Monday, January 11, 2016

TTT: Getting Caught Up

The theme of this week's Top Ten Tuesday, hosted as always by the fantastic people of The Broke and the Bookish, is books that you didn't get to in 2015, but want to read ASAP.  I sorted my "to-read" shelf on Goodreads by publication date and found dozens of options.  At first I thought I might focus on non-YA books, since I figure the same 50 books will show up in various configurations on many of these posts.  But this is a YA blog, more or less, so I didn't want to leave out my YA titles.

So I compromised, which is a fancy way of saying I ducked the decision.  I made a list of ten non-YA 2015 books I'm eager to get to, and another list of ten 2015 YA books that are high on my list.   That's double the value, folks!

Since I avoid not just spoilers, but as much information as I can about books I haven't read yet, I can't give much of a synopsis for many of these, but I can still tell you why I'm interested.

I know this post has no pictures or links, but it's past my bedtime and I really want to participate this week, okay?  Thanks for your understanding.  

Ten 2015 Books I Meant To Get To And Will As Soon As I Find The Time that aren't YA titles.

  1. Beloved Dog by Maira Kalman.  I first saw her work on a poster my sister had up in her kitchen in the 1990s.  Since then, she's cropped up everywhere, most recently in The Reason Why We Broke Up.  I really enjoy her style.  Plus, dogs.  
  2. Humans of New York: Stories by Brandon Stanton.  The photo/interview combos on the blog are always fascinating little slices of life.  
  3. Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. I keep seeing this on peoples "best of" lists.  
  4. A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler.  Like Irving, below, Tyler is an author I read a lot of in the 1980s and 1990s.  The Accidental Tourist was a significant book in my reading life.  When I was a teen, her characters were the age I am now.  I'm curious to see what her work is like these days.
  5. 59 Reasons to Write: Mini Lessons, Prompts, and Inspiration for Teachers by Kate Messner.  Sounds like a perfect fit.
  6. Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña.  First, I kinda have a crush on Matt.  He was so gentle and sweet to his fans at NCTE, but so kick-butt on the panel about diversity.  Then this picture book won the Newbery AND the Caldecott, so, yeah.  Must read.
  7. Early One Morning by Virginia Baily.  The cover is lovely, and the premise, of one woman taking in a Jewish mother's child  during WWII, sounds like it could be terrific--or terribly maudlin, so we'll see.  
  8. The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand.  I don't remember where I saw this recommended--Modern Mrs. Darcy, perhaps?--but it sounded intriguing.  This is another book with an attractive cover too.  
  9. In The Unlikely Event by Judy Blume.  Even though I didn't particularly like her Summer Sisters, I can't resist picking up new Judy Blume.  She was a major figure of my tween-hood, back before tweens or young adult fiction were heard of.  She was writing stuff in the 1970s that authors today still won't tackle.  
  10. Avenue of Mysteries by John Irving.  I read a lot of Irving back in the day.  The World According to Garp was one of those "I was probably too young to be reading that" books I took from my older sisters' shelves when I was 10-14.  I don't think I've read any of his work in this century, so I'd like to check this out.  

Ten 2015 Books I Meant To Get To And Will As Soon As I Find The Time that ARE YA titles.

  1. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell.  She's an auto-read for me, and I actually own this book.
  2. Nimona by Noelle Stevenson.  This graphic novel has gotten a lot of good press.  I feel like I should get it for my classroom, but I want to read it first to be sure--graphic novels are spendy!
  3. Illuminae by Aime Kaufman.  All I know about this book is that it has unusual formatting, and people are crazy for it.  I'm super curious and want to see it for myself.
  4. Symphony for the City of the Dead by M. T. Anderson  Feed and Octavion Nothing were both pretty awesome.  Now Anderson is tackling nonfiction about Shostakovich and siege-era Leningrad?  Sounds amazing.  
  5. Walk On This Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson.  I really loved her series, and while I am not as innately drawn to the premise of this book, I have heard so many people say it's great.  Well, actually, I haven't heard anyone say that, but I've read it a bunch of times on book blogs.
  6. I Crawl Through It by A. S. King.  Basically, at this point I want to go back and read everything she's written that I've missed.  This one qualifies for this particular list, but there are some older works I'm going to get to also.
  7. Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon.  It was already on my radar, but it's also a CYBILS finalist, so I'll be reading it soon IF I CAN FIND A COPY!!!  The other six books were readily available in my library system, but this one has holds up the ying-yang. 
  8. The Trouble in Me by Jack Gantos.  I recently read the first Joey Pigza book to a class and was reminded how poignant and funny Gantos's writing is.  This book tackles his own life and how it slid off the rails.  I also want to read his book about his time in prison.  
  9. Another Day by David Leviathan.  Really liked Every Day.  Can't wait to discuss this sequel with my students who have already finished it.  
  10. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh.  It's hyped, it's non white/non western, it has a fascinating cover.  Gotta check it out.


  1. I read Nightingale last year and it was one of my favorites of the year. I just read Illuminae and it was EPIC!! I think it will be one of my favorites of 2016. Great list. I hope you get to these soon. Here is my list:

    1. I've heard nothing but good things about both of those.

  2. I urge you to get Market Street today. It's short and lovely.

    Then I'd push for Everything Everything and Humans. Very good.

    Here's my Top Ten!

    1. I am excited about all three! I am usually a library reader, but maybe my kids need a copy of Market Street....

  3. I just added Beloved Dog to my wishlist so thanks. I can say I read Carry On and Nimona last year and would recommend them both. Hope you get to them all. Totally off topic here but dog books rock!

    1. As long as the dog doesn't die a tragic death, right? Sight Hound by Pam Houston is amazing, and Spencer Quinn's dog-based mysteries are great fun. Hmm, maybe there's a top ten list idea there!

  4. Nightingale is definitely a book I'd love to get to this year. It sounds amazing. A lot of these are new to me but most are seriously tempting!

  5. I wasn't a huge fan of In the Unlikely Event. It wasn't horrible, but when you hear that it is the book that Judy Blume felt she was meant to write her whole life.....welll it didn't live up to that hype for me. It was just very meh for me.

    1. Yeah, I have to say I'm not going into it expecting it to be great, I just feel like it's Judy Blume, so I have to read it.


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