Early reviews, and the opinions of your BookPage editors, indicate that the legendary battle of the "sophomore slump" has been won by two anticipated second novels on shelves this month: Joshua Ferris' The Unnamed and Elizabeth Kostova's The Swan Thieves. (Click on the author's name to read a BookPage interview.)
But there are a few other anticipated second novels on the horizon in 2010. Will they be as favored by the publishing gods? Go ahead, judge them by our summary of the publisher's description:
[gallery link="file" orderby="rand"]
Horns by Joe Hill (February)
The author of Heart-Shaped Box (and son of Stephen King) returns with a chilling tale of a young man bent on revenge after his girlfriend is murdered.
Beatrice and Virgil by Yann Martel (April)
His second novel needs no introduction (and besides, we've already been there on this blog!). Will it achieve the stratospheric success of Life of Pi?
The Map of True Places by Brunonia Barry (May)
The author of The Lace Reader returns with a new novel about a woman who lost her mother to suicide. Now a psychotherapist, she must with the suicide of her most troubled patient.
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender (June)
Known for her short stories, Bender has published only one previous novel. This magical second work is about a young girl who discovers she can taste people's emotions in the food they cook, and must deal with what she learns about others. Loving the title and the concept on this one—if Bender's novels are as good as her stories, count me in!
Kings of the Earth by Jon Clinch (July)
His new work (following the acclaimed Finn) is a “mythic” story about three brothers in upstate New York who live together in isolation—until one dies and the other two are suspected of his murder.
Geeze, this is already a big year for Steve Martin, and it’s only January! He was typically hilarious and perfect as Meryl Streep’s romantic interest in It’s Complicated, and in March he’ll co-host the Academy Awards with Alec Baldwin.
And now he can check off “book deal” from his 2010 to-do list. He has signed a deal with Grand Central to write Woman One, a novel which “examines the glamour and the subterfuge of the fine art world” in New York. The book will be released in November 2010.
Martin will also write a children’s book titled Late for School, based on a song from his album “New Songs for the 5-String Banjo.” (Watch him performing it live after the jump.) No word yet on a publication date. The book will pub in September. (Via New York Times.)
Related content: In 2001, BookPage reviewer Joanna Brichetto wrote that Martin’s novella Shopgirl will “shock” readers expecting to find “zany riffs and hilariously skewed observations” from the comedian. Instead, Shopgirl is a “sweet, courageous exploration of a young woman’s search for selfhood and love.”
What’s your favorite Steve Martin role? Inspector Clouseau? Author? Banjo player?
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?
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?
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
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
Many of you may have heard by now that Sam’s Club is launching a book club this Saturday in Marietta, Georgia. The first pick will be BookPage favorite Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman, which hits shelves on Jan. 12. The book will be featured in 600 Sam’s Club stores around the U.S.
Because we can only guess how exciting it is for a debut author to get such widespread recognition, we asked Hoffman to comment on the buzz for her book:
“It just keeps going on and on, and now [it's sold in] seven countries. Bookspan picked it up and they're making it their Main Street selection. Sam's Club picked it up to be their first book club pick. It's surprising to me that this is happening. I can't wait to see CeeCee in German, and Italian!”
In other book club news, Ronlyn Domingue’s The Mercy of Thin Air has been chosen as Costco’s pick of the month for January. BookPage reviewer Iris Blasi writes that The Mercy of Thin Air, about a girl trapped in the "between" level that exists between life and the world that follows, tracks “an extraordinary love affair over nearly three-quarters of a century.”
Will you pick up a book based on recommendations from Sam’s Club or Costco (or Oprah or, of course, BookPage)?
After five years of silence, acclaimed American writer Ann Beattie will return to fiction this June. Her upcoming release, Walks With Men (Scribner) is described as an “intense” novella that captures New York in the early 1980s (when Beattie came to NYC). It follows a young woman’s infatuation and disillusionment with a writer 20 years her senior. Perhaps the most innovative thing about the book is that it will be published simultaneously in two formats, as is often done in the U.K. The trade paper will be $10, and the hardcover edition, $15.
One of the many reasons I like going to London is that I can often find books from my favorite authors a.) sooner and b.) cheaper, even with the crazy exchange rate, since new releases are published in paperback. If things were done similarly here, would you buy more books?
[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?