Entertainment Weekly’s Most Anticipated Books

Two books coming out this summer that we’ll be discussing here — Stephenie Meyer’s The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner and Suzanne Collins’ Mockingjay, the conclusion to the Hunger Games trilogy — make EW’s ’18 Books We Can’t Wait to Read this Summer’ list. Forgive me for laughing about two things:

First, the rankings. The books are definitely ranked in the order a  reviewer that is chained to the Big 5 Publishing Houses might put upcoming books rather than how the great bulk of EW’s readers have. Bree Tanner is currently #1 at Amazon.com and Mockingjay is at #72. EW’s list maker puts Mrs. Meyer’s work at #10 out of 18 and the Hunger Games finale at #18, just below the mid-line and rock bottom respectively. EW’s #1 book, Elizabeth George’s This Body of Death, is at #55 on Amazon and Roopa Farooki’s Half Life, EW’s #2 and coming out later this week rather than this summer, is at #102,392. I’m confident that there won’t be Midnight Madness parties for either book at your local book store.

Second, the “most anticipated book” since Deathly Hallows, this summer or any time really, is the first book post Potter by Joanne Rowling. She has told friends and reporters that she is hard at work on a new novel and even the shadow of this book’s possible existence and publication has readers and book store owners around the world and on your street more excited than even a new novella by Mrs. Meyer and the sure-to-be-a-WOW Hunger Games finale.

Looking at the evident disdain for stories-readers-really-love-and-live-for in this EW list, though, I wasn’t surprised that there wasn’t so much as a mention of the new Rowling book. I suspect critics are salivating over the coming Rowling novel only for the chance it offers to savage the over-rated and over-hyped writer and her work. My first and surest prediction about that book? Disappointment that it is not Harry Potter, Book 8 will blind most every reader to its strengths and meaning.

Your comments and correction, of course, are coveted.


  1. Elizabeth says

    I think at issue here may be the definition of the word “we”; rather than meaning all humans, all Americans, or even all readers (a dismally small group, alas), the EW folks just seem to mean themselves and their friends, or perhaps just the publishers putting out the books. Since a number of these descriptions just sound like the general taglines for the books, I almost wonder if the list-creators really know anything about any of these books or authors besides the fact that they will sell.
    Ugh, a novel about Custer. Well that’s sure to be the feel bad hit of the year. I did my time with the 7th Cav. by reading Son of the Morning Star for my biography book report in 9th grade ( that and Yeager; is it any wonder my teacher hated me?)
    And you know, I used to like the word “poignant”; not so much that it has become the secret password to selling your dreary story that nobody really wants to read, but which everyone “ought” to read. Some of these books may be great, but I have a feeling that, with the exception of Bree and Mockingjay, many of them will be in people’s amazon baskets much the way the whole wheat pasta is in my grocery cart: left at the back of the cabinet unless there is some interesting sauce to make it palatable!

  2. Arabella Figg says

    I agree with Elizabeth, also noting the “we,” not “you.” EW tends to have a wide range of authors in their reviews (at least in the physical mag) and they’ve given a lot of coverage to Meyer and Twilight. My first thought was, hey, at least they included both of these books in a very narrow recommendation collection (18). Very possibly this will draw in new Collins readers and really be the rocket booster for this fantastic trilogy. Since we don’t know when Rowling’s book will be published, there’s not much to say, yet, really.

    I also agree that “poignant”=dreary, a la Jodi Picoult; I’ve read three of her books and they’re really good, but downers. She’s in the “ought to” but “don’t want to” category, along with just about everything else out right now. I look at the library and bookstore, and most books are dysfunctional family/tragedy/sex and violence-laced thrillers/shallow chick lit. It makes me feel depressed and poignant. Give me some good, satisfying, edifying stories. Amuse me, thrill me, educate me, take me on an adventure…but it won’t be through a downer story again!

  3. revgeorge says

    I read through the list, & the only book I’m eagerly anticipating is Collins’ Mockingjay. But, to be honest, I think you may be overreacting to this list. Although I don’t think you’re wrong about what many people will do with Rowling’s new book whenever it comes out.

  4. Susan Prichard says

    I think that EW was brave to include books by authors such as Roopa Farooki, who are award nominated (she was on the Orange Longlist this year with a previous novel) but not particularly well known.

    I loved Roopa Farooki’s HALF LIFE – it was bold, brilliant and addictive reading – and would never have come across this author if hadn’t been for the Entertainment Weekly listing – I’m currently reading her second novel, CORNER SHOP, and really loving it too.

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