I went to a nearby bookstore (which unfortunately is not an independent) to pick up two books that came out last week. I’ve been anticipating them since before Christmas—The Dead in our Vaulted Arches by Alan Bradley and Hollow City by Ransom Riggs.

I was incredibly disappointed that they had none in stock. This was at a large Chapters/Indigo store and the computers said they were listed as “Bestsellers” but didn’t have them available. A clerk looked up the Bradley title and said that there were 56 on order and to try calling back next week. Then he checked another location and the downtown location only had 4 copies, but the Burnaby-Metrotown location had 24.

Dear Chapters/Indigo Stocking Manager: How does this make any sense? The books both came out last week (Tuesday, January 14, 2014) and both are by established authors who have a previous track record of success. Since I have to wait I may as well ‘order’ them or put them on hold at the not-so-nearby independent(ish) bookstore. (Vancouver’s bookstore culture makes me sad…. but that’s a topic for another day.)

[Updated to Add: The day after I wrote this, I received a copy of Hollow City in the mail! It was sent as a review copy from the publisher! I’m ecstatic!]

So without further ado, here are some Spring 2014 Books I’m Looking Forward To:

Spring 2014 - Books (part 1)

The Dead in our Vaulted Arches by Alan Bradley
This is the 6th book in the Flavia de Luce / Buckshaw Chronicles and I love them. They’re lighthearted, fun, but well-written. Flavia is a treasure and I’ve read all the previous books, the last of which—Speaking from Among the Bones—ended on quite the cliffhanger (series wise, not story wise). So the fact that I wasn’t queuing outside the store on January 14, 2014 is a surprise to even me.

Hollow City by Ransom Riggs
The sequel to Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, which I read in 2011 and really enjoyed. I was actually disappointed to learn about the sequel—lamenting the lack of stand-alone stories available these days—but I’m still interested to read more of Ransom Rigg’s writing. It was released on January 14, 2014 by Quirk Books, distributed by Random House.

The Confabulist by Steven Galloway
Oddly the American publisher (a division of Penguin) says the release is March 6, 2014 but the Canadian publisher (Knopf) says April 29, 2014. Why is this odd? Knopf is a division of Random House, who recently merged with Penguin. So they have different release dates for different countries, and the Canadians have to wait longer even though Galloway is a Canadian author. That seems backwards to me. But aside from that industry criticism, I’m excited for Galloway’s new novel. I really enjoyed The Cellist of Sarajevo (read in 2008) and it doesn’t hurt that Galloway is from Vancouver, BC too. The Confabulist is a fictional work based on the life and death of Harry Houdini.

Spring 2014 - Books (part 2)

Frog Music by Emma Donoghue 
Emma Donoghue’s latest novel is being released March 25, 2014 in Canada by HarperCollinsCanada. After loving Room (read in 2010) and getting to see Emma at the Vancouver International Writers Festival in 2010, I’m really excited in her new book. It’s about a French burlesque dancer, takes place in San Francisco in 1876, and there is a murder mystery component.

The Girl Who Was Saturday Night by Heather O’Neill
This is Heather O’Neill’s first novel since her 2006 debut Lullabies for Little Criminals, which was a bestseller and winner of Canada Reads 2007. The Girl Who Was Saturday Night comes out June 5, 2014 and sounds very similar in style to Lullabies for Little Criminals (which I read in 2010), focusing on working class characters in a urban and sprawling Canadian city. In The Girl Who Was Saturday Night, Noushcka Trembley lives in Montreal with a public family history due to her father’s fame (and downfall).

Written In My Own Heart’s Blood by Diana Gabaldon
Book 8 in the Outlander series, which comes out in Canada on June 10, 2014—but June 5 in the USA (gah!).  Although I’m not completely caught up to Book 7, I’m still very excited. And I am itching to see the Outlander TV series (!!!) which is filming now (in Scotland of course) and starts airing in the summer of this year. And there is also a fan retreat in Seattle I want to head down for on June 7. YAY Outlander!!