Lists, Reviews

The Anticipation Is Killing Me: A Top Ten List

I’m too tired this week to come up with anything remotely amusing for this week’s list introduction. So I’ll leave it at this: I hate anticipation. Whoever said anticipation is the purest form of pleasure lied. Who likes to wait? Or be surprised? Or not know something? I can assure you it’s not me. Patience is not my most evident quality. Regardless, this week’s top ten list: top ten debuts to look forward to in 2014 (as hosted by The Broke and the Bookish). Just know that I’m excited to read them, though I’m not looking forward to the wait. 


In no particular order, except no. 8 and no. 5 should be tied for no.1.

10. Ruby by Cynthia Bond. An “unflinching portrait of man’s dark acts and the promise of the redemptive power of love”. Hey, look at that, I included a novel about the redemptive power of love and didn’t even cringe.

09. The Wives of Los Alamos by TaraShea Nesbit. A Colorado writer plus Los Alamos equals must read.

08. Shotgun Lovesongs by Nickolas Butler. This is probably my most anticipated read in early 2014. Fabulous title.

07. Shovel Ready by Adam Sternbergh. A garbage-man turned killer for hire.

06. A Man Came Out of a Door in the Mountain by Adrianne Harun, This debut “weaves together folklore, mythology, and elements of magical realism to create a compelling and unsettling portrait of life in a dead-end town.”

05. Road to Reckoning by Robert Lautner. Okay, so this one might be my most anticipated book of early 2014. Apparently it’s True Grit meets The Sisters Brothers.

04. The Book of Jonah by Joshua Max Feldman. How do you know if you’re chosen?

03. The Waking Engine by David Edison. “Welcome to the City Unspoken, where Gods and Mortals come to die.” Intriguing.

02. Black Moon by Kenneth Calhoun. The portrait of a world gripped by madness. “Vivid, strange, and profoundly moving”.

01. Young God by Katherine Faw Morris. Apparently it is Winter’s Bone meets Less Than Zero. Sold.

What are you looking forward to reading this year?

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  • Bonnie (@missbonnie13)

    What an awesome bunch.. Young God is definitely on my TBR. I’m very intrigued by The Waking Engine but leery because I don’t do sci-fi too often.

    • Rory

      It seemed sort of like sci-fi lite, which is doable. I like some sci-fi, but it’s not something I go for often.

      Young God has a lot of hype to live up to, I hope it’s good.

  • leydylaura

    You have such a unique list!

    Check our TTT of this week.

    Leydy @ OUaT & Redcarpetendings

    • Rory

      Thanks! Will do.

  • booksaremyfavouriteandbest

    I’m at the beach so limited in blogging ability. I started a post for this week’s TTT but it’s in no shape for publishing (and isn’t progressing as I lie on the sand reading The Book Thief (again)). Anyway, of note is the fact that our lists are completely different. No double-ups. And this makes me quite pleased because: more good books to check out.

    • Rory

      10, 9, 8, 4, and maybe 1 are ones that will probably appeal.

      I’m jealous of your beach time, but damn it’s hot there. At least there’s the ocean. Like I said, I’ll be at the beach, but it’ll be snowy. Still good, but I imagine there’ll be a bulky coat involved.

  • Ciska (@_Ciska_)

    I cannot wait to get my hands on Shotgun Lovesongs!!

    • Rory

      I just got my copy this week. I’m excited to start it!

  • Shannon @ River City Reading

    We share a few! I’m dying to get to Shotgun Lovesongs and Shovel Ready…and I just frantically added Road to Reckoning to my list – totally my style.

    • Rory

      Touchstone still has Road to Reckoning copies! Mine will arrive today, I just got My UPS alert in my email (so thanks for that). I’ve got a mystery HMH package tomorrow too.

  • Brooke

    These all sound so good and I haven’t heard of most of them mostly because I, too, hate anticipation. And I’m lazy. So thanks for doing all the groundwork!!

    • Rory

      This did require some work, I had no idea which novels I want to read were debuts and which were regular novels. So I’m glad to have been of service.

      I really don’t care for surprises. I like everything to run smoothly and as anticipated.

  • Liesel Hill

    Great books! A couple are going on my TBR list. These kinds of lists are bad because my TBR list always grows! Thanks for sharing your picks, though. Happy Tuesday! 😀

    My TTT

    • Rory

      There will certainly never be a shortage of good books to read. Hopefully.

  • Charleen

    I’m never really interested in debuts. I mean, if I happen to stumble across one, I’ll add it to my TBR, same as any other book. But unless it’s getting a ton of hype, they just don’t end up on my radar.

    • Rory

      Me either. I had to look up all the regular books o n my upcoming TBR list to figure out if they were debuts or not. It was sort of like “Have I heard of that author before? No?”, then check to see if they’ve done any other work. This week’s TTT was far more effort than I initially anticipated.

      • Charleen

        I did the same thing when filling out an end-of-the-year survey… and it turned out only ONE of the 2014 books on my TBR was a debut.

  • Jennine G.

    I am so hooked on some titles I have to read from last year that I haven’t even been looking at new debuts. But I’ve been collecting interesting titles from reviews like this one, so thanks!

    • Rory

      My list of backlist titles to read is insane. Seriously never-to-be-accomplished insane. I’m okay with that. It’s making me a bit choosier as to which books I read.

  • Acid Free Pulp

    A Man Came Out of a Door in the Mountain by Adrianne Harun has been on my radar for a little while now. I’m looking forward to this. The last couple of books I’ve read are less than stellar so I hope to read something better soon.

    • Rory

      I requested that one on Netgalley and the publisher has not responded, which is a little strange. I haven’t read any really great novels recently. I’ve read some good short story collections, but I’ve found the novels lacking. Of course, my review pile is so out of control that I’ve started overlooking it on my shelf.

      • Acid Free Pulp

        I did have a streak in the fall with some really great books, but now not so much (although, I just posted a review of a good, solid book that was enjoyable and well-written). The past book or two from NetGalley have taken awhile for me. I chalked this up to holidays/new year (I hope). I’m swimming in galleys right now. It always seems never-ending these past few years.

  • Andi (@estellasrevenge)

    I didn’t participate in this week’s TTT, but I’m glad you did! I see a fair amount of new-to-me books I want to pursue.

    • Rory

      I definitely have high hopes for a few of these, some of them I’m a bit dubious about (mainly Black Moon and Shovel Ready).

  • Kelsey@The Lost Book Reports

    Definitely some different reads here! will have to look into them, because they seem interesting.

  • Sarah Says Read

    I thought Shotgun Lovesongs looked cool, but I just read a not-overly-positive review about it, and on second thought I don’t think it’s my jam.

    And that’s the only one I know anything about! I am sooooo out of the loop on debut novels…

    • Rory

      I’ve read nothing but raves about it (but most early press is…). This is exactly the type of book I love – complicated relationships in a small, dying town (Empire Falls, anyone?).

  • Carolyn O

    I want to read Vernon Downs (by Jaime Clarke, a friend of ours) — and Richard Powers’s new novel is on my nightstand right now — it comes out on the 20th. And I want to read Wives of Los Alamos too, but mostly out of personal curiosity: TaraShea is a graduate of OSU (me too — Go Bucks!) and was at Wash U while my boyfriend/fiance was working on his MFA there — I remember him talking about TaraShea at a party once. I think she was a year ahead of him — I wish I could ask, but I can’t.

    • Rory

      It’s funny, she’s teaching at Univ of Denver now (where my grad. degree is from), but she’s living up in Boulder (where my undergrad is from).

      I’ve heard nothing but fabulous things about Orfeo.

      • Carolyn O

        I’m 75 pages in and it is crazy good.

  • Words for Worms

    Wait wait wait. Garbage man turned killer for hire? Um… Yes please!

    • Rory

      It has such potential, right?

  • Kelly Massry

    Haven’t heard of ANY of these! Will stay tuned for your reviews.

    • Rory

      I have high hopes. I just finished Shotgun Lovesongs and it was a little disappointing, but I’m fairly certain nothing would have lived up to the expectations I put on that little book.

  • Allison @ The Book Wheel

    I am fairly certain I will read Black Moon just because of the cover.

    • Rory

      I like the UK version even better.

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