Monday, September 19, 2011

Books to be released in October 2011

Second installment from the Book Beast section of The Daily Beast site, here are a few books set for release in October.

The Forgotten Waltz by Anne Enright
The Man Booker award-winning novelist has an almost scary affinity for language, a skill she marries to an unblinking shrewdness about the way people behave. Here she dissects a love affair barreling toward disaster. The result is a stunning study of a woman turned inside out. [Oct. 3]

The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides
Pulitzer Prize-winner (Middlesex) Eugenides returns with a knowingly old-fashioned love story: Madeleine Hanna, an out-of-step English major in the ’80s who tilts toward Thackeray and Dickens when everyone else tilts toward Derrida, is wooed by not just one but two suitors, both wildly romantic in their respective ways, and maybe a little mad. [Oct. 11]

Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory, and the Conquest of Everest
by Wade Davis
The notions of heroism and idealism died out almost entirely in the trenches of World War I. Six years after the Great War’s end, on the slopes of Mt. Everest, George Mallory and a group of climbers almost singlehandedly brought those noble ideas back to life. In this rigorously researched book, Davis shows how Mallory’s fatal climb reignited the idea of the hero for an entire culture. [Oct. 18]

Zone One by Colson Whitehead
A satirist so playful that you often don’t even feel his scalpel, Whitehead toys with the shards of contemporary culture with an infectious glee. Here he upends the tropes of the zombie story in the canyons of lower Manhattan. Horror has rarely been so unsettling, and never so grimly funny. [Oct. 18]

1Q84 by Haruki Murakami
As with most Murakami novels, things begin in ordinary ways—a woman sits in a taxi in a traffic jam—and then quickly warp out of control: the woman winds up in an alternate universe before the cars begin to move. Add a novelist rewriting the work of a 13-year-old girl, a militant religious cult, a reclusive dowager who runs a battered-women’s shelter, and a very ugly detective, and the result is top-drawer Murakami. [Oct. 25]

Rome: A Cultural, Visual, and Personal History by Robert Hughes
Jerusalem: The Biography by Simon Sebag-Montefiore
These eternally twinned cities of Western Civ get the star treatment this season with blockbuster histories from master art critic Robert Hughes (Rome) and British historian Simon Sebag-Montefiore (Jerusalem). Between these two books it’s all there: religious violence, Renaissance icons, Mussolini, family history, the birth of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and more. [Nov. 1; Oct. 25]

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
For anyone interested in economics, cognitive science, psychology, and, in short, human behavior, this is the book of the year. Before Malcolm Gladwell and Freakonomics there was Daniel Kahneman who invented the field of behavioral economics, won a Nobel (for his work with Amos Tversky), and now explains how we think and make choices. Here’s an easy choice: read this. [Oct. 25]

Charles Dickens by Claire Tomalin
He was probably the most beloved author of all time. But the image projected through his fiction—that of a man who serenely and implacably saw into every character’s heart, who knew what there was to be known of life—was, while not a lie, certainly not the whole story. As Tomalin portrays him, with her usual uncommon skill, he was, for starters, hell at home, not at all nice to the children and beastly to his wife, on whom he famously cheated. He was, in other words, utterly fascinating, and so he remains. [Oct. 27]

I am thinking I will add Zone One and 1Q84. Both look pretty interesting. I may throw in the bio on Charles Dickens, too.

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