Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Comment: The Millions' List of Upcoming Books

I've vowed to get through a pile of books I already own, but several of the titles from this post by The Millions have me salivating (metaphorically, of course). Thanks to the editors for putting this list together, it's much more difficult than putting together a list of upcoming movies, because editors have to scan dozens of publishers; lists.

Sadly, I really shouldn't read several of these before I've read the novels I do own by these authors (the big one being The Yiddish Policeman's Union by Michael Chabon, which has been on my TBR list for a couple of years).

By far the most exciting is Telegraph Avenue by Michael Chabon. I'm a big fan of his novels, ever since he put a character named "LeComte" in The Mysteries of Pittsburgh. The novel, according to The Millions' editor, is going to be a family chronicle that crosses the Berkeley-Oakland line. I love Berkeley and Oakland, having hung out there (alone and with my kids) several times while we were living in Reno. It's one of those places you can imagine yourself living in if you had the income. Well, we read to live other peoples' lives, if only for a few hundred pages, so I'm looking forward to this publication.

Here are some of the others I'm looking forward to:

The Flame Alphabet by Ben Marcus: I'm reading this now through the Amazon Vine program. It's been somewhat difficult to get through the first few pages, because Marcus throws a lot of made-up terminology at you pell-mell to set up the premise: Parents flee when their teenage children's voices become toxic to them.

The Patrick Melrose Novels: I had read a couple of years ago about Edward St. Aubyn (often compared to Anthony Powell), and now a collection of his novels is coming out. I have signed up for a British author reading challenge, so I may indulge in this one (maybe in 2013, because I really should read the volumes of Anthony Powell novels I own first).

No One is Here Except All of Us by Ramona Ausubel: It sounds like a combination of metafiction and Eastern European literature, much like The Tiger's Wife, which I enjoyed listening to recently.

Gods Without Men by Hari Kunzru -- I really should read the novel I own by him (Transmission) before I get this title.Nevertheless, this novel sounds like the kind of mind-bending, eras-straddling, sweeping-plot story I gravitate toward.

The Sugar-Frosted Nutsack by Mark Leyner -- His obsessively self-centered novels The Tetherballs of Bouganville and Et Tu, Babe are delightful, so we shall see how he does after a 14-year fiction hiatus. Does anybody remember when he was on Letterman? I've already ordered it.

The Vanishers by Heidi Julavits: This one promises more magical stuff than The Uses of Enchantment, her penchant novel about the ambiguities surrounding the disappearance of a teenage girl and how her choices affect her years later. Missing people seem to play into this novel as well.

Office Girl by Joe Meno: The metafiction-laden The Boy Detective Fails haunts me to this day, but I have not yet read The Great Perhaps, so perhaps I should read The Great Perhaps before, perhaps, buying Office Girl. Incidentally, The Boy Detective Fails was made into a musical that got a not-very-good review in The New York Times.

Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel: I would be more excited about this book had I finished Wolf Hall, but I've pretty much committed to reading the novel about Thomas Cromwell this year as part of the British Author and To Be Read challenges.

Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures by Emma Straub: I don't know this author, but I love Hollywood novels, so I'll give this novel about an actress breaking into the studio system in the 1940s a try.

I placed several more titles on my Shelfari to be read shelf, but these are the ones I'm most looking forward to. The others are Canada by Richard Ford, Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter, Last Night in Montreal by Emily St. John Mandel (not a new book, but it looked interesting) and a compilation of writings by critic and television commentator John Leonard.

1 comment:

Robin McCormack said...

Oh my. That is quite a list. I'll be spending a while checking them all out. :)