So, summer's almost over (sigh) and the fall book season is about to begin. I've been gathering galleys like leaves falling from the trees (lousy metaphor) and will be reading many of them over the next few weeks. I don't have every single one of these in my possession at the moment, but here are the fall books I'm most excited about:
(Blurbs are all from publishers' copy.)
The Forgiven, by Lawrence Osborne, Random House/Hogarth. "This stylish, haunting novel by literary travel writer Lawrence Osborne explores the reverberations of a random accident on the lives of Moroccan Muslims and Western visitors who converge on a luxurious desert villa for a decadent weekend-long party." (back of book blurb)
The Yellow Birds, by Kevin Powers, Little Brown. "'The war tried to kill us in the spring,'" begins this breathtaking
account of friendship and loss. In Al Tafar, Iraq, twenty-one-year old
Private Bartle and eighteen-year-old Private Murphy cling to life as
their platoon launches a bloody battle for the city. In the endless days
that follow, the two young soldiers do everything to protect each other
from the forces that press in on every side: the insurgents, physical
fatigue, and the mental stress that comes from constant danger."
The People of Forever are not Afraid, by Shani Boianjiu. Hogarth. It's a war story about the Israeli Defense Force, told in short stories. " In a relentlessly energetic voice marked by caustic humor and fierce
intelligence, Shani Boianjiu creates a heightened reality that recalls
our most celebrated chroniclers of war and the military, while capturing
that unique time in a young woman's life when a single moment can
Death in Breslau, by Marek Krajewski, Melville House. The first in the Inspector Eberhard Mock Quartet set in 1933 Occupied Breslau: "Two young women are found murdered on a train, scorpions writhing on their bodies, an indecipherable note in an apparently oriental language nearby..."
My Brilliant Friend, by Elena Ferrante, Europa Editions. The latest from the acclaimed author of Troubling Love and The Lost Daughter. "A modern masterpiece from one of Italy’s most acclaimed authors, My Brilliant Friend
is a rich, intense, and generous-hearted story about two friends, Elena
and Lila. Ferrante’s inimitable style lends itself perfectly to a
meticulous portrait of these two women that is also the story of a
nation and a touching meditation on the nature of friendship."
Roundhouse, by Louise Erdrich. HarperCollins "...A riveting, exquisitely told story of a boy on the cusp on manhood who seeks justice and understanding in the wake of a terrible crime that upends and forever transforms his family."
Cold Light, by Jenn Ashworth. William Morrow. Her followup to A Kind of Intimacy is "the tale of two fourteen-year-old girls, best friends, and one terrible winter when lies, secrets, jealousy and perversion ended in tragedy more tangled and evil than tight-knit community can possibly believe."
The Thursday Night Men, by Tonino Benacquista. Europa Editions. "For some of them, it was an opportunity to meet anonymously, among men, to talk about women. Others were in need of solidarity, and this was their last refuge, where the deep wounds from a never-ending battle would have time to heal. For everyone , now matter where they were from or what they had experienced, it was first and foremost a place to tell a story."
The Polish Boxer, by Eduardo Halfon. Bellevue Literary Press. "...covers a vast landscape of human experience while enfolding a search for origins: a grandson tries to make sense of his Polish grandfather's past and the story behind his numbered tattoo; a Serbian classical pianist longs for his forbidden heritage; a Mayan poet is torn between his studies and filial obligations..."
Live by Night, by Dennis Lehane. HarperCollins. "...transports you back to the fascinating 1920s of bootlegging, underworld betrayal, complex family histories and police corruption."
Climates, by André Maurois. Other Press. "This magnificently written novel is imbued with subtle yet profound psychological insights of a caliber that arguably rival Tolstoy. Here Philippe Marcenat, an erudite yet conventional industrialist from central France, falls madly in love with and marries the beautiful but unreliable Odile despite his family's disapproval. Soon Philippe's possessiveness and jealousy drive her away..."
And Two of My Personal Must-Reads for January 2013:
Ratlines, by Stuart Neville. Soho Crime. I loved his Ghosts of Belfast and can't wait for his latest. "Ireland, 1963. As the Irish people prepare to welcome President John F. Kennedy to the land of his ancestors, a German national is murdered in a seaside guesthouse. Lieutenant Albert Ryan, Directorate of Intelligence, is ordered to investigate. The German is the third foreigner to die with in a few days, and Minister of Justice Charles Haughey wants the killing to end lest a shameful secret be exposed..."
There Once Lived A Girl Who Seduced Her Sister's Husband, and He Hanged Himself: Love Stories, by Ludmilla Petrushevskaya, Penguin. I read her last collection, the Shirley Jackson-nominated There Once Lived A Woman Who Tried to Kill Her Neighbor's Baby, and loved it. This collection is a more realistic collection about different kinds of love, set in the bleak post-Soviet landscape of dingy apartments, danger and discontent.
What are you looking forward to this fall? Big names, debuts, sequels, stand-alones, you name it- tell me what's going to be in your book bag in the coming months!