Top Ten Tuesday: Summer Releases and Bonus Bookish opinions

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl since January of 2018. Jana writes, “it was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.” In that spirit, link up with your list at That Artsy Reader Girl and comment with your list, link, or thoughts below.

Summer releases I’m semi-excited about:

I will read most of these novels, but I doubt I’ll be the first to report on them (see #4 below).

The Recursion by Blake Crouch- June 11- a twisty fast-paced futuristic thriller

Whitehead’s follow-up to The Underground Railroad looks to be just as heart-breaking. The Nickel Boys- July 16

Magic for Liars by Sarah Gailey- June 4, has generated more than a bit of buzz and some Potter comparisons-I’m most stoked for that one.

Two works which couldn’t be farther apart story-wise, but representative of my summer reading range-all over the map. Gilbert describes wanting City of Girls to “…go down like a champagne cocktail — light and crisp, bright and fun.” Meanwhile Wanderers (July 9) is billed as a nod to “The Stand and Station Eleven…a gripping saga that weaves an epic tapestry of humanity into an astonishing tale of survival.” I enjoy a big beefy dystopian read during the summer even more than a fun cocktail.

For the remainder of the year:

Only 2 books I could think of without looking more up: Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments and Erin Morgenstern’s The Starless Sea. A combined 44 years in the waiting for those two novels!!

Unpopular Bookish opinions:

I intended to post these with last week’s TTT prompt, but life got hectic with visiting relatives from out of town and family obligations. Perhaps they are less unpopular opinion as much as they are book tropes I’m tired of encountering:

5. The villain is more interesting.

I’m guilty of experiencing an occasional villainous crush and with good reason, not just because they have better outfits. Villains are compelling because they’re often more clever, more complex and come from more tragic beginnings. Some favorite villains are GOT’s Littlefinger, Batman’s batty Joker, The Darkling in Shadow and Bone (whose heroes were a snoozefest), Tom Riddle, and a cast of others from Shakespeare to Stephen King. Can writers make heroes as interesting and creative as the baddies? I wish so, because until they do, I’m team villain.

4. I hardly ever read the ‘newest’ releases.

Utterly antithetical to book blogging, I know, but I don’t want to get caught up in the pressure of acquiring advanced copies, reading and reviewing them in order to get my opinion out there first. I respect good word-of-mouth more than pre-published buzz. Also, I’m a lot freakin’ slower reader than I used to be. (I am currently involved in the new exploration of Harper Lee’s never completed final novel, Furious Hours. However, that’s non-fiction true-crime social history so it’s not the same fervor as fiction).

3. I’m not here for forced/contrived outcomes

Vague, I know. Miscommunication-driven plots, out-of-the blue character assassinations and far-fetched twist endings compel me to roll my eyes with every turn of the page. Perhaps resulting from the Gone Girl-effect or due to an author’s inability to end a novel, Stephen King is a serial offender in that too. (Apparently I have a lot of King-related bookish opinions).

2. Unsatisfying 2nd books in a series.

Possibly influenced by my third such read this year of a sub-par sophomore effort, most recently in the Winternight trilogy. I believe the second installment phenomenon is caused by many factors; from all the exciting world-building occurring in the first book being forgotten, to lazy author efforts and rushed publication. There are varying degrees to these slumpy 2nds (and exceptions like Catching Fire, which I loved) but I’m finding many a slog to push through on my way to the finales.

1. Female trauma as a plot device, including but not limited to, discovery of incest or rape, is overused.

As a part of a character’s journey and story of overcoming, told with care, I have no issues. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson and Blood, Water, Paint by Joy McCullough are excellent examples. It’s the dark hidden secret revealed to heighten the plot, usually found out by a male character, that I find problematic. Jane Harper’s The Dry and John Irving’s The Cider House Rules come to mind.

Are you more excited about this summer’s offerings than I? Have your own inflammatory bookish opinion response? Share in the comments and I’ll get back to you throughout the week:)

6 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Summer Releases and Bonus Bookish opinions

    1. You’re welcome, both are new to me authors but I’ve heard stellar things about Blake Crouch.
      Been reading so much non-fiction lately, I’m ready for full psychological fiction immersion:)


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