Thursday, September 27, 2012

Erica’s Five Hardcovers I Would Buy (If I Bought Hardcovers)

Just like there are cat people and dog people, there are paperback people and hardcover people. I could go on and on and enumerate the many ways in which these two species differ from one another but suffice it to say hardcover people smell. That is all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.

A Hologram for the King by Dave Eggers (McSweeney’s, $25.00)
I’ve never actually read any Eggers, and he’s got enough highly regarded fiction and non-fiction in print that there’s absolutely no excuse for my lackadaisical interest in his oeuvre. I am a fan of his brainchild McSweeney’s however, as a press, a literary magazine, and an internet tendency. Plus, this guy is a master of packaging, as the cover of his latest novel will attest. Frankly, that’s enough to sell me.

Release Date: September 4
NW by Zadie Smith (Penguin, $26.95)
I’m not sure if I’m calling Smith’s latest novel “NW” or “Northwest” in reference to the London neighborhood where her four protagonists live. I do know that ever since White Teeth, I’ve been eager for Smith to get back to London in way that she hasn’t quite since her astonishing debut. Maybe NW is the return trip I’ve been waiting for.

Release Date: September 11
This is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz (Riverhead, $26.95)
Curious to see what Diaz’s second short story collection, and follow up to the Pulitzer Prize winning Oscar Wao, will look like. You will perhaps recall that the eponymous title character of Wao was haunted by a fuku, or curse. Hopefully Diaz has not succumbed to the fuku of the Pulitzer Prize winner by giving us a follow up that pales in comparison to the award-winning work.

Release Date: September 11
Telegraph Avenue by Michael Chabon (Harper Collins, $27.99)
I couldn’t really get into Chabon’s last novel The Yiddish Policeman’s Union. Maybe it’s because I know nothing about being a policeman, or speaking Yiddish for that matter. Telegraph Ave hits a little closer to home with its tale of Brokeland Records, an indie operation selling soon-to-be-obsolete-product staffed by quirky, often off-putting mouth-breathers who are the hallmark of an independent retail shopping experience. I know a little something about that.

Release Date: TODAY
Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling (Little Brown, $35.00)
So as Harry Potter fans aren’t we all, like, obligated to check this out? I should warn you there are no boy wizards in sight. Instead Rowling has given us a murder mystery set in a charming English hamlet full of secrets. I’m getting a definite Peyton Place vibe here, but that’s not going to stop me from referring to this book as Murder in Little Whinging.

Erica David, September 2012

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