In case you missed it yesterday–a second trailer for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I has been released. The movies just keep getting better; does this new glimpse have you looking forward to November 19?
I admit, I let out a gasp when I came across the catalog listing for The Uncoupling (Riverhead) by Meg Wolitzer. Her 2008 novel The Ten-Year Nap was one of my favorites of the year [read our interview here]; that was a big year for books on the "mommy wars" debate, and Wolitzer's novel took on the issue in a much more honest and entertaining way than any nonfiction study.
Her eighth novel, The Uncoupling, is inspired by Lysistrata (need I say more?). When the Stellar Plains High School drama club chooses Aristophane's classic story for the annual school play, the women of the community begin to turn away from their partners, and both men and women "are forced to look at their partners, their shared history, and their sexual selves in a new light."
Look for the book on April 4.
The beginning of the year is the perfect time for publishers to introduce new faces, and two February debuts are already building up some buzz.
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Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown (Feb. 17, 2011; Amy Einhorn Books): Three sisters named for Shakespeare's heroines have one summer to pull their disorganized lives together—is there really no problem a library card can't solve?
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness (Feb. 2011; Viking Books): A novel about an ages-old vampire, a spellbound witch, and the mysterious alchemical manuscript that draws them together—this book provides a dose of the paranormal for the adult crowd and was one of the hottest titles on offer at the 2009 Frankfurt Book Fair.
What debuts are you looking forward to?
Here's one item we can guarantee will be found under many readers' trees this holiday season: a boxed set of Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy. Packaged in a slipcase, the three books include maps and beautifully designed endpapers. The set also includes On Stieg Larsson, a collection of essays about and correspondence with the author. Retail price is $99, and you can buy them on November 26.
Either of these on your gift list—or wish list!—this year?
Admit it: there's at least one fail-proof cue out there that is guaranteed to get you to pick up a book. A time period, a cover image, a setting, a theme—everyone has a trigger. Sometimes the book delivers, sometimes it doesn't, but either way you're going to at least give it a try.
Paging through the Crown catalog turned up one for me—A Man in Uniform, which goes on sale December 28. It set off the following alarms:
Kim Edwards hit the big time in a big way with her 2005 debut novel, The Memory Keeper's Daughter. The novel became a word-of-mouth hit and a book club favorite. We said this family drama about a doctor and his wife who deny their daughter's existence once they discover she has Downs syndrome "reveals the strength of family bonds under unique and difficult circumstances."
Next year, Edwards will have another chance to delight readers with Lake of Dreams (Viking), which will hit shelves on January 4. From the catalog:
At a crossroads in her life, Lucy Jarrett returns home from Japan, only to find herself haunted by her father's unresolved death a decade ago. Old longings stirred up by Keegan Fall, a local glass artist who was once her passionate first love, lead her into the unexpected. Late one night, as she paces the hallways of her family's rambling lakeside house, she discovers, locked in a window seat, a collection of objects that first appear to be useless curiosities, but soon reveal a deeper and more complex family past. As Lucy discovers and explores the traces of her lineage—from an heirloom tapestry and dusty political tracts to a web of allusions depicted in stained-glass windows throughout upstate New York—the family story she has always known is shattered. Lucy's quest for the truth reconfigures her family's history, links her to a unique slice of the suffragette movement, and yields dramatic insights that embolden her to live freely.
With surprises at every turn, brimming with vibrant detail, The Lake of Dreams is an arresting saga in which every element emerges as a carefully placed piece of the puzzle that's sure to enthrall the millions of readers who loved The Memory Keeper's Daughter.
This February, T.C. Boyle returns with "a socially conscious, richly humane tale regarding the dominion we attempt to exert, for better or worse, over the natural world." When the Killing's Done (Viking) is set off the coast of Santa Barbara, and follows a National Park Service biologist who is trying to keep invasive, non-native species from killing off the island's endangered native creatures. Her task is complicated by a local businessman and his folksinger girlfriend, who don't think that the non-native species should be eliminated.
This isn't Boyle's first foray into environmental fiction: his 2000 novel, A Friend of the Earth [read our review] is set in the future (2025, to be exact) in the wake of a massive species extinction.
Boyle fans should check out our coverage of his backlist on BookPage.com.
This just in—everyone's favorite genre-bending writer, Jasper Fforde, has another Thursday Next book coming out . . . March next. March 8, 2011, to be exact.
Sounds like things are just as twisted as usual in Thursday's world, from this publisher description:
All-out Genre war is rumbling, and the BookWorld desperately needs a heroine like Thursday Next. But with the real Thursday apparently retired to the Realworld, the Council of Genres turns to the written Thursday. The Council wants her to pretend to be the real Thursday and travel as a peacekeeping emissary to the warring factions.
We've already shared our excitement about Karen Russell's first novel, Swamplandia! (Feb., Knopf). Galleys recently hit the BookPage office, and I'm tempted to nab it for my Labor Day weekend reading if our fiction editor is feeling generous. Here's a sneak peek at the opening lines, which provide a great example of Russell's unique voice and give a glimpse into the mysterious world of the book's eponymous Everglades theme park.
Chapter One: The Beginning of the End
Our mother performed in starlight. Whose innovation this was I never discovered. Probably it was Chief Bigtree's idea, and it was a good one—to blank the follow spot and let a sharp moon cut across the sky, unchaperoned; to kill the microphone; to leave the stage lights' tin eyelids scrolled and give the tourists in the stands a chance to enjoy the darkness of our island; to encourage the whole stadium to gulp air along with Swamplandia!'s star performer, the world-famous alligator wrestler Hilola Bigtree. Four times a week, our mother climbed the ladder above the Gator Pit in a green two-piece bathing suit and stood on the edge of the diving board, breathing. If it was windy, her long hair flew around her face, but the rest of her stayed motionless. Nights in the swamp were dark and star-lepered—our island was thirty-odd miles off the grid of mainland lights—and although your naked eye could easily find the ball of Venus and the sapphire hairs of the Pleiades, our mother's body was just lines, a smudge against the palm trees.
While many of us think of the summer months as prime reading season, publishers tend to save plenty of their sure-to-be fiction hits for fall. And this year’s crop of late 2010 novels is certainly no different.
Our September issue has already gone to press, and we are particularly excited about our interviews with Jonathan Franzen and Emma Donoghue. Franzen’s Freedom and Donoghue’s Room are two of the most talked-about upcoming releases, and we can’t wait to see what readers make of them once they go on sale in the coming weeks (for Freedom, that’s August 31 and Room, September 13).
September also marks the release of Sara Gruen’s follow-up to the smash hit Water for Elephants, Ape House, (Sept. 7), Ken Follett’s first part in a new trilogy, Fall of Giants (Sept. 28), another love story from Nicholas Sparks, Safe Haven (Sept. 14) and Michael Cunningham’s first novel since Specimen Days, By Nightfall (Sept. 28).
But things don’t slow down in October. Nicole Krauss is back (after The History of Love) with Great House on Oct. 12 (be sure to check out our interview with Krauss in the October issue of BookPage) and John le Carré returns with Our Kind of Traitor (also on sale Oct. 12).
In November, we’re excited about a new—and very dark—story collection from Stephen King, Full Dark, No Stars (on sale Nov. 9) and Dennis Lehane’s follow up to Gone, Baby, Gone, Moonlight Mile (on sale Nov. 2).
If courtroom dramas and thrillers are your cup of tea, you are certainly in luck this fall. Vince Flynn, John Grisham, Lee Child, David Baldacci, Patricia Cornwell, James Patterson, Tom Clancy and Steve Berry all have new releases in the coming months.
So as the kids go back to school and the leaves change from green to red, be sure to pick up one of these new novels. You won’t be disappointed!