I gave up doing any kind of list like this a while back because my success rate is usually pretty low. Even if I get a lot of books read in a given year, there’s just so much ground to cover. You’ve got the books already published and waiting patiently for their moment in the sun, and you’ve got floods of new ones crying for attention. What I’m saying is please don’t hold me accountable to this. I genuinely want to get to these books in 2019, but if I don’t, they’ll stay on my TBR pile for 2020.
If videos are more your thing, scroll down to the bottom of this page. Otherwise, here’s the list:
Books Publishing in 2019
Fever Dream was a very disconcerting, spellbinding read, so I’m really looking forward to Samanta Schweblin‘s newly translated collection of stories: Mouthful of Birds. (January)
Angie Thomas‘ breakout hit, The Hate U Give, was another great read that took a deeply complex look at race and made it digestible and poignant, so naturally I’m intrigued by her upcoming book, On the Come Up. (February)
I’ve never read a book by Helen Oyeyemi despite my interest. Gingerbread‘s promise to mix a modern story about a girl and her mother with fairy tale tropes has me thinking this might be the year. (March)
Miriam Toews‘ All My Puny Sorrows was incredible, and unfortunately, a lot of people have never heard of it. Hopefully, her new novel Women Talking will bring her the respect she deserves. (April)
Colson Whitehead won a Pulitzer for his last book, The Underground Railroad, and The Nickel Boys sounds like a great follow-up. (July)
Books from My TBR Pile
Fates and Furies has been on my TBR pile since it was released in paperback, so hopefully this will be the year I finally get to Lauren Groff‘s novel about marriage and perception.
Rohinton Mistry‘s A Fine Balance has been on my TBR pile for even longer–probably a decade, if I’m being honest. I’m thinking this might be the year to go for it. It’s a sprawling, 603 page novel about India after colonialism and how the human spirit can thrive under inhuman conditions.
I have a particular interest in queer literature, so I’ve been looking forward to reading Yukio Mishima‘s Confessions of a Mask for a while now. It’s about a Japanese young man who must hide his homosexuality behind a mask in order to survive.
My interest in queer literature has led several people to recommend Jandy Nelson‘s I’ll Give You the Sun, a YA novel about estranged twins trying to reconcile their relationship.
Unfortunately, my queer literature knowledge has a blind spot when it comes to lesbian literature, and in 2019 I want to fix that. One book that will help me do that is Jeanette Winterson‘s Lighthousekeeping.
The last LGBT book I’ll put on this list is a play: Tony Kushner‘s classic Pulitzer Prize winner Angels in America. Frankly, I can’t believe I haven’t read this yet.
I’ve wanted to read Bleak House, Charles Dickens‘ masterpiece about family drama, society, and the inefficiency of law, ever since I read (and loved) Great Expectations many years ago. If all goes well, this will be one of the books I cross off my bucket list this year.
I’ve heard wonderful things about Elena Ferrante‘s Neapolitan series for a while now, so here’s hoping that I finally get to the first volume, My Brilliant Friend, in 2019.
Trevor Noah‘s stories about growing up in South Africa are always fascinating, so I’m looking forward to reading Born a Crime, his book about growing up in a country where his existence was illegal since he is biracial.
Finally, Pictures at a Revolution was one of my favorite reads of 2018, so I’m really hoping that Mark Harris‘ other book, Five Came Back, will have similar success. I’ve seen the documentary adaptation on Netflix and thought it was fascinating, so I can’t wait to read the book as well.