Lord of Misrule, by Jaimy Gordon. If the eight-month cycle for paperback release is becoming more common than not for fiction, can the four-month cycle be far behind. Jaimy Gordon's National-Book-Award-winning novel came out last November. We hosted an event in January, and here it is in March. It's the story of a ragtag bunch of characters at a small-stakes track in West Virginia. Beautifully written, larger-than-life characters, and an author you've got to catch on tour. And don't forget about Jim Higgins' interview with the author in the Journal Sentinel.
Solar, by Ian McEwan. "The funniest book McEwan has ever written" screams Entertainment Weekly, regarding McEwan's novel of the collision between the global crisis of climate change and the personal crisis of a floundering marriage. Seems like I would have liked it, but I didn't read it. But I don't feel as guilty about missing that one as I do about...
The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet, by David Mitchell. Mitchell turns his writing skills to the historical, setting his new novel in 1799 Japan. This book wound up on all sorts of top ten lists, from the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, the Financial Times, The Globe and Mail, plus personal lists from noted critics Maureen Corrigan and Michiko Kakutani. Am I dreaming when I say that I think I was introduced to Corrigan on a recent visit to Politics and Prose. The whole day turned out to be like a day on the star-spotting bus in Hollywood, only for the intelligentsia.
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot. The search for the woman whose cancerous cells led to amazing medical breakthroughs and her poor family that was left behind. Another author we hosted in hardcover that you should go out of your way to see on her paperback book tour. And by out of your way, I'm thinking a plane trip is not out of the question.
The Man from Beijing, by Henning Mankell. At the book fair yesterday for St. John's Home on the Lake, we were talking about all the wonderful Scandanavian authors that folks were reading when they finished Stieg Larsson. One person in the conversation had just read this, and I asked if she had read his famous detective series. She said no, and what's the name of the detective. Darned if I knew. It's Kurt Wallender, of course.
and just so it's not all Random Housian...
Angelology, by Danielle Trussoni. Another fellow came up to me and said he liked both Dan Brown and Umberto Eco--what could I do for him? This is what I came up with, the story of a nun who discovers a correspondence that points her to an ancient conflict between (and I paraphrase) the Angelologists and the Nephilim, descendants of angels and humans. Trussoni has some local ties, so we're hoping that she comes back to town for the paperback eventually (though she's not scheduled on the official tour, to my knowledge).
Off to Marquette for our Teach for America event with Wendy Kopp. In the store? That would be Ron Tanner and his book, Kiss me Stranger.