or Books That Will Most Likely Be Included in the First 20 Books That I’ll Read This Year
Remember my last column, in which I dutifully looked back on bookish 2014, and sort of mentioned my new years resolutions, of which not buying any books (for myself) at all until I’ve read 20 books this year was also one? Well, so far I’ve read 4 books, and finishing up my 5th, ánd I haven’t bought any new books yet!
Believe me, it’s pretty hard to restrain myself, but, although 2015 has hardly started yet, I’m pretty proud of myself. And the most beautiful thing of it all? I finally get to actually read the books that I bought! Yes, I know what you’re thinking, but… Book junkie and all. Anyway, although some pretty exciting stuff has happened in the bookstore this year so far (strange/peculiar customers and other things) I decided to give you a list of books that I plan to read very soon! And, more importantly, I already own these books. Yay!
1. Marina Keegan – The Opposite of Loneliness
Marina Keegan was just 22 years old when she graduated from Yale magna cum laude. She had a job waiting for her at the fiction department of the New Yorker and her play was to be produced at the New York International Fringe Festival. She was only 22, when her essay “The Opposite of Loneliness” went viral on the internet. Sadly, five days after graduation, she died in a car crash. The Opposite of Loneliness is a collection of her short stories and essays that she wrote in her short life, edited by her parents and Yale professor and friend Anne Fadiman. I’m actually almost finished with this book, and so far I love it so much. Although it is bittersweet that she died so young, especially when you read “I plan on having parties when I’m thirty. I plan on having fun when I’m old. Any noting of THE BEST years comes from clichéd “should have…,” “if I’d…,” “wish I’d…” in her title essay. Nevertheless, I find it truly awesome that this collection exists. Marina Keegan was (is) definitely talented, and what is so great about this book is her voice: she writes as someone who’s in her twenties, which as a twenty-something myself, feels oddly familiar, in a very good way.
2. Vea Kaiser – Blaasmuziekpop
This book was actually a Christmas gift. But it is so perfect, since I want to read more work from female writers and also plan to read more debuts. This book is both. The novel takes us to a tiny village in the Alps and all its strange residents.
3. Takashi Hiraide – The Guest Cat
I bought this book together with Marina Keegan’s, in London, where it dominated the bookstores, stacked in large piles. As a cat lover, I couldn’t ignore the cover: a cute cat with large green eyes who’s staring right at you, and the story sounds even better (and cuter). A couple in their thirties live in a small rented cottage in a quiet part of Tokyo. They work at home as freelance writers and haven no longer very much to say to one another. When, one day, a cat invites itself into their home, and keeps coming back, making the couple’s days brighter again. But then something happens that will change everything again. The Guest Cat won a literary award in Japan and was a New York Times bestseller. Fun fact: Meulenhoff translated the novel as De kat, and I can see it becoming a bestseller here in The Netherlands as well.
4. Wu Ming-Yi – The Man with the Compound Eyes
This book was also a gift, and has a cat on the cover as well. In The Man with the Compound Eyes, Taiwanese writer Wu Ming-Yi tells the story of Atile’i and Alice. On the island of Wayo Wayo, every second son must leave on the day he turns fifteen as a sacrifice to the Sea God. Atile’i however is determined to defy destiny and become the first to survive. Across the sea, mourning the loss of her husband and son, Alice Shih’s life is changed forever when a vast trash vortex comes crashing onto the shore of Taiwan, bringing Atile’i with it. Together they will retrace Alice’s late husband’s footsteps into the mountains, hoping to solve the mystery of her son’s disappearance.
5. Grady Hendrix – Horrorstör
Horrorstör deserves to be read for the cover alone: it looks like an Ikea catalog, and that’s the way the book is designed as well. It basically tells the story of the Orsk furniture superstore in Cleveland, Ohio, an Ikea like store. Strange things are happening in the store, and since security cameras won’t reveal anything, three employees volunteer to unravel the mystery by working a nine-hour dusk-till-dawn shift. We all know this can’t really end well, but I you want to know for sure: do read this book!