Monday, 19 December 2016

Most Anticipated Reads for 2017... so far!

It's torture reading about all the books that are due to come out in 2017 when I can't go and read any of them straight away!  New books are always exciting, but for the last week or so, I've been keeping a list of the books that I'm keen to read when they're published next year.  Not surprisingly, the list is already quite long...

The Fifth Letter by Nicola Moriarty

This promises all the delicious social drama of a book by that other Moriarty lady-- the very famous Liane.  When four friends go on an annual holiday and decide to send each other letters revealing their secrets anonymously, it's all supposed to be a harmless game... until a fifth letter shows up, that is!  It sounds like the perfect weekend read and I can't wait.

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

Many, many moons ago a writer recommended to me that I read Tenth of December, which is a collection of stories by Saunders that I have never got around to reading, even though it sounded extremely good and it won all sorts of awards.  I think this is Saunders' first novel, and it's a historical novel about Abraham Lincoln.  I'm not normally into American history but this sounds very, very good...

A little taster from the blurb on Goodreads... On February 22, 1862, two days after his death, Willie Lincoln was laid to rest in a marble crypt in a Georgetown cemetery. That very night, shattered by grief, Abraham Lincoln arrives at the cemetery under cover of darkness and visits the crypt, alone, to spend time with his son’s body. 


The Possessions by Sara Flannery Murphy

A novel about a young woman who works for a company that helps clients connect with loved ones who have died... Obsession, the supernatural... yes please!  Plus, just look at that cover.

The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel

I can't lie, I was initially attracted to this novel by its cover, which features the most amazing wallpaper I have ever seen, but I stayed interested because of the comparison one of the early reviewers made to Jeffrey Eugenides.

From the Goodreads blurb: After her mother's suicide, fifteen year-old Lane Roanoke came to live with her grandparents and fireball cousin, Allegra, on their vast estate in rural Kansas. Lane knew little of her mother's mysterious family, but she quickly embraced life as one of the rich and beautiful Roanoke girls. But when she discovered the dark truth at the heart of the family, she ran fast and far away.Eleven years later, Lane is adrift in Los Angeles when her grandfather calls to tell her Allegra has gone missing.


See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt

Lizzie Borden.  Comparisons to Burial Rites.  I actually have a proof copy of this so WHY HAVEN'T I READ IT ALREADY?

Sarah Schmidt has fictionalised the infamouse Lizzie Borden murder case of the late 1890s-- and like Hannah Kent with Burial Rites, the inspiration for the book seems to have come from an eerie, otherwordly compulsion...  Read more on Sarah Schmidt's blog if you dare!

Difficult Women by Roxane Gay

I really liked Roxane Gay's collection Bad Feminist, so now I am keen to try out her short stories which seems to have a similar theme to my own but from a different cultural context.  Here's a little taster from the Goodreads blurb: A pair of sisters, grown now, have been inseparable ever since they were abducted together as children, and must negotiate the elder sister's marriage. A woman married to a twin pretends not to realize when her husband and his brother impersonate each other. A stripper putting herself through college fends off the advances of an overzealous customer. A black engineer moves to Upper Michigan for a job and faces the malign curiosity of her colleagues and the difficulty of leaving her past behind. From a girls’ fight club to a wealthy subdivision in Florida where neighbors conform, compete, and spy on each other, Gay delivers a wry, beautiful, haunting vision of modern America reminiscent of Merritt Tierce, Jamie Quatro, and Miranda July. 


The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan

This delighful debut tells the story of Anthony, who rescues things that other people seem to have lost or forgotten about, and his assistant Laura who finds herself tasked with returning these things to their rightful owners.  Aww.  I feel a tear jerker coming on.

You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine by Alexandra Kleeman

Yes!  Finally.  I've wanted to read this since it came out overseas over a year ago but I stopped short of actually importing the hardback because who can afford that.

From Goodreads: A woman known only as A lives in an unnamed American city with her roommate, B, and boyfriend, C, who wants her to join him on a reality dating show called That's My Partner! A eats mostly popsicles and oranges, watches endless amounts of television, often just for the commercials— particularly the recurring cartoon escapades of Kandy Kat, the mascot for an entirely chemical dessert—and models herself on a standard of beauty that exists only in such advertising. She fixates on the fifteen minutes of fame a local celebrity named Michael has earned after buying up a Wally's Supermarket's entire, and increasingly ample, supply of veal.

Meanwhile, B is attempting to make herself a twin of A, who in turn hungers for something to give meaning to her life, something aside from C's pornography addiction. 


Trapeze Act by Libby Angel

I love books about circuses, plus I'll read pretty much anything Text Publishing puts out because they are so top notch.

This novel is about a young woman whose mother was a world-famous circus performer, worked out on her lout of a husband while on tour in Australia, and tried to settle down in Adelaide...  sounds great, right?  Hurry up January so I can find out!

Came Back to Show You I Could Fly (Text Classics) by Robin Klein

Ouch, my heart, it hurts from remembering how much I loved this book as a child.  I'd completely forgotten about it until I saw that Text were republishing a whole bunch of Robin Kleins as part of their legendary Text Classics range.  Nostalgia...

A Writing Life: Helen Garner and her Work by Bernadette Brennan

At last year's WA Premier's Book Awards I was totally starstruck at being in the same room as Helen Garner.  She's a legend and this book is an opportunity to find out how her brain works...

The Shadow Land by Elizabeth Kostova

The author of The Historian has a new book coming out.  Of course I am excited!



Her Mother's Secret by Natasha Lester

If you don't hang out in the WA Writing Community, maybe you don't know how beloved Natasha Lester is, but the release of her fourth book this April will be a major publishing event and I can't wait!  Natasha has also very kindly agree to be the April Guest of Honour for the WA Authors Book Club, run with Westbooks and the State Library of WA, so put April 6th in your Diary and let me know if you want more details.  As for the book...

Armistice Day should bring peace into Leonora's life. Rather than secretly making cosmetics in her father's chemist shop to sell to army nurses such as Joan, her adventurous Australian friend, Leo hopes to now display her wares openly. Instead, Spanish flu arrives in the village, claiming her father's life. Determined to start over, she boards a ship to New York City. On the way she meets debonair department store heir Everett Forsyth . . . (Goodreads)

Ambulance Girls by Deborah Burrows

Another Perth writer, Deborah Burrows has now turned her pen to writing about the Blitz in London and boy am I excited!  I told Deborah that she could name a character after me if she wanted and so I shall have to read the book to find out whether she did or not...

From Goodreads: As death and destruction fall from the skies day after day in the London Blitz, Australian ambulance driver, Lily Brennan, confronts the horror with bravery, intelligence, common sense and humour.

Gwen by Goldie Goldbloom

I already have this ready to read, thanks to the lovely Claire at Fremantle Press.  The Paperbark Shoe remains one of my favourite reads of all time so I'm very excited to read this one.  Here's what Goodreads has to say:

In 1903, the artist Gwendolen Mary John travels from London to France with her companion Dorelia. Surviving on their wits and Gwen’s raw talent, the young women walk from Calais to Paris. In the new century, the world is full of promise: it is time for Gwen to step out from the shadow of her overbearing brother Augustus and seek out the great painter and sculptor Auguste Rodin. It is time to be brave and visible, to love and be loved – and time perhaps to become a hero as the stain of anti-Semitism spreads across Europe.

The Hope Fault by Tracy Farr

Another favourite of mine, I discovered The Life and Loves of Lena Gaunt a few years ago and was totally gobsmacked by the amazing world created within its pages.  It was fantastic and I am sure this new novel from New Zealand's own Tracy Farr will be excellent too:

Iris’s family – her ex-husband with his new wife and baby; her son, and her best friend’s daughter – gather to pack up their holiday house. They are there for one last time, one last weekend, and one last party – but in the course of this weekend, their connections will be affirmed, and their frailties and secrets revealed – to the reader at least, if not to each other. The Hope Fault is a novel about extended family: about steps and exes and fairy godmothers; about parents and partners who are missing, and the people who replace them. (Goodreads)


The Lonely Hearts Hotel by Heather O'Neill

Tell me something is perfect for fans of The Night Circus and I am there.

Goodreads says: Two babies are abandoned in a Montreal orphanage in the winter of 1910. Before long, their talents emerge: Pierrot is a piano prodigy; Rose lights up even the dreariest room with her dancing and comedy. As they travel around the city performing clown routines, the children fall in love with each other and dream up a plan for the most extraordinary and seductive circus show the world has ever seen. 

The Woolgrower's Companion by Joy Rhoades

I refer again to The Paperbark Shoe, as that's where this book's blurb transported me.  I hope it's like that, but even if it's not I am still keen to read it.  There's no blurb up anywhere online so I'll leave this one as a bit of a surprise for you all...

Before You Forget by Julia Lawrinson

I have lost count of how many times I have read Skating the Edge.  A new YA book by Julia Lawrinson is always a must-have for me as her words spoke to me when I was a teen and continue to do so now that I am a grown-up (hey, the numbers say so even if the behaviour doesn't!).  Here's what Goodreads has to say:  Year Twelve is not off to a good start for Amelia. Art is her world, but her art teacher hates everything she does; her best friend has stopped talking to her; her mother and father may as well be living in separate houses; and her father is slowly forgetting everything. Even Amelia.


Miss Lily's Lovely Ladies by Jackie French

No cover yet.  (Shame, it will be lovely, trust me.)  This is a novel about four debutantes and the way their lives are changed by World War One.  I love Jackie French's historical novels and I just can't wait!

Four Seasons in Rome by Anthony Doerr

A non-fiction release from the author of Pulitzer Prize Winning Novel, All The Light We Cannot See, which chronicles his time living in Rome after winning The Rome Prize, and includes reflections on the birth of his twins.  Who knows, maybe he'll include the secret of how to win a Pulitzer and the Rome Prize while he's at it!

And I'd Do It Again by Aimee Crocker

I'll just let Goodreads speak for me on this one:

Aimee Crocker was an heiress to gold and railroad fortunes and a daughter of Judge Edwin B. Crocker (1818-1875), legal counsel for the Central Pacific Railroad, Justice of the California Supreme Court in 1865 and founder of the Crocker Art Museum. Her father was a brother of Charles Crocker, one of the "big four" California railroad barons. Aimee had a tale or two to tell. Aside from lavish parties, husbands and lovers, she traveled widely throughout Asia. She tells of escaping headhunters in Borneo, poisoning in Hong Kong, and avoided murder by servants in Shanghai. While away, she was christened Princess Palaikalani Bliss of Heaven by King David Kalakaua, the last king of Hawaii, and then Princess Galitzine when she wed her fifth and final husband, Prince Mstislav Galitzine. This is her autobiography, first published in 1936. 



I'm sure there will be many many more titles due out in 2017 which will catch my eye but this list was very long already so I will call it quits here.  What are you looking forward to reading in 2017?

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