Saturday, January 25, 2014

Some Books I Am Looking Forward To

There is a thing bloggers do called a Friday Follow. The woman I know who runs it is fascinating and talented and her blog is wonderful. She puts up ideas for new bloggers and does some pretty good reviews. What she does do every Friday is have a Follow Friday or a Blog Hop. She lists about 50 bloggers and we are supposed to support each other, visit each others site, say hello. It is tough because we are all writing about books, but not all of our sites are the same. It is interesting. And then after she posts the lists, there is usually a question. I believe I answered it here two weeks ago, but I would like to answer it today. And the question was "What books are you looking forward to in 2014?"

Well some of them are out already. But here is a very short list of what I cannot wait to be released:

Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi (Riverhead Books)

Description: In 1953, young, blonde, and beautiful Boy Novak arrives in the small New England town of Flax Hill by chance. Not long after arriving she meets and marries Arturo Whitman, a local widower, and becomes stepmother to his exquisitely charming and pretty daughter, Snow, much loved by all who behold her. The two are content to play family until Boy gives birth to her own daughter, Bird, whose dark skin is the physical manifestation of the Whitman secret: they are light-skinned African Americans who have been passing for white. Boy loves Bird deeply, but her arrival serves to destabilize the fragile bond between mother and step-daughter.

Becoming a wicked stepmother is not a straightforward process for Boy; it’s painful, it divides her from herself, and she wants to find her way back to a time when her reflection was someone she relied upon rather than someone whose gaze she avoids. Her instincts lead her to wonder about Snow; is there something dangerous, a by-product of the special way that people have treated her all her life, lurking just beneath the surface of the perfect girl?

With breathtaking feats of imagination, Helen Oyeyemi masterfully recreates an electric and turbulent time in American history and offers a penetrating look at the shamefulness of classifying people by their appearance. Dazzlingly imaginative and powerfully moving, Boy, Snow, Bird is an astonishingly accomplished novel.

On sale March 6.

The Frangipani Hotel by Violet Kupersmith (Random House)

Description: A self-assured and stunning collection by an astonishingly gifted new writer, these stories—based on traditional Vietnamese tales—are sure to appeal to fans of Karen Russell, Jennifer Egan, Colson Whitehead, George Saunders, and Téa Obrecht. The Frangipani Hotel blends the old world and the new with fantastical, chilling, and original explorations of the ghosts that continue to haunt us: those of the Vietnam War.

On sale 4/1

How I Got Skinny, Famous, and Fell Madly In Love by Ken Baker (Running Press Teens)

"Thick. Heavy. Big boned. Plump. Full figured. Chunky. Womanly. Large. Curvy. Plus-size. Hefty." To sixteen-year-old Emery Jackson, these are all just euphemisms for the big "F" word—"fat." Living on a Southern California beach with her workout fiend dad, underwear model sister, and former model mother, it is impossible for Emery not to be aware of her weight.

Emery is okay with how things are. That is, until her "momager" signs her up for Fifty Pounds to Freedom, a reality show in which Emery will have to lose fifty pounds in fifty days in order to win the million dollars that will solve her family's financial woes. Emery is skeptical of the process, but when the pounds start to come off and the ratings skyrocket, she finds it hard to resist the adoration of her new figure and the world of fame. Emery knows that things have changed. But is it for the better?

On sale 4/1

When Patty Went Away by Jeannie Burt (Muskrat Press, LLC)

Description: What could make a quiet man rise against his home and his community? When a fifteen-year-old girl disappears.

Jack McIntyre is a quiet farmer, a man who has always gone with the traditions and beliefs in his small community. Then in 1976, two gripping events make him doubt those values: a hailstorm ruins his crop and fifteen-year-old Patty Pugh disappears.

Within days, the bank threatens to foreclose on all that Jack and three generations of his family have accomplished. Jack and his wife are consumed by worry.

But in spite of his own troubles, Jack cannot turn away from thinking of Patty. She is the only friend of his beloved daughter, and he once cared for her like family. But by the time she vanished she was a troubled girl; unruly, combative and rebellious. And when she is gone, the community, including Jack’s wife, dust their hands of her. But Jack can’t let go. His feelings force him to make the most difficult decision of his life: to take a stand and search. His journey will change him, and everyone he loves, profoundly.

On sale 2/18

Lemony Snicket's File Under 13 Suspicious Incidents

Match wits with Lemony Snicket to solve thirteen mini-mysteries. Paintings have been falling off of walls, a loud and loyal dog has gone missing, a specter has been seen walking the pier at midnight— strange things are happening all over the town of Stain’d-By-The-Sea. Called upon to investigate thirteen suspicious incidents, young Lemony Snicket collects clues, questions witnesses, and cracks every case. Join the investigation and tackle the mysteries alongside Snicket, then turn to the back of the book to see the solution revealed. A delicious read that welcomes readers into Lemony Snicket’s world of deep mystery, mysterious depth, deductive reasoning, and reasonable deductions

On sale 4/1

Saving the Hooker by Michael Adelberg (The Permanent Press)

Description: Matthew Hristahalois (Hrist-a-hal-E-os) is a not so scholarly scholar. He's obsessed with the "Hooker with a Heart of Gold" character that keeps turning up in movies like Pretty Woman and The Hangover - the beautiful and kind fallen woman who can only be saved by Prince Charming. Matthew wins a post-doc to see if real fallen women can be saved by a good man. He casts himself as Prince Charming and sets out to study and rehabilitate real New York City prostitutes, at least until he meets a fiery auburn-haired prostitute who calls herself Julia Roberts.

Saving the Hooker is a fast-paced assault on male hubris and the recycled fairy tales at the core of so many of our favorite books and movies. It is also a bawdy tour of lower Manhattan's escort service prostitution scene, a poke in the eye of academic orthodoxy, and a not-so-subtle send up of cable television talk-news. Centered on the combustible relationship between Matthew and Julia, Saving the Hooker makes comic hash out of modern America's show horse institutions and sacred cow issues: academia, high and low media, political correctness, misogyny, and sexual assault.

On sale 3/25

The Immediacy of Emotional Kerfuffles by KJ Hannah Greenberg (Bards and Sages Publishing)

Description: Pushcart Prize nominee, National Endowment for the Humanities awardee, and designated Keeper of the Hibernaculum of Imaginary Hedgehogs KJ Hannah Greenberg presents The Immediacy of Emotional Kerfuffles, a spellbinding collection of eighty speculative flash fiction and short fiction offerings. If you like your literary fiction sprinkled with friendly insanity, or if you prefer your contemporary fantasy to resonate with profound realism, or if you simply enjoy reading about anthropomorphic critters and everyday people in unusual situations both mundane and bizarre, this collection is for you.
"KJ’s short stories will immerse you in a river of humanity. You will swim with wild things, bob alone in balmy calm backwaters, struggle through raging torrents, meander in mud, and ultimately be pushed into a speculative ocean of desire for more."

Ion Newcombe, editor, AntipodeanSF