Another 50 books we’re looking forward to in 2014 (Part 2)


11. Tibetan Peach Pie by Tom Robbins – Anyone who has ever got a kick out of Tom Robbin’s warped humour (which always struck this reader as one part Vonnegut, one part TC Boyle and two parts space alien) will surely be looking forward to his autobiography. We are promised the following: “In Tibetan Peach Pie, Robbins turns that unparalleled literary sensibility inward, stitching together stories of his unconventional life, from his Appalachian childhood to his globetrotting adventures —told in his unique voice that combines the sweet and sly, the spiritual and earthy.”

12. The Emperor Waltz by Philip Hensher – A single novel with three narrative strands: fourth-century Rome, 1920s Germany, and 1980s London. In each place, a small coterie is closely connected and separated from the larger world. In each story, the larger world regards the small coterie and its passionately-held beliefs and secrets with suspicion and hostility.

13. Let Me Be Frank With You by Richard Ford – We love Richard Ford, he’s one of our favourites and the Bascombe books (particularly The Sportswriter and Independence Day) are among our favourites of his (although we really did love Canada his most recent book too). A fourth outing for Bascombe is tremendously exciting (although we are not sure about that title)…

14. How to be Both by Ali Smith – Following both Shire and Artful, which Bookmunch liked a whole lot, How to be Both is “a novel all about art’s versatility. Borrowing from painting’s fresco technique to make an original literary double-take, it’s a fast-moving genre-bending conversation between forms, times, truths and fictions. There’s a renaissance artist of the 1460s. There’s the child of a child of the 1960s. Two tales of love and injustice twist into a singular yarn where time gets timeless, structural gets playful, knowing gets mysterious, fictional gets real – and all life’s givens get given a second chance.”

15. Night by Edna O’Brien – Country Girl helped push Edna back into the literary spotlight and so Faber are reissuing Night, one of her recognised classics. If you didn’t dabble with Country Girl because you know you don’t do memoirs and that, Night might well be a good jumping on point for you.

16. Zone of Interest by Martin Amis – A writer who seems to grow more rather than less divisive as he grows older (there are Bookmunch reviewers who flinch at the mere mention of his name, others who will read everything he does, irrespective of whether it’s a [yellow] dog or not), Zone of Interest returns Amis to the world of Time’s Arrow. Colour us reluctantly interested…

17. Fatherland by Nina Bunjevac – Bunjevac stakes her position as the new Marjane Satrapi with Fatherland, a graphic novel that engages with Bunjevac’s own history: “In 1975 Nina Bunjevac’s mother fled her marriage and her adopted country of Canada and took Nina back to Yugoslavia to live with her parents. Peter, her husband, was a fanatical Serbian nationalist who had been forced to leave his country at the end of World War II and migrate to Canada. But even there he continued his activities, joining a terrorist group that planned to set off bombs at the homes of Tito sympathisers and at Yugoslav missions in Canada and the USA. Then in 1977, while his family were still in Yugoslavia, a telegram arrived to say that a bomb had gone off prematurely and Peter and two of his comrades had been killed. Nina Bunjevac tells her family’s story in superb black-and-white artwork. Fatherland will be recognised as a masterpiece of non-fiction comics, worthy to stand beside Persepolis and Palestine.” Got very high hopes for this one…

18. Not that kind of girl by Lena Dunham – Now, we know that Girls is not the kind of TV show that appeals to everyone (I know a good few people who rate it as one of their most detested shows) but we’re fans, we think she’s talented and interesting and so her first book is something that we are keen to check out.

19. The Mark & The Void by Paul Murray – Skippy Dies was one of our favourites a couple of years ago (‘explosive and joyful’ we called it) and so Murray’s new un – which is set in and around a Dublin investment bank and clocks in at a very comfortable 480 pages – is one of our ones to watch for 2014.

20. How to speak money by John Lanchester – We’re big fans of Lanchester’s Whoops! Why Everyone owes everyone and no-one can pay here at Bookmunch Towers and his articles in the Guardian, NY Times, LRB and elsewhere too so count us stoked to be getting a second book of nonfiction.


Coming up in part 3 of our Another 50 books we’re looking forward to in 2014 list, you can read more about new uns by the likes of Will Self, Roddy Doyle, Ian McEwan, Margaret Atwood and Samantha Harvey, amongst others…


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