Friday, 13 November 2009

53 Books You'll Want to Read in 2010

This post is inspired by the excellent list produced on Bookmunch. I have always been frustrated by how difficult it can be to cobble together a list of books released in the future so am delighted that someone has already done the hard work and saved me the hassle! I have simply added three additional titles, and some comment to the ones I am particularly excited about. 

  1. The Lonely Polygamist by Brady Udall
  2. The Stars in the Bright Sky by Alan Warner
  3. Even the Dogs by Jon McGregor


    Sounds like classic McGregor territory: the search for truth about the past in the objects and people of today. His first novel, If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things was a beautiful snapshot image of life on one street, and although the Booker longlisted follow-up wasn't quite as good, he remains an incredibly talented and powerful writer. One to look out for.


  4. The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ by Philip Pullman
    Philip Pullman does my head in at times, with his endless hatred of C.S. Lewis and his militant hit-you-over-the-head-with-it atheism. But he remains a wonderful storyteller and any new book from him promises a wonderful adventure. Billed as being particularly aimed at those who know their gospels (which I don't!), I'm nonetheless looking forward to learning something more about a subject (theology) which I find endlessly fascinating but can easily become dense and dull. Basically, Pullman is doing what I wish everyone would do: putting non-fiction into fiction, so that my impatient brain can take it in and enjoy the process at the same time.
    Bring on April!

  5. Naming the Bones by Louise Walsh
  6. Known to Evil by Walter Mosley
  7. Monster 1959 by David Maine
  8. Manhood for Amateurs by Michael Chabon
  9. It Feels So Good When I Stop by Joe Pernice
  10. Chronic City by Jonathan Lethem
  11. Freedom by Jonathan Franzen
  12. Nemesis by Philip Roth
  13. Wild Child by TC Boyle 
  14. Three Days Before the Shooting by Ralph Ellison
  15. Solar by Ian McEwan
    I was lucky enough to hear Ian McEwan reading from this in June of this year, and it is genuinely very funny. I was in a horrible mood going into the talk, but somewhere in the almost campus-novel comedy of his reading, my perception of Ian McEewan as a 'serious' writer was blown completely out of the water. An early tip for Booker success next year, I think.

  16. The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet by David Mitchell
  17. Point Omega by Don DeLillo
  18. The Pale King by David Foster Wallace
  19. The Pregnant Widow by Martin Amis
  20. Parrot and Olivier in America by Peter Carey
  21. 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami


    When 1Q84 was published in Japan earlier this year it led to a rush of interest akin to that which greeted the release of Dan Brown's new book. The print run was raised from  100,000 to 480,000 and with the plot kept completly secret bookstores were inundated with pre-orders and queues on the day of release. The first of a two volume novel, 1Q84 is described as 'classic Murakami - a "complex and surreal narrative" that "shifts back and forth between tales of two characters, a man and a woman, who are searching for each other".
    No author reminds me why I love reading quite as well as Murakami.



  22. The Man From Beijing by Henning Mankell
  23. This Party’s Got to Stop by Rupert Thomson
  24. Beatrice & Virgil by Yann Martel
    Well, it's Martel's first novel since the 2002 Booker winning phenomenon that was Life of Pi. Promising another mix of fable, fantasy, and theology this is a book that will attract huge public attention whenever it is released in 2010

  25. All That Follows by Jim Crace
  26. The Dead Republic by Roddy Doyle
  27. Little Hands Clapping by Dan Rhodes
  28. Lean On Pete by Willy Vlautin
  29. The Ask by Sam Lipsyte
  30. Zeitoun by Dave Eggers
  31. Castle J Robert Lennon
  32. Imperial Bedrooms by Bret Easton Ellis
  33. The Canal by Lee Rourke
  34. Canada by Richard Ford
  35. The Leaping by Tom Fletcher
  36. Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer


    Already published in the U.S. where it has attracted a massive controversy and no little praise, Eating Animals sees Jonathan Safran Foer's on the verge of fatherhood and facing the prospect of having to make dietary choices on a child's behalf. His investigations into the meet industry ultimately required him to visit factory farms in the middle of the night, dissect the emotional ingredients of meals from his childhood, and probe some of his most primal instincts about right and wrong.
    Not published here until Spring 2010, I am hoping that one of the many lovely people I know in the states might see fit to send it to me for Christmas this year (hint hint, wink wink!)


  37. King Death by Toby Litt
  38. Light Boxes by Shane Jones
  39. The Unnamed by Joshua Ferris
  40. The Terrible Privacy of Maxwell Simm by Jonathan Coe
  41. The News Where You Are by Catherine O’Flynn
  42. The Greek Affair by Simon Van Booy
  43. Nazi Literature in the Americas – Roberto Bolano
  44. Rupture by Simon Lelic
  45. The Art of Pho by Julian Hanshaw
  46. George Sprott by Seth
  47. Taurus by Joseph Smith (author of The Wolf)
  48. The Widow’s Tale by Mick Jackson


    Mick Jackson is an author who never ceases to surprise. From the charming madness of Underground Man, to the fabricated beastiary in Bears of England he never quite gives you what you expect and his work is all the better because of it. What you can be sure is that The Widow's Tale will be an enjoyable read, full of humanity, warmth, and a little dollop of the unexpected to boot.


  49. The Life and Opinions of Maf the Dog, and of his Friend Marilyn Monroe by Andrew O’Hagan
  50. In a Strange Room by Damon Galgut
  51. Luka and the Fire of Life by Salman Rushdie
    The Sequal to Haround and the Sea of Stories, Luka promises another fable on the power of stories, and a life-affirming quest for life and passion. Published in October 2010 by Jonathan Cape, CCV publisher Dan Franklin has described it as “brilliant... as good as [Philip Pullman’s] Northern Lights”. I'm a huge Rushdie fan, next October can't come soon enough for me now.

  52. Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness



    The final part of Patrick Ness's excuisite Chaos Walking trilogy, Monsters of Men promises another morally nuanced and occasionally disturbing tale of Todd and Viola, not to mention the very fate of New World itself.
    The Knife of Never Letting Go is the most exciting and thrilling young adult novel I have read in many years and The Ask and the Answer was a worthy sequal. Told in a gritty acerbic voice, and shot through with moments of utter beauty, Chaos Walking will be a classic trilogy read for many many years to come.


  53. Ellipsis by Nikki Dudley


    Last but by no means least is this thrilling debut from London poet and novelist Nikki Dudley. Exciting, phsychologically complex, and disconcerting, it is a powerful tale of two misfits trying to uncover long hidden secrets about themselves and their pasts'. Dudley has an often startling eye for description and her simple poetic prose will delight readers looking for something slilghtly different in the crime thriller genre.

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