Fiction To Look Forward To: Early 2016

My list is all over the place this week. It represents a little bit of everything I read, though I struggled to come up with 10. I think this has to do with the fact I just made a list of anticipated reads a couple of weeks ago (debuts only). But honestly, absolutely nothing overshadows Donald Ray Pollock’s new novel though, even if it has a July release date. NOTHING. I can’t not include it.

Fiction 2016

10. The Unfinished World // Amber Sparks. “In the weird and wonderful tradition of Kelly Link and Karen Russell, Amber Sparks’s dazzling new collection bursts forth with stories that render the apocalyptic and otherworldly hauntingly familiar. In “The Cemetery for Lost Faces,” two orphans translate their grief into taxidermy, artfully arresting the passage of time.”

09. Jane Steele // Lyndsay Faye. “‘Reader, I murdered him’. A darkly brilliant Gothic retelling of Jane Eyre from the Edgar-nominated author of The Gods of Gotham.”

08. Wink Poppy Midnight // April Genevieve TucholkeThe intrigue of The Virgin Suicides and the “supernatural or not” question of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer coalesce in this young adult mystery, where nothing is quite as it seems, no one is quite who you think, and everything can change on a dime.

07The Whale: A Love Story // Mark Beauregard. “A rich and captivating novel set amid the witty, high-spirited literary society of 1850s New England, offering a new window on Herman Melville’s emotionally charged relationship with Nathaniel Hawthorne and how it transformed his masterpiece,Moby-Dick.”

06. Wild Swans // Jessica Spotswood. “The summer before Ivy’s senior year is going to be golden; all bonfires, barbeques, and spending time with her best friends. For once, she will just get to be. No summer classes, none of Granddad’s intense expectations to live up to the family name. For generations, the Milbourn women have lead extraordinary lives—and died young and tragically. Granddad calls it a legacy, but Ivy considers it a curse. Why else would her mother have run off and abandoned her as a child?

But when her mother unexpectedly returns home with two young daughters in tow, all of the stories Ivy wove to protect her heart start to unravel. The very people she once trusted now speak in lies. And all of Ivy’s ambition and determination cannot defend her against the secrets of the Milbourn past…”

05. The Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love // Sarvenaz Tash. “When Graham learns that the creator of their favorite comic, The Chronicles of Althena, is making a rare appearance at this year’s New York Comic Con, he knows he must score tickets. And the event inspires Graham to come up with the perfect plan to tell Roxy how he really feels about her. He’s got three days to woo his best friend at the coolest, kookiest con full of superheroes and supervillains. But no one at a comic book convention is who they appear to be…even Roxy. And Graham is starting to realize fictional love stories are way less complicated than real-life ones.”

04. The Fireman // Joe Hill. “No one knows exactly when it began or where it originated. A terrifying new plague is spreading like wildfire across the country, striking cities one by one: Boston, Detroit, Seattle. The doctors call it Draco Incendia Trychophyton. To everyone else it’s Dragonscale, a highly contagious, deadly spore that marks its hosts with beautiful black and gold marks across their bodies—before causing them to burst into flames. Millions are infected; blazes erupt everywhere. There is no antidote. No one is safe…”
Every Heart a Doorway // Seanan McGuire

03. The Alaskan Laundry // Brendan Jones. “A beautiful evocation of a place that can’t help but change us and a testament to the unshakable lure of home, The Alaskan Laundry also offers an unforgettable story of one woman’s journey from isolation back to the possibility of love.”

02. The Atomic Weight of Love // Elizabeth J. Church. “In the spirit of The Aviator’s Wife and Loving Frank, this resonant debut spans the years from World War II through the Vietnam War to tell the story of a woman whose scientific ambition is caught up in her relationships with two very different men.”

01. The Heavenly Table // Donald Ray Pollock. “In the gothic tradition of Flannery O’Connor and Cormac McCarthy with a healthy dose of cinematic violence reminiscent of Sam Peckinpah, Quentin Tarantino and the Coen Brothers, the Jewetts and the Fiddlers will find their lives colliding in increasingly dark and horrific ways, placing Donald Ray Pollock firmly in the company of the genre’s literary masters.”

Happy 2016 reading! What are you looking forward to? For more lists go here.

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  • Grace

    I don’t have any of these on my list, but I’ll definitely be keepin’ an eye out for them. My TTT.

    • Rory O’Connor

      Enjoy your reading year!

  • literaryfeline

    I didn’t know Joe Hill has a new one coming out! That’s exciting. The Atomic Weight of Love sounds like it will be good. All of your picks do really! There are quite a few I am looking forward to reading this next year. My dream would be to get to them all, but I have to sleep something. 🙂

    • Rory O’Connor

      I don’t know, sleep seems negotiable…

      (Kidding, it’s one of my favorite hobbies)

  • Rissi

    “Wink Poppy Midnight” not only has a fabulous cover, the premise sounds interesting too. 🙂

    • Rory O’Connor

      It looks promising!

  • Adventures with a Book Nerd

    I have never heard of any of these, but they all sound interesting. I hope that you like them!

    • Rory O’Connor

      Me too! Happy reading!

  • Chrissi Reads

    I’m really intrigued by Jessica Spotswood’s new book 🙂 I’ll have to add it to my TBR! Great list.

    • Rory O’Connor

      I enjoyed her Cahill Witch Chronicles, so I am looking forward to a contemporary novel from her.

  • Shannon @ River City Reading

    I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT THE NEW DONALD RAY POLLOCK. Other books, too. But mostly that one.

    • Rory O’Connor


  • Naomi

    I will have to read The Whale: A Love Story – just because of the title… and the whale.

    • Rory O’Connor

      I’ve seen a few whale books lately and I’m tempted to right a post on whaling fiction.

      • Naomi

        Oh, you should! I just saw another one today called ‘Rush Oh!’.

  • Susan W

    A new Donald Ray Pollock is crazy exciting!!!! a new Joe Hill is alway good. I am now officially giddy!

    • Rory O’Connor

      Me. Too. I feel like I’ve been waiting a lifetime for a new DRP. And exaggeration, but not by much…

  • Lindsay @ Lindsay’s Library

    Ooh, intriguing picks! A couple of these are on my list too, and I thanks to you I just added “The Atomic Weight of Love” and “Alaskan Laundry” to my to-read. I’ve got another Alaska-set book on my list this week that sounds like something you might like — “All the Winters After.”

    • Rory O’Connor

      For some mysterious reason, I am absolutely fascinated by Alaskan Laundry. I’m going to check out All the Winters After.

  • Charleen Lynette

    I’ve been looking forward to The Fireman for months, and yet this is the first I’ve actually read what it’s about. Now I’m even more excited!

    • Rory O’Connor

      Same! I’ve heard the title several time, but until I wrote the post, I hadn’t seen the synopsis.

  • Dessa

    This is the first I’ve heard of The Atomic Weight of Love – glad to add it to the to-read pile.
    We share The Unfinished World and The Fireman on our lists – all in all, 2016 is shaping up to be a good year!
    Thanks for sharing – here’s the rest of my list in case you’re interested. Cheers!

    • Rory O’Connor

      The Fireman sounds like a bit of a departure from Hill’s previous novels, I’m really looking forward to it.

  • Bonnie

    So excited for the new Pollock, but you knew that already. More YA on this list than I would have expected. 🙂 Got a bunch to add to my list apparently!

    • Rory O’Connor

      Compared to the usual none that I have… 🙂

      The comparisons are pulling me in! Geek’s Guide was called Pretty in Pink goes to Comic Con and Wink Poppy Midnight as close to The Virgin Suicides. That’s practically irresisitible.

      • Bonnie

        Oooh I hadn’t heard of Wink Poppy Midnight being compared to The Virgin Suicides. I think you got me with that one. haha

  • Sarah (Sarah’s Book Shelves)

    Well…can’t not add The Heavenly Table to my list after that excitement! Thanks for the heads-up! And I keep hearing about The Fireman…will keep my eye on that too. I had the same issue you did with this list…especially since the books I’m most excited about so far are debuts!

    • Rory O’Connor

      I am not above begging for a copy, I’ll certainly buy a hardcover when it comes out, but July is so far away!

  • Andi

    Fingers crossed that I can grab an ARC of The Unfinished World! These look amaaaaazing.

    • Rory O’Connor

      That is my thinking.

  • The Book Wheel

    And off to Edelweiss I go….

    • Rory O’Connor

      You can thank me later.

  • Kelsey

    The Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love sounds completely adorable! This is a great list (so my book queue grows).

    • Rory O’Connor

      Right?! You can’t go wrong when it’s supposed to be reminiscent of John Hughes.

  • Jennine G.

    The whale book sounds like it may lead to some intense research on two big names in literature! Always up for learning more about authors, especially if it starts with a good story.

    • Rory O’Connor

      I think that is one of the reasons it fascinates me.

  • Kate

    Yes, thanks for these suggestions *one shopping day left before my ban begins*

    • Rory O’Connor

      I figured it was timely, but since I know you have Empire Falls sitting on your shelf, you should start there…

  • Marisa @The Daily Dosage

    The Unfinished World sounds really interesting and I have not ready anything by Pollock so now I’m intrigued.

    • Rory O’Connor

      It’s dark, but so, SO worth it.

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