Dec 7, 2013

2014 Book Releases I’m Excited About

The end of the year is almost upon us (seriously, how?), which means it’s time for all the lists. The scrutiny and self-examining the New Year always seems to bring about can be a mixed bag, but I have to say I really enjoy list making: there’s something really exciting about both looking back on what we’ve experienced and daydreaming about all the things we may be able to do in the coming year. So with that in mind, here are the 2014 book releases I’m looking forward to the most. I may not get around to all of them, but listing them here and basking in the enthusiasm and possibilities is a lot of fun anyway.

I'll start with Jo Walton, who has not one but two great-sounding books coming out next year:

  • My Real Children


  • My Real Children by Jo Walton
    The description at Tor tells us, “Two lives, two worlds, two versions of modern history. Each with their loves and losses, their sorrows and triumphs. My Real Children is the tale of both of Patricia Cowan’s lives...and of how every life means the entire world.” I love stories that deal with all the “what ifs” of history and of personal decisions, and I completely trust Walton to make the most of all the thematic potential of this premise.

  • What Makes This Book So Great


  • What Makes This Book So Great by Jo Walton
    More Jo Walton! This book collects the best of her columns for Tor.com about revisiting SFF classics. I love books about books, so this sounds right up my alley.

  • The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters


  • OF COURSE. This is hands down my most anticipated book for next year, and it’s one I know for sure I’ll be getting my hands on the moment it comes out. Here’s what we know about it so far, from the publisher’s website:
    It is 1922, and London is tense. Ex-servicemen are disillusioned, the out-of-work and the hungry are demanding change. And in South London, in a genteel Camberwell villa, a large silent house now bereft of brothers, husband and even servants, life is about to be transformed, as impoverished widow Mrs Wray and her spinster daughter, Frances, are obliged to take in lodgers.

    For with the arrival of Lillian and Leonard Barber, a modern young couple of the ‘clerk class’, the routines of the house will be shaken up in unexpected ways. And as passions mount and frustration gathers, no one can foresee just how far, and how devastatingly, the disturbances will reach…
    I can tell there will be some thematic similarities with The Little Stranger from the above. I can’t wait.

  • Landline by Rainbow Rowell


  • A love story about a woman who finds a way to communicate with her husband Neal’s past self and uses it to attempt to fix her marriage. An intriguing premise, but that’s not the point here — the point is that it’s by Rainbow Rowell, so I’d read it even if it were about hippopotamuses establishing a colony on Mars. (Actually, that sounds pretty cool. I’d read that no matter who wrote it.)

  • Mysterious 1920’s changeling novel by Frances Hardinge (ETA: apparently called Cuckoo Song)


  • Everything I know about this book comes from a single sentence on Hardinge’s website (“At present she is working on a changeling story, set in the 1920s, due to be published in May 2014”), but that’s more than enough for me to reach maximum levels of excitement. 1920S CHANGELING STORY BY FRANCES HARDINGE, EVERYONE!

  • Dirty Wings by Sarah McCarry


  • A companion to this year’s brilliant All Our Pretty Songs, loosely based on the myth of Persephone and telling the story of Maia and Cass, the mothers of Aurora and of the narrator of McCarry’s first novel.

  • Raven Cycle #3 by Maggie Stiefvter


  • Another one we don’t know much about yet, but I’m a big fan of this series and will be excited no matter what. Having said that, more Ronan, please! More of everyone, really. I just hope it really does come out next year so we don’t have to wait longer.

  • We Were Liars by E. Lockhart


  • This one has been getting a lot of advanced buzz, but I’d be excited even if it hadn’t simply because it’s E. Lockhart. Here’s the blurb:
    A beautiful and distinguished family.
    A private island.
    A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
    A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
    A revolution. An accident. A secret.
    Lies upon lies.
    True love.
    The truth.

    We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.
    Read it.
    And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.
  • Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins


  • Finally! I adored Anna and the French Kiss, and although I wasn’t as big a fan of Lola and the Boy Next Door I’m still very much looking forward to Stephanie Perkins’ next romance. This one will be set in Paris and New York and continues the tradition of focusing on new characters but including cameos by Perkins’ previous protagonists. yay!

  • Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman


  • You might remember that this was already on my list last year, back when I thought it was going to be called Dracomania and come out in 2013. Seraphina was one of my favourite reads of last year and I can’t wait for the sequel. This is what we can expect from the plot according to GoodReads:
    As Seraphina travels the Southlands in search of the other half-breeds to help in the war effort, the dragon General Comonot and his Loyalists fight against the upstart Old Guard, with the fate of Goredd and the other human countries hanging in the balance.
  • Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay


  • I desperately want to find out more about this book. Here’s what I do know, though: it’s by Roxane Gay, whose writing online I’ve been following and greatly enjoying for the past few years, and it has the same title as this essay, which is important enough to me that I return to it from time to time. So yes, I’ll be pre-ordering this as soon as I possibly can.

  • The Islands of Chaldea by Diana Wynne Jones, finished by Ursula Jones


  • Diana Wynne Jones’ final manuscript was completed by her sister based on her notes and will be published next year. This book’s announcement was so bittersweet to me: on the one hand, yay, we get one more DWJ; on the other hand, it’s the last one we’ll ever get. Here’s the publisher’s synopsis:
    Aileen was supposed to grow up magical – just like the other women in her family. Unfortunately, she’s just found out that the magic seems to have skipped a generation… but that’s not her biggest problem right now.

    In her world, there are four Islands of Chaldea. The largest and most magical island has been cut off from the other three for decades – and is slowly draining the magic from them.

    But now a prophecy has come to light. Someone from Aileen’s island will gather a man from each of the three islands, bring down the magical barrier, and unite them with the fourth island again. And according to the king, that someone is Aileen’s Aunt – who insists on dragging Aileen along. AND the boy Aileen is sure she’ll marry (one day); AND the local boy with more brawn then brain. Someone seems to want to stop them too… someone with an interest in keeping the Islands apart. But still, with magic on their side, nothing can go wrong.
    Right?
  • The Tropic of Serpents by Marie Brennan


  • yay! A sequel to the very charming A Natural History of Dragons:
    Attentive readers of Lady Trent’s earlier memoir, A Natural History of Dragons, are already familiar with how a bookish and determined young woman named Isabella first set out on the historic course that would one day lead her to becoming the world's premiere dragon naturalist. Now, in this remarkably candid second volume, Lady Trent looks back at the next stage of her illustrious (and occasionally scandalous) career.

    Three years after her fateful journeys through the forbidding mountains of Vystrana, Mrs. Camherst defies family and convention to embark on an expedition to the war-torn continent of Eriga, home of such exotic draconian species as the grass-dwelling snakes of the savannah, arboreal tree snakes, and, most elusive of all, the legendary swamp-wyrms of the tropics.

    The expedition is not an easy one. Accompanied by both an old associate and a runaway heiress, Isabella must brave oppressive heat, merciless fevers, palace intrigues, gossip, and other hazards in order to satisfy her boundless fascination with all things draconian, even if it means venturing deep into the forbidden jungle known as the Green Hell... where her courage, resourcefulness, and scientific curiosity will be tested as never before.
  • Lastly, The Rift trilogy by Gene Luen Yang


  • A new trilogy set in the universe of Avatar: The Last Airbender, this time focusing on the founding of Republic City. Avatar Wiki tells us:
    The Rift will be shifting the focus back to Aang as he begins the process of creating Republic City, in contrast to The Search, which is more focused on the story of the Fire Nation Royal Family. Yang also plans to give a larger role to Toph, who was absent from The Search trilogy.
    GIVE ME NOW.

    So, do any of these strike your fancy? What are you looking forward to in 2014?

    19 comments:

    Marg said...

    The two off of your list that I am really excited about are Isla and the Rainbow Rowell. Feels like we have been waiting forever for Isla!

    Kailana said...

    I don't get what is going on with the Rachel Hartman. When I did my pre-ordering it said it wouldn't be out until 2015 and I double checked and still saying the same!

    So many good books! I want the Jo Walton's, of course. And the Sarah Waters. I will want the Diana Wynne Jones, too, but I am very behind on her books anyway!

    Ana @ things mean a lot said...

    Marg: I know! I'm so glad we're getting it at last.

    Kelly: Oh no! GoodReads has both June 2014 and March 2015, so I assumed one was the hardcover and the other the paperback, but maybe that's wrong? Argh, I don't want to wait longer!

    Jean said...

    I'm very much looking forward to the DWJ title. I can't believe I get another one, but I feel weird about it (not because of Ursula finishing it, though).

    Amy said...

    lol I really need to do all the reading I keep meaning to do because I feel like I should be excited for some of these but haven't read the authors yet.

    anyway, yay lists! I always love them. :)

    vicki (skiourophile) said...

    The new Jo Walton sounds tantalising: I like alternative history too. However it is the Sarah Waters that is going straight onto the MUST READ IMMEDIATELY list!

    Ana @ things mean a lot said...

    Jean: I think I know what you mean. Somehow the announcement really drove home the point that she's really gone :(

    Amy: Does that include Rainbow Rowell? If so, have I told you I think you'll like her a lot? :D

    Vicki: I know - I'm excited about all of these but that one's the clear winner :D I can't wait to have it in my hands.

    rhapsodyinbooks said...

    I didn't know Waters had a new one coming. Yaaay! And of course totally agree with you about Rowell. And the Isla sounds good as well!

    rhapsodyinbooks said...

    Not Isla, Perkins! gaaaaaah LOL

    Ana @ things mean a lot said...

    lol, don't worry, Jill, I knew what you meant :P Happy to spread the news about Sarah Waters!

    Aarti said...

    Ah, I need to get caught up on so many authors before their next books come out! I think Night Watch is going to be one of the books I try to read over the holidays, as then I will be ready for Waters' next book. And hopefully I can read A Natural History of Dragons before the sequel comes out, too!

    Very excited for these books, too!!

    Bookgazing said...

    These all sound wonderful of course, and wow a new book by McCarry already? That means I've got to get All the Pretty Songs in very soon.

    Jeanne said...

    I'm especially looking forward to What Makes This Book So Great. Jo is such a discerning and enthusiastic reader, and she's read so widely!

    Jenny @ Reading the End said...

    YES. THOSE. I WANT THEM ALSO. I'm enormously excited about the Jo Walton and Sarah Waters books, of course, with the Rachel Hartman not far behind them.

    The Islands of Chaldea gives me lots of weird feelings. I know I should be excited and I am, but I also weirdly feel angry and sad that it's the last ever Diana Wynne Jones book, absolutely ever, no matter what happens there will be no more hereafter. I hate that.

    Other books I am excited about include Jojo Moyes's new one, the last Magicians book from Lev Grossman, and Cathrynne Valente's newest, which is for adults and is about the daughter of a man who makes Gothic romancey movies in what sounds like a sort of sci-fi world? That synopsis may be wrong. I'm working from (excited) memory.

    Debi said...

    Any? Ummm...make that all. Most of which I knew nothing about before this. And some of which I haven't even read the others in the series yet. Oh yes, they all sound awesome...but they sound all the more so because of your enthusiasm. :D

    Darren @ Bart's Bookshelf said...

    I was only just this evening thinking about putting together my own list and the sequel to Seraphina was the first book I thought of. Wasn't even sure it was due... ;)

    Athira said...

    I'm so looking forward to Landline! I'll also be reading anything by Rowell, even if it sounds stupid. :o)

    Vasilly said...

    As if I needed to add more books to my tbr list! I'm so excited to read Jo Walton's What Makes This Book So Great!

    Lu @ Regular Rumination said...

    NEW SARAH WATERS. New Sarah Waters!

    NEW SARAH WATERS?!?!?!

    I had no idea! I'm so so excited. The premise sounds perfect. Also excited for the new Rainbow Rowell and the follow ups to Seraphina and The Raven Cycle.

    This post just made me giddy for 2014. Thank you for that!