As a reader, I love a good TBR list – preferably a long one. I’ve signed myself up for two reading challenges this year — Litsy A to Z (title stream — where I read a book for each letter of the alphabet) and Litsy Reading Challenge (which is basically a book bingo card). Now the challenge is to figure out where these fabulous looking titles fit in:
The lush, sweeping story of a remarkable dancer who charts her own course through the tumultuous years of early twentieth-century Europe. Beautifully blending fiction with fact, The Chosen Maiden plunges readers into an artistic world upended by modernity, immersing them in the experiences of the era’s giants, from Anna Pavlova and Serge Diaghilev to Coco Chanel and Pablo Picasso.(January)
With impeccable research and captivating prose, The Confessions of Young Nero is the story of a boy’s ruthless ascension to the throne. Detailing his journey from innocent youth to infamous ruler, it is an epic tale of the lengths to which man will go in the ultimate quest for power and survival. (March)
Filtered through the impersonal gaze of its keenly intelligent protagonist, Transit sees Rachel Cusk delve deeper into the themes first raised in her critically acclaimed Outline, and offers up a penetrating and moving reflection on childhood and fate, the value of suffering, the moral problems of personal responsibility, and the mystery of change. (January)
The captivating first novel by the best-selling, National Book Award nominee George Saunders, about Abraham Lincoln and the death of his eleven year old son, Willie, at the dawn of the Civil War. Set over the course of […] one night and populated by ghosts of the recently passed and the long dead, Lincoln in the Bardo is a thrilling exploration of death, grief, the powers of good and evil, a novel – in its form and voice – completely unlike anything you have read before. (February)
In a country teetering on the brink of civil war, two young people meet–sensual, fiercely independent Nadia and gentle, restrained Saeed. They embark on a furtive love affair, and are soon cloistered in a premature intimacy by the unrest roiling their city. When it explodes, turning familiar streets into a patchwork of checkpoints and bomb blasts, they begin to hear whispers about doors–doors that can whisk people far away, if perilously and for a price. As the violence escalates, Nadia and Saeed decide that they no longer have a choice. Leaving their homeland and their old lives behind, they find a door and step through. . . . (Februrary)
Rose is a sensible woman, thirty-four years old. Together with her widowed mother, Fiona, she runs a small repertory cinema in a big city. Fiona is in the early stages of dementia and is beginning to make painful references to Rose’s sister, Ava, who died young in an accident. It is high summer, and a band of storms, unusual for their frequency and heavy downpour, is rolling across the city. Something unusual is also happening to Rose. As the storms break overhead, she loses consciousness and has vivid, realistic dreams–not only about being someplace else, but also of living someone else’s life.
Is Rose merely dreaming? Or is she, in fact, inside the body of another woman? Disturbed and entranced, she tries to find out what is happening to her. (April)
From electrifying horror author Nick Cutter comes a haunting new novel, reminiscent of Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian and Stephen King’s It , in which a trio of mismatched mercenaries is hired by a young woman for a deceptively simple task: check in on her nephew, who may have been taken against his will to a remote New Mexico backwoods settlement called Little Heaven. […] Paranoia and distrust grips the settlement. The escape routes are gradually cut off as events spiral towards madness. Hell–or the closest thing to it–invades Little Heaven. (January)
Ezekiel Boone continues his shivery and wildly entertaining homage to classic horror novels with Skitter , the second book in his The Hatching series. There’s a reason we’re afraid of spiders… (April)
Science Fiction / Fantasy
PINA, the largest tech company in the world, introduces a product called port . These ports offer space-time travel powered by nostalgia and desire. Want to go back to when your relationship was blossoming? To when your kids were small, or when your parents met? To Elizabethan England? To 1990s Seattle? Easy. Step inside the port with a destination in mind, and you will be transported. But there is a catch: it’s possible that you cannot come back. And the ports are incredibly seductive, drawing in those with weaker wills… (March)
Dragon Teeth by Michael Crichton*
Michael Crichton, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Jurassic Park, returns to the world of paleontology in this recently discovered novela thrilling adventure set in the Wild West during the golden age of fossil hunting.
The year is 1876. Warring Indian tribes still populate Americas western territories even as lawless gold-rush towns begin to mark the landscape. In much of the country it is still illegal to espouse evolution. Against this backdrop two monomaniacal paleontologists pillage the Wild West, hunting for dinosaur fossils, while surveilling, deceiving and sabotaging each other in a rivalry that will come to be known as the Bone Wars. (May)
I’m also super excited about the new Gregory Maguire, Hiddensee– based on The Nutcracker – due out this fall.
Lisa Dickey traveled across the whole of Russia three times–in 1995, 2005 and 2015–making friends in eleven different cities, then coming back again and again to see how their lives had changed. Like the acclaimed British documentary series Seven Up! , she traces the ups and downs of ordinary people’s lives, in the process painting a deeply nuanced portrait of modern Russia. (January)
The renowned fantasy and science fiction writer China Miéville has long been inspired by the ideals of the Russian Revolution and here, on the centenary of the revolution, he provides his own distinctive take on its history. In February 1917, in the midst of bloody war, Russia was still an autocratic monarchy: nine months later, it became the first socialist state in world history. How did this unimaginable transformation take place? How was a ravaged and backward country, swept up in a desperately unpopular war, rocked by not one but two revolutions? (May)
What books are you most excited about for 2017?
(Blurbs taken from the publishers.)
*Thanks to Edelweiss and NetGalley for ARCs of these titles.