Hot off the presses

January 12, 2010

It’s an industry standard to publish new books on Tuesdays, and today is no exception. If you’re interested in great new fiction, run to your local bookstore and pick up one of these Jan. 12 releases:

Bloodroot, a family saga set in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, is by debut author Amy Greene. In a behind-the-book essay with BookPage, Greene writes about her inspiration for the novel: “I saw a black-haired woman with wild blue eyes and her two hungry-looking children. The children were twins, a boy and a girl. There was something mysterious about the three of them, especially the woman, and I needed to figure out what it was. I pictured her and the twins living in isolation on that hill in the mountain woods, maybe hiding from some kind of danger. I don’t know where the image came from, but I was captured by it.”

Also related: BookPage editors Abby and Trisha report from a dinner with Greene and other Nashville-area book folks.

National Book Award-nominee Amy Bloom is back with Where the God of Love Hangs Out, a collection of short stories focused on “the way people act toward and react to one another,” according to BookPage reviewer Becky Ohlsen. Bloom’s “stories have an almost theatrical quality: she puts several people with complex relationships in a room and lets them have it out—sometimes in dialogue, but mostly through those perfectly tuned inner voices.” Also don’t miss Bloom’s 2007 novel Away.

We’ve blogged about Saving CeeCee Honeycutt before, and today you can see what all the fuss is about. Get a preview in an interview with BookPage, in which author Beth Hoffman writes how she found her voice as a writer creating “story ads” for her interior design studio.

Reader favorite Elizabeth Kostova gave us a sneak peak into The Swan Thieves in November, and today you can get the rest of the story. Kostova’s second novel (after mega-hit The Historian) is about love, obsession and French Impressionism. On writing about art, she told BookPage: “When I started going back to museums and seeing these paintings in the flesh, I was so overwhelmed by them. They’re so wonderful in real life, and Impressionism is so textured that you really have a sense of people working with the brush when you look at the originals that you don’t with reproductions.”

Which of these books will you be reading first? That’s a tough call for me, but since I live in Tennessee, I’m leaning towards Bloodroot. . .

Sneak peek: Elizabeth Kostova’s ‘The Swan Thieves’

November 17, 2009

Elizabeth Kostova

One of the first big releases of January 2010 is Elizabeth Kostova’s follow-up to her hit debut, The Historian, a literary vampire story that topped bestseller lists in the summer of 2005. Her new novel, The Swan Thieves, is a tale of love, obsession and art that, like The Historian, goes backward and forward in time to unravel a mystery. We asked Kostova a few questions about the book as a teaser for fans–and a preview of our full-length BookPage interview coming in January.

What elements in The Swan Thieves will most appeal to fans of The Historian?
I think readers who enjoyed The Historian will probably enjoy the mix of historical and contemporary settings in The Swan Thieves, as well as the travel to France and through time.

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January 2010 sneak peek

August 26, 2009

Now that we’ve listed some our favorites of 2009, let’s look ahead to 2010. We’re already getting tons of January books — here are a few recent arrivals that are on our radar.


Roses was a big buzz book at BEA and is a four-generation family saga that has been compared to The Thornbirds. Juicy!


Tracy Chevalier was one of the writers who kicked off the latest wave of historical fiction. Her new novel, Remarkable Creatures (Viking) is about two female fossil-hunters in Lyme Regis, England, in the 19th century. Isn’t the jacket gorgeous? The UK edition (which went on sale earlier this week) uses the same elements in a different way.


Chevalier talks about her inspiration for the book here.

Then there’s the return of Elizabeth Kostova with The Swan Thieves (Little, Brown), which we blogged about earlier this summer.


I was intrigued by the fanciful cover of Ali Shaw’s The Girl with the Glass Feet (Holt). Shaw said his debut—the story of a girl who visits an island where strange things are happening and subsequently finds herself slowly turning into glass—was inspired by the European fairy tale tradition.


And Mo Hayder has Skin (Grove), a sequel to Ritual, coming out in January. Though so far none of her recent books have topped the creepiness of The Devil of Nanking in my mind, fans of literary horror will have something to keep them up at night.


And of course, there’s the new Joshua Ferris—The Unnamed.


Any January releases you’re looking forward to?

Undead writer’s club

June 23, 2009

It has been four years since her blockbuster debut, The Historian, but Elizabeth 06.23swanthKostova is rising again on January 21 with a second act, The Swan Thieves. Instead of literature, this time Kostova’s subject is painting—and painters who struggle to balance love and art. The novel goes from 1870s France to the modern day as a Washington, D.C., psychiatrist tries to discover why one of his patients attacked painting in the National Gallery.

She told Powell‘s she began work on The Swan Thieves before The Historian was even published.  “I felt it was important for me to get back to writing right away — to draw that magic, private circle again.”

After the jump, a video of Kostova discussing the novel.

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