2017 has drawn to a close and it is now time to look back to the year that was. Overall, 2017 was a slow year compared to prior years. Nonetheless, I was still able to find time to gobble up some wonderful books. This book wrap up is a part of a mini-series which will feature the following:
- My 2017 Not-So Favorite Books
- My 2017 Top 10 Most Notable Books
- My 2017 Top 17 Most Memorable Book Quotes
- My 2018 Top 10 Books I Look Forward To List
This is the first time that I am doing a list of my most anticipated books for 2018, hence, I made quite a lengthy research. From commendations and from what bloggers have to say, I came up with my own list of 10 awesome books which I am look forward to in 2018 based on current reviews. To be honest, it is my first time learning about these authors. Without further ado, here’s my list!
- The Boat People by Sharon Bala
Synopsis: When a rusty cargo ship carrying Mahindan and five hundred fellow refugees from Sri Lanka’s bloody civil war reaches Vancouver’s shores, the young father thinks he and his six-year-old son can finally start a new life. Instead, the group is thrown into a detention processing center, with government officials and news headlines speculating that among the “boat people” are members of a separatist militant organization responsible for countless suicide attacks—and that these terrorists now pose a threat to Canada’s national security. As the refugees become subject to heavy interrogation, Mahindan begins to fear that a desperate act taken in Sri Lanka to fund their escape may now jeopardize his and his son’s chance for asylum.
Release Date: January 2
Me: Journey. Adventures. Diverse characters. Current event. For me, these are what makes a truly interesting read.
- A Girl In Exile: Requiem for Linda B. by Ismail Kadare
Synopsis: When a girl is found dead with a signed copy of Rudian Stefa’s latest book in her possession, the author finds himself summoned for an interview by the Party Committee. Unable to guess what transgression he has committed Rudian goes fearfully to meet his interrogators. He has never met the girl in question but he remembers signing the book. As the influence of a paranoid regime steals up on him, Rudian finds himself swept along on a surreal quest to discover what really happened to the mysterious girl to whom he wrote the dedication – to Linda B.
Release Date: January 9
Me: What pulled me towards this book is the idea of reading about Albania and its history. By delving in another regional literature, I believe that I am expounding my horizons.
- An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
Synopsis: Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. But as they settle into the routine of their life together, they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. Roy is arrested and sentenced to twelve years for a crime Celestial knows he didn’t commit. Though fiercely independent, Celestial finds herself bereft and unmoored, taking comfort in Andre, her childhood friend, and best man at their wedding. As Roy’s time in prison passes, she is unable to hold on to the love that has been her center. After five years, Roy’s conviction is suddenly overturned, and he returns to Atlanta ready to resume their life together.
Expected Release Date: January 29
Me: I saw this book on a lot of Most Anticipated 2018 Books List. I want to find out what the fuss is all about, hence, I included it on my list. Hopefully it won’t disappoint.
- The Monk of Mokha by Dave Eggers
Synopsis: Mokhtar Alkhanshali grew up in San Francisco, one of seven siblings brought up by Yemeni immigrants in a tiny apartment. At age twenty-four, unable to pay for college, he works as a doorman, until a statue of an Arab raising a cup of coffee awakens something in him. He sets out to learn the rich history of coffee in Yemen and the complex art of tasting and identifying varietals. He travels to Yemen and visits countless farms, collecting samples, eager to bring improved cultivation methods to the countryside. And he is on the verge of success when civil war engulfs Yemen in 2015. The US Embassy closes, Saudi bombs began to rain down on the country, and Mokhtar is trapped in Yemen. Desperate to escape, he embarks on a passage that has him negotiating with dueling political factions and twice kidnapped at gunpoint. With no other options, he hires a skiff to take him, and his coffee samples, across the Red Sea. A heart-pounding true story that weaves together the history of coffee, the ongoing Yemeni civil war, and the courageous journey of a young man–a Muslim and a US citizen–following the most American of dreams.
Expected Release Date: January 2018
Me: I have read more fiction books than non-fiction books. However, I am willing to give a non-fiction book a chance with this award-winning author’s latest work. Finding this book on nearly every Most Anticipated Books list I read has awaken my interest. I can’t wait to have my hand on this book.
- The House of Impossible Beauties by Joseph Cassara
Synopsis: It’s 1980 in New York City, and nowhere is the city’s glamour and energy better reflected than in the burgeoning Harlem ball scene, where seventeen-year-old Angel first comes into her own. Burned by her traumatic past, Angel is new to the drag world, new to ball culture, and has a yearning inside of her to help create family for those without. When she falls in love with Hector, a beautiful young man who dreams of becoming a professional dancer, the two decide to form the House of Xtravaganza, the first-ever all-Latino house in the Harlem ball circuit. But when Hector dies of AIDS-related complications, Angel must bear the responsibility of tending to their house alone.
As mother of the house, Angel recruits Venus, a whip-fast trans girl who dreams of finding a rich man to take care of her; Juanito, a quiet boy who loves fabrics and design; and Daniel, a butch queen who accidentally saves Venus’s life. The Xtravaganzas must learn to navigate sex work, addiction, and persistent abuse, leaning on each other as bulwarks against a world that resists them. All are ambitious, resilient, and determined to control their own fates, even as they hurtle toward devastating consequences.
Expected Release Date: February 1
Me: One of my favorite reads in 2017 is Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life. I was so in love with the boo that when The House of Impossible Beauties was compared to it, I simply can’t resist but include it on my list of Most Anticipated Books of 2018. I simply can’t wait what this book has in store for me.
- Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi
Synopsis: An extraordinary debut novel, Freshwater explores the surreal experience of having a fractured self. It centers around a young Nigerian woman, Ada, who develops separate selves within her as a result of being born “with one foot on the other side.” Unsettling, heart-wrenching, dark, and powerful, Freshwater is a sharp evocation of a rare way of experiencing the world, one that illuminates how we all construct our identities.
Ada begins her life in the south of Nigeria as a troubled baby and a source of deep concern to her family. Her parents, Saul and Saachi, successfully prayed her into existence, but as she grows into a volatile and splintered child, it becomes clear that something went terribly awry. When Ada comes of age and moves to America for college, the group of selves within her grows in power and agency. A traumatic assault leads to a crystallization of her alternate selves: Asụghara and Saint Vincent. As Ada fades into the background of her own mind and these selves–now protective, now hedonistic–move into control, Ada’s life spirals in a dark and dangerous direction.
Expected Release Date: February 13
Me: Lately, I’ve been to African literature, from Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart to Ben Okri’s Famished Road. Their works helped me gain a better appreciation of general literature. Now, I want to explore the world of contemporary African literature.
- The House of Broken Angels by Luis Alberto Urrea
Synopsis: In his final days, beloved and ailing patriarch Miguel Angel De La Cruz, known affectionately as Big Angel, has summoned his entire clan for one last legendary birthday party. But as the party approaches, his mother, nearly one hundred, dies herself, leading to a farewell doubleheader.
Across one bittersweet weekend in their San Diego neighborhood, the revelers mingle among the palm trees and cacti, celebrating the lives of Big Angel and his mother, and recounting the many tales that have passed into family lore, the acts both ordinary and heroic that brought them to a fraught and sublime country and allowed them to flourish in the land they have come to call home.
Expected Release Date: March 6
Me: Although One Hundred Years of Solitude is a mind-boggling read, I am nonetheless excited at the prospect of reading another family saga written by a South American author.
- Men and Apparitions by Lynne Tillman
Synopsis: We are the Picture People. I name us Picture People because most special and obvious about the species is, our kind lives on and for pictures, lives as and for images, our species takes pictures, makes pix, thinks in pix. What is behind the human drive to create, remake, and keep images from and of everything? What does it mean that we now live in a -glut of images?- Men and Apparitions takes on a central question of our era through the wild musings and eventful life of Ezekiel Hooper Stark, cultural anthropologist, ethnographer, specialist in family photographs. As Ezekiel progresses from a child obsessed with his family’s photo albums to young and passionate researcher to a man devastated by betrayal in love, his academic fascinations determine and reflect his course, touching on such various subjects as discarded images, pet pictures, spirit mediums, the tragic life of his long-dead cousin the semi-famous socialite Clover Adams, and the nature of contemporary masculinity.
Expected Release Date: March 13
Me: I am interested by Lynne Tillman’s point of view on masculinity although I consider it as is an unconventional, though banal topic. Hopefully Lynne Tillman will do justice on this.
- Circe by Madeline Miller
Synopsis: In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child–not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power–the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.
Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus and his doomed son Icarus, the murderous Medea, and, of course, wily Odysseus.
But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.
Expected Release Date: April 10
Me: I love mythology and how it is being portrayed in contemporary literature (hello Percy Jackson). I haven’t read A Song of Achilles, however, I am fascinated with Miller’s latest work because it is about a feared character in Greek mythology. Sounds interesting. .
- Warlight by Michael Ondaatje
Synopsis: In a narrative as mysterious as memory itself – at once both shadowed and luminous –Warlight is a vivid, thrilling novel of violence and love, intrigue and desire. It is 1945, and London is still reeling from the Blitz and years of war. 14-year-old Nathaniel and his sister, Rachel, are apparently abandoned by their parents, left in the care of an enigmatic figure named The Moth. They suspect he might be a criminal, and grow both more convinced and less concerned as they get to know his eccentric crew of friends: men and women with a shared history, all of whom seem determined now to protect, and educate (in rather unusual ways) Rachel and Nathaniel. But are they really what and who they claim to be? A dozen years later, Nathaniel begins to uncover all he didn’t know or understand in that time, and it is this journey – through reality, recollection, and imagination – that is told in this magnificent novel.
Expected Release Date: May 8
Me: My interest in World War II and Post-World War II fiction is being carried forward into 2018. Yet another historical novel for the count!
There’s the list of my most anticipated books in 2018. Care to share your own list? Please feel free to share your own list by leaving a comment or tagging me in your own list.