2011 was for the most part a slow and bleak year for books. It was exciting for me only because it was then that I self-published my two books The Madness of Art: Short Stories and A Rapturous Occasion. Otherwise, the year didn’t offer much. The only novel that greatly impressed me was The Prague Cemetery by Umberto Eco, and even that was released in Europe a year before. 2012 though is shaping up to be an incredible year for book lovers. Just about all of my favorite writers have published books in the past month or have publications set for later in the fall. I’m guessing publishers planned it this way to line up Christmas sales, but I can’t wait that long.
Here’s a list of books that were recently released, followed by upcoming releases.
Mortality, By Christopher Hitchens: This is the final work by the great writer and intellectual Christopher Hitchens who passed away of cancer. Parts of this were written on his deathbed.
Lionel Asbo, By Martin Amis: I teared up when I opened this book and saw it inscribed to Christopher Hitchens, Martin Amis’ longtime friend. I’ve already read this and greatly enjoyed it.
NW, By Zadie Smith: This is Zadie Smith’s 4th fiction novel. I loved White Teeth and On Beauty, so I wouldn’t be surprised if this one’s a modern classic too.
Every Story is a Ghost Story, By D.T. Max: This is a new biography of the iconic writer David Foster Wallace. Newsweek published an excerpt that was fantastic.
Joseph Anton, By Salman Rushdie: I’ve been reading this constantly for the past week and simply can’t put the damned thing down. It’s about how Salman Rushdie survived the fatwa (the death sentence imposed on him by Khomeini issued to every Muslim on the globe).
Telegraph Avenue, By Michael Chabon: After experimenting with genre fiction for more than a decade, Michael Chabon makes his first return to literary fiction since The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay (one of my all-time faves). I met the author for the second time yesterday. It turns out he’s clever and funny in real life too.
Ancient Light, By John Banville, to be released Oct. 2nd.
Building Stories, By Chris Ware, Oct. 2nd
The Age of Movies: Selected Writing of Pauline Kael, Oct. 27th.
Sweet Tooth, By Ian McEwan, Nov. 13
With all of these new books being released, don’t forget to check out These Dreams of You By Steve Erickson, published earlier this year.
Side Note: I’m currently working on another collection of short fiction I hope to self-publish this year. It will be darker and more inventive than my previous collection The Madness of Art: Short Stories. Some of the tales it will include are “The Hate Rock Woodstock,” which centers on a concert festival arranged by white supremacists, and will include an as-of-yet untitled story that’s essentially Frankenstein set in the age of social media.
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Any other new or upcoming books worth checking out?