We tried to put all of the books we’re looking forward to this Fall into one post, but, holy pajamas, there are just way too many. Call us gluttons. There’s a lot to read this season. So here’s Part One for now, Part Two shall be along shortly. All books mentioned in this post are currently available to pre-order via bookpeople.com. Thanks for supporting your local independent bookstore! Now, let’s get this thing rolling.
Books To Look For In The Final Quarter Of 2014:
We were bowled over by Irish writer Donal Ryan’s previous novel, The Spinning Heart, which was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and won 2012 Book of the Year Award at the Irish Book Awards. Ryan’s style draws comparisons to Faulkner. The Thing About December is set in the same small town in Ireland and follows one character as he loses his parents, inherits the family farm and attempts to manage life on his own. Consuelo says, “The character of Johnsey is so full of pain and humor and loneliness. Donal Ryan is a genius at turning human observation into powerful, beautiful, insightful words.”
One of the most highly anticipated books of 2014! The bestselling author of Cloud Atlas has returned with a vast, intricate novel that weaves six narratives and spans from 1984 to 2030, following a secret war between a cult of soul-decanters and the small group of vigilantes who try to take them down. We have some serious bookseller statements of devotion for this book:
Raul: “Mitchell has a marvelous way of describing characters who are willing to risk everything for friendship and love. His writing will grab your attention for its emotional complexity and imaginative play on what is and what could be.”
Ben: “I will fight someone if this book doesn’t win the Man Booker.”
This is latest from the author of the bestselling and highly acclaimed novel Netherland. Set in Dubai, it tells the story of a man who takes an unusual job and struggles with feelings of always being in the “doghouse”. Kirkus Reviews says, “Shades of Kafka and Conrad permeate O’Neill’s thoughtful modern fable of exile, a sad story that comments darkly on the human condition and refuses bravely to trade on the success of Netherland.”
You know him from such blockbusters as Atonement, On Chesil Beach, and many other finely wrought, book group-friendly novels that line a solid shelf or two in our Fiction section. Now, Ian McEwan is back with a novel about a lawyer in a troubled marriage who takes on the case of a seventeen year old boy who refuses medical treatment based on religious beliefs. Booklist calls it, “Irrefutably creative … With his trademark style, which is a tranquil mix of exacting word choice and easily flowing sentences, McEwan once again observes with depth and wisdom the universal truth in the uncommon situation.”
Lawrence Wright, Austinite, investigative journalist and author of the bestselling book about Scientology, Going Clear, and The Looming Tower, about al-Qaeda, now hones in on Middle East politics with a day-by-day account of the Camp David meetings between President Jimmy Carter, Anwar Sadat and Menachem Begin in 1978. Wright is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who does not shy away from charge, complicated issues. He’ll be here Tuesday, September 23 to present his new book. Signed copies are now available to pre-order.
Merritt Tierce is a National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 honoree with an MFA in fiction writing from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her debut novel is told from the point of view of a self-destructive watiress at an upscale Dallas steakhouse who cuts a precarious path through early adulthood. Katie P. appreciated the skill and tenacity of Tierce’s prose: “Readers are expected to grit their teeth and stare down what makes life ugly, because love means giving without the assurance of getting. Love is what drives Marie through her dangerous, self-sabotaging life, and love of Marie’s startling, poignant, and often gorgeous observations, even in desperate circumstances, is what drives us to read her story start to finish. We are handed a beating heart, and are asked to love it back.” Catch Tierce when she reads here at BookPeople Monday, September 29.
New short stories from Margaret Atwood! New short stories from Margaret Atwood! New short stories from Margaret Atwood! New short stories from Margaret Atwood! New short stories from Margaret Atwood!
This hefty new novel from the author of Little Stranger and Tipping the Velvet is set in 1922 London, where two mysterious lodgers shake up the family in a genteel villa. Demi loves this book: “Sarah Waters’ latest is a great delight to fans of Fingersmith and Tipping the Velvet. I read it over a weekend with my family and could barely pay attention to dinner. Waters has always had a talent for the dramatic without turning into a penny dreadful, and The Paying Guests is no exception. The characters are resonant and passionate, the story is intensely captivating, and the writing is a treat. I want everyone I know to read this book immediately!”
This season is full of novels from heavy-hitting literary authors, and Amis’s latest is certainly one of them. Martin Amis takes on the Holocaust in a book Publisher’s Weekly calls “an absolute soul-crusher of a book [and] brilliant.” Joe, our Assistant Buyer, is highly anticipating this one: “I love Martin Amis, I love his father. I’ve been reading him for 15 years, ever since I picked up The Information at the library and fell in love with the opening paragraph. I’ll pretty much read anything he puts out.”
The bestselling author of Empire of the Summer Moon takes on the fascinating character of Stonewall Jackson in his latest, Rebel Yell. Jackson’s an interesting figure in Civil War history, a man who imagined, as he was washing, that he was cleansing himself in the blood of Christ and, while dressing, might “pray to be cloaked in the Savior’s righteousness.” Fans of Empire know that Gwynne can spin a stunning narrative out of historic fact. This is THE holiday gift for the Empire fan. We are now taking orders for signed, personalize of Rebel Yell. Gwynne appears here Wednesday, October 8th.
This is the first (very first!) biography of Roberto Bolaño, the author of the highly popular novels The Savage Detectives and 2666. Maristain is an investigative journalist and a fan of Bolaño’s work. She tracks him from his childhood in Chile to his youth in Mexico to literary stardom. Two important things to note: first, Maristatin actually knew and interviewed Bolaño; second, this book is coming from Melville House, one of our favorite and most trusted indie publishers in the business. This book will be done right.
Mantel is the author of the blockbuster, Man Booker Prize-winners Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies. This new collection promises, “…stories of dislocation and family fracture, of whimsical infidelities and sudden deaths.”
From our friends at University of Texas Press comes this unique new book from Bill Witliff, distinguished screenwriter and producer, whose credits include Lonesome Dove, The Perfect Storm, The Black Stallion, and Legends of the Fall. This novel, beautifully illutrated by Jack Unruh, is a Western set on the 1880s frontier inspired by stories Witliff’s parents told him as a child.
From the author of the international bestseller The Solitude of Prime Numbers comes a novel about an Italian platoon that goes to fight in Afghanistan. We’re looking forward to this new perspective on the psychological and emotional experience of modern desert warfare, from the youngest author to ever win the prestigious Premio Strega award.
From the photographer behind the hugely successful, ever-intriguing blog Humans of New York comes a brand new book on those munchkins of micro-fashion, Little Humans. Photos from the blog accompany all new portraits. We expect this to be absolutely darling. Just look at the smiles on that cover!
Katie P. really says it best here: “Marilynne Robinson is one of the most careful writers working today, in the purest sense of the word: there is more care put into every syllable of a Marilynne Robinson novel than in many shelves put together. Lila is a novel about a particular woman and her particular story. It’s also about how life can settle around a person like dust, if they sit still long enough. It’s about having an innate sense of being different, even while working to fit in and avoid notice. It’s about the tenuous ties of family, and how close any given person ever is to being entirely alone in the world. Perhaps more than anything, it’s about, as every Robinson novel is, ‘the wildness of things.'”
A new Science Fiction thriller from Gillian Anderson! We know what you’re thinking – THAT Gillian Anderson? The actress who used to chase aliens alongside David Duchovny on the highly popular, perfectly weird, theme-song-will-freak-you-out television (we’ll say it) classic, The X Files? Yup and yes. Gillian Anderson, aka Scully, has written a Sci Fi trilogy, The Earthend Saga, that begins with A Vision of Fire.
Faber is the author of the acclaimed novel The Crimson Petal and the White. He spent ten years writing this novel about a man of faith called to a mission in outer space where he finds a population hungry for the Bible, a “book of strange new things”. David Mitchell calls it, “…maniacally gripping and vibrant with wit.” Our own Raul is a big fan of this story: “A very approachable and imaginative novel that utilizes some big ideas to provoke and illuminate what faith really is and how this relates to relationships.”
What’s this book here at the bottom of this post? Why, it’s a little something that looks like a book from the super bad-ass, favorite of all time (JK, Tina, sort of) former SNL cast member, comedian, and star of Parks and Rec, Amy Poehler. Publisher copy promises, “…a big juicy stew of personal stories, funny bits on sex and love and friendship and parenthood and real life advice.” Let’s all chant to the book gods now: Amy Come to Austin! Amy Come to Austin! Amy Come to Austin!
All books are now available to pre-order via bookpeople.com. Stay tuned for Part 2 of our Fall Event Preview! Can’t stop, won’t stop.