looking forward in hope: books to read in 2011

My RSS feeds have been rife with "best of" lists for the year, the decade, etc., the past few weeks. And given the nature of my feeds this often means "best books of..." lists. I haven't been so much in the mood for summing-up lists this winter. Mostly because my reading right now is dominated by the demands of academic research which -- though often pleasurable -- does not lend itself to eclecticism and the sort of serendipitous finds that make such lists pleasurable to compose.

So instead of a "best of" list I'm going to put together a list of "hoping to..." books from my Goodreads "to read" list, all of which came out (or I first heard of) in 2009. I anticipate the list will just get longer of the next twelve months as the demands of my last year in graduate school overwhelm what leisure time I can spare, hence the expectation that I will probably get to tackling this list about this time next year.

In alphabetical order by author.

Boodram, Shannon T. Laid: Young People's Experiences with Sex in an Easy-Access Culture. Berkeley, Calif: Seal Press, 2009.

Chambers, Roland. The Last Englishman: The Double Life of Arthur Ransome. London: Faber, 2009.

Dennis, Donna. Licentious Gotham: Erotic Publishing and Its Prosecution in Nineteenth-Century New York. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 2009.

Feimster, Crystal Nicole. Southern Horrors: Women and the Politics of Rape and Lynching. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 2009.

Gabaldon, Diana. An Echo in the Bone: A Novel. New York: Delacorte Press, 2009.

Harman, Patricia. The Blue Cotton Gown: A Midwife's Memoir. Boston, Mass: Beacon Press, 2008.

Herdt, Gilbert H. Moral Panics, Sex Panics: Fear and the Fight Over Sexual Rights. New York: New York University Press, 2009.

Klepp, Susan E. Revolutionary Conceptions: Women, Fertility, and Family Limitation in America, 1760-1820.

Light, Alison. Mrs. Woolf and the Servants: An Intimate History of Domestic Life in Bloomsbury. New York: Bloomsbury Press, 2008. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2009.

Love, Heather. Feeling Backward: Loss and the Politics of Queer History. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 2007.

Moreton, Bethany. To Serve God and Wal-Mart: The Making of Christian Free Enterprise. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 2009.

Werth, Barry. Banquet at Delmonico's: Great Minds, the Gilded Age, and the Triumph of Evolution in America. New York: Random House, 2009.

Williams, Linda. Screening Sex. Durham: Duke University Press, 2008.

Wrede, Patricia C. Thirteenth Child. New York: Scholastic Press, 2009.

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*image credit: Colour coding the books on the Expedit! by A Cranmer @ Flickr.


  1. Lurker de-lurking to ask what you think of the MammothFail debacle. I am a Wrede fan from way back and am totally curious about the new series, but...

  2. Hi Rie,

    Nice to return from a weekend away to find a lurker comment on the FFLA :) Welcome.

    I hadn't heard about the "MammothFail debacle" as you termed it until you brought it up . . . oddly enough, since I read the sort of blogs that I'd think would bring it to my attention. But it has been a busy semester . . . so. Possibly my own negligence is to blame.

    After poking around a little on the internets I can see that the absence of Native Americans from an alternate American West (and possibly more so Wrede's explanation of it) is troubling.

    My personal inclination is to get the book from my local library, read it, and then be able to offer more informed commentary about how the story works as well as about Wrede's own articulation of why she wrote it the way she did. I don't really feel comfortable passing any sort of final judgment on a piece of fiction I haven't read.