A TBR For 2019

 

This week, I thought I might try to focus on picking one book to represent each genre I like to read in order to keep my list here from being a thousand books long. I may fudge a little, since many of the books I’m anticipating could fall into more than one category.

 

YOUNG ADULT:  On the Come Up by ANGIE THOMAS

I know this pick could not be less original, but I can’t help it. I’m notoriously cold to YA. I often have a hard time getting into the younger first person voices of the genre, but there are always exceptions. I had to pick up THUG for the same reason I actually read Fifty Shade of Gray—I simply had to know what all the fuss was about. Thankfully, I discovered a wonderfully written book about an important topic. I simply can’t wait to find out what Thomas has to offer with her second book.

 

 

LITERARY: The Dreamers by  KAREN THOMPSON WALKER

The premise of this book about a strange sleeping sickness that overtakes a small town instantly grabbed me. I’m sure it had nothing to do with the fact that I had so much fun exploring the nature of dreams in my own book! From the description of reviewers it sounds as though Walker explores a number of interesting characters and the idea that they may be experiencing vivid dreams, but offers no easy answers. Sounds right up my alley!

 

 

THRILLER:  Looker by LAURA SIMS

This one is described by the publisher as “A dazzling, razor-sharp debut novel about a woman whose obsession with the beautiful actress on her block drives her to the edge.” It sounds to me as though this intriguing debut is as much a deep psychological exploration of obsession as it is a thriller. I’m all for a good traditional thriller, too, but I have a feeling I’m going to love what lithub describes as an “innovative experiment in what a thriller can be.”

 

 

SHORT STORIES:  You Know You Want This by KRISTEN ROUPENIAN

Once again, this pick will probably not win any awards for originality, but I’m here to be honest! Like the rest of the world, I caught wind of Cat Person as it made the rounds on Twitter, and I’m extremely curious about this collection from Roupenian which promises to explore more of the same territory, walking the line between attraction and repulsion.

 

 

 

POETRY:  Brute by EMILY SKAJA

I can’t get enough literature about relationships and how they break down. Skaja’s debut collection about the grief following the end of a violent relationship sounds brave and urgent, a collection I can’t wait to get into. And it has been hailed by Big Other as “a timely winner of the Walt Whitman Award, and an introduction to an unforgettable voice.” Sign me up.

 

 

NON-FICTION:  The Source of Self-Regard by TONI MORRISON

When I saw that this amazing, Nobel Prize-winning author is publishing another book, I had to put it on my list. I fell in love with Morrison’s writing when I read Beloved, and immediately plowed through The Bluest Eye, Sula, and every other book I could find by her. I can’t wait to dive into the essays, speeches, and meditations compiled here.

 

 

TRANSLATION:  Mouthful of Birds by SAMANTA SCHWEBLIN

I will confess, I haven’t actually read Schweblin’s Fever Dream, but I do know it was shortlisted for the 2017 Man Booker International Prize. I’m just really intrigued to get into her latest collection and to discover the surreal imagination of this fascinating author.

 

 

note: this is not the book cover!

MYSTERY:  The Butterfly Museum  by RENE DENFELD

If you know me at all, then you know I absolutely never shut up about Rene Denfeld. She is one of my all-time favorite writers, and I was flabbergasted when she agreed to blurb my book. There were times when I was reading The Child Finder, the first in the Naomi Cottle series, that I actually had to put it down to digest what I’d just read because of its beauty and power. And sometimes I was crying. So, if you’re like me and you love nothing better than a suspenseful book that breaks your heart and requires crying breaks, be sure to get into Rene Denfeld right now.

 

 

WOMEN’S:  Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Good Fortune by ROSELLE LIM

This book sounds absolutely fabulous. From Goodreads: “A heartwarming tale about a chef who returns to her hometown of San Francisco after the death of her estranged mother. There, the heroine must master a series of enchanted recipes in order to revive her family’s old Chinatown restaurant.” Every single person who reviews it says it made them hungry, so I plan to be prepared when I read it with a box of cookies by my side. Also a box of tissues, because the other thing reviewers are saying is that it made them cry. Score! Another crying book for my list. Also, I’m very pleased that I have bagged Lim for an interview and giveaway coming this May, so stay tuned for that!

 

 

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Martine Fournier Watson is originally from Montreal, Canada, where she earned her master's degree in art history after a year spent in Chicago as a Fulbright scholar. She currently lives in Michigan with her husband and two children. The Dream Peddler is her first novel.

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