Hot Tips: Books Around the Corner


The burdensome part of being a bookseller -- oh, wait, there are many burdensome parts, really, believe us, if you can (suspend disbelief) -- rather, one of the MOST burdensome tasks we have is reading manuscripts, galleys, and advance reading copies of books you won't see in the store for months. But we do it, just for you. Someone has to, you know? It would further pain us to relate news of less-than-stellar forthcoming books, but in the interest of, er, enormous enthusiasm, we're going to give you a heads-up on some that have, well, simply blown us away.

To begin: you must watch for Tea Obreht's The Tiger's Wife. It arrives March 8 from Random House; this modern, complex legend is simply thrilling. Obreht was named a New Yorker "20 under 40"; they certainly got that right.

Don't read anything resembling a thriller? Oh, yeah, we understand. But you must grab David Vann's Caribou Island, which lands any day now. Riveting, yes, hard to forget, yes. It's one of the most honest portraits of a marriage, of love, of loss, of isolation. (David will be speaking at The Booksmith on February 9, by the way.)

If you read Karen Russell's St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves, you will most certainly want to watch for her Swamplandia!, a most curious, most unsettling novel coming on the first of February. She (also a New Yorker "20 under 40"; what is it with these young writers anyway?)  is an amazingly original and haunting writer; it isn't likely you'll forget the fantastic and fantastical Bigtree clan nor their intimately-understood Florida. 

Off to read some more. Details to come...