Well, due to some pretty p*ss-poor planning on my part (and some awesome alliteration), I already listed my favorite books of 2012 in yesterday’s introduction post. Womp.
However, I can tell you that the book I’m most looking forward to–and one of many being featured at BEA this year–is Barbara Kingsolver’s Flight Behavior. A new novel from Barbara Kingsolver? Yes, please! I called my mother as soon as I heard about this (Kingsolver is one of our favorite authors) and we did little happy dances together over the phone. THIS IS EXCITING NEWS. We have been waiting patiently for a new novel from Ms. Kingsolver, and now our patience has finally paid off. Here is a synopsis of Flight Behavior from the publisher (HarperCollins):
Set in the present day in the rural community of Feathertown, Tennessee, Flight Behavior tells the story of Dellarobia Turnbow, a petite, razor-sharp 29-year-old who nurtured worldly ambitions before becoming pregnant and marrying at seventeen. Now, after more than a decade of tending to small children on a failing farm, oppressed by poverty, isolation and her husband’s antagonistic family, she has mitigated her boredom by surrendering to an obsessive flirtation with a handsome younger man.
In the opening scene, Dellarobia is headed for a secluded mountain cabin to meet this man and initiate what she expects will be a self-destructive affair. But the tryst never happens. Instead, she walks into something on the mountainside she cannot explain or understand: a forested valley filled with silent red fire that appears to her a miracle.
After years lived entirely in the confines of one small house, Dellarobia finds her path suddenly opening out, chapter by chapter, into blunt and confrontational engagement with her family, her church, her town, her continent, and finally the world at large.
My mother’s favorite Kingsolver novel is Prodigal Summer, with The Poisonwood Bible taking a close second. My favorite was The Poisonwood Bible until The Lacuna was published, and I absolutely fell in love with that book and its protagonist. I still recommend The Lacuna to everyone I know who likes to read literary fiction, and I think I might re-read it soon. Flight Behavior will be released on November 6, 2012, and I can’t wait to read it.
Another book that I’m looking forward to is NW by Zadie Smith, being released on September 4, 2012. I haven’t read any of her writing (yeah, yeah, I just heard that very audible GASP), but so many folks whose reading tastes I respect do quite a bit of raving about her work. I’d like to read her first three novels–and even some of her nonfiction–before I read NW, but let’s face it: my reading is backed up enough as it is and my TBR pile is out of control, so NW will be the first and the rest will follow.
Synopsis from the publisher’s website (Penguin Press):
Somewhere in Northwest London stands Caldwell housing estate, relic of 70s urban planning. Five identical blocks, deliberately named: Hobbes, Smith, Bentham, Locke, and Russell. If you grew up here, the plan was to get out and get on, to something bigger, better. Thirty years later ex-Caldwell kids Leah, Natalie, Felix, and Nathan have all made it out, with varying degrees of success—whatever that means. Living only streets apart, they occupy separate worlds and navigate an atomized city where few wish to be their neighbor’s keeper. Then one April afternoon a stranger comes to Leah’s door seeking help, disturbing the peace, and forcing Leah out of her isolation. . . .
From private houses to public parks, at work and at play, in this delicate, devastating novel of encounters, the main streets hide the back alleys, and taking the high road can sometimes lead to a dead end. Zadie Smith’s NW brilliantly depicts the modern urban zone—familiar to city dwellers everywhere—in a tragicomic novel as mercurial as the city itself.
What new books being featured at BEA this year are you most excited about?