Amped About ARCs: Three Upcoming Books I Can't Wait to Read

February 25, 2016

All book covers from Goodreads.

Remember how I was going to #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks this year? Yeah, well... I'm still technically doing that, but three upcoming reads got me excited enough to contact some publishers and add some new paper to my shelves. Oops. With any luck, they'll be more than worth it.

Here's what I've got on tap for the next few months:

At the Existentialist Café, by Sarah Bakewell (March 1)

After having it on my shelf for about four years, I finally read and adored Bakewell's How to Live: A Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer last month. I never ended up reviewing it, but it was an absolutely delightful biography of the granddaddy of the modern essay. I recently caught wind of her latest, At the Existentialist Café, and knew I needed more of her warm, accessible nonfiction in my life. Out next week from Other Press, the book promises a close look at the post-World War II existentialist movement and some of its key players. As someone who was super into existentialism as an angsty teen (who wasn't?), I'm excited to learn more about the philosophy's foundational thinkers. Also, I totally used the Canadian cover for my graphic, because the U.S. one is far less attractive. Not sorry.

Some Possible Solutions, by Helen Phillips (May 31)

I was absolutely sucked into Phillips's moody, creepy novel The Beautiful Bureaucrat last year. Bosses without faces, cubicle walls with questionable stains, and an enormous, dark secret lurking between the lines of a spreadsheet... are you interested yet? Her new short story collection Some Possible Solutions, out in May from Henry Holt, promises to bring even more weirdness. The stories all revolve around bizarre "what if"-type situations straight from the files of your most surreal dreams. I mean, what would you do if you woke up to find your hometown populated entirely by your own doppelgängers? If my experience with Bureaucrat is any indication, I'll inhale this collection in less than a day. I can't wait.

Disappearance at Devil's Rock, by Paul Tremblay (June 21)

Tremblay can join Bakewell on the list of authors I read and loved last month. A Head Full of Ghosts was equal parts horror story, portrait of mental illness, and examination of the deleterious effects of the media on personal life. It was also just plain engaging; the guy clearly understands his genre, and I was more than happy to go along for the ride. Tremblay's latest work looks to bring more scares along with the mystery of a fourteen-year-old boy's late-night disappearance at a state park. Combining the supernatural with the painful truths of Tommy's childhood, Disappearance at Devil's Rock promises to shock us in the end. HarperCollins/William Morrow might not be releasing this until June, but I'm already getting my popcorn ready over here.

Some honorable mentions go out to two books I got from the illustrious Julianne this week. She sent me The Good Death: An Exploration of Dying in America by Ann Neumann (out last week from Beacon Press) and Toward a More Perfect University by Jonathan R. Cole (out last month from PublicAffairs). Important and fascinating nonfiction, ahoy!

Anything in particular that YOU'RE excited to read soon? Tell me so I can go request even more ARCs.

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