This just in: Louis Sachar has signed with Delacorte to publish his first YA novel since 2006's Small Steps. The new book, which will be out on May 11, 2010, is called The Cardturner and was inspired by Sachar's own love of bridge. In the novel, 17-year-old Alton is forced to accompany his uncle to a weekly bridge game and discovers a love of cards and a neighborhood girl. He also realizes his wealthy uncle has a secret.
I loved Sachar's Wayside School series as a preteen. Somehow it is reassuring to know that another generation of kids are getting their own dose of Sachar's inimitable imagination.
Related in BookPage: our 2006 interview with Louis Sachar on Small Steps
[gallery link="file" columns="4" orderby="rand"]
But in 2010, when it comes to anticipated fiction releases from literary heavyweights, the authors everyone is buzzing about are almost all male. The action starts next month, when Don DeLillo releases Point Omega (Doubleday), his first novel since 2007's Falling Man.
Then on February 23, John Banville will publish The Infinities (Knopf), billed as a literary gem with a playful side that finds immortals vying over the soul of a dying mathematician.
March 29 brings the release of Ian McEwan's Solar (Doubleday), which promises to be as topical as his last novel, 2005's Saturday—it's the story of a physicist who just might have hit on a way to save the planet. (Read our earlier post about this book.)
In April, Australian Peter Carey returns with his first book since His Illegal Self, Parrot and Olivier in America (Knopf). Described as a comic novel, the book is set in the 19th-century United States and is inspired by the real-life experiences of Alex de Tocqueville.
May features a new release from Martin Amis, another major British writer. Will The Pregnant Widow (Knopf), rumored to be his most autobiographical novel yet, be a hit like The House of Meetings, or a flop like the infamous Yellow Dog? We'll find out May 11. And of course on May 25, readers everywhere will be flocking to bookstores to pick up a copy of The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest (Knopf), the last of Steig Larsson's Lisbeth Salander books.
And finally, June 29 brings the long-awaited fifth novel from David Mitchell, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet (Random House). They're dubbing this epic tale, set in 1799 Japan, Mitchell's most ambitious work yet, which is saying something when you're talking about the author of Cloud Atlas.
What 2010 release are you waiting to read?
Happy New Year!
To set the tone for 2010, we're giving away the paperback version of one of 2009's hottest mystery debuts. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie is the first in a new series starring precocious preteen sleuth Flavia de Luce, who solves mysteries in 1950s England between bouts with her two older sisters.
In our review, BookPage contributor Arlene McKanic said that "Readers will want more, much more, of Flavia de Luce!" If you want to find out what all the fuss is about before the sequel, The Weed that Strings the Handman's Bag, comes out in March, leave a comment telling us about the best mystery YOU read last year. We'll pick a winner from among the entries received before 10 am CST on January 4. Good luck!
So Much for That by Lionel Shriver
Harper, March 2010
Shep could feel it, that for Zach suddenly the whole happy-family playacting was too much. The boy didn't know that until a week ago his father was about to abscond to the east coast of Africa, and he didn't know that his mother had just been diagnosed with a rare and deadly cancer, much less did he know that as far as his mother was concered the disease was his father's fault. But these highly incidental unsaids emitted the equivalent of the high-frequency sound waves that convenience stores now broadcast outside their shops to keep loitering gangs from the door. What dulled adult ears could no longer detect was unbearable to adolescents, and the same might be said of emotional fraud. Zach popped his pizza pocket early from the taoster and took his half-frozen dinner in a paper towel upstairs without even bothering with "See ya."
Roast chicken, boiled potatoes and steamed green beans. Glynis commended his preparation, but only picked. "I feel fat," she admitted.
"You're underweight. It's only fluid. You have to stop thinking like that."
"Suddenly I'm supposed to become a different person?"
"You can be the same person who eats more."
"Your chicken," she said, "is probably not what I feel so little appetite for." This was surely true. Given the purpose of food, an appetite at meals implied an appetite for the future.