Thursday, December 3, 2009

Looking Literarily Towards 2010

As if winter isn't depressing enough, especially here in Chicago, usually the new book landscape in the months from January to April is about as barren and cold as the weather outside. Thankfully, 2010 looks to be a little different. While everyone is polishing up their Best of 2009 lists, I'm looking forward to some great books coming out in the first few months of 2010. Here are a few choice cuts:

1) The Unnamed, by Joshua Ferris — Jan. 18.  Ferris's Then We Came To The End, about a Chicago ad agency, was one of the best and funniest debut novels I've ever read. It's like a literary version of the movie Office Space. So, naturally, I can't wait for his follow up, though amazon describes the book as a "heartbreaking story of a life taken for granted and what happens when that life is abruptly and irrevocably taken away." That doesn't sound very funny.

2) The Swan Thieves, by Elizabeth Kostova — Jan 12. I attended a Kostova signing several years ago on her tour for her debut novel The Historian, and really, really liked her. The Historian itself, however, I only liked a little bit. But The Swan Thieves has been very well-reviewed by those lucky enough to get ARCs (for instance, this one by fellow book blogger Cym Lowell), so I'm looking forward to the book, because I really WANT to like it.

3) Point Omega, by Don DeLillo — Feb. 2. Even though the novel's clocking in at a mere 128 pages, whenever DeLillo publishes something new, the literati practically cream their shorts because of DeLillo's status as "one of the greatest living American writers." So, I guess Point Omega is worth anticipating, if not because you're a DeLillo fan, than definitely for its cool title and cover art. The only DeLillo I've read is White Noise, which I liked well enough. But I haven't had the guts to take on Underworld, supposedly DeLillo's signature work.

4) The prolific Chris Bohjalian (Secrets of Eden, Feb. 2) and Dan Simmons (Black Hills, Feb. 23) are also both adding to their already significant outputs. Regarding Bohjalian, Secrets of Eden will be a tiebreaker of sorts for me. I hated The Double Bind, but loved Skeletons at the Feast. Here's to hoping this new one is good. And Simmons:  The Terror and Drood have both been languishing on my shelf untouched, so maybe if Black Hills is really good, I'll get motivated to back-read.

5) Bite Me: A Love Story, by Christopher Moore — March 23. That's it, I'm jumping on the Christopher Moore bandwagon. In any discussion about funny books, Moore's name ALWAYS comes up. I'd always had this perception of Moore as a glorified comic book writer, but I think I've gotten over that. I've ordered Lamb, and can't wait for this new one.

6) Solar, by Ian McEwan — March 30. I totally dug Atonement and Saturday, but I skipped On Chesil Beach because the idea of an entire novel, albeit a short one, about "rambling nature walks and the naming of birds" just doesn't do it for me. So, I'm excited about this new book  about a washed-up physicist who tries to save his marriage and the world from disaster.

7) Finally, I can't WAIT for Lauren Conrad's (ghost writer's) book titled Sweet Little Lies — Feb. 2. (Yes, I am totally kidding — just making sure you're still paying attention.)

If you're interested, my sources for discovering these future releases are Barnes & Noble's "Coming Soon" list, amazon's "Popular Pre-Orders" and Publisher's Weekly's "On Sale Calendar."

Any I'm missing here? Which 2010 new releases are you most looking forward to?


  1. YAY for Lamb! I hope you enjoy that. But I know you will :)

    I personally am really excited for Will Grayson, Will Grayson, written by John Green and David Levithan. If you've never picked up a YA novel, John Green is one of my favorites. Plus this is YA fiction with really great male POVs.

    Also, I've never met him, but I went to college with Simmons' daughter. She's awesome. Hyperion is on my must-read list.

  2. I'm looking forward to "The Unnamed" as well, though indeed it does not appear to be the same sort of humorous story that "Then We Came to the End" was. I'm actually curious to see how Ferris pulls off this kind of tone switch.

  3. Anyone who starts off with "as if winter were not depressing enough" has my attention. The Untamed looks interesting.... thanks for the mesh of humor and professionalism... ;)

  4. I'm reading Drood right now and I love it so far! I read The Historian when it first came out and thought it was decent but not great. I haven't read any Christopher Moore books but I've been considering trying one. They look hilarious! I'm looking forward to Maria V. Snyder's new book Inside Out (author of the Study series and Glass series) in April!

    I gave your blog an award! Read about it here:

  5. Hey everyone - thanks for the comments!

  6. Hey Greg,

    I'm also looking forward to Solar by McEwan but think you may have been misinformed about the main point of On Chesil Beach - its more about a relationship falling apart due to lack of communication and social fear than nature walks :) It's definitely worth a look!

    Ooh and another one by DeLillo! Yay!

  7. Wow, thanks for letting us know about all these books! Most of them I didn't even realize were coming out. Thanks for the links too! I check BN's list but I didn't know about the other two.