Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Books I Want To Read in 2017

books to read in 2017 book bloggers in the uk vivatramp blog

I've got quite a lot of unread books on my shelves so, as its a new year and all, I've written a little list of the books that I want to read in 2017. You'll recognise the majority of them from my various book hauls over the last year or two. I'm not great at sticking to these TBR lists, in all honesty, but I do tend to fare quite well with Try A Chapter reads so maybe I'll trial some of these out across that feature over the next twelve months. 

the girls emma cline try a chapter book tag vivatramp blog
by emma cline
Evie Boyd is desperate to be noticed. In the summer of 1969, empty days stretch out under the California sun. The smell of honeysuckle thickens the air and the sidewalks radiate heat. Until she sees them. The snatch of cold laughter. Hair, long and uncombed. Dirty dresses skimming the tops of thighs. Cheap rings like a second set of knuckles. The girls. And at the centre, Russell. Russell and the ranch, down a long dirt track and deep in the hills. Incense and clumsily strummed chords. Rumours of sex, frenzied gatherings, teen runaways. Was there a warning, a sign of things to come? Or is Evie already too enthralled by the girls to see that her life is about to be changed forever?

My pal Candice sent me this book in March of last year and I genuinely think the only reason I haven't read it yet is because it's a larger paperback. I am so precious. I did, however, read the first chapter for my initial Try A Chapter tag post and I really enjoyed the writing style, with its little lilts of poetry, so I'm going to bookmark this read for the summer months when the sun-drenched setting feels a little more appropriate. I love stuff about cults so I know that I'll probably really like this if I give it some time. 
by daphne du maurier
Dick Young is lent a house in Cornwall by his friend Professor Magnus Lane. During his stay he agrees to serve as guinea pig for a new drug Magnus has discovered in his biochemical research; the effect of which is to transport Dick from the house at Kilmarth to the Cornwall of the 14th century.

Another year, another Du Maurier! The House on the Strand was introduced to my collection in October of last year but I opted to read Frenchman's Creek and My Cousin Rachel before picking it up. As I mentioned when I hauled it, the plot seems quite far-removed from the Du Maurier threads that I'm used to but I'm really intrigued to see how she tackles time travel and science fiction in general. I have loved everything I've read by Du Maurier (Jamaica Inn, Rebecca, Frenchman's Creek and My Cousin Rachel) so I'm expecting even more good things from this. I like reading Daphne's stuff in the colder months so I may get to this sooner rather than later.
by colson whitehead
Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hellish for all the slaves but especially bad for Cora; an outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is coming into womanhood - where even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. Matters do not go as planned and, though they manage to find a station and head north, they are being hunted.

I added this book to my collection back in November of last year after Oprah raved about it and put it on everybody's radar. I'm actually currently reading this so, with any luck, I will finish this within the next twelve months...God help me. 

I've been a bit stop-start with my reading this year but I'm a few chapters in and I'm really intrigued. 

by miranda july
Here is Cheryl, a tightly-wound, vulnerable woman who lives alone, with a perpetual lump in her throat. She is haunted by a baby boy she met when she was six, who sometimes recurs as other people's babies. Cheryl is also obsessed with Phillip, a philandering board member at the women's self-defence non-profit where she works. She believes they've been making love for many lifetimes, though they have yet to consummate in this one. When Cheryl's bosses ask if their twenty-one-year-old daughter Clee can move into her house for a little while, Cheryl's eccentrically-ordered world explodes. And yet it is Clee--the selfish, cruel blond bombshell--who bullies Cheryl into reality and, unexpectedly, provides her the love of a lifetime.

Cast your minds back to my December book haul and you may remember that I featured this book after being given it as a Christmas gift. I'm not necessarily wanting to pick this up ASAP but I am curious to see how July's surreal tone translates across an entire novel, as opposed to short stories, so I'll fit it in somewhere.  

by yaa gyasi
Effia and Esi are born into different villages in eighteenth-century Ghana. Effia is married off to an Englishman and lives in comfort in the palatial rooms of Cape Coast Castle. Unbeknownst to Effia, her sister, Esi, is imprisoned beneath her in the castle’s dungeons, sold with thousands of others into the Gold Coast’s booming slave trade, and shipped off to America, where her children and grandchildren will be raised in slavery. One thread of Homegoing follows Effia’s descendants through centuries of warfare in Ghana, as the Fante and Asante nations wrestle with the slave trade and British colonization. The other thread follows Esi and her children into America. From the plantations of the South to the Civil War and the Great Migration, from the coal mines of Pratt City, Alabama, to the jazz clubs and dope houses of twentieth-century Harlem, right up through the present day, Homegoing makes history visceral, and captures, with singular and stunning immediacy, how the memory of captivity came to be inscribed in the soul of a nation.

Homegoing is another book that only entered my collection at the tail end of last month but, even still, it's a book that I really think deserves some of my time this year. I've seen some people complain that the plot of this novel is ~a little done~ but that doesn't bother me because nothing is really original these days and if done well it could still be an incredible novel. If we really wanna talk about plots that are a little done lets start with wanky arrogant male manuals if anything... 

carol patricia highsmith uk book bloggers vivatramp
by patricia highsmith
Two women from different backgrounds—one a department store clerk who dreams of a better life, one who is wealthy and married—strike up a love affair with each other in 1950s New York.

I shared Carol back in my November 2016 book haul after buying it post-Tipping The Velvet hangover.  I definitely want to read more queer lit going forward and this novel is at the forefront of my mind following the Oscar buzz of the film adaptation. I feel like my reading this year is going to heavily revolve around fragmented relationships so there could be more where this came from! 
by jill alexander essbaum
Anna Benz, an American in her late thirties, lives with her Swiss husband, Bruno—a banker—and their three young children in a postcard-perfect suburb of Z├╝rich. Though she leads a comfortable, well-appointed life, Anna is falling apart inside. Adrift and increasingly unable to connect with the emotionally unavailable Bruno or even with her own thoughts and feelings, Anna tries to rouse herself with new experiences: German language classes, Jungian analysis, and a series of sexual affairs she enters with an ease that surprises even her. But Anna can’t easily extract herself from these affairs. When she wants to end them, she finds it’s difficult. Tensions escalate, and her lies start to spin out of control. Having crossed a moral threshold, Anna will discover where a woman goes when there is no going back.

A moment of silence for this book cover, please. Hnng. Hausfrau is a book that I haven't even hauled yet it's that fresh. A lot of people that I respect book-wise are always recommending this to people on Twitter so I thought I'd take them up on it. This will definitely hit the spot where reading about fragmented relationships is concerned! I may read this quite soon - especially as its got praise from Janet Fitch on the front. I loved White Oleander.

marvel and a wonder joe meno book haul

MARVEL AND A WONDER 
BY JOE MENO
Marvel and a Wonder is a darkly mesmerizing epic and literary page-turner set at the end of the twentieth century. In summer 1995, Jim Falls, a Korean War vet, struggles to raise his sixteen-year-old grandson, Quentin, on a farm in southern Indiana. In July, they receive a mysterious gift--a beautiful quarter horse--which upends the balance of their difficult lives. The horse's appearance catches the attention of a pair of troubled, meth-dealing brothers and, after a violent altercation, the horse is stolen and sold. Grandfather and grandson must travel the landscape of the bleak heartland to reclaim the animal and to confront the ruthless party that has taken possession of it. Along the way, both will be forced to face the tragedies of their past.

I'm quite fancying some Faulkner-esque vibes so I think I'll make a point of reading Meno's Marvel and a Wonder this year. I really like physical journeys in stories, whether they're golden hour road trips or post-apocalyptic strolls across wasteland, so I'm pretty intrigued by this title that I added to my library back in August 2016. I haven't really seen anyone discuss this book before so I've no real idea what to expect but it feels promising somehow. Maybe it's the beautiful cover?!

by marisha pessl
At the center of Special Topics in Calamity Physics is clever, deadpan Blue van Meer, who has a head full of literary, philosophical, scientific, and cinematic knowledge, but she could use some friends. Upon entering the elite St. Gallway School, she finds some--a clique of eccentrics known as the Bluebloods. One drowning and one hanging later, Blue finds herself puzzling out a byzantine murder mystery.

After years of sitting on my Goodreads to buy shelf, I finally bought this book back in October 2015. I am kind of intimidated by bigger books so that probably explains why it's still on my TBR shelf, despite the fact that I really liked the first chapter when I read it for my Try A Chapter tag post last summer. The blurb makes me think of cult classic The Secret History so we'll see whether it lives up to Tartt standards. I'm not sure when I'll pick this up but I'm gonna try and make sure I do because it sounds promising. Also, dat cover!
by sarah waters
This is the story of four Londoners – three women and a young man with a past, drawn with absolute truth and intimacy. Kay, who drove an ambulance during the war and lived life at full throttle, now dresses in mannish clothes and wanders the streets with a restless hunger, searching. Helen, clever, sweet, much-loved, harbours a painful secret. Viv, glamour girl, is stubbornly, even foolishly loyal, to her soldier lover. Duncan, an apparent innocent, has had his own demons to fight during the war. Their lives, and their secrets connect in sometimes startling ways. War leads to strange alliances…

I always turn to Twitter for recommendations on what Waters novel to read next and this time around the majority of people opted for her fourth novel, The Night Watch. I mentioned the other week, whilst reviewing Kate Tempest's latest offering, that I enjoy stories where characters are drawn together by location or a random event so this could be good. I also like place as a character and that's something that Waters happens to do really well. I have every faith in Waters because I adored both The Little Stranger and Tipping The Velvet. I'd be very surprised if I didn't enjoy anything she has written going forward! Read some of her work if you haven't already.

the lottery shirley jackson book haul uk book bloggers vivatramp

the lottery (and other stories) 
by shirley jackson
In these stories an excellent host finds himself turned out of home by his own guests; a woman spends her wedding day frantically searching for her husband-to-be; and in Shirley Jackson's best-known story, a small farming village comes together for a terrible annual ritual. The creeping unease of lives squandered and the bloody glee of lives lost is chillingly captured in these tales of wasted potential and casual cruelty by a master of the short story.

I'm aiming to read more short stories alongside bigger novels this year and this is a collection that I'm really wanting to pick up because the titular story is held in such high regard. Jackson is synonymous with Gothic tales and that's a genre that I've loved ever since reading Frankenstein whilst at school so I wouldn't be surprised if I end up adding more of her stuff to my library this year. 
by hunter s. thompson
In September, 1964 a cavalcade of motorbikes ripped through the city of Monterey, California. It was a trip destined to make Hell's Angels household names across America, infamous for their violent, drunken rampages and feared for the destruction left in their wake. Enter Hunter S. Thompson, the master of counter-culture journalism who alone had the ability and stature to ride with the Angels on their terms. In this hair-raising expose, he journeys with the last outlaws of the American frontier.

I read Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas back in October 2015, rather spontaneously, and really enjoyed it. It gave me Always Sunny kinda awful people in farcical situations vibes and since then I've been meaning to read some more of Thompson's stuff. Whilst scrolling through his Goodreads page, this title took my interest. I really like exploring subcultures through literature and this happens to be a subculture that I know next to nothing about so it seemed like a good shout. I imagine his non-fiction is going to be pretty stellar. I'll see.

And those are 12 of the books that I want to read from my shelves in 2017. I'd like to know if you've set yourself a reading challenge this year and, if so, what titles are you hoping to read?

If you'd like to scroll through all of my book blog posts then you can. What a time to be alive!


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*Homegoing was sent to me by the publisher either for review. All opinions are my own. This post features affiliate links.If you buy the books through the links I've provided I'll receive a 5% commission to put back into the blog.
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7 comments

  1. Hausfrau is such a great book! I read it in 2015 and it's still playing on my mind.

    - Sarah
    www.moonandforest.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  2. I just recently finished reading The House on the Strand! It's very different from du Maurier's usual works, but I still enjoyed it. Homegoing and The Lottery are also on my 2017 tbr list.

    Kate | girlinthebluejacket.blogspot.com

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  3. Dude, some seriously intriguing books here, none of which I've read so I'm about ready to top up my 'to read' list! Thanks for sharing and I sure hope you enjoy the ones you pick up : )

    Gemma
    Faded Windmills

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  4. You have such a list here! You always have such a great eye for new and different books to read that I've never come across until now

    Mel ★ http://www.meleaglestone.co.uk

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  5. These sound really interesting! The only out of these I have is Carol, which I am yet to read as well.

    Meg | Elmpetra

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  6. I bought Homegoing recently and can't wait to start reading it!

    Lorna | Lorna, literally.

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  7. Hi! I just came by your blog and I absolutely ADORE your space!! I am wondering how I never saw it before because I feel like I've been missing out on so much! I am a book blogger myself so it was so exciting for me to find you!

    The books on my TBR for 2017 is Girl in Pieces, A Memoirs of a Geisha and The Raven Cycle series. I'm also really excited about the new Sarah J. Maas books to be released this year! As well as When Dimple met Rishi (along with the many many diverse books that will be released this year).

    So excited to be following your space
    x

    Nihaad | Read & Seek

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