Excuse for me getting amped perhaps a little early, dear readers, but fall is back! It’s that too short a time of year in Pittsburgh where hot coffee makes a glorious return, we bust out the flannels and boots again (I’m assuming you all dress like me), and grow our beards long (I assume everyone can grow a beard or really wants to). But mostly, it’s the time for the best books of the year to start showing up on the shelves. In library lingo, that means get up on the holds list for these books now! Here’s what I’m looking forward to reading in the park while checking out some foliage, thinking of my Halloween costume, and eating a crisp apple with a cup of hot cider.
Ah, Murakami with a title that just rolls of the tongue. No one ever said being a fan of his was easy, and that may be especially so after his sub-par efforts recently, the too straight forward After Dark and then the running biography no one asked for, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running (still a great title, though). Here’s hoping for a return to form, for me that would be to Kafka on the Shore, my personal favorite of his. I like dreaming, the idea of talking cats, and the concept of multiple lives. Therefore, I like Murakami. And if this little interview is any indication, then yeah, he’s bringing back some of the weird.
Jeffrey Eugenides – The Marriage Plot
It’s been a long time since Middlesex (nine years, although I thought it was even longer), so fans have had to sit and twiddle their thumbs for a while now, but for those who read his work the wait is tolerable, armed with the knowledge that it was probably the finest work of fiction in those nine years. Eugenides is pulling a Franzen with the waiting game, but will he also live up to the pressure? I’m thinking yes.
Nicholson Baker – House of Holes: A Book of Raunch
When I first read The Anthologist, I couldn’t have a conversation with anyone without mentioning this book, which had been recommended to me in a similar fashion by a voice I trust. Baker, to put it simply, is an absolute delight to read. Super intelligent without ever seeming difficult or “elitist,” he waxes poetic on everything imaginable, my personal favorite being an essay on the difficulty of getting into video games. And how can I not be a little intrigued by that title?
I know Little Children is his masterpiece, but it’s successor The Abstinence Teacher is the one that really stuck with me. With that, I am convinced that Perrotta is getting better with each novel. He is a sneaky author, being as I continually forget his existence, but am always delighted by the memories when they come flooding back. This book’s release date will not sneak by me (note: it already happened, as I’m writing this). Perhaps, I should leave the best words to Uncle Stevie himself.
Aravind Adiga – Last Man in Tower
The White Tiger was a stunning read (others agreed, it won the Man Booker). It takes all of a day to push through it, slim enough to not be daunting, but large enough to get lost in. I don’t describe many books as ones “I couldn’t put down,” because I tend to be pretty flighty and distracted by other media and friends (e.g. watching Nic Cage movies), but this book was just that. I can’t wait to see what he does next.
That’s about it for now, dear readers. What have I forgotten? What should I know about, friends? Leave a comment below for interactive fun!