New Things to Read in 2016

Hello pals!

I had wondered about posting today all about snow covered mountains and vin chaud and cold fingers on hipbones and kisses because that’s what my life looks like right now and frankly, it’s marvellous but I decided that really probably nobody will be anywhere near as interested in my snowy adventures as they are in the books I’m waiting for this year. So, let’s talk about that instead. Grab yourself a cuppa because this is a list

2016 books are a coming, some, because it’s already February are even here. There’s probably hundreds (thousands?) but obviously (obviously) I’m not going to list them all, that would be ridic; imma just talk at you a little about the things that are on my radar right now, like, (and I think I talked about it’s general existence last year) Steve Toltz’s Quicksand which is due for paperback release in April. I love a paperback. I love a hardback from a purely aesthetic point of view because pretty, but paperbacks are just so much more manageable aren’t they? When you read in bed, which I do all of the time, holding a hardback is far too much like a workout.

So. What’ve we got?

Chris Cleve (who wrote The Other Hand which I loved) has a new book out in April called Everyone Brave is Forgotten and it sounds awesome. It’s set during the Second World War and is about, I think, how the every day can change us as much as the unexpected can, about how war is perhaps just a backdrop for the ordinary. It sounds excellent. I think you all should read it. Actually I think you all should read all of the books in this post because that’s kind of the point…


The sequel to A Court of Thorns and Roses is out later in the spring I think, mebbes May. It’s called A Court of Mist and Fury and I am ridiculously excited about it. I WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS NEXT. And, all the characters are stupidly attractive in my head so you know, there’s that. 

Speaking of sequels, anyone remember how much I liked The Fire Sermon last year? Well book two (The Map of Bones) is also published at the start of May (again, I think!) and again, ridic excited. I cannot wait to see where that story goes next. The Fire Sermon is the dystopia where everyone is born a twin and each twin is either an Alpha (is physically ‘perfect’) or an Omega (is not) and all the Omegas are branded and cast out and the world is riled by Alphas BUT in a cruel(?) twist of fate, when one twin dies so does the other. It centres around Cass who is an Omega with a dream of Alphas and Omegas being equal and a twin in a position of power. S’really worth a read if you haven’t already and I cannot wait to see what happens in book 2. So excited.

Ruta Sepetys – her of Between Shades of Gray aka the book that broke my fragile little heart - also has a new book out. It’s called Salt to the Sea, and it’s out on Feb 4th which is TOMORROW PEEPS. It’s a WWII true story and I have so many feelings – I’ll review this next week so won’t say much now but be warned, it will make you feel. Ruta does that so well.

Helen Simonson who wrote the lovely Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand has a new book out next month. I know. Marvellous. It’s called The Summer Before the War and again, sounds lovely. I don’t know a person who wasn’t enchanted by the Major so I have high hopes for this. It’s set in East Sussex in 1914 and it’s about Hugh who has come to visit his Aunt and Beatrice the new female (gasp!) Latin teacher and the last perfect summer before the unimaginable happens.

The Lubetkin Legacy by Marina Lewycka is out in May. I expect it to make me laugh out loud. I still giggle when I think about We Are All Made of Glue.

Shtum by Ben Lester about the family of a ten year old boy with sever autism is getting a lot of hype right now. I’m hearing all the good things. That one’s out in April.

Anthony Quinn’s Freya is out in the spring. It promises the unpredictable course of a woman’s life and loves against a backdrop of Soho pornographers, theatrical peacocks, willowy models, priapic painters, homophobic blackmailers, political careerists.

STOP THE PRESSES: Claire King, who wrote the GORGEOUS The Night Rainbow has a new book out now. It’s called Everything Love Is and I AM EXCITED. So excited. GO FORTH AND READ.

The first in Michael Grant’s new series Front Lines was published last week I think. Should be good although I’m still only part way through the Gone books, not because I don’t like them – I do – but because so many books; so little time. You know how it goes. Anyway, this will likely be A Good Read. Apparently s’perfect for fans of The Book Thief and Code Name Verity and it reimagines WWII with girls fighting on the front lines…

There’s a new David Leviathan collab out in the summer (with Nina LaCour who I don’t know) which I want because David Leviathan. S’called You Know Me Well.

In June Kit de Waal’s My Name is Leon is published and again, this is one that I’ve been seeing a fair amount of hype about. It’s set in the 80’s and it sounds like it might be that special kind of heartbreaking. Have a blurb: A brother chosen. A brother left behind. And a family where you'd least expect to find one. Leon is nine, and has a perfect baby brother called Jake. They have gone to live with Maureen, who has fuzzy red hair like a halo, and a belly like Father Christmas. But the adults are speaking in low voices, and wearing Pretend faces. They are threatening to give Jake to strangers. Since Jake is white and Leon is not. As Leon struggles to cope with his anger, certain things can still make him smile - like Curly Wurlys, riding his bike fast downhill, burying his hands deep in the soil, hanging out with Tufty (who reminds him of his dad), and stealing enough coins so that one day he can rescue Jake and his mum. Evoking a Britain of the early eighties, My Name is Leon is a heart-breaking story of love, identity and learning to overcome unbearable loss. Of the fierce bond between siblings. And how - just when we least expect it - we manage to find our way home.

Yann Martel’s new book The High Mountains of Portugal was released this week and it sounds incredible, a road trip across 2 continents and 4 centuries and the uncovering of a secret found in an old journal. There’s been a fair amount of buzz about this book, obviously and I’m totally caught up in it. I loved The Life of Pi and this feels like it could measure up to that. Fingers crossed hey!

There’s a short story collection out in March by Helen Oyeyemi which I’ve heard described as insprired by fairy tales with all the stories being centred around the idea of a key: to the heart, to a house, to a secret. Obviously I am all over that. I’m really excited about it actually and I have a copy on pre-order. Woop woop.

I’m also excited about another short story collection – The Pier Falls by Mark Haddon, mostly because I love his novels and I love his poetry and I expect I’ll love this too. Roll on May! 

 M.R Carey who wrote the amazingly amazing The Girl With All the Gifts has a new book out in April called Fellside and I actually can not wait. Actually.  It's set in a max security prison on the Yorkshire moors and it sounds terrifying and that's totally not usually my thing at all but I loved  The Girl With All the Gifts so much that how can I not read this?

Fairyland's Catherynne M Valente has a novel out in March - Radiance - which I want to read for Fairyland reasons and also because it sounds incredible, with lawless saloons on Mars and disappearing diving colonies on Venus and Hollywood being on the moon. It sounds SO GOOD. 

Deborah Levy (who wrote the excellent Swimming Home) has a new novel out in March – Hot Milk. It’s about a mother and daughter seeking salvation in a Spanish village and it sounds excellent. I thought Swimming Home was stunning so I really can’t wait for this.

May sees a new book from Aravind Adiga – Selection Day, I enjoyed his other two so I’ll be giving this one a read for sure for sure

There’s a new Anne Tyler in June. So much for A Spool of Blue Thread being your last Anne! It’s a reworking of The Taming of the Shrew and I bet it’s glorious. Why would I not want to read an Anne Tyler version of The Taming of the Shrew?

The Wonder by Emma Donoghue who wrote Room is out I think in September, so it’s a while off but I reckon it’ll be worth the wait. It’s set in the 1850’s and is about a girl who has stopped eating.

Bookworm by Lucy Mangan is basically a love letter to books and childhood reading and it sounds like it could be right up my street. Got to wait to October though which is AGES.

As well as getting my hands on that one in October I’ll also be all over Gary Oldman’s vampire novel. Because it’s Gary Oldman’s vampire novel. It’s called Blood Riders and it’s a vampire novel. By Gary Oldman. I don’t know what else to say to you about this. Dracula has written a vampire novel. Gary Oldman who I love has written a vampire novel. Not just any vampire novel though, these are vampire cowboys and it’s set in the Gold Rush and yep, I want it. (I should probably point out that it’s co-authored actually; Gary wrote it with his manager Douglas Urbanksi. Apparently they’ve been planning it for ages; I love that.)



& a vampire novel by Gary Oldman (still not over it) seems like a good place to stop because long list is long but still, there’s some exciting stuff coming, is there not? You should talk to me about what’s tickled your fancy – and what you’re excited about that I’ve neglected.