Here are the titles that were either A) on my list going into BEA, or B) just jumped out at me right away:
Btw, I totally stole the descriptions from Goodreads because they're so much better than anything I could've come up with. I've also linked back to Goodreads so you can add them to your TBR list, too!
1. Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi (June 2016)
"Two half sisters, Effia and Esi, unknown to each other, are born into different villages in eighteenth-century Ghana. Effia is married off to an Englishman and will live in comfort in the palatial rooms of Cape Coast Castle, raising children who will be sent abroad to be educated before returning to the Gold Coast to serve as administrators of the empire. Esi, imprisoned beneath Effia in the Castle's women's dungeon and then shipped off on a boat bound for America, will be sold into slavery."
2. A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles (Sept 2016)
"A Gentleman in Moscow immerses us in another elegantly drawn era with the story of Count Alexander Rostov. When, in 1922, he is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, the count is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and must now live in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history are unfolding outside the hotel’s doors. Unexpectedly, his reduced circumstances provide him a doorway into a much larger world of emotional discovery."
3. Underground Airlines by Ben H. Winters (July 2016)
"A gifted young black man calling himself Victor has struck a bargain with federal law enforcement, working as a bounty hunter for the US Marshall Service. He's got plenty of work. In this version of America, slavery continues in four states called "the Hard Four." On the trail of a runaway known as Jackdaw, Victor arrives in Indianapolis knowing that something isn't right--with the case file, with his work, and with the country itself."
4. The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead (Sept 2016)
"Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hellish for all slaves, but Cora is an outcast even among her fellow Africans, and she is coming into womanhood; even greater pain awaits. Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her of the Underground Railroad and they plot their escape."
5. Blood at the Root: A Racial Cleansing in America by Patrick Phillips
"In 1912, a young girl's murder rocked the rural community of Forsyth County, Georgia, and led a mob of whites to lynch a black man on the town square. A month later, thousands cheered the hanging, on spurious evidence, of two black teenagers, then set fire to the homes and churches of farmers, field hands, and servants. Bands of night-riders declared Forsyth "whites-only" and sent 1,100 citizens running for their lives. Whites took over their livestock, harvested their crops, and laid claim to "abandoned" black land, slowly erasing all evidence of their communal crime."
6. Mischling by Affinity Konar (Sept 2016)
"It's 1944 when the twin sisters arrive at Auschwitz with their mother and grandfather. In their benighted new world, Pearl and Stasha Zagorski take refuge in their identical natures, comforting themselves with the private language and shared games of their childhood.
As part of the experimental population of twins known as Mengele's Zoo, the girls experience privileges and horrors unknown to others, and they find themselves changed, stripped of the personalities they once shared, their identities altered by the burdens of guilt and pain. "
7. Emperor of the Eight Islands by Lian Hearn (Out / April 2016)*
"A future lord is dispossessed of his birthright by a scheming uncle, a mountain sorcerer imbues a mask with the spirit of a great stag for a lost young man, a stubborn father forces his son to give up his wife to his older brother, and a powerful priest meddles in the succession to the Lotus Throne, the child who is the rightful heir to the emperor barely escaping the capital in the arms of his sister. And that is just the beginning."
*This title is book one of a four part series is currently available in stores. The series will be published in rapid succession in order to be binge read to mimic the act of binge watching television shows online.
AM I STILL GOING???
8. A Woman on the Edge of Time by Jeremy Gavron (Sept 2016)
"Like Sylvia Plath, who died in eerily similar circumstances two years earlier just two streets away, Hannah Gavron was a writer. But no-one had ever imagined that she might take her own life. Bright, sophisticated, and swept up in the progressive politics of the 1960s, Hannah was a promising academic and the wife of a rising entrepreneur. Surrounded by success, she seemed to live a gilded life.
But there was another side to Hannah, as Jeremy Gavron's searching memoir of his mother reveals. Piecing together the events that led to his mother's suicide when he was just four, he discovers that Hannah's success came ata price, and that the pressures she faced as she carved out her place in a man's world may have contributed to her death. Searching for the mother who was never talked about as he grew up, he discovers letters, diaries, and photos that paint a picture of a brilliant but complex young woman grappling to find an outlet for her creativity, sexuality, and intelligence."
9. The Lesser Bohemians by Eimear McBride (Sept 2016)
"One night an eighteen year old girl recently arrived in London from Ireland to study drama, meets an older actor and a tumultuous relationship ensues. Set across the bedsits and squats of mid-nineties north London, The Lesser Bohemians is a story about love and innocence, joy and discovery - the grip of the past and the struggle to be new again."
10. Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders (January 2017)
"On February 22, 1862, two days after his death, Willie Lincoln was laid to rest in a marble crypt in a Georgetown cemetery. That very night, shattered by grief, Abraham Lincoln arrives at the cemetery under cover of darkness and visits the crypt, alone, to spend time with his son’s body. Set over the course of that one night and populated by ghosts of the recently passed and the long dead, Lincoln in the Bardo is a thrilling exploration of death, grief, the powers of good and evil, a novel - in its form and voice - completely unlike anything you have read before. It is also, in the end, an exploration of the deeper meaning and possibilities of life, written as only George Saunders can: with humor, pathos, and grace."
Here's to 2016 and the ARC!
Excited about any of these?