Aaaand it's 2017!

Thank fudge for that, right?

I had an interesting reading year in 2016 - there were some great arbitrary reads and I caught up with some of the major literary fiction of the past couple of years - but most of the rest of it was rubbish. 

Though I can't control much around me, I can control my reading (well, now that I've scrapped my arbitrary reading challenge, that is) and my TBR pile for the next few weeks looks like this:

TBR Jan 2017

Starting from the bottom, I've got The Luminaries and The Narrow Road to the Deep North - both Man Booker Prize winners, both supposed to be fab. I'm about 100 pages into The Luminaries and I'm hooked already. It's a beast of a book but harks back to Victorian sensation fiction, which is both my passion and my academic specialism, so length isn't an issue. With my arbitrary reading challenge, I missed some of the big releases of 2015 and 2016 so I'm hoping to catch back up this year.

My top film of 2016 was The Girl With All The Gifts, based on MR Carey's wonderful novel. I bought Fellside as soon as it was released on the basis of my love for TGWATG but it kept getting pushed back under the pressure of other reads. If Carey has managed to recreate the magic of his zombie thriller, I'll get through this in hours.

A change of pace then with Richard Ayoade's weird interview-with-himself book. I bought this for my husband last year and he enjoyed it despite finding it "very weird". As an Ayoade fan, from Garth Marenghi to his current Travel Man persona, I'm surprised I haven't delved into this yet. Hopefully, it'll be as funny and sharp as his televised work.

Of course, there's some horror on the list, with Ligotti's short stories and Joe Hill's Locke & Key series. I don't know a great deal about either, but have enjoyed all of Hill's other work and have rekindled my love of short horror fiction over recent months with the likes of Lovecraft and MR James. January is a great month for cuddling up with a scary book, so hopefully these will encourage me to sleep with the lights on.

Finally, a YA novel that I was given at a blogger event: The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender. Another unknown for me, but I think YA writing is often the boldest and most interesting on the market. It's been the area most forward thinking in terms of diversity for a while now, and it's time people stop being sniffy about "adults reading kids' books". That kind of snobbery doesn't help anyone.

So, that's where I see 2017 starting. I struggle to keep up with current releases but I'm sure there'll be some great new publications that I'll want to sneak in too. If you've got any must reads or looking-forward-to books, let me know in the comments below. Happy New Year!

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