Monday, October 4, 2010

New Release Tuesday

It's Tuesday again, and that means new releases.  There are a lot this week, as we move into the holiday publishing season; below are the ones I find most interesting (either as a reader or as a boookseller).

Philip Roth releases his 31st novel just two days before the Nobel Prize for Literature is to be announced.  Why mention the proximity of the two events?  Because there can be few writers in the world more deserving of the prize and yet--apparently merely because he is an American (who can forget Nobel prize jury permanent secretary Horace Engdahl's assertion two years ago that "The US is too isolated, too insular. They don’t translate enough and don’t really participate in the big dialogue of literature. That ignorance is restraining")--once again, he'll be denied in favor of a politically unsubtle writer never heard of outside of his own country.

At any rate, the reviews are already rolling in for this latest.  Both Slate and The Telegraph comment on Roth's years-long habit of dividing his work into groups named for their main characters; with this most recent title, Roth introduces a new group, "Nemeses: Short Novels," which is rounded out by this most recent entry. Says The Telegraph, "If Roth’s mid-period novels are masterpieces of sarcastic choler, then the prevailing humour in this late quartet is black bile," while Slate notes, "Beginning with Everyman, these four works are haunted by questions of death and judgment." And the New York Times calls it "not unmoving, exactly, but all a little synthetic."

What can we say about this title?  Michael Savage is what he is, and if you like him, go for it.  If you don't know him, this, from the preface of his new book, Trickle Up Poverty, should give you an idea of where Savage is coming from: "Barack Hussein Obama is tearing down everything that was built before this man was even born. Mark my words: History will show that Obama the Destroyer-in-Chief is impoverishing the middle class with taxation, regulation, and a desecration of our cherished freedoms. Moreover, as I will demonstrate in this book, Barack Obama is a naked Marxist-Leninist whose sole ambition in life is to transform America into the USSA: The United Socialist States of America."  All righty, then.

Several years ago Ron Chernow brought us a doorstop biography of Alexander Hamilton.  It sold somewhere in the vicinity of a gazillion copies (at least, that's what it felt like to those of us who had to keep hauling giant stacks of it from the back of the store to restock displays).  Now, Mr. Chernow brings us the father of our country.  In its review, The New York Times says, "If Chernow’s sense of historical context is sometimes superficial, his understanding of psychology is acute and his portraits of individuals memorable. Most readers will finish this book feeling as if they have actually spent time with human beings."  I predict (and applaud) another gazillion copy bestseller.

You probably already know this, but Michael Connelly rocks.  I'm one of the legion of fans who eagerly wait for each of his novels, but especially the Harry Bosches.  Guess what?  The Reversal, which the L.A. Times calls "smart and emotionally satisfying," is not only a Harry Bosch novel, but once again pairs him with his half-brother, the Lincoln lawyer Mickey Haller.  I'll let you know what I think later this week.

Nine months ago Robert Parker died--at his desk, writing.  Painted Ladies (which has not been, to my knowledge, finished by anyone else) is his final novel.  It's a Spenser novel, which, as the Chicago Sun-Times says, "was always the main attraction with Parker. He was his masterwork"

You can read the Sun-Times review here.

Among other new releases of note:

Two Christmas titles, Can't Wait Till Christmas a kids picture book from former presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee and Promise Me, yet another super-sweet holiday confection from Richard Paul Evans of The Christmas Box fame.  A history of private life by polymath Bill Bryson called At Home.  And a study of black America from Pulitzer prize winning journalist Eugene Robinson, Disintegration: The Splintering of Black America.

Have you reviewed any of this week's new releases?  If so, add a link, below.

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

Found your blog on a comment at Cym Lowell's book party.

I have reviews you may want to check out.