Saturday, January 7, 2017

First Post: 2017 Book Releases

I'm Audrey, aka author Audrey T. Carroll. My first book, Queen of Pentacles, released in 2016. Fiction is my first love, but I also write poetry and nonfiction (both creative nonfiction and pop culture/gender criticism). I have my MFA and my BA, both in Creative Writing, and am pursuing my PhD in English at the University of Rhode Island. My focus is Creative Writing and Gender/Queer studies.

Now that we have a short intro out of the way, I thought I'd make this first post, which is only a week into the new year, about the 2017 book releases that I'm most looking forward to. There's a whole list of books that I really want to read that include titles published pre-2017, of course. But for now:

Big Lonesome, Joseph Scapellato
Feb. 28, 2017

I was able to take classes with Joseph Scapellato in undergrad, which involved listening to some of his work at readings. If those stories were any indication of Scapellato's aesthetic, this is sure to be fun, funny, eccentric, and just an overall enjoyable read. You can check out what the Kirkus Review has to say about it here.

The End of Magic: An Echo Park Coven Novel, Amber Benson
May 16, 2017

This book is the final in a trilogy, and one that I've wanted to read for a very long time (see: one year, since book #2 released). The first book, The Witches of Echo Park, manages to introduce us to this world and this cast of women in a way that makes us care about and connect to the characters, especially Eleanora and Lyse. There is a lot to enjoy here even aside from the character development: the engaging writing, the building mystery, the emotional resonance, the strong feminist themes. And, of course, there's magic and witches, which are exactly my cup of chamomile. In the second book, The Last Dream Keeper, the stakes are definitely raised. The feminist themes meet darker opposition. There is a lot more danger, and it stretches well beyond Echo Park. A scene towards the last third of the book gave me one of the strongest visceral reactions I've ever had while reading. How these previous two installments will all develop into The End of Magic is sure to be a really satisfying read.

Jane, Unlimited, Kristin Cashore
Sept. 19, 2017

So I don't know a whole lot about this book, if I'm being honest. The fact that it's written by Kristin Cashore is enough to sell me on it. Her Graceling Realm series is phenomenal. Cashore's ability to create different female protagonists who are strong and flawed in various ways is great. She also has a masterful control of world building. The aspect of Jane, Unlimited with the umbrellas is just quirky enough to remind me of Aimee Bender, one of my all-time favorite writers. The twist with Tu Reviens feels slightly Gothic, and gives me a Series of Unfortunate Events kind of vibe. I'm excited to see if my instincts about what little I know pan out.

So those are three books I'm looking forward to in 2017, and I'm sure there'll be more. While I'm waiting, I'll have to get started on the books I want to read that are already out in the world. I'm also definitely planning to re-read the Coven of Echo Park series before The End of Magic releases, and I want to also re-read Erick Setiawan's Of Bees and Mist, as it's my favorite book of all time and it's been an influence on the aesthetic of my WIP novel.

I'm probably looking to post once per week on this blog, but we'll see what shakes out. Thanks for reading!

Here's a question for you if you'd like to comment: What books are you looking forward to in 2017? Are there books you want to pick up ASAP, whether they're coming soon or released in 2016 or earlier?

Happy Snow Day!

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