I have an ever-growing list of anticipated books due to be published in 2020. Here are the titles I am looking forward to reading the most. All publication dates where known are for the United Kingdom only.
In non-fiction, Notes from an Apocalypse by Mark O’Connell is the Wellcome Book Prize-winning author’s second book after To Be a Machine. Due in April, it will explore how we get to grips with the future and the possible end of the world in an age of anxiety.
Also due in April, Fake Law: The Truth About Justice in an Age of Lies by The Secret Barrister promises to be an equally eye-opening account as his/her bestselling debut book of how the legal system really works, this time focusing on themes of ignorance, corruption and fake news. Continue reading
I have been reading a lot of non-fiction over the last few weeks, and even the most recent novel I have read masquerades as a series of biographical sketches. ‘Their Brilliant Careers’ by Ryan O’Neill is introduced as a collection of sixteen portraits of Australian literary figures from the 20th century. It is a shame that the blurb and my review are forced by necessity to reveal that everything from the dedication to the index is invented, but O’Neill’s highly amusing pastiche more than makes up for this. Continue reading
I have an ever-growing list of books I want to read which will be published in 2019, even though it is extremely unlikely I will get round to all of them in the next 12 months and more will inevitably distract me as the year goes on. Here is a selection of some I will be looking out for. All publication dates where known apply to the UK only and may be subject to change.
Among fiction titles, there are numerous sequels and instalments of series due in 2019. Spring by Ali Smith is the third book in the Scottish author’s seasons cycle following Autumn (2016) and Winter (2017) with Summer presumably following in 2020.
A part of me wonders if The Testaments by Margaret Atwood would ever have been written if the TV adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale hadn’t been so successful. Set 15 years after the original book, the new volume won’t be based on the grim storylines of the second season broadcast last year, but it’s safe to assume that it won’t be a light and cheery read either. Continue reading
The book blogger versus traditional literary critic debate has been rumbling on for a while now, especially as it is noticeable that endorsements from bloggers are increasingly used alongside reviews by established journalists. However, I was recently surprised to find a quote from my review of Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien inside the UK paperback edition published by Granta. I hadn’t known my review was going to be used for this purpose (but I don’t object to it) and I also didn’t receive a free copy from the publisher in exchange for my comments. Continue reading
There are many reasons why authors may choose to publish their work anonymously or pseudonymously. Historically, this has primarily been due to the threat of persecution or prosecution if the material produced was controversial and/or illegal. More recently, however, it has often stemmed from the author’s desire to simply let the words speak for themselves. Continue reading
The longlist for the newly reconfigured Man Booker International Prize has been announced today. The thirteen books are:
- A General Theory of Oblivion by José Eduardo Agualusa (Angola), translated by Daniel Hahn and published by Harvill Secker.
- The Story of the Lost Child by Elena Ferrante (Italy), translated by Ann Goldstein and published by Europa Editions
- The Vegetarian by Han Kang (South Korea), translated by Deborah Smith and published by Portobello Books
- Mend the Living by Maylis de Kerangal (France), translated by Jessica Moore and published by Maclehose Press
- Man Tiger by Eka Kurniawan (Indonesia), translated by Labodalih Sembiring and published by Verso Books
- The Four Books by Yan Lianke (China), translated by Carlos Rojas and published by Chatto & Windus
- Tram 83 by Fiston Mwanza Mujila (Democratic Republic of Congo/Austria), translated by Roland Glasser and published by Jacaranda
- A Cup of Rage by Raduan Nassar (Brazil), translated by Stefan Tobler and published by Penguin Modern Classics
- Ladivine by Marie NDiaye (France), translated by Jordan Stump and published Maclehose Press
- Death by Water by Kenzaburō Ōe (Japan), translated by Deborah Boliner Boem (Atlantic Books)
- White Hunger by Aki Ollikainen (Finland), translated by Emily Jeremiah & Fleur Jeremiah and published by Peirene Press
- A Strangeness in My Mind by Orhan Pamuk (Turkey), translated by Ekin Oklap and published by Faber & Faber
- A Whole Life by Robert Seethaler (Austria), translated by Charlotte Collins and published by Picador