One of the odd things about working for a publication is that your monthly timeline gets out of whack. A couple weeks ago I was writing about Christmas novels for a December feature. Now, it’s on to the New Year. In October Abby posted a preview of big February fiction titles, noting that Chris Bohjalian, Lori Lansens and Louise Erdrich have new novels coming out. Trisha has also posted a February teaser, writing about Joe Hill’s (Stephen King’s son’s) forthcoming Horns. After a meeting today about our February lineup (February already!), I jotted down a few other books you might want to remember.
Seems like anything even remotely connected to Jane Austen has an audience – see this month’s YA modern-day Emma, The Espressologist. Cathleen Schine, author of The New Yorkers, will re-imagine Sense and Sensibility in February’s The Three Weissmanns of Westport. In this telling, literary agent Miranda and library director Annie are Elinor and Marianne.
Heidi Durrow’s The Girl Who Fell From the Sky won the 2008 Bellwether Prize for Fiction. The book follows the daughter of a Danish immigrant and a black G.I. as she struggles with her biracial identity. Bellwether founder Barbara Kingsolver says of the novel: “Haunting and lovely, pitch-perfect, this book could not be more timely.” I am betting that this Feb. 16 release will be a highlight of the month.
In 2006, Whodunit? Columnist Bruce Tierney wrote that Swedish author Henning Mankell’s The Man Who Smiled is “a first-rate detective story” that “manages the border crossing into superlative mainstream fiction.” Mankell fans are in for a treat in February. The English translation of Mankell’s The Man From Beijing, a stand-alone international thriller about “a crime unprecedented in Swedish history,” will hit stores on Feb. 16. The plot will run from Beijing to Zimbabwe, and Mankell’s publisher is touting the author as the next Stieg Larsson. Sounds intriguing. . .
Also look out for plenty of Valentine’s Day appropriate books (a staff favorite title: You Say Tomato, I say Shut Up: A Love Story).
Have any 2010 books caught your eye? Tell us in the comments or in our Facebook discussion.