Just when are the dog days of summer, anyway? If they are the 'sultry' hot days then I'd say they have arrived, wouldn't you? Actually I looked it up and they are roughly speaking from July 24-August 24 (depending on who you ask anyway), so I'm close. Sultry is such a pleasing sounding word, I think. It brings to mind passion and exoticism (though in reality it means feeling all sweaty and having your clothes stick to your body uncomfortably and feeling like you can't breathe thanks to the oppressive humidity).
Since it is so . . . sultry out, I'm thinking hopefully of fall. And as I am trying not to think too hard, I think a new books list is in order. Along with cooler weather (or at least cooler nights) there are new books to look forward to. I think the fall season with the run up to the holidays is the busiest publishing time and I know I have actively been adding to my own wishlist. So, here are ten books that I am looking forward to reading.
The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters -- Okay, I won't count this one since everyone already knows Sarah has a new book coming out (September 16 here in the US to be exact). I have already pre-ordered it so I can get it the same day as it is published and have opted for the US version as I like the cover design just a tad bit more than the UK edition (though it is tempting to get the book a little sooner than later--not that I won't have plenty to read in the interim).
Okay. There are other books I am looking forward to, too. Here are ten more:
The Secret Place by Tana French -- Tana is one of the (was going to say few, but the list is probably a little longer than a 'few') authors I will buy her books unseen and as soon as they come out. And yay, she has a new one due out September 2 (I can squeeze it in just before Sarah's book arrives . . .).
Apples of Uncommon Character: Heirlooms, Modern Classics, and Little-Known Wonders by Rowan Jacobsen -- Apples are my favorite fruit. I look forward to fall and apple season all year long. My top favorite are Macintosh apples but Pink Ladies come in a close second. The tarter the better, I say. I used to love Honeycrisp, but ever since they became available year round they lost their delicious flavor (no doubt thanks to the desire to sell them all the time and make money off them, they have been genetically tampered with and have lost their uniqueness--am only guessing, but I do wonder . . .).
Rainey Royal by Dylan Landis -- I have had a secret desire to read books set in the 70s (Sadie Jones's Fallout fitting the bill nicely), and then I came across Rainey . . . "Greenwich Village, 1970s. Fourteen-year-old Rainey Royal lives with her father, a jazz musician with a cultish personality, in a once-elegant, now decaying brownstone. Her mother has abandoned the family, and Rainey fends off advances from her father's best friend while trying desperately to nurture her own creative drives and build a substitute family. She's a rebel, even a criminal, but she's also deeply vulnerable, fighting to figure out how to put back in place the boundaries her life has knocked down, and more than that, struggling to learn how to be an artist and a person in a broken world."
The Darkest Hour by Tony Schumacher -- I have been collecting novels using alternative histories as their focus and now I have a new one to add to the list. "A crackling, highly imaginative thriller debut in the vein of W.E.B. Griffin and Philip Kerr, set in German-occupied London at the close of World War II, in which a hardened British detective jeopardizes his own life to save an innocent soul and achieve the impossible—redemption."
The Witch and Other Tales Re-Told by Jean Thompson -- I think this would be a perfect RIP (which is just around the corner!) read. "Great fairy tales are not necessarily stories designed for children. The lurking wolf in “Red Riding Hood,” the gingerbread house that lures Hansel and Gretel, the beauty asleep in her castle—these fables represent some of our deepest, most primeval fears, and satisfy our longing for good to win out over evil (preferably in the most gruesome way possible). In this captivating new collection, critically acclaimed author Jean Thompson takes the classic fairy tale and brings it into the modern age with stories that capture the magic and horror in everyday life."
Lovely, Dark, Deep: Stories by Joyce Carol Oates -- Another one to explore for RIP. "From the legendary literary master, winner of the National Book Award and New York Times bestselling author Joyce Carol Oates, a collection of ten mesmerizing stories that maps the eerie darkness within us all." JCO does "unsettling" so well (maybe just a little too well . . .).
Goodbye Piccadilly: War at Home, 1914 by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles -- "Set against the real events of 1914, the first book in an exciting new series from Cynthia Harrod-Eagles is extraordinary in scope and imagination." The last thing I need is a new series to follow (though this time I would be getting in on the ground floor, so to speak), but I will certainly be looking for this in September.
Lisette's List by Susan Vreeland -- "From Susan Vreeland, bestselling author of such acclaimed novels as Girl in Hyacinth Blue, Luncheon of the Boating Party, and Clara and Mr. Tiffany, comes a richly imagined story of a woman’s awakening in the south of Vichy France—to the power of art, to the beauty of provincial life, and to love in the midst of war." I used to read all of Susan Vreeland's books when they first came out, but I have fallen behind (lack of time rather than interest). I plan on looking for this one when it comes out next month.
First Impressions: A Novel of Old Books, Unexpected Love, and Jane Austen by Charlie Lovett -- "harlie Lovett first delighted readers with his New York Times bestselling debut, The Bookman’s Tale. Now, Lovett weaves another brilliantly imagined mystery, this time featuring one of English literature’s most popular and beloved authors: Jane Austen."
Arctic Summer by Damon Galgut -- "Damon Galgut's third novel, a fictionalized biography of English author E.M. Forster, focuses on Forster's many years in India and the process of writing his masterpiece, A Passage to India."
Plenty of books to keep busy with!