The Sensational 2017 Review Of What Hasn’t Happened Yet

As I will be far too busy at the end of the year defending my world heavyweight title (but that’s enough about diets), writing tweets for post-impeachment politicians and smugly reading fan mail, I must once again get my annual review of happenings in the booky world out of the way in January, before any of it has actually happened.

Call me NostraSparlus, but I think some of you were hoping, after my apocalyptic prescience in the shambles of a year that was 2016, that I might abandon this little routine. Either that, or I would perhaps resort to predicting something a bit nicer for 2017.

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Well. You should have known better. And it’s not like you visit this blog for sunshine and fluffy bunnies anyway.

So without further ado, please pass the smelling salts, and read on.



The Mind, Body & Spirit industry was deemed to have finally eaten itself when Unhelping Your Self: A Detox Guide hit the #1 spot in the bestseller lists. This self-help book for self-help addicts promised readers it could wean them from self-help in six weeks.


Big Publishers declared that they were no longer accepting Instagram streams as subject matter for books after February 2017, causing a mass stampede as Instagrammers trampled each other to death in a bid to get their photographs into hastily-captioned coffee table books before the deadline. Fortunately, this weeded out quite a few. The remainder were corralled into mirrored cells with a selfie stick and a notebook, and told not to come out until they’d written one complete sentence that wasn’t about themselves.

Your Sensational 2017 Review Of What Hasn't Happened Yet


The spate of celebrity deaths in 2016 led to intense surveillance of all surviving celebrities over the age of 62. Elton John became the most hacked man in the world after 35 million people hacked in to his fitness bracelet, hoping to be first to break the news on social media at the first sign of any fluctuation in his vital signs. A scramble for rights to final autobiographies resulted in highly visible punch-ups between desperate editors outside celebrity residences in London and LA.


Fiction made a brief rebound when the independently-published book This Is Not A Story won the Pulitzer Prize. This no-frills account of a man who buys a newspaper and reads it cover to cover while eating a sausage roll was declared “the only truth capable of healing the post-truth society” by the Observer; “a masterful deconstruction of the self” by the Times Literary Supplement and “the vanguard of Non-Fiction Fiction, a new genre for our age,” by the New York Times. A small cohort of book bloggers called it “a bit boring”.


Plagiarism was the word of the month, when 67 mass market paperbacks were published in May with covers featuring a woman in a red coat walking away down a road through a forest holding an umbrella. Lawyers were declared the big winners in the legal disputes which followed, as each publisher vehemently denied copying the original cover for the smash bestseller Generic Psychological Thriller Firmly Marketed At Generic Women.


Film/book tie-ins were turned on their heads when several paperback fiction titles were released in June  based on films which were not originally based on a book. The trend caught on quickly, with book deals soon in the offing for every film with an original screenplay which had made a profit since 2014. “I don’t know why we never thought of this before, it’s a bloody goldmine,” said one industry insider.

Your Sensational 2017 Review Of What Hasn't Happened Yet


Fans were devastated when The Biyble, Kanye West’s ghost-written book featuring 66 pages of short fiction, turned out to have been written by West himself. West refused to explain his motives during a 14-hour rant at a concert in Colorado, which immediately entered the Guinness Book Of Records as the longest rant by Kanye West to date.


September heralded the rise of what became known as the ‘Spoilers’ craze, when authors rushed to create trustworthy and believable voices in fiction (soon nicknamed the “Reliable Narrators”), all of whom revealed their secrets to readers at the very beginning of the book, thus rendering endings unnecessary. Marketers needed little encouragement to package these books as a perfect solution to the modern attention deficit.


The race to find the defining 2017 lifestyle trend was declared over with the simultaneous release of 23 titles from major publishing houses with the word “granny” in the title. Top of the list were Granny’s Recipes For Happiness; How To Be Happy, or A Year With My Grandmother; If Your Granny Wouldn’t Recognise It Don’t Eat It; Happiness Is A Warm Granny, and the runaway smash, Your Life Is Shit And Granny Knows It.


Non-fiction sales outnumbered fiction sales 4:1 for the first time since the 19th century. The Guardian was first to name the trend in an article called “Books For People Who Don’t Read Books”. Topping the charts were the hardback-bound shopping lists of reality TV stars, which outstripped sales of Devoida Talent’s surprise hit You Too Can Have My Fabulous Life (If You Claim You Suffer From Depression Sometimes But Feel Better After A Walk Or Maybe Doing Some Cute Crafts).


Nobody was more surprised than Tark and Mara when they landed the biggest book deal of 2017 following a bidding war for their memoir, Read Us And Weep. They dismissed rumours of a seven-figure advance, with Mara reported as saying, “As if we’d settle for such a pittance.” They promptly fired Tara Sparling from her position as Slave Scribe on Christmas Eve, stating “We tolerated this pitiful woman for long enough, but including us in her yearly predictions is an utterly vile example of self-serving nonsense, even by our standards.”


Right. That’s it. I’m off to talk to my lawyer. See you next week.

  42 comments for “The Sensational 2017 Review Of What Hasn’t Happened Yet

  1. Liberty On the Lighter Side
    January 12, 2017 at 10:09 am

    Brilliant once again, I can’t decide which month will be the worst. I do feel slightly robbed that July and August are lumped together though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • January 12, 2017 at 12:05 pm

      Yes, admittedly I take a bit of a cop-out every year with July and August, Liberty! It’s to support a tenuous tie to reality, though, as those months are traditionally the ‘silly season’ when nothing ever happens 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. January 12, 2017 at 10:40 am

    The really terrifying thing about this list is that it all seems perfectly reasonable when placed against the actual shitstorm that is publishing. My prediction for 2017 is that you’re spot on, and will end the year being paid mega-millions by publishers around the world to predict trends for 2018.

    Also, ‘Your Life is Shit And Granny Knows It’? Gold. Absolute gold. Hope you’re writing that one as we speak ;-D

    Liked by 1 person

    • January 12, 2017 at 12:07 pm

      I was terrified too when I found myself thinking a couple of times during the piece ‘Maybe I should actually go and write that’, Helen. Things are bad enough in the world without me writing to trend, let alone trendsetting. Although if I’m not being paid mega-millions by the end of 2017 I’ll be blaming you. As long as you’re okay with that.

      Liked by 1 person

      • January 12, 2017 at 2:18 pm

        I’m okay with that. After all, there’s the whole writing reality show thing to push this year as well – one or both of us are bound to be making millions at some point with it all.

        And yes, that is terrifying.

        Liked by 1 person

        • January 12, 2017 at 3:18 pm

          You will officially break my heart if your magnificent writing reality show doesn’t come to pass. Just sayin’. No pressure.

          Liked by 1 person

          • January 13, 2017 at 4:07 pm

            None at all, Tara. None at all. 😉

            *looks frantically for pitch writing pad*

            Liked by 1 person

  3. January 12, 2017 at 12:06 pm

    I fear you may be too accurate to be funny. The world in 2017 is a very strange place, indeed. I doubt you’ve even scratched the surface.

    Liked by 1 person

    • January 12, 2017 at 12:38 pm

      Well, as my general aim in life is to be funny and depressing at the same time, DJ, I think I might take that one as a win!!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. January 12, 2017 at 12:50 pm

    Don’t forget October is Irish Blog Awards Season. Any predictions for the winner of the book category this year, Tara? I was thinking of reading the penguins classic series backwards to guarantee a spot on the short-list.

    Liked by 1 person

    • January 12, 2017 at 2:39 pm

      I wouldn’t even dream of trying to predict the blog awards, Depterness. There’s little enjoyment to be had in predicting chaos. Having said that, I really like your Penguin idea. There’s a sweet kind of inevitability to it.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Ali Isaac
    January 12, 2017 at 1:53 pm

    Hahaha! Hilarious! Someone should definitely do January’s, and September’s is a must… it would be like a book of Tweets that don’t mean much and go nowhere… it’d go down a bomb! My fave prediction though has to be December’s… I can’t believe it’s taken so long for Tark and Mara to enter the book writing scene! I’d hate to see you lose your job, but fame by association… you’d be snapped up by other D-list celebrities to ghost write their fictitious… I mean autobiographies… and they’re ten a penny, you’d be quids in!

    I predict Ali Isaac will publish 2 books this year, and possibly even sell a copy of one… phew, what a year this is going to be! 😁😂😁

    Liked by 1 person

    • January 12, 2017 at 3:21 pm

      I’m imagining my life as the go-to ghostwriter for D-list celebrities, Ali. Is it shallow of me that I’m not horrified? I’m just thinking of the hidden Easter Eggs and under-the-radar joke possibilities. It would be so easy to get things past them seeing as most of them can barely read, after all.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ali Isaac
        January 12, 2017 at 3:38 pm

        Oh the fun you’d have! 😂

        Liked by 1 person

  6. January 12, 2017 at 2:02 pm

    You’ve outdone yourself this time, my dear. Each month more brilliant than the last. Can’t wait to see how many of these you get right. Was a bit surprised with the lack of any mention of honeyguides and aardvarks, though.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. January 12, 2017 at 4:07 pm

    Ha. Nice. I expect at least 3 of these to come true, Tara. #1 is my favorite, though as a granny, I have to admit being a fan of the granny-based literary craze. I don’t want to read any of them, but I’m all for it. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • January 12, 2017 at 10:28 pm

      Oh, nobody reads them, Diana. The thing about lifestyle crazes is that once you’ve bought the book, your life will change. That’s right, isn’t it?!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. January 12, 2017 at 4:34 pm

    Some of these are not far off reality are they – especially February. I think you missed one for Jan though – this is where we all learn how to unravel the sweaters we knitted in the hope of riding the hygge trend only to find the world has now moved on…..

    Liked by 1 person

    • January 12, 2017 at 10:33 pm

      There was entirely too much hygge in 2016, which is precisely why I left it there! Although there could be something in recycling the wool. Handknitted house insulation maybe?

      Liked by 1 person

  9. January 12, 2017 at 5:35 pm

    I may ditch my most recent attempt at novel writing ‘You should always throw your granny off the bus’ I could never compete

    Liked by 2 people

  10. January 12, 2017 at 10:08 pm

    You write such clever posts. Funny!
    Juneta @ Writer’s Gambit

    Liked by 1 person

  11. January 13, 2017 at 2:12 pm

    Great piece, now I can look forward, with eyes in the back of my head, to the coming year

    Liked by 1 person

    • January 13, 2017 at 4:17 pm

      This is most excellent. Would you consider starting a grassroots movement for it? I think it could be the Next Big Thing.


  12. carolannwrites
    January 13, 2017 at 5:41 pm

    February will deffo be like my absolutely fav month. More of these books… please! OMG! Like…
    Spluttering with laughter here, Tara. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. January 16, 2017 at 12:19 pm

    Hilarious as ever Tara! I’m putting money on Kanye’s book now as I’m sure it will happen

    Liked by 1 person

  14. January 18, 2017 at 7:56 am

    Perfectly reasonable predictions there, Tara. Can’t see what everyone thinks is so funny – especially if only a fraction of that comes to pass. They won’t be laughing then

    Liked by 1 person

    • January 18, 2017 at 11:11 am

      There’s something villainously ominous about that comment that I love, Graeme. I hope you follow through.

      Liked by 1 person

      • January 18, 2017 at 2:10 pm

        I’m told that being villainously ominous is what I do best, Tara. Apart from creepy, of course…

        Liked by 1 person

  15. January 20, 2017 at 12:31 pm

    I think you are on to some real winners here – the celebrity fitness hack, the film to book bestseller. Actually most no-book films are really four books mashed together. Non-fiction fiction is definitely approaching fast. I was confused to hear that a friend had attended a course last year for ‘creative non-fiction’, will we be able to tell the difference between the two?

    Liked by 1 person

    • January 20, 2017 at 7:16 pm

      Who knows, Hilary? Although the flowery language of rose-coloured memoirs that make up a lot of creative non-fic are often a dead giveaway…

      Liked by 1 person

  16. February 22, 2017 at 11:27 am

    I’m afraid I’ll have to query the legitimacy of one of your predictions, that is, the success of the post-truth fiction about a man who reads an entire newspaper while eating a sausage roll. This premise is stretching credibility too far. Sausage rolls did make a brief comeback with the craze for all things 80s, but in 2017 the odds are that a man who reads an entire newspaper will do so while eating a vegan lasagne made of soybean protein and yeast clippings.

    Liked by 1 person

    • February 22, 2017 at 12:55 pm

      I take your point, Blatherer, and I’ll allow it, but if I see a single solitary sign this year of either Tom Hardy or Idris Elba even holding a sausage roll, I will be on your doorstep and demanding an apology in triplicate. Even if the sausage is made out of kale.

      Liked by 1 person

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