Books to Look Out for in 2011

Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010 is coming to an end, but a whole new year of news and culture awaits in 2011. All week long, we're talking with big thinkers about what they’re anticipating…from new movies to world events. Today, we're anticipating some of the books we know will be coming out in 2011. 

We’re joined by Patrik Henry Bass, senior editor for Essence magazine and frequent books contributor to The Takeaway. We also speak with Karen Holt, former deputy editor of Publishers Weekly, and contributor of book reviews to O: The Oprah Magazine and Essence. Both Bass and Holt offer their book recommendations.

PATRIK’S TOP PICKS:

  • "Heat Wave: The Life and Career of Ethel Waters," by Donald Bogle. All you can think when you read it is, “Why didn’t I know this about her?” She broke down racial barriers, and didn’t even know it. She was the first black woman to host a radio show; she had groundbreaking roles in films, she was nominated for an Oscar and an Emmy. And she had a temper.
  • "Open City," by Teju Cole. A young, Nigerian writer, he’s the Dave Eggers of his generation.
  • "The Pale King," by David Foster Wallace. A posthumous unfinished novel by David Foster Wallace, it will be published on April 15, 2011 by Little, Brown and Company. One of his friends is the editor. It’s highly anticipated, but also quite controversial.
  • "The Lake," a novel by Banana Yoshimoto. This is a bit of a thriller for her, featuring her same quirky characters and nuanced prose. It starts with a daughter who reconnects with her mother in Tokyo and then it’s off and running from there.
  • "All the Time in the World: New and Selected Stories by E.L. Doctorow." He's famous for his novels, but don't let that hold you back from checking out his short stories. If you think of Ragtime, you'll remember that he’s always been good at telling individual stories and weaving them together.

KAREN’S TOP PICKS:

  • "The Long Goodbye," a memoir by Meghan O’Rourke (Riverhead, April). About O'Rourke grieving for her mother. Painfully poignant and gorgeously written. Could be the 2011 version of The Year of Magical Thinking.
  • "Moonwalking with Einstein," (Penguin Press, March) nonfiction by science journalist Joshua Foer (and brother to Jonathan Safran). It's all about memory: why we lose it, how to improve it and why it matters. Smart, accessible and relevant in a Malcolm Gladwell kind of way.
  • "The Free World," a novel by David Bezmozgis (FSG, March). This debut novel, a follow-up to his acclaimed collection, "Natasha and Other Stories," should solidify Bezmozgis' reputation as one of his generation's best literary voices.
  • "State of Wonder," a novel by Ann Patchett (June, HarperCollins). I'm taking a chance here because I haven't read it. But I'm a big fan of Patchett and early buzz is great. Some are saying it's as good as Bel Canto. If they're even half right, I'll be thrilled.
  • "Inside WikiLeaks: My Time With Julian Assange at the World’s Most Dangerous Website," a memoir by Daniel Domscheit-Berg (Crown, Feb). Assange's former number two tells all. Will the book be any good? Who cares? It will get huge media attention regardless.

Guests:

Karen Holt

Contributors:

Patrik Henry Bass and Kristen Meinzer

Comments [1]

Ed from Larchmont

Pope Benedict is one of the great theologians of his generation. Two years ago he wrote one volume of 'Jesus of Nazareth', the public life, and this March the second volume 'The Infancy Narratives' (I think) is coming out. It's a real contribution to Biblical theology.

Dec. 30 2010 11:50 AM

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