Jan 8, 2014

With an Eye to the Future

It's 2014 now guys! In fact, it has been for just over a week now. This means that the excuses of the holiday season are behind us and it's time to get back to being semi-productive members of society. It also means that it's time to look ahead at the exciting releases scheduled to happen this year, and announce the titles we're most hyped up about.

So, without further ado, I give you the expert opinions of my favorite panel of book lovers:

In no particular order:

1. The Secret Rooms by Catherine Bailey.  Out Now
A family drama about secrets and intrigue in a English family before WW II.  Very Downton Abbey. 

2. Hollow City by Ransom Riggs.  Out January 14
The sequel to Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.

3. Love & War by Mary Matalin and James CarvilleOut now.
 The stories behind the love and politics of Matalin and Carville.

4. Written in My Own Heart's Blood by Diana Gabaldon. Out June 10
The continuing stories of Jamie and Claire. 

5. The Wife, the Maid and the Mistress by Ariel Lawhon. Out January 28
About the real-life disappearance of Justice Joseph Crater told from the perspective of the women in his life. 


"There are too many books I haven't read, too many places I haven't seen, too many memories I haven't kept long enough." -- Irwin Shaw

While my bookshelf sits at about 70% read, there are some new books out this year that I can't wait to get my hands on. There were so many books in 2013 that I have yet to read and maybe I never will, but it will be nice to give it a try. My most anticipated book of 2014? It was hard just picking three (yes, I once again ignored Denzel and picked more than one!), but these are some great choices if you're looking for a new book to pick up this year.

The Last Illusion 
by Porochista Khakpour
(May 13)Maybe it's because I just read The Kite Runner and it stuck with me, but I can't wait to read this darkly humorous novel about an Iranian boy who thinks he's a bird after years of torture. What better way to escape your prison than to fly away? I expect this one will stick with me as well.

A Highly Unlikely Scenario, or a Neetsa Pizza Employee's Guide to Saving the World by Rachel Cantor (January 14): No one could replace Kurt Vonnegut (MY FAVORITE WRITER OF ALL TIME!), but I would easily give Cantor a shot with her debut novel, a mix of comic and speculative. Count me in.

Strange Bodies by Marcel Theroux (February 4): Literary thriller, anyone? Yes, please. Filled with SciFi, language, identity, and questions about humanity. In the end, maybe we are just all made of words. I'll gladly take Theroux's thriller for a ride to find that out.


If there’s one thing we’re good at, it’s living in the past and future, never in the present. And though we’re remarkably adept at hiding from the lives we’re currently living, we love to talk about our ambitions and our accomplishments. So it only makes sense, since we’ve each talked about what we loved about 2013, that we look ahead to the New Year and list what we’re most excited to read! Naysayers may call us to pay some more attention to the here and now, but why would we do that when there are so many books to be excited for?

I fell in love with Murakami in 2013—read 1Q84 and am currently starting The Wind-up Bird Chronicle—and cannot emphasize how very excited I am to read his 2014 tome Colourless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage (American Release Aug 12). After it's massive success in Japan, I hope the translation of his latest work lives up to all the praise and hype; I can hardly imagine any of his words will fall short.


I love being the one who compiles everyone's opinions and writes up the actual posts because it gives me additional time to change my answer. I have to say that I wasn't even aware how much I wanted Love & War until I went searching for a book cover. Josh also hit one of my nails on the head with his answer of Colourless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrammage (say that 9 times fast). But if there's one text that I'm excited to be stopping by my local bookstore to pick up on release day it has to be An Unnecessary Woman by Rabih Alameddine (February 4).

Alameddine sometimes has his head in the clouds, but his stories always have feet planted firmly on the dry, hard ground of the middle east. His newest work, and hopeful masterpiece, takes place in Beirut and is a book about a book lover without much else to love. I very much intend to spend a couple nights enjoying the trip into the mind of an obsessive, book-loving, outcast 72-year old "unnecessary" woman. I mean, who wouldn't enjoy that, right?

So. What about you guys? Anything that you simply must read the day it drops this year, anything that apparently flew under our radar that simply must be brought to our attention? Let us know.

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