Most Anticipated list and The Atlantic's 15 Books To Look Forward To list, it's pretty clear there is, indeed, a lot to look forward to in 2012. Here are 12 books from those (and a few other) lists I'm especially geeked about.
12. What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank, by Nathan Englander (Feb. 7) — I read something recently, which of course I can't find again, in which Colum McCann said Englander is the best short story writer alive. High praise! And since I loved Englander's bizarre little novel The Ministry of Special Cases, this volume of short stories will be a high priority.
11. Wild Thing, by Josh Bazell (Feb. 8) — Bazell's Beat The Reaper was awesome! Uh, that's awesomely disturbing, actually. Can't wait for this follow up.
10. Gods Without Men, by Hari Kunzru (March 6) — British Indian novelist Kunzru's last book, My Revolutions, was fantastic. So, again, I'm excited about this follow-up.
9. Hot Pink, by Adam Levin (March 13) — This is a collection of short stories by the genius, DFW-esque writer who wrote one of my favorite novels of 2010, The Instructions.
8. Farther Away: Essays, by Jonathan Franzen (April 12) — This probably won't have quite the same publicity run-up as Freedom did a few years ago, but I'm junkie for anything this guy writes. So this volume of essays is exciting.
7. The Newlyweds, by Nell Freudenberger (May 1) — Since she occupies a spot on the Top 10 Hottest Female Writers list, I should probably check out her new novel...in case, you know, I ever meet her in a bar or something.
6. In One Person, by John Irving (May 8) — I'm a huge Irving fan. This is my most anticipated novel of the year.
5. Home, by Toni Morrison (May 8) — When an American literary institution like Morrison publishes a new novel, you just have to read it.
4. Canada, by Richard Ford (May 22) — Frankly, I was bored to tears by Ford's The Sportswriter and Independence Day, which are supposedly his two seminal works. But this one sounds different enough from those two that I'm willing to give him another shot.
3. Beautiful Ruins, by Jess Walter (June 12) — If this is even a third as good as The Financial Lives of the Poets, Walter may take a few more steps up my "favorite authors" list.
2. Office Girl, by Joe Meno (July 17) — I've never read Chicagoan Meno, but he's always been high on my list, and this novel sounds especially intriguing.
1. Back to Blood, by Tom Wolfe (sometime in the fall) — It's been eight years since Wolfe's last novel, the apparently underwhelming I Am Charlotte Simmons. Hopefully the wait's worth it for this long-rumored story about Miami.
What are you looking forward to in 2012?