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My NPR Concierge Wishlist

I know, I know, I know - I'm being really unproductive at work this week. But book stuff is more fun than filing invoices.

Anyway, the NPR Book Concierge went live over the weekend - and this is a really fun resource where the NPR staff writers pull together a list of releases from the year, then tags them with a bunch of different filters, so you can narrow the list down to a few books in an overlapping Venn diagram of categories you might be interested in. This is a really fun resource that I love using at the tail end of every year to make up my reading wishlist for the first few months of the new year, and is particularly helpful when you're trying to come up with a gift for a reader who has tricky taste. The staff writers also do a good job of pulling together a list of books that includes the big-name releases, and also some books that got less attention or were published in English for the first time that year (hence why I've found some French titles on there for me, as well!).

Look, it's almost Christmas - I know none of you are working properly anyway. So go over to this website and have some fun.

Of course, you're reading my blog, so you must be interested in what the NPR Book Concierge suggested to me as my TPR toppler wishlist for 2021. The below list was created by mixing and matching quite a few filters, and off the top of my head, here are the ones I remember:

  1. 'Staff Picks' + 'Seriously Great Writing' + 'Ladies First'

  2. 'Ladies First' + 'Love Stories'

  3. 'Historical Fiction' + 'Seriously Great Writing' + 'Realistic Fiction'

  4. 'Let's Talk About Sex' + 'Love Stories' (I like good romance. I do not apologize and I am not embarrassed. More sex positive stories!)

  5. 'Sci Fi, Fantasy & Speculative Fiction' + 'Seriously Great Writing'

  6. 'Nonfiction' + 'For History Lovers' + 'It's All Geek To Me!'

  7. 'The Dark Side' + 'Seriously Great Writing'

  8. 'Historical Fiction' + 'Tales from Around the World'

  9. 'Mysteries & Thrillers' + 'Ladies First'

  10. 'Seriously Great Writing' + 'Tales From Around the World' + 'Book Club Ideas'

And boy oh boy did the NPR Concierge deliver for me. So many of these books I hadn't heard of, or only heard glancing things about, and now I'm salivating to get my hands on just about every book on this wishlist (I will have to space out my spending. I do not make enough money to support my book-buying habit. Also, I'm likely to be a poor grad student again next year. Maybe I'll have to start thinking about libraries rather seriously...). A lot of these are also books in genres or by authors I would never pick up, but since they're on the NPR Book Concierge list they are vetted by a reliable source I trust very highly on book reviews - so I can't wait to read each and every one of these.

I've listed them all below, and also put the genre in parentheses - just to give you an idea of how broad the suggestions on this list actually are.

  • The Things They Fancied, by Molly Young (nonfiction)

  • The Worst Best Man, by Mia Sosa (romance)

  • The Mountains Sing, by Nguyen Phan Que Mai (historical fiction)

  • The Women in Black, by Madeleine St John (historical fiction)

  • Capital et idéologie, by Thomas Piketty (nonfiction)

  • Interior Chinatown, by Charles Yu (contemporary fiction)

  • The Midnight Bargain, by C.L. Polk (fantasy)

  • The Merciful Crow, by Margaret Owen (fantasy)

  • A Children's Bible, by Lydia Millet (dystopian fiction)

  • You Never Forget Your First, by Alexis Coe (historical nonfiction)

  • To Calais, In Ordinary Time, by James Meek (historical fiction)

  • The Pull of the Stars, by Emma Donoghue (historical fiction)

  • Frère d'âme, by David Diop (historical fiction)

  • The Space Between Worlds, by Micaiah Johnson (science fiction)

  • Amnesty, by Aravind Adiga (contemporary fiction)

  • Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line, by Deepa Anappara (mystery)

  • Blacktop Wasteland, by S.A. Cosby (thriller)

  • The New Map: Energy, Climate, and the Clash of Nations, by Daniel Yergin (nonfiction)

  • Creatures, by Crissy Van Meter (contemporary fiction)

  • And I Do Not Forgive You: Stories and Other Revenges, by Amber Sparks (short stories)

  • Monogamy, by Sue Miller (contemporary fiction)

  • The Undocumented Americans, by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio (nonfiction)

  • We Ride Upon Sticks, by Quan Barry (fantasy)

  • Members Only, by Sameer Pandya (contemporary fiction)

  • Here We Are, by Graham Swift (historical fiction)

  • Flyaway, by Kathleen Jennings (mystery)

  • The Empress of Salt and Fortune, by Nghi Vo (fantasy)

My Bookshop wishlist is correspondingly bulky.

If anybody is looking for a Christmas present to get me, I will take any of the above titles.

Happy reading,

Amélie xx

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I’m Amélie, I love books and reading, and I also love talking about them.

I’m incredibly lucky to be bilingual, so I read books in both French and English, and will talk about both of those on here – although I will do more in English, since I know that’s probably what the majority of the people who ever find this blog will be interested in!

I also like history, traveling, Shakespeare, coffee, cheese, musicals, Italian Baroque art, the ballet, Mock the Week and Have I Got News For You, flowers, makeup, high heels, and baking. Yes, I’m a walking cliché. I am aware.

Please do tweet at me with any suggestions/book recommendations/thoughts.

In case you’re curious – yes, Pride and Prejudice is my favorite book of all time.

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