Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.
Previous Top Ten Tuesday Topics
- May 17: Books I Was SO EXCITED to Get, but Still Haven’t Read
- May 24: Book Quote Freebie
- May 31: Comfort Reads
- June 7: Books With A Unit Of Time in the Title
- June 14: Books I Wish Had An Epilogue
- June 21: Bookish Wishes
- June 28: Books on my Summer TBR
This is a follow up post really to the post of six months ago, the most anticipated books of the first half of 2022! So, before we look to the future, let’s review the last six months.
Books Acquired: 6: You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty, People Person, Young Mungo, The Sentence, Hare House, To Paradise
Books Read: 1
Books Reviewed: 1
Hmmm… that is less than I had expected, but so many other great books crossed my path in the last six months and crept up the TBR pile. The Emezi book, You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty, is still the one I am most excited by!
Oh well! Let’s look to the future now and upcoming books poised to be released, as well as those planned for later in the year.
The House of Fortune, Jessie Burton, 7th July
In the golden city of Amsterdam, in 1705, Thea Brandt is turning eighteen, and she is ready to welcome adulthood with open arms. At the city’s theatre, Walter, the love of her life, awaits her, but at home in the house on the Herengracht, all is not well – her father Otto and Aunt Nella argue endlessly, and the Brandt family are selling their furniture in order to eat. On Thea’s birthday, also the day that her mother Marin died, the secrets from the past begin to overwhelm the present.
Nella is desperate to save the family and maintain appearances, to find Thea a husband who will guarantee her future, and when they receive an invitation to Amsterdam’s most exclusive ball, she is overjoyed – perhaps this will set their fortunes straight.
And indeed, the ball does set things spinning: new figures enter their life, promising new futures. But their fates are still unclear, and when Nella feels a strange prickling sensation on the back of her neck, she remembers the miniaturist who entered her life and toyed with her fortunes eighteen years ago. Perhaps, now, she has returned for her . . .
I adored The Miniaturist so much! The setting was gorgeously crafted and transported me from a British summer heat to the frozen streets of Amsterdam, and its illicit marzipan and sugar… and there’s a sequel?!
The Daughter of Doctor Moreau, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, 19th July
Carlota Moreau: A young woman, growing up in a distant and luxuriant estate, safe from the conflict and strife of the Yucatán peninsula, the only daughter of a genius – or a madman.
Montgomery Laughton: A melancholic overseer with a tragic past and a propensity for alcohol, an outcast who assists Dr Moreau with his scientific experiments, which are financed by the Lizaldes, owners of magnificent haciendas with plentiful coffers.
The hybrids: The fruits of the Doctor’s labour, destined to blindly obey their creator while they remain in the shadows, are a motley group of part-human, part-animal monstrosities.
All of them are living in a perfectly balanced and static world which is jolted by the abrupt arrival of Eduardo Lizalde, the charming and careless son of Doctor Moreau’s patron – who will, unwittingly, begin a dangerous chain-reaction.
For Moreau keeps secrets, Carlota has questions, and in the sweltering heat of the jungle passions may ignite.
I am cheating a little on this one: I have already read the ARC from NetGalley and it is gorgeous! Don’t be put off by any fear of it being classed as ‘horror’ – it is not!
The Night Ship, Jess Kidd, 4th August
1628. Embarking on a journey in search of her father, a young girl called Mayken boards the Batavia, the most impressive sea vessel of the age. During the long voyage, this curious and resourceful child must find her place in the ship’s busy world, and she soon uncovers shadowy secrets above and below deck. As tensions spiral, the fate of the ship and all on board becomes increasingly uncertain.
1989. Gil, a boy mourning the death of his mother, is placed in the care of his irritable and reclusive grandfather. Their home is a shack on a tiny fishing island off the Australian coast, notable only for its reefs and wrecked boats. This is no place for a child struggling with a dark past and Gil’s actions soon get him noticed by the wrong people.
Historical. Ships. Sailing the ocean. Split narratives bound together over two centuries. Yes please!
Haven, Emma Donoghue, 18th August
Three men vow to leave the world behind them and start anew . . .
In seventh-century Ireland, a scholar and priest called Artt has a dream telling him to leave the sinful world behind. Taking two monks – young Trian and old Cormac – he travels down the river Shannon in search of an isolated spot on which to found a monastery. Drifting out into the Atlantic, the three men find an impossibly steep, bare island inhabited by tens of thousands of birds, and claim it for God. Their extraordinary landing spot is now known as Skellig Michael. But in such a place, far from all other humanity, what will survival mean?
However much I adored Room, it remains the only Emma Donoghue book I have read, although I have heard her in interview a few times. This may be the novel to hep me reconnect.
Prayer for the Crown Shy, Becky Chambers, 23rd August
After touring the rural areas of Panga, Sibling Dex (a Tea Monk of some renown) and Mosscap (a robot sent on a quest to determine what humanity really needs) turn their attention to the villages and cities of the little moon they call home. They hope to find the answers they seek, while making new friends, learning new concepts, and experiencing the entropic nature of the universe. Becky Chambers’s new series continues to ask: in a world where people have what they want, does having more even matter?
A little cheeky: can I be excited about a sequel when I have not read the first book? It turns out that, when it is Becky Chambers – and when it has such a glorious title – I can!
Unraveller, Frances Hardinge, 1st September
In a world where anyone can cast a life-destroying curse, only one person has the power to unravel them.
Kellen does not fully understand his unique gift, but helps those who are cursed, like his friend Nettle who was trapped in the body of a bird for years. She is now Kellen’s constant companion and his closest ally.
But the Unraveller carries a curse himself and, unless he and Nettle can remove it, Kellen is a danger to everything – and everyone – around him . . .
Frances Hardinge is one of those automatic-buy authors for me. Quirky, witty, humane and powerful. Cuckoo Song, The Lie Tree and A Skinful of Shadows were all wonderful! And now we have a new world to discover in September!
Nona the Ninth, Tamsyn Muir, 13th September
Her city is under siege. The zombies are coming back. And all Nona wants is a birthday party. In many ways, Nona is like other people. She lives with her family, has a job at her local school, and loves walks on the beach and meeting new dogs. But Nona’s not like other people. Six months ago she woke up in a stranger’s body, and she’s afraid she might have to give it back. The whole city is falling to pieces. A monstrous blue sphere hangs on the horizon, ready to tear the planet apart. Blood of Eden forces have surrounded the last Cohort facility and wait for the Emperor Undying to come calling. Their leaders want Nona to be the weapon that will save them from the Nine Houses. Nona would prefer to live an ordinary life with the people she loves, with Pyrrha and Camilla and Palamedes, but she also knows that nothing lasts forever. And each night, Nona dreams of a woman with a skull-painted face…
I have no idea where Muir is going to take this series after the events in Harrow the Ninth – nor how she intends to write it considering the stylistic shift between the first two novels! But it will be a blast, hopefully reuniting with our favourite necromantic lovers!
Best of Friends, Kamila Shamsie 27th September
Fourteen-year-old Maryam and Zahra have always been the best of friends, despite their different backgrounds. Maryam takes for granted that she will stay in Karachi and inherit the family business; while Zahra keeps her desires secret, and dreams of escaping abroad.
This year, 1988, anything seems possible for the girls; and for Pakistan, emerging from the darkness of dictatorship into a bright future under another young woman, Benazir Bhutto. But a snap decision at a party celebrating the return of democracy brings the girls’ childhoods abruptly to an end. Its consequences will shape their futures in ways they cannot imagine.
Three decades later, in London, Zahra and Maryam are still best friends despite living very different lives. But when unwelcome ghosts from their shared past re-enter their world, both women find themselves driven to act in ways that will stretch and twist their bond beyond all recognition.
Oh I loved Home Fires and am really exited to have another Shamsie novel to immerse myself in!
Our Missing Hearts, Celeste Ng, 4th October
Twelve-year-old Bird Gardner lives a quiet existence with his loving but broken father, a former linguist who now shelves books in Harvard’s library. He knows not to ask too many questions, stand out too much, stray too far. For a decade, their lives have been governed by laws written to preserve ‘American culture’ in the wake of years of economic instability and violence. To keep the peace and restore prosperity, the authorities are now allowed to relocate children of dissidents, especially those of Asian origin, and libraries have been forced to remove books seen as unpatriotic – including the work of Bird’s mother, Margaret, a Chinese American poet who left the family when he was nine years old.
Bird has grown up disavowing his mother and her poems; he doesn’t know her work or what happened to her, and he knows he shouldn’t wonder. But when he receives a mysterious letter containing only a cryptic drawing, he is drawn into a quest to find her. His journey will take him through the many folktales she poured into his head as a child, through the ranks of an underground network of librarians, into the lives of the children who have been taken, and finally to New York, where a new act of defiance may be the beginning of much-needed change.
After reading Little Fires Everywhere, I found it to be a rather haunting novel, which has hung around and quietly lodged itself into my thoughts. I wonder whether this one will do the same.
The Ministry of Unladylike Activities, Robin Stevens, 6th October
Britain is at war, and a secret arm of the British government called the Ministry of Unladylike Activity is training up spies.
Enter May Wong: courageous, smart, stubborn – and desperate to do whatever she can to help end the war, so she can go home to Hong Kong. May knows that there is no one more perfect to become a spy than a child. A child can go places, see things and listen in on conversations in a way that no adult ever can.
When May and her friend Eric are turned away by the Ministry, they take matters into their own hands. Masquerading as evacuees, May and Eric arrive at Elysium Hall, home to the wealthy Verey family. It soon becomes clear that one of the family is passing information to Germany. May and Eric know if they can gather enough evidence on their suspect, the Ministry will have to take them on.
But there are more secrets at Elysium Hall than May or Eric could ever have imagined.
And then, someone is murdered…
I am so looking forward to introducing my daughter to the Murder Most Unladylike series… unless this new series is even better!
Novelist as a Vocation, Haruki Murakami, 8th November
A charmingly idiosyncratic look at writing, creativity, and the author’s own novels.
Haruki Murakami’s myriad fans will be delighted by this unique look into the mind of a master storyteller. In this engaging book, the internationally best-selling author and famously reclusive writer shares with readers what he thinks about being a novelist; his thoughts on the role of the novel in our society; his own origins as a writer; and his musings on the sparks of creativity that inspire other writers, artists, and musicians. Readers who have long wondered where the mysterious novelist gets his ideas and what inspires his strangely surreal worlds will be fascinated by this highly personal look at the craft of writing.
It is rare for me to be excited about non-fiction, but books about writing do always appeal and Murakami is a fascinating writer to consider.
Hmmm… nothing in December piqued my interest… yet!
Of course, the danger with lists like this is obvious: as I check out other lists, by own will just grow and grow! Excellent!
Upcoming Top Ten Tuesday Themes
July 12: Book Covers That Feel Like Summer (Submitted by Ellie @ Curiosity Killed the Bookworm)
July 19: Freebie (Come up with your own topic!)
July 26: Books From My Past Seasonal TBR Posts I STILL Haven’t Read (Submitted by Dedra @ A Book Wanderer)