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2019 TOB General Topics > 2019 TOB Contenders

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message 1: by Amy (last edited Apr 18, 2018 08:03AM) (new)

Amy (asawatzky) | 1691 comments Space to predict & suggest (and rave about) potential books for 2019's Longlists & Shortlists.... starting with the 2018 TOB list from Nozlee:

A River of Stars by Vanessa Hua
A Shout in the Ruins by Kevin Powers
A State of Freedom by Neel Mukherjee
Alice Isn't Dead by Joseph Fink
America Is Not the Heart by Elaine Castillo
Anatomy of a Miracle by Jonathan Miles
Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday
Blue Self-Portrait by Noémi Lefebvre, translated by Sophie Lewis
Brass by Xhenet Aliu
Brother by David Chariandy
Bury What We Cannot Take by Kirstin Chen
Call Me Zebra by Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi
Census by Jesse Ball
La comemadre by Roque Larraquy, translated by Heather Cleary
Don't Skip Out on Me by Willy Vlautin
Drifts by Kate Zambreno
Everyone Knows You Go Home by Natalia Sylvester
Everything Here Is Beautiful by Mira T. Lee
Fire Sermon by Jamie Quatro
Frankenstein in Baghdad by Ahmed Saadawi, translated by Jonathan Wright
French Exit by Patrick DeWitt
Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi
From a Low and Quiet Sea by Donal Ryan
Fruit of the Drunken Tree by Ingrid Rojas Contreras
Gnomon by Nick Harkaway
Go by Kazuki Kaneshiro
How to Be Safe by Tom McAllister
In Black and White by Jun'ichirō Tanizaki, translated by Phyllis I. Lyons
Killing Commendatore by Haruki Murakami
Kudos by Rachel Cusk
Lake Success by Gary Shteyngart
Laura & Emma by Kate Greathead
Melmoth by Sarah Perry
Mouths Don't Speak by Katia D. Ulysse
Mr. Occam's Razor by Barbara Kingsolver
My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Otessa Moshfegh
Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl
Number One Chinese Restaurant by Lillian Li
Oliver Loving by Stefan Merrill Block
On the Come Up by Angie Thomas
Peculiar Ground by Lucy Hughes-Hallett
Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers
Red Clocks by Leni Zumas
Sadness Is a White Bird by Moriel Rothman-Zecher
Self-Portrait with Boy by Rachel Lyon
Some Trick: Thirteen Stories by Helen Dewitt
Space Opera by Catherynne Valente
Speak No Evil by Uzodinma Iweala
Stray City by Chelsey Johnson
Sunburn by Laura Lippman
That Kind of Mother by Rumaan Alam
The Boat People by Sharon Bala
The Book of M by Peng Shepherd
The Chandelier by Clarice Lispector, translated by Benjamin Moser and Magdalena Edwards
The Comedown by Rebekah Frumkin
The Completionist by Siobhan Adcock
The Friend by Sigrid Nunez
The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai
The House of Broken Angels by Luis Alberto Urrea
The House of Impossible Beauties: A Novel by Joseph Cassara
The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin
The Infinite Future by Tim Wirkus
The Italian Teacher by Tom Rachman
The Last Cruise by Kate Christensen
The Linden Tree by Cesar Aira
The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore by Kim Fu
The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner
The Maze at Windermere by Gregory Blake Smith
The Mere Wife by Maria Dahvana Headley
The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar
The Overstory by Richard Powers
The Parking Lot Attendant by Nafkote Tamirat
The Perfect Nanny by Leïla Slimani
The Philosopher's Flight by Tom Miller
The Shepherd's Hut by Tim Winton
The Sky Is Yours by Chandler Klang Smith
The Third Hotel by Laura van den Berg
There There by Tommy Orange
This Mournable Body by Tsitsi Dangarembga
Transcription by Kate Atkinson
Trick by Domenico Starnone, translated by Jhumpa Lahiri
Visible Empire by Hannah Pittard
Warlight by Michael Ondaatje
Winter by Ali Smith


message 2: by Katherine (last edited Mar 30, 2018 06:21AM) (new)


message 3: by Bob (new)

Bob Lopez | 379 comments Some preliminary guesses based on my reading/listening so far:
Frankenstein in Baghdad
Oliver Loving
The Immortalists
The Largesse of the Sea Maiden
Census
An American Marriage
The White Book

I really hope everyone gets a chance to read Oliver Loving...it's one of my favorites.


message 4: by Janet (new)

Janet (justjanet) | 642 comments I really liked The Maze at Windermere but it doesn't seem to have gotten much traction. It seems a perfect TOB book because it's very unique and experimental.


message 5: by Katherine (new)

Katherine (katsikes) Bob wrote: "Some preliminary guesses based on my reading/listening so far:
Frankenstein in Baghdad
Oliver Loving
The Immortalists
[book:The Largesse of the S..."


Adding Oliver Loving to my TBR list right now :)


message 7: by Janet (new)

Janet (justjanet) | 642 comments Alex wrote: "Sight
The Female Persuasion
The House of Broken Angels"


Have you read The Female Persuasion? It has certainly been hyped.


message 9: by lark (new)

lark benobi (larkbenobi) | 116 comments Once again I'm overwhelmed with the bounty...the only book I've heard about of the above books is Frankenstein in Baghdad.

I've just started it but I'm really enjoying Wonder Valley by Ivy Pochoda.


message 10: by Alex (new)

Alex | 48 comments Janet wrote: "Alex wrote: "Sight
The Female Persuasion
The House of Broken Angels"

Have you read The Female Persuasion? It has certainly been hyped."


haven't yet. My indy bookstore is getting it to me next week :)


message 12: by Jason (last edited Mar 30, 2018 12:18PM) (new)

Jason Perdue | 624 comments Birds in the Mouth by Samanta Schweblin

https://electricliterature.com/birds-...

(edit: this is probably in the wrong category)


message 13: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Arnold | 830 comments What a buffet we've gotten today...Somebody needs to tell me what to try first! (SMB, SLT!)


message 14: by Ruthiella (new)

Ruthiella | 362 comments Elizabeth wrote: "What a buffet we've gotten today...Somebody needs to tell me what to try first! (SMB, SLT!)"

I let my library decide that for me. :) In my case, it is The Immortalists.


message 15: by Dianah (new)

Dianah (fig2) | 255 comments This is likely to be my favorite book this year.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3...

And this one.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3...


message 16: by Tristan (new)

Tristan | 105 comments Lark wrote: "Once again I'm overwhelmed with the bounty...the only book I've heard about of the above books is Frankenstein in Baghdad.

I've just started it but I'm really enjoying [book:Wonder Valley|34217575..."


Wonder Valley never went anywhere for me. Got it in the PageHabit box and found "The Long and Faraway Gone" by Lou Berney that Pochada included to be a far better book.

I think "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng should be part of the conversation.


Nadine in California (nadinekc) | 581 comments Dianah wrote: "This is likely to be my favorite book this year.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3...

And this one.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3......"


I hope these two live up to their descriptions - they sound terrific!


message 18: by Dianah (new)

Dianah (fig2) | 255 comments Nadine wrote: "Dianah wrote: "This is likely to be my favorite book this year.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3...

And this one.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3......"


They are both so fantastic!


message 19: by lark (new)

lark benobi (larkbenobi) | 116 comments Tristan wrote: "Wonder Valley never went anywhere for me. .."

You're right! After an arresting beginning (for me anyway) it got very flat. Oh well. Onward.


message 20: by Kristina (new)

Kristina (kristina3880) | 35 comments I love the list so far! I need to get cracking on this list. I do have my thoughts on a few. I have not read them yet, but they sound amazing.
I am in the middle of Census by Jesse Ball. I love this author!
Tangerine by Christine Mangan
The Gunners by Rebecca Kauffman
Gnomon by Nick Harkaway
I would not be surprised if at least the long list would have the mega hyped Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi. It does sound awesome.


message 21: by Peebee (new)

Peebee | 68 comments Does anyone know the publication cutoff?

Little Fires Everywhere was definitely published in 2017, but I’m not sure if the ToB has a date after which books won’t be considered for the current ToB and instead are part of the next year’s group.

Loved it and was really surprised it wasn’t part of even the Longlist....


message 22: by Peebee (new)

Peebee | 68 comments @Elizabeth — I loved Everything Here is Beautiful — it really seemed to have it all. Lovely writing, sympathetic and well-developed characters, a compelling plot (which included several “big issues of our time,” including mental illness, immigration, and biracial relationships.)

I read it during the ToB and thought about it in light of all of our discussions, and it really seemed like a perfect ToB book. (Which probably means it won’t make the Longlist. Oh well.)


message 23: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Arnold | 830 comments Peebee wrote: "@Elizabeth — I loved Everything Here is Beautiful — it really seemed to have it all. Lovely writing, sympathetic and well-developed characters, a compelling plot (which included several “big issues..."

Thanks, I have it on hold at the library, based on your previous recommendation! :) I can't wait, it sounds wonderful, and the Kindle sample drew me in...(It's next up, after I finish The Animators, which I stopped after a couple of chapters, but realize, after seeing how enthusiastic most were that I must not have given it enough of a chance.)


Nadine in California (nadinekc) | 581 comments What a great longlist we're compiling - and annotated too! At the end of the year I wonder if it will be as long or longer than the ToB one. At least I'll have more than three months to read my way through it!


message 25: by Ehrrin (new)

Ehrrin | 114 comments I definitely would suggest (seconding? fifthing?):

Oliver Loving by Stephan Merrill Block
Everything Here is Beautiful by Mira T. Lee


message 26: by Natalie (new)

Natalie | 51 comments Bob, who wrote The White Book? I'm having an embarrassingly hard time searching for it.


message 27: by Ehrrin (new)

Ehrrin | 114 comments I think it's The White Book by Han Kang


message 28: by Amy (new)

Amy (asawatzky) | 1691 comments I had the same trouble locating “Less” when referenced in the commentary. :) (not the most unique title) It’s by Andrew Sean Greer


message 29: by Bob (new)

Bob Lopez | 379 comments Natalie wrote: "Bob, who wrote The White Book? I'm having an embarrassingly hard time searching for it."

Yeah, White Book by Han Kang--it's currently longlisted for the Booker International...I had to order a copy from the UK


message 30: by judy-b. (last edited Apr 02, 2018 11:03AM) (new)

judy-b. judy-b. (judyb11) | 23 comments Peebee wrote: "Does anyone know the publication cutoff?

Little Fires Everywhere was definitely published in 2017, but I’m not sure if the ToB has a date after which books won’t be considered for the current ToB..."


Little Fires was published September 12, and the long list came out November 17. It had been hyped pretty strongly, and I was surprised it wasn't listed, but that was before I read it. I loved Everything I Never Told You, but I could see all the framework of this one: I could see exactly what she was doing with every character, every conversation, every piece of art, and I saw the twists coming early on, and that left me with not much feeling for it all.


message 31: by Amanda (last edited Apr 04, 2018 08:34AM) (new)

Amanda | 126 comments I'm currently reading The Sky Is Yours and can see this at least making the longlist. The writing is amazing, and it has biting social commentary wrapped in humor along with dragons.


message 32: by JenniferD (last edited Apr 04, 2018 09:27AM) (new)

JenniferD (jooniperd) | 863 comments some canadian novels that might make waves this year:


The Boat People, sharon bala
Motherhood, sheila heti (some GR users have shelved it as NF, but it is actually a novel)
Warlight, michael ondaatje
Washington Black, esi edugyan
Women Talking, miriam toews (though i'm not sure it will land in the US too?)
French Exit, patrick dewitt


i am very excited about these books:

The Trick to Time, kit de waal
The Mars Room, rachel kushner
Red Birds, mohammed hanif (also not sure about US publication)
Kudos: A Novel, rachel cusk
Clock Dance, anne tyler
Welcome to Lagos, chibundu onuzo


message 33: by Janet (new)

Janet (justjanet) | 642 comments Ahh a new Anne Tyler.


message 34: by JenniferD (new)

JenniferD (jooniperd) | 863 comments Janet wrote: "Ahh a new Anne Tyler."

:)


message 35: by Elizabeth (last edited Apr 04, 2018 12:13PM) (new)

Elizabeth Arnold | 830 comments The Only Story, Julian Barnes


message 36: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Arnold | 830 comments Janet wrote: "Ahh a new Anne Tyler."

From the blurb: "surrounded by eccentric neighbors..." Classic Anne Tyler...I love her.


message 37: by Jason (new)

Jason Perdue | 624 comments Oooh... new Patrick DeWitt. He's already had his ToB glory, but I can't wait for it.


message 38: by Janet (new)

Janet (justjanet) | 642 comments And I loved Miriam Toews All My Puny Sorrows...it was the first book that made me think about "the right to die". I may have to make a trip up to Vancouver if this new one is not available in the U.S. but I've been wanting to go to Vancouver anyway.


message 39: by Paula (new)

Paula (paula-j) | 2 comments Ahh, a new Miriam Toews :)


message 40: by Paula (new)

Paula (paula-j) | 2 comments Janet wrote: "And I loved Miriam Toews All My Puny Sorrows...it was the first book that made me think about "the right to die". I may have to make a trip up to Vancouver if this new one is not av..."

It was an unforgettable book.


message 41: by Janet (new)

Janet (justjanet) | 642 comments We are like children during the holidays...lol.


message 42: by JenniferD (new)

JenniferD (jooniperd) | 863 comments Paula wrote: "Ahh, a new Miriam Toews :)"

:D

Janet wrote: "And I loved Miriam Toews All My Puny Sorrows..."

such a fantastic book! i adore her!


message 43: by Matthew (new)

Matthew | 79 comments I really liked The Friend. Didn't know much about it going in and it really worked for me.

Can't wait to read Circe. Looks like fun.


Jenny (Reading Envy) (readingenvy) | 626 comments Paula wrote: "Janet wrote: "And I loved Miriam Toews All My Puny Sorrows...it was the first book that made me think about "the right to die". I may have to make a trip up to Vancouver if this new..."

All My Puny Sorrows was amazing. On the surface it felt like a light/quick read but sticks with you, it's like you have to read what's not said, what's between the lines, and she was a master to be able to write it that way.


message 45: by Jan (new)

Jan (janrowell) | 1087 comments Alex wrote: "Sight
The Female Persuasion
The House of Broken Angels"


I'm finishing The House of Broken Angels, and it might be my favorite 2018 book so far (although I also loved Everything Here is Beautiful). THOBA is in the My Crazy Family genre, Mexican-American subgenre, and is sweet, poignant, and laugh-out-loud funny. The audiobook, which Urrea reads himself, is superb.


message 46: by Jan (new)

Jan (janrowell) | 1087 comments Dianah wrote: ""This is likely to be my favorite book this year.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3...

And this one.

https://www.goodreads.com/b..."


Is the O'Nan book a reissue? It looks like it was published in the 90s.


message 47: by Dianah (new)

Dianah (fig2) | 255 comments Jan wrote: "Dianah wrote: ""This is likely to be my favorite book this year.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3...

And this one.

https://www.goodreads.com/b..."

Is the O..."


Looks like my link got screwed up. The Smoke City (Rosson) link still works, and here's the link for Alehouse at the End of the World (Allred):

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3...


message 48: by Jan (new)

Jan (janrowell) | 1087 comments Dianah wrote: "Jan wrote: "Dianah wrote: ""This is likely to be my favorite book this year.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3...

And this one.

https://www.goodreads.com/b....."


That's interesting, Dianah. It was definitely the right link when you first posted it, and I added it to my TBR list. In any case, thanks for correcting it.


message 49: by Jan (new)

Jan (janrowell) | 1087 comments Matthew wrote: "I really liked The Friend. Didn't know much about it going in and it really worked for me.

Can't wait to read Circe. Looks like fun."


Ditto on both counts, Matthew. I enjoyed Miller's Song of Achilles and am looking forward to Circe.

Does anyone have theories on why we're seeing this revisiting of myths? I'm thinking of Colm Toibin's House of Names, which I thought was wonderful, and even the Hogarth Shakespeare series, although that's not mythology. :-) I'm really loving these opportunities to revisit/explore some of these foundational stories.


message 50: by Kristin-Leigh (new)

Kristin-Leigh (okrysmastree) | 58 comments Jan wrote: "Does anyone have theories on why we're seeing this revisiting of myths?"

I'd guess it's a side effect of the popularity of reimagined fairy tales a la Gregory Maguire's Wicked and YA series like that-one-I-can't-recall-but-the-first-installment-is-called-"Cinder"; it has publishers eager to promote similar properties.

Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson and the Olympians is a good example of a series that likely kicked off the current Greek/Roman mythology reimaginings trend in specific - that one got picked up both for the above "reimagined fairy tales" trend and for its Harry Potter-esque appeal.

I'm responding to the question of why this is especially trendy right now, but I do want to say that I don't think this is something that ever really goes OUT of style. The original myths were told via oral tradition and there were many different versions circulating, and Shakespeare himself was putting down his own spin on existing stories in many cases (hence the Hogarth collection's extra appropriateness!). We just know his versions the best these days because they've been the ones that have stuck around in popular culture.


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