The Masters Review Blog

Jan 21

Fifteen Books We’re Looking Forward to This Year

2015 promises to be an exciting year in books. Here are some books we are excited about to start the year off right. From debut fiction and nonfiction titles to acclaimed short story writer Laura van den Berg’s first novel to Kelly Link’s long-anticipated third collection—here is the list of books from the first half of 2015 that we can’t wait to read.

Hall of Small MammalsHall of Small Mammals by Thomas Pierce

This book is already out, but we’ve only just started reading it. We are loving Pierce’s debut collection, in which the domestic meets the extraordinary. A woman’s son brings home a wooly mammoth, and then leaves her to care for it. A man is jealous of the other husband his wife has in her dreams. Full of invention and Southern charm, these stories astound us.

Publication date: January 8

The First Bad ManThe First Bad Man by Miranda July

After reading Miranda July’s brief, radiant stories, we’re eager to see how her eccentric style translates to a longer form. In The First Bad Man, Miranda July’s debut novel, narrator Cheryl’s idiosyncratic, solitary life changes dramatically when her bosses’ daughter moves in with her. In her recent New York Times review, Lauren Groff writes of July’s debut: “It has a heartbeat and a pulse. This is a book that is painfully alive.”

Publication date: January 13

Trigger WarningTrigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances by Neil Gaiman

As Neil Gaiman devotees, we know we are not alone in our excitement about his forthcoming collection Trigger Warning. Gaiman’s previous stories incorporate everything from trolls to the Holy Grail—in new and jarring ways. We can’t wait to see what he does next. Check out an excerpt from the introduction here.

Publication date: February 3

Get in TroubleGet in Trouble by Kelly Link

It’s no surprise that Kelly Link has developed a cult-like following for her dense, dark, and electrifying stories. “Stone Animals” remains one of our favorite scary stories of all time. Now comes Link’s long-awaited third collection for adults, Get in Trouble. Sarah Waters says of the stories: “These are not so much small fictions as windows onto entire worlds.”

Publication date: February 3

Find MeFind Me by Laura van den Berg

We’ve been anxiously awaiting Laura van den Berg’s debut novel since she discussed it with us in an interview. In Find Me, America is overtaken by a pandemic that robs people of their memories. The narrator, Joy, who is immune to the disease, travels first to a hospital in Kansas and then journeys to Florida to find her long-lost mother.

Publication date: February 17

MisadventureMisadventure by Nicholas Grider

We loved A Strange Object’s  two previous titles Three Scenarios in Which Hana Sasaki Grows a Tail and Our Secret Life in the Movies. They are back again with another debut collection: Misadventure by Nicholas Grider. In ASO’s own words: “In Misadventure, men search for themselves, for each other, for the sources of sanity and sickness, power and grief.”

Publication date: February 18

Our Endless Numbered DaysOur Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller

An eight-year-old’s survivalist father takes her to the wilderness and convinces her that it is the end of days. This debut novel follows the solitary existence they live afterward as well as what happens when the girl finally returns to her mother—and the mysterious circumstances surrounding her entrance back into civilization. It’s an enthralling, albeit dark, premise. We can’t wait to read this one.

Publication date: March 17

The Zoo, A GoingThe Zoo, A Going by J. A. Tyler

The Zoo, A Going is J. A. Tyler’s debut novel, out from Dzanc Books. In Dzanc’s words: “A family visit to the zoo becomes a complex discussion of father-son relationships, coming of age, life, and death.” Many important themes. Plus, animals.

Publication date: March 17

How To Carry Bigfoot HomeHow To Carry Bigfoot Home by Chris Tarry

This debut collection of thirteen stories bends genre. Jim Shepard says of the collection: “Chris Tarry’s stories come at what we might call The Problem of Men as Boys from all possible angles, from a hapless medieval stay-at-home Dad who’s running a con game out of his one-room hovel to a Bigfoot who’s a sad failure as a creative writing teacher.” Our curiosity has been piqued.

Publication date: March 17

Night at the FiestasNight at the Fiestas: Stories by Kirstin Valdez Quade

Night at the Fiestas is Kirstin Valdez Quade’s debut collection, but her stories have already appeared in the likes of The New Yorker, Narrative, and Guernica. These stories, set in New Mexico, explore the lives of their characters with texture and depth.

Publication date: March 23

SelfishSelfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed: Sixteen Writers on the Decision Not to Have Kids, edited by Meghan Daum

This anthology collects essays by the likes of Elliott Holt, Geoff Dyer, and Sigrid Nunez on the decision about whether—or not—to have children. The book is curated by Meghan Daum, who also writes the introduction.

Publication date: March 31

Three Kinds of MotionThree Kinds of Motion: Kerouac, Pollock, and the Making of American Highways by Riley Hanick

In this nonfiction release from Sarabande, debut author Riley Hanick follows the lives and work of Jackson Pollock and Jack Kerouac, as well as Dwight D. Eisenhower in his effort to build America its first interstate highway. We can’t wait to see how Hanick weaves these stories together.

Publication date: April 1

GutshotGutshot by Amelia Gray

We liked Amelia Gray’s previous collection Museum of the Weird for its human exploration of the strange (in those stories: a woman gives birth to a new baby each night; another is served a plate of hair at a fancy restaurant). We’re looking forward to her new book of stories, Gutshot, which comes out in April.

Publication date: April 14

The Ghost NetworkThe Ghost Network by Catie Disabato

This literary mystery begins with the disappearance of a world-famous pop star. The Ghost Network is Full Stop columnist Catie Disabato’s first book, published by Melville House, and it looks like a thrilling read.

Publication date: May 5

In the CountryIn the Country: Stories by Mia Alvar

These powerful and intimate stories examine the lives of characters who are part of the Filipino diaspora. In one story, a woman in Bahrain faces marital troubles; the collection’s novella takes place in Manila during the labor strikes of the 1970s. If you can’t wait until June, check out Alvar’s stories in FiveChapters and Euphony, among many other publications.

Publication date: June 16

 by Sadye Teiser

One Comment on “Fifteen Books We’re Looking Forward to This Year”

  • Sweet ’15 | Mia Alvar February 8th, 2015 8:01 pm

    […] excited to be one of 15 books The Masters Review is looking forward to this year. Check out the amazing company In the Country gets to […]