Six Books I Want, Bossy Holiday 2022 Edition
The Bossy Wish List
Sometimes it's tough to buy books for a greedy reader like the one writing this post. What have they already read, anyway? How reliable is their Goodreads status and list of "to-read" titles? And what are they likely already out buying for themselves?
These are my current Bossy book wishes, whether because my library doesn't have a copy (Strange Gods; Charlatan; Until the End of the World), because I simply have high hopes for loving them (Babel, 454 pages; Inciting Joy, 256 pages), or just because I'm greedy about having more more more books in my possession (Under Fortunate Stars).
There's a major leaning toward science fiction and speculative fiction in this list, so I am apparently in a mood. And I just came up with this wish list with Christmas just a few days away, so it looks as though I'll be buying my own perfect mix of books for myself after the holidays--which I am not at all above doing.
Which books are on your book wish list this holiday season?
A Bossy book-buying note: If you're buying books this holiday season, please support your local independent bookstore. They need and appreciate our business! (The book covers on this site link you to Bookshop, a site that supports the beloved indies that keep us swimming in thoughtful book recommendations and excellent customer service all year round.)
01 Babel: An Arcane History by R.F. Kuang
R.F. Kuang's Babel: An Arcane History introduces the character of young Robin Swift. Orphaned in Canton by cholera and brought to London by Professor Lovell, a mysterious figure, Robin trains for years in various languages in preparation for attending Oxford University's Royal Institute of Translation, nicknamed Babel.
But Babel is also the center of enchanted silver-working, and the more deeply Robin becomes entrenched in the studies and workings of Babel, the more he feels he is betraying his motherland.
Kuang explores colonialism, resistance, knowledge, and power in this hefty (454-page) fantasy, published this year and on many "top fantasy" lists.
02 Inciting Joy by Ross Gay
Who's in for some inciting of joy?
Ross Gay's Book of Delights was a sunshiny set of thoughts and examinations, yet it wasn't overly earnest, and it was never corny. I just loved it.
Gay's newest book, Inciting Joy, explores caring for each other and the human connections that make up a full, rich life. Gay turns his thoughtful eye and sensitive mind to inspiration and fulfillment in essays with topics ranging from skateboarding to masculinity to mortality.
Click here to check out my full review of The Book of Delights.
03 Strange Gods by Alison Kimble
In Alison Kimble's Strange Gods (published in 2021), Spooky arrives at a wilderness camp for troubled teens bracing herself for bullies, counselors ready to crush her spirit, and other kids determined to disrupt and destroy.
If she can keep her head down and survive senior year, she knows she can start fresh somewhere new, and that's her only concern.
But a disturbing encounter with another camper sends Spooky to hide in the woods. There she encounters an inexplicable, powerful force that can only be magic, in a form Spooky would never have imagined--and it's determined to keep Spooky in its clutches forever.
04 Charlatan by Kate Braithwaite
In Kate Braithwaite's Charlatan, it's 1676. In a shack in the middle of Paris, a fortune-teller calls on dark forces to help a client retain the affections of Louis XIV.
Three years later, Athenais, Madame de Montespan, the King's glamorous mistress, who has borne him seven children, is enraged when Louis takes up with a fresh-faced eighteen-year-old, Angelique de Fontanges.
Paris police chief La Reynie and his young assistant Bezons have uncovered a network of fortune-tellers operating in the city, and when their extensive client lists are revealed, embarrassment and destruction seem sure to follow.
05 Until the End of the World (Until the End of the World #1) by Sarah Lyons Fleming
A bookish Instagram friend is in love with this series of four books by Sarah Lyons Fleming, and it sounds like one I'm going to love as well.
Cassie Forest is finally going to get her life together. Since her survivalist parents died, she's broken off her engagement to Adrian, she doesn't paint anymore, and she's been dating a major jerk.
But right when Cassie is ready for redemption, it looks like the world is about to end. She and her friends may have just enough time to escape to her parents' cabin in Brooklyn before Bornavirus LX turns them into zombies.
If Cassie can stand being locked up with her friend's bratty little sister and her own ex-boyfriend, she just might survive to do the one thing she really needs to before she dies: tell Adrian she still loves him.
06 Under Fortunate Stars by Ren Hutchings
Just look at this gorgeous cover and listen to this excellent space-opera, time-travel premise:
Fleeing the final days of the generations-long war with the alien Felen, smuggler Jereth Keeven’s freighter the Jonah breaks down in a strange rift in deep space, with little chance of rescue—until they encounter the research vessel Gallion, which claims to be from 152 years in the future.
But nothing about the Gallion's crew or account seems to add up, and as the two ships begin losing power, everyone on board is in danger--and the stakes may be higher than Jereth could have imagined.