Despite our self-avowed commitment to all things Yule, sparkly, sugary, twinkly and silent-night-all-things-bright, we’re a near impossible bunch to Christmas shop for at For Books’ Sake. We want books, we want leopard print-bound, limited edition, Frosty the Steamy Snowman books, and that’s all we want.
So the thing that’s really ringing our bells and icing our cakes this season is the prospect of our collective families pre-ordering us these little beauties due out in 2013. And then buying us some more presents for Christmas day. Because an Amazon printout wrapped around a candy cane is not a present, okay?
If you haven’t already made friends with Annie, the morbidly obese, lonely optimist from A Kind of Intimacy, you need to reassess your commitment to stomach-churning creepy literature.
Ashworth’s début is strongly reminiscent of her Suburban Gothic predecessor Shirley Jackson and incited the same violently clashing opinions from readers.
Since then, Ashworth has published the fantastically morbid Cold Light;
“You can tell from their faces that something has gone wrong. But I’m the one who knows straight away that the mayor has found a body. And I know who it is.”
Funny, tragic, and compelling, Ashworth has produced another For Books’ Sake favourite and established herself as a writer to get very excited about.
It is impossible to not have a strong reaction to Ashworth’s writing, and the behind-the-scenes brawl that went on for an advance copy of her latest novel The Friday Gospels was bordering on unseemly. Pre-order your copy now and keep your eyes peeled for our upcoming review.
You all know the formula; big knickers (v bad), 72 cigarettes (v naughty), 8 gallons of vino (v good), lovely sex (v naughty) with Darcy (vv good!). As a character, Bridget Jones captured the zeitgeist and Helen Fielding is the modern day Jane Austen (because there has only ever been one good female writer, the rest are feminist clones).
The news that a new BJ is on the horizon sent pulses pattering across the country. Hysteria is already amping up and speculation is rife as to what 21st century problems our Bridge will be battling this time around.
Fielding on Woman’s Hour recently stated: “I had new stuff I wanted to say, things that were making me laugh, things that didn’t exist when I wrote the last Bridget, like emails, the way life is lived through texting and Twitter.” (Dear god please save us from another Twitter novel.)
You know that moment when you heard that Beyonce and Lady Gaga were collaborating and you already loved them both so much that you were terrified it was going to be so awesome you’d stop breathing? But also actually be so shit that you’d stop breathing? And then it was Telephone and your mind exploded with love? Well get this:
Jeanette Winterson + witch trials (literary feminist catnip) + Addams Family severed hand + this byline; “This is Lancashire. This is Pendle. This is witch country.” = Christmas vomit induced excitement mega-maze.
The Bodice Ripper waxed lyrical about this novel when the hardback was released, and now we cannot wait for the paperback version to be released in 2013.
This is clearly the most awesome thing which has ever been written. It’s got an Amazon blurb that takes a bite out of your heart (“Can a man be maimed by a witch? Can a severed head speak?”) and, apart from the lack of Olympics, is one of the most exciting things about 2013.
Ifemelu and Obinze fall in love under a Nigerian military dictatorship and are separated when Ifemelu is sent to America to study. Obinze is only allowed to travel as far as London in a newly suspicious post 9/11 world. It isn’t until both of them return to Nigeria that they are reunited and forced to face the cultural gap that has opened up between them.
The “Americanah” of the title is a derogatory word used in Nigeria to indicate someone has become too Americanised. This is the condemnation of a globalised world that confronts the two young protagonists as they move in and out of each other’s lives.
Here’s Adichie offering a sneak-peak reading in April 2012; going on her previous output and this clip, Americanah seems guaranteed to be the go-to book club read, prize nominee, 5 star darling of the literary and non-imaginary world.
Obviously by now most of you have stopped reading in order to hyperventilate/take to the internet, but in case anyone has hung on here are a few more titles to get your mulled wine flowing:
The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier, Maya’s Notebook by Isabel Allende, Life After Life by Kate Atkinson, The Carrier by Sophie Hannah, Instructions for a Heatwave by Maggie O’Farrell, and an upcoming new novel by Sarah Waters.
All these titles are due out in 2013 and all will be reviewed by us, your diligent For Books’ Sake elves. But more importantly; who’s missing?
We’re gluttons for rumour, hearsay and intrigue so let us know in the comments section if you’ve heard about a new Atwood, Weldon, Brite, July, Morgenstern or similar on the horizon!
Beulah Maud Devaney