What Books Are You Excited About Right Now?

I thought I would do this post today as I am literally about 100 pages from the end of the latest and utterly wonderful book by Andrea Levy ‘The Long Song’ which I think out of all the great books I have read recently has probably made me the most excited about reading again. Consider the fact that I was only about 20 pages in when I finished work in the shattered state I did yesterday that is quite a read, she had me hooked. I already know it will be a hard act to follow, but I do have a few recent arrivals that I am hoping hold some promise of being just as good. 

So I thought that I would share with you that selection of books, recently incoming, that I am hoping have the same effect on me over the next few weeks as Levy’s book has. Which effect would that be? The effect of making me almost unable to put a book down, Novel Insights did a wonderful post on the effect this can have and the ‘bookish hangover’ it can leave. So the six I am very hopeful about are…


The Prince of Mist by Carlos Ruiz Zafon – This isn’t actually out until the end of May so gives me time to read ‘The Angel’s Game’ first which I have been meaning to do for ages.
Small Wars by Sadie Jones – I haven’t read ‘The Outcast’ but heard wonderful things and with its recent (as I guessed) inclusion on the Orange Longlist I am going to give this book my attention first.
Even The Dogs by Jon McGregor – I wasn’t sure about this one having not been completely won over by ‘If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things’ yet the premise of the book fascinates me and I have been seeing rave reviews left right and centre.
Mr Rosenblum’s List by Natasha Solomons – I have had a proof for ages on the TBR but have held back to read nearer its publishing date and now the actual article that will be in the shops has arrived and it’s a cover of beauty seriously.
The Weed That Strings The Hangman’s Bag by Alan Bradley – The latest Flavia de Luce novel. I was utterly charmed by Flavia when I read a review copy of ‘The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie’ over a year ago and have been waiting far too long for this, but now its here – hoorah!
Blueeyedboy by Joanne Harris – I am a fan of well known well loved authors doing something a bit different and this thriller is told through blog posts and comments which is an interesting way of writing a book. I wonder if the new style though was what stopped this getting on the Orange Longlist?

Naturally I am trying not to get too excited about any of them too much as then the book might not live up to the hype I create in my head. We have all done that haven’t we, wanted to read a book so badly we do and its not quite what we expected? What was that last book that happened to you with? Has it ever happened to you with a favourite author?

What books are you excited about this week, old or new, fiction or non?


Filed under Alan Bradley, Carlos Ruiz Zafon, Natasha Solomons

41 responses to “What Books Are You Excited About Right Now?

  1. I highly recommend Small Wars. I didn’t find the Levy as engrossing as some of her books but it was a good read.

    Blueeyedboy sounds intriguing!

    This week I am excited about Maggie Gee. I just read The cleaner, after reading Jackie’s postabout The Driver, and am now desperate to read The driver, which is the sequel to The cleaner.

    • On your recommendation I will have to read Small Wars much sooner than soon (ha)! This Levy just had me from the start, its the narrators voice I think that did it for me.

      I have both of the Gee books you mention on the TBR and I must, must read The Cleaner soon.

  2. I have The Long Song waiting on my shelf and after hearing your response to it Simon I am definitely excited about it. Like you I am also looking forward to the new Flavia adventure – I have missed her!

  3. I’m really looking forward to the release of Mr Rosenblum’s List, so I’m eager to hear your thoughts on it!

    I’ve still anxiously waiting for my library copy of Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand. Also, right now, I’m reading Jonathan Dee’s The Privileges, which I’m enjoying far more than I ever imagined I would, though its many positive reviews should probably have prepared me for this!

    • Mr R just sounds like its going to be utterly blissful so thats one thats very tempting.

      I am so pleased that you are enjoying The Privileges as I have that on the TBR and have been umming and ahhing as to how much it will be my cup of tea so am really pleased you enjoyed it.

  4. Your excitement is infectious, Simon! I still haven’t read The Sweetness At The Bottom of The Pie, although I do own it, so I’m way behind on Miss Flavia…I hope you enjoy the Carlos Zafon, as I loathed his first book. 😉

    • Glad that my excitement is contagious Meredith. You mustr, must, must read The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie it is just wonderful.

      Did you loathe Shadow of the Wind… blimey I never would have thought that.

      • I know, I’m in a huge minority here. It just dragged for me, and even though I read it twice the ending was so insignificant to me I still can’t remember it. I’m sure you’ll have better luck; that book and I just weren’t friends.

  5. Oh I did not realise the Joanne Harris book was a thriller. Hmm not sure, Gentlemen and Players was good, but I’m not sure it’s her best genre (but better than gothic Victorianism). Very excited about her foray into young adult sci-fi adventure though.

    I’m glad to hear you say nice things about The Long Song. Levy just hasn’t seemed like an author for me so far, but this new book sparked my interest.

    • Well I think its a sort of psychological kind of thing. I know its set in the same place as Gentleman and Players, maybe I have got the thriller part wrong but it mentions it in the marketing bumph.

      Have you read Small Island, its just utterly, utterly wonderful.

  6. I’m reading The Weed that Strings… right now. Had not read the first one but this is a lovely book so I think you will definitely enjoy it.

  7. Can’t wait to read the Long Song. This week I’ve been getting VERY excited by the fantastic “A Legacy”, written by Sybille Bedford in the 1940s. Some people might be put off by its subject matter – social change in Germany before the first world war – but it is so exquisitely featherlight, perceptive and witty in its observations it in no way feels instructive or ponderous. Among other things, it’s a unique, affectionate portrait of Jewish high society (based on Bedford’s own childhood) and has an utterly modern, freethinking approach to love and sexuality (Bedford herself was a lesbian) – reading it is like happening across a latter-day bohemian permissive Edith Wharton. Can’t recommend it highly enough!

    • Oooh I love the sound of that Bedford book Josh! I think if you liked that and havent read Henrietta’s War then you should! It’s brilliantly perceptive and witty and might be right up your streets from the sounds of Bedford which might have to go on my birthday wishlist! I have just seen a wonderful 1984 edition on a certain website.

  8. farmlanebooks

    I’m very excited about David Mitchell’s new book – which is fantastic so far.

    Yesterday I picked up a proof copy of The Surrendered by Chang-Rae Lee at a book swap I went to. It is described as a mixture of A Fine Balance and The Poisonwood Bible. The description makes it sound like it could be one of my favourites of 2010.

    I am also excited by A Life Apart which I picked up yesterday too. Books set in Asia seem to be my preference at the moment!

    • I am on the fence about David Mitchell because I didnt enjoy Cloud Atlas so much. I will see what his new book is like when it arrives at Savidge Towers in the non too distant future.

      A Life Apart is wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. Which reminds me I havent popped my thought on it on here.

  9. novelinsights

    Love the list. Love the title Prince of Mist!!

    I’m excited about reading Ian McEwan’s Solar and Stieg Larsson’s Girl That Played with Fire.

  10. I am excited about our next bookclub read, The Handmaid’s Tale by M. Atwood. However, I can’t find my copy; maybe I lent it to someone. I can’t remember what I did with it???

  11. gaskella

    I’m excited about Pullman’s new one, but I’ll have to wait another week. Everything will be dropped for it!

    Of your pile, I’d love to read the new Joanne Harris most.

    • I am very excited about the new Pullman one it has to be said, more because its the Canongate Myths series than it being a Pullman. Is that wrong of me?

      • Annabel Gaskell

        Of course not – I think it’s great that one of the greatest stories can be retold slightly differently.

        Oxford is on tentahooks though – controversy is expected! I’ll report back Sunday week…

      • I can imagine there is going to be masses of controversy everywhere with this book not just Oxford lol. Looking forward to your thoughts!

  12. Beate

    Oh wow ! Didn’t know there was a new “Flavia”. Fantastic ! Thank you for mentioning it. My TBR is growing by the minute in these days of lists and new publications.
    But I’m afraid I can’t fully share your feelings about the new Levy. It definitely grew on me and I loved the second half but for me there’s no comparison to SMALL ISLAND.
    Concerning books I look forward to there are the two queens of crime delivering in April : Mrs Geoge and Mrs Hill. I’ve pre-orderd them and cat wait to read them.
    Blimey ! This is a fantastic spring . 🙂

    • I havent compared it to Small Island, naturally I am inclined to but I must, must, must not as I think that book is so special to compare a book by any author or the author themselves can be fairly compared against.

      I am looking forward to the next Hill crime novel very much.

  13. Dean Moriarty

    I’m looking forward to the Harris book, too – though how could it have been on the longlist if it isn’t published yet?

    • Aha it could be on the list because its published on the 31st fo March and thats the last day a book can be eligable, naturally the judges will have ahd proof copies before hand. Very like the Booker in fact.

  14. JoV

    I’m excited about reading:
    1) The Islamist – Ed Harris – non-fiction. It is really a honest and engrossing read.
    2) Cutting for Stone – Abraham Verghese – great exotic setting, Life in Ethopia etc…
    3) Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon, if this is good, then I’ll hv to read all the books in the series I suppose?? I like to hear what you think of Prince of the mist!

    • Cutting for Stone has been on my radar for quite some time partially because of the TV coverage here and a lot of the hype surrounding that. I think I am going to wait until the summer to read it though.

  15. I’m looking forward to reading The Ghosts of Kerfol by Deborah Noyes and A Moment of Silence by Anna Dean. Happy reading. I will check out these books.

  16. winstonsdad

    the passage by justin cronin awaiting a copy from publisher ,the new david mitchell and yann martell grap me .a few new trranslations i m looking at salt smugglers ,and another h c mayo

    • I have The Passage and made the mistake of opening the book at Christmas and then getting furious with Christmas for being so busy and getting in the way of me reading more. The book is hidden in a place only The Converted One knows until nearer the release date!

      • winstonsdad

        yes on books on nightstand ann said it was one you’d find hard to put down once you start

  17. I really want to read The Long Song; I absolutely loved Small Island, so I’ve been looking forward to reading this one. I look forward to seeing your review.

    I’m also quite excited about A.S. Byatt’s new book, and The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver.

    I haven’t yet got copies of any of these, but I hope soon to remedy this appalling situation!

    • I am interested to see people being slightly negative about The Long Song. Its not Small Island but I went into it evaulating it for its own merits and the characters are marvellous particularily the very forth right narrator.

      • Her characterisation was one of the things that I loved about Small Island.

        On your point, though, I find it quite interesting that previous reading – not just by the same author, but the books read perhaps immediately beforehand – can have the power to shape how you react to a book, what you take away from it, what you read into it.

        Drawing connections can enrich your reading I think, but as you suggest, if you launch into a book with preconceptions and expectations you can potentially limit your own capacity to just read it as a single entity.

        Reading, eh, it’s a funny business.

  18. Well, now I’m excited about The Long Song! It’s funny, I can read an entire (positive) review of a book and still think, hmm, that might be good. But when you say this made you excited about reading again, I’m like, YES, PLEASE! Sometimes reading starts to feel a bit too much like homework, and then I know it’s time for something new.

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