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message 1: by Trevor (new)

Trevor (mookse) | 1842 comments Mod
I don't know a good title for this thread, but here is the intention:

This thread is meant to be a place to talk generally about your year in reading. What books are you looking forward to reading in 2018, whether a new release or just something you want to read this year? As the year proceeds, what books are hitting your sweet spot? What ones are disappointing?

I hope this can be a place that functions as "reading aspirations" here at the beginning of the year but that transitions to a "favorites" or "worst" as the year goes on. Be as general or specific as you want!

And happy 2018!


message 2: by Trevor (new)

Trevor (mookse) | 1842 comments Mod
Here is a preview of some Mookse and the Gripes Forum specific reading projects for 2018:

-Any and all prizes (see all of the threads), including Man Booker International Prize, Best Translated Book Award, The Man Booker Prize, The Republic of Consciousness Prize, The Goldsmith's Prize, The Nobel Prize. Please converse all you can on these!

-Mookse Madness 2018: The Short Story edition. See here.

-Booker Prize shortlist readalongs. We are about to start one from a shortlist in the 1970s that will run from Jan to Mar. From Apr to Jun we will be doing one from the 1980s. Then we have the 2018 Booker Prize from Jul to Sep. We will end the year, Oct to Dec, with another from the 1990s.

-Individual Author Projects. We have the author folder where I'd love to see your read-throughs of any given author's work.


message 3: by Doug (new)

Doug There are already quite a few books (alleged) to be published this year that I am looking forward to - the top of the list is undoubtedly Vikram Seth's 'A Suitable Girl' (since "A Suitable Boy' is one of my all-time faves), which has been promised for over five years now, but actually has a (hopefully) firm pub date of June 14th. Oddly, another of my favorite Indian authors, Anuradha Roy, has her new book, 'All the Lives We Never Lived' due out the very same date.

Julian Barnes' new book, 'The Only Story' is due the end of Jan. and the final volume of Rachel Kusk's terrific trilogy, 'Kudos' is due in May. I very much enjoyed Shobha Rao's book of short stories this year, and her debut novel, 'Girls Burn Brighter' is coming in March. Joseph Cassara's debut book, 'The House of Impossible Beauties', due in Feb., looks interesting and is getting a lot of buzz.

And finally, Richard Powers' newest, 'The Overstory' is coming in March, but (sorry, Neil!), I already have an ARC that I will be getting to shortly!! :-)


message 4: by Neil (last edited Dec 31, 2017 02:46PM) (new)

Neil | 1885 comments Doug - can’t wait for Powers - hope you enjoy.

I have read The House of Impossible Beauties (NetGalley ARC) - very interesting (although two or three things didn't work for me) but I was asked not to post a review until 2 weeks before publication.


message 5: by Hugh (last edited Dec 31, 2017 11:35AM) (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 3164 comments Mod
Thanks Trevor - that already looks like a very promising agenda.

Along with the Cusk and the Powers, the book I am most looking forward to is Happiness by Aminatta Forna.

I still have plenty of 2017 and 2016 books to catch up with too, not least Winter.

Happy New Year to all.


message 6: by Neil (new)

Neil | 1885 comments I am looking forward to Powers (top of my list) and Cusk. But also to the re-release of McElroy’s Women And Men which I have wanted to read for ages but could not get a copy.


message 7: by Will (last edited Dec 31, 2017 12:22PM) (new)

Will Ditto for me on Cusk and, like Hugh, I'm really looking forward to Forna's Happiness. Jim Crace's The Melody is high on my list as well.

Doug - I am currently reading an ARC of Shobha Rao's Girls Burn Brighter. I'm only about halfway through so I'll save any comments for later.

Happy New Year to all.


Gumble's Yard - Golden Reviewer | 5395 comments Neil and I have both read a Netgalley ARC of Assymetry by Lisa Halliday, and are eagerly waiting more of you to read it so we can discuss it.


message 9: by Paul (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 8757 comments The Guardian has a good write up today (if one can tear oneself away from Gumble"s moment of glory in the pages) which includes the Crace, Barnes, Cusk (surely may as well give her the Goldsmiths now) and Halliday and plenty more besides.

https://www.theguardian.com/books/201...


message 10: by Doug (last edited Dec 31, 2017 03:31PM) (new)

Doug We all seem to be scrambling for the same books! :-) I am also interested in the McElroy, but like Seth, it keeps getting pushed back! I've already read the Crace (excellent!) and have an ARC of the Forna also... have requests in for the Rao, Cassara ... and NOW, the Halliday! And now thanks to Paul's link - I have an additional dozen books added to my TBR list! Also eagerly awaiting the new book from Booker-winner Eleanor Catton, 'Birnam Wood' - but doubt it will come out this year. Happy reading in 2018, y'all!


message 11: by Hugh (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 3164 comments Mod
Paul wrote: "The Guardian has a good write up today (if one can tear oneself away from Gumble"s moment of glory in the pages) which includes the Crace, Barnes, Cusk (surely may as well give her the Goldsmiths n..."
The Forna gets a mention in that Guardian article too...


message 12: by Robert (new)

Robert | 1995 comments I am definitely looking forward to Madeline Miller's Circe. I also have high expectations for Chloe Benjamin's the immortalists


message 13: by Trevor (new)

Trevor (mookse) | 1842 comments Mod
Great to see what folks here are looking forward to! I've been reading the new Crace. I'm only about 1/3 of the way in and sense that there's quite a bit of stuff to be revealed, but I'm really enjoying it. The other 2018 book (at least, the English translation is a 2018 title) I've started is Rodrigo Fresán's The Bottom of the Sky, which comes out in May. It's also very good so far, though very very strange.

Some non-2018 books I hope to make time for are some more Willa Cather and George Eliot.


message 14: by Meike (new)

Meike (meikereads) I hope many people will pick up The Line Becomes A River - I read an ARC and thought it was fantastic!


message 15: by Dan (new)

Dan I plan to read and reread my favorite authors: Alice McDermott’s, Elizabeth Strout’s, and Louise Erdrich’s earlier novels; rereading McDermott’s Someone and Strout’s My Name Is Lucy Barton; Henry Green’s final two novels, rereading his wonderful Living, and dipping into his Surviving and Pack My Bags; reading more Anita Brookner, perhaps chronologically (nice idea, Trevor); and occasionally reading short stories from my shelves by Mavis Gallant, John McGahern, Peter Taylor, Anita Desai, William Trevor, Alice Munro, Elizabeth Taylor, and others. I look forward to participating in the M&G read-alongs of past Booker shortlists. Hoping to save time for more non-prize reading, save shelf space, and save money, I would like to be less of a completist about reading the prize lists: I’ll likely read the Booker, Goldsmiths, RoC, and National Book Award shortlists, with selected longlist titles mediated by your suggestions here. All in all, I’m hoping for more free-range reading and perhaps less reading in response to the most current prizes.


message 16: by Will (last edited Jan 02, 2018 10:43AM) (new)

Will Dan wrote: I plan to read and reread my favorite authors: Alice McDermott’s, Elizabeth Strout’s, and Louise Erdrich’s earlier novels; rereading McDermott’s Someone

I like your choices - all favorite authors of mine. McDermott's Someone may be my favorite of hers, the writing is even more exquisite than her usual perfection. Have you ever read That Night? It was, I believe, her second novel and is, in memory, also one of my favorites and one I should reread (you may give me the inspiration).

Besides those new 2018 novels I have already mentioned, I'm dipping into a few Victorian novels that I have never read, trying to mix in some classics with my contemporary reading. I started with a Dickens in November, Wilkie Collins in December and plan to continue into 2018, now with Elizabeth Gaskell (I've never read her). I'll see if that theme (or goal?) continues. Also, after my rereading of Carson McCullers' The Member of the Wedding last year I'd like to go back and reread some of her other works.


message 17: by Louise (new)

Louise | 222 comments Happy new year :-)

I'm planning on participating in the Mookse Madness 2018 and the Booker readalongs.

The new Julian Barnes book sounds interesting, but apart from the Bookers I want to try and focus on my 1000+ unread books :-)

I'm aiming to read some of the Karl Ove Knausgård bricks I have on my shelves (My Struggle Parts 1-6 (I'm reading 2nd part at the moment) and his season cycle - all 4 are out in Danish).

I got some lovely Folio Society books for christmas that I want to read, and I've discovered some new to me authors that I want to read more by (Jeanette Winterson & Louise Glück).
I also want to read more "older stuff" by Charles Dudley Warner and Anatole France, and I plan to read 18 of the unread Booker longlisted books I own (40+)


message 18: by jayantshaq (new)

jayantshaq | 11 comments For me the one I am looking forward to with increasingly unbearable anticipation is (the now sadly late) Denis Johnson's The Largesse of the Sea Maiden. The title story is here: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/20..., and a quarter century after the seminal and magical Jesus' Son it heralds a return to form (and to the form).

If Vikram Seth does actually deliver A Suitable Girl this year that will be nice too.


message 19: by Neil (new)

Neil | 1885 comments Just had an email from Amazon telling me my pre-order for McElroy has been cancelled as the book is not going to be available.


message 20: by Tim (new)

Tim | 65 comments My general reading plans for 2018:

- work on my tbr pile
- Awards reading: Man Booker, Man Booker International, Goldsmith, Costa, National Book Award, National Book Critics Circle Award, Republic of Consciousness (mainly shortlist and maybe some on the longlist, depending what is ultimately chosen)
- more non-eurocentric stuff
- more queer stuff (hopefully in the vain of the brilliant Gaudy Bauble)


message 21: by Robert (new)

Robert | 1995 comments More or less the same. I really want to get my tbr pile to 50 books.


Gumble's Yard - Golden Reviewer | 5395 comments Small presses for me, I have taken out subscriptions to Fitzcarraldo, Periene. Galley Beggar and Charco and am looking forward to getting some beautifully presented books in the post through the year.

For fans of Solar Bones and Sara Baume, I am currently working on persuading Tramp Press to start a subscription service also.


message 23: by WndyJW (new)

WndyJW | 4871 comments My task in another group, The Rountable, is to follow Literary Awards so I will be trying to read as many Longlisted & Shortlisted books from Man Booker, International Booker, Costa, Baileys, and thanks to this group, Republic of Consciousness and Goldsmith prizes. I'll list the American awards, but I can't promise to read them. I have to do some research into which US book awards recognize books of equal literary value as the Booker Longlists that don't make the Shortlist. I'm also tasked with making the group aware of the best in Translated Fiction so any input into which prize M&G feels is the best for translated works would be much appreciated. Any free reading time I will spend on books I already own.


message 24: by Marian (new)

Marian (marianese) | 4 comments I want to be a bit more purposeful and not quite as spontaneous, actually. Plans are to read two short story collections per month and a year's total of 20 books that fall under essay or memoir, with a target total of at least 75 books. Because I am mostly writing essay and short fiction this year, these are the books that will nourish me. I'm also being a lot more thoughtful about both diversity and adding more books in translation. That said, I'm getting a bit more into some of the prize lists; hence I've joined this group! I want to focus on the MB International, ROC Prize, and Goldsmiths. First up on ROC is of course a story collection, Attrib. Other prizes that I might read from include the Women's and the National Book Award and the "regular" Man Booker. And - yet another goal or two, why not?--to read a few books that have been on my shelves for ages, even decades, and to read from my rather-neglected collection of writing-craft books.


Gumble's Yard - Golden Reviewer | 5395 comments I think Paul has made this point on a different thread, but for those reading any of the RoC list over the next 3 weeks please post your views on the books on the RoC thread on Mookes and Gripes. For once you can be sure that your comments will influence some of the judges and at least be taken into account in deciding the short list.


message 26: by Will (last edited Jan 08, 2018 07:36AM) (new)

Will The Millions has put out their 2018 most anticipated novels list. I always enjoy this one.

https://themillions.com/2018/01/most-...

(it is a big list and was slow coming up for me. Hopefully others won't have a problem.)

Just curious...we usually have a Booker Speculation thread for the year and unless I'm blind I haven't seen one for 2018. I've always found that it was helpful as it may alert me to UK novels of which I am unaware. Is it too early for a speculation thread or is this thread meant, in its way, to take its place?


message 27: by Meike (new)

Meike (meikereads) Will wrote: "The Millions has put out their 2018 most anticipated novels list. I always enjoy this one.

https://themillions.com/2018/01/most-...


Thanks, Will, very interesting! I second their choice of The Line Becomes A River and Wrestling with the Devil: A Prison Memoir - excellent books!


message 28: by Hugh (last edited Jan 08, 2018 07:57AM) (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 3164 comments Mod
I thought I had seen a 2018 Booker speculation thread, but you are right, it seems to have disappeared. I have just created one...


message 29: by Will (new)

Will Thanks, Hugh. I hope people post those books that they have read and consider strong contenders. I have always enjoyed the input on that thread and it definitely impacts my choices on what to read.


message 30: by Neil (new)

Neil | 1885 comments Interesting list. I have several of those on request from NetGalley but no responses yet - it will be interesting to see if I get them and get a chance to read them soon.


message 31: by Trevor (new)

Trevor (mookse) | 1842 comments Mod
Thanks for putting that up, Hugh! I usually create it pretty much when the prior year's winner is announced. I assumed it was there too!

In other news, The New Yorker has an interesting article called "Han Kang and the Complexity of Translation," which looks at the charges that Deborah Smith embellished The Vegetarian.

Perhaps, so I don't feel like that is out of place, we could call this thread "2018 -- A Year in Reading" . . .


message 32: by Meike (new)

Meike (meikereads) WOW - "Canada Reads" has some fantastic stuff on their 2018 longlist, especially Hernandez, Lee and Sakamoto sound amazing! Here's the link:

http://www.cbc.ca/books/canadareads/t...

Oh, Canada! ...maybe I'll put up a thread in the "Other Prizes" section once the shortlist is announced....


message 33: by Louise (new)

Louise | 222 comments Looks interesting Meike!


message 34: by Robert (new)

Robert | 1995 comments Meike wrote: "WOW - "Canada Reads" has some fantastic stuff on their 2018 longlist, especially Hernandez, Lee and Sakamoto sound amazing! Here's the link:

http://www.cbc.ca/books/canadareads/t......"


There's also The Giller Prize (basically a Canadian version of the Man Booker) there's always great titles.


message 35: by Meike (new)

Meike (meikereads) Louise wrote: "Looks interesting Meike!"

Robert wrote: "There's also The Giller Prize (basically a Canadian version of the Man Booker) there's always great titles."

Okay, guys, I created a "Canadian Book Prizes" thread in "Other Prizes", so we can discuss the Giller Prize, Canada Reads and other Canadian awards that might catch our attention!


message 36: by Trevor (new)

Trevor (mookse) | 1842 comments Mod
Trevor wrote: "In other news, The New Yorker has an interesting article called "Han Kang and the Complexity of Translation," which looks at the charges that Deborah Smith embellished The Vegetarian."

And today, following up on this, Deborah Smith has published a reflective response in the Los Angeles Review of Books: "What We Talk About When We Talk About Translation."

(I wish folks would stop using that kind of title!)


message 37: by WndyJW (new)

WndyJW | 4871 comments I read Feeding Time, Beastings and Tinderbox and two stories from Attrib. and other stories this week. All really good books. I am preaching the gospel of supporting the Indie presses in The Roundtable group and a few of the members showed some interest in being subscribers. I don't know if any will actually follow through, but I put the idea out there and will keep the buzz about these books going.

Paul, you're the only other person I know who read Feeding Time, I think. I noticed you gave it 3 stars. Did you find Raymond Cornish an unnecessary storyline or maybe a storyline that got away from Biles? I really loved the book, but it wasn't 5 stars for me either. (I rarely rate a book 5 stars, I save that for books that hit every chord and are nearly perfect for me, so 4 stars is an A and 5 an A+)

I am curious what you think the Kalki character meant to Tristan and to the residents.


message 38: by Sara G (new)

Sara G | 166 comments One of my goals (that I haven't made good on yet!) is to do most of my purchasing from my local bookstore. This will probably mean less planned reading and more serendipity. It will most certainly mean less books released in 2018 in the UK since those take a while to trickle over here.

This plan is kind of moot at the moment because I've mostly been reading comics for a project I'm working on.


message 39: by Meike (new)

Meike (meikereads) With all the awards and a massive TBR (like all of you), I am still also trying to read more classics from all over the world. Last year, I read the first novel ever published by a Samoan author (Sons for the Return Home), and I realized that there's a whole world of classic literature I am pretty much unaware of - I'd love to change that.

On the side of the more popular classics, Penguin just re-released some essential Harlem Renaissance novels: Passing, The Blacker the Berry... (yes, Kendrick Lamar's song is named after that), Black No More, and Not Without Laughter. I already read the first two of them and they are amazing. In that context, there's also a re-release of The Souls of Black Folk. I think I need a new shelf or another room...


message 40: by Sara G (new)

Sara G | 166 comments Thanks for the heads up on the Penguin reissues, Meike.


message 41: by Val (new)

Val | 1016 comments My 2018 reading priorities have changed a bit since joining this group. I have already read a few books from the 'Costa' lists and will be reading several from the 'Orange / Baileys / whatever it gets called next' and the 'Man Booker International' lists when they are announced in March, but I now have some 'MBI' prospects added, plus some 'Man Booker' archive lists to look at and other prize lists I had not paid much attention to before.
There are also other group reads and I really ought to be trying to reduce my 'to read' count, not increasing it, especially the books I already own.


message 42: by Meike (new)

Meike (meikereads) Sara wrote: "Thanks for the heads up on the Penguin reissues, Meike."

You're welcome! I'm always happy to meet other readers who enjoy Harlem Renaissance writing! :-)


message 43: by WndyJW (new)

WndyJW | 4871 comments My reading priorities and tastes have changed quite a bit also since joining this group. I am a moderator in another group where our big challenge this year focuses on classics or old favorites, so no new writers. I am trying to find ways to pull in the new books that intrigue me. I used to love Historical Fiction, I still do, but new fiction feels so fresh and exciting.
My favorite books in 2017 we’re written in 2016 and now that I have books coming from Galley Beggar and the lists of nominees for RofC and Goldsmith I don’t have as much time for classics.

Thanks for the list of Penguin Harlem Renaissance books, Meinke, and for the Sons for the Return Home suggestion. I just ordered it.


message 44: by Patrick (new)

Patrick Meike wrote: "Sara wrote: "Thanks for the heads up on the Penguin reissues, Meike."

You're welcome! I'm always happy to meet other readers who enjoy Harlem Renaissance writing! :-)"


Have you read Steven Watson's The Harlem Renaissance: Hub of African-American Culture, 1920-1930? It is an informative short history of the period. A very nice read.


message 45: by Meike (new)

Meike (meikereads) WndyJW wrote: "Thanks for the list of Penguin Harlem Renaissance books, Meinke, and for the Sons for the Return Home suggestion. I just ordered it."

You're welcome! I am also planning to read Wendt's Leaves of the Banyan Tree, but I am not sure when I will get to that.

Patrick wrote: "Have you read Steven Watson's The Harlem Renaissance: Hub of African-American Culture, 1920-1930? It is an informative short history of the period. A very nice read."

No, I haven't - yet! Thanks for the tip! :-)


message 46: by WndyJW (new)

WndyJW | 4871 comments I just discovered that Transit Books is a US publisher. They published Blue Self-Portrait, Darker with the Lights On, Such Small Hands, so I purchased a subscription with only $13 for shipping for 5 books this year. I might get Darker with the Lights On in May, I'll ask for it. pretty exciting finding US indie presses


message 47: by Paul (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 8757 comments Yes Transit seem impressive not least the way they seem to team up with various UK indies


message 48: by WndyJW (last edited Mar 15, 2018 05:23PM) (new)

WndyJW | 4871 comments I recall hearing about them before. I was looking into ordering Such Small Hands after hearing an interview with Andrés Barba on Shakespeare & Co podcast, because my awareness of small presses has been raised I am in the habit of checking on the publisher and saw that Transit published the books I listed as well as Swallowing Mercury which was on radar earlier, so I was very pleased to see that they are in CA. A subscription is only $60 for 5 books with $13 for shipping, which is a steal.

I read I will never read the classics I hoped to get to before I die now that I have discovered how exciting contemporary fiction is!

ETA: I just learned that the books I will be receiving are The Right Intention, Blue Self-Portrait, Darker with the Lights on: Stories, River, and False Calm by Maria Sonia Cristoff.


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