Written by Sara Leonard
When I’m not in class, I’m lucky enough to work as a bookseller at BookPeople. Thanks to that, I get a lot of free ARCs (Advanced Reading Copies). Here is a handful of my favorite upcoming 2018 titles:
On sale: January 23
Despite the obvious reference to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein in the title, Frankenstein in Baghdad is a completely original book. The novel follows Hadi, a hermit in Baghdad who trails the various explosions in the city to collect the strewn body parts. Over time, he pieces together a corpse, in order to send a message to the government about burying the dead. However, his creation soon goes missing, and chaos ensues. This book sounds bizarre, and it is—in all the right ways. The murderous creature fits in perfectly with the American occupation of Baghdad in 2005, and speaks to the pain that sets in after the worst is seemingly over.
On sale: April 3
“She took me in and she taught me things, and more than that she gave me permission. I think that’s what the people who change our lives always do. They give us permission to be the person we secretly really long to be but maybe don’t feel we’re allowed to be.” In The Female Persuasion, Wolitzer beautifully describes the relationship between women and their mentors, and the long-lasting effects of gaining “permission.” These encounters between powerful women and the girls they inspire are often taken for granted, but Wolitzer manages to perfectly tap into this phenomenon through an ensemble of characters. This book has made me reevaluate the women who shaped my own life, and consider the impact of my actions, and for that Wolitzer is wholly to thank.
On sale: May 1
The Pisces originally struck me because it seemed unlike any other book I had encountered before. After finishing it, I stand by my first impression. Despite the book’s frequent focus on death, Broder’s novel is teeming with life. Broder created a complex and totally flawed woman in Lucy, who believes she cannot survive without love, while simultaneously forcing her reader to question if Lucy was searching for something else entirely. Broder’s brutal honesty permeates the book, and her insight into the basic human desire for connection leaves The Pisces is completely exceptional.