This topic couldn’t have come at a better time! I spent most of my day yesterday trying to finalize my lists of books for the challenges I’m taking on next year, and ordering them from the library. I think this is the most exciting overall list I’ve ever had! It is also definitely the most ambitious, because there were just so many books that I really wanted to read. I might go into more detail about my plans in a future post, but I’ve decided to take on 5 prompts-based challenges, although with extended timelines on at least 2 of them. I also decided to ease up on some of the rules I normally set for myself. For example, I usually try to limit myself to only one book per author to try to encourage more variety, but with so many series in progress, I decided to scrap that rule.
I spent quite a long time yesterday on my library’s website placing holds on the books I want, a process that was simultaneously very exciting and a bit disappointing. I was surprised to find that the library didn’t have quite a few of the books I was most excited for. I’ve put in requests for a bunch of them to see if the library will purchase them for me, but I’m not sure how likely they are to do it. There are still quite a few more that I would like them to order, but I didn’t want to ask for too many all at once. I guess I’ll have to start looking for backup options, either for other ways to get the books or to replace them with something else.
This week’s topic asks for the 10 books you are most excited for next year, which is a tough one to narrow down. There are so many books that I’m really looking forward to reading! I decided to limit this post to stand-alones only, since the entire list might otherwise be taken up by series. If anyone is interested, I can make a post another time about the series I have in progress.
Top 10 Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish
1) Autoboyography by Christina Lauren
I first heard about this book on CeCe’s Youtube channel, ProblemsOfaBookNerd, and as soon as she mentioned it, I knew I wanted to read it. The book is about a boy named Tanner who is taking a creative writing seminar where he has to draft a book in the four-month span of the class. I’ve always been interested in creative writing myself, although I’ve never been able to follow through on any of my ideas. Another thing that interested me about this book is that one of the major characters is Mormon, which is a religion that I know very little about. I was also drawn to this book because of the beautiful cover artwork!
2) Crosstalk by Connie Willis
I’ve wanted to read this book for about a year now, but couldn’t fit it in this year. I’ve never read anything by Connie Willis before, but my mom has read Doomsday Book and highly recommends it. This book is about a couple who undergoes a medical procedure to increase empathy between partners, before they get engaged. Something goes wrong with the procedure causing Briddey to connect to someone other than her fiance. I tend to love books that are very social media-focused, and this one takes it to an extreme and warns about the dangers of being too connected. Sci-fi is not a genre I reach for very often, but this book seems right up my alley.
3) Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia
This was another book that I really wanted to read this year but couldn’t squeeze in. It is about a teenage girl named Eliza who is the creator of a very popular webcomic, a life she attempts to keep secret, until one of the biggest fanfiction writers for her comic transfers to her school. Eliza seems like such a relatable character, especially because many of the reviews I’ve read seem to indicate that she has some kind of social anxiety. I read Made You Up by the same author this year, and I really enjoyed it, although it was not quite as strong as I had hoped. This book has received such rave reviews from the reviewers I follow on Goodreads, and I can’t wait to try it for myself!
4) Bang by Barry Lyga
This book came out in April 2017, but it seems to have been one of the more overlooked releases of the year. It is about a boy who accidentally shot and killed his infant sister when he was only 4 years old, and has lived with the guilt ever since. I’ve always been horrified by news reports of children who have access to their parents’ weapons (even legal ones) and the accidents that follow. It is a topic that I have never seen addressed in books before, so I’m very excited to see how it is handled. I think it is so important to have a story like this which shows the aftermath of this kind of incident for the surviving child, so people can understand the depth of the impact this kind of event would have.
5) Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero
I was first drawn to this book because the title alone reminded me of the famous line from Scooby Doo, where the villain says “I would have gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for you meddling kids.” I checked out the book on Goodreads, only to realize that it was based on that very idea, following a crew of former teen detectives who are now adults who have not seen each other since their last case 13 years ago. I loved watching Scooby Doo cartoons, and I thought the idea of a book about similar kinds of characters sounded so interesting. The book’s actually been out since July, but I didn’t hear about it at all until closer to Halloween. It definitely seems like another of the underrated, or at least underexposed, books of the year.
6) Keep Me Posted by Lisa Beazley
This book at first seemed like the opposite of all the social media books I’m interested in reading. It is about two sisters who decide to keep in touch using handwritten letters to improve their relationship, which seems to be working at first until the letters end up on the Internet. I have never been that interested in “chick lit” books (and I really hate the term “chick lit”), but after reading a couple this year that really surprised me, I’ve opened my mind and added a whole bunch to my TBR. This book seems like a great one to start with because it fits my interest in social media stories, and just seems like it might be a lot of fun to read.
7) Sofia Khan is Not Obliged by Ayisha Malik
I really hope I’ll be able to read this one within the year. It is one of the books that my library didn’t have. It’s been out for two years already, but I hadn’t heard of it until it came up as a recommendation after I read When Dimple Met Rishi. This book is about a Muslim woman named Sofia Khan whose boss persuades her to write an expose about the Muslim dating scene. If I’m honest, I have not read very many books with Muslim protagonists because I have not come across very many that interested me…or very many in general, for that matter. According to the reviews I’ve seen, this book tackles racism and Islamophobia, and it seems like a great read. I really hope I can get a copy of this one before the end of 2018!
8) Almost Like Being In Love by Steve Kluger
This is another book that I’m not sure I’ll be able to get. I added it to my list this year because every time I browsed by Goodreads TBR, this book jumped out at me. I didn’t check whether the library had it until after I’d already made up my mind that I really wanted to read it. This book is about two men, Travis and Craig, who fell in love in high school, and when their separate ways. Twenty years later, Travis realizes that he is still in love with Craig and sets out to win him back. Aside from the storyline, part of what appealed to me about this book is the fact that is told in such a unique format. The book is told through news clippings, letters, lists, and regular narrative. I’m a huge sucker for books that are told in such unusual ways, so I’m looking forward to this one (if I can get a copy).
9) Copycat by Alex Lake
I have this book down as one of two options for a prompt, but I’m starting to think I want to read both of them. This book is a thriller about a woman who discovers that there are two Facebook profiles with her name. Not only does the account that isn’t hers have accurate details, but it also has recent photos of her with friends and family, including some taken from inside her own house! This book seems incredibly creepy. I love psychological thrillers, even though they tend to really scare me. It definitely seems to play into everyone’s worst nightmares about the dangers of posting information about ourselves online. This is definitely not the kind of book that I would read at night or if I’m home alone!
10) Keep You Safe by Melissa Hill
I found this book while looking through recommendations on Goodreads, and was immediately interested by the synopsis. This book is about the controversy about parents who choose not to vaccinate their children. In this book, a child who cannot be vaccinated due to a medical condition becomes critically ill after a classmate’s parents make a choice not to vaccinate their child. I remember seeing an episode of Law and Order several years ago on a similar topic and I thought it was a very interesting ethical question. I was glad to find a book on the same topic since it seems like very interesting premise, along the lines of a book Jodi Picoult might have written.
I hope you get a chance to read all these! I need to read Eliza and Her Monsters, too. Everybody seems to love it.