Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: Most-Anticipated 2019 Adult Book Releases




Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week, I’m completely ignoring the prompt. Instead, I’m going to show you some intriguing adult books that are coming out between January and June this year. There will be another post for books coming out in the second half of the year. If you’re interested in children’s books, check out my most-anticipated 2019 young adult releases.




2019 Releases That Are My Kind Of Weird And Wonderful






The Last Boat Out Of Shanghai: The Epic Story Of The Chinese Who Fled Mao’s Revolution by Helen Zia


Historical Nonfiction
January 2019

Terrified of the horrors the Communists would wreak upon their lives, citizens of Shanghai who could afford to fled in every direction. Seventy years later, members of the last generation to fully recall this massive exodus have revealed their stories to Chinese American journalist Helen Zia, who interviewed hundreds of exiles about their journey through one of the most tumultuous events of the twentieth century. From these moving accounts, Zia weaves together the stories of four young Shanghai residents who wrestled with the decision to abandon everything for an uncertain life as refugees in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the United States.

Benny, who as a teenager became the unwilling heir to his father's dark wartime legacy, must decide either to escape to Hong Kong or navigate the intricacies of a newly Communist China. The resolute Annuo, forced to flee her home with her father, a defeated Nationalist official, becomes an unwelcome exile in Taiwan. The financially strapped Ho fights deportation from the U.S. in order to continue his studies while his family struggles at home. And Bing, given away by her poor parents, faces the prospect of a new life among strangers in America. The lives of these men and women are marvelously portrayed, revealing the dignity and triumph of personal survival.


What interests me: I don’t know much about China, and I want to learn. I like that it focuses on stories of average people and not just on what happened with the government.












At The Wolf’s Table by Rosella Postorino


Historical Fiction
January 2019

Germany, 1943: Twenty-six-year-old Rosa Sauer's parents are gone, and her husband Gregor is far away, fighting on the front lines of WWII. Impoverished and alone, she makes the fateful decision to leave war-torn Berlin to live with her in-laws in the countryside, thinking she'll find refuge there. But one morning, the SS come to tell her she has been conscripted to be one of Hitler's tasters: three times a day, she and nine other women go to his secret headquarters, the Wolf's Lair, to eat his meals before he does. Forced to eat what might kill them, the tasters begin to divide into The Fanatics, those loyal to Hitler, and the women like Rosa who insist they aren't Nazis, even as they risk their lives every day for Hitler's.

As secrets and resentments grow, this unlikely sisterhood reaches its own dramatic climax. What's more, one of Rosa's SS guards has become dangerously familiar, and the war is worsening outside. As the months pass, it becomes increasingly clear that Rosa and everyone she knows are on the wrong side of history.


What interests me: This was a bestseller and award nominee in Italy, and now it’s being translated into English. I’m always interested to learn what women were doing while men were killing each other in wars.












Say Nothing: A True Story Of Murder And Memory In Northern Ireland by Patrick Radden Keefe


Crime Nonfiction
February 2019

In December 1972, Jean McConville, a thirty-eight-year-old mother of ten, was dragged from her Belfast home by masked intruders, her children clinging to her legs. They never saw her again. Her abduction was one of the most notorious episodes of the vicious conflict known as The Troubles. Everyone in the neighborhood knew the I.R.A. was responsible. But in a climate of fear and paranoia, no one would speak of it. In 2003, five years after an accord brought an uneasy peace to Northern Ireland, a set of human bones was discovered on a beach. McConville's children knew it was their mother when they were told a blue safety pin was attached to the dress—with so many kids, McConville always kept it handy for diapers or ripped clothes.

Patrick Radden Keefe's mesmerizing book on the bitter conflict in Northern Ireland and its aftermath uses the McConville case as a starting point for the tale of a society wracked by a violent guerrilla war, a war whose consequences have never been reckoned with. The brutal violence seared not only people like the McConville children, but also I.R.A. members embittered by a peace that fell far short of the goal of a united Ireland, and left them wondering whether the killings they committed were not justified acts of war, but simple murders. From radical and impetuous I.R.A. terrorists—or volunteers, depending on which side one was on—such as Dolours Price, who, when she was barely out of her teens, was already planting bombs in London and targeting informers for execution, to the ferocious I.R.A. mastermind known as The Dark, to the spy games and dirty schemes of the British Army, to Gerry Adams, who negotiated the peace and denied his I.R.A. past, betraying his hardcore comrades—Say Nothing conjures a world of passion, betrayal, vengeance, and anguish.


What interests me: I’m always on the lookout for well-researched true crime stories. This crime seems to have had national (and international) ramifications.











The Hollow Bones by Leah Kaminsky


Historical Fiction
March 2019

Berlin, 1938. The eve of war. Ernst Schäfer, a young, ambitious zoologist, keen hunter and devoted husband of the beautiful Herta, has come to the attention of Heinrich Himmler, who invites him to lead a group of SS scientists to the frozen mountains of Tibet. Their secret mission: to search for the origins of the Aryan race. For Schäfer, the personal consequences of failure are unthinkable, yet little does he know this outlandish expedition will become a prelude to the unimaginable horror soon to overrun Europe.

Using material discovered in field diaries, letters, films, photographs and secret documents, the novel tells the story behind Schäfer through the eyes of his ill-fated lover, Herta. Nazism proved a convenient short-cut to personal glory for Schäfer, who, accompanied by a group of SS scientists, trekked across inhospitable, treacherous terrain on a mission to conduct experiments to 'prove' Nordic heritage. In 1939, the team was flown out of India on Himmler’s flying boats. Schäfer was an instant celebrity on his return to Berlin and, at just twenty-eight, he became one of the most celebrated men in Hitler’s Reich. But his world was about to change, as science was enlisted for racial murder and Himmler sent Schäfer to Dachau to observe and film medical experiments.


What interests me: It’s based on a true story. Early reviewers say that it’s bizarre, dark, and captivating.












The Conviction Of Cora Burns by Carolyn Kirby


Historical Fiction
March 2019

Cora was born in a prison. But is this where she belongs?

Birmingham, 1885.

Born in a gaol and raised in a workhouse, Cora Burns has always struggled to control the violence inside her.

Haunted by memories of a terrible crime, she seeks a new life working as a servant in the house of scientist Thomas Jerwood.

Here, Cora befriends a young girl, Violet, who seems to be the subject of a living experiment. But is Jerwood also secretly studying Cora . . . ?


What interests me: Criminals and science experiments? I’m here for that. Also, it’s been compared to Hannah Kent’s novels. I loved Burial Rites. I’ll be thrilled if this book is similar to that one.












Women Talking by Miriam Toews


Literary Fiction
April 2019

One evening, eight Mennonite women climb into a hay loft to conduct a secret meeting. For the past two years, each of these women, and more than a hundred other girls in their colony, has been repeatedly violated in the night by demons coming to punish them for their sins. Now that the women have learned they were in fact drugged and attacked by a group of men from their own community, they are determined to protect themselves and their daughters from future harm.

While the men of the colony are off in the city, attempting to raise enough money to bail out the rapists and bring them home, these women—all illiterate, without any knowledge of the world outside their community and unable even to speak the language of the country they live in—have very little time to make a choice: Should they stay in the only world they’ve ever known or should they dare to escape?

Based on real events and told through the “minutes” of the women’s all-female symposium, Toews’s masterful novel uses wry, politically engaged humor to relate this tale of women claiming their own power to decide.


What interests me: Margaret Atwood endorsed it. This book is already out in Canada and has pretty good reviews. “Based on real events” is a quick way to make me buy a book. The author is of Mennonite descent, so I trust that she can tell this story realistically.












Southern Lady Code by Helen Ellis


Humor Essays
April 2019

Helen Ellis has a mantra: "If you don't have something nice to say, say something not-so-nice in a nice way." Say "weathered" instead of "she looks like a cake left out in the rain." Say "early-developed" instead of "brace face and B cups." And for the love of Coke Salad, always say "Sorry you saw something that offended you" instead of "Get that stick out of your butt, Miss Prissy Pants." In these twenty-three raucous essays Ellis transforms herself into a dominatrix Donna Reed to save her marriage, inadvertently steals a $795 Burberry trench coat, witnesses a man fake his own death at a party, avoids a neck lift, and finds a black-tie gown that gives her the confidence of a drag queen. While she may have left her home in Alabama, married a New Yorker, forgotten how to drive, and abandoned the puffy headbands of her youth, Helen Ellis is clinging to her Southern accent like mayonnaise to white bread, and offering readers a hilarious, completely singular view on womanhood for both sides of the Mason-Dixon.


What interests me: I read Helen Ellis’s other book, American Housewife, a few years ago and loved it. Even though I’m not married or Southern, it was funny and relatable. This sounds like more of the same.












Clover Blue by Eldonna Edwards


Historical fiction
May 2019

There are many things twelve-year-old Clover Blue isn't sure of: his exact date of birth, his name before he was adopted into the Saffron Freedom Community, or who his first parents were. What he does know with certainty is that among this close-knit, nature-loving group, he is happy. Here, everyone is family, regardless of their disparate backgrounds—surfer, midwife, Grateful Dead groupie, Vietnam deserter. But despite his loyalty to the commune and its guru-like founder Goji, Blue grapples with invisible ties toward another family—the one he doesn't remember.

With the urging of his fearless and funny best friend, Harmony, Clover Blue begins to ask questions. For the first time, Goji's answers fail to satisfy. The passing months bring upheaval to their little clan and another member arrives, a beautiful runaway teen named Rain, sparking new tensions. As secrets slowly unfurl, Blue's beliefs—about Goji, the guidelines that govern their seemingly idyllic lives, and the nature of family itself—begin to shift. With each revelation about a heartbreaking past he never imagined, Blue faces a choice between those he's always trusted, and an uncertain future where he must risk everything in his quest for the truth.


What interests me: Historical fiction about a commune? That’s very “me.” I think I’ll wait for reviews before I spend money on it. The synopsis sounds like a billion other cult books I’ve read, but I’m optimistic. It could be amazing. Currently, I know pretty much nothing about this book. I’m not even sure about the target audience. I guess the publisher/author is keeping it mysterious. Or just not advertising it very well.












Orange World and Other Stories by Karen Russell


Magical Realism Short Stories
June 2019

In "Bog Girl," a young man falls in love with a two-thousand-year-old girl that he's extracted from a mass of peat in a Floridian bog. In "The Bad Graft," a couple on a road trip stop in Joshua Tree National Park, where the spirit of a giant tree accidentally infects the young woman, their fates becoming permanently entangled. In the brilliant, hilarious "Orangeworld," a new mother desperate to ensure her daughter's health strikes a diabolical deal—she agrees to breastfeed the devil in exchange for his protection. In the collection's luminous title story, two opportunistic young women fleeing the depression strike out for new territory, and find themselves fighting for their lives.



What interests me: I love Karen Russell so much. She’s a genius. If you like magical realism and you haven’t read her short stories, what are you doing with your life?






Which 2019 releases are you looking forward to? Are any of these books on your wish list?








51 comments:

  1. Great list! At the Wolf's Table sounds amazing, thanks for bringing it to my attention. I hope you enjoy all of these!

    ReplyDelete
  2. WOW! Some unique and intense sounding books here. I hope you end up loving all of them!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm hoping to get more horror and apocalypse books set in different countries-time to do some research. I'm only aware of a few releases I want to get this year but I'm sure I'll find more as I go along!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven’t seen many awesome horror or apocalypse new releases this year. Hopefully there are good ones out there somewhere.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  4. These are all new to me! Definitely need to check out some of these.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I tried to pick some obscure ones that won’t be on everybody’s lists.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  5. Wow, there are so many of these I haven't heard about. Well - here goes more added to my unmanageable TBR pile.
    Rebecca @ The Portsmouth Review

    ReplyDelete
  6. That China book has me interested. The Japanese war there was brutal.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don’t know very much about China. Hopefully this book will teach me.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  7. At The Wolf’s Table sounds right up my alley. I’m a sucker for WW II-era fiction and the idea of being forced to be Hitler’s taste tester is pretty horrifying.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It does sound like a horrifying story. I can’t wait to read it. :)

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  8. At the Wolf's Table is one I've been looking forward to for what feels like forever! I'm super picky with my WWII-related books these days (I've read too many and got burnt out on the topic), but this is one that seems fascinating. Honestly, all of these sound really neat and I have a feeling I'll be adding more than a few of these to my TBR. Great list!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are so many WWII books. Honestly, I’m burnt out on them, too. I thought about putting more of them on my list, but these ones sound the best.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  9. I haven't heard of any of these! I absolutely love the cover of At the wolf's table.

    Here's our TTT: http://jennreneeread.blogspot.com/2019/01/top-ten-tuesday-and-most-recent.html

    ReplyDelete
  10. I'm excited to read At the Wolf's Table, too. :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. I haven't heard of any of these but they all sound fascinating! Especially the first two!

    ReplyDelete
  12. The Hollow Bones definitely sounds interesting. how the Nazis pursued so many occult or mystical stuff.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Nazis were odd people. I’m really excited for that book.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  13. None of these are familiar to me but I really hope you enjoy them AJ!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Some really deep stuff up there, but I have to say, Southern Lady Code sounds like something I would enjoy. They had me at the Donna Reed reference.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I tend to be attracted to bleak books. I like my death and destruction!

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  15. These are all new to me, but some of them definitely sound interesting! The Conviction of Cora Burns is right up my alley!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Southern Lady Code sounds awesome and very funny!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Oooh, I need to catch up on my Karen Russell stories before the new one comes out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I’ve read all of her books and am eagerly awaiting this one. It’s been too long!

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  18. Nice list. The Conviction of Cora Burns and Women Talking are books I need to add to my wish list. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  19. The first three books look really good! Like my TBR isn't big enough.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha, I have nearly 500 books on my list. It will probably take the rest of my life to read that much.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  20. These are new to me but some of them sound fantastic. I will have to get some of these on my TBR list.

    Mary

    ReplyDelete
  21. I added five of these to Goodreads! 😜

    Clover Blue is being marketed as Adult Historical Fiction. People complain that they never get approved for books on Edelweiss, but regardless, it is a valuable tool for seeing the specific industry information from publishers, like intended readership categories. I had been thinking all along that the Winternight trilogy was YA, but I saw someone saying that their library had it shelved in the general fiction section, so I looked on Edelweiss, and sure enough... it's Adult Fiction. Besides, EW has Read Now books just like Netgalley. No approval necessary. It's a win-win situation. 👍✨

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for clarifying that! I don’t have Edelwiess. I was pretty sure it was an adult book (which is why it’s on this list), but people on Goodreads were shelving it as YA.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  22. Thanks for sharing a variety and some awesome sounding books.
    sherry @ fundinmental

    ReplyDelete
  23. Oh wow, none of these were on my radar and now I want to read practically all of them!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha, I tried to pick some underhyped books. I think I made a few people’s TBR lists explode.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  24. An intriguing mix of books AJ. The Last Boat out of Shanghai is of interest to me too. I want to understand the tensions between the Taiwanese, mainland China and Hong Kong. Thanks for sharing! ❤️❤️

    ReplyDelete
  25. All of these titles are new to me, so I look forward to reading your reviews for them. The Hollow Bones definitely has me curious.

    ReplyDelete
  26. At the Wolf's Table sounds really good. I hope you're able to read some of these!

    ReplyDelete
  27. I always see YA lists for new releases so thank you for sharing an adult one! I hadn't heard of any of them before but I now have new books for my list to give a try which is great ^.^

    ReplyDelete
  28. I have already heard positive reviews on Say Nothing and excited about its release.

    ReplyDelete