Book Swap: 2015 Edition

This is the fifth year that Teresa and I have participated in one of our favorite traditions: each of us gives the other five book recommendations to read sometime during the coming year. Sometimes they’re books we’ve wanted the other person to read for ages. Sometimes they’re something we’ve only read in the past year, but we know the other person will love it! The best thing about the swap is that we have an absolutely amazing track record: we’ve had varying degrees of success, but so far, we have had absolutely no failures. With no further swanning about, let’s see how we’ll do in 2015!

Jenny’s Picks for Teresa:

1. The Living, Annie Dillard

2. Green Grass, Running Water, Thomas King

3. Tenth of December, George Saunders

4. My Bright Abyss, Christian Wiman

5. The Man Who Loved Children, Christina Stead

Jenny: This year, seeing that you were participating in the TBR dare, I browsed your list, and three of the books are chosen from your own stacks. I absolutely cannot wait to see what you think of them!

Teresa: Ha! I do appreciate the consideration—although I completely forgot I had that Annie Dillard book until I saw it on your list. The Man Who Loved Children is already on my mental list, so I’m looking forward to that. And My Bright Abyss is completely unfamiliar to me so that will be a fun new discovery.

Teresa’s List for Jenny

1. The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls

2. The People in the Trees by Hanya Yanagihara

3. A Small Place by Jamaica Kincaid

4. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

5. The White Woman on the Green Bicycle by Monique Roffey

Jenny: Some of these books have been on my radar for quite a while, and some just since you reviewed them! I am especially looking forward to the Jamaica Kincaid, since I just finished teaching a course on Caribbean literature. I’d thought I would start my Maggie Stiefvater experience with the Raven Boys series, but since you recommend this one, I’m very eager to try it. Another good year for me… and you, I hope!

Teresa: I went back and forth about The Raven Boys and The Scorpio Races but decided to go with the latter because it’s a complete story. Plus, the Raven Cycle didn’t really pick up for me until the second book. But The Scorpio Races will give you a good taste of her writing. And I just realized that I accidentally created an island-themed list, with all but one book set on an island. Funny! I do hope you enjoy them!

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9 Responses to Book Swap: 2015 Edition

  1. I love that the two of you do this each year, and look forward to the choices made for one another. From my point of view, I have to say that I think Teresa has the best read in front of her with Tenth of December by George Saunders. Happy reading to you both!

    • Teresa says:

      It’s a fun tradition–both in getting and giving recommendations.

      So many people have told me I need to read Tenth of December. I’m looking forward to seeing what it’s all about!

  2. I always love this tradition! I especially can’t wait to see what Proper Jenny thinks about The People in the Trees.

  3. Laura J. Bloxham says:

    The Living is my favorite Dillard. Wowee-zowee. What a powerful book.

    • Teresa says:

      I bought that one almost entirely because I was at a book sale doing a “fill-a-bag for $5 deal” and wanted to get more than a couple of books. I figured I couldn’t go wrong with Annie Dillard, even though I hadn’t heard of this particular book.

  4. JaneGS says:

    What a fun tradition–and both lists have given me new books/authors to check out.

    • Teresa says:

      We enjoy doing it and, although we’ve had maybe one or two choices that weren’t huge successes, we haven’t had a complete dud yet. (I hope I didn’t just jinx it by saying that.)

      • Jenny says:

        I’m sure you didn’t! I look forward to this every year. And I think it’s amazing we still do so well with our recommendations for each other. It’s nice to have someone who knows me so well.

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