remember why I gave this one up. I think that after about 250 pages it suddenly shifted to a completely different character and I couldn’t be bothered to get involved. I do intend to come back to this one.

Barkskins by Annie Proulx
I am definitely going to go back to this one (in fact, I hope I will have done this by the time this post is up). I did enjoy the first 100 pages and I love Proulx; it’s just really long and hard to hold up because it weighs about a million tonnes.

Back to the Future of Socialism by Peter Hain
I was all inspired by Jeremy Corbyn, which is why I bought this, and I do intend to finish it, but it’s ever so slightly dull, so it continues to sit and glare at me from my bedside table.

Swamplandia! by Karen Russell
Now, I was actually enjoying this a lot, but at one point I had to put it down five years ago to go and vomit (pregnancy is a delight) and now the thought of going back to it makes me ill.

The Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King
Last October I decided to read some King to get in the Halloween spirit and everything, but this collection of stories was just pretty boring and blokey.

A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James
Something else I had strong intentions to read, but the opening chapter was such a struggle that I just decided not to, because I am a grown-up and can do that.

The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie
I love some of Rushdie’s books (The Ground Beneath Her Feet and Midnight’s Children) so I thought I should read this, but basically just no. Also I took it on holiday to read on the plane and the first thing that happens is a plane crash so, again, no.