50 Books We’re Looking Forward To in 2013 (Pt 4)
We didn’t get along with his last novel, The Waterproof Bible, but we did love love love both of his novellas – All Our Friends are Superheroes and The Tiny Wife – so we’re are I suppose looking forward to Born Weird with caveats – caveats that include the fact that Born Weird sounds a little bit like Steven Amsterdam’s excellent What the Family Needed novel…
It may be that you think Stephen King had the last word on this some years ago, or that Scarlett Thomas had the last word on this last month with her Monkeys on Typewriters book or it may be that you think AL Kennedy is the last word. Irrespective of what you think, AL Kennedy is releasing a book on writing in 2013 that will either fill us in on how she manages to combine a successful literary career with stand-up comedy or let us know how you too can learn to write the AL Kennedy way…
Joe Pickett is back in CJ Box’s latest (one of two the man has out in 2013) and given that the last book didn’t really focus on Pickett at all (but rather his black ops mate whose birds were finally coming home to roost) it’ll be good to have ourselves a Joe Pickett drama in the vein we’ve come to know and love. It’ll follow a template, sure – there’ll be a murder, it’ll look open and shut, Joe will guess there’s more to things than meets the eye and, didn’t you just know it, he’ll be right. But for all that, Box has a lyrical way with his prose and he can fashion a mean page turner. Bring it on.
Sam Savage is one of the greats as far as we are concerned, the literary equivalent of a terrific Stewart Lee gig. His debut Firmin was amusing and literate and each subsequent book, although growing steadily darker, has continued to cement our bond. The Way of the Dog might well be his darkest yet – a rumination on mortality and art – but we have high hopes all the same…
She may be struggling somewhat to return to the globebestriding bestseller lists of yore (Her Fearful Symmetry not selling the units that The Time-Traveller’s Wife did) but, with her interesting sidesteps into a Gorey-esque graphic novel world, Niffenegger appears to be a writer unafraid to follow her muse and we like that. The Raven Girl also features Niffenegger’s illustrations as it tells the story of a postman who falls in love with a raven. And why not.
After the great deluge of Roberto Bolano books post 2666, we now enter the unfinished works zone. Woes of the True Policeman is likely to draw more than a few gasps of interest from Bolano fans in that this particular unfinished work is among the last things he was writing at the time of his death and functions as a further, additional add on to 2666 itself. Interest piqued.
Jim Crace has been saying for a while now that he doesn’t have too many more books in him but we are glad that Harvest has almost arrived because we think Crace is capable of blowing your socks off when he’s firing on all cylinders. Harvest appears to return to that indeterminate world last glimpsed in The Pest House to forge a sort of Hardy-esque take on a Cormac McCarthy novel: ‘As late summer steals in and the final pearls of barley are gleaned, a village comes under threat. A trio of outsiders – two men and a dangerously magnetic woman – arrives on the woodland borders and puts up a make-shift camp. That same night, the local manor house is set on fire. Over the course of seven days, Walter Thirsk sees his hamlet unmade: the harvest blackened by smoke and fear, the new arrivals cruelly punished, and his neighbours held captive on suspicion of witchcraft. But something even darker is at the heart of his story, and he will be the only man left to tell it . . .’ Very excited about this one…
Hemon’s first book since Love & Other Obstacles is arguably the book that a great many Hemon fans have been waiting for since The Question of Bruno all those years ago, a memoir of sorts. Amazon says, ‘Aleksandar Hemon’s lives begin in Sarajevo, a small, blissful city where a young boy’s life is consumed with street soccer with his casually multi-ethnic group of friends, resentment of his younger sister, and occasional trips abroad with his engineer-cum-beekeeper father, and a young man’s life is about poking at the pretensions of the city’s elders with American music, bad poetry, and slightly better journalism. And then there is Chicago – war breaking out at home and the city fully under siege, the Hemon family fleeing Sarajevo (with their dog) and all they had ever known, applying for asylum, and Hemon himself starting his own family in this new city. And yet this is not really a memoir.’
Griffiths’ latest may sound a bit Melvin Burgess-y on the surface (itself no bad thing) – in that it concerns a girl from the countryside who has dreams of becoming a big celebrity and the person who remembers her way back when – but given that his last book Runt demonstrated a real maturity in his writing (maturity that should’ve earned him the kind of reviews heaped upon Ross Raisin’s In God’s Country) we expect good things from this one… (not keen on the cover, mind).
Montague Terrace by Gary & Warren Pierce
The first of two graphic novels on our 2013 list, Montague Terrace is home to self-exiled pop crooners, ageing former special ops agents, magic bunnies, down-on-their luck entertainers, landlocked sailors, fake pet psychics, hounded inventors and randy postmen. Sounds good to us. Here’s a wee glimpse:
Our fifth and final instalment of Books We’re Looking Forward to in 2013 will appear tomorrow featuring Evie Wyld, Woody Guthrie, Yoko Ogawa and Stewart Lee, amongst others…
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- December 13, 2012 / 8:34 am