Top Ten Tuesday: 2014 Releases to Look For

03 December 2013

I don't often participate in Top Ten Tuesday, but I found it hard to resist today's topic: 2014 releases we can't wait to read. My list ranges from books I've been waiting for for years (Lev Grossman's Magician's Land) to those I've only just discovered in the depths of Edelweiss (Unlearning with Hannah Arendt). It's a lot longer than just 10, but here are some of my picks:


Frog Music, by Emma Donoghue (Little, Brown & Company, April 1): Believe it or not, I've never yet read any of Donoghue's work (though I have several of her titles on my shelf). Here, she returns to historical fiction, based on an unsolved murder in 1876 San Francisco.

Magician's Land, by Lev Grossman (Viking, August 5): The third book in Grossman's Magicians trilogy, following up on The Magicians (2010) and The Magician King (2011). I've been waiting since 2011 for this book, and am thrilled that it now has an official pub date.

Perfect, by Rachel Joyce (Random House, January 14): Joyce's debut novel, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, was the kind of book I loved so much that I never reviewed it, fearful that trying to put my thoughts in words would somehow dilute the experience of it. Needless to say, there's no way I'm missing her sophomore effort.

The Martian, by Andy Weir (Crown, February 11): One of the first men to set foot on Mars is accidentally left behind, thought to be dead after an unexpected dust storm. Sounds creepy, scientific, and outer-spatial, and comes with lots of bloggers already buzzing.

When Everything Changed, by Gail Collins (Little, Brown & Company, April 2014): This one is a bit of a cheat, as it's a "Keepsake Issue" of a twenty-year old title, but Collins approach to the history of feminism from 1960 to today intrigues me, and I love the idea of combining this account with space for individuals to record their own or their family member's own memories of each time period covered.

The Temporary Gentleman, by Sebastian Barry (Viking, May 1): I loved Barry's The Secret Scripture, and didn't realize until browsing through Edelweiss that he had a new novel out this year. This is the story of an Irishman who fought in WWII, and is--I've just learned--a continuation of Barry's "separate yet interconnected novels that brilliantly reimagine characters from Barry’s own family."

To Rise Again at a Decent Hour, by Joshua Ferris (Little, Brown & Company, May 6): Like Ferris' previous two novels, this novel promises a story of one man searching for meaning in an otherwise absurd world--this time a Luddite who finds someone impersonating him online.

The Invention of Wings, by Sue Monk Kidd (Viking, January 7): I loved The Secret Life of Bees, and read Kidd's Traveling with Pomegranates, which she and her daughter co-wrote, at a time when my and my mother's life almost directly paralleled Kidd and her daughter's life. She's solidly on the list of "I'll-read-anything-she-writes" authors, and this story of an slave in 19th century-Charleston and her daughter looks more than intriguing.

Unlearning with Hannah Arendt, by Marie Luise Knott (Other Press, May 13): I wrote a paper on the banality of evil in a college history class, drawing deeply on Arendt's teachings as well as works from other authors, and the topic has long intrigued me. Knott's book is hailed as an examination of the innovative strategies Arendt used to arrive at her now-famous theories.

Astonish Me, by Maggie Shipstead (Knopf, April 8): I haven't read Shipstead's debut novel, Seating Arrangements--yet. But after all the praise it received from bloggers and reviewers I saw, I don't plan to miss her second novel, which focuses on the world of professional ballet.

What books are on your 2014 must-read list? What have you been waiting for?


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. See everyone's answers to this week's prompt over on their site.

12 comments:

  1. This is a great list. I need to add some of these to my tbr list.

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    1. This is why I love seeing other people's lists - they always make mine longer!

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  2. I have to start reading the Magicians trilogy!

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  3. Oooh, great list! I have copies of a few of these waiting for me (Perfect, The Martian) and I'm definitely marking down a couple others now, especially the new Ferris book.

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    1. I somehow hadn't heard of the new Ferris book until I fell down the black hole that is Edelweiss this week, but I am so excited for it. I LOVED Then We Came to the End, and really liked The Unnamed as well (though not as much as TWCTTE).

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  4. Oooh! Yay! I didn't know that Lev Grossman was going to have the third book so soon. Excellent, I am very curious to see what he does next. I had reservations about The Magicians but thought The Magician King was excellent and answered all of my problems with the first book.

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    1. I am thinking I need to go back and re-read the first two before the third comes out to prepare. I remember loving them both, but they were both so different.

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  5. I think I'm most excited about Frog Music! Great list.

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    1. I feel like I need to read some of Donoghue's backlist first, but I'm so intrigued by the premise of this one.

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  6. I just started hearing about The Martian, but it sounds so good. It sounds like one that would be unputdownable and anxiety-inducing. I am also excited about Frog Music!

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    1. Me too, but now I feel like I'm seeing it everywhere. I'm taking that as a good sign.

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