A throwaway mention of a new Kate Atkinson novel in 2010 had me Googling up a storm this morning. Sure enough, Amazon.co.uk has a listing for Started Early, Took My Dog—a fourth Jackson Brodie novel—pubbing with Doubleday on August 19.** It's not clear whether this is the U.S. or the U.K. edition, though, since the site also lists a June paperback version coming from U.K. publisher Transworld. Atkinson's previous books were published in the U.S. by Little, Brown. Regardless, it looks like Atkinson fans like me might have something to look forward to this summer.
Few details have been released, but the novel's title comes from an Emily Dickinson poem—perhaps it holds a hint as to the contents?
Related in BookPage: Our interview with Kate Atkinson for One Good Turn. Reviews of Case Histories and When Will there Be Good News?
**since this post was published, we learned that the pub date has changed. Click here for details, and a description of the book.
Country music superstar Sara Evans was in Nashville Monday night to promote her first novel, The Sweet By and By. Evans teamed up with veteran author Rachel Hauck to write the first in a four book fictional series about a young Southern woman, Jade Fitzgerald, and her evolving quest to balance the traumatic events of her past with the bright prospects on her horizon.
BookPage editors Abby and Trisha were lucky enough to sit down and talk with the lovely and candid Ms. Evans. Press the play button below to hear our chat about the stories behind the book, how Sara balances her work and family life and why she is afraid of elevators.
Our chat with Sara Evans:
The Sweet By and By is on sale now. Will you pick up a copy?
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
July 2002, Little, Brown
These were the lovely bones that had grown around my absence: the connections—sometimes tenuous, sometimes made at great cost, but often magnificent—that happened after I was gone. And I began to see things in a way that let me hold the world without me in it. The events that my death wrought were merely the bones of a body that would become whole at some unpredictable time in the future. The price of what I came to see as this miraculous body had been my life
Last month, we pondered potential new titles from Quirk Books, the creator of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, etc. (I liked Romeo & Juliet & Mummies and Shakespeare and Skeletons.)
Well, now we know the answer. In June, Quirk will release Android Karenina, which the publisher promises to be “an enhanced edition of the classic love story set in a dystopian world of robots, cyborgs, and interstellar space travel.” Hmm.
If you prefer a more, ahem, classic version of Tolstoy, don’t miss Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky’s new translation of War and Peace. (Especially readers whose 2010 goal is to read more classics!)
Which will it be for you. . . Android Karenina or War and Peace?
It’s an industry standard to publish new books on Tuesdays, and today is no exception. If you’re interested in great new fiction, run to your local bookstore and pick up one of these Jan. 12 releases:
Bloodroot, a family saga set in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, is by debut author Amy Greene. In a behind-the-book essay with BookPage, Greene writes about her inspiration for the novel: “I saw a black-haired woman with wild blue eyes and her two hungry-looking children. The children were twins, a boy and a girl. There was something mysterious about the three of them, especially the woman, and I needed to figure out what it was. I pictured her and the twins living in isolation on that hill in the mountain woods, maybe hiding from some kind of danger. I don’t know where the image came from, but I was captured by it.”
Also related: BookPage editors Abby and Trisha report from a dinner with Greene and other Nashville-area book folks.
National Book Award-nominee Amy Bloom is back with Where the God of Love Hangs Out, a collection of short stories focused on “the way people act toward and react to one another,” according to BookPage reviewer Becky Ohlsen. Bloom’s “stories have an almost theatrical quality: she puts several people with complex relationships in a room and lets them have it out—sometimes in dialogue, but mostly through those perfectly tuned inner voices.” Also don’t miss Bloom’s 2007 novel Away.
We’ve blogged about Saving CeeCee Honeycutt before, and today you can see what all the fuss is about. Get a preview in an interview with BookPage, in which author Beth Hoffman writes how she found her voice as a writer creating “story ads” for her interior design studio.
Reader favorite Elizabeth Kostova gave us a sneak peak into The Swan Thieves in November, and today you can get the rest of the story. Kostova’s second novel (after mega-hit The Historian) is about love, obsession and French Impressionism. On writing about art, she told BookPage: “When I started going back to museums and seeing these paintings in the flesh, I was so overwhelmed by them. They’re so wonderful in real life, and Impressionism is so textured that you really have a sense of people working with the brush when you look at the originals that you don’t with reproductions.”
Which of these books will you be reading first? That’s a tough call for me, but since I live in Tennessee, I’m leaning towards Bloodroot. . .
Browsing the book blog world, I’ve seen a lot of posts about reading goals for 2010. For example, Rebecca at The Book Lady’s Blog writes about reading “deliberately” in 2010—reading classics, reading meatier books and mixing new releases with backlist titles. S. Krishna wants to tackle more literary fiction and make use of her e-reader.
Like many of you, I want to read through my TBR stack before buying any more books! I also go through fiction and nonfiction phases, and lately I’ve read probably 90% fiction. I’d love to mix it up a bit and read some nonfiction, especially some of the memoirs that have come out lately (A Mountain of Crumbs has gotten rave reviews from other BookPage editors).
What are your reading goals for 2010?
We at BookPage seem to be slightly obsessed with PBS's literary programming. (OK, maybe it's just me.) Another great miniseries is up to bat starting this Sunday: "Return to Cranford." It's a sequel to the 2008 series based on Elizabeth Gaskell's novel of the same name, "Cranford," which won two Emmys and three BAFTAs (until January 10, the original "Cranford" is online). "Return to Cranford" will air in two installments on January 10 and January 17.
Starring some of the U.K.'s most talented actors of a certain age, including Dame Judi Dench and Imelda Staunton, the Cranford episodes are as charming as Gaskell's novel, and full of compassion and humor. Based on Gaskell's hometown of Knutford, in Cheshire, Cranford is a village peopled mostly by women. Above the usual small-town conflicts, the larger specter of modernization—factories and railroads, which were just starting to transform the landscape in the early 1840s—looms, a fact that some in the series adjust to better than others. Imagine Lake Wobegone crossed with "The Golden Girls," and you'll have some idea of the appeal of this warm and welcoming series, which is full of delightfully eccentric characters. But the book (and series) is not all warm fuzzies; the women of Cranford face real difficulties and losses.
Gaskell wrote Cranford to capture the foibles and customs of the generation preceding hers, since social mores and structures were rapidly changing. Her work combines the social satire of Austen with the social conscience of Dickens, and in recent years her novels have made a resurgence in popularity. The opening paragraph of Cranford is as memorable, if not as well known, as the opening lines of Pride and Prejudice or A Tale of Two Cities:
In the first place, Cranford is in possession of the Amazons; all the holders of houses above a certain rent are women. If a married couple come to settle in the town, somehow the gentleman disappears; he is either fairly frightened to death by being the only man in the Cranford evening parties, or he is accounted for by being with his regiment, his ship, or closely engaged in business all the week in the great neighbouring commercial town of Drumble, distant only twenty miles on a railroad. In short, whatever does become of the gentlemen, they are not at Cranford. What could they do if they were there? . . . the ladies of Cranford are quite sufficient. "A man," as one of them observed to me once, "is SO in the way in the house!"
Anyone else a fan of Gaskell or the adaptations of her books? I hear the North & South miniseries that came out a few years ago was equally wonderful.
The book—which is told in the form of an affidavit—is from the point-of-view of Alice Tatnall Ziplinsky, the ex-wife of the heir to Zip’s Candies. The candy company was founded by her (ex) father-in-law, Hungarian immigrant Eli Czaplinsky, who named his candies “Little Sammies,” “Tigermelts” and “Mumbo Jumbos” in reference to characters from Little Black Sambo. (You'll have to read True Confections to find out why.)
I don’t want to give away too much more information about the book, other than to say that it hilariously, and even tenderly, depicts kooky family dynamics.
The Zip’s Candies website includes a video of a (faux) vintage Zip's Candies television jingle—and sheet music!
Have you seen any good book trailers/websites lately? Please share in the comments.
Earlier this week, Meghan McCain shared the title of her upcoming book on Twitter. (Read from the bottom up.)
I don't care how un-politically correct it is, I love walmart.
really sad to hear that @tyrabanks show is going off the air in 2010 but she says there are more projects in the works. she is such an icon
my dad made us pancakes and then took us to see a movie - I feel like I'm 14 again. we saw Sherlock Holmes, we all loved it but Dad LOVED IT
The date January 8 probably doesn’t have much significance to many readers. . . unless you happen to be the kind of person who makes Graceland pilgrimages and sings “Jailhouse Rock” in your sleep. Yep, you guessed it: Today is Elvis’s 75th birthday!
If you love The King, you’re in luck; there are many, many books out that chronicle his life, music, girlfriends. . .
Peter Guralnick’s two-volume biography of Elvis, Last Train to Memphis followed by Careless Love, is one of the most definitive texts. (Guralnick’s Dream Boogie, about Sam Cooke, is also excellent.) BookPage reviewer Alden Mudge called Careless Love an “excellent and exhaustive” account. The biography’s most important contribution, writes Mudge, is to document “what a truly extraordinary—and wide-ranging—musical sensibility Elvis possessed.”
Also look out for Adam Victor’s The Elvis Encyclopedia, an A to Z reference that “covers seemingly every person, place and thing that touched Elvis' eventful life.”
Photographer Alfred Wertheimer has a new book out called Elvis 1956, which will serve as the catalogue for a nationally traveling Smithsonian Show, “Elvis at 21,” which opens today at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles. The book documents Elvis’s early career, and the transition of America from the post-war 1950s to the 1960s. In BookPage, reviewer Ron Wynn called the book "a showcase for. . . dazzling, frequently surprising photos."
In honor of Elvis’s birthday, what’s your favorite Elvis book? (I’ll vote for Guralnick.) Song? (“Suspicious Minds”!)