I had to do a little bit of hunting, because I only had a handful of books I was already looking forward to. However, this was a welcome homework assignment, really. I learned about so many great books– particularly foreign ones– that will be released this coming year.
I think I’ve finally compiled a solid list of…seven books of mixed genres I’m looking forward to in the new year.
- The Passion of Mademoiselle S., edited by Jean Yves Berthault- I’m not sure I can do this summary justice, so I’m just going to provide an excerpt and leave the link here .
Summary excerpt: “While helping a friend clear out an old apartment in Paris, diplomat Jean-Yves Berthault came upon a leather portfolio that contained a collection of handwritten letters. After reading the first one, Berthault realized that he had stumbled upon an extraordinary correspondence—a charged and passionate epistolary love affair that brought to mind the French erotic classics The Story of O, Justine, and Delta of Venus.”
- Midnight in Broad Daylight: A Japanese American Family Caught Between Two Worlds, by Pamela Rotner Sakamoto- I’m no history buff, but few facets of American history interest me more than the Japanese American experience during World War II. A great black blotch on American history, I find stark similarities between their largely forgotten experience, and other minorities.Summary Excerpt: “Alternating between the American and Japanese perspectives, Midnight in Broad Daylight captures the uncertainty and intensity of those charged with the fighting as well as the deteriorating home front of Hiroshima—as never told before in English—and provides a fresh look at the dropping of the first atomic bomb. Intimate and evocative, it is an indelible portrait of a resilient family, a scathing examination of racism and xenophobia, an homage to the tremendous Japanese American contribution to the American war effort, and an invaluable addition to the historical record of this extraordinary time.”
- In Other Words,by Jhumpa Lahiri – I’m really a sucker for anything by Jhumpa Lahiri. I just hope that one day I have a command of English that is on par with hers. I’m not even going to aspire to know other languages with her fluency, because I know it’s not possible– she’s a genius.Summary Excerpt: “In Other Words is a revelation. It is at heart a love story of a long and sometimes difficult courtship, and a passion that verges on obsession: that of a writer for another language. For Jhumpa Lahiri, that love was for Italian, which first captivated and capsized her during a trip to Florence after college. Although Lahiri studied Italian for many years afterwards, true mastery had always eluded her….Presented in a dual-language format, this is a wholly original book about exile, linguistic and otherwise, written with an intensity and clarity not seen since Vladimir Nabokov: a startling act of self-reflection and a provocative exploration of belonging and reinvention.“
- Girl in the Dark, by Marion Pauw
Summary Excerpt:”An award-winning, internationally bestselling author makes her American debut with this taut, riveting domestic drama with the compulsive intensity of The Good Girl, The Pocket Wife, and The Stranger, about a long-lost brother convicted of a horrifying crime and a sister’s fight to clear his name. “
- The Lightless Sky: A Twelve-Year-Old Refugee’s Harrowing Escape from Afghanistan and His Extraordinary Journey Across Half the World, by Gulwali Passarlay
Summary Excerpt: “A gripping, inspiring, and eye-opening memoir of fortitude and survival—of a twelve-year-old boy’s traumatic flight from Afghanistan to the West—that puts a face to one of the most shocking and devastating humanitarian crises of our time.”
- This is Where it Ends, by Marieke Nijkamp – Sickeningly relevant, Nijkamp’s book has great potential, from what I’ve read. I’m sure it’ll be a book that feels physically heavier after I’ve read the last sentence, but I’m ready for the challenge.
Summary Excerpt: 10:00 a.m.- The principal of Opportunity, Alabama’s high school finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.10:02 a.m.- The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.10:03- The auditorium doors won’t open.10:05- Someone starts shooting.
Told from four perspectives over the span of 54 harrowing minutes, terror reigns as one student’s calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.”
- Lovecraft Country, by Matt Ruff-
I mean, look at the cover! This book summary left me flummoxed on numerous levels, but I think I’m excited…. I think.Summary Excerpt: “The critically acclaimed cult novelist makes visceral the terrors of life in Jim Crow America and its lingering effects in this brilliant and wondrous work of the imagination that melds historical fiction, pulp noir, and Lovecraftian horror and fantasy.“