2013 is already upon us, and with the New Year comes new books. Here are a few of the titles that I’m looking forward to reading this year.
1) “And the Mountains Echoed” by Khaled Hosseini (May 14, 2013)
Hosseini is the author of “The Kite Runner” and “A Thousand Splendid Suns.” These novels, set in Afghanistan, focus on family and friendship. This is what Hosseini has to say about “Mountains”: “My new novel is a multi-generational family story as well, this time revolving around brothers and sisters, and the ways in which they love, wound, betray, honor, and sacrifice for each other.” Hosseini is one of my favorites, and it’s been four years since his last novel. I know what I’ll be reading on May 14.
2) “Wool” by Hugh Howey (March 12, 2013)
“Wool” is being called the next “Fifty Shades of Grey,” not because of the content, but because it was self-published as an ebook and really took off. This is a collection of the five novellas Howey wrote that focus on a post-apocalyptic world where people live underground. This is the first print edition of this book. The reviews have been excellent, and if you don’t want to wait until March, the novellas are available in ebook format in the Amazon store right now (and part one is free!).
3) “Unchangeable Spots of Leopards” by Kristopher Jansma (March 21, 2013)
This debut novel about two writers has gotten a lot of early buzz, and I’m always a sucker for books about writers. Here is a brief description from Amazon: “From the jazz clubs of Manhattan to the villages of Sri Lanka, Kristopher Jansma’s irresistible narrator will be inspired and haunted by the success of his greatest friend and rival in writing, the eccentric and brilliantly talented Julian McGann, and endlessly enamored with Julian’s enchanting friend, Evelyn, the green-eyed girl who got away. After the trio has a disastrous falling out, desperate to tell the truth in his writing and to figure out who he really is, Jansma’s narrator finds himself caught in a never-ending web of lies.”
4) “The World's Strongest Librarian: A Memoir of Tourette's, Faith, Strength, and the Power of Family” by Josh Hanagarne (May 2, 2013)
It’s a memoir about a man with Tourette’s Syndrome, who was raised in the Mormon faith, joined the Air Force, got into weight lifting, then became a librarian at the main branch of Salt Lake City’s public library. Hanagarne sounds like a really interesting guy with a unique background, consider me really intrigued.
I’ve also asked Krista Hutley, Administrative Services Librarian at the Whitefish Bay Library, to chime in on this one. Here are a few titles that she is looking forward to in 2013:
1) “Speaking From Among the Bones” (Flavia de Luce mysteries, Book Five), by Alan Bradley (January 29, 2013)
This is the fifth in the Flavia de Luce mystery series and I’ve been looking forward to it for a long time. The series, which takes place in a rural British village in the 1950s, is clever and light-hearted, full of a cast of quirky, eccentric characters, but none so eccentric as the narrator, Flavia, an eleven-year-old amateur detective/burgeoning chemist. In this volume, Flavia spies on the opening of Saint Tancred’s tomb on the 500-year anniversary of his death and discovers not an uncorrupted saint’s body but a murdered church organist.
2) “Fuse” (“Pure”, Book Two), by Julianna Baggott (February 19, 2013)
“Pure”, the first in this dystopian series, was one of my favorite books in 2012. Pressia was just a little girl holding a doll when the Detonations hit. Those who survived found themselves mutilated with burns, deformed and fused to whatever creatures or objects were most near. The only people that survived intact were in the Dome, a protected enclave of people now known as Pures. This second book follows teenage Pressia, one of the deformed, and Patridge, one of the Pure, as they uncover the dark truths behind the destruction of the world. This is an exciting, grotesque book for lovers of thoughtful dystopias.
3) “NOS4A2” , by Joe Hill (April 30, 2013)
Joe Hill is probably my favorite horror novelist working today. Though he’s the son of Stephen King, Hill’s writing is so good he made his success without using his father’s name at all, and his two novels and book of short stories have made him a modern horror master. This is his third novel, and as Hill describes, it’s about “a very bad man with a very bad car. Bad things happen to the children who get in the car with him. . . . It's partially about people who have unnatural powers that they derive from vehicles." Sounds silly, but I know Hill will make it scary instead.
4) “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”, by Neil Gaiman (June 18, 2013)
A new book by Neil Gaiman is always cause for celebration. Creator of the graphic novel series “The Sandman” and the 2009 Newbery Award winner “The Graveyard Book”, Gaiman has written children’s, young adult, and adult novels, as well as episodes of popular TV shows like “Doctor Who”. Not much is known about this new book, but Gaiman is known for his creepy, atmospheric, literary stories and smart humor. Goodreads is calling it “a fable that reshapes modern fantasy.”
What are you excited about reading in 2013?