If I had been asked to do this last week when I was traveling for work, I wouldn’t have had many answers. I was having too much fun running around looking at all the books at the Brooklyn Book Festival and the NEIBA fall conference! But now that I’ve had a week to dive into the spoils of that trip, I have SO many amazing books to tell you about!
Inbox (Books Acquired)
The Ultra Fabulous Glitter Squadron Saves The World Again by A. C. Wise: Someone recommended this to me on Twitter, and the title is so fantastic, I had to have it. Even if I never get around to reading it, it’s worth it just for the cover.
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee (Grand Central Publishing, Feb. 7, 2017): A sweeping saga of several generations of a Korean family, starting in the early 20th century. This is Lee’s second novel, and while I have not read her first, I saw her speak about it last week and she had a room full of people in tears. BRING ON THE FEELS.
Ill Will by Dan Chaon (Ballentine Books, March, 7, 2017): I literally gasped out loud and muppet armed when I saw this at the trade show. I LOVE HIM. This novel is about Satanists and murder! I highly recommend checking out his backlist while you wait for this – Chaon is UH-MAZING.
Outbox (Books Finished)
The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley by Hannah Tinti (The Dial Press, March 28, 2017): This was the book I was most looking forward to picking up last week, because I heard so many amazing things about it – AND IT DID NOT DISAPPOINT. The tale of a girl and her secretive, gun-toting father who has been shot twelve times (and the story of each of the bullets), this was simply marvelous.
Swing Time by Zadie Smith (Penguin Press, Nov. 15, 2017): This was my first time reading Smith (I know, I know) and it was every bit as exquisite as I imagined it to be after hearing her speak about this book at the NEIBA conference. It’s a wildly ambitious, absorbing novel about two girls, their complicated friendship and what happens when one becomes famous. Well, it’s about soooo much more than that really, but we’d be here all day if I explained it, so that’s the elevator pitch.
Fever Dream by Samanta Schweblin (Riverhead, Jan. 10, 2017): A woman lies dying in a hospital, a young boy at her side. They are not related, but their stories together drive a feverish, hallucinatory narration through this haunting novel. This was exactly what I wanted it to be when I picked it up: a small, powerful, disturbing book. (I am always looking for more things like Disquiet.)
In the Queue (What I’m Reading Next)
Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman (W.W. Norton, Feb. 7, 2017): Exactly as advertised. Gaiman has written his own versions of famous Norse myths. I don’t know why I’m even continuing to talk about it, since you probably ran to write the title down as soon as I said, “Neil Gaiman.” You’re not listening anymore, are you? I could say anything. Potato potato potato.
Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova: Soooooo many Rioters and people on Litsy (are you on Litsy yet????) love this book, so I’m going to read it! It’s about a bruja (or witch) who hates magic, so she attempts to perform a spell that will rid her of her powers. But it backfires.
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman: Fairly certain I’m one of ten people left who haven’t read this book, but I hear it’s really delightful, and I’m hoping it will give me feels in the vein of Etta and Otto and Russell and James and One-in-a-Million Boy.
That’s (some of) it for me! Now, quid pro quo, Clarice.