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Most Anticipated: The Great 2010 Book Preview

By posted at 7:07 am on January 5, 2010 69

Update: Don’t miss our newest “Most Anticipated” list, highlighting books for the rest of 2010 and beyond.

There’s something for every lover of fiction coming in 2010, but, oddly enough, the dominant theme may be posthumous publication. Roberto Bolaño’s relentless march into the canon has inured us to the idea of the bestseller from beyond the grave (and of course, for as long as there have been literary executors, this has been nothing new), but beyond the four(!) new books by Bolaño we also have have potentially important works by the likes of Ralph Ellison and Henry Roth, intriguing new books from Robert Walser and Ernst Weiss, a guaranteed bestseller from Stieg Larsson, and, looming in 2011, the final, unfinished novel of David Foster Wallace. Perhaps, amid all this, it is a relief to hear that we have many exciting books on their way from those still with us, including Elizabeth Kostova, Joshua Ferris, David Mitchell, Jennifer Egan, Don DeLillo, Ian McEwan, Yann Martel, and many others.

Special thanks to The Millions Facebook group for helping us compile this list.

January (or already available)
coverThree Days Before the Shooting by Ralph Ellison: Fitting that this book preview starts off with a posthumous novel. Ellison’s unfinished opus will not be the the only posthumous work to grab readers attention in 2010, but it will be perhaps the one with the most history attached to it and maybe, in the accounting of those who manage the canon, the most important. Ellison famously struggled to complete a second novel after the landmark publication of The Invisible Man. After Ellison’s death, Juneteenth was cobbled together by his literary executor John Callahan and met with decidedly mixed reviews. But, as a 2007 article in the Washington Post argues, Three Days Before the Shooting, the result of years of work by Callahan and co-editor Adam Bradley, was always meant to be the true Ellison second novel. Readers will soon find out if it’s the masterpiece they’ve been waiting for for decades.

coverThe Unnamed by Joshua Ferris: If your debut effort (in this case, Then We Came to the End) gets nominated for a National Book Award, you are on the express train to literary stardom. Quickly, however, focus shifts to the sophomore effort. For Ferris, early signs look good. Word is that The Unnamed is dark in tone, darker than and by all early accounts dissimilar to TWCTTE. The protagonist Tim’s affliction is that he’s unable to stop walking. In an early review, Bookforum likes it and says “Ferris possesses an overriding writer’s gift: a basic and consistent ability to entertain while spurring engagement.” See also: Joshua Ferris writing at The Millions

covercovercoverMonsieur Pain by Roberto Bolaño: The frenzy of posthumous Bolaño publication will continue in 2010 with as many as four (that I was able to find) books by the Chilean author published. Bolaño has been unmistakably one of the biggest publishing stories of the last few years, and publisher New Directions has been capably and speedily adding title after title to the Bolaño shelf at your local bookstore. Monsieur Pain (January) is about a Peruvian poet with a chronic case of hiccups. Antwerp (April) has been described as both a prose poem and a crime novel. The Return (July) is a new volume of short stories, as is The Insufferable Gaucho (August?), which was apparently the last book Bolaño delivered to a publisher. And look for more Bolaño in 2011. Garth may need to start updating his Bolaño Syllabus on a quarterly basis.

Fun with Problems by Robert Stone: Fun with Problems will be Stone’s first collection of short fiction in twelve years. And his first book since his 2007 memoir Prime Green: Remembering the Sixties (see Garth’s review).

coverOrdinary Thunderstorms by William Boyd: Boyd’s novel is already out in the UK where it has been receiving characteristically good notices. “There are tantalising hints of a broader ambition in William Boyd’s wide-ranging new thriller,” said The Guardian. The book is ostensibly about a man on the run, but Boyd, in an interview with Edinburgh Festivals alluded to the depth that The Guardian picked up on, “It’s a chase. And the drive is that the man is being hunted. But like the last four of my novels, it’s also about identity, about what happens when you lose everything that makes up your social identity, and how you then function in the modern city.”

coverThe Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova – The follow-up to Kostova’s big selling The Historian (the first ever first novel to debut at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list) promises to be just as densely detailed as its predecessor, weighing in at a hefty 576 pages. Recently departed Kirkus has some quibbles with the plot machinations, but says “lush prose and abundant drama will render logic beside the point for most readers.” PW adds “The Swan Thieves succeeds both in its echoes of The Historian and as it maps new territory for this canny and successful writer.” See Also: Elizabeth Kostova’s Year in Reading

coverIn January, Archipelago Books will publish a translation of Ernst Weiss’ Georg Letham: Physician and Murderer some 70 years after the novel’s appearance in German. Enthusiasts of German-language literature have compared Weiss favorably with his contemporary Thomas Mann and his friend Franz Kafka, but he has remained something of an unknown on this side of the Atlantic. Already, Joel Rotenberg’s translation has begun to remedy this neglect. An excerpt appeared in A Public Space a while back. (Garth)

February
coverPoint Omega by Don DeLillo: Anticipation for DeLillo’s forthcoming book has been decidedly truncated. Publisher Scribner first tweeted about DeLillo delivering the manuscript in June, and the book will hit shelves a scant eight months later. One reason for the quick turnaround might be the book’s surprising slimness, coming in somewhere between 117 pages (says PW) and 128 pages (says Scribner). Imagine: reading an entire DeLillo novel in an afternoon, or perhaps just over lunch. So will the book’s slight profile belie some interior weightiness? A recently posted excerpt may offer some clues, and PW says “Reading it is akin to a brisk hike up a desert mountain—a trifle arid, perhaps, but with occasional views of breathtaking grandeur.”

coverReality Hunger: A Manifesto by David Shields: We’ve already discussed Shields’ forthcoming “manifesto” quite a lot at The Millions. It was first noted, in glowing terms, by Charles D’Ambrosio. This prompted me to dig deeper in a longer look at the book. From my sleuthing, and noting blurbs by J.M. Coetzee, Jonathan Lethem, and others, I posited “the intriguing possibility that a book of ideas will capture the popular interest [in 2010].” The book now sits on my desk, and while haven’t yet jumped in with both feet, I can report that it is both structurally (a lettered and numbered organization scheme whose logic is not immediately discernible) and stylistically (deep thoughts, reminiscences, aphorisms, and pop culture nuggets abound) unique. It will be interesting to see if readers decide the book coalesces into a successful whole. This just in – British publisher Hamish Hamilton reports that Zadie Smith will be writing up the book in The Guardian soon. See Also: David Shield’s Year in Reading

coverThe Infinities by John Banville: Banville follows up his Booker-winning effort The Sea with a novel with a rather unique conceit: it is narrated by the god Hermes. The reviews hint at further oddities. In The Guardian, for example, “Old Adam, a physicist-mathematician, has solved the infinity problem in a way that’s not only led to some useful inventions – cars that run on brine, for example – but also proved the existence of parallel universes, a category that includes the one he inhabits. In this novel, Sweden is a warlike country, and evolution and relativity have been discredited.”

coverUnion Atlantic by Adam Haslett: Haslett made a big splash in 2002 when his debut effort – a collection of short stories called You Are Not a Stranger Here – was a finalist for the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. Union Atlantic, his first novel, takes the depths of the recent financial collapse as a backdrop (which explains why a work of literary fiction is getting notice from publications like American Banker). PW gave it a starred review and insinuates it might be a seminal novel of that particular historical moment. Esquire recently published the novel’s prologue. It begins, “Their second night in port at Bahrain someone on the admiral’s staff decided the crew of the Vincennes deserved at least a free pack of cigarettes each.”

March
coverSolar by Ian McEwan: McEwan’s new novel was discussed extensively in Daniel Zalewski’s New Yorker profile of McEwan in February 2009. More recently, the magazine published an excerpt from the novel. The book’s protagonist is a Nobel Prize-winning physicist, and it appears that the book’s chief drama will arise in his becoming embroiled in the climate change “debate.” The book is also being called a satire, but, to the extent that several of McEwan’s books have elements of satire, it’s unclear whether Solar will be much of a departure for McEwan. The excerpt in the New Yorker would seem to indicate it’ll be a typical, and probably quite good, effort.

coverThe Ask by Sam Lipsyte: Lipsyte had a breakout hit with Home Land in 2005. His follow-up novel was reviewed recently in The Quarterly Conversation, which says “let’s be frank: this is a hard novel to review. The Ask makes for your heart with its claws so efficiently that it leaves you torn and depleted. How are you to review a book that simply frightens you?” Ultimately, TQC decides The Ask “isn’t quite as good as Home Land. The latter was nearly perfect in idea and execution—an ’80s high-school movie gone sick with nostalgia for its own John Hughesian past. The Ask is more generationally diffuse. While just as snot-blowingly funny as its predecessor, The Ask is more devastating in its pitilessness.”

The Surrendered by Chang-Rae Lee: Bookdwarf read this one recently and says Lee “offers no easy endings or heartwarming coming-together, instead bringing to life a powerful, unpredictable, and occasionally painful story.”

Burning Bright by Ron Rash: Rash’s follow-up to Serena is a collection of stories. The book’s title story appeared in Ecotone in 2008.

One More Story: Thirteen Stories in the Time-Honored Mode by Ingo Schulze: Garth has been talking about Schulze here for at least two years. Most recently he wrote “The East German setting of New Lives, and its uroboric epistolary structure – starting late in the story, slowly filling in the background – made for slow going at first, but the ethical intensity of its restaging of Faust has haunted me since I read it.” The English (and somewhat illogical) title of Schulze’s new book would seem to obscure the unifying theme of the new collection, whose title, translated directly from the German original, is Cell Phone: Thirteen Stories in the Old Style. According to an abstract for a paper in the journal German Monitor, “the cell phone functions in many stories as a threatening symbol of exposure to pressures and problems that make East(ern) Germans feel ill at ease.”

So Much for That by Lionel Shriver: More hot button issues. Just as Ian McEwan’s forthcoming novel is informed by climate change, Shriver’s latest takes on the healthcare debate.

The Bradshaw Variations by Rachel Cusk: Cusk’s novel is already out in the U.K. where Hilary Mantel wrote, “It is the author’s mix of scorn and compassion that is so bracing. Sometimes she complicates simple things, snarling them in a cat’s cradle of abstraction, but just as often, a sentence rewards with its absolute and unexpected precision.”

coverSilk Parachute by John McPhee: This new collection by McPhee is built around what FSG’s promotional material calls “McPhee’s most anthologized piece of writing.” “Silk Parachute” is, especially for the typically measured McPhee, a brief, tight, funny and emotional essay (It’s available here as a .doc file). The rest of the new collection is composed of McPhee’s recent New Yorker essays on lacrosse, “long-exposure view-camera photography, the weird foods he has sometimes been served in the course of his reportorial travels, a U.S. Open golf championship, and a season in Europe ‘on the chalk’ from the downs and sea cliffs of England to the Maas valley in the Netherlands and the champagne country of northern France.” Since McPhee’s most recent collections have had fairly strong thematic threads running through them, this more loosely tied book sounds like a bit of a departure.

Long for This World by Sonya Chung: And, of course, Millions contributor Sonya Chung will see her debut novel Long for This World arrive in March. Sonya wrote about the peculiar challenges of settling on a book design in a recent essay.

April
coverThe Notebook by Jose Saramago: Nobel Laureates can do “blooks” too. The Notebook is the collected entries from 87-year-old Saramago’s blog, O Caderno de Saramago. The book, “which has already appeared in Portuguese and Spanish, lashes out against George W. Bush, Tony Blair, the Pope, Israel and Wall Street,” according to the Independent, in its report on the book’s Italian publisher dropping it for criticizing Prime Minister Silvio Burlusconi. Despite his age, Saramago is a busy man. In addition to The Notebook, there’s an August release date in the U.K. for a new novel, The Elephant’s Journey, which “traces the travels of Solomon, an Indian elephant given by King John III to Archduke Maximilian II of Austria,” and Cain, “an ironic retelling of the Bible story,” was recently published in Portuguese and Spanish.

coverParrot and Olivier in America by Peter Carey: Carey’s new book is based on the life of Alexis de Tocqueville and wields two narrators. Olivier, the de Tocqueville “character” is, like de Tocqueville, the heir apparent of a wealthy family. Parrot is his clever servant who also happens to be a spy and all around rake. Early reviews from Australia, where the book is already out, have been strong. The Sydney Morning Herald called it “a tour de force, a wonderfully dizzying succession of adventures and vivid, at times caricatured, characters executed with great panache.”

The Dead Republic by Roddy Doyle: This book wraps up Doyle’s The Last Roundup trilogy (previously: A Star Called Henry and Oh, Play That Thing!). This time Henry Smart has gone to Hollywood and then back to Dublin. A bomb blast there turns him into an accidental hero.

What Becomes by A.L. Kennedy: This short story collection is already out in the U.K. The Spectator likes it: “The hardest thing about the advent of a new collection of stories by A.L. Kennedy… is the search for synonyms for ‘brilliant.'”

Beatrice and Virgil by Yann Martel: Though Martel’s previous effort, Life of Pi, was far from universally loved, the book became something of a literary phenomenon, putting up sales impressive even for a Booker winner. As a result, nearly a decade later, Martel’s follow up is one of the most heavily anticipated books of the year. As before, it seems Martel will be trading in talking animals, a taxidermied donkey and monkey. More details: The book is about the Holocaust, reportedly. It’s Canadian publisher has called it “shocking.” And Martel is comparing it to Animal Farm.

coverThe Big Short by Michael Lewis: Original set for November 2009, the publication of Michael Lewis’ much anticipated chronicle of the financial crisis, The Big Short has been pushed back to April. In October 2008, when economic uncertainty was at its height and fears were voiced in some rarefied quarters about the possibility of some sort of structural collapse, we wrote, “The world needs an exhaustive look at what happened in 2008 and why.” There have already been many books about the collapse and what caused it, from The Two Trillion Dollar Meltdown to The Return of Depression Economics and the Crisis of 2008, but many readers have been waiting for a book by Lewis, both because of his long history writing about Wall Street’s excesses and because of the powerful essay he penned on the topic for Portfolio magazine at the height of the crisis. Some readers may be weary of the topic by the time the book comes out, but it’s sure to garner some interest.

coverNoir by Robert Coover: An excerpt of this new novel by “pioneering postmodernist” Coover was published a while back in Vice. It is introduced thusly: “Noir is a short novel starring you as Philip M. Noir, Private Investigator. It began as a story about a dockside detective in pursuit of something—like truth or beauty, the ineffable—and became over the course of its writing a kind of companion piece to Ghost Town, which played with the western genre and mythology the way this one plays with the hard-boiled/noir genre and urban myth. It was the French who discovered and defined noir; consequently, this book will have its first publication in Paris, in French, in the spring of 2008.”

May
The Pregnant Widow by Martin Amis: This book, long in the works, has been evolving as Amis has struggled to write it. In 2006, he told The Independent it was, “blindingly autobiographical, but with an Islamic theme.” As it turns out, the autobiographical bits were causing Amis trouble. He told the National Post in August 2009, “it turned out it was actually two novels, and they couldn’t go together. So I wrote The Pregnant Widow, [that’s] one half of it, and the other half I started, and it will be very autobiographical, the next one.” Subsequent comments from Amis appear to indicate the two book solution is still the plan.

Imperial Bedrooms by Bret Easton Ellis: Imperial Bedrooms is reportedly a sequel to Ellis’ first novel Less Than Zero. First sentence of the novel? “They had made a movie about us.”

coverThe Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer: Orringer received more than the typical notice for a debut short story collection when her 2003 How to Breathe Underwater was named a New York Times Notable Book, landed on various other lists, and picked up a small prize or two. It’s looking like that promising first effort may translate into a “big” novel for Orringer in 2010. Library Journal reported a 60,000-copy first printing for The Invisible Bridge – the book follows a trio of Hungarian brothers in Budapest and Paris before and during World War II – and it carries with it a blurb from Michael Chabon (“To bring an entire lost world… to vivid life between the covers of a novel is an accomplishment; to invest that world, and everyone who inhabits it, with a soul… takes something more like genius.”)

coverThe Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larsson: Larsson’s nordic crime fiction (which has won Larsson posthumous stardom in the States) isn’t exactly in The Millions wheelhouse, but, with nary a mention on the site, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo vaulted into our Millions Top Ten and has stayed there. When Millions’ readers get behind a book, it’s often worth taking notice. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest is the final book in Larsson’s “Millennium Trilogy” (Dragon was the first and The Girl Who Played with Fire, the second). Though just becoming well known in the U.S., Larsson was the second top-selling author in the world in 2008. Part of Larsson’s sudden success is his odd path to (posthumous) publishing fame. Larsson was a journalist and activist who died of a heart attack. The manuscripts of his novels were found after his death. He had apparently written them just for fun. Five years later, the books are a publishing sensation.

Private Life by Jane Smiley: There’s not much info on this one yet other than that it follows a Missouri woman’s life, from the 1880s to World War II.

The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ by Philip Pullman: Pullman (famous for his His Dark Materials children’s series) will once again be courting controversy with this new book. According to The Guardian, “The book will provide a new account of the life of Jesus, challenging the gospels and arguing that the version in the New Testament was shaped by the apostle Paul.” In addition, the book will be released on Easter in the U.K. and is part of Canongate’s “Myths” series of books. Pullman also wrote an introduction to that series.

coverThe Microscripts by Robert Walser: The pothumous publication of Nabokov’s The Original of Laura, reproducing, front and back, the notecards on which Nabokov hat charted this unfinished work, was met with no small amount of scorn. This year, another posthumously published book, based off of notecard scrawlings, may be met more favorably. The story behind Walser’s Microscripts is fascinating. From the New Directions blog: “Walser wrote many of his manuscripts in a highly enigmatic, shrunken-down form. These narrow strips of paper… covered with tiny ant-like markings only a millimeter or two high, came to light only after the author’s death in 1956. At first considered a secret code, the microscripts were eventually discovered to be a radically miniaturized form of a German script: a whole story could fit on the back of a business card… Each microscript is reproduced in full color in its original form: the detached cover of a trashy crime novel, a disappointing letter, a receipt of payment.”

June
The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell: After Black Swan Green, a departure from the frenetic, layered Cloud Atlas which was broadly considered one of the best novels of the last decade, Mitchell fans may be pleased to hear that The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet is being described as a return to form. It’s long (512 pages) and set in Japan in 1799. The Guardian says, “Mitchell returns to the big canvas with this historical novel set in a Japanese outpost of the Dutch empire.”

coverAn American Type by Henry Roth: Here’s another interesting posthumous publication. Roth is revered for his 1934 novel Call It Sleep and his 1990s “comeback” effort, the Mercy of a Rude Stream cycle, and so news of this book, “discovered,” according to the publicity materials, “in a stack of nearly 2,000 unpublished pages by a young New Yorker editor,” will surely interest readers. A little more detail from the publicity materials: “Set in 1938, An American Type reintroduces us to Roth’s alter ego, Ira, who abandons his controlling lover, Edith, in favor of a blond, aristocratic pianist at Yaddo. The ensuing conflict between his Jewish ghetto roots and his high-flown, writerly aspirations forces Ira, temporarily, to abandon his family for the sun-soaked promise of the American West.”

coverA Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan: This new novel by National Book Award nominee Egan sounds like it’s as ambitious and layered as Look At Me–and I’m sure it’ll be as addictively readable as The Keep. According to Amazon, it centers on the life of Bennie Salazar, “an aging former punk rocker and record executive, and Sasha, the passionate, troubled young woman he employs,” and the narrative traverses various eras and locales, “from the pre-Internet nineties to a postwar future.” Color me intrigued. (Edan)

July
Update: Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart: A reader points out in the comments that Shteyngart has a new book coming out and since we absolutely would have included it had we known about it, here it is. A recent item at The Rumpus has the scoop: “His new novel is set slightly in the future. When he started writing it a few years ago, he envisioned a world where the world’s economy had collapsed and the central banks had to bail out the Big Three automakers. As that came to pass, he had to keep changing his novel, which got bleaker and bleaker. And now it’s set in ‘a completely illiterate New York,’ he said. ‘In other words, next Tuesday.'”

August
Sympathy for the Devil: This is a long way off so it’s hard to say how good it will be, but it sounds pretty cool: an anthology of stories about the devil from the likes of Neil Gaiman, Stephen King, Kelly Link, China Mieville, Michael Chabon, and others.

I Curse the River of Time by Per Petterson: Petterson has been on the road to international literary stardom for a few years now and that means his new novels get translated into English with relative alacrity. This means that English-speaking readers will get to see I Curse the River of Time, first published in Norwegian in 2008, later this year. The book won the Norwegian Brage prize and, according to a “sample translation” on Petterson’s agent’s website, it begins: “I did not realize that my mother had left. There was too much going on in my own life. We had not spoken for a month, or even longer, which I guess was not that unusual, in 1989, when you consider the things that went on around us back then, but it felt unusual.”

September
C by Tom McCarthy: At Ready Steady Book in September 2007, Mark Thwaite asked McCarthy: “What are you writing now?” And McCarthy responded: “Pathetically, my answer to this question is the same as it was when you last asked it over a year ago. I’m just under half way through a novel called C, which is about mourning, technology and matter. I’m writing it very slowly. It’s called C because it has crypts, cauls, call-signs, cocaine, cyanide and cysteine in it. And carbon: lots of carbon.”

Unknown
Nemesis by Philip Roth: News of this novel was announced nearly a year ago, but there is no release date thus far and not much is known about it beyond that it’s “a work of fiction set in the summer of 1944 that tells of a polio epidemic and its effects on a closely knit Newark community and its children.”

Freedom by Jonathan Franzen: Jonathan Franzen’s follow-up to The Corrections, Freedom, is likely to cause a stir when it appears, most likely in the fall. Among the prominent media narratives – the backlash, the backlash-to-the-backlash – will be the length of the novel’s gestation. Really, though, in novelist time (as distinct from internet time), nine years is a mere blip – particularly when you publish two books of nonfiction in the interim. Far more remarkable is how tight-lipped Franzen has managed to be about the novel’s content. From various obscure interviews, we’ve managed to cobble together the following: 1) The novel has something to do with U.S. politics, of the Washington, D.C. variety. 2) Franzen’s original conception of how those politics would intersect with the narrative changed radically in the writing, likely shifting from an “inside baseball” look at bureaucracy toward the personal. 3) Germany, where Franzen has spent some time recently, “will play an important role in the novel.” 4) After two New Yorker short stories notable for their smallness and misanthropy, the excerpt from the novel that appeared last year was notable for its return to the more generous ironies that endeared The Corrections to our “Best Fiction of the Millennium (So Far) panel.” (Garth)

The Pale King by David Foster Wallace: Wallace’s unfinished opus is sure to be a blockbuster when it appears – April 2011 is the latest word on a release date. The Howling Fantods, home to all things DFW, has been staying on top of the story. A recent report contained a number of tidbits, including this: “The subject of the novel is boredom. The opening of the book instructs the reader to go back and read the small type they skipped on the copyright page, which details the battle with publishers over their determination to call it fiction, when it’s all 100% true. The narrator, David Foster Wallace, is at some point confused with another David F. Wallace by IRS computers, pointing to the degree to which our lives are filled with irrelevant complexity.”

There are many other exciting books coming out in 2010 not mentioned here – let us know what books you are most looking forward to in 2010 in the comments section below.





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69 Responses to “Most Anticipated: The Great 2010 Book Preview”

  1. Jason
    at 10:35 am on January 5, 2010

    I think Sigrid Nunez has a follow up to the great “The Last of Her Kind” coming out this year called “Salvation City” that I’m pretty pysched about

    Super Sad True Love Story” Gary Shteyngart is also on my radar.

    To tide us over until 2011 David Lipsky bio of DFW is out in April.

    And I am also particularly excited about “About a Mountain” John D’agata essay/memoir/hybrid thing that follows up his pretty amazing “Halls of Fame

    Seems like 2010 has an inordinately large number of books that I’m looking forward to. Will be a challenge to get through them all.

    Thanks for the list.

  2. VC
    at 12:06 pm on January 5, 2010

    About a Mountain by John D’Agata. Read it.

  3. stephen
    at 12:16 pm on January 5, 2010

    i read that “point omega” excerpt, and i like don delillo’s prose there. it feels somewhat beckettian.

  4. Greg Zimmerman
    at 12:28 pm on January 5, 2010

    A couple of other 2010 books that look intriguing: Secrets of Eden, by Chris Bohjalian (Feb. 2nd) and Black Hills, by Dan Simmons (Feb. 23rd).

    Thanks for this fantastic post!

  5. Seth Christenfeld
    at 12:31 pm on January 5, 2010

    Carolyn Parkhurst has a new book coming out in June, The Nobodies Album. I’ve been waiting for this one for a few years–The Dogs of Babel is one of my all-time favorites, and Lost and Found was hardly slouchy.

  6. Miette
    at 12:36 pm on January 5, 2010

    How is this the first I’ve heard of the Walser? I’m so excited I’m thinking of committing a felony just so that I can be thrown in the lockup for long enough to get through this list.

  7. Muzzy
    at 12:54 pm on January 5, 2010

    You must have missed it. Zadie Smith has already written up “Reality Hunger” for the Guardian, and it is available online here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2009/nov/21/zadie-smith-essay-guardian-review

  8. Patrick
    at 1:30 pm on January 5, 2010

    I’m excited for Emily St. John Mandel’s The Singer’s Gun. I don’t know when it’s being published (June, maybe?), but it is very, very good. I’m hoping people will read it so I can talk about it with someone.

    The Ferris is good, though I didn’t love it like I did Then We Came to the End. It’s heartbreaking, though. The Ask is tremendous right up until the end, when it disappointed, in a way. It was funny as hell, though. I think it’s going to be a good year.

  9. Links in the New Year
    at 2:58 pm on January 5, 2010

    […] one of the best posts of the year, The Millions looks at the most anticipated books of 2010.  The list includes new work by Joshua Ferris, Sam Lipsyte, Jonathan Franzen, Jennifer Egan and […]

  10. Eric
    at 3:48 pm on January 5, 2010

    Someone forgot to tell you guys the novel is dead.

    Also, AWESOME. You just ruined my year (and by “my year” I mean “my social life for the next year”)

  11. Melissa
    at 5:57 pm on January 5, 2010

    Hey, you forgot “The House of Tomorrow” by Peter Bognanni! Also really excited for “The Ask.” Can’t wait until March!

  12. Emily St. John Mandel
    at 7:32 pm on January 5, 2010

    Hi Patrick,

    Thanks very much. The Singer’s Gun publication date is May 4, 2010.

    Emily

  13. Anne
    at 8:12 pm on January 5, 2010

    Hello, Max and Friends! This is one of my first comments, and let me say how much The Millions and its community is meaning to me, as a public librarian (and its resident lit/lit crit wonk). Having discovered you only some months ago, you’re one of my homepage tabs, and I look forward to that click every day!

    Even if we file Stieg Larsson under Guilty Pleasures, he’s not to be missed. I bought two copies of _The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest_ from the U.K. as a Christmas present for my book club patrons, and we concur that it the best of the three! (I haven’t yet cataloged the books, but am circulating them surreptitiously as private stock. Perhaps Larsson would appreciate the skullduggery).

    Full disclosure: it was worth the shipping charges–I couldn’t wait myself, and I bought Jan Morris’ Wales and two Steve Jones titles for Darwin 200. Cheers!

  14. What to Read in 2010 | Fiction
    at 9:44 pm on January 5, 2010

    […] Millions has posted their list of the most anticipated books of 2010. Lots of exciting books coming out from names like Don DeLillo, Philip Pullman, Chang-Rae Lee, […]

  15. Beelzebub
    at 9:44 pm on January 5, 2010

    I heard on the grapevine that Cormac McCarthy is supposed to have a new one out sometime this year.

  16. Almanacco del Giorno – 5 Jan. 2010 « Almanacco Americano
    at 10:17 pm on January 5, 2010

    […] The Millions – 2010 The Great Book Preview […]

  17. The Most Anticipated Books of 2010 | Daily Contributor
    at 11:00 pm on January 5, 2010

    […] the book preview article here. nuffnang_bid = "29b0e859e7d6525afdc2e6fff8dfac8f"; blog […]

  18. Matt
    at 12:34 am on January 6, 2010

    Isnt Vollmann supposed to release a book this year about some sort of Japanese theatre? I dont remember the title because its insanely long.

  19. Bert Vanderveen
    at 3:26 am on January 6, 2010

    Factual error: Stieg Larsson submitted at least one manuscript to his Swedish publisher and was in the process of preparing the first book for publication before his untimely death.
    Saw this in a BBC-documentary.

  20. Michael Travis
    at 8:36 am on January 6, 2010

    The Vollmann book (Kissing the Mask: Beauty, Understatement and Femininity in Japanese Noh Theater, etc.) releases on April 6. The subtitle is ridiculously long.

  21. db
    at 8:37 am on January 6, 2010

    There is indeed a new Cormac McCarthy book coming this year. I’m surprised this is not on the list of anticipated books.

    He says about it: ” I’m not very good at talking about this stuff. It’s mostly set in New Orleans around 1980. It has to do with a brother and sister. When the book opens she’s already committed suicide, and it’s about how he deals with it. She’s an interesting girl.”

    Full interview here: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704576204574529703577274572.html

    db

  22. Conrad
    at 9:00 am on January 6, 2010

    I’m looking forward to Miguel Syjuco’s along awaited deubt novel “Ilustrado” to come out in May. Syjuco won the 2008 Man Asian Literary award (for the unpublished novel). He has been called an astonishing new literary talent and early reviews have been exciting. The book sounds utterly unique and ambitious and how refreshing to read about, and from an author from, the Philippines.

  23. Cicily Janus
    at 10:27 am on January 6, 2010

    I’m looking forward to all the reads on this list…you SKIPPED over July! Also, I’m personally looking forward to the release of the short story collection by Justin Taylor, “Everything Here is the Best Thing Ever” through Harper. He’s played a rising star role in the lit. circles and this is promised to be great.

  24. Jason Rice
    at 10:56 am on January 6, 2010

    You’ve missed two gems, Mr. Peanut and The Imperfectionists

  25. Sloganeering.Org » Blog Archive » Sweet Anticipation
    at 12:11 pm on January 6, 2010

    […] The Millions website has posted a helpful, highly acclaimed round up of some of the most anticipated…. It’s pretty cool, and for many people I reckon it’s going to be a handy guide for planning their next year’s reading. But no, not for me. At least–not yet. […]

  26. Hot Links « Book Club for Hotties
    at 3:11 pm on January 6, 2010

    […] Millons has posted their Most Anticipated Books of 2010 list– I thought you should […]

  27. 2010 Fiction Preview » The Sly Oyster | culture, entertainment, liberal arts, shenanigans » Blog Archive
    at 4:11 pm on January 6, 2010

    […] Millions previews the most anticipated books of 2010.  There’s something for every lover of fiction coming in 2010, but, oddly enough, the dominant […]

  28. Jayne
    at 4:23 pm on January 6, 2010

    There is also another book I have been hearing alot about. “The Other Wes Moore.” The author has an amazing bio and his book sounds fascinating. Early reviews have been good…Has anyone else heard of this?

  29. Rufus
    at 4:58 pm on January 6, 2010

    I keep hearing about ‘American Music‘ by Jane Mendelsohn, who wrote ‘I Was Amelia Earhart‘ and one of my favorite over-looked books of all time, ‘Innocence.’ I hear it’s a return to the more lush, poetic, lyrical, and also historical style of ‘Amelia,’ but with an incredible emotional intensity – granted, I heard it from someone who works at a superstore… but I do think she’s an amazing writer.

  30. My 2010 Lit Midget list of forthcoming small press books | The Official Caleb J Ross Homepage | calebjross
    at 8:28 pm on January 6, 2010

    […] Millions recently posted a list of 2010 books forthcoming from literary giants. I’m looking forward to quite a few on that list. But, I think we are due a list from […]

  31. links « 52 Books
    at 9:11 pm on January 6, 2010

    […] The Millions preview the year’s forthcoming books. Ralph Ellison surely would not want us to read “Three Days Before the Shooting,” but more from the author of “Invisible Man” is too much. Roberto Bolaño, of whom of I’ve heard much and read nothing, may end up on the big 52 list. John Banville may as well. As for Philip Pullman, I haven’t read the Gnostic Gospels, so until the real thing I’ll save the secondhands for later. Posted by Jose Filed in Uncategorized Leave a Comment » […]

  32. Matt
    at 12:51 am on January 7, 2010

    There is one more Im looking forward to in 2010 that I didnt see mentioned. The english translation of Mathias Enard’s novel Zone will be out in September.

  33. Bruno
    at 9:28 am on January 7, 2010

    You guys know that “El Cuaderno de Saramago” is actually the Spanish version of the title of his blog, which he writes in his native Portuguese, right? It’s not even available in translation to spanish on the web, they just re-named it in spanish for whatever reason I don’t know (to fool you people?).

    The original portugues title is “O Caderno de Saramago”.

  34. C. Max Magee
    at 9:33 am on January 7, 2010

    Thanks Bruno, I fixed that link.

  35. Jenny
    at 9:56 am on January 7, 2010

    This is a great list and I had no idea we’d see anything more from DFW, what a treat.

    I’m also anticipating Noise by Darin Bradley, which comes out at the end of August 2010.

  36. The Great 2010 Book Pre-view « Richmond Arms Book Club
    at 11:19 am on January 7, 2010

    […] Great 2010 Book Pre-view Jump to Comments The Millions has chased down the most anticipated books for 2010.  Personally, I can’t wait for a new John Banville and Ian McEwan […]

  37. O que aí vem, lá fora (mais concretamente nos EUA) | Bibliotecário de Babel
    at 11:47 am on January 7, 2010

    […] principais livros que vão ser publicados, este ano, nos Estados Unidos da América. Pode ser lido aqui e vai deixar a salivar muito boa gente (eu incluído). Só para terem uma ideia, entre muitas […]

  38. Link Love: 1.7.09 | Nubbytwiglet.com
    at 12:08 pm on January 7, 2010

    […] • Find out what the most anticipated books of 2010 are. […]

  39. Emily Colette Wilkinson
    at 2:23 pm on January 7, 2010

    Philip Hoare’s Leviathan, or The Whale, is quite wonderful–a miscellaneous prose ode/eulogy to the whale, the sea, Herman Melville, and other cetaceaous things. Formally, it’s along the lines of Sebald’s The Rings of Saturn. It’s already out in Europe and won the Samuel Johnson prize. You can check out the TLS review here:
    http://www.peterdsmith.com/leviathan-or-the-whale/

  40. Public Library 8.1 | Lead Igloo | Stories, Philosophy, Opinion
    at 6:41 pm on January 7, 2010

    […] The Millions’ most anticipacted books of 2010. Comprehensive run-down of books to look forward to this year, and beyond. […]

  41. Finally, a lit post: The year of publishing that will deliver us from our misery. Maybe. « The Uncanny Valley
    at 11:17 pm on January 7, 2010

    […] a comment » C. Max Magee, who edits the superb website The Millions, previews the year to come in fiction. And frankly, it looks promising, or at least very […]

  42. The Best of Books, 2009-2010 | Open Culture
    at 1:21 am on January 8, 2010

    […] of the better works published last year. But enough about ‘09. What’s coming in 2010? The Millions has previewed the most anticipated books (all fiction) set for publication. […]

  43. reading time with pickle « waverly and waverly
    at 4:20 am on January 8, 2010

    […] time with pickle eal post coming up soon, but I wanted to share this link first. Check out the Millions’ Great 2010 Book Preview, showcasing this year’s upcoming highly anticipated reads. I personally am really looking […]

  44. Marcia Lynx Qualey
    at 4:30 am on January 8, 2010

    Al-talossos (Stealth), by Sonallah Ibrahim. This will be available in February 2010 from Aflame Books. In Stealth, Ibrahim brings the dispassionate voice of political satire that he’s developed over decades to bear on a seven-year-old narrator. The translation by Hosam Aboul-ela is also brilliant.

    Azazeel (Beezlebub), by Youssef Ziedan. I don’t know who is translating, but this philosophical novel won the Arabic Booker of 2008, and will be coming out from Atlantic Books in March 2010 (or April, can’t get any confirmation).

    White Masks, by Elias Khoury. This novel is due out in March 2010, from the author of the New York Times Notable Gate of the Sun and the award-winning Yalo. From Archipelago in March.

  45. Friday Procrastination: Link Love : OUPblog
    at 8:30 am on January 8, 2010

    […] Books to look forward to in 2010. […]

  46. Brian
    at 11:34 am on January 8, 2010

    I don’t believe it’s been mentioned yet, but Howard Norman’s “What is Left the Daughter” comes out in July. The 15th, I think. Cause for much rejoicing.

  47. Tips for 2010 Books, Bands and Films « My list of Coolness Blog
    at 2:30 pm on January 8, 2010

    […] 2010 books: A very ambitious and encompassing guide to this year’s book releases listed by […]

  48. Anon
    at 4:56 pm on January 8, 2010

    Um, the story about Stieg Larrson is a bit inaccurate. Mr Larrson already had a publishing contract for the Millenium Trilogy before he died.

    http://www.stieglarsson.com/Millennium-series

  49. adulterousellie
    at 6:42 pm on January 8, 2010

    Can’t wait for Shriver and Franzen.

  50. 2010 : What treats are in store for us? | BookieMonster
    at 4:18 am on January 9, 2010

    […] Thanks very much to @ksuyin on Twitter for this great link to a post from The Millions on the Most Anticipated Books of 2010. […]

  51. 2010 Will be a Good Year for Books « Larry Gross Online
    at 7:43 am on January 9, 2010

    […] Here’s a listing of some of the books that’s going to be released. […]

  52. julimac
    at 5:48 pm on January 9, 2010

    I’m not a heavy hitter when it comes to literary efforts, but I know a good book when I read it. How come Rebecca Goldstein’s 36 Arguments for the Existence of God is not on the list?
    I read the excerpt at The Edge and am dying to read it.

  53. SPV
    at 10:55 am on January 10, 2010

    I am desperately hoping that Hugh Laurie finishes his second novel this year and it is quickly released. I have been hanging out for this book, tentatively titled “Paper Soldiers,” since I finished reading “The Gun Seller”.

  54. Bookstore People · Some Literary Links that Started Me Thinking
    at 7:43 pm on January 10, 2010

    […] Millions posted their most anticipated books for 2010, I already feel overwhelmed by all that I want to read.  I’m most looking forward to Ian […]

  55. ladonnalibreria
    at 1:26 pm on January 11, 2010

    John D’agata’s About a Mountain is outstanding. It is one of those books that you tell your non-reading partner ” My God, you have got to read this.” It’s one of those books you can’t stop yourself from reading out loud to anyone within hearing distance. If About a Mountain doesn’t become a Tipping Point type book, it will be a crying shame.

    Also, The Privileges by Jonathan Dee which pubbed on Jan. 5 belongs in the company of The Unnamed and Union Atlantic.

  56. Previsão de lançamento « Autores e Livros
    at 10:47 pm on January 12, 2010

    […] de Babel que o site literário The Millions fez um “apanhado bastante completo” dos principais livros com lançamentos previstos para 2010. Destaco alguns […]

  57. Carol Anne Porter
    at 4:43 am on January 13, 2010

    Did you do something like this for the best books of earlier years? If so, can you also provide the links to those posts?

  58. Bookworm.gr | Τα Βιβλία Του 2010: US Edition
    at 2:25 am on January 15, 2010

    […] The Millions (όπως κάθε χρόνο) συγκέντρωσε τα πιο αναμενόμενα αγγλικά βιβλία του 2010. There’s something for every lover of fiction coming in 2010, but, oddly enough, the dominant […]

  59. stuart carter
    at 5:48 pm on January 17, 2010

    Hi from the uk.I’m really looking forward to jeffrey Moore’s Extinction Club. He is a super writer…witty/cutting and creatively inventive.his second novel-The Memory Artists- won the commonwealth award.

  60. Ida
    at 5:10 pm on February 16, 2010

    Maybe we should call 2010 the year of the male writer. Your list includes 42 male releases, and 6 female. Either men are taking over, or your radar is woefully blind.

  61. Wishin’ and Hopin’ « a home between the pages
    at 12:36 pm on February 19, 2010

    […] releases so I’m forced to temper that impulse.  The Millions released their list of the most anticipated books of 2010, and while it’s pretty great, it’s also full of books and authors I haven’t […]

  62. Shirley Isbell
    at 10:20 pm on February 25, 2010

    You are a newly discovered site. I am delighted to find your recommended books.

  63. Buukwurm
    at 6:17 pm on June 24, 2010

    Wow, a veritable literary feast, though sad to think death preceeded their potential. I just read Curtis J. Hopfenbeck’s ‘The Liquid City’ and was blown away by his humor and compelling story telling. It’s the most fun I’ve ever had reading a book. A best-seller in the making!

  64. Sadie
    at 12:54 pm on November 20, 2010

    The best new non-fiction book that I’ve read in a while was NONE OF US WERE LIKE THIS BEFORE. It’s beautifully written, a gripping story, contains so much rich research, and frankly compelled me to fundementally re-think many issues about torture and the “war on terror.” It’s also very moving, and contains many under-reported issues (surprisingly so). I believe it has received many strong reviews (I read about the reviews in the Independent and LRB), but hasn’t received much attention in the US.

  65. What to expect in 2011 « Book-Frolics and Page-Turns
    at 11:14 am on January 8, 2011

    […] MS Books Leave a comment The Millions recently released its Most Anticipated: Great 2011 Book Preview. It is a superb list and I haven’t seen a preview more comprehensive than this.  See it here. The titles that I’m looking forward to the most are The Pale King by David Foster Wallace and All the Time in the World: New and Selected Stories by E.L. Doctorow.  Also, if you want to be reminded of how well The Millions put together its Most Anticipated list last year, see it here. […]

  66. 002. anticipation for the most anticipated books of 2011 | Book Lush
    at 3:58 pm on January 27, 2011

    […] Great 2011 Book Preview. I’m just assuming this is going to happen because there was one in 2010, but of course, I’m not sure if this is a regular occurrence. For all I know this could have […]

  67. devis travaux
    at 8:44 am on April 4, 2011

    Your online website came up in my analysis and I’m prompted by what you may have composed on this theme. I’m currently branching out my enquiry and thus can not contribute further, however, I’ve bookmarked your site and shall be returning to maintain up with any future updates.

  68. Best Guess | Appendix A
    at 7:48 pm on April 10, 2011

    […] Flashback–1/5/2010–The Millions imagines FREEDOM, pre-release: Freedom by Jonathan Franzen: Jonathan Franzen’s follow-up to The Corrections, Freedom, is likely to cause a stir when it appears, most likely in the fall. Among the prominent media narratives – the backlash, the backlash-to-the-backlash – will be the length of the novel’s gestation. Really, though, in novelist time (as distinct from internet time), nine years is a mere blip – particularly when you publish two books of nonfiction in the interim. Far more remarkable is how tight-lipped Franzen has managed to be about the novel’s content. From various obscure interviews, we’ve managed to cobble together the following: 1) The novel has something to do with U.S. politics, of the Washington, D.C. variety. 2) Franzen’s original conception of how those politics would intersect with the narrative changed radically in the writing, likely shifting from an “inside baseball” look at bureaucracy toward the personal. 3) Germany, where Franzen has spent some time recently, “will play an important role in the novel.” 4) After two New Yorker short stories notable for their smallness and misanthropy, the excerpt from the novel that appeared last year was notable for its return to the more generous ironies that endeared The Corrections to our “Best Fiction of the Millennium (So Far) panel.” (Garth) Share/Bookmark […]

  69. Wednesday Links: 1-6-10 | Chamber Four
    at 11:42 am on July 16, 2014

    […] get excited for the coming year from a, you know, reading perspective, here’s the Millions’s list of books to watch for in 2010. I’m looking forward to Robert Stone, David Mitchell, and Ron […]

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