This is the year my husband finally gets out of jail!
I’m actually talking about book releases in 2012. My husband is still in jail.
Seriously. He’s not in jail. He’s knocking around in the other room. He’s never done anything–that I know of–to deserve jail time. (My kidding is not meant to offend anyone whose spouse might be/has been in prison.)
Anyway, books. The other day on The Millions I came across a list of books being published in 2012, so from an extensive list of some very interesting new releases, I picked the ones I am anticipating the most. Never mind that I’ve committed not to buy anything for the first three months of the year (or that even after the first three months I still really have no business buying books)…Here they are:
Stay Awake, Dan Chaon. (February) I loved You Remind Me if Me, and I also enjoyed Await Your Reply, which I would love to re-read in the near future, as it was one of those books that didn’t leave a strong impression immediately but one that continued to linger and grow over the last couple of years. Stay Awake is his latest collection of short stories, which according to The Millions is “[populated] with night terrors, impossible memories, ghosts, mysterious messages, and paranoia.” Who wouldn’t want to read that?
Arcadia, Lauren Groff. (March) I have not read Groff’s first novel, The Monsters of Templeton, but I remember it had mixed reviews from most bloggers. However, I did read her debut story collection, Delicate Edible Birds, in 2009 and I thought it was a knockout. Arcadia is about a boy who grows up in a utopian commune in New York state, and how growing up there influences the rest of his life.
The Cove, Ron Rash. (April) Ron Rash is one of those writers whom I’ve quietly followed even though I’ve never actually read any of his books. I have Serena out from the library now, but I’m already looking forward to this new one. According to The Millions: “The Cove, set in the North Carolina mountains during the First World War, is the story of Laurel Shelton and her war-damaged brother Hank, who live on land that the locals believe is cursed. Everything changes when Laurel comes upon a mysterious stranger in the woods, who she saves from a near-fatal accident.” This sounds like the sort of Southern/Appalachian Gothic tale I enjoy.
The Newlyweds, Nell Freudenberger. (May) I’ve read and enjoyed Freudenberger’s short stories in The New Yorker and in The Best American Short Stories, so I’m interested to see how she handles her first novel. From the book blurb: “Amina Mazid is twenty-four when she leaves Bangladesh for Rochester, New York, and for George Stillman, the husband who met and wooed her online. It’s a twenty-first-century romance that echoes ancient traditions–the arranged marriages of her home country. And though George falls for Amina because she is ‘straightforward’ and doesn’t ‘play games,’ each is hiding something from the other. Amina struggles to find her place in America–as a Muslim woman, an aspiring teacher, a wife with her own desires. But it is only when they put an ocean between them that Amina and George will discover whether they have a future–or if their secrets will tear them apart.” Sounds like an intelligent summer read to me.
Beautiful Ruins, Jess Walter. (June) In 2011 I finally got around to reading The Financial Lives of the Poets, and while it wasn’t one of the best books I read, it was thoroughly enjoyable enough for me to know that I would gladly spend more time with Walter’s characters. The Millions says, “Beautiful Ruins, unfolds in 1962 when a young Italian innkeeper, gazing at the Ligurian Sea, has a vision: a gorgeous blonde woman is approaching in a boat. She’s an American movie starlet. And she’s dying. Fast forward to today, when an elderly Italian man shows up on a Hollywood studio’s back lot searching for the mystery woman he last saw at his seaside inn half a century ago.”
Broken Harbor, Tana French. (July) Two words: Tana French. Do I really have to say anything else? She is one of my favorite writers, and I loved her first three books–although The Likeness gets top honors. Broken Harbor follows a minor character from French’s last book, Faithful Place, as he investigates the murder of a father and two daughters. If her past books serve as an example, the writing will be terrific, the characters well-drawn, and the plot will be both complex and well-paced.
That at least covers the first half of the year. Any new releases you are anticipating in 2012?