I've had a tease of fall when I was in the mountains, and now I am even more enthusiastic for brisk, cooler days. Not winter, mind you . . . just pleasantly cool yet sunny. Cool enough to wear long sleeves or a light sweater. Surely it can't be far off. A good sign that fall is just on the horizon is the arrival of all those new book releases. I think fall is the big publishing season and my wishlist is so big now I had to clean it up and delete old 'wishes' to make room for new ones. I could share a list twice (or even three times) as long, but I will keep my list in a neat baker's dozen today. Here are my own 'can't wait 'til this comes out' book wishes:
Walk Through Walls: Becoming Marina Ambramovic by Marina Abramovic -- "Marina’s story, by turns moving, epic, and dryly funny, informs an incomparable artistic career that involves pushing her body past the limits of fear, pain, exhaustion, and danger in an uncompromising quest for emotional and spiritual transformation. A remarkable work of performance in its own right, Walk Through Walls is a vivid and powerful rendering of the unparalleled life of an extraordinary artist."
The Darkest Secret by Alex Marwood -- This is a potential RIP read for me and it literally just came out. I have heard good things about it and from my experience of her writing, I expect it is truly as good as it sounds. "Twelve years ago, Mila Jackson’s three-year-old half-sister Coco disappeared during their father’s fiftieth birthday party. Her identical twin Ruby was left behind as the only witness. The girls’ father, Sean, was wealthy and influential, as were the friends gathered at their seaside vacation home for the weekend’s debauchery. The case ignited a media frenzy and forever changed the lives of everyone involved."
The Ornatrix by Kate Howard -- "The passionate and elegantly dark tale of desire, obsession, and deceit by a talented new author. In this beautifully written debut, novelist Kate Howard proves herself to be a talent to watch, spinning a striking historical yarn packed with suspense and period detail worthy of Kate Mosse, Jessie Burton, or Tracy Chevalier."
The Man Who Wanted to Know Everything by D.A. Mishani -- Yay, a new Avraham Avraham mystery set in Israel. I've read the first two and have been hoping a new book would be released soon. "Told through the dual perspectives of Inspector Avraham and Mazal Bengtson, The Man Who Wanted To Know Everything is a chilling investigation of secrets, family, and what happens when the people you love may not be who you think." Bonus--since it is coming out in paperback so I can buy it right when it is released.
The Carousel of Desire by Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt -- "The Carousel of Desire is a sexual and romantic saga told with a master storyteller's feel for character and plot and a philosopher's abiding preoccupation with what makes life truly worthwhile. With tenderness and infectious delight, Schmitt tells an exuberant tale about class and community and about the vastness of human experience. Schmitt's love of coincidence and serendipity is surpassed only by his affection for his flawed, all-too-human characters."
A Deadly Affection by Cuyler Overholt -- "Steeped in the gritty atmosphere of turn-of-the-century New York City, A Deadly Affection is a riveting debut mystery and the first in an exciting new series featuring Dr. Genevieve Summerford."
Upstream: Selected Essays by Mary Oliver -- "Upstream follows Oliver as she contemplates the pleasure of artistic labor, her boundless curiosity for the flora and fauna that surround her, and the responsibility she has inherited from Shelley, Wordsworth, Emerson, Poe, and Frost, the great thinkers and writers of the past, to live thoughtfully, intelligently, and to observe with passion. Throughout this collection, Oliver positions not just herself upstream but us as well as she encourages us all to keep moving, to lose ourselves in the awe of the unknown, and to give power and time to the creative and whimsical urges that live within us.
Browsings: A Year of Reading, Collecting, and Living with Books by Michael Dirda -- Just seeing the author's name and the title is enough to make me want to pick this one up. I really need to make a little project out of reading about reading and books! "Dirda's latest volume collects fifty of his witty and wide-ranging reflections on literary journalism, book collecting, and the writers he loves. Reaching from the classics to the post-moderns, his allusions dance from Samuel Johnson, Ralph Waldo Emerson and M. F. K. Fisher to Marilynne Robinson, Hunter S. Thompson, and David Foster Wallace. Dirda's topics are equally diverse: literary pets, the lost art of cursive writing, book inscriptions, the pleasures of science fiction conventions, author photographs, novelists in old age, Oberlin College, a year in Marseille, writer's block, and much more, not to overlook a few rants about Washington life and American culture."
Swing Time by Zadie Smith -- I really, really, really want (and need?) to read something by Zadie Smith. I can't tell you how many times I have picked up one of my unread books by her. And now a new one: "Dazzlingly energetic and deeply human, Swing Time is a story about friendship and music and stubborn roots, about how we are shaped by these things and how we can survive them. Moving from North-West London to West Africa, it is an exuberant dance to the music of time." Have you read her? Is she as 'challenging' as I imagine her to be? Do you have a favorite book by her?
Notwithstanding by Louis de Bernieres -- His Corelli's Mandolin is one of my favorite reads. He has written quite a lot and I really need to pick up one of his other books! "As the world around it marches forward, the bucolic English village of Notwithstanding remains unchanged. It is, as it always has been, a place of pubs and cricket pitches, where local eccentrics—a retired colonel who has eschewed clothes, a spiritualist living with the ghost of her husband, and a dog named Archibald Scott-Moncrieff—almost fit in. In this delightfully evocative collection of stories, in which a young couple falls in and out of love by letter alone, an eleven-year-old boy battles a monstrous fish, and a man of the cloth has a premonition of death, Louis de Bernières conjures up a rural idyll long since forgotten. Funny, bittersweet, and deeply felt."
The Terranauts by T.C. Boyle -- "Told through three distinct narrators—Dawn Chapman, the mission’s pretty, young ecologist; Linda Ryu, her bitter, scheming best friend passed over for E2; and Ramsay Roothorp, E2’s sexually irrepressible Wildman—The Terranauts brings to life an electrifying, pressured world in which connected lives are uncontrollably pushed to the breaking point. With characteristic humor and acerbic wit, T.C. Boyle indelibly inhabits the perspectives of the various players in this survivalist game, probing their motivations and illuminating their integrity and fragility to illustrate the inherent fallibility of human nature itself."
The Long Room by Francesca Kay -- "London. December 1981. The IRA is on the attack, a cold war is being waged, another war is just over the horizon, and Stephen Donaldson spends his days listening. When he first joined the Institute, he expected to encounter glamorous, high-risk espionage. Instead he gets the tape-recorded conversations of ancient Communists and ineffectual revolutionaries--until the day he is assigned a new case: the ultra-secret PHOENIX, a suspected internal leak. The monotony of Stephen’s routine is broken, but it’s not PHOENIX who captures his imagination; it’s the target’s wife, Helen. Beset by isolation and loneliness, Stephen becomes dangerously obsessed with Helen, risking his job to keep his fragile connection to her and inadvertently setting himself up for a fall that will forever change his life."
Les Parisiennes: How the Women of Paris Lived, Loved, and Died Under Nazi Occupation by Anne Sebba -- "Paris in the 1940s was a place of fear, power, aggression, courage, deprivation, and secrets. During the occupation, the swastika flew from the Eiffel Tower and danger lurked on every corner. While Parisian men were either fighting at the front or captured and forced to work in German factories, the women of Paris were left behind where they would come face to face with the German conquerors on a daily basis, as waitresses, shop assistants, or wives and mothers, increasingly desperate to find food to feed their families as hunger became part of everyday life."
It's almost too overwhelming to think of all those new books just coming out (and all those books on my wishlist from past publishing seasons). I shouldn't be looking considering how many unread books are piled up next to my bed--those alone could keep me happily entertained for months and months. But I can never help myself.
So, do you have a book on your wishlist you can't wait for?