The books were are looking forward to in 2014

We’ve been digging into the publishing schedules to find the books that we know are going to cause much excitement in the shop when they arrive this year. Here’s what we have found so far:

people in the treesPublished on January 2nd so no wait for this one! ‘The People in the Trees’ is a first novel that has caused quite a stir in the States since publication. The author charts the rise and eventual downfall of fictitious Nobel-winning scientist Dr. Norton Perina, who accompanies an expedition to a remote island, where a “lost tribe” may have unlocked the secret to immortality. Adventure and devastation ensue and the novel has disquieting revelations that promise to stay with the reader for a long time.

murakami_1449871fA new Murakami. We’ve known this is coming since the requisite hysteria surrounding the publication of the Japanese edition last April.  I don’t have a confirmed publication date but The Guardian suggests that it will be October. For the “Colourless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage” we shall be inhabiting the mind of a 36 year old railway station planner as he reconnects with old school friends. There is the obligatory love-interest provided by Sara and this time the musical accompaniment is provided by Frans Liszt. Can’t wait…

bone-clockAnother author beloved of booksellers throughout the land is David Mitchell. His new novel ‘The Bone Clocks’ will be in the shop on 4th September. The narrative will move from the very near past to the very near future, following the story of Holly Sykes who runs away from home in 1984 and sixty years later is living on the west coast of Ireland as the armageddon of climate change is playing out…

It was only a few weeks ago that it dawned on me that if I am transported back to, say, the 17th Century I would be useless. Of course I could tell tales of electricity and computers and the like but, practically, I would be useless. It is with great relief then that I received a proof copy of ‘The Knowledge’  by Lewis Dartnell. The premise is slightly different from me being transported back in time – the world has been destroyed and this book is a users guide to re-booting civilization…I shall certainly be keeping an eye on the website over the coming months. It is due on April 3rd, the same day as…

vermes‘Look Who’s Back’ by Timur Vermes from the ever-excellent Maclehose Press this is likely to be the most blogged about jacket cover of 2014. An astonishing bestseller in Germany with over 700,000 copies sold since Autumn 2012. The proof copy of this book is being fought over by our booksellers. That says a lot…

In summary:

Summer 2011. Berlin. Adolf Hitler wakes up on a patch of ground, alive and well. He barely recognises his beloved Fatherland, filled with immigrants and run by a woman. People certainly recognise him though – as a brilliant, satirical impersonator who refuses to break character!

From the captivating first line “We shot dogs. Not by accident. We did it on purpose and we called it redeployment“Operation Scooby”. I’m a dog person, so I thought about that a lot’, ‘Redeployment’ is a collection of stories by former Marine Phil Klay. Ray, one of our Ground Floor booksellers, has told me that this book is ‘breathtakingly good’. The hope is that as Tim O’Brien’s ‘The Things They Carried’ was for the Vietnam war this is for Afghanistan and Iraq

OttolenghiSeptember sees a new cookbook from Yotam Ottolenghi. ‘Plenty More’will delight his original fans with the spotlight back on vegetable dishes.  Sure to be under many a Christmas tree next December…

For the mathematically curious there is Alex Bellos’ ‘Alex Through The Looking Glass: How Life Reflects Numbers and Number Reflect Life’

To give you a taster of his genius here is some Zombie multiplication

MarilynnIf this shop was the sole judging panel for the Nobel prize for Literature I am pretty certain that we would award it to Marilynne Robinson. 2014 could be a year of unparalleled riches with not only ‘Lila’ her fourth novel (and third set in the ‘Gilead’ universe) but potentially a book about the Old Testament that rumour has it is in the pipeline.

This from the Virago website about ‘Lila’

After publishing her Pulitzer prize-winning novel Gilead in 2005, Marilynne Robinson, one of America’s most esteemed writers, returned to her same fictional world three years later and wrote Home, which won the Orange Prize in 2009. Both books were hailed as masterpieces and went on to become international bestsellers. Now this writer astonishes us again and returns once more to the town of Gilead, this time to tell the story of John Ames’ wife, Lila. Says Lennie Goodings, Publisher of Virago, who has acquired the new novel from Claire Roberts at Trident Media Group, on behalf of Ellen Levine, ‘What a wonderful treat and surprise. I am simply amazed to realise that this character has lived quietly, almost unobtrusively in the other two novels and yet has such a huge and full story to tell. I am just thrilled.’

Also from Virago in September comes ‘The Paying Guests’ by Sarah Waters, the follow up to ‘The Little Stranger’:

It is 1922, and London is tense. Ex-servicemen are disillusioned, the out-of-work and the hungry are demanding change. And in South London, in a genteel Camberwell villa, a large silent house now bereft of brothers, husband and even servants, life is about to be transformed, as impoverished widow Mrs Wray and her spinster daughter, Frances, are obliged to take in lodgers.

For with the arrival of Lilian and Leonard Barber, a modern young couple of the ‘clerk class’, the routines of the house will be shaken up in unexpected ways. And as passions mount and frustration gathers, no one can foresee just how far, and how devastatingly, the disturbances will reach…

It is sure to delight her legion of fans and win new fans too. She truly is one of the best storytellers at work today.

The Rise and Fall of Communism’ by Archie Brown has been a bestselling book in the shop for years – it is one of our Golden Leaves He has a new book coming from The Bodley Head in the summer on political leadership. Sketchy details at the moment, but with a proof copy winging its way to me as I type more will follow soon…

Staying on political books and with the Scottish independence vote happening in September there is unlikely to be a more impassioned call for a Yes vote than Alasdair Gray’s ‘Independence’. Even with no vote to cast I am looking forward to an incisive, fiery polemic

hilaryclintonOne that could be good but will probably disappoint is a memoir from Hilary Clinton, as yet untitled. She has a story to tell from her time as Secretary of State but with a potential bid for the White House in the offing it could be bland and play safe. I hope not…

I have no further details than the title; ‘On Liberty’ and the author; Shami Cakrabarti. To be honest I do not need more detail to be hopeful and excited.

Just a few of the jewels that we are looking forward to. Keep an eye on the blog as we add new finds and tell a little more about these books as we learn more ourselves.

2014 I’m liking the cut of your literary jib!

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