Thursday, 9 July 2009

More great books coming this Christmas!

Spent two days this week at a roadshow, where publishers presented their great white hopes for Christmas. 750 titles later… but there are some amazing books due in the latter part of the year!

In Fiction: the new Andrew McGahan novel Wonders of a Godless World. I scored an advance copy and have almost finished it - let's just say it is a complete departure from his other novels, but is touched with brilliance (and a fair bit of science!)

New novels from Margaret Atwood (The Year of the Flood returning to the world of Oryx and Crake), Barbara Kingsolver (The Lacuna, based on the lives of Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera and Trotsky), Louis de Bernieres (Notwithstanding, set in small town Sussex), Bernard Cornwell (The Burning Land, about King Alfred), Paul Auster (Invisible - a coming of age novel drawing on Auster's own life), Orhan Pamuk (The Museum of Innocence, set in 1975 Istanbul) and Audrey Niffenegger (Her Fearful Symmetry, a modern ghost story).

Also from Joseph Kanon (Stardust, set in 1950s Hollywood),Sebastian Faulks (A Week in December, described as a powerful contemporary novel set in London), William Boyd (Ordinary Thunderstorms - a strong conspiracy novel), Alex Miller (Lovesong - set in Paris, Tunisia and Australia) and John Irving (Last Night in Twisted River - a brick of a book set in 1954 New Hampshire). AND a new Corinna Chapman novel for the fans of Kerry Greenwood (Forbidden Fruit).

In Children's books: no doubt the best of the year will be a follow up to the phenomenal Diary of a Wombat - Baby Wombat's Week by Jackie French and Bruce Whatley. It is every bit as adorable, witty and beautiful as the original title!
Robert Ingpen turns his hand to illustrating Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (remember his gorgeous efforts with Wind in the Willows, Treasure Island, and Peter Pan?) The ninth Ranger's Apprentice novel (Halt's Peril) will be eagerly awaited. There is a great quirky little board book called It's Great to Have a Duck which had everyone laughing out loud; and a delightfully skewriff book which reminds me strongly of Struwwelpeter or even Saki (Cautionary Tales for Boys and Girls)

Non-fiction also promises some great treats! What about a new Peter Ackroyd - Venice - or a new Don Watson - Bendable Learnings: The Wisdom of Modern Management - or a new William Dalrymple - Nine Lives - or even a new Paul Barry (but we can't tell you anything about this one other than it's a BIG name getting the Alan Bond/Kerry Packer treatment…)

I'm looking forward to a collection of newspaper columns from the Great Curmudgeon Himself, Alan Ramsey; a history on the Kokoda Track told from the Japanese perspective called The Path of Infinite Sorrow by Craig Collie and Hajime Marutani (apparently this is the name the Japanese call Kokoda); a digger's diaries from Fromelles and the Somme - Over the Top by H G Hartnett, and a long overdue book on The Australian Light Horse by Roland Perry who did that interesting book on Monash a few years ago. There's a stunning photography book, Bird, from Andrew Zuckerman, who brought us Wisdom last year; a great big colourful book on The Mind and Times of Reg Mombassa; one on botanical art in Australia from the 1830s called Women of Flowers; Creative Lives, another wonderful National Library publication drawing on the personal papers of Australian writers and artists. And one of those fascinating biographies on 20th century writers that have been so readable of late, this time on Evelyn Waugh, called Mad World.

So there you have it - just some of the exciting titles you can look forward to! Start planning your summer reading now!! Lindy

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