Another 50 books we’re looking forward to in 2014 (Part 5)


  1. Miss Blackpool by Nick Hornby – From winning Miss Blackpool to starring in the BBC’s hit comedy series Wedded Bliss – actress Sophie Scarr (real name Barbara) has made the leap just as the Sixties are about to swing. But life isn’t a comedy series, and marriage isn’t always blissful. Nick Hornby’s novel follows the fortunes of a long-running TV series and its creators over a number of decades: the disappointments and the triumphs, the tragedy and sometimes even the comedy.
  2. The Age of Earthquakes by Coupland, Obrist & Basar – Welcome to The Age of Earthquakes – a unique artistic and literary collaboration between Douglas Coupland, Shumon Basar and Hans Ulrich Obrist. Combining quick hits of images and ideas, stark statistics and scary slogans, The Age of Earthquakes tours the world that’s left behind as the world we knew melts away. A book of perceptions set in our ‘extreme present’, it’s a new history of the world, a portrait of our digital era in a relentlessly paper form.
  3. Weak messages create bad situations by David Shrigley – “We are in a bad situation and weak messages are to blame. Lots of individuals in society today are FEEBLE-MINDED. They don’t know what the HELL is going on. Unfortunately many of these people are responsible for running THE COUNTRY. They don’t know the difference between a PRECIOUS JEWEL and piece of animal turd. Their ideas are MEANINGLESS, illustrated using RUBBISH imagery (often made by a computer). The stupid words they write are always in BAD FONTS. Yet still people HEED this nonsense. Maybe YOU are one of these people? It’s alright. I am here to HELP you. I have a FULLY-COMPOSED WORLD VIEW. I have STRONG opinions about EVERYTHING. And my ideas are HAND-ILLUSTRATED and use REAL HANDWRITING that you can trust. I know exactly what’s going on and am WILLING to share my thoughts with you. If you LISTEN to what I say then things will quickly improve. No more weak messages. No more bad situations.” Thank you David Shrigley. We will heed you.
  4. Academy St by Mary Costello – Costello’s short story collection, The China Factory (Stinging Fly Press, 2012) was nominated for the Guardian First Book Award (UK) and shortlisted for the Irish Book Awards. Her stories have been broadcast by BBC and RTE (Ireland) radio and have been shortlisted for a Hennessy Award. Academy Street is the heart-rending and evocative story of one woman’s life spanning four decades. Played out against the backdrop of American life over forty years, it resonates with the rhythms of memory and of home, as well as those of America’s greatest city. It tells an intimate story about love, loss and longing, and the perpetual ache for belonging.
  5. The Emerald Light in the Air by Donald Antrim – A brand new collection of stories from Antrim whose Elect Mr Robinson for a Better World and The Hundred Brothers we were so fond of. We like short stories and we like Antrim. What could go wrong? 
  6. Perfidia by James Ellroy – Perfidia is an epic-length novel that will transpire within only 24 days – December 6, 1941 through to New Year’s Eve. A crime novel, a war novel and a historic romance, it will unfold in real time as two police officers, a Japanese-American forensic chemist and a young woman coerced into a cabal of Hollywood leftists work around the clock, while Los Angeles comports under nighttime blackouts, war fever and escalating racial tension spawned by the Pearl Harbor bombings. It’s also the first part of Ellroy’s second LA Quarter. September can’t come soon enough…
  7. Another Great Day at Sea by Geoff Dyer – As a child Geoff Dyer spent long hours making and blotchily painting model fighter planes. So the adult Dyer jumped at the chance of a residency aboard an aircraft carrier. Another Great Day at Sea chronicles Dyer’s experiences on the USS George H.W. Bush as he navigates the routines and protocols of “carrier-world,” from the elaborate choreography of the flight deck through miles of walkways and hatches to kitchens serving meals for a crew of five thousand to the deafening complexity of catapult and arresting gear.
  8. The First Bad Man by Miranda July – Miranda July novel – “Never has a novel spoken so deeply to my sexuality, my spirituality, my secret self” Lena Dunham on Miranda July’s novel, The First Bad Man. Jamie Byng tweeted this earlier in the year and given how much we liked Miranda July’s short stories, we are stoked to read this one.
  9. Consumed by David Cronenberg – The first novel from the greatly admired and award-winning film director sees the investigation into a French philosopher’s death become a surreal journey into global conspiracy, is constructed around parallel narratives that become entwined “in a gripping, dreamlike plot that involves geopolitics, 3-D printing, North Korea, the Cannes Film Festival, cancer, and, in an incredible number of varieties, sex. ‘Consumed’ is an exhilarating, provocative debut novel from one of the world’s leading film directors.”
  10. The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher by Hilary Mantel – Yes, you might say, but why look forward to a book you won’t review? We would review it, if we were sent it – but for some reason we are never sent Hilary Mantel books. This one is a collection of short stories. We like the title a whole lot, we would read it but – we’ll have to wait and see eh?

The Full List of our Another 50 Books will be posted tomorrow…


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