Fall is the time readers can expect to see big-name authors release new novels. Here's a handful to look forward to this coming month.
Category: First Editions
Which Man Booker nominee to read?
Thirteen novels on the 2014 Man Booker Prize Longlist present great reading selections. Here are brief descriptions, availability and what reviews have said about some of them.
Ordinary Germans and World War II
Audrey Magee's novel "The Undertaking" is about newlyweds caught up in Berlin society and the Eastern Front during World War II. Stark, moving and intelligent, this is Magee’s fictional debut.
My picks from The Edgars® “Bests”
"Ordinary Grace" is one of the most enjoyable books I've read this year. Of note, it just won the the Edgar Award for best novel, announced last week. Two other winners appear here, as well as a link to the full list of nominees and winners in all the categories for the Mystery Writers of America 2014 Edgar Allan Poe Awards.
The completely disguised Albanian kid
Derek B. Miller's "Norwegian by Night" is as intense as it is entertaining -- a crime story taking place in Oslo and the hinterlands of Norway, featuring an octogenarian Korean War vet who deserves a place in the Colorful Characters Hall of Fame,
A book written for one reader? Priceless
Writing a novel becomes high-stakes drama in this clever, entertaining story about a mega-selling author and a wealthy book collector.
Can you speak rhinoceros? Of courserous!
Once out of print and then later back in print with revisions, "The Story of Doctor Dolittle" now has a place on my bookshelf -- the 1920 edition, that is. Here's a few illustrations from that original classic children's book, plus why it went out of favor.
Sleuthing for mysteries in Tribeca
There's nothing like the browse-and-discover experience inside an independent bookshop, especially when it's filled with crime novels and mysteries. Here's a peek inside NYC's terrific The Mysterious Bookshop, plus the books I purchased.
Tales from this antiquarian book shopper
Here's some insight into what can happen to a book lover in a giant room filled with exhibitors of used and rare books.
Caught in the sweet flypaper of life
20th century African-American photographer Roy DeCarava and poet Langston Hughes collaborated on a small book of black-and-white photos depicting everyday life in 1950's Harlem. Published in 1955, "The Sweet Flypaper of Life" reveals this time and place with a poignancy that eludes history books.
A philandering poet’s fatal attraction
Deborah Levy's novel packs a punch in a mere 157 pages. She puts a deeply unsettling spin on the impulsive, lusty fling gone wrong when vacationing Brits invite a mentally unstable beauty to stay with them. They don't know her presence is dangerous, but we do, which makes this a tense, engaging read.
You’ll take leave of your senses
NYRB Classics reprinted Thomas Tryon’s 1971 bestseller "The Other" this month, a chilling story that sold millions of copies during its day, which was the decade of "Rosemary's Baby" and "The Exorcist." But of these three hair-raising novels, "The Other" unsettled me the most. Here's why. Also: An interesting database of 20th-century American Bestsellers book collectors will enjoy.
J. D. Salinger’s noble opposition
The paperback edition of Kenneth Slawenski's biography of America's iconic literary recluse was released the beginning of this year. I read it, curious about the many things I probably didn't know about the man who wrote "The Catcher in the Rye." One of my biggest surprises was learning Salinger fought in some of World War II's most difficult battles. I also came to know Salinger as less of a bizarre eccentric and more of a person whose experiences influenced his behavior.
Radical book adventures in NYC
I've never read nor intend to read "Steal This Book" by the Sixties anti-establishment icon Abbie Hoffman, but that didn't get in the way of my wanting the book. Not any edition, rather a first edition paperback, signed by the activist, for sale at last weekend's New York Antiquarian Book Fair. Here's the tale of that brief love affair between me and the book, plus a look at Terry Bisson's new novel that takes place during Hoffman's busiest protesting years, "Any Day Now."
Ah, Grendel! You’ve come back
John Gardner published "Grendel" in 1971, eleven years before his tragic death at age 49 in a motorcycle accident. The story is a spin-off taken from the medieval epic poem "Beowulf," giving us the viewpoint of the monster Grendel, whom the Scandinavian hero Beowulf slays. A rare acquisition of the book's ARC brought Gardner's novel to my attention again.