It’s going to be a busy winter! Before I can get to the titles on this list, I’ve got to get through this monster-sized book:
It’s awesome so far (every bit as good as I expected it to be after reading Jemisin’s more recent novel, The Fifth Season) Also, to be fair, it’s three books and one novella in one edition… I just hadn’t anticipated how big that would be when I ordered it.
But as soon as I’ve worked my way through that, these are next up:
This Census-Taker by China Mieville
From the master weird-fiction writer, this story is narrated by a young boy who has witnessed a deeply traumatic event; trapped, he dreams of escape, and thinks he might have found the help he’s been looking for in a stranger who knocks at the door. But apparently the man may not be what he appears. Knowing Mieville, I’m intrigued as to why this novella is called “This” census-taker rather than “The” or “A”…
My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout
The Pulitzer Prize winner of Olive Kitteridge turns her eye to the complex mother-daughter relationship in her latest novel. In it, Lucy is recalling the time she spent recovering in hospital and her Mother, with whom she hasn’t spoken to in years, came to visit. Strout’s characters are always so fully realized, and I’m excited to meet a new set of them.
Why We Came to the City by Kristopher Jansma
About a group of tight-knit twentysomething New Yorkers, this is a story about friendship, loss, and how we grow together and grow apart. It’s described as “warm, funny, and heartfelt,” with an engaging ensemble cast. And I can never turn down ensemble casts.
No Baggage: A Minimalist Tale of Love and Wandering by Clara Bensen
A travelogue with an engaging premise; Clara and Jeff barely know each other, but set out on a 21-day trip from Istanbul to London with no plan and (they think) no baggage. Of course ‘baggage’ has that double meaning here, but I’m honestly interested in the literal meaning, and how one can do without it on a trip of this scale.
The Portable Veblen by Elizabeth Mckenzie
The story of a soon-to-be-married couple, whose engagement is threatened by their dysfunctional families, career aspirations, and other things/people that come between them. Called “Quirky,” with appendices and squirrels, so I’m sold.
Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist by Sunil Yapa
Yapa’s debut novel, set during the 1999 WTO protests in Seattle, is the story of how one afternoon will change the lives of seven people forever. It promises to be a beautiful and emotionally powerful – albeit potentially gritty – read.