Top Ten Tuesday: 10 2016 Releases I’m Really Excited About


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature from The Broke and the Bookish.

This week’s topic is all about what 2016 releases we really meant to get to, but weren’t able to read for whatever reason. My reading is almost always at least a year (if not a century) behind, so I actually like waiting for the best-of-the-year lists to come out, and a lot of times I build up my to-read list from these compiled lists by people who do actually read the books when they come out. In particular, I really like NPR’s list because it’s super fun and visual and easy to sort through (I am a huge nerd about good indexing and cross indexing), not to mention the blurbs are written by people like librarians and NPR staffers instead of publishing houses. I like the different perspectives. So here are ten books that I mostly haven’t mentioned yet, but that I can’t wait to read whether that’s this year or years down the road when they happen to find me.

  • The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson–Starts on the brink of WWI in a small English town–a book about manners and how they’re affected by the chaos of war. Sounds like a great read. (in the Book Club Ideas Section)
  • Umami by Laia Jufresa–I love reading translated books (part of the enjoyment being thinking about how the book is different in the native language–pure speculation), and this debut novel about loss and connection in Mexico City seems like a great read. (in the Staff Picks Section).
  • Patience by Daniel Clowes–Graphic novels are so interesting and moving, and I like the change of pace from regular novels every now and again. This book is supposed to be a love story, but also involves time travel. Can you really ask for more than that? (in the For Art Lovers section)
  • Lucy and Linh by Alice Pung–A boarding school story set in Australia with a young woman who struggles to find a place for herself and her heritage, a YA with plenty of nuance–my favorite kind. (in the Tales From Around the World section)
  • The Vanishing Velázquez: A 19th Century Bookseller’s Obsession With A Lost Masterpiece by Laura Cumming–a nonfiction book about a man obsessed  with a work of art. (in the Seriously Great Writing section)
  • The Glass Universe: How The Ladies Of The Harvard Observatory Took The Measure Of The Stars by David Sobel–A group of female astrologists, long relegated to the sidelines are brought to the forefront. This books talks about the women themselves as well as their contributions to science. (in the It’s All Geek to Me section)
  • The One Hundred Nights of Hero by Isabel Greenberg–A spin on the 1,001 Nights, and that’s all I have to know to be interested in this graphic novel. (in the Ladies First section)
  • The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu and their Race to Save the World’s Most Precious Manuscripts by Joshua Hammer–A nonfiction book about brave librarians who risk everything to save books…um yes please. (in the Identity & Culture section)
  • The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman–YA historical fiction that takes the historical part seriously but isn’t afraid to throw a few demons in. (in the Rather Long section)
  • The Book of Magic: From Antiquity to Enlightenment ed. by Brian Copenhaver–I love reading about magic and how the perception of it has changed over time. This book looks like something of an undertaking, but a good one. (in the Eye-Opening Reads section)


How do you find new books for your TBR lists? Was there a book you missed this year that you really were looking forward to? Let me know in the comments!

Women Writer’s Reading Challenge #58: Abandon by Meg Cabot


I’ve probably mentioned before that I am a big Meg Cabot fan. In fact, I’m rereading all the Princess Diaries books now so that I can read the final book in the series (Royal Wedding), which just recently came out (this year? last year?). So when I found out that Cabot had written an adaptation of the Hades and Persephone myth, I had to check it out.

I’ll start off by saying that it’s not my favorite start of a series from her by a long shot. It doesn’t normally take her as long to get going, and I think this is partially because she doesn’t usually start off in the middle of the story and then hint like crazy at what happened in the beginning. Once she brings you into the meat of the story, things get more interesting, with an extremely good-looking Death-type character, and an atypical view of the underworld. It’s not a must-read like some of her books are, but it’s a start that leaves me wanting to read more. I recommend this book to any Cabot/myth adaptation fans.

Women Writers Reading Challenge #55: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell


Eleanor & Park may well be the most moving story that I’ve read in a long time. Rainbow Rowell handles the exhilarations and complications of young love deftly and sensitively, knowing that while these relationships may be short lived, they’re every bit as real as the ones undertaken by older adults. Eleanor’s living situation, while challenging to read about, is a fundamental emphasis on something that we instinctively know–that everyone needs love and acceptance and safety.

Though the book is emotional, the feelings develop organically. Rowell shies away from sentimentality and delivers a book with raw, potent power. I’ve had this book on my list for a long time, and it certainly didn’t disappoint. This book might make you cry, but it’s a must read for anyone who wants to be young and in love, who is young and in love, or remembers what it was like to be young and in love. A great book.

Women Writers Reading Challenge #50: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo


Yes. That word just about sums up this book. I finished this book in a single sitting, and as you probably know if you read my Top Ten Tuesday bookish habits I’ve quit post…that hasn’t happened in a really long time. The last time it happened, I was reading Andrea di Robilant’s book Chasing the Rose, well over a year ago.

This book is everything you could want in a great YA fantasy series–an intriguing and complex magic system, a dark, fascinating fantasy world (this one is very loosely based on Russia), a feisty heroine, good love interests, and an important quest to decide the fate of the fantasy world. What more could you ask for? The writing is fast-paced and engaging and well constructed. I cannot wait to finish the rest of this series, and I’ve been recommending this book to everyone I know. And now, I’m recommending it to you. Though you’ve probably already read it if you’re up on your fantasy YA reading, and if you have, you can squeal about it in the comments with me.

Women Writers Reading Challenge #46: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare


My best friend is really into the Mortal Instruments series. She listens to them during her commute and I think she’s on the fifth book right now. She loaned me the first one, and I have to say that it reminded me a lot of Twilight–not in actual story details–but that the pace, interesting setting, and the romance of the story all outweigh (for me, anyway) the writing and the characters. Clary could be a really interesting character, but she strikes me as just a little too naive, especially about her mother and Simon (how does she not know that Simon is into her?! This was the most frustrating thing ever!) There are a couple interesting twists though (and I really like how the world is constructed, but I would almost rather know more about Shadow Hunter history than Clary’s story. Her mother’s story might have made an even cooler book), and it’s a very quick, engaging read. Though I had some problems with this book, I really did enjoy it for the most part. I’m not sure if I’ll continue with the series though unless people convince me that it gets better than this. Still, a very fun read.