A New Year Means New Books
A New Year Means New Books
By: Marla Eizik
If you’re like me, a new year is an excuse to create intense and arguably unrealistic goals. Last year’s goals were to “eat less sugar” and “write a novel in a month”(NaNoWriMo anyone?). Hilarious! The previous year’s goals were to “be more honest” and to “become a roller derby girl.” Total fail. But this year will be different! I’ve taken upon myself the lofty goal of reading at least half the books in my collection, which, as I look at the shelves before me, may be a bit too many. I may be a bit of a book hoarder. But I mean honestly, who can really judge me? There are so many wonderful books out there—and what better way to make my goal all the more difficult than go out and buy MORE?! Which is why I am pleased to present to you my official list of favorite swoon-worthy books being released in 2013. Let’s get reading (and/or hoarding)!
In no particular order…
Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls By David Sedaris
I cannot be more excited for this book. If you haven’t read anything by David Sedaris, stop that nonsense right now and go read Me Talk Pretty One Day or When You Are Engulfed in Flames, or really anything by him. He is witty, hilariously dry, and thought-provoking, and, fun fact, he’s apparently very short. It sounds like this new book will be in his usual essay style, and will discuss the conundrums of travel that he has experienced. So stoked.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
I think American Gods changed my life, just a little bit. I was strictly in the anti-Gaiman camp for years, because, before I had read any of his work, I read an interview with him that made him sound pretentious and self-glorifying. Yikes. Then last year a friend forced American Gods upon me and I was changed. I don’t care if he IS the worst, I loved that book. And this one seems to be in true Gaiman form, with captivating storytelling and paranormal elements. He has the insane ability to tell a fantasy story without it being cheesy, and this one is no different: the narrator must battle ancient evil forces conjured by a family member’s suicide, and the only ones to help him are three women, who claim to be old enough to remember the Big Bang. Whaaaaaat? I’m intrigued.
American Savage by Dan Savage
I have listened to Dan Savage’s radio show and read his column in Seattle’s “The Stranger” for years, and while I’ve never read any of his books, I’ve been told they are goldmines. He is loud, opinionated, and usually outraged about something, and it is fabulous. The way he conquers completely baffling sexual questions is a wonderful mystery to me. In this book, he discusses gay marriage, gun control, and healthcare. Horray!
A Memory of Light by Robert Jordan
The Wheel of Time series is another one of those epic fantasy series that I haven’t had time to read yet, and it makes me want to weep and take a nap at the same time. The synopsis I’ve been given sounds absolutely fascinating, with the large cast of highly developed characters, magic, and mythology, all in one huge fourteen volume mega-series. And I mean, it’s from Tor, so you know it has to be good. Having not read the other books, I do not understand what Memory of Light is all about, not one bit. But if you are a fan that’s kept up with the series, it was released on the 8th of January, so go get it now! I’ll join you in…roughly ten years or so.
The Tragedy of Mister Morn by Vladimir Nabokov
The classic literature nerd within me jumped at this listing of the posthumous work of the guy that brought us Pale Fire and Lolita. The Tragedy of Mister Morn is the first introduction to Nabokov’s favorite themes of intense sexual desire, jealousy, greed, and the precariousness of happiness. Yay! And he was only 24 years old when he wrote it, too. What a cheery fellow.
Vampires in the Lemon Grove by Karen Russell
Okay, I hope you don’t read the title of this and think, “Really? Vampires. More vampires? Please, oh mighty book gods, no more!!” This collection of short stories sounds AWESOME, and every story is full of fantastic themes: the universe communicates through a lonely high school nerd; a group of young girls held captive in a silk factory become silkworms themselves; a group of high school bullies come across a mutilated scarecrow that looks an awful lot like a missing boy they used to pick on. Karen Russell is counted amongst The New Yorker’s top twenty best writers under 40, and after reading a sample of this book, I can see why. Vampires and all.
All That Is by James Salter
There’s something about James Salter that makes my heart happy and sad at the same time. Is that possible? Sure it is! Because Slater is a master of the American novel, and the way he tells a story just grips you. It makes it difficult to put down any one of his books. And since this one is the first one published since forever, my little heart is just so pumped (pun definitely intended). All That Is follows Philip Bowman, a naval officer in WWII that goes back home to America to become a publisher, and while business is successful, his love life is not, till he finally meets a woman that sweeps him off his feet and shows him a life he would never have imagined for himself. Don’t read this book if you’re not a fan of delightful storytelling, thoughtful prose, history, love, books, or kittens.
What about you, fellow book nerds? What releases are you looking forward to? Leave a comment below!About the Author: Marla was first introduced to the world of nerdom through Friday night Star Trek sessions with her family. As a child, she used Star Wars as a comforting tool and was known to sneak out of class to hang out in the library. Currently she lives in the great city of Seattle and is saving money to attend the University of Washington. Marla’s dream is to travel the world in search of the best books and food.