It is already, amazingly, time to start looking forward to March at BookPage. A couple of the February titles we’ve already mentioned will probably be featured in our March issue, due to publication dates late in the month (such as Henning Mankell’s The Man From Beijing and The Girl Who Fell From the Sky by Heidi Durrow, which won the 2008 Bellwether Prize for Fiction). But to whet your appetite for even more spring reading, here are a few March books that have also caught our attention.
Named for an essay that appeared in The New Yorker in 1997, Silk Parachutes may answer the question that BookPage columnist Robert Weibezahl asked in 2006: “Is there any subject that John McPhee cannot make interesting?” I suspect the answer will be no, as McPhee tackles lacrosse, weird food and other topics in this collection of essays (out March 2).
According to publishing copy from Farrar, Straus and Giroux, The Ask by Sam Lipsyte will cover themes such as “work, war, sex, class, child rearing, romantic comedies, Benjamin Franklin, cooking shows on death row and the eroticization of chicken wire.” The protagonist of the novel, a development officer at a university, is faced with a difficult “ask.” As an ex-Phonathon caller in college, I can certainly appreciate the challenge (although my asks never involved or evoked chicken wire). This novel, out March 2, has got me intrigued.
Those who enjoyed Woody Holton’s Abigail Adams should look out for Mrs. Adams in Winter by Michael O’Brian (March 2). An historical account of Louisa Adams’ journey from St. Petersburg to Paris (where she met her husband, John Quincy Adams), this book is already getting praise from historians and journals.
In a 2007 review of Howard Mosher’s On Kingdom Mountain, Maude McDaniel left us with a memorable image: “Embedded [in the novel] like cinnamon in sugar toast is a nippy humor that brings a chuckle a page to this account of quests and riddles, insights and discoveries.” Mosher’s forthcoming Walking to Gatlinburg sounds more intense than humorous, but I’m interested nonetheless. In this novel set during the Civil War, a 17-year-old boy treks to Gatlinburg followed by guilt – and a group of killers. This one’s out March 2, as well.
During the spring, Baseball fans (such as myself) can look forward to a ton of new books. Opening Day is April 4 – just in time to read The Baseball Codes: Beanballs, Sign Stealing, and Bench-Clearing Brawls: The Unwritten Rules of America’s Pastime (out March 9).
Do any of these books catch your attention?