Secretly featuring: 3 books I'm in the middle of because I have so many Important Library Due Dates that frankly it was a struggle to expand this list beyond 6 or 7, lest I get Distracted from the ones at the top of the list.
1. Animals In Young Adult Fiction - ed. Walter Hogan
This is probably the most English Major-y thing I've ever read. From the same lit crit line as just-finished Lost Masterworks of Young Adult Literature, but twice as long and about books that are even MORE my specialized reading niche (no examples of which appear on this list, lmao). It is going rather slowly, but I am determined to soak my brain in its critical analysis, because who else is gonna talk at me about animals in YA??
2. The War Bride’s Scrapbook - Caroline Prescott
This has enough text that I'm actually going to count it as a novel on my reading list. From skimming through it, I know I'm not going to like it as much as The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt, but I still think it will be neat, and a visual delight if nothing else.
3. Phantoms of the Hudson Valley: The Glorious Estates of a Lost Era - Monica Randall
Nonfiction / black and white photo-laden coffee table book. I can't remember how I stumbled upon this, but I'm a sucker for abandoned mansions and intrigued by Goodreads summaries that talk about the author having to "fight her way through overgrown roads" to discover some of them, especially since this was back in the 90s (yes I just heard myself). I've never been east of Wisconsin, unless you count the 8th grade trip to D.C., but abandoned houses (especially grand mansions!) fascinate me, and so did the similar-looking Once There Were Castles. I look forward to looking up the houses' fates afterward, too.
4. All the Forever Things - Jolene Perry
Grabbed at random off library shelf -- unsure if the story will grab me, but I tried to read Has To Be Love last year and thought Perry was a great writer, and only my inability to handle cheating stopped me from finishing. Would love to give her a second shot.
5. There’s Someone Inside Your House - Stephanie Perkins
No love lost between me and Stephanie, author of The Most Overrated YA Contemporary Of All Time, but HECK YEAH will I give her another shot if she’s gonna write me a thriller! Come join the John Green Special Plot Exemptions Club!
(p.s. I swear half the reason I checked these two out is because LOOK HOW COMPLEMENTARY THEIR COVERS ARE)
6. After the Dancing Days - Margaret Rostkowski
I am on a massive Lee Pace kick at the moment, and while struggling through the non-hospital scenes of "The Fall," my brain realized that I really just wanted Lee starring as the wounded soldier in this book, which I read several years ago and know I found impressive, but whose plot details nicely escape me so it will be like reading for the first time.
7. A Short Walk to The Bookshop - Aleksandra Drake
Related to the above: after 99 years trying to Google for one (1) adult novel with a sweet, kind, Piemaker-like male protagonist or love interest that would remind me of Ned/Chuck, I found THIS, which is tripping me up with an age difference (the ONE TIME I don't have a use for it...), but which is otherwise just so absolutely perfect-looking in every way that I am actually making plans to buy it as we speak, since it's too new and indie to find secondhand and libraries don't have it. Look at this summary! What is every stock trait I love at once, even if I can't cast it quite the way I want.
Sparrow Anderson is a young woman with the weight of fear constantly on her shoulders. Trapped into the cycle of anxiety and depression, she struggles to know who she really is, or even who she wants to be. As much as she wants to curl up in the quiet of her home, she will need the help of her friends and the gentle support of a quiet bookseller to recover what she's lost.
Diedrich Vogel is a widower, happily locked into the quiet rhythms of his small bookshop. He's been alone for a long time, but when he meets a woman who is so reserved on the outside yet with so much energy locked inside, he sees more of himself in her than he could have expected. With time he begins to wonder if the refuge of solitude has become a prison without him even noticing.
8. The Luster of Lost Things - Sophie Chen Keller
Also netted on the above search -- it's about a boy with an unusual ability whose mother runs a bakery (with magic!), going off on a mini-adventure with his best friend of a Golden Retriever, and I was like, "Well I can't NOT read this obvious Ned the Future Piemaker AU…" Unsure if the style will actually appeal to me -- or if author ethnicity will match the character and if so, whether it will/should stop me -- but I'll probably give it an attempt anyway.
9. Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day - Winifred Watson
For Lee Pace related reasons, I recently rewatched this magnificent film, and now that I've learned said film was actually based on a 1930s novel I think it must be equally appealing in text.
10. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe - Benjamin Alire Sáenz
I've been toying with the idea of reading this for a bit, and I can't let go of the feeling that it's not going to blow me away as much as I want, but I recently bought a pristine paperback copy at a library sale and I'd like to know for certain if I should keep it or sell it off.