The new year is almost upon us, and there are so many things to look forward to in the coming months – namely BOOKS. So we’ve put together a list of titles which we’re most excited to read in 2018. Here is our eclectic selection:
Feminist Baby Finds Her Voice (Disney-Hyperion)
The first book made such an impact on me, when I found out there would be a second, I could barely contain my excitement. Feminist Baby has finally returned for a fun new adventure in this refreshing, clever board book by two-time Emmy Award-winning author and BuzzFeed contributor Loryn Brantz. Not only is feminist baby adorable, she’s a symbol of a strong-willed and independent female, albeit in baby form!
Bad Call (Disney-Hyperion)
How could I resist a gritty crime drama? Bad Call called out to me like a, well, bad call… Four teenagers decide to take a camping trip to Yosemite National Park – it seems like a good idea at first, until one bad decision after another ensues and then one of the group doesn’t make it back to camp… Remains are found – blood – and the worst is believed, but no-one knows why or who, or even what did it. There’s only one other question left: who’s next? If that’s not the beginnings of premise for a chilling psychological thriller than I don’t know what is!
Rebel With A Cupcake (Kids Can Press )
The title instantly drew me in, I liked the idea that you can be a rebel, with a cupcake as your weapon of choice. Jesobel Jones is a bold and brash individual, who feels no need to apologise for her rambling house, imperfect family, and single status. Her confidence is addictive, and I love the fact that she doesn’t feel the need to ‘fit’ in with her peers. She is who she is and she makes no excuses for it; a principle, I believe, young girls should take note of. Jesobel Jones is a refreshing, hilarious and truly inspiring role model.
From the New York Times bestselling authors of the Starbound trilogy and co-author of the popular Illuminae Files comes a brand new high octane, science-fiction adventure! When Earth intercepts a message from a long-extinct alien race, it seems like the solution humanity has been waiting for. But the more they learn about the Undying, the more they start to feel like their presence in the temple is part of a grand design – one that could spell the end of the human race… Cross Creek Pictures have recently optioned to create the film adaption of Unearthed, with director Doug Limon who has previously worked on blockbuster movies like The Bourne Identity and Mr. and Mrs. Smith.
If you like the sound of Unearthed, we also have the magnificent Starbound trilogy by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner:
These Broken Stars is the first in the trilogy; a timeless love story about hope and survival in the face of unthinkable odds. This Shattered World is the stunning second novel in the series; an unforgettable story of love and forgiveness in a world torn apart by war. The New York Times bestselling Starbound trilogy comes to a dramatic close with Their Fractured Light, the dazzling final instalment about the power of courage and hope in humanity’s darkest hour.
Philip Seymour Hoffman (Plexus)
Who doesn’t love the brilliant Phillip Seymour Hoffman? An Oscar-winner and one of the most highly regarded actors of his generation, yet he was also a tragic and troubled case. This well-constructed edition is a beautiful celebration of his life and work, which charts the rise and tragic fall of the intensely respected talent that is Phillip Seymour Hoffman. It’s not everyday we get to witness a genius a work and we have been so fortunate to see numerous accounts of his work for so many years. There’s something intense, absorbing, and special when I’ve watched him on screen – it’s truly awe inspiring. This book is probably the one I’m most looking forward to in the coming year!
The Stone Tide (Influx Press)
Every now and then a book comes along and everything about it resonates for you. That’s how I feel about the description of The Stone Tide, published by Influx Press in March. A novel in which the central character has the same name as the author: ooooh! Dilapidated Victorian housing: aaahh! An occult puzzle connecting Aleister Crowley, John Logie Baird and the Piltdown Man hoaxer: eeeeee! Freak storms: wooooo! Possessed seagulls, mutant eels and unresolved guilt? Hold me back!
Mixed-Race Superman (Peninsula Press)
This is one I’m excited about for several reasons. It’s the first book to be published by brand spanking new independent publishers (all of whom are also independent booksellers) Peninsula Press, and the first in their essay series. It’s a gorgeously packaged, carefully curated collection and Mixed-Race Superman by poet Will Harris is a personal essay on Barrack Obama, Keanu Reeves and mixed-race experience in our increasingly divided world. At a time when Donald Trump resides in the White House, and far-right fanaticism is sweeping Europe, this is an essay we need very much.
Find You in the Dark (Text Publishing)
As regular readers of this blog may be aware, 2017 was the year I introduced myself to crime fiction – reading one crime novel a month. My monthly blogs have, alas, fallen by the wayside as the year progressed but I have kept on reading (and enjoying) crime fiction. Find You in the Dark seriously sounds like a stonking premise for a crime novel: a family man who obsessed with finding the remains of murder victims, ahead of the police, ends up as the target of an active serial killer.
Lucia (Galley Beggar Press)
In a previous life I was a bit part Joycean scholar, so I’m champing at the bit to read this new novel about his daughter Lucia. Confined to an insane asylum for the last thirty years of her life, she had been a dancer and was, perhaps, the lover of Samuel Beckett. This is almost all that anyone knows about the daughter of one of the most influential figures of twentieth-century literature. Alex Pheby is one of the most extraordinary stylists, and this novel promises to be an intensely uncompromising disquisition into madness and misogyny.
The Immigrant Cookbook: Recipes that Make the World Great (New Internationalist)
I don’t get to work with cookbooks often, so this is a rare treat in every sense. This book is beautifully photographed with a fabulous selection of recipes from around the world – some familiar, some new encounters – by 75 renowned immigrant chefs. Every single recipe looks utterly incredible. Plus a percentage of the books’ sales will be going to Migrant Right Network.
A Guide For Murdered Children (Blue Rider)
Part of the lure for me is the unknown author – Sarah Sparrow is a pseudonym – which makes me think the writer must be famous perhaps for a different genre of literature, and so is using the name to escape associations or assumptions based on previous work. The idea for the story itself is harrowing: ghost children take on the bodies of adults to haunt their murderers. It reminds me of the short ghost stories I used to read as a child (though obviously less horrific than this promises to be) and I often think I should get back into that genre of literature; this title provides the perfect opportunity! I also love the cover – it reminds me of the planner I used to have to carry around in my school book-bag many years ago, loosely stapled and covered with stickers.
Let Me Be Like Water (Melville House)
Every once in a while, I like to indulge in women’s fiction. This title caught my eye as it seems like it will be a profound read above life, grief and friendship. A woman moves to Brighton to be alone after the death of her partner, but what she finds is a friend who shows her that she doesn’t have to go live in isolation. I think a tear jerker is good at putting things into perspective as it allows for catharsis, and this seems like a very moving plot to get lost in.
This is one of those books that ticks every conceivable box, and the AI has been passed reverently around the marketing team, who are all anxiously awaiting the first proofs. Heartland is the uproarious story of a thwarted writer’s elaborate revenge on the woman who stole her lover, merging elements of telenovela, pulp noir, and dystopian satire. It’s a genre-defying, taboo-challenging wild ride with a literary feel and a deliciously vile protagonist. Out in January, this is a great ‘start as you mean to go on’ kind of book – that is, with uncompromising revenge on all who wronged you in 2017.
Kill All The Gentleman (Bookmarks)
Just kidding. Kill All The Gentleman is a non-fiction title from Bookmarks which explores the impact that brutal class struggle and environmental change has had on the modern countryside. I’m not usually a reader of political books, but this looks to locate historical politics in a very tangible way – plus, I love country walks, so am keen to be able to drop some knowledge bombs while hiking. Not just focusing on the well documented rebellions, like Wat Tyler’s Peasants’ Revolt and the exploits of Jack Cade and Robert Kett, Kill All The Gentleman also delves into countless lesser known struggles that fought against the development of capitalism and the formation of trade unions.
The Bridesmaid’s Daughter (September)
I love a memoir, and this one, which dives into the fast glamour of New York City in the ‘50s, as well as the mental health of women, has sparked my interest. Grace Kelly remains a revered icon of elegance and style of the ‘50s glamour and film scene, but few are familiar with the best friend she lived with in her early days of modelling, Carolyn Schaffner. Carolyn also seemed destined for the dizzying heights of success and fame, and was even Grace’s bridesmaid when she married the Prince of Monaco, but the would-be starlet lived out her final years in a homeless shelter. Her daughter, Nyna Giles, tells the story of the inner demons that plagued her mother (and her own childhood, as a result) exploring the fairytale rise and fall in all its complexity and pain.
Electric Arches (Haymarket)
After the joy and rage of A.J Monet’s My Mother Was A Freedom Fighter, I’ve been keeping an eye on what poetry Haymarket will publish next. Electric Arches, by exciting rising voice Eve. L. Ewing is what I’m counting the days for. It’s an imaginative exploration of Black girlhood and womanhood through poetry, visual art, and narrative prose. Blending stark realism with the surreal and fantastic, Ewing’s narrative takes us from the streets of 1990s Chicago to an unspecified future, deftly navigating the boundaries of space, time, and reality. I’m especially looking forward to seeing how she sparks fresh conversations about race, gender and identity, all in the context of growing up.
Post by Sarah