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The Top 10 Books from The Millions Book Preview

The Millions listed the best upcoming books for the first half of 2018 and I have distilled that FURTHER through the filter of “very specific fiction but also nonfiction.”

The full list is here! So here we go:


This Will Be My Undoing by Morgan Jerkins. 
It's an essay collection! They remain so hot right now! She covers “Rachel Dolezal; the stigma of therapy; her complex relationship with her own physical body; the pain of dating when men say they don’t ‘see color’; being a black visitor in Russia; the specter of ‘the fast-tailed girl’ and the paradox of black female sexuality; or disabled black women in the context of the ‘Black Girl Magic’ movement.”

She's doing an event with Women and Children First in Chicago in February. This looks real good. Let's all read it and discuss.

The Sky Is Yours by Chandler Klang Smith.
This is getting compared to Blade Runner, which I haven't seen, but I HAVE seen Fifth Element, which seems inspired by Blade Runner, unless it isn't, in which case disregard this whole sentence. But The Sky Is Yours is about some future dystopia (ALSO still so hot right now) or more specifically it is "set in a dystopian metropolis plagued by dragons." This book could go either way, but it says the hero is a reality star, and there's a character named Baroness Swan Lenore Dahlberg, so if I see it at the library, I'll pick it up.

King Zeno by Nathaniel Rich.
Ok, I will, in all probability, not pick this up, but the cover is great and it's about the Axeman of New Orleans DO YOU KNOW ABOUT HIM here is a Wikipedia article, and you can also watch season 3, episode 6 (“The Axeman Cometh”) of American Horror Story for a fun Danny Huston take on him.


Red Clocks by Leni Zumas.
I've had this since BookExpo last year and still haven't read it, but my girlfriend finally took it off our shelf. I picked it up because the author was doing a signing and also the cover was just unapologetically like "HERE IS A VAGINA," and I admire that if it's not Tampa. Or if it could also be a kite. Which this could be (note: it is not a kite, it is a vagina). Red Clocks is supposed to be in the vein of The Power and The Handmaid's Tale, so if you like kind of depressing dystopian futures about ladies' reproductive rights,  read this thing. (The Millions places this in February, but it appears you can buy this now)


The Merry Spinster by Mallory Ortberg.
Look, we all know Mallory Ortberg is hilarious, so we should all just buy her book of feminist retellings of horrific children's stories. It's almost not even an option. 


The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer.
A girl meets a feminist icon freshman year of college, then after graduation starts working at that icon's foundation. OBviously this looks great. What happens there! Do they become friends? Does the college girl get disillusioned about her icon because of course she does that always happens? Does everyone learn a little something? Or at least the heroine? Probably! Will read but probably from the library because I feel as guilty buying novels as a 16-year-old in the 1830s.

Circe by Madeline Miller.
YAAAAAS. Look, I wrote this post about how much I loved Song of Achilles like 50 pages in, and then I never even FINISHED it (because I am very distractible) but I loved it so much that the idea of her writing a whole book about Circe makes me go YAAAAAAAAAAS. You know how I just said I feel guilty buying novels? This. Is. An. Exception. 


And Now We Have Everything by Meaghan O'Connell.
It's a memoir of having your first baby and it's supposed to be super honest and as someone who was always very on the fence about children but is now legit considering it, I would like all the information please. Also people I respect are raving about it, AND the cover's great. So that's a check/check for this book.


Sick by Porochista Khakpour.
A memoir of her dealings with late-stage Lyme disease, I'm looking forward to the window this can give into how people deal with different kinds of illness. My mom has had chronic pain and various ailments for about 30 years, and seeing how other people deal with pain and other ailments feels important.

Invitation to a Bonfire by Adrienne Celt.
It's “inspired by the infamous Nabokov marriage, with a spellbinding psychological thriller at its core”! How exciting! And I'm not just saying that because I follow Adrienne Celt on Instagram and highly enjoy her love of horses. I've discovered that "spellbinding psychological thriller" is a phrase I am pretty immediately on board with. 

Thanks, The Millions, for winnowing down your best picks from so very many releases and thereby letting me winnow it down some more. I'm really jazzed about most of these. Good luck to all being published in 2018. Well. Not all. But most of you.


  1. Yay! I'm most excited about Red Clock, Circe, and the Merry Spinster. Women kicking ass in 2018, YAAAAAAAAAAS!

  2. I’m pretty excited about some of these myself. I ended up loving CIRCE, but it started off much more slowly for me than ACHILLES did. Still, it is amazing. I was totally meh about King Zeno, though.

  3. Cool cool cool so you can read the Mallory Ortberg book and let me know how it is. Also, the Circe book seems way more up your alley than the Iliad one just cause, you know, it's got a lady in it. No ladies in The Iliad book. I did not love the Iliad book.

  4. Yessssssss many good books and I especially want to read The Merry Spinster so THANK YOU for telling me this is a thing


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