Normally I wouldn’t do two reading posts in a row. But I’m in a creative drought of late, and this top ten list from The Broke and the Bookish was just too fun to pass up. It’s a mix of books due out later this year and ones I have on my bookshelf, waiting to be read.
Top Ten Books I’d Play Hooky For:
Broken Harbour Tana French – It’s not a question of would I. It’s more a statement of I WILL be playing hooky when French’s next book, featuring Scorcher Kennedy, is released at the end of July. I cannot say enough about this woman. I adore her writing, and The Likeness still haunts me, more than a year after I read it. She has a way of twisting words together to make a thriller seem less like a mystery and more like a world into which you want to disappear. (If you’re new to her work, I highly recommend starting with her first book, In the Woods, because it makes The Likeness that much better.)
Biting Cold Chloe Neill – I feel like…like…like Ms. Neill is only yanking my chain, from the way Drink Deep ended. I feel like Merit’s headed for more heartbreak. A helluva lot more heartbreak. But really, could she be that cruel? I’m also hoping the story’s a bit more interesting than Drink Deep was.
Cast in Peril Michelle Sagara – So Cast in Ruin left a very big unanswered question hanging over our heads (will Kaylin accompany Lord Nightshade without Severn?) and I’m hoping the next installment in the series answers that question. Obviously, Nightshade’s got his own agenda here, and I’m starting to get a little frustrated that we don’t even have so much as a hint as to what he’s after. Unlike Severn, who laid it all out on the line, leaving Kaylin to decide what she wants…and if she’s brave enough to go for it.
13 Reasons Why Jay Asher – This book had something of a social movement behind it, which is how I heard of it in the first place. A YA about the consequences of bullying, it was published a few years ago, only to pop up again after the string of suicides that brought the It Gets Better Project into being. I feel like taking a day off is the only way I’ll get around to reading it at this point, which is a shame, because if it’s as powerful as I’ve heard, it should be required reading for high school students.
What Remains Natsuo Kirino – If this book is ever made available in the US (rumor has it there is an English language translation available in the UK, but is extremely hard to find) I will run to the nearest bookstore and pick it up. It’s been several years since her last book was translated and released in the US (Real World) and goddammit, I want more! Although, frankly, neither of the follow-ups to Out were quite as good, so maybe it’s a good thing I haven’t been able to read it.
Unravel Me Tahereh Mafi – I loved Shatter Me so, so much. What I’m not loving is all the silly fangirls over on Goodreads spazzing out over Warner vs. Adam vs. Kenji. Personally, I’d like to see Juliette choose no one, but that ain’t gonna happen. But really, I just want to see how this whole rebellion is gonna go down. Because with the ozone layer almost completely gone, it’s a wildly different view of a post-apoc world, which makes it far more awesome.
Behind the Beautiful Forevers Katherine Boo – For some reason, I have a thing with slums and slum-living. Also, I loved Slumdog Millionaire and this strikes me as an unromanticized version of the story…except there’s no game show at the end. It’s a story that emphasizes the way class differences end up leaving some behind in a rapidly progressing India, and I have high hopes for it.
1Q84 Haruki Murakami – Murakami’s novels are so…weird. I feel like I don’t understand half of what happens in them, and that’s kind of the point. His latest is so hefty, I’ll need to take the day off just to get started on it. And then I’ll have to dig out my backpack to carry it around while I try to finish it.
Jasper Fforde’s Nursery Crimes series – I don’t know what happened, but after two books (the hilarious The Big Over Easy and The Fourth Bear), Fforde stopped writing the series. I tried one of his others from the Thursday Next series and didn’t find it nearly as entertaining. Please, pretty please, Mr. Fforde, bring back the Nursery Crimes division! I miss Jack Sprat!
Middlemarch George Eliot – Anne Lamott recently said this was a Victorian novel that was remarkably easy to read. I’ve always had a problem with books written prior to, oh, 1920, so when she made that comment about this book, it makes me want to try. Plus, Middlemarch is to blame for my love of BBC costume dramas. Had my 8th grade English teacher not gotten the entire class hooked on the Masterpiece Theatre production, I never would have discovered the wonders of North and South. Or Bleak House. Or Jane Eyre.
There’s one other that’s worth mentioning. A few years ago, I read John Wagner’s A History of Violence. While the story was good, it was what he wrote in the prologue that stuck with me…or at least, the feel of it. He enumerates all the fantastical, gritty, bloody things the story could be about, tempting you, having you practically salivate for it, only to tell you that hey, that’s not this story. Well, guess what, buddy? I want you to write that story. I want you to deliver on the promise of that prologue.
All right, your turn. What books would you play hooky for?