Wow! It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these; not since last June, actually. That’s about half a year ago. I’ve since forgotten why I fell off with these posts, probably because I was busy for much of the second half of last year, but I’d like to start posting them again.
Wishes for My TBR Pile is a monthly post where I list and sometimes discuss the books I’ve discovered and would like to get and read. I refer to these lists whenever I visit a bookstore and can’t decide on what to get. But since this year is about being disciplined, budgeting and buying less, I will use these lists to guide what I borrow from the library.
Just to be clear, I haven’t read any of the books on this list. Also, the majority of them are old books, meaning they weren’t published in 2018 and probably not in 2017 either. If I made note of where I first heard of the book, I’ll include a link to the source, so you can check out the review (it’s usually a review) or mention.
The Good Immigrant edited by Nikesh Shukla
A book of essays featuring 21 “minority ethnic voices emerging in Britain today.” The essays are all about the writers’ experiences as an immigrant in the U.K. I believe I learned of it from a review on the Book Satchel that sparked my interest in the book. I think this will be one I’ll want to own. But first, I’ll borrow it from the library.
The Prestige by Christopher Priest
A historical fiction novel about the feud between competing stage magicians in 1878. I watched the movie, starring Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman, when I was in college and immediately loved it. A friend who was a film major showed it to me. I had no idea it was a book and didn’t note when or where I learned it was a novel, but I’m glad I know now. I’d love to read it, and I hope I’ll love the book as much as, or more than, the movie.
Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult
A contemporary novel about a Black nurse who is charged after she hesitated before performing CPR on a White baby that went into cardiac arrest. The nurse, Ruth Jefferson, had been reassigned from the newborn’s care because the baby’s parents are white supremacists who don’t want an African American to touch their child.
I’ve read two contrasting reviews of this book, one by a reviewer who’s white and thought it’s great and another by a reviewer who’s black and thought it’s horrible. Both made me curious about the story because of their differing opinions, so that’s why this book is here: I’m curious to see what I’ll think of it.
The High Priestess Never Marries by Sharanya Manivannan
A book of short stories about women. Deepika’s review of this made me want to read it because of how deeply moved she was by the author’s work. I enjoy reading reviews like that, where it’s obvious that the reader connected strongly to the story they read. I’d like to experience that as well. (Deepika’s review is linked to Goodreads. Visit her blog here.)
The Black Tides of Heaven by J.Y. Yang
The first of two silkpunk fantasy novellas that were published last year to kick off the Tensorate series, which is about a pair of twins who are the children of the Protector, “the supreme leader of the dominant empire in this setting,” and who were given away to the Grand Monastery as a blood price but were taken back when one of the twins, Mokoya, developed a rare prophetic talent.
Umm…so that’s just the tip of what the story’s about. It’s kind of hard to explain in a few words without having read it. It’s one I’d like to own because I love its beautiful cover (so I hope I’ll enjoy it when I read it), which I featured in a BBC post.
Fifteen Dogs by André Alexis
In which a bet between gods Hermes and Apollo leads them to grant human consciousness and language to a group of dogs in a Toronto veterinary clinic. I think it’s the title that caught my attention and that I saw the book while perusing Book Outlet last year for something to buy. I have a feeling that I’ll really like this one for the philosophical discussions in it (which I assume it will contain).
A Scanner Darkly by Philip K. Dick
A sci-fi novel about an undercover narcotics agent who’s trying to find the supplier of a toxic drug but gets hooked on it. I have no idea where I learned of this book, but the synopsis sounds so interesting! I see why I added it to my TBR. From the reviews on Goodreads, I get that the story is kind of trippy. I wonder if I’ll like it… If any of you have read it, let me know what you thought of it.
Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
I keep hearing about this book, especially because the TV show came out last year, which I haven’t watched because I don’t have HBO or whatever channel it comes on. But whenever I hear of Big Little Lies, it makes me think of Gone Girl for some reason. I don’t know if the two are similar in any way, but I would like to give Big Little Lies a read. Apparently it’s more of a contemporary novel than a mystery, but there’s a murder at the end and we read about what led up to it…that’s what I got from the reviews I’ve heard/read.
Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America by Michael Eric Dyson
I don’t often read books that discuss race and racism. I usually shy away from them because they make me so angry about how Black peeps are treated, which then makes me feel powerless about effecting any sort of change. It’s not that I “bury my head in the sand” and hide from the truth (which is impossible to do since I live it), I find it easier to read articles that touch on these issues and later discuss them with family, friends, strangers, whoever is willing to talk to me about it.
However, there are some books on my TBR that touch on these issues that I’d love to get and read and Dyson’s Tears We Cannot Stop is certainly one of them. I think I’ll get a lot out of it and according to Didi’s review, it touches on a variety of recent events, like Kaepernick kneeling during the anthem and Lionel Shriver’s keynote speech at the Brisbane writer’s festival. I think I’ll also find it interesting since it’s written for White folks, so…I’ll see how it goes when I get to it.
Why I Am Not a Feminist: A Feminist Manifesto by Jesse Crispin
I like the title; that’s why it’s on my TBR. I haven’t read any reviews of it, so I don’t know much about it other than what the synopsis says, which reflects the book’s title. I do not call myself a feminist though my ideals and values are in line with feminism. I do not think I need to say I’m part of a movement to advocate for what is right. I’ve been criticized for saying that I am not a feminist, which I find hilarious because it’s often a guy making such criticisms, but I don’t care. I’m not a feminist. The title of this book caught my attention because I’d like to know why the author isn’t one either (if that’s what it’s actually about. Book titles can be misleading sometimes).
Black Sun Rising by C.S. Friedman
A fantasy novel about a priest, an adept, an apprentice, and a sorcerer who must fight the evil forces of the fae that prey upon human minds. I never heard of this book before Chelsea from Spotlight on Stories recommended it to me. She noticed that I like books that mix religion and magic and thought this novel might interest me. Well, anything that mixes religion and magic immediately captures my attention, so I of course placed it on my TBR.
Mapping the Interior by Stephen Graham Jones
A horror novella about a boy trying to map his house after seeing a figure that resembles his dead father step through a doorway. I was drawn to this book because of its cover, but the premise sounds intriguing. I actually thought it was a fantasy novel, probably because it’s published by Tor, but the reviews I’ve glimpsed (I haven’t read any) list it as horror.
Crossroads of Canopy by Thoraiya Dyer
A fantasy novel set deep in a giant forest that includes gods and goddesses. It sounds perfect for me! But really, it’s the worldbuilding that captured my interest. I read an interview on the Tor/Forge Blog where the author discussed what inspired the book’s world, like monsoons and certain myths. All that made me immediately add the book to my TBR.
The Vagrant by Peter Newman
A fantasy novel that seems to be about a mysterious figure who’s the “last bastion of the human race.” I heard of this book prior to reading the Captain’s log, but it’s her thoughts on it that made me add it to my TBR. Why? Because I want to read about the goat.
Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth
This is one of those books I want to read to see if the popular opinion on it is true. When there’s such a huge backlash against a book, I get more interested in it. I actually don’t know what this book is about and would like to keep it that way. I’ve read and watched a few select reviews that I know would be fair to it no matter what the reader’s response to the book is and those reviews convinced me that this book is worth my time. I’m curious to see if I’ll notice the same issues many others have pointed out.
Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler
A contemporary novel about a young woman working at a restaurant in New York City. I can’t remember the review that convinced me to add this to my TBR, but before then, I wasn’t much interested in this one. Now in January 2018, I have a craving for stories about cooking and baking or set in restaurants. That’s why my first read of this year was Delicious! by Ruth Reichl, which was an okay read but the descriptions of the food made me so hungry!