I love looking ahead to what I might be reading in the coming months, and I’ve decided to make a concerted effort to read the books I have on hand. No more buying books before I read the ones I have! Of course, Book of the Month club and Christmas will likely increase the number of books on my shelf, but…eh. Maybe it’s more of a half-hearted effort than a concerted one.
Anyway, today is a progress update on my Fall 2017 Reading List as well as the list of books I hope to read this winter. Linking up with the Broke and the Bookish for Top Ten Tuesday.
Fall Reading Update
Nonfiction November threw me off my Fall Reading List a bit, in a good way, but I still have a few weeks of fall left. I ended up reading half of the books on my fall list.
The community of Shaker Heights is meticulously planned and picture-perfect, and the Richardson family is much the same. When their new tenants--mysterious, free-spirited artist Mia and her daughter, Pearl--move into town, the four Richardson children are enamored of both, and Pearl of them. As the families becomes more entwined, complications arise when the two mothers, Elena and Mia, find themselves on opposite sides of an adoption case. Elena suspects Mia is not all that she seems and starts digging into her past, rocking the worlds of Mia and Pearl and her own children. Little Fires Everywhere is a study in the characters--their flaws, pasts, dreams, regrets, and fears--and how all of these hidden things affect their relationships and what happens next. Well-written and perfect for anyone looking for a simmering, emotional read. More info →
When a young woman otherwise destined for a life of service is swept off her feet by rich widower Maxim de Winter, she dreams of a wonderful life together at Manderly, the country estate he owns. But soon after their marriage and arrival at Manderly, she realizes that the shadow of Maxim's late wife looms large and threatens her life, sanity, and their future together. While not a scary read, the tension underlying this entire book is masterful and the surprises continue until the very last page. More info →
A book of "advice on love and life" is not the kind of thing I would normally read, but the raves piqued my curiosity. Strayed, known as "Sugar," the anonymous advice columnist for The Rumpus, gives the kind of advice we all hope to get from our best friends, or our therapists. She doesn't always have the answers, but she does have perspective, and she is searingly honest in her analysis of some of life's biggest questions. At the heart of all of her columns is one life essential: love. More info →
Arlene ("Lena") thought she'd left Alabama and all that came with it behind her. Her persistent aunt brings it back over the phone each week, but so far she's avoided visits back and has done her best to reinvent herself and her life. But when her past arrives at her doorstep, her boyfriend Burr, who is black, insists on meeting her family. She is forced to face her family, their racism, the many gods of the South, and the past that she's bargained with her own God to keep buried. This is the first book by Jackson that I've read and I loved her turns of phrase and vivid characters; I will definitely be reading more. More info →
When 16-year-old Starr is witness to a police officer shooting her unarmed best friend, she is torn between staying silent and speaking out. Starr lives in two worlds: the world of her affluent private school and that of her black neighborhood that is rocked by the shooting. The case quickly makes national headlines and as tensions rise, Starr feels the pull to tell her side of the story and refute attacks on her friend's character, even as she faces intimidation from police and local gangs. This powerful novel inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement delves into the shootings of unarmed black people by police officers, the lack of justice in the aftermath, and white privilege. It is not just for a YA audience but is a must-read for everyone. One of the best of 2017. More info →
All were excellent picks. Little Fires Everywhere and The Hate U Give may both make my list of 2017 favorites (please, everyone, pick up The Hate U Give!). Joshilyn Jackson was a great discovery—I’m looking forward to reading more of hers. Rebecca was a good eerie read for fall, and I think just about anyone will find at least one of Cheryl Strayed’s advice columns to be a pinprick to the heart.
I was upset with myself because my library hold for Bear Town came in but I didn’t download it before it expired! I was trying to finish another book, planning Thanksgiving, and just generally being scatterbrained, I guess. So, back to the end of the hold list I go. Hopefully it will come in over the winter—a hockey read sounds like a good, snowy choice!
I want to at least squeeze in Sweetbitter and The Woman in Cabin 10 before the true start of winter. I may also start The Story of a New Name, though some others are calling to me more, so I may shelve it for a while. American War will depend on library availability but it also isn’t feeling urgent.
There’s so much to think about in the weeks before Christmas that I’ll probably pick up some brain candy—maybe even a re-read?
Winter Reading List
Once winter truly starts and we’re past the holidays, I’ll be ready to dive into this list. There aren’t any light reads on this list, so I’ll likely have to pair them with lighter fare, or some re-reads that I’m planning in 2018.
- Future Home of the Living God – Louise Erdrich
- Everyone Brave is Forgiven – Chris Cleave
- Sing, Unburied, Sing – Jesmyn Ward
- Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
- The Heart’s Invisible Furies – John Boyne
- The Little Friend – Donna Tartt
- The History of Love – Nicole Krauss
- The Mare – Mary Gaitskill
- On Such a Full Sea – Chang-rae Lee
- A Circle of Quiet – Madeleine L’Engle
All of these except The Heart’s Invisible Furies are sitting on my bookshelf right now, and I’m planning to buy that one after seeing all of the raves—it sounds like one I’ll want to keep.
What will you read in the weeks leading up to the winter holidays? What’s on your winter reading list?