7 Books to Look Forward To in 2017

Top 10 Tuesday banner
Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

The prompt for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday is “books I’m looking forward to in the first half of 2017.” I don’t go searching for books that haven’t yet been released. My TBR is long enough as it! A book usually makes it onto my list if it’s received positive buzz from a blogger whose tastes match mine, or if it’s an upcoming release from a favourite author. Turns out I have seven books from 2017 on my TBR. Coincidentally, they’ll all be released in the first half of the year. 🙂

Top 10 Tesday 2017 releases - cover images

  1. Minds of Winter by Ed O’Loughlin (Feb. 4) – Historical fiction surrounding the emergence today of artifacts from Sir John Franklin’s 1845 voyage (the one where everyone died and the ship was lost until a couple years ago).
  2. A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab (Feb. 21) – Conclusion to the Shades of Magic trilogy. I can’t believe we’re already at the end!! Feels just like yesterday that I was enchanted by A Darker Shade of Magic.
  3. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (Feb. 28) – If you read about books online, you’ve probably heard of this one. YA own voices novel inspired by Black Lives Matter.
  4. Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan (Mar 14) – Middle grade own voices novel about a Pakistani-American Muslim.
  5. Triangle by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen (Mar. 28) – Picture book by one of my favourite author/illustrator teams.
  6. Borne by Jeff VanderMeer (May 2) – Scifi. Sounds like an excellent follow up to the Southern Reach trilogy.
  7. The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee  (Jun. 20) – I love these kind of covers… Best to just copy the description for this one: “An unforgettable tale of two friends on their Grand Tour of 18th-century Europe who stumble upon a magical artifact that leads them from Paris to Venice in a dangerous manhunt, fighting pirates, highwaymen, and their feelings for each other along the way.” I’m not really a romance person but this sounds like fun.

Are any of these books on your TBR? What 2017 releases are you looking forward to?
Jenna's signature

Top 10 Tuesday: Recent TBR

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

 Top Ten Books I’ve Recently Added To My TBR

Whoaaaa, my first time participating in Top 10 Tuesday :O I don’t expect this will become a regular thing, as I usually don’t feel creative enough or that I have enough books to list, but this one seems doable (and I have an idea for next week!).

I’ve already added 21 books to my TBR shelf since the start of 2016. This may be the year things finally spiral out of hand (AKA my TBR shelf holds more books than my read shelf). For this list, I’m counting the past two months as ‘recent’.

  1. National Audubon Society Guide to Landscape PhotographyMy favourite kind of photography. I want to be able to do justice to the Middle-earth landscapes of NZ!
  2. The Reason You Walk by Wab Kinew – A memoir by a local figure, I was eyeing it while working at the bookstore in December. 
    • When his father was given a diagnosis of terminal cancer, Winnipeg broadcaster and musician Wab Kinew decided to spend a year reconnecting with the accomplished but distant aboriginal man who’d raised him. The Reason You Walk spans that 2012 year, chronicling painful moments in the past and celebrating renewed hopes and dreams for the future. As Kinew revisits his own childhood in Winnipeg and on a reserve in Northern Ontario, he learns more about his father’s traumatic childhood at residential school.
  3. On the Shores of Darkness, There is Light by Cordelia Strube – I recently requested some ARCs because they don’t add any weight to my suitcase and give me something to work on while travelling! The cover caught my eye and the local setting encouraged me to hit request.
    • Harriet is 11 going on 30. Her mixed-media art is a source of wonder to her younger brother, Irwin, but an unmitigated horror to the panoply of insufficiently grown-up grown-ups who surround her. She plans to run away to Algonquin Park, hole up in a cabin like Tom Thomson and paint trees; and so, to fund her escape, she runs errands for the seniors who inhabit the Shangrila, the decrepit apartment building that houses her fractured family. Determined, resourceful, and a little reckless, Harriet tries to navigate the clueless adults around her, dumpster dives for the flotsam and jetsam that fuels her art, and attempts to fathom her complicated feelings for Irwin, who suffers from hydrocephalus. On the other hand, Irwin’s love for Harriet is not conflicted at all. She’s his compass. But Irwin himself must untangle the web of the human heart.”
  4. The Boy Who Drew Monsters by Keith Donohue – Another book I spotted at work last month. Sounds like my kind of story.
    • Ever since he nearly drowned in the ocean three years earlier, ten-year-old Jack Peter Keenan has been deathly afraid to venture outdoors. Refusing to leave his home in a small coastal town in Maine, Jack Peter spends his time drawing monsters. When those drawings take on a life of their own, no one is safe from the terror they inspire. His mother, Holly, begins to hear strange sounds in the night coming from the ocean, and she seeks answers from the local Catholic priest and his Japanese housekeeper, who fill her head with stories of shipwrecks and ghosts. His father, Tim, wanders the beach, frantically searching for a strange apparition running wild in the dunes. And the boy’s only friend, Nick, becomes helplessly entangled in the eerie power of the drawings. While those around Jack Peter are haunted by what they think they see, only he knows the truth behind the frightful occurrences as the outside world encroaches upon them all.
  5. English Passengers by Matthew Kneale A recommendation from my best friend. Usually our tastes differ but this sound likes fun. The ship factor enticed me the most.
    • In 1857 when Captain Illiam Quillian Kewley and his band of rum smugglers from the Isle of Man have most of their contraband confiscated by British Customs, they are forced to put their ship up for charter. The only takers are two eccentric Englishmen who want to embark for the other side of the globe. The Reverend Geoffrey Wilson believes the Garden of Eden was on the island of Tasmania. His travelling partner, Dr. Thomas Potter, unbeknownst to Wilson, is developing a sinister thesis about the races of men. Meanwhile, an aboriginal in Tasmania named Peevay recounts his people’s struggles against the invading British, a story that begins in 1824, moves into the present with approach of the English passengers in 1857, and extends into the future in 1870. These characters and many others come together in a storm of voices that vividly bring a past age to life.
  6. I Have a Bed of Buttermilk Pancakes by Jaclyn Moriarty – One of my favourite YA authors. She’s Australian, and I hope to run across the book (an adult fiction novel not readily available in Canada) while I’m there.
    • Cath Murphy, second-grade teacher, was feeling awkward and foolish, but she also felt this: quirky, cocky, small, funny, wicked and extremely blonde. As her mother liked to say, all meetings with new people, even locksmiths or seven-year-olds, can make you a little afraid. She was about to meet her new class and she had just met the new teacher: Warren Woodford.However, Cath Murphy has yet to meet the Zing family…
  7. The First World War by John Keegan – Planning to finish this before NZ, treating it as my foundation book for WWI. I like to get an overview of a topic, then delve into the specific that I’m interested in (in this I’d like to learn more about the Canadian role in WWI and the role of the war in Tolkien’s life and writing).
  8. The Children’s Home by Charles Lambert – This one sounds like a delicious story. I like the cover as well.
    • “The Children’s Home is a genre-defying, utterly bewitching masterwork, an inversion of modern fairy tales like The Chronicles of Narnia and The Golden Compass, in which children visit faraway lands to accomplish elusive tasks. Lambert writes from the perspective of the visited, weaving elements of psychological suspense, Jamesian stream of consciousness, and neo-gothic horror, to reveal the inescapable effects of abandonment, isolation, and the grotesque – as well as the glimmers of goodness – buried deep within the soul.”

  9. Drown: A Twisted Take on the Classic Fairytale by Esther Daleno  – Could be wonderful or terrible. “The Little Mermaid” is my favourite Hans Christian Anderson story, so I want to check this out.
    •  “Belonging to a race that is mostly animal with little humanity, a world obsessed with beauty where morality holds no sway, a little mermaid escapes to the ocean’s surface. Discovering music, a magnificent palace of glass and limestone, and a troubled human prince, she is driven by love to consult the elusive sea-witch who secretly dominates the entire species of merfolk. Upon paying an enormous price for her humanity, the little mermaid begins a new life, uncovering secrets of sexuality and the Immortal Soul. As a deadly virus threatens to contaminate the bloodstreams of the whole merfolk race, the little mermaid must choose between the lives of her people, the man she loves, or herself.

  10. Diving Belles by Lucy Wood A Goodreads generated recommendation based on Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day
    • Straying husbands lured into the sea can be fetched back, for a fee. Magpies whisper to lonely drivers late at night. Trees can make wishes come true – provided you know how to wish properly first. Houses creak, fill with water and keep a fretful watch on their inhabitants, straightening shower curtains and worrying about frayed carpets. A teenager’s growing pains are sometimes even bigger than him. And, on a windy beach, a small boy and his grandmother keep despair at bay with an old white door. In these stories, Cornish folklore slips into everyday life. Hopes, regrets and memories are entangled with catfish, wrecker’s lamps, standing stones and baying hounds, and relationships wax and wane in the glow of a moonlit sea. This luminous, startling and utterly spellbinding debut collection introduces in Lucy Wood a spectacular new voice in contemporary British fiction.

    Have you read any of these? What books recently added to your TBR are you most looking forward to?

    Some Books I Own But Haven’t Read

    I don’t own a lot amount of books. A rough estimate puts the total shy of 300 (a lot being totally subjective, of course…). I give careful consideration to each book I purchase. I don’t usually buy a book without having read it first, exceptions being for authors I already admire. Most of these purchases come when long-held notions of “Hey, I thought I might read that someday!” or “Haven’t I heard good things about this?” meet bargain prices. Because I own relatively few books that I haven’t read yet, I don’t feel any need yet to start getting through them. However, because I bought these books on a whim with no planned intention to read them, they often slip from my notice. They get lost on the physical shelf, or I forget to add them to my virtual shelf, and a book not on my Goodreads TBR may as well not exist. I started storing unread purchases in a crate under my bed, so I can easily pull it out and see what’s waiting for me. (This crate also contains library books.) A few of these unreads I’ve already added to my 2016-maybes shelf. No pressure, but I don’t want to let them languish forever 😉 

    1. The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly by Sun-Mi Hwang – Bargain book. A pretty little thing recommended by Andi.
    2. Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden – Used book from a store where I had a credit. Was on my Indigenous authors TBR last year.
    3. The Lexicographer’s Dilemma by Jack Lynch – Bargain book. Author familiar to me from my History of English course.
    4. The Mushroom Hunters: On the Trail of an Underground America by Langdon Cook – Bargain book. I like these kind of food books.
    5. The Bird’s Nest by Shirley Jackson – One of the few physical books I purchased while in Japan. Never got in the mood for it.
    6. The Beautiful and Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald – See above.
    7. Japanese Portraits by Donald Richie – Bargain book.
    8. Notre-Dame de Paris by Victor Hugo – Ahh, this one’s a bit different. Bought from Shakespeare and Co. in 2010. More of a souvenir than a book I really want to read.
    9. Little, Big by John Crowley – A rare book shopping therapy purchase! Meaning, I wanted to go to a bookstore and buy something without preplanning. I believe Neil Gaiman likes this one.
    10. Beowulf by Seamus Heney – Bargain book. I’ve never read the whole thing through.

    This post evolved out of a little debate with myself over whether I should take up Andi’s Read My Own Damn Books challenge. I see a lot of bloggers write about how they own far too many unread books. Thankfully this is not yet the case for me, so in the end I decided there wasn’t really any reason for me to take on that challenge 😛 Are you more like me, or do you have a daunting TBR at home?

    Jumping Into January (Library Book Haul)

    I visited the library on December 28. I snuggled into an armchair and pulled out my iPad I opened the Goodreads and library apps. I was cross-referencing my 2016-maybes shelf with the library’s available books and ebooks (if I can borrow a book as an ebook, I save it for when I’m travelling). I drew up a list, then headed out into the stacks. I enjoy browsing books on GoodReads, but holding a book in my hands and reading a few pages remains the only way I can truly evaluate a book’s potential. I had great success with this final visit of 2015. I picked up 15 books, including middle grade, young adult, fiction and non-fiction. One book I began to read while waiting for my ride and I finished it in one sitting! Here are my remaining books:

    I hope to fit a lot of good reading into this month, as I’ll be travelling from February to May with no guaranteed access to books I want to read. This library stack should give me a solid start! What do you think of my picks? Do you have any reading plans for the first weeks of 2016

    December Book Haul

    A few weeks ago I started working seasonally at a bookstore. I’ve been having a great time helping people find the books they’re looking for. This weekend was staff appreciation, which meant an extra discount on top of the regular staff discount. Of course I couldn’t resist buying books even this close to Christmas! (Though I was careful not to buy any of the ones on my Christmas wishlist). I ended up with seven books (two were planned and four were from bargain sooooo it wasn’t too extreme ;P).

    • The Art of the Lord of the Rings edited by Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull – Really excited to dig into this one, as it contains many never before published pieces.
    • The Hobbit illustrated by Jemima Catlin – I kind of, sort of collect The Hobbit…at least I’ve decided so now that I have six copies. If I ever win the lottery, you know I’ll be adding a first edition to this budding collection!
    • House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski – I’d been reading a library copy, then my sister’s copy, but I’m enjoying it so much I want to add it to my library.
    • The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly by Sun-Mi Hwang – Found this in the bargain books section and thought of Andi’s review. With my staff discount, it came to $3.50 so I added it to my basket.
    • The Lexicographer’s Dilemma by Jack Lynch – I love it when I find bargain books that are already on my TBR list.
    • The Mushroom Hunters by Langdon Cook – Totally an impulse buy. Looks intriguing!
    • I My Slow Cooker by Beverly LeBlanc – I have to be careful not to become the sort of person who buys cookbooks but doesn’t use them… I liked the look of a lot of the recipes in this one, though, and I think I could make better use of my slow cooker.

    I did buy a few gifts for others. I bought The Road to Little Dribbling by Bill Bryson and pencil crayons to go with the colouring books I got for my mom. I also bought to two gifts to donate to a toy drive – a set of 12 Thomas the Tank Engine board books and a Doc McStuffins ‘Busy Book’ (a picture book that comes with little figures and a play mat).

    How is your holiday shopping going? Have you treated yourself to any books lately?