I was delighted to see an article from The Millions (which, if you don’t follow, you should) that focused on the most anticipated books of this year.
Here’s a link so you can view it in all its glory. Be warned–none of their links open in a new tab, and it will drive you batty.
Though I don’t think anything compares to 2015’s excitement over a new Franzen book, there’s some pretty fun things in the pipeline. For instance, you’ll perhaps remember a woman named Elizabeth Strout, especially if you paid attention to the Emmys last year. Her Pulitzer winner Olive Kitteridge was made into a TV series that fared well, and I wrote about the book a few months ago. (Spoiler alert: loved it.) Well, Strout had a new book come out just last week. It’s called My Name Is Lucy Barton, and it’s another family drama. That’s great, since that’s what Strout does best: family dynamics. An estranged daughter comes back to a sick mother. Hilarity ensues. Kidding, of course–if it’s anything like Olive Kitteridge, it will be probably be quite solemn…and quite good.
–Added to cart.
Wait till you see Fine, Fine, Fine, Fine. I would get this one for the cover alone.
I’d never heard of this author before. Apparently she writes brilliant microstories. If short story authors are witches, authors who write super tiny stories are voodoo high priestesses. These are supposed to be raw, funny, and written with great skill. The Millions name-dropped Viktor Shklovsky, who seems to be making the circuit of people who discuss the defamiliarization tactics of short story authors. (Well, by that, I mean I talked about it too.) The description on The Millions article is interesting, more interesting than what I’m saying here, so check it out. And the book’s out in a few days, so you can order it now.
—Added to cart mostly because of book cover.
There’s a book coming out in February called You Should Pity Us Instead. It has a much less interesting cover, and it’s by another unknown-by-me author. But The Millions’ description of it is awesome:
A debut collection of crisp short stories about people in various forms of extremis — people with kidnapped sons, babies who won’t stop crying, too many cats. The scenarios vary wildly in terms of their objective badness, but that’s how life is, and the writer treats them all with gravity.
—Added to cart because too many cats.
But back to what the people really want. Awesome covers.
Here is Mark Leyner’s Gone With the Mind
Apparently, you don’t have to worry about misjudging a book by its interesting cover. The plot involves an autobiography reading at a Panda Express. I have to assume such a thing comes from a rare gem of a mind.
—Added to cart for soviet constructivist cover art.
There’s so much more, so check out that article. More highlights include Sudden Death, Zero K, and Thomas Jefferson Dreams of Sally Hemings. (Definitely read the excerpt of that one. It’s wonderful.)
In other news, I am never writing a blog post on a tablet again. Sorry to anyone who clicked and saw a garble-tastic work in progress instead of a completed post. I also joined the affiliate link program on Amazon, knowing I’d be linking to a ton of things here, so full disclosure on that. Most links won’t make me anything, but the ones to books on Amazon will send a few cents my way if you decide to buy a book about too many cats.