These are the six books from my TBR that I selected for my 2020 Christmas list. I usually pick more, but my parents are helping me pay for my new laptop, so it’s a pared down list this year.
A Wild Winter Swan by Gregory Maguire
I was so excited when I heard Gregory Maguire was doing a new fairy tale retelling! Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister is one of my favorite books, and Mirror Mirror and Wicked are excellent too. This book is a retelling of “The Wild Swans” set in 1960s New York. I requested an ARC on NetGalley but was denied, so I really hope my mom gets it for me.
Olive by Dinah Mulock Craik
Next semester, I’m doing an independent study on Victorian women writers, and this is one of the books I may read. I’d never heard of Craik before, and I love finding new 19th-century women writers. I’m particularly excited for this one because it was apparently written as a response to Jane Eyre.
A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik
This has been on my TBR since it was announced. I loved Uprooted and Spinning Silver, so I can’t wait to see Novik’s take on a magic school. I have seen some less than promising reviews of it, which is making me nervous. I figure if I get it for Christmas and end up not enjoying it, at least I didn’t pay for it. But if I do love it, then I’ll have it.
Mathilda by Mary Shelly
This is a book I may want to incorporate into my dissertation. I’m planning to focus on fairy tale motifs in the works of 19th-century women writers. This novella features a father who falls in love with his daughter, which is the premise of “Donkeyskin.” I’m interested to see if I can make a connection between the two and also to read something else by Mary Shelley. I’ve only read Frankenstein and “The Mortal Immortal.”
Glass Town: The Imaginary World of the Brontës by Isabel Greenberg
It wouldn’t be Christmas if I didn’t ask for something Brontë related! I usually avoid written fictional representations of the Brontës (film is different, don’t ask me why). But I’m incredibly intrigued by how Greenberg will portray Glass Town. The cover is beautiful, so I’m sure the whole book will be stunning. And the description says it’s based on biographical information and includes lots of quotes from the Brontës’ juvenilia, which sounds promising.
Miss Marjoribanks by Margaret Oliphant
This is another book for my independent study. The only thing I’ve read by Oliphant is her negative review of Jane Eyre, so I’m interested to read some of her fiction. My independent study is going to focus on how women writers portray women, and it sounds like Lucilla Marjoribanks will be a great character to study. I’ve seen her compared to Austen’s Emma Woodhouse, so this one should be great fun.