It can be hard sometimes to keep up to date with what’s coming out from the publishing houses. Newsletters, blogs, newspaper previews are fine and some publishers like HarperCollins have a nifty little device which enables you to get alerts about specific authors from their catalogue. But wouldn’t it be so much easier if there was one place where you could learn about what’s new – better still, that you could sample some of the latest titles before deciding which to buy? The brainy people at the Publishers Lunch have realised our predicament and delivered a brilliant resource in the form of the Buzz Books 2013: Fall/Winter e-book.
It contains a sampler of 40 titles due out this autumn and winter in fiction, young adult literature and non fiction. It was published to coincide with BookExpo America which took place in June and I’ve been dipping into it ever since. The beauty of this approach is that I get to try authors whose work I’ve never read before like Wally Lamb whose new novel We Are Water is due out on October 22 and Chang-rae Lee, a Korean/American author who was a finalist for the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. There are extracts by debut novelists like Hannah Kent whose sample of Burial Rites showed a delightful lyrical style. This is a novel set in a remote area of Iceland in which we experience the final days of a young woman accused of murder. Sounds good doesn’t it?). And then I got the chance to meet an old favourite again – I loved Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club and The Bonesetter’s Daughter and am now looking forward to her new book Valley of Amazement in which she gives us a portrait of a Chinese mother and daughter, both strong women who refuse to accept the expectations placed on them by their society and instead seek to reclaim their own lives.
As if the samplers are not tantalising enough, there is an extensive list of more than 100 books that will get published over the coming months. I anticipate some serious damage done to my resolutions of restricting new purchases until I have made a large dent in the TBR pile. Nevetherless I thought this is such a tremendous idea I hope it continues.