Another 50 books we’re looking forward to in 2014 (Part 4)


  1. Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami – Murakami haters will see everything they dislike about Murakami novels in the synopsis to his latest novel – “Tsukuru Tazaki’s life was irreparably changed when his relationships with his high school best friends became severed during Tsukuru’s college days. Now at 35, Tsukuru’s girlfriend Sara suggested to Tsukuru to go and talk to these high school friends in person to mend the relationships, and to discover the real reason behind the friends’ decision to reject Tsukuru. Tsukuru visited his friends in Nagoya and Finland one by one, and uncovers the real reason as to why their relations were broken off.” But Murakami haters have no place on Bookmunch. This is right up there fighting for first place on our books to look forward to list alongside number 46 (which we’ll get to on Friday).
  2. Nora Webster by Colm Toibin – Toibin follows his slim but acclaimed The Testament of Mary with Nora Webster, a novel that sounds like a Joyce short story: “It is the late 1960s in Ireland. Nora Webster is living in a small town, looking after her four children, trying to rebuild her life after the death of her husband. She is fiercely intelligent, at times difficult and impatient, at times kind, but she is trapped by her circumstances, and waiting for any chance which will lift her beyond them. Slowly, through the gift of music and the power of friendship, she finds a glimmer of hope and a way of starting again. As the dynamic of the family changes, she seems both fiercely self-possessed but also a figure of great moral ambiguity, making her one of the most memorable heroines in contemporary fiction.”
  3. The Love song of Miss Queenie Hennessy by Rachel Joyce – Rachel Joyce has scored twice on Bookmunch, earning all but rave reviews for her first two books – The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and Perfect – and so we have high hopes for her third, which returns to the world of her debut…
  4. Visitants by Dave Eggers – Visitants is Eggers’ first collection of travel writing, one that spans his entire career and includes pieces on Sudan, China and a dozen other destinations. From Saudi Arabia, Eggers takes us further on caterwauling sojourns in the likes of Cuba and Thailand, followed by brief stopovers in Croatia and Syria, and thought-provoking, meditative expositions on South Sudan, expanding on issues explored in his previous books. Globetrotters and Eggers fans alike will find a faithful companion in his unique combination of humour, humanism and empathy. It  may be too much to hope for Eggers’ version of Denis Johnson’s soulful Seek – but still. We anticipate.
  5. On Liberty by Shami Chakrabarti – Taking a leaf out of John Stewart Mill’s book (or not), Shami Chakrabarti explores why our fundamental rights and freedoms are indispensable. She shows, too, the unprecedented pressures those rights are under today. Drawing on her own work in high-profile campaigns, from privacy laws to anti-terror legislation, Chakrabarti shows the threats to our democratic institutions and why our rights are paramount in upholding democracy.
  6. Some Comics by Stephen Collins by Stephen Collins – although it may look like a typo, Stephen Collins’ second book is in fact called Some Comics by Stephen Collins. So that’s cleared that one up. If Stephen Collins’ name doesn’t have you say calloo callay, we’ll remind you that he was responsible for the mighty debut, The Gigantic Beard that was Evil (a book that made our 50 books we were looking forward to in 2013).
  7. Revival by Stephen King – You’ve read Mr Mercedes. You’ve read everything else by Stephen King. You’re getting itchy feet. When is he going to release a new book already?! Breathe easy King fans! There’s a second new novel coming before the end of the year. Phew! And this one promises “the most terrifying conclusion Stephen King has ever written”. We’ll see about that won’t we?
  8. See You in Paradise by J Robert Lennon – Anyone who read Lennon’s most recent novel Familiar – which would have been our favourite of 2013 if it hadn’t been pipped by that Donna Tartt – will be champing at the bit in preparation for a collection of his short stories. That anyone is us. We’re champing at the bit.
  9. Amnesia by Peter Carey – Now for every Peter Carey novel we’ve really really liked there has been a Peter Carey novel we’ve really really disliked (and we read with trepidation every time – every time, I tell you!). About his latest? “Has a young Australian woman declared cyber war on the United States? (The Justice Department thinks so.) Or was her Angel Worm intended only to open the prison doors of those unfortunates detained by Australia’s harsh immigration policies? Did American suffer collateral damage? Can she be extradited to a country with the death penalty? Is she innocent? Can she be saved?” We will read with trepidation…
  10. The Peripheral by William Gibson – Another writer who strikes out as often as he delivers, Gibson’s latest has a synopsis that reads: “Where Flynne and her brother, Burton, live, jobs outside the drug business are rare. Fortunately, Burton has his veteran’s benefits, for neural damage he suffered from implants during his time in the USMC’s elite Haptic Recon force. Then one night Burton has to go out, but there’s a job he’s supposed to do–a job Flynne didn’t know he had. Beta-testing part of a new game, he tells her. The job seems to be simple: work a perimeter around the image of a tower building. Little buglike things turn up. He’s supposed to get in their way, edge them back. That’s all there is to it. He’s offering Flynne a good price to take over for him. What she sees, though, isn’t what Burton told her to expect. It might be a game, but it might also be murder.” Could be a car crash, could be more of the same, could be a blast. Who knows eh?

Tomorrow in our fifth and final another books etc etc etc, we’ll be looking forward to new Hornby, new Coupland, new Shrigley, new Mantel and – get this – new JAMES ELLROY.



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