I daresay I read more novels in 2014 than in the previous three years combined — yay for me! I intent to do even better in 2015, and it looks like the publishing industry is not going to make it hard for me either. So, after looking back at the best books, comics, movies and shows of 2014, I now want to look ahead to 2015, starting with 15 books I’m definitely going to read this year:
01. Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances (02/03) – How can I not look forward to another collection of stories and essays from Neil Gaiman?
02. The Infernal (02/17) – A severely injured boy appears out of nowhere in the Akkad Valley. He is captured and interrogated, and when he speaks, he does not answer his interrogator in a voice of his own. He answers, among others, in the voices of Osama Bin Laden, Condoleezza Rice and Mark Zuckerberg. Hooked yet? So was I. I have no idea where author Mark Doten is going with this, and I have a feeling it’s either going to be an instant classic or a colossal failure, but I’d rather read an interesting failure than a cookie-cutter success.
03. A Darker Shade of Magic (02/24) – I’ve been meaning to check out V.E. Schwab’s works for months now, and since I’m a sucker for parallel universes, I guess she wrote this one just for me. I mean, how can I say no to reality-jumping magicians? And why on earth would I want to?
04. Sehr geehrter Herr M. (03/05) – A writer who achieved stardom through his fictionalized account of a real-life mystery is contacted by a stranger who claims to know new facts about the case. The book promises to deal with questions like, Who’s the perp? Who’s the victim? And whose property is a story?. Sounds like something I should enjoy.
05. Get in Trouble: Stories (03/05) – I apparently live under a rock, because I’ve never (consciously) heard of Kelly Link, who seems to be quite big a deal. What I’ve heard about her writing certainly sounds right up my alley — superheroes, magic and sci-fi, taken seriously and employed to tell meaningful stories about the human condition? Shut up and take my money!
06. Kommt, Geister (03/06) – Daniel Kehlmann is one of Germany’s most prolific and respected authors. Hearing him talk about literature and its place in the world is always inspiring, which earns this new collection of essays a spot on my read-list.
07. We All Looked Up (03/24) – Two things happen in Tommy Wallach’s debut novel: A massive asteroid is on a collison course with earth, and a group of high school seniors prepare for graduation. How do ordinary young men and women deal with the fact that they might not get to grow up, and how does it influence their everyday lives? As long as Wallach doesn’t shy away from these questions, this should be a fascinating read.
08. So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed (03/31) – Investigative satirist Jon Ronson (God, what an awesome job description!) takes on the timely subject of public shaming that has become a regular occurance in our globally connected, increasingly digital world. Should be an interesting take for sure, Ronsons usually are.
09. The Stranger (03/26)
Harlan Coben’s newest thriller boasts one of the more intriguing set-ups I’ve come across this year: The Stranger appears out of nowhere. His motives are unclear. His information is undeniable. He whispers a few words in your ear and disappears, leaving you picking up the pieces of your shattered world. Sold. I love me a good spooky thriller, and The Stranger seems to fit the bill nicely.
10. All The Rage (04/14)
Courtney Summer’s new book deals with a girl from the proverbial wrong side of the tracks who (rightly) accuses the sherriff’s son of wrongdoing and loses everything when people refuse to believe her. This sounds uncomfortable in all the right ways, if that makes sense.
11. The Making of Zombie Wars (05/12)
A struggling screenwriter with some really, really horrible movie ideas tries to get his life in order in this novel by Aleksandar Hemon. Hilarity ensues. I’m a meta guy, so any story about a writer is going to have an instant appeal to me. This one in partiuclar sounds like it could be a winner.
12. Pretending to Be Erica (07/21) – Heiress Erica Silverman disappeared as young girl and was never seen again. Ever since then, Violet has been trained by her father to play the role of Erica. At age 17, she makes her move, tasked with staying just long enough to steal a priceless painting owned by the Silverman clan. This chilling heist plan lies at the heart of Michelle Painchaud’s debut novel. The question is if Violet will go through with it. As a fan of TNT’s Leverage and conflicted protagonists, I can’t wait to see how it will play out.
13. The Dead House (08/06) – Made up of diary entries, interview transcripts, and such, Dawn Kurtagich’s debut novel deals with the urban legends that have sprung up around the mysterious burning of a high school. Again, I’m a sucker for dark thrillers as well as urban legends, and a creative format never hurt. I loved the websites and documents featured in Night Film, so I’m intrigued to see how a book made up entirely of such odds and ends is going to read.
14. Finders Keepers (no release date yet) – This is the second entry in Stephen King’s Bill Hodges trilogy, which began last year with Mr. Mercedes. This time around, King’s unlikely heroes will be dealing with a reclusive writer’s obsessed fan.
15. Tell the Wind and Fire (no release date yet) – This new book by Sarah Rees Brennan tells the story of Lucie and Ethan, both of whom are forced to hide terrible secrets in an alternate New York. Also, this is a reimagination of A Tale of Two Cities. With magic. Can I have it now, please?
Those are my top picks. Do tell me yours, and make sure to check back soon when I’ll be looking at 15 movies to watch in 2015.