A non-exhaustive list of RBR’s most anticipated books of 2015

Cover of Making Nice by Matt Summell. Via Summell’s Facebook page.

Yesterday’s announcement of the publication date for Judy Blume’s new novel got me wondering what else was in store for 2015. I did some digging and put together a list of the books I’m most excited to read in 2015. It was only after I put together the list that I noticed some themes.

1) Bad-ass-bitches

2) Perspectives other than those offered by white dudes who went to the Iowa Writer’s Workshop (not that those aren’t good too sometimes).

I wasn’t sniffing around for an “alternative” books like, I just chose titles, mostly from mainstream publishers, that sounded exciting. Pretty great that what you see below is the list I ended up with.

January 2015

A Bad Character by Deepti Kapoor

Starting the year I’m excited to get my hands on this debut novel by the Indian writer Deepti Kapoor. It’s like Sex and the Single Girl except set in Dehli. Kapoor’s India isn’t exotic, it’s just a place, like any other place, where a young person can make their mistakes.

Almost Famous Women: Stories by Megan Mayhew Bergman

2014 was a banner year for female-authored story collections and a girl can hope that this is the start of a long trend. The premise of Bergman’s book is great – she looks at woman who were on the cusp of fame. Their stories have almost been lost to history but Bergman brings them back, talking about their characters, their choices, and their legacies in this literary collection.

February 2015

Making Nice by Matt Summell

The early reviews are saying this is a funny, emotional debut novel about coping with and holding onto your family – for better or for worse. My poor attempt at a blurb has it sounding like a bad romcom but word on the street is that this book is exceptional. The UK cover was designed by Hungarian artist David Foldvari and I already love the book because it directed me to Foldvari’s Ralph Steadman-like art.

Disgruntled: A Novel by Asali Solomon

A coming of age novel about a girl who was “West Philadelphia, born and raised,” but does NOT end up sitting on her throne as the prince of Bel Air. A fresh female voice, tackling questions of identity? A Haverford professor who isn’t so self-serious that she can’t throw some Fresh Prince rhymes in her faculty profile? I’m in.

Funny Girl by Nick Hornby

I didn’t read the blurb before putting it on my list. But I like Nick Hornby and I’m sure it’ll be great.

Green on Blue: A Novel by Elliot Ackerman

Ackerman writes for the New Yorker, from Istanbul. Previously he was in the military and served in both Afghanistan and Iraq. Seems like an interesting-enough guy that his debut novel is probably worth checking out.

March 2015

H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald

A woman sets out to train a goshawk to cope with her grief at the death of her father. This seems like a better way to deal with the death of a parent than hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. The book was published in the UK in August to great critical acclaim.

The Discreet Hero: A Novel by Mario Vargas Llosa

Translated by Edith Grossman, Llosa’s novel is about two crazy characters and how their stories intersect. We didn’t visit with Latin American writers much last year and I’m happy to be rectifying that in 2015, starting with this book.

A Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro

Guys, I love him and I’m really excited.

April 2015

The Fishermen: A Novel by Chigozie Obioma

The story of a childhood in 1990s Nigeria this story comes from the point of view of a nine year old boy. There are four brothers, there’s a madman – sounds good, right? It’s another debut novel and hopefully another in the series of exceptional African coming of age novels we’ve seen over the last few years.

May 2015

A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson

A lot of people loved Atkinson’s Life After Life. I sure didn’t. I didn’t think it was terrible nor did I think it was worth finishing. But, lots of people, including those wwith opinions I value, are pretty stoked for Atkinson’s new book. So here it is on the list. Do with that information what you will.

The Mountain can Wait by Sarah Leipciger

Fact I just learned: Leipciger teaches creative writing (“cool story bro, so does everyone else on this list”) to prisoners in London where she lives. She’s also Canadian, which is only partly the reason she’s on this list. Mostly I’m intrigued by her story that starts with a cliff hanger and follows a father and son through the Canadian Rockies. I’ve heard this described as a relationship book that is rooted in nature like something by Annie Proulx.

June 2015

In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume



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