Most Anticipated Books of 2017

books, most wanted, New Year, resolution, tbr
It’s nearly the start of January 2017 and, after my last post looked back on my last year, this one is looking forward to the next. In 2016 I made the resolution to read more books but didn’t do a great job. This year I hope to get better at reading and, by giving up on books as soon as I stop enjoying them, will hopefully stop falling into reading slumps. So, to inspire me to get stuff finished I’ve created a follow-up to my incredibly popular ‘Most Anticipated Books of 2016’ post with a few of my Most Anticipated Books of 2017. This is only a short number of the huge list I had at one point. It looks as if I’m not going to curb my spending this year. Ah well.

2017 fiction releases I’m excited about

  • Men Without Women by Haruki Murakami

Murakami is one of my favourite writers and this is his first big work of fiction since Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki. This new release will be a collection of seven short stories about single men. This is the 2017 release that I’m most excited about and I can’t wait to read it.

  • Woman No. 17 by Edan Lepucki

This is supposed to be a darkly funny, noir novel about art, motherhood and female friendship. It’s a story about a female writer who hired a young woman to care for her son whilst she works. The new member of the family quickly integrates herself but things start to take a dark turn. It sounds intense.

  • The Answers by Catherine Lacey

This is Lacey’s second novel and it introduces us to a young woman who is living in constant pain. In order to pay for her experimental treatment, she takes part in a Girlfriend Experiment to play the girlfriend of an eccentric actor. It sounds like an interesting concept.

  • Homesick for Another World by Ottessa Moshfegh

I’m going to be honest and tell you that I haven’t finished Eileen yet but this collection of short stories by its writer sounds amazing. It’s a collection concerning characters that are all unsteady in their own way. Wanting to be better or more connected, they are their own worst enemies. Doesn’t that sound amazing?

  • Norse Anthology by Neil Gaiman

I’m so excited about this that I’ve pre-ordered it. I love Neil Gaiman and I love Norse mythology so this book is kind of perfect for me. I can’t wait to see Gaiman’s take on these Norse tales.

  • The Seventh Function of Language by Laurent Binet

This book sounds bloody incredible. It offers a different perspective on Roland Barthes’ death and includes a line-up of literary greats. It sounds like a better version of the DaVinci Code but with more about literary theory.

  • Difficult Women by Roxanne Gay

Roxanne Gay set the literary world on fire with her essay collection Bad Feminist  which she is set to follow up this year with Hunger. However, before that is released Gay’s first collection of short stories is set to be published. They describe women in a variety of situations but, considering Gay’s reputation as a writer, it is bound to be a great representation of modern America.

  • Ill Will by Dan Chaon

Ill Will tells the story of two unsolved crimes, one in the past and the other in the present. The two are linked by one man. The story looks at the problem of memory and the dangers of self-deception. It’s a psychological thriller that I could actually get on board with.

  • The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley by Hannah Tinti

This novel tells the story of a criminal who is raising his daughter on the run. They move from motel to motel and always watch their back. Now, Samuel, wants his daughter to have a normal life. As they settle down for good, the father and daughter must come to terms with his past as it threatens their present. Sounds like a Tarantino movie or something. I love it.

  • Universal Harvester by John Darnielle

I really enjoyed Wolf in White Van so I’m really looking forward to Darnielle’s follow-up. It concerns a man working at a video rental store who investigates when customers start complaining that there is something strange on one of the VHS tapes. If it’s anything like his previous novel, this will be haunting but brilliant.

  • Flaneuse by Lauren Elkin

This book, part cultural retrospective and part memoir, traces the relationship between women and their cities. Elkin looks into the lives of these women in order to map her own life. It sounds like a different read and I’m pretty excited by it.

  • Idaho by Emily Ruskovich

This debut novel deals with memory, love ad forgiveness. As a wife must come to terms with her husband’s fading memory she attempts to piece together her husband’s past. I’ve heard good things about this and Ruskovich’s writing.

  • Fever Dream by Samanta Schweblin

A young woman lies in a hospital bed with a young boy sitting by her bed. It sounds creepy and haunting and I can’t wait.

  • The Animators by Kayla Rae Whitaker

This tells the story of two women in the world of animation. After the release of their first feature pushes them into the limelight, they find their friendship being put to the test. As a lover of animation and well-written stories about well-written women this sounds ideal. I’m looking forward to it. It’s had some good write-ups so far.

  • Somebody with a Litte Hammer by Mary Gaitskill

Mary Gaitskill, the essayist, brings together a series of essays on topics including all things literary, social, cultural, and personal. This is bound to be an engaging and interesting set of essays.

  • Marlena by Julie Buntin

This novel tells the story of two young girls and their turbulent friendship. Their behaviour gets more troubled and outrageous and ends with one girl dead. Years later, the survivor is still haunted by the past and, when a ghost from that year comes resurfaces, she has to come to terms with these events. This sounds like it will be an in-depth study of a friendship and the effect that people have on our lives.

  • South and West by Joan Didion 

This brings together two extended excerpts from the best-selling author’s never-seen-before notebooks. I think it will be interesting to have a greater insight into the mind of the writer and her process.

                                                                                                  Bonus post – my most anticipated fiction releases of 2016

                                                                                                  books, most wanted
                                                                                                  As you can see from my previous post today, I’m not doing too well at reading at the moment. Unfortunately, there are a shitload of great books coming out this year that I can’t wait to read. In order to get through them I know I need to make loads of changes to how I live my life but I’m also very set in my ways. Maybe 2016 is the year I finally get my shit together and, at least pretend, I’m a modern woman who can have it all. The good thing about this blog, as well as giving me a place to rant, is that it shames me into doing things. I’ve already started buying less books and being more careful about spur of the moment spending. So you guys can hopefully force me to become a better reader. If I set out the books I want to read this year then I’ll have to get through at least some of them for fear of being ostracised by the bookish community. I’ve tried to arrange them in order of most anticipated but we all know I am equally desperate to own them all.

                                                                                                  2016 fiction releases I’m excited about
                                                                                                  • The Noise of Time by Julian Barnes
                                                                                                    • Barnes’ first novel since the 2011 Man Booker Prize winning The Sense of an Ending tackles the life of composer Dmitri Shostakovich. Opening during the Stalinist purges of the 1930s, it follows his life. I’m excited.
                                                                                                  • What is not yours is not yours by Helen Oyeyemi
                                                                                                    • Writing her first novel The Icarus Girl when she was just 18, Helen Oyeymi was quickly recognised as a great young writer. 2014’s Boy, Snow, Bird was a fantastic read and I’m really looking forward to her first short story collection.
                                                                                                  • Thus Bad Begins by Javier Marias
                                                                                                    • Spain’s leading novelist offers us a story of desire and betrayal in this noirish novel. A young man gets involved with a famous film director and gets entangled into the mysterious circumstances involving his wife.
                                                                                                  • Nicotine by Nell Zink
                                                                                                    • Zink is one of America’s leading novelists at the moments thanks to Mislaind & The Wallcreeper. This new novel narrative deals with smokers’ rights activists, dodgy real estate deals and love triangles. Sounds good. 
                                                                                                  • Blood Riders by Gary Oldman and Douglas Urbanski
                                                                                                    • Yes, that’s right, Dracula himself is helping to write a set of vampire novels that is set in the Wild West. It’s a concept so fucking awesome I couldn’t even have dreamt it up.
                                                                                                  • Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler
                                                                                                    • Anne Tyler was shortlisted for the 2015 Man Booker for A Spool of Blue Thread, which she said would be her last novel. However, she’s back with a modernisation of The Taming of the Shrew. I’m excited to see how this turns out.
                                                                                                  • Shylock Is My Name by Howard Jacobson
                                                                                                    • Another Shakespeare update for his anniversary year, Man Booker prize winner Jacobson deals with tackles The Merchant of Venice and explores Jewish culture, fatherhood and morality in the modern world. Fucking dreamy.
                                                                                                  • The Heart by Maylis deKerangal
                                                                                                    • The Heart tells the story of a human heart making the journey from a dead body to a seriously ill one. This is an exploration of so many ideas and it’s a fucking amazing concept.
                                                                                                  • Mr Splitfoot by Samantha Hunt
                                                                                                    • A tale concerning religious fanatics, two orphans, and speaking to the dead. This gothic novel tracks the journey of two women as they head towards a mysterious revelation. I do love a gothic novel.
                                                                                                  • You Should Pity Us by Amy Gustine
                                                                                                    • A short story collection about people in various states of extremis. The stories display real life situations of differing severity but each is given equal weight.
                                                                                                  • The Association of Small Bombs by Karan Mahajon
                                                                                                    • The narrative deals with fallout from a terrorist attack on a Delhi marketplace and the way family, politics and pain weave together. It sounds fucking wonderful and devastating.
                                                                                                  • The Red Virgin and the Vision of Utopia by Mary Talbot and Bryan Talbot
                                                                                                    • A graphic novel biography of the French revolutionary feminist Louise Michel who is closley associated with the Paris Commune. Coming from this critically acclaimed duo I’m expecting great things. 
                                                                                                  • The Girls by Emma Cline
                                                                                                    • One of 2016’s most high-profile debuts, The Girls fouses on a young girl in the Summer of 1969. She manages to get drawn into a mysterious commune that shares a great deal with the Manson family. 
                                                                                                  • A Horse Walks into a Bar by David Grossman
                                                                                                    • A veteran comic falls apart in front of an audience in a small Israeli comedy club. The comic must chose between his commitment to his audience and to himself. I haven’t seen a lot about this but what I have sounds fucking unbelievable.
                                                                                                  • Letters to Kevin by Stephen Dixon
                                                                                                    • Coming out just after my birthday, this farce sounds absurd, wild and weird. Rudy thought it would be easy to call his friend Kevin but it turns into a crazy adventure. Right up my street.
                                                                                                  • The Fat Artist and Other Stories by Benjamin Hale
                                                                                                    • A fantastic sounding short story collection revolving around dominatrices and performance artists. 
                                                                                                  • Eleven Hours by Pamela Erens
                                                                                                    • A pregnant young woman enters a maternity ward determined to give birth without any equipment or epidural. It follows her 11 hour labour and the work of the pregnant nurse who is helping her.
                                                                                                  • Zero K by Don DeLillo
                                                                                                    • “We are born without choosing to be. Should we have to die in the same manner?” Zero K tells the story of a billionaire with a terminally ill wife who tries to cheat death using science. Raising questions about fate and morality, I can’t wait.
                                                                                                  • The Good Liar by Nichola Searle
                                                                                                    • Searle’s debut novel concerns an eldery conman working the his last scam, The story is written in reverse to reveal the mysteries surrounding the conman and his seemingly willing victim. 
                                                                                                  • Losing It by Emma Rathbone
                                                                                                    • 26 year old Julia visits her spinster aunt to confront her fears surrounding her own virginity. A interested and unusual concept that I’m excited to read.
                                                                                                  • I Am No One by Patrick Flanery
                                                                                                    • A professor returns to New York City after 10 years and finds himself the object of obsession for a man who is supposedly a part of his past. It explores the link between fear and paranoia in our modern world of surveillance and censorship. It sounds intense and fucking brilliant.
                                                                                                  • How to set a fire and why by Jesse Ball
                                                                                                    • The story of a teenager living an impoverished life in the absence of her parents. She is expelled from school and looking for a purpose when she discovers a secret Arson Club she is desperate to be a part of. Sounds explosive. 
                                                                                                  • Our Young Man by Edmund White
                                                                                                    • French Guy is a beautiful man who finds fame as a model in New York City in the 1980s. Weirdly though, Guy doesn’t seem to age. Set against a backdrop of the disco era and moving into the era of Aids, White explores the power of beauty.
                                                                                                  • The Storyteller: Tales Out of Loneliness by Walter Benjamin
                                                                                                    • This is critic and philosopher Benjamin’s first major collection of short stories and with it he experiments with fiction. It includes various forms such as novellas, fables, histories, aphorisms, parables and riddles. 
                                                                                                  • Not Working by Lisa Owens
                                                                                                    • A thirty something woman quits her job in order to discover her vocation. It’s only then that she realises she has no idea what to do with herself. As someone desperate to find professional happiness, there is something familiar about this concept and I’m looking forward to reading it.
                                                                                                  • Ten Days by Gillian Slovo
                                                                                                    • Based on the London riots of 2011, Ten Days shows the ten days of violence that wrupt during an intense heatewave. It’s about the consequences of politics, policing and the harsh realities of life collide. 
                                                                                                  • Jonathan Unleashed by Meg Rosoff
                                                                                                    • Jonathan finds modern life and relationships baffling. He struggles along being nostalgic for the simpler times of the past. Thankfully, his two dogs are determined to help him fix his life… possibly. 
                                                                                                  • Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta
                                                                                                    • This debut novel from Okparata is the story of a young woman separated from her family at the height of the Biafran civil war. After meeting another young girl, Ijeoma must confront her sexuality and deal with her religious beliefs.