Welcome to Smugglivus 2011! Throughout this month, we will have daily guests – authors and bloggers alike – looking back at their favorite reads of 2011, and looking forward to events and upcoming books in 2012.
Who: (The Other) Ana from the excellent blog Things Mean a Lot, one of our favourite bloggers around, also responsible for many books in our wishlists. As of 2011, she’s been also writng for Lady Business (a blog co-edited by the Awesome Trinity of Renay, Ana and Jodie).
Please give it up for The Other Ana!
Can I please haz them now? 2012 releases I’m looking forward to
When the Book Smugglers invited me to join their wonderful Smugglivus celebrations again this year, I had to stop for a moment before I could decide what I was going to write about. I knew I didn’t want to repeat last year’s topic (favourite reads of the year), but as I’m mostly a back catalogue blogger I wasn’t sure if I was on top of new releases enough to be able to share an enticing list with you. Well, was I ever wrong. It turns out that several of my favourite authors have new books out next year, and before I knew it I had come up with thirteen titles I’m ridiculously excited about. 2012 already promises to be an excellent year for books. Here’s what I absolutely can’t wait to get my hands on:
1. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green:
Half the Internet has pre-ordered this novel (well, the bookish corner of it anyway), and not just because the whole of the first edition has been signed (seriously, how awesome is John Green?). I’ve watched videos of John Green reading the first two chapters and I strongly suspect this is going to be his best book yet. I don’t say this lightly – I love his previous novels to bits, and I’m as wary of unreasonably high expectations as any other reader. But in this case I really don’t think I’ll be disappointed. The day when a copy of this is finally in my hands will be a joyful, joyful day.
2. The Brides of Rollrock Island (aka Sea Hearts) by Margo Lanagan:
Finally! The selkies novel! If the book blogging world knows one thing about me, it’s probably my undying love for Margo Lanagan’s writing. So as far as I’m concerned, Christmas 2012 is scheduled for the 2nd of February.
3. Straight: The Surprisingly Short History of Heterosexuality by Hanne Blank:
Who can resist a title like this? Hanne Blank, author of the brilliant Virgin: The Untouched History, turns her attention to the history of our current understanding of heterosexuality, and draws attention to how surprisingly recent ideas and patterns of behaviour many claim to be “natural” and “inevitable” really are.
4. Radiant Days by Elizabeth Hand:
A novel with a dual storyline – one about an art student in the late 1970’s; another about the poet Arthur Rimbaud. I adored Hand’s Mortal Love and Illyria, and this promises to be just as brilliant.
5. Reflections by Diana Wynne Jones:
I don’t think I’ve ever been as sad about an author’s passing as I was about Diana Wynne Jones’ earlier this year. I’m so thankful we still have a new book of hers to look forward to – but how bittersweet it will be to have read it and know there are no more. Reflections is a collection of essays on “the magic of writing”, and it includes a foreword by Neil Gaiman.
6. Dotter of Her Father’s Eyes by Mary Talbot and Bryan Talbot:
Mary Talbot is an academic whose wonderful work on language and gender I’ve had the pleasure to encounter before. Her husband, Bryan Talbot, is the author of the fantastic comics Alice in Sunderland and The Tale of One Bad Rat (and also the Grandville steampunk series, which I still need to read). The two teamed up to produce this book, which is both a memoir about Mary’s relationship with her father, an eminent Joycean scholar, and a biography of Lucia Joyce, James Joyce’s daughter.
7. The Thorn and the Blossom: A Two-Sided Love Story by Theodora Goss:
First there’s the beautiful cover; secondly, the original concept (you can read the book in either direction and thus decide which of the two lovers’ perspective you’ll start with); and finally, the author. I’ve only read a couple of short stories by Theodora Goss, but I suspect she could easily become a new favourite of mine. How could I fail to be excited?
8. Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Promise Part 1 by Gene Luen Yang:
Wheee! Gene Luen Yang does Avatar! Renay has been introducing me and Jodie to the wonderful Nickelodeon series this book is based on. I’m only one season into it, so it will be a while before I can actually read the books, which take place after the series ends. But nevertheless, I’m so incredibly excited that this exists.
9. The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter:
A new Terry Pratchett book is always one of the highlights of my reading year. This one is a science fiction collaboration based on the idea of parallel universes.
10. The Son by Lois Lowry:
The fourth and final book in the Giver series, which is supposed to be out in late 2012. Who doesn’t love The Giver? Although I had mixed feelings about the two sequels, I can’t wait to see how it all ends.
11. Homeland by Cory Doctorow:
A sequel to Little Brother. Let me say that again: A sequel to Little Brother. Are you jumping up and down yet? No publication date for this one yet, but I really hope it will be sometime next year.
12. Flora’s Fury: How a Girl of Spirit and a Red Dog Confound Their Friends, Astound Their Enemies, and Learn the Importance of Packing Light by Ysabeau S. Wilce:
Speaking of awesome sequels, the third Flora Fyrdraaca book will be out in May! Also, Ysabeau Wilce’s books have the best subtitles ever.
13. The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey:
This one is Vivienne’s fault. Fairy tales, a 1920’s setting, and gorgeous covers for both the American and British editions were all it took to convince me. I suspect this is going to be one of the big titles of 2012.
Bonus: Other Media
Because I do things besides reading from time to time (What? I really do), I thought I’d include a bonus list of other media I’m excited about:
– First of all: Pixar’s Brave.
Finally, a heroine from Pixar! About freaking time. That alone would be enough to get me excited, of course, but it certainly helps that the trailer looks so promising.
– Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.
Yes, my Professor Obvious choices continue. Seriously now, roll on, Christmas 2012. I know the LOTR movies are not perfect, but I credit them with rekindling my love for fantasy and will always love them to pieces. I absolutely can’t wait to watch this.
– Studio Ghibli’s Arrietty on DVD:
I missed this when it was in cinemas because I wanted to read Mary Norton’s The Borrowers series, on which the movie is based, before I watched it. I still haven’t read it, but in the meantime I’ve changed my mind. I think the best way to make sure I love both book and movie is to either watch it first, or to leave a long interval between them (such was the case with Howl’s Moving Castle). You know all the things everyone keeps wishing Pixar would do? Studio Ghibli has been doing them for decades. I can hardly think of a movie of theirs that doesn’t feature an awesome heroine.
– Last but certainly not least, I’m looking forward to the second series of the BBC’s Sherlock series.
Curse you, evil cliffhanger of doom! Also, please don’t mess up Irene Adler, dear series. Please? I will bake you cookies if you do this right.
So, what are you looking forward to in 2012?