Looking Forward: 2016 Books

So here’s my list of Most Anticipated Books of 2016, but to be honest I’m still working on a bunch of AWESOME books that came out in 2015. 2015 has been a great year for excellent releases. That being said, check out the top ten I’m looking forward to, and let me know what you’re waiting for.

The Girl Who Raced Fairyland All The Way Home by Catherynne M. Valente (January 7th)
This is Book #5 in Valente’s Fairyland series. It’s sort of an Alice in Wonderland during World War II story, except with a lot more heart, plot, and absolutely beautiful prose. I want to eat the prose up with a spoon. I can’t say too much about this without spoiling the previous books, but the series in general is about a girl named September who winds up in Fairyland and makes a lot of excellent friends and has a lot of terrifying adventures and does her best to save people, even the monsters.
The first book in the series is called The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making.

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare (March 8th)
I’m trash for Cassandra Clare. That’s T-R-A-S-H. I don’t believe in guilty reading pleasures but if I did, urban fantasy romance series like this one would be it. anyway, I don’t even really know what this is about except that it’s set in the Shadowhunter world where there are vampires and fairies and warlocks and these people called the Shadowhunters who hunt demons. Sometimes they all fight each other. Usually someone falls in love with someone they shouldn’t. It’s a good time.

The Great American Whatever by Tim Federle (March 29th)
Tim Federle has written a couple of hilarious middle grade novels (eg Better Nate Than Ever), a couple of literary-inspired drinkbooks (eg Tequila Mockingbird), and at least one picture book. This is his first YA novel and I’m psyched out about it. I’m not saying I read his books because he is hilarious on Twitter, but you should probably follow him on Twitter. I don’t even care what this book is about, is what I’m saying. It’s Federle so it’s going to be fantastic.

Tell the Wind and Fire by Sarah Rees Brennan (April 5th)
Sarah Rees Brennan is one of my all-time faves. Her books always suck me in immediately and her characters are hilarious without being slapstick, tragic without being angsty, and strong without being perfect. This one is reportedly based on A Tale of Two Cities (my favorite Dickens book), so two of my favorite things in one! Sign me up.

The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater (April 26th)
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I mean
This is book #4 in the Raven Cycle series. If you haven’t read the first one, The Raven Boys, go read that right now and then we can talk. It’s an epic modern-day quest to find a Welsh king (WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT WELSH KINGS?) but there is also banter and found-family and fate and destiny and choice and darkness and brightness and humor and love and friendship and intergenerational female friendships and no-nonsense girls and well-meaning but pompous boys and angry boys and broken boys and magic and dreams and dysfunctional villains who aren’t always the worst human beings but sometimes are. Oh also a lot of cars. SO MUCH CAR. I don’t even like cars, that’s how much I love this series.

The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan (May 3rd)
Rick Riordan has written a lot of books about modern-day kids encountering the old pantheons of gods (such as Greek, Egyptian, Roman, Norse). This is the first book in a new series. I’m a hUGe Fan OF his WORRRRRk. He makes mythology even funnier than it already is but also more real and present. His casts of characters are always a lot of fun too, and if it wasn’t clear already, I’m very into characters over plot.

And I Darken by Kiersten White (June 28th)
YA retelling of Vlad the Impaler by a really excellent writer. Who isn’t here for this?

The Bronze Key by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare (September??)
This is Book #3 in Black and Clare’s Magisterium series, which is sort of a Harry Potter remix that includes everything I liked about Harry Potter and nothing I didn’t like and has several key differences that I won’t spoil for you. It’s Middle Grade and the first book is The Iron Trial. There’s magic and friendship and found-family and adorable demonic wolves.

Solutions and Other Problems by Allie Brosh (October 25th)
Allie Brosh manages to convey really emotional stories and moments with only crude Paint-esque drawings. Her first book/webcomic, Hyperbole and a Half, is a collection of illustrated essays, many of which are about depression and mental illness, and many of which are funny stories about her ridiculous dogs. I’m a huge fan of her work so I’m looking forward to this newest book from her.

Ancestral Night by Elizabeth Bear (November??)
This is a space opera about two spaceship salvagers who are exploring the remains of “White Transitions,” which are failed attempts to use a “White Drive” to travel across huge distances in space. I’m hoping for lots of shenanigans in space featuring spaceship wrecks and lost treasures. Like the Bermuda Triangle but in SPACE. Elizabeth Bear is the best and she’s at her best when writing science fiction.

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Here For The Cozy: Holiday Recs

Happy Holidays! One of my favorite things to do during December is to cuddle up in a chair with a cup of coffee and a book. Oh wait…that’s every month. But especially in December. If you need a cozy book for the holidays, below are some of my favorite holiday-themed books (mostly Christmas ones) for all ages.

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
5327If you like your Christmas stories cozy but with a goodly helping of terror and regret, this is for you. It’s not nearly as intimidating as most of Dickens’ books, either – it is much shorter and has a smaller cast of characters. Delicious Christmas dinners, bone-chilling ghosts, and life-changing epiphanies abound.

 

 

 

My True Love Gave To Me: Twelve Holiday Stories edited by Stephanie Perkins20309175
This is a collection of holiday-themed Young Adult stories. There is a lot of coziness, family, and romance, a smattering of humor, a dose of struggle, and a few terrifying monsters. The overall quality of writers/stories is very strong. I’m not an avid short story fan but even I could get along with most of these. Some of them are SO COZY I COULD DIE. I especially recommend the stories by Gayle Forman, Kiersten White, David Levithan, and Stephanie Perkins.

 

 

7741325Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
During the holidays, Dash finds a notebook full of challenges on a New York City bookstore shelf, left there by a girl named Lily. They begin to trade the notebook back and forth with various challenges. This is a fun light snowy read with romance and absent families and romance.

 

 

Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Or
Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder

77766I want to put pretty much all of the “Little House” on this list because they all have excellent Christmas chapters. But these two from the beginning of the series are really good and chock-full of pioneer Christmases with oranges and snow and coziness. Laura and her family live in a tiny cabin in the woods and Almanzo and his family live in a big house on a horse farm, and they both have awesome Christmases.

 

Jotham’s Journey by Arnold Ytreeide
1256825Jotham, a young shepherd, is kidnapped and sold into slavery (WAIT WHERE IS THE COZINESS) and has to escape and find his way back to his family who are headed to Bethlehem for that one census you might have heard about. It’s aimed at families and best when read aloud. If you need an Advent book, and/or if you have kids, and/or if you like suspenseful stories with adorable characters and tidy endings and terrifying bad guys and jolly rescuers, this is a really fun book.

Morris’ Disappearing Bag by Rosemary Wells
988042In this picture book,  Morris and his siblings are enjoying their Christmas presents to different degrees. But then Morris finds a Disappearing Bag under the Christmas tree and has adventures, and soon his brother and sister want in on the action. IT’S THE BEST.

 

 

 

Apple Tree Christmas by Trinka Hakes Noble
935094This is a beautifully-illustrated picture book about a very important apple tree and the family that loves it, but especially the little girl who loves to draw. There are cozy meals and cozy presents and scary snowstorms.

 

 

 

 

What books did I miss? What’s your favorite book to re-visit for the holidays? Let me know in the comments!

Bahnreads: The 2016 Scifi Experience

I’m going to participate in the 2016 Sci-Fi Experience, hosted by Stainless Steel Droppings (can we take a moment to appreciate that blog name?). It’s a two-month event from December 1 to January 31 to discover or rediscover the awesomeness of science fiction and hang out with other people who are doing the same thing.

2016scifiexp400
where are the space ships

I’ll be blogging my reviews/reactions on here, and tweeting @bahnree.

Below are my goals….in SPACE!

Books:
Mercy Kill by Aaron Allston
Miles Errant by Lois McMaster Bujold
Heretics of Dune by Frank Herbert
I, Robot by Isaac Asimov
The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula K Leguin
Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie
Redshirts by John Scalzi
Dragon and Liberator by Timothy Zahn
Night Train to Rigel by Timothy Zahn

Movies:
The Right Stuff
Interstellar
After Earth
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Gravity (this is a rewatch)

Shows:
Stargate: SG-1 (whichever episodes I feel like watching)

Comics:
ODY-C by Matt Fraction (whichever issues I get my hands on)