I wrote about the elusive releases of 2015 for a fall Top Ten Tuesday, but surprise, surprise – they still elude me. I’ll keep this short and wistful! Thanks as ever to the Broke and the Bookish for hosting the Top Ten Tuesday meme.
Undermajordomo Minor / Patrick deWitt
Here’s the sad tale of Dessa and Undermajordomo Minor. I told myself if it made it to the Giller shortlist, I could buy it. (It didn’t.) I downloaded the sample on my kindle and devoured it. I read and reread Daniel Handler’s excellent review. (Hint: I will most likely not be reviewing this novel, because who can top Daniel Handler?) I placed a hold on a library copy, but 300 people had beaten me to the punch. I waited. I sweated. I gnashed my teeth with impatience. Finally my turn came, and this beautiful tome waited for me on the hold shelf, but – horror of horrors – it was the week of exams – it was the week of final papers – I pulled two all-nighters at school – I forgot what vegetables looked like – and I missed picking up this novel from the library by mere hours – hours!
So I’ve placed another hold on it, but long story short there are still 300 other library patrons ahead of me in line and I’m back to gnashing my teeth with impatience. What a world we live in!
Gold Fame Citrus / Claire Vaye Watkins
I was so excited for this release, and when I finally got my hands on it – thank you, library! – I devoured the first hundred pages in a matter of hours. A world of near-apocalyptic drought, despair, and unexpected joy. The prose is bang-on, forthright, and lyrical. But here we have another victim of final paper season – and it came due at the library before I could finish it.
The funny thing is, I loved the first section with my whole heart, but when I began the second section my attention began to slip away like steam in a cold room. I almost wish the first part had been published as a stand-alone novella – but is that really a judgement I can make without reading the other two-thirds of the book? I’ll show myself out.
Outline / Rachel Cusk
I’m not quite sure what to expect from this Giller shortlister. Everywhere I turn, I seem to be reading about Cusk’s take on perspective and narrative, and that her technique is so totally different from anything else anyone else is writing.
All I really know about it is that it takes place in Greece, at least partially, and that Rachel Cusk has a lovely speaking voice. You can hear her read some of it here, in fact. I’ll tell you more about it once I get into it – which ought to be soon, since I’m heading out to pick it up from the library tomorrow. (Are you beginning to sense how often I use the library? Hint: it’s plenty.)
Furiously Happy / Jenny Lawson
I’m usually pretty wary of comedic nonfiction, but I’ve finally decided I’ve seen enough reviews from trusted sources to put Furiously Happy firmly on the to-read pile. I’m hoping for a cross between Amy Poehler’s Yes Please and Allie Brosh’s Hyperbole and a Half. Funny, inspiring, conversational, witty. Is that too much to ask? I’m afraid it might be. But I’m going to be brave about it – although I’m going to get it from the library rather than running out to buy it, so my wariness is still present and functioning. (Don’t worry – I have plenty of time to get over this wariness. There are 506 people ahead of me on the hold list.)
Not Dark Yet / Berit Ellingsen
This is sort of the dark horse of the lot – but I’m willing to put money on it. I’ve fallen in love with indie publisher Two Dollar Radio’s choice in fiction, and at this point I’m willing to give my whole-hearted attention to anything they publish.
The synopsis for this novel is promisingly vague – a love affair gone wrong, a retreat into mountain wilderness, the agriculture of survival, training for a secret astronaut program, changes – both internal and external – that cannot be undone, or even fully understood. Short, sharp, sweet.
I honestly don’t know where 2015 went – and I have some catching up to do. What books are you looking longingly over your shoulder at? Share your list in the comments!