Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Debut Novels for 2015

Thanks to The Broke and the Bookish, I got to do more research on what 2015 has to offer. Well, let me just say, narrowing this list to only ten was extremely painful. THERE ARE JUST TOO MANY GOOD NOVELS COMING OUT. *Cries*. However hard it was, here are the ten I came down to (PS all synopsis are either from other websites unless stated otherwise):

1) Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman; Release Date: February 3, 2015

0062330268.01.MZZZZZZZ

Trigger Warning includes previously published pieces of short fiction—stories, verse, and a very special Doctor Who story that was written for the fiftieth anniversary of the beloved series in 2013—as well “Black Dog,” a new tale that revisits the world of American Gods, exclusive to this collection. Trigger Warning explores the masks we all wear and the people we are beneath them to reveal our vulnerabilities and our truest selves. – Amazon

I mean, it’s Neil Gaiman. Enough said.

2) Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed: Sixteen Writers on the Decision Not to Have Kids, edited by Meghan Daum; Release Date: March 31, 2015.

1250052939.01.MZZZZZZZ

Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed makes a thoughtful and passionate case for why parenthood is not the only path in life, taking our parent-centric, kid-fixated, baby-bump-patrolling culture to task in the process. What emerges is a more nuanced, diverse view of what it means to live a full, satisfying life. – Amazon

I’m genuinely excited to read these stories because I am definitely a person who isn’t 100% sold on the prospect of having children when I am older. I’ve never had any debates about a life without children – typically I view it as a taboo subject. Or if you come out and say, “I don’t want children when I’m older” there are usually one of two reactions: 1) He or she will say, “You’ll change your mind once you’ve reached *insert ideal age*.” 2) A crazed eye, jaw dropped facial expression will appear on his or her face along with the question, “Do you not like kids?!” Except, I find offense to the first reaction since I believe I know myself better than other people and the second reaction is just stereotypical. I adore children. I love coming from a huge family where I’m close with my sibling and cousins. Yet I still don’t see myself desiring to be a mother. I have other ambitions. That should be okay. ANYWAYS, back to the novel – I feel like I’ll finally have something to – hopefully – relate to on this topic.

3) The Ghost Network by Catie Disabato; Release Date: May 5, 20151612194346.01.MZZZZZZZ

Disabato, who has written for The Millions, debuts with a high-concept mystery that looks to be a lot of fun. Pop stars aren’t known for avoiding the limelight, which is why the disappearance of a Lady Gaga-like singer inspires two women to track her down. Racing around Chicago in search of clues, they find themselves decoding arcane documents and ancient maps rather than liner notes as the disappearance turns out to involve a secret society. – The Millions

I’m a sucker for plots involving secret societies. Plus I’m from Chicago so I’m already biased on the setting.

4) Aquarium by David Vann; Release Date: March 3, 2015

080212352X.01.MZZZZZZZ

Twelve year old Caitlin lives alone with her mother—a docker at the local container port—in subsidized housing next to an airport in Seattle. Each day, while she waits to be picked up after school, Caitlin visits the local aquarium to study the fish. Gazing at the creatures within the watery depths, Caitlin accesses a shimmering universe beyond her own. When she befriends an old man at the tanks one day, who seems as enamored of the fish as she, Caitlin cracks open a dark family secret and propels her once-blissful relationship with her mother toward a precipice of terrifying consequence. – Amazon

I’m typically not one for the familial themed plots, but there’s something about this one that strikes me. It might be the prospect of reading about the friendship and bond that formulates between Caitlin and the old man since that’s not a typically introduced element.

5) Amnesia by Peter Carey; Release Date: January 13, 20150385352778.01.MZZZZZZZ

Carey’s new novel uses a cyberattack as the lens through which to consider the often-fraught history of the relationship between the United States and Australia. A radical hacker releases a worm into a computer system that governs both Australian and American prisoners. The doors of five thousand prisons in the United States are opened, while in Australia, hundreds of asylum-seekers escape. An Australian journalist, determined to figure out the motivation behind the attack and trying to save his career, struggles to get the hacker to cooperate on a biography. – The Millions

Carey bases this novel’s plot on the current fear our generation is experiencing – cyber-attacks. It’s a topic that I find thrilling since it is constantly happening. From celebrity’s cloud accounts to the leakage of military information, hacking and cyber-attacks are not something especially new; yet, I feel like there is little progress on being able to stop them. I can’t wait to see how Carey explores this topic and weaves it into a suspenseful novel.

6) Get in Trouble by Kelly Link; Release Date: February 3, 2015. 0804179689.01.MZZZZZZZ

Link has won an ardent following for her ability, with each new short story, to take readers deeply into an unforgettable, brilliantly constructed fictional universe. The nine exquisite examples in this collection show her in full command of her formidable powers. In “The Summer People,” a young girl in rural North Carolina serves as uneasy caretaker to the mysterious, never-quite-glimpsed visitors who inhabit the cottage behind her house. In “I Can See Right Through You,” a middle-aged movie star makes a disturbing trip to the Florida swamp where his former on- and off-screen love interest is shooting a ghost-hunting reality show. – Amazon

I’m not HUGE on short stories, but Link sounds wonderfully inventive and unusual. Each description of the stories that consist of this collection hold oddities that give the reader an inkling that Link’s imagination is capable of great things.

7) The World Before Us by Aislinn Hunter; Release Date: March 31, 2015. 0553418521.01.MZZZZZZZ

In Hunter’s eerily compelling new novel, an archivist at a small London museum embarks on a final project before the museum’s impending closure: she is searching for information related to a woman who disappeared over a century ago from a Victorian asylum. The project holds some personal interest: when the archivist was fifteen years old, a little girl whom she was babysitting vanished in the woods near the asylum, and the archivist has begun to suspect that the two events were connected. – The Millions

Archivist + Asylum = I’m hooked already.

8) Glow by Ned Beauman; Release Date: January 20, 2015. 0385352603.01.MZZZZZZZ

South London, May 2010: foxes are behaving strangely, Burmese immigrants are going missing, and everyone is trying to get hold of a new party drug called Glow. A young man suffering from a rare sleep disorder will uncover the connections between all these anomalies. – Amazon

I’m interested to see how this drug correlates with a string of seemingly unconnected events. I hope that the plot takes interesting turns and doesn’t collide with some concept like, “this is all due to government experimentation” blah blah blah. If Beauman takes a completely different approach, I’ll be more than thrilled. I guess we’ll see soon!

9)  The Country of Ice Cream Star by Sandra Newman; Release Date: February 10, 20150062227092.01.MZZZZZZZ

Newman’s third novel is set in a world of children. Eighty years ago, a deadly pandemic swept across North America, and now every child is born with the disease; they begin showing symptoms around the age of eighteen or nineteen, and die soon after. When fifteen-year-old Ice Cream Star’s beloved older brother falls ill, she sets out after rumors of a cure. It’s a compelling story, but the most fascinating thing about Newman’s book is the language: the novel is written in the kind of beautifully warped English that one might expect to develop over eighty years without adults, and the prose often approaches a kind of wild poetry: “We flee like a dragonfly over water, we fight like ten guns, and we be bell to see. – The Millions

I’m particularly excited for this novel because of its warped English. Any author who holds the capacity to mess around with linguistics is an author I want to read.

10) The First Bad Man: A Novel by Miranda July; Release Date: January 13, 20151439172560.01.MZZZZZZZ

Here is Cheryl, a tightly-wound, vulnerable woman who lives alone, with a perpetual lump in her throat. She is haunted by a baby boy she met when she was six, who sometimes recurs as other people’s babies. Cheryl is also obsessed with Phillip, a philandering board member at the women’s self-defense nonprofit where she works. She believes they’ve been making love for many lifetimes, though they have yet to consummate in this one. – Amazon

This novel strikes me because the protagonist appears to be an unexpected female lead. I wonder how I’ll connect to Cheryl or if I will connect with her at all. The probably theme of the duality of what is real and not real in this novel is also enticing. I’m curious to see the path July’s words will take me down.

Well those are the novels that have me on my toes for 2015! What are you getting excited about?

Advertisements

Top Ten Tuesday…er Top Seven? (a bit late, but…)

Alright, so 2014 hasn’t been my best reading year, but I plan to make 2015 better! I truly struggled to think of my top ten new-to-me authors. It isn’t that I haven’t read ten or more books in 2014, but not too many stuck with me. Add that to the fact a lot of my reading was for school and well, here we are.

Screen Shot 2014-12-10 at 9.56.20 PM1. Claudia RankineDon’t Let Me Be Lonely: Boy, will Rankine put you in a mood. It isn’t a typical novel where each page is filled top to bottom with words; each page, varying from one paragraph to three, is written like a small snapshot or thought captured. Rankine takes on heavy topics like depression (or mental illness in general) in relation to prescription drugs, faith in America (not necessarily religious faith), visual media, and particularly death in the sense of questioning when a person truly dies. It’s a moving, heartbreaking, and thought-provoking novel. More so, the way she unpacks concepts is what makes me excited to read her other works.

2. Anthony WaltonMississippi: An American Journey: It seems to me that so many people oppose non-fiction and autobiographies! Though they’re not the genres I typically run to either, I still see the value. Walton, in particular, is an author who proves that value. Mississippi is a journey of self-discovery in retelling the history of segregation and slavery  through both historical and personal stories. Everyone learns about the civil rights movement in their American history courses, but not like this. The knowledge and perspective I have gained from reading this novel is more than I’ve ever received in a history class.

3. J.K. RowlingThe Harry Potter Series: Do I even need to state why she’s in the top ten? No? Didn’t think so.

4. Bram StokerDracula: I know Dracula is a classic, but I have been putting it off for years. Why? No particular reason to be exact, but if I could go back in time and read it sooner, I would! Stoker has these moments where he is profound, somewhat philosophical, and I find myself simply sitting and rereading over his beautiful lines:

“…even the terrible change in her daughter to whom she is so attached – do not seem to reach her. It is something like the way Dame Nature gathers round a foreign body an envelope of some insensitive tissue which can protect from evil that which it would otherwise harm by contact. If this be an ordered selfishness, then we should pause before we condemn any one for the vice of egoism, for there may be deeper root for its causes than we have knowledge for” (104).

5. Chimamanda Hgozi AdichieHalf of a Yellow Sun: I’ve been struggling in my African Literature course because I haven’t found much of the material, outside of a short story collection, truly enthralling. Then we read Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun. It gripped me from the start. I spent all night flipping page after page into the wee morning. Since then Adichie has been an author I want to read more of. Plus she gives AMAZING TED talks (go watch:).

6. Galway KinnellThe Book of Nightmares: His poetry is grotesque, vivid, and beautiful. I love love love him.

“Dear stranger / extant in memory by the blue Juniata, / these letters / across space I guess / will be all we will know of one another. / So little of what one is threads itself through the eye / of empty space. / Never mind. / The self is the least of it. / Let our scars fall in love” (31).

7. Jennifer L. KnoxThe Mystery of the Hidden Driveway: Hilarious, unexpected, satirical, and imaginative are all words  that describe the type of poet Knox is. There are some serious moments in her collection, but for the most part it is off the wall and quite refreshing.

Screen Shot 2014-12-10 at 9.58.26 PMAlso, thanks to The Broke and the Bookish blog for hosting Top Ten Tuesday topics!