50 Books We’re Looking Forward to in 2022 (Part 5)

  1. What do we know so far about Orlam, an epic poem by songstress PJ Harvey? “Nine-year-old Ira-Abel Rawles lives on Hook Farm in the village of UNDERWHELEM. Next to the farm is Gore Woods, Ira’s sanctuary, overseen by Orlam, the all-seeing lamb’s eyeball who is Ira-Abel’s guardian and protector. Here, drawing on the rituals, children’s songs, chants and superstitions of the rural West Country of England, Ira-Abel creates the twin realm through which she can make sense of an increasingly confusing and frightening world.” Where do we sign up?
  2. He won the Booker Prize for his debut, Shuggie Bain, which we thought was “as perfect a debut as you’re going to get.” With Young Mungo, Douglas Stuart promises, “a vivid portrayal of working-class life and a highly suspenseful story of the dangerous first love of two young men: Mungo and James.”
  3. Lots of good music books heading our way in 2022, not least Good Pop Bad Pop by Jarvis Cocker (Jarvis was always going to give good title eh?) – “From a Gold Star polycotton shirt to a pack of Wrigley’s Extra, from his teenage attempts to write songs to the Sexy Laughs Fantastic Dirty Joke Book, this is the hard evidence of Jarvis’s unique life, Pulp, 20th century pop culture, the good times and the mistakes he’d rather forget…” Alright!
  4. Lapvona is Otessa Moshfegh (officially the hardest working woman, or at least the most prolific woman, in literary fiction right now)’s sixth book (if we’re counting correctly) – “In a village in a medieval fiefdom buffeted by natural disasters, a motherless shepherd boy finds himself the unlikely pivot of a power struggle that puts all manner of faith to a savage test…”
  5. We love Julian Barnes here at Bookmunch (read our reviews of The Man in the Red Coat, In the Land of Pain, The Noise of Time, Levels of Life, The Only Story, The Sense of an Ending and Pulse, to name but a half dozen) and so his latest Elizabeth Finch, which concerns a student going through the papers of his former opinionated teacher is bound to be right up our strasse.
  6. Hilarious? Check. Groundbreaking? Check. Cult classic? Check. Inspired a whole literary movement? Check. Soon to be published in the UK for the very first time? Also check. Nevada by Imogen Binnie, coming our way in June 2022.
  7. We’ve loved Nick Cave’s fiction over the years (check out our review of The Death of Bunny Munro) but we are equally at home to a bit of nonfiction too and Faith Hope and Carnage is “is a thoughtful book about Nick Cave’s inner life over the last six years, a meditation on big ideas including, faith, art, music, grief and much more.”
  8. Our Wives Under The Sea by Julia Armfeld
  9. Two from those lovely White Rabbit people to close out our festive 50. First, This Woman’s Work. We’re basically talking about a series of essays fronted by Sonic Youther and Girl in a Band‘s Kim Gordon and Constellations‘ Sinead Gleason, featuring contributions from the likes of Anne Enright, Fatima Bhutto, Jenn Pelly, Rachel Kushner, Juliana Huxtable, Leslie Jamison, Liz Pelly, Maggie Nelson, Margo Jefferson, Megan Jasper, Ottessa Moshfegh, Simone White, Yiyun Li and Zakia Sewell.
  10. And finally, The Sound of Being Human by Jude Rogers. “Shaped around twelve songs, ranging from ABBA’s ‘Super Trouper’ to Neneh Cherry’s ‘Buffalo Stance’, Kraftwerk’s ‘Radioactivity’ to Martha Reeves and the Vandellas’ ‘Heat Wave’, the book combines memoir and historical, scientific and cultural enquiry to show how music can shape different versions of ourselves.” Count us massively in.

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