Saturday, October 15, 2016

Throw Your Mama’s Smelly Shoe Awards & Other Malaysiana Miscellany

ANOTHER prize-winning quote from the very people who gave us the ground-breaking QUOTE OF THE CENTURY (see below): “I don’t agree with all of the amendments (edits), but I am quite all right with them.” This is absolutely riveting, nail-biting stuff.
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QUOTE OF THE CENTURY: “Edit, but please don’t change anything, because it is already perfect.” A classic case of imbecility or existential profundity, perhaps?
***
“I FINALLY learnt to say no. After all these years. And it felt really, really good. I have always been one of those people who had problem saying no. And because of that I have always ended up with more than I could chew. Now, the weight of the universe is lifted off my shoulders. I must continue using it more often.”
***
A SENIOR EDITOR at a Malaysian publishing house received the following e-mail the other day. The message, with typos amended (to avoid embarrassment, of course), reads: “I can’t write very well, but I thought I’d like to try writing a novel. I’ve decided to write one about pirates, but I know next to nothing about pirates. Could you please e-mail me information about pirates: their lifestyle, their eating habits, where they like to chill out in the evenings or during the weekends, what they like to do during the day when most of us are at work, what kinds of books they read, etc., so that I can start working on the novel immediately? With much appreciation and best wishes.”
***
MALAYSIA is not exactly the friendliest country in the world (despite what the paid commercials say): most of the time the people are bloody rude, downright discourteous, boorishly loudmouthed and deeply disrespectful, among other things. Asian values? What Asian values? There is no such thing as Asian values. Malaysia is truly NOT Asia.
***
SOME MANUSCRIPTS are so bloody horrendous that I literally get sick editing them! I feel feverish, headache-y and all-over-the-body-achy. Seriously, one of these days we must consider giving out a slew of THROW YOUR MAMA’S SMELLY SHOE AWARDS for the crappiest Malaysian books of the year—books we absolutely could not care less about, much less read. I know for sure there won’t be a dearth of contenders for these uniquely Malaysian awards where mediocrity is the only yardstick of greatness and celebrated with customary poop/pomp and ceremony! Perhaps I will start the ball rolling with that pathetic attempt at a book ... yes, that particular pseudo-book! It reminds me of the opening lines to Keir Alexander’s excellent novel, The Ruby Slippers: “She stinks. It has to be said. Stinks to high heaven.” She does, believe me, she does.
***
THE COST OF DOING BUSINESS is escalating all the time. Maintaining sales have always been a challenge, now more so than ever. There are not many good manuscripts to choose from in a lacklustre marketplace. There’s nothing much we can do about the decline of the English language or the quality of writing in Malaysia in the short term. We have to accept the fact that the only thing we can do as publishers is to enhance our production values: editing standards and marketing efforts will need to be stepped up. Producing a book is not going to get any easier; editors will have to break their backs editing and rewriting substandard manuscripts to a level deemed publishable in a short time. Not that there are many good editors to choose from in a nation that doesn’t care much for reading and writing in the first place.
***
AT A BOOK LAUNCH in a five-star hotel (nothing less that five stars will do, or an exclusive golf club) in Kuala Lumpur the other day, everyone invited to attend the event was treated to a sumptuous meal of sweet and savoury Malaysian delicacies (including the obligatory curry puffs and all-time favourite mee siam, among other things) and given a complimentary copy or two of the said book of the day. Suffice to say that the food tasted so much better than the book. This is quite understandable. Let’s not beat around the bush; no one in their right frame of mind would use their hard-earned cash to pay for it. The trick is not to take Malaysian publishing too seriously. If you do, you are in for an early grave.
***
WHEN will Malaysian education start focusing on understanding and critical thinking skills? Will it ever? There is a serious dearth of these basic skills: reading, writing, creative thinking, questioning, criticism, creativity and imagination; there is also an absolute lack of interest or intellectual curiosity or empathy about the world we live in. We desperately need graduates who can not only eat but spell chocolate! Education per se is irrelevant; one must have the right mindset to use the knowledge acquired and make one’s life useful and meaningful to society. The idea of education is to make every one of us into critical, empathetic, intelligent, logical and thinking beings. If not, what’s the point of existence? What’s really the point of education if we do not produce intelligent, efficient and productive nation builders? It is frightening when the education system keeps on churning out graduates who don’t read (and have no interest in reading) and can’t write.
***
SERIOUSLY, do we really have a publishing industry in Malaysia? I sometimes wonder, more often lately. A sad fact: Malaysian writers can’t write and don’t want to be edited at all. Those who can, the writing is bland, careless, dead, dispirited, hollow, illiterate, inert, insipid, lackadaisical, lazy, lethargic, lifeless, non-informative, puerile, self-indulgent, shallow, tepid, uninspiring and vague. Most of the time the manuscripts are so execrable, possibly written by someone who doesn’t speak or write the language at all, that editing them is next to impossible. (I don’t pray for much, seriously: just good health and happiness for all creatures big and small, being a better human being ... and good writing to land on my desk.)

Another sad fact: editors don’t know how to edit. (Editing is not just about punctuation, grammar and spelling.) Most of them lack the most basic of editing skills (grammar, spelling and writing); if they can’t even handle basic editing, surely they are in the wrong profession, no? Editors are unwilling to learn and tend to miss more than they spot errors (and constantly introducing new ones at the same time). And many are averse to research, checking facts, solving problems and consulting the dictionary. Punctuating dialogue is a major weakness. Most of them lack imagination and intellectual curiosity and have no idea why they are doing the things they are doing. Many are not (and will never be) aware of the important aspects of book production like bibliography, footnotes, endnotes, indexing, etc. They do not know what a personal or surname is when indexing, etc. Also, not many editors have a nose for business or finance. Publishing is not just about publishing bad books; it is also about selling the bad books you publish. Both are equally important to sustain the business in the long term.

Another sad fact: designers don’t know how to typeset books and design book covers. Most of them are not designers; when you think about it, they are really more incompetent typesetters than designers. Most, sadly, have no grasp of the aesthetics, whether in the design of covers or the typesetting of pages, are not open to constructive criticism and lack even the most basic of language skills (English and Malay). (“The kind of designs you don’t really need to go to design school to learn. The idea is to do it blindly. ... And hope someone likes it.”) There is absolutely no passion to push boundaries or to have higher expectations, no sense of accomplishment for a job well done. They do not seem to learn anything from experience. Experience makes no difference. They have no idea whether contents pages are required for the manuscripts they typeset; they have no idea what acknowledgements, forewords, prefaces, introductions, appendices, bibliographies, indexes, afterwords, footnotes, endnotes, figures, tables and charts are. They may have moved their mouse for centuries, but they have not gain any relevant experience at all. They have no idea what consistency is.

Another sad fact: translation standards are (atrociously) abysmal. Translation is not just about translating words (linguistics) to another language; it’s also about translating cultural and other creative nuances; the translated text must make sense and transport you to another world or dimension. “Translation,” in the words of Anthony Burgess, “is not a matter of words only: it is a matter of making intelligible a whole culture.” A good translator must not only possess a solid grounding in both languages but a strong grasp of idioms and metaphors as well. Sadly, it’s rare to find translators who are strong in both English and Malay.

A vicious cycle. Definitely. So, do we really have a publishing industry in Malaysia? Of course not. I believe what we have here is more akin to some kind of stunted, constipated offshoot of public relations, rather than publishing as we know it. Publishing good books (and finding a readership for these books) is constantly a Sisyphean struggle. Books are never published for the right reasons. It never fails to amaze me how publishers always find stupid reasons to justify the publishing of substandard books as though producing as many such books as possible is some kind of noble calling or something!
***
EVIL, THEY SAY, NEVER DIES ... it claws its way back from the pits of hell to haunt the living. We are in the midst of editing perhaps the worst manuscript on the planet … rejected by all who had a chance to look at it but somehow foisted on us editors for the dumbest of reasons. And to think that the British once colonised us, you would expect a certain standard of English. After the last disaster of a book, we thought we had seen the last and worst of horrendous books. No-o-o-o … that’s too good to be true. Ladies and gentlemen, Evil is back in business and is here to haunt the living daylights out of us. Just goes to prove that there are some things money can’t buy … for instance, to write well and tell a wonderful story (fiction or otherwise). Some publishers claim they publish these rejected manuscripts under the pretext of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Seriously, you can call them anything you want; I prefer to pile them under POO and flush them down the LOO where they belong for all eternity. Of course, under normal circumstances these manuscripts would not see the light of day but the dark of the sewers. I always fail to understand what joy these author-wannabes derive from being published under such circumstances!
***
AND THEN there are those so-called Malaysian authors who insist that we do not comply with standards and conventions when editing their so-called manuscripts! As the Backstreet Boys would croon back in the late 1990s, Believe when I say I want it that way! You can have it any way you want, Sweetheart, as long as you pay the production costs and buy up all the stocks and keep them locked up in your bedroom! And maybe toss them in with the carrots, potatoes, onions and tomatoes when Mummy makes chicken soup for the whole family. (Don’t forget the salt and freshly ground black pepper.) The books will also come in handy if you have plans for house extensions. Books, after all, are not just books; they make hardy bricks, too.
***
REMEMBER THE GOOD OLD DAYS when we used to have meals and lovely conversations without interruptions? We used to eat and talk, and eat and talk, all the while enjoying ourselves. Those were the days when we used to really talk with one another and conversations were long, and there were jokes and laughter, and time just passed without us realising it. Those days are long gone. People nowadays are more interested in their smartphones, internet, text messaging, etc., and seem to prefer to communicate with people not dining at the table but elsewhere, reading news updates, taking photos of themselves in all manner of poses, etc. You may have the whole wide world at your fingertips, but you don’t seem to be aware of the immediate world around you. Once in a while, think about the person sitting opposite you.
***
POMPOUS LASS: Only native speakers can edit my manuscript! No Malaysian editors for me, please!
Publisher: You mean someone from Good Olde Mother England?
Pompous Lass: Of course—if English is their mother tongue!
Publisher: Why’s that?
Pompous Lass: Because my book is for the wonderful people of this planet. I want it to be perfectly edited for all my readers from around the world …
Publisher: Would you like to bear the cost of getting someone from England to edit it then?
Pompous Lass: Will that be cheap?
Publisher: What do you think? Everything is cheap except you?
Pompous Lass: I wouldn’t want to spend my money on that! If it’s too expensive, a local editor should be all right, I guess!
Publisher: Yes, cheap local editors are the best!
***
WATERLILY: I want to talk to the editor?
Receptionist: Who’s calling?
Waterlily: Lily!
Receptionist: Lily who?
Waterlily: Water “I-can’t-tell-you-my-real-name” Lily!
Receptionist: How can I help you?
Waterlily: I want to talk to the editor about my manuscript?
Receptionist: What’s your manuscript about?
Waterlily: I can’t tell you that! I don’t know who you are. You may just steal and profit from my hard work! I want to speak to the editor!
Editor: Could you send us samples of your work, Water?
Waterlily: I can’t do that either.
Editor: So what can you do, Watermelon?
Waterlily: My name is Waterlily, not Watermelon! Why do you need samples of my work?
Editor: Duh! So that we could assess your writing and decide whether we want to publish it or not!
Waterlily: Why do you want to review it? I am a famous writer and my work is quoted in all the leading journals all over the galaxy!
Editor: That’s nice and all and I’m happy for you. However, we would still like to assess it.
Waterlily: Will you be distributing my book in the U.S. and the U.K.?
Editor: No. We only sell foreign rights to those markets. And over the internet.
Waterlily: Looks like you are not the right publisher for me then. Goodbye!
Editor: Good riddance.
***
AUTHOR: Would you like to publish my manuscript?
Publisher: Well, it depends …
Author: Depends on what?
Publisher: Well, whether you have a written manuscript?
Author: I haven’t written one. Can you get it written for me?
Publisher: Why is that?
Author: I can’t write.
Publisher: But you have studied for a couple of foreign degrees … and you have lived overseas for many years. With your fake accent and all, I’m sure you could write English.
Author: I’m very bad at grammar. Could you get me a writer whom I could talk to, take down notes and put them all in a book for me? I can talk very well. I just can’t write.
Publisher: I can’t imagine how you manage to pass all your exams over the years!
***
AUTHOR: Could you label me a bestselling author on the cover of my new book?
Editor: No! You are not a bestselling author! And you’ve never have been one!
Author: It’s a way of MARKETING the book!
Editor: I don’t think that’s MARKETING; that’s shameless CONNING. Your first book sold less than a thousand copies in over five years. That, to me, is a disaster of epic proportions! Your book sounds more like the worst-selling book of the century. And with the way it is moving (or not moving), it looks set to be the worst-selling book in the history of humankind. I believe your book will still be around even after the Apocalypse!
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AUTHOR: And on what grounds are you rejecting my manuscript?
Editor: Well, it sucks, for one!
Author: What! How dare you insult me! Everyone who has read it thinks it a magnificent piece of work!
Editor: Who, pray tell, read your magnum opus?
Author: My darling husband and children, friends and relatives! And my dearest mummy and daddy, too!
Editor: Of course!
Author: So can I take it that you are not interested in publishing my manuscript?
Editor: De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da ... Duh!
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AUTHOR: Yahoo! My book is a runaway bestseller!
Editor: How’s that possible?
Author: I got every one of my best friends to buy 500 copies of my book. Yahoo! Time for a reprint?
Editor: What do you expect them to do with all the copies of your book?
Author: Who cares what they do with them? Hide them under the stairs? Perhaps they can make beef or vegetable stew with them?
***
AUTHOR: I would like you to publish my book?
Editor: Your manuscript, you mean? Well, it all depends on the quality of your manuscript.
Author: What? I know your Financial Controller and the TOP HONCHO, you know!
Editor: Ooh, I’m shivering! Of course, we will publish your book—even though it sucks big-time!
Author: What?
Editor: Isn’t that what you want?
***
WISDOM, they say, comes with age. I once thought that wisdom was the exclusive province of the elderly. Now that I am all grown up, I have come to realise that that’s all balderdash. Wisdom is the province of those who possess it; age is simply immaterial. Over the years, I have had the good fortune to meet young people who are wise beyond their years, and I have also had the MISFORTUNE of meeting old people who have absolutely no wisdom at all.
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AUTHOR: I don’t like my marriage photograph in the book. We look so bloody fat.
Editor: Of course, both of you are fat. So, what do you want me to do? Both of you should have gone on a diet before getting married. Well, you could always get married again. What’s stopping you?
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AUTHOR: Make sure all numbers smaller than 10 are in figures, not words, okay?
Editor: Numbers from 1-9 will be in words, not numerals. Anything from 10 and above, I will use figures. That’s the standard editing rule.
Author: But I am your client and you do as I instruct.
Editor: So, what else do you want to go with that? Bad grammar? I can do that. What about factual errors? You want some of those? Weak characterization, perhaps? A plot full of holes? We can add a couple of those, if you like. Why don’t I also throw in as many misspellings as I can for you—on the house, of course?
Author: What?
Editor: For your information, you ain’t my client. You can keep your money and go ask your mummy to search and replace all your 1-9s with figures.
***
“ANYONE can be an author nowadays. You don’t really have to be a good writer or a whizz in grammar and all that nonsense,” so says the marketing consultant. You can’t write? No problem, we will get you a ghostwriter to write on your behalf for a fee, she says. And if you suck big-time at grammar and vocabulary, also no problem. We have the backroom boys (editors, copyeditors, proofreaders and designers) to clean up your writing (or lack thereof) and make all your dreams come true. After all, most people just like to see their names on the covers of their so-called books. And perhaps launching them at one of the hotels or golf clubs (or fast-food/burger joints or shopping-mall concourses). That’s about it.
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PASSION is, of course, a wonderful thing to have. But let’s talk about ringgit and sense. There is simply no money in editing in Malaysia. I have been editing books for a living for well over 30 years now, and this saddens me a great deal. Perhaps it’s time for me to seriously consider giving it all up and do something else with the rest of my life?
***
ONCE IN A BLUE MOON, when all the stars in the heavens are somehow aligned, the perfect manuscript lands on your desk. All is well with the world; the elves and hobbits are having a whale of a time in the playing fields and the flowers are singing and dancing in the wind. There is joy and laughter all over the kingdom. With minimal editing, the manuscript is published to much acclaim and financial success. There are, of course, books that do not capture a readership no matter how good they are or how much they are pushed or promoted. Most of the time, though, bad books fall on your head with a loud thud. Some of these books go on to become successful books after much editing, rewriting, blood, sweat and tears, etc. Publishing is a difficult business; there is no guarantee that a good book will sell. Neither is there a guarantee that a bad book will not sell. Not all bad books sell; most of them end up in the cemetery of lost books.
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ACCORDING to Andreï Makine, “Language is just grammar. The real language of literature is created in the heart, not a grammar book.” Makine—a Russian novelist who writes not in his mother tongue but in French—is not discounting the importance of grammar in writing. However, good writing is more than good grammar. Good grammar, in other words, is just not good enough when crafting sentences. In our reading, we have occasionally come across writing which is grammatically perfect in every aspect but somehow lacks heart, writing that lacks an emotional core: hollow, meretricious, staid, technical and wooden. Good writers know when and how to break rules for good original prose to emerge. The challenging task is to nudge boundaries and push narrative towards places it has not been before.
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I WAS EDITING a piece of writing the other day. Writers and editors need to be logical when they write or edit. A baby girl is a baby girl. There is no need to be too specific by calling it a “young” baby girl. Is there such a thing as an “old” baby girl?
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WE ARE IN THE MIDST of editing another crappy manuscript by a crappy Malaysian writer. It’s just another crappy day in the life of a Malaysian editor. Possibly another worthy contender for the THROW YOUR MAMA’S SMELLY SHOE AWARDS for the crappiest writing in the world? One that would put us to sleep for a thousand years. We can’t wait for the torture to be over ... until another one comes along (like they always do). Please, please forgive us for unleashing this horror upon humanity and the universe. Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. ...
***
MOST OF THE TIME book editors reject more than they accept manuscripts simply because there are more bad than good writing floating around. With modern publishing the way it is, where quantity is more important than quality, decisions on whether to accept or reject manuscripts are no longer the sole preserve of editors but marketing consultants. Editors are no longer the literary gatekeepers of the universe like they once were. They are more of a stumbling block in the seemingly unrelenting contemporary marketing process. The role of editors is to edit good manuscripts and make bad ones look good enough for those who do not know better. As literary gatekeepers, marketing consultants think that they document history and human evolution, but most of the time they dress up trash to look like literature. This explains the glut of bad writing you see flooding the marketplace. That’s just what I think.
***
A: Can you read and write English?
B: No.
A: Can you read and write Malay?
B: No.
A: Can you read and write Chinese?
B: No.
A: So, what are you doing now?
B: Studying Korean.
A: You can’t even handle English, your mother tongue or the national language, why would you even want to take up a challenging language like Korean?
B: I just like the way the Koreans speak and sing-mah!
A: Wah, so clever!
***
AUTHOR: Could you put my husband’s name (and mine) on the cover?
Editor: No, I can’t do that. He is not the writer. You are the author. Your name will be on the cover.
Author: But he helped me with research, fact-checking and proofreading.
Editor: You may credit him in the acknowledgements page.
Author: But I want his name on the cover with me!
Editor: No!
Author: You know, you are not as nice as some people say you are.
Editor: You could always self-publish and put the names of whoever you like on the cover if that makes you happy!
***
ANOTHER turd of a manuscript landed in my lap with a loud thud this morning, turning my life upside down and upsetting the balance in this neck of the universe. Looks like it’s another long month of agony, damnation, sleepless nights, slogging and suffering. A manuscript that is far from stimulating. Somehow one’s opinion of prominent people tend to go down the clogged monsoon drain once you start reading their life stories. Their stories tend to put me to death. What have I done to deserve this? I take care of my family and love all my brothers and sisters (including all my Facebook friends) and buy my mother her 100% Massimo whole wheat bread every other day, yet I still get punished! What have I done to deserve this! What I have done is, I have just edited possibly the worst book of my career. And after countless hours editing within a tight time frame, it is still the worst book of my entire career.
***
WE were at a popular dining establishment in KLCC the other day. We were disappointed with the stuffed chicken breast we ordered. They were clearly below expectations. Not only were they hard, dry and leathery, they were bland, almost tasteless, more like something left over from the night before warmed up. If you enjoy paying First World prices for food that is below average or worse, then this is the perfect place to waste your hard-earned money.
***
I HAVE NO IDEA where Malaysians get their education from. Their spelling is the pits. They spell “Barisan Nasional” as “Barisan National”, a blend of English and Malay. Even my dear mother knows that it is spelt as either “Barisan Nasional” (Malay) or “National Front” (English). It is one or the other. It is either Malay or English. Be consistent when you write. First, decide which language you want to write in. I know, a tough decision. Malaysians also can’t tell the difference between “reign” and “rein”, “ferment” and “foment”, and when to use them correctly. They tend to use them interchangeably. Other weaknesses include hyphenation (“long term” vs “long-term”, “fairy tale” vs “fairy-tale”, etc.), italicization, prepositions and word order, punctuations, spelling of names, insufficient fact checking, among others.
***
MALAYSIAN authors have the bad habit of editing their books only after their books have been published and distributed all over the universe and beyond. They are never bothered with editing at the manuscript stage. (They submit their manuscripts raw without editing them.) Most of them are so bloody lazy to read their own works. There is nothing much we can do about this because Malaysian writers prefer eating to reading. Most of them can spent the whole day eating but not many can spend the whole day reading. Most of the time I wonder: Why do they even bother to write?
***
I get this a lot … from the moment I was born back in the early 1960s to now in 2016.

A: You are mixed, right?
B: Ah … yeah.
A: So what kind of food do you eat?
B: Grass and lalang … and banoffee pie!
A: Huh! I mean: do you eat Chinese food?
B: No!
A: Why not?
B: Duh! I don’t know! Perhaps I don’t like Chinese food?
A: How can you not like Chinese food when your mum’s Chinese!
B: Why not?
***
SELLING BOOKS in Malaysia is a tough business. For most people books are considered non-essential. Bread-and-butter issues take precedence over other matters. My ideal bookshop is one that challenges me intellectually in my reading journey. Not only do I want bookshops to stock the kinds of books I want to read, I also want them to surprise me by introducing me titles or authors I have not heard of before. I don’t buy books online at all, so the local bookshop is where I buy all my books. However, I think nowadays the role of educating the reading public has been taken over by the internet. After all, there are only so many titles a brick-and-mortar bookshop can stock at any one time.
***
HIS SATANIC MAJESTY (HSM) tells the editor that he should edit the manuscript only for grammar and spelling. “Just check the names and spelling, and make sure the grammar is perfect,” he reiterates. HSM goes on to tell the editor to keep his opinions to himself because nobody cares what he thinks about the manuscript. “It doesn’t really matter if the writing is good or bad. Your job is to edit—not to assess or judge the manuscript.” What the heck is he trying to say!
***
PUBLISHER: You have offended Big John with all your spot-on edits!
Editor: But his manuscript was full of errors and other inconsistencies!
Publisher: He isn’t happy because you edited too much of his manuscript. I can’t believe you spotted over a thousand errors! I did tell you specifically not to edit it.
Editor: Yes … not bad for a manuscript which is supposed to have been edited thoroughly and ready-to-print. Shouldn’t he be happy that I spotted so many errors in his book? I would if it’s my book.
Publisher: Yes … but, you know, you made him look real bad! And he is awfully hurt. He doesn’t want to work with you any more!
Editor: I did not make him look bad … he really is bad!
Publisher: You shouldn’t be too brutal with the edits.
Editor: Editorial brutality? That’s a new one. I wasn’t brutal at all. All I did what edit the grammar and corrected the spellings and factual errors. No rewriting whatsoever. A walk in the park, really.
Publisher: Where? What park? Whatever it is, he is offended!
Editor: Idiot that I was, I tried to edit the manuscript as best as I possibly could. If it will make him happy, I could easily restore or reinstate all the errors back into the manuscript. It’s no big deal to me. It’s your call; after all, you are the publisher.

Saturday, October 01, 2016

October 2016 Highlights

NOVELS
1. The Angel of History (Atlantic Monthly Press/Corsair, 2016) / Rabih Alameddine
2. Hag-Seed (Hogarth, 2016) / Margaret Atwood
3. Days Without End (Faber & Faber, 2016) / Sebastian Barry
4. The Devil’s Feast (Fig Tree, 2016) / M.J. Carter
5. The Loved Ones (Relegation Books, 2016) / Sonya Chung
6. London Lies Beneath (Virago, 2016) / Stella Duffy
7. Victoria (Headline Review, 2016) / Daisy Goodwin
8. The Boat Rocker (Pantheon, 2016) / Ha Jin
9. News of the World (Harper, 2016) / Paulette Jiles
10. The Good People (Picador Books, 2016) / Hannah Kent

11. The Fall Guy (W.W. Norton, 2016) / James Lasdun
12. Cruel Beautiful World (Algonquin Books, 2016) / Caroline Leavitt
13. By Gaslight (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2016) / Steven Price
14. Mister Monkey (Harper, 2016) / Francine Prose
15. Among the Living (Other Press, 2016) / Jonathan Rabb
16. Today Will Be Different (Little, Brown, 2016) / Maria Semple
17. Autumn (Hamish Hamilton/Penguin, 2016) / Ali Smith

FIRST NOVELS
1. The Mothers (Riverhead, 2016) / Brit Bennett

STORIES
1. Of This New World (University of Iowa Press, 2016) / Allegra Hyde
2. The Best American Short Stories 2016 (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016) / Junot Díaz & Heidi Pitlor (eds.)

POETRY
1. Mapping the Delta (Bloodaxe Books, 2016) / George Szirtes

NONFICTION
1. The Clancys of Queens: A Memoir (Crown Publishing, 2016) / Tara Clancy
2. Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life (Liveright, 2016) / Ruth Franklin
3. A Brief History of Bali: Piracy, Slavery, Opium and Guns: The Story of an Island Paradise (Tuttle Publishing, 2016) / Willard A. Hanna
4. Karl Marx: Greatness and Illusion (The Belnap Press/Harvard University Press, 2016) / Gareth Stedman Jones
5. The People and the Books: 18 Classics of Jewish Literature (W.W. Norton, 2016) / Adam Kirsch
6. Upstream: Selected Essays (Penguin Press, 2016) / Mary Oliver
7. Nobody’s Son: A Memoir (W.W. Norton, 2016) / Mark Slouka
8. Vanishing Streets: Journeys in London (Redwood Press, 2016) / J.M. Tyree
9. The Boy Behind the Curtain (Penguin Books Australia, 2016) / Tim Winton

Thursday, September 01, 2016

September 2016 Highlights

NOVELS
1. Selection Day (Picador, 2016) / Aravind Adiga
2. The Hidden Keys (Coach House Books, 2016) / André Alexis
3. Stranger (HarperCollins, 2016) / David Bergen
4. Orphans of the Carnival (Canongate Books, 2016) / Carol Birch
5. Perfume River (Atlantic Monthly Press, 2016) / Robert Olen Butler
6. The Schooldays of Jesus (Harvill Secker, 2016) / J.M. Coetzee
7. Transit (Jonathan Cape, 2016) / Rachel Cusk
8. The Spawning Grounds (Knopf Canada, 2016) / Gail Anderson-Dargatz
9. The Fortunes (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016) / Peter Ho Davies
10. The Wonder (Little, Brown/Picador, 2016) / Emma Donoghue

11. Here I Am (Farrar, Straus & Giroux/Hamish Hamilton, 2016) / Jonathan Safran Foer
12. The Trespasser (Hodder & Stoughton, 2016) / Tana French
13. Conclave (Hutchinson, 2016) / Robert Harris
14. A House Without Windows (William Morrow, 2016) / Nadia Hashimi
15. Lord of the Darkwood: The Tale of Shikanoko (Picador, 2016) / Lian Hearn
16. The Tengu’s Game of Go: The Tale of Shikanoko (FSG Originals, 2016) / Lian Hearn
17. Mercury (Harper, 2016) / Margot Livesey
18. Nutshell (Jonathan Cape, 2016) / Ian McEwan
19. Commonwealth (Harper/Bloomsbury Publishing, 2016) / Ann Patchett
20. By Gaslight (Oneworld Publications, 2016) / Steven Price

21. The Risen (Ecco Press, 2016) / Ron Rash
22. As We Shall Know (Doubleday, 2016) / Donal Ryan
23. A Gentleman in Moscow (Viking, 2016) / Amor Towles
24. The Gustav Sonata (W.W. Norton, 2016) / Rose Tremain
25. Loner (Simon & Schuster, 2016) / Teddy Wayne
26. The Underground Railroad (Doubleday, 2016) / Colson Whitehead

STORIES
1. Sex & Death (Faber & Faber, 2016) / Sarah Hall & Peter Hobbs (eds.)
2. The Virginity of Famous Men (Bloomsbury USA, 2016) / Christine Sneed

POETRY
1. George Washington (Liveright, 2016) / Adam Fitzgerald
2. Archeophonics (Wesleyan University Press, 2016) / Peter Gizzi
3. Garden Time (Copper Canyon Press/Bloodaxe Books, 2016) / W.S. Merwin

NONFICTION
1. The Art of Waiting: On Fertility, Medicine, and Motherhood (Graywolf Press, 2016) / Belle Boggs
2. Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life (Liveright, 2016) / Ruth Franklin
3. Vietnam: A New History (Basic Books, 2016) / Christopher Goscha
4. Avid Reader: A Life (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2016) / Robert Gottlieb
5. Istanbul: A Biography of a City (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2016) / Bettany Hughes
6. The Glamour of Strangeness: Artists and the Last Age of the Exotic (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2016) / Jamie James
7. Incarnations: A History of India in Fifty Lives (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2016) / Sunil Khilnani
8. Beryl Bainbridge: A Life (Bloomsbury, 2016) / Brendan King
9. The Pigeon Tunnel: Stories from My Life (Viking, 2016) / John le Carré
10. Estuary: Out from London to the Sea (Hamish Hamilton, 2016) / Rachel Lichtenstein

11. All Things Made New: The Reformation and Its Legacy (Oxford University Press, 2016) / Diarmaid MacCulloch
12. Cast Away: Stories of Survival from Europe’s Refugee Crisis (The New Press, 2016) / Charlotte McDonald-Gibson

Monday, August 01, 2016

August 2016 Highlights

NOVELS
1. The Bones of Paradise (William Morrow, 2016) / Jonis Agee
2. The English Teacher (trans. from the Hebrew by Philip Simpson) (Penguin Press, 2016) / Yiftach Reicher Atir
3. The Beautiful Dead (Atlantic Monthly Press, 2016 / Belinda Bauer
4. The New Mrs Clifton (Michael Joseph, 2016) / Elizabeth Buchan
5. Addlands (The Dial Press, 2016) / Tom Bullough
6. The Fortunes (Sceptre, 2016) / Peter Ho Davies
7. A House Without Windows (William Morrow, 2916) / Nadia Hashimi
8. Lord of the Darkwood: The Tale of Shikanoko (FSG Originals/Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2016) / Lian Hearn
9. War & Turpentine (trans. from the Dutch by David McKay) (Pantheon, 2016) / Stefan Hertmans
10. The Book That Matters Most (W.W. Norton, 2016) / Ann Hood

11. To the Bright Edge of the World (Little, Brown/Tinder Press, 2016) / Eowyn Ivey
12. The Knives (Faber & Faber, 2016) / Richard T. Kelly
13. Shining Sea (Little, Brown, 2016) / Anne Korkeakivi
14. The Golden Age (Europa Editions, 2016) / Joan London
15. Nutshell (Nan A. Talese/Doubleday, 2016) / Ian McEwan
16. Carousel Court (Simon & Schuster, 2016) / Joe McGinniss Jr
17. Arrowood (Spiegel & Grau, 2016) / Laura McHugh
18. Bright, Precious Days (Alfred A. Knopf, 2016) / Jay McInerney
19. Little Jewel (trans. from the French by Penny Hueston) (Yale University Press, 2016) / Patrick Modiano
20. Death and the Seaside (Salt Publishing, 2016) / Alison Moore

21. The Last Days of Night (Random House, 2016) / Graham Moore
22. Turning Blue (Moth Publishing, 2016) / Benjamin Myers
23. Harmony (Viking/Penguin Random House, 2016) / Carolyn Parkhurst
24. A Great Reckoning (Minotaur Books, 2016) / Louise Penny
25. By Gaslight (McClelland & Stewart, 2016) / Steven Price
26. The Imperial Wife (Thomas Dunne Books, 2016) / Irina Reyn
27. When the Music’s Over (William Morrow, 2016) / Peter Robinson
28. The Constant Soldier (Mantle, 2016) / William Ryan
29. The Chosen Ones (trans. from the Swedish by Anna Paterson) (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2016) / Steve Sem-Sandberg
30. Autumn (Hamish Hamilton/Penguin, 2016) / Ali Smith

31. Leaving Lucy Pear (Blackfriars, 2016) / Anna Solomon
32. The Lauras (Cornerstone/William Heinemann, 2016) / Sara Taylor
33. Night of Fire (Chatto & Windus, 2016) / Colin Thubron
34. The Kukotsky Enigma (trans. from the Russian by Diane Nemec Ignashev) (Northwestern University Press, 2016) / Ludmila Ulitskaya
35. Still Here (Hogarth, 2016) / Lara Vapnyar
36. Another Brooklyn (Amistad, 2016) / Jacqueline Woodson

FIRST NOVELS
1. Taduno’s Song (Canongate Books, 2016) / Odafe Atogun
2. The Windy Season (Allen & Unwin, 2016) / Sam Carmody
3. The Island Will Sink (The Lifted Brow, 2016) / Briohny Doyle
4. All the Ugly and Wonderful Things (Thomas Dunne Books/St Martin’s Press, 2016) / Bryn Greenwood
5. The Nix (Alfred A. Knopf, 2016) / Nathan Hill
6. The Countenance Divine (John Murray, 2016) / Michael Hughes
7. How I Became a North Korean (Viking/Faber & Faber, 2016) / Krys Lee
8. The Gentleman (Penguin Press, 2016) / Forrest Leo
9. Infinite Ground (Atlantic Books, 2016) / Martin MacInnes
10. Behold the Dreamers (Random House, 2016) / Imbolo Mbue

11. The Glorious Heresies (Tim Duggan Books/Crown Publishing, 2016) / Lisa McInerney
12. Behind Closed Doors (St Martin’s Press, 2016) / B.A. Paris
13. The Grand Tour (Doubleday, 2016) / Adam O’Fallon Price
14. The Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko (St Martin’s Press, 2016) / Scott Stambach

STORIES
1. Dinosaurs on Other Planets (Random House, 2016) / Danielle McLaughlin
2. A Year of Impossible Margins (University of Queensland Press, 2016) / Tara June Winch

POETRY
1. Summer Rain (Ward Wood Publishing, 2016) / Noel Duffy
2. Everything We Always Knew Was True (Copper Canyon Press, 2016) / James Galvin
3. Lacunae: 100 Imagined Ancient Love Poems (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2016) / Daniel Nadler
4. Falling Awake (W.W. Norton, 2016) / Alice Oswald
5. Standoff (Graywolf Press, 2016) / David Rivard
6. Gold from the Stone (Canongate Books, 2016) / Lemn Sissay
7. The Remedies (Picador, 2016) / Katharine Towers

NONFICTION
1. Raising Wild: Dispatches from a Home in the Wilderness (Roost Books, 2016) / Michael P. Branch
2. Peacock & Vine: On William Morris and Mariano Fortuny (Alfred A. Knopf, 2016) / A.S. Byatt
3. The Hate Race: A Memoir (Hatchette Australia, 2016) / Maxine Beneba Clarke
4. Known and Strange Things: Essays (Random House/Faber & Faber, 2016) / Teju Cole
5. Japanese Culture: The Religious and Philosophical Foundations (Tuttle Publishing, 2016) / Roger J. Davies
6. The Way to the Spring: Life and Death in Palestine (Granta Books, 2016) / Ben Ehrenreich
7. The Story of Egypt: The Civilization that Shaped the World (Pegasus, 2016) / Joann Fletcher
8. A Little History of Religion (Yale University Press, 2016) / Richard Holloway
9. Making Literature Now (Stanford University Press, 2016) / Amy Hungerford
10. Play All: A Bingewatcher’s Notebook (Yale University Press, 2016) / Clive James

11. The Glamour of Strangeness: Artists and the Last Age of the Exotic (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2016) / Jamie James
12. Scream: A Memoir of Glamour and Dysfunction (Dey Street Books, 2016) / Tama Janowitz
13. Karl Marx: Greatness and Illusion: A Life (Allen Lane, 2016) / Gareth Stedman Jones
14. The Accidental Life: An Editor’s Notes on Writing and Writers (Alfred A. Knopf, 2016) / Terry McDonell
15. Easternisation: War and Peace in the Asian Century (Bodley Head, 2016) / Gideon Rachman
16. 1666: Plague, War and Hellfire (John Murray, 2016) / Rebecca Rideal
17. The Art of Rivalry: Four Friendships, Betrayals, and Breakthroughs in Modern Art (Random House, 2016) / Sebastian Smee
18. Land of Enchantment: A Memoir (Plume, 2016) / Leigh Stein
19. Orwell’s Nose: A Pathological Biography (Reaktion Books, 2016) / John Sutherland
20. Wear and Tear: The Threads of My Life (Simon & Schuster, 2016) / Tracy Tynan

21. The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks About Race (Scribner, 2016) / Jesmyn Ward (ed.)
22. The Kingdom of Speech (Little, Brown, 2016) / Tom Wolfe

Friday, July 01, 2016

July 2016 Highlights

NOVELS
1. You Will Know Me (Little, Brown/Picador, 2016) / Megan Abbott
2. The Seamstress and the Wind (trans. from the Spanish by Rosalie Knecht) (And Other Stories, 2016) / César Aira
3. Fell (Sceptre, 2016) / Jenn Ashworth
4. Lucky Strikes (Henry Holt, 2016) / Louis Bayard
5. The Memory Stones (Bloomsbury Circus, 2016) / Caroline Brothers
6. The Muse (Ecco, 2016) / Jessie Burton
7. The Last Photograph (Picador, 2016) / Emma Chapman
8. On the Edge (trans. from the Spanish by Margaret Jull Costa) (Harvill Secker, 2016) / Rafael Chirbes
9. The Hopefuls (Alfred A. Knopf, 2016) / Jennifer Close
10. The Death of All Things Seen (Head of Zeus, 2016) / Michael Collins

11. Before We Visit the Goddess (Simon & Schuster UK, 2016) / Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
12. Heroes of the Frontier (Hamish Hamilton/penguin, 2016) / Dave Eggers
13. Siracusa (Blue Rider Press, 2016) / Delia Ephron
14. Belgravia (Weidenfeld & Nicholson/Grand Central Publishing, 2016) / Julian Fellowes
15. The Mare (Serpent’s Tail, 2016) / Mary Gaitskill
16. Nine Folds Make a Paper Swan (Atlantic Books, 2016) / Ruth Gilligan
17. The Transmigration of Bodies (trans. from the Spanish by Lisa Dillman) (And Other Stories, 2016) / Yuri Herrera
18. Dirt Road (Canongate Books, 2016) / James Kelman
19. Everything Love Is (Bloomsbury Circus, 2016) / Claire King
20. Age of Consent (Nan A. Talese, 2016) / Marti Leimbach

21. Blood Wedding (trans. from the French by Frank Wynne) (MacLehose Press, 2016) / Pierre Lemaire
22. Hot Milk (Bloomsbury USA, 2016) / Deborah Levy
23. For Those Who Know the Ending (Mantle, 2016) / Malcolm Mackay
24. I See You (Sphere, 2016) / Clare Mackintosh
25. The Association of Small Bombs (Chatto & Windus, 2016) / Karan Mahajan
26. The Long, Hot Summer (Grand Central Publishing, 2016) / Kathleen MacMahon
27. Augustown (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2016) / Kei Miller
28. A Meal in Winter (trans. from the French by Sam Taylor) (New Press, 2016) / Hubert Mingarelli
29. The Tidal Zone (Granta Books, 2016) / Sarah Moss
30. The Inseparables (Little, Brown, 2016) / Stuart Nadler

31. Lions (Grove Press, 2016) / Bonnie Nadzam
32. Once Again Assembled Here (Picador, 2016) / Sean O’Brien
33. This Must Be the Place (Alfred A. Knopf, 2016) / Maggie O’Farrell
34. The Heavenly Table (Doubleday/Harvill Secker, 2016) / Donald Ray Pollock
35. The Low Voices (trans. from the Galician by Jonathan Dunne) (Harvill Secker, 2016) / Manuel Rivas
36. When the Music’s Over (Hodder & Stoughton, 2016) / Peter Robinson
37. The Black Widow (Harper, 2016) / Daniel Silva
38. Leaving Lucy Pear (Viking, 2016) / Anna Solomon
39. Do Not Say We Have Nothing (Granta Books, 2016) / Madeleine Thien
40. A Climate of Fear (trans. from the French by Siân Reynolds) (Harvill Secker, 2016) / Fred Vargas

41. Smoke (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2016) / Dan Vyleta
42. Miss Jane (W.W. Norton, 2016) / Brad Watson

FIRST NOVELS
1. The House at the Edge of Night (Random House, 2016) / Catherine Banner
2. Pond (Riverhead books, 2016) / Claire-Louise Bennett
3. The Confession of Stella Moon (Contraband, 2016) / Shelley Day
4. Here Comes the Sun (Liveright, 2016) / Nicole Dennis-Benn
5. Ways to Disappear (Daunt Books, 2016) / Idra Novey
6. Break in Case of Emergency (Alfred A. Knopf, 2016) / Jessica Winter
7. The Lost Girls (William Morrow, 2016) / Heather Young

STORIES
1. The Storyteller (trans. from the German by Sam Dolbear, Esther Leslie & Sebastian Truskolaski) (Verso Books, 2016) / Walter Benjamin
2. Pond (Riverbed Books, 2016) / Claire-Louise Bennett
3. When Watched (Penguin Books, 2016) / Leopoldine Core
4. Monterey Bay (Penguin Press, 2016) / Lindsay Hatton
5. The Sun in Your Eyes (HarperCollins, 2016) / Deborah Shapiro
6. Sandlands (Sandstone Press, 2016) / Rosy Thornton
7. Ninety-nine Stories of God (Tin House Books, 2016) / Joy Williams

POETRY
1. Hemming Flames (Utah State University Press, 2016) / Patricia Colleen Murphy
2. The Seasons of Cullen Church (Faber & Faber, 2016) / Bernard O’Donoghue
3. Falling Awake (Jonathan Cape, 2016) / Alice Oswald

NONFICTION
1. Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cube: Chasing Fear and Finding Home in the Great White North (Ecco, 2016) / Blair Braverman
2. Peacock & Vine: Fortuny and Morris in Life and at Work (Chatto & Windus, 2016) / A.S. Byatt
3. Everywhere I Look (Text Publishing, 2016) / Helen Garner
4. The House by the Lake: One House, Five Families, and a Hundred Years of German History (Picador, 2016) / Thomas Harding
5. Some Enchanted Evenings: The Glittering Life and Times of Mary Martin (St Martin’s Press, 2016) / David Kaufman
6. All Things Made New: Writings on the Reformation (Allen Lane, 2016) / Diarmaid MacCulloch
7. The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land In Between (Random House, 2016) / Hisham Matar
8. On Trails: An Exploration (Simon & Schuster, 2016) / Robert Moor
9. Critics, Monsters, Fanatics, and Other Literary Essays (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016) / Cynthia Ozick
10. Landskipping: Painters, Ploughmen and Places (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2016) / Anna Pavord
11. The Wicked Boy: The Mystery of a Victorian Child Murderer (Penguin Press, 2016) / Kate Summerscale
12. The Classical World: The Foundations of the West and the Enduring Legacy of Antiquity (Pegasus Books, 2016) / Nigel Spivey
13. Wear and Tear: The Threads of My Life (Scribner, 2016) / Tracy Tynan

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

June 2016 Highlights

“The castle grounds were gleaming in the sunlight as though freshly painted; the cloudless sky smiled at itself in the smoothly sparkling lake, the satin-green lawns rippled occasionally in a gentle breeze: JUNE had arrived.” ― J.K. ROWLING, in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2003)

NOVELS
1. The Dove’s Necklace (trans. from the Arabic by Katharine Halls & Adam Talib) (Duckworth, 2016) / Raja Alem
2. The Bones of Grace (Harper, 2016) / Tahmima Anam
3. Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty (Riverhead Books, 2016) / Ramona Ausubel
4. The Book of Esther (Tim Duggan Books/Crown Publishing, 2016) / Emily Barton
5. Since She Went Away (NAL, 2016) / David Bell
6. Daisy in Chains (Bantam Press, 2016) / Sharon Bolton
7. Everyone Is Watching (Picador, 2016) / Megan Bradbury
8. The Museum of You (Hutchinson, 2016) / Carys Bray
9. Addlands (Granta Books, 2016) / Tom Bullough
10. The Muse (Picador, 2016) / Jessie Burton

11. Moonglow (HarperCollins, 2016) / Michael Chabon
12. The Crime Writer (Sceptre, 2016) / Jill Dawson
13. Black Water (Faber & Faber, 2016) / Louise Doughty
14. The Parable Book (trans. from the Swedish by Deborah Bragan-Turner) (MacLehose Press, 2016) / Per Olov Enquist
15. Let Me Tell You About a Man I Know (Virago, 2016) / Susan Fletcher
16. The Girl in the Glass Tower (Michael Joseph, 2016) / Elizabeth Fremantle
17. I Like You Just Fine When You’re Not Around (Tyrus Books, 2016) / Ann Garvin
18. Wintering (Alfred A. Knopf, 2016) / Peter Geye
19. Heat & Light (HarperCollins, 2016) / Jennifer Haigh
20. Imagine Me Gone (Hamish Hamilton, 2016) / Adam Haslett

21. Before the Fall (Hodder & Stoughton, 2016) / Noah Hawley
22. Emperor of the Eight Islands: The Tale of Shikanoko (Picador, 2016) / Lian Hearn
23. Autumn Princess, Dragon Child: The Tale of Shikanoko (FSG Originals/Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2016) / Lian Hearn
24. War & Turpentine (trans. from the Dutch by David McKay) (Harvill Secker, 2016) / Stefan Hertmans
25. The World Without Us (Bloomsbury USA, 2016) / Mireille Juchau
26. I Almost Forgot About You (Crown Publishing, 2016) / Terry McMillan
27. The Essex Serpent (Serpent’s Tail, 2016) / Sarah Perry
28. Barkskins (Scribner/Fourth Estate, 2016) / Annie Proulx
29. Florence Grace (Quercus, 2016) / Tracy Rees
30. Conrad & Eleanor (Atlantic Books, 2016) / Jane Rogers

31. They May Not Mean To, But They Do (Sarah Crichton Books/Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2016) / Cathleen Schine
32. The Mandibles: A Family, 2029-2047 (Harper, 2016) / Lionel Shriver
33. Marrow Island (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016) / Alexis M. Smith
34. Paradise Lodge (Viking, 2016) / Nina Stibbe
35. The House of Hidden Mothers (Sarah Crichton Books/Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2016) / Meera Syal
36. The Gilded Years (Washington Square Press, 2016) / Karin Tanabe
37. Untethered (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2016) / Julie Lawson Timmer
38. No Man’s Land (HarperCollins, 2016) / Simon Tolkien
39. Vinegar Girl (Hogarth, 2016) / Anne Tyler
40. The Woman in Cabin 10 (Harvill Secker, 2016) / Ruth Ware

41. As Good As Gone (Algonquin Books, 2016) / Larry Watson
42. The Natural Way of Things (Allen & Unwin/Europa Editions, 2016) / Charlotte Wood
43. Devotion (The Borough Press, 2016) / Louisa Young

FIRST NOVELS
1. Invincible Summer (Little, Brown, 2016) / Alice Adams
2. Rich and Pretty (Ecco, 2016) / Rumaan Alam
3. The Storyteller (Holland House, 2016) / Kate Armstrong
4. Black Rabbit Hall (Penguin, 2016) / Eve Chase
5. The Girls (Random House/Chatto & Windus, 2016) / Emily Cline
6. Grace (Counterpoint, 2016) / Natasha Deón
7. My Name Is Leon (Viking, 2016) / Kit de Waal
8. Chronicle of a Last Summer: A Novel of Egypt (Tim Duggan Books/Crown Publishing, 2016) / Yasmine El Rashidi
9. Homegoing (Alfred A. Knopf, 2016) / Yaa Gyasi
10. We Could Be Beautiful (Doubleday/Random House, 2016) / Swan Huntley

11. Beauty Is a Wound (trans. from the Indonesian by Annie Tucker) (Pushkin Press, 2016) / Eka Kurniawan
12. The Many (Salt Publishing, 2016) / Wyl Menmuir
13. The Toy Maker (Hamish Hamilton/Penguin Australia, 2016) / Liam Pieper
14. Grief is the Thing with Feathers (Graywolf Press, 2016) / Max Porter
15. Amy Snow (Simon & Schuster, 2016) / Tracy Rees
16. I’m Thinking of Ending Things (Text Publishing, 2016) / Iain Reid
17. The Sun in Your Eyes (William Morrow, 2016) / Deborah Shapiro
18. Owl Song at Dawn (Legend Press, 2016) / Emma Claire Sweeney
19. A Quiet Life (The Borough Press, 2016) / Natasha Walter
20. Foxhole (Fourth Estate, 2016) / Eleanor Wasserberg

STORIES
1. Fen (Jonathan Cape, 2016) / Daisy Johnson
2. So Much for That Winter: Novellas (trans. from the Danish by Misha Hoekstra) (Graywolf Press, 2016) / Dorthe Nors
3. Goodnight, Beautiful Women (Grove Press, 2016) / Anna Noyes

POETRY
1. The Poems of Basil Bunting (ed. Don Share) (Faber & Faber, 2016) / Basil Bunting
2. Selected Poems (ed. Clive Wilmer) (Faber & Faber, 2016) / Thom Gunn
3. Cain (Penned in the Margins, 2016) / Luke Kennard
4. Certain Magical Acts (Penguin Books, 2016) / Alice Notley
5. The After Party (Tim Duggan Books/Crown Publishing, 2016) / Jana Prikryl
6. Collected Poems: 1950-2012 (W.W. Norton, 2016) / Adrienne Rich

NONFICTION
1. By Fire: Writings on the Arab Spring (trans. from the French by Rita S. Nezami) (Curbstone Books/Northwestern University Press, 2016) / Tahar Ben Jelloun
2. Everybody Behaves Badly: The True Story Behind Hemingway’s Masterpiece The Sun Also Rises (Eamon Dolan/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016) / Lesley M.M. Blume
3. White Sands: Experiences from the Outside World (Canongate, 2016) / Geoff Dyer
4. The Way to the Spring: Life and Death in Palestine (Penguin Press, 2016) / Ben Ehrenreich
5. Reformations: The Early Modern World, 1450-1650 (Yale University Press, 2016) / Carlos M.N. Eire
6. My Father Before Me: A Memoir (Scribner, 2016) / Chris Forhan
7. Being a Beast: Adventures Across the Species Divide (Metropolitan Books, 2016) / Charles Foster
8. Hogs Wild: Selected Reporting Pieces (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2016) / Ian Frazier
9. The Penguin History of Modern Vietnam (Allen Lane, 2016) / Christopher Goscha
10. The Life of Louis XVI (Yale University Press, 2016) / John Hardman

11. Negroland: A Memoir (Granta Books, 2016) / Margo Jefferson
12. Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging (Fourth Estate, 2016) / Sebastian Junger
13. Istanbul: A Traveller’s Reader (Robinson/Little, Brown, 2016) / Laurence Kelly (ed.)
14. Moscow: A Traveller’s Reader (Robinson/Little, Brown, 2016) / Laurence Kelly (ed.)
15. The Swordfish and the Star: Life on Cornwall’s Most Treacherous Stretch of Coast (Chatto & Windus, 2016) / Gavin Knight
16. What Language Do I Dream In?: A Memoir (Virago, 2016) / Elena Lappin
17. The Hatred of Poetry (FSG Originals/Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2016) / Ben Lerner
18. The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between (Viking/Penguin Books, 2016) / Hisham Matar
19. Poacher’s Pilgrimage: An Island Journey (Birlinn, 2016) / Alastair McIntosh
20. In My Own Time: Thoughts and Afterthoughts (Virago, 2016) / Jane Miller

21. A Chorus of Cockerels: Walking on the Wild Side in Mallorca (Summersdale, 2016) / Anna Nicholas
22. Housman Country: Into the Heart of England (Little, Brown, 2016) / Peter Parker
23. Martin Luther: Renegade and Prophet (The Bodley Head, 2016) / Lyndal Roper
24. Kingdoms in the Air: Dispatches from the Far Away (Grove Press, 2016) / Bob Shacochis
25. Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching: A Young Black Man’s Education (Nation Books, 2016) / Mychal Denzel Smith
26. Feel Free (Hamish Hamilton/Penguin Books, 2016) / Zadie Smith
27. The Long Weekend: Life in the English Country House Between the Wars (Jonathan Cape, 2016) / Adrian Tinniswood
28. Man Up: Surviving Modern Masculinity (Icon Books, 2016) / Jack Urwin
29. The Slow Philosophy of J.M. Coetzee (Bloomsbury Academic/Bloomsbury Publishing, 2016) / Jan Wilm

Sunday, May 01, 2016

May 2016 Highlights

NOVELS
1. Madonna in a Fur Coat (trans. from the Turkish by Maureen Freely & Alexander Dawe) (Penguin Classics, 2016) / Sabahattin Ali
2. Enchanted Islands (Nan A. Talese/Doubleday, 2016) / Allison Amend
3. The Bones of Grace (Canongate Books, 2016) / Tahmima Anam
4. The Summer Guest (Harper, 2016) / Alison Anderson
5. Britt-Marie Was Here (trans. from the Swedish by Henning Koch) (Atria Books, 2016) / Fredrik Backman
6. A Country Road, A Tree (Doubleday/Alfred A. Knopf, 2016) / Jo Baker
7. The House at the Edge of Night (Hutchinson, 2016) / Catherine Banner
8. The Noise of Time (Alfred A. Knopf, 2016) / Julian Barnes
9. The Beautiful Dead (Bantam Press, 2016) / Belinda Bauer
10. Everyone Brave Is Forgiven (Simon & Schuster, 2016) / Chris Cleave

11. The City of Mirrors (Ballantine Books, 2016) / Justin Cronin
12. Zero K (Scribner/Picador, 2016) / Don DeLillo
13. The After Party (Riverhead Books, 2016) / Anton DiSclafani
14. The Veins of the Ocean (Grove Press, 2016) / Patricia Engel
15. LaRose (Harper, 2016) / Louise Erdrich
16. Eleven Hours (Tin House Books, 2016) / Pamela Erens
17. Long Time Lost (Faber & Faber, 2016) / Chris Ewan
18. The Theoretical Foot (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2016) / M.F.K. Fisher
19. Heat & Light (Ecco, 2016) / Jennifer Haigh
20. Weekend (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2016) / Jane Eaton Hamilton

21. The Lie Tree (Amulet Books, 2016) / Frances Hardinge
22. Redemption Road (Thomas Dunne Books/St Martin’s Press, 2016) / John Hart
23. Imagine Me Gone (Little, Brown, 2016) / Adam Haslett
24. Before the Fall (Grand Central Publishing, 2016) / Noah Hawley
25. Serious Sweet (Jonthan Cape, 2016) / A.L. Kennedy
26. The Children (St Martin’s Press, 2016) / Ann Leary
27. Unknown Remains (Counterpoint, 2016) / Peter Leonard
28. The Lubetkin Legacy (Fig Tree, 2016) / Marina Lewycka
29. Wilde Lake (William Morrow, 2016) / Laura Lippman
30. Late One Night (Dzanc Books, 2016) / Lee Martin

31. Solar Bones (Tramp Press, 2016) / Mike McCormack
32. The Book of Harlan (Akashic Books, 2016) / Bernice L. McFadden
33. Sweet Lamb of Heaven (W.W. Norton, 2016) / Lydia Millet
34. Villa Triste (trans. from the French by John Cullen) (Other Press, 2016) / Patrick Modiano
35. The Sport of Kings (Farrar, Straus & Giroux/Fourth Estate, 2016) / C.E. Morgan
36. The Fox Was Ever the Hunter (trans. from the German by Philip Boehm) (Metropolitan Books/Portobello Books, 2016) / Herta Müller
37. This Must Be the Place (Tinder Press, 2016) / Maggie O’Farrell
38. Conspiracy (HarperCollins, 2016) / S.J. Parris
39. The Essex Serpent (Serpent’s Tail, 2016) / Sarah Perry
40. Above the Waterfall (Canongate Books, 2016) / Ron Rash

41. Three-Martini Lunch (Allison & Busby, 2016) / Suzanne Rindell
42. Everybody’s Fool (Alfred A. Knopf, 2016) / Richard Russo
43. The Mandibles: A Family, 2029-2047 (The Borough Press, 2016) / Lionel Shriver
44. Where the Trees Were (Blackfriars/Little, Brown, 2016) / Inga Simpson
45. Modern Lovers (Riverhead Books, 2016) / Emma Straub
46. Do Not Say We Have Nothing (Knopf Canada, 2016) / Madeleine Thien
47. Dear Fang, With Love (Grove Press, 2016) / Rufi Thorpe
48. The Gustav Sonata (Chatto & Windus, 2016) / Rose Tremain
49. Father’s Day (Oneworld Publications, 2016) / Simon Van Booy
50. Smoke (Doubleday, 2016) / Dan Vyleta

51. June (Crown Publishing, 2016) / Miranda Beverly-Whittemore

FIRST NOVELS
1. The House at the Edge of Night (Hutchinson, 2016) / Catherine Banner
2. Sweetbitter (Alfred A. Knopf, 2016) / Stephanie Danler
3. Native Believer (Akashic Books, 2016) / Ali Eteraz
4. The Vanishing Futurist (Faber & Faber, 2016) / Charlotte Hobson
5. The Loney (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 29016) / Andrew Michael Hurley
6. Nitro Mountain (Alfred A. Knopf, 2016) / Lee Clay Johnson
7. The Outside Lands (Picador, 2016) / Hannah Kohler
8. Masha Regina (trans. from the Russian by Lisa C. Hayden) (Oneworld Publications, 2016) / Vadim Levental
9. I Let You Go (Berkley, 2016) / Clare Mackintosh
10. Hystopia (Faber & Faber, 2016) / David Means

11. A Rising Man (Harvill Secker, 2016) / Abir Mukherjee
12. Nothing on Earth (Doubleday Ireland, 2016) / Conor O’Callaghan
13. The Assistants (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2016) / Camille Perri
14. Alice and the Fly (Quercus, 2016) / James Rice
15. The Last Days of Summer (Penguin Ireland, 2016) / Vanessa Ronan
16. The Mirror Thief (Melville House Publishing, 2016) / Martin Seay
17. Golden Hill (Faber & Faber, 2016) / Francis Spufford

STORIES
1. The Springs of Affection (Stinging Fry Press, 2016) / Maeve Brennan
2. Multitudes (Faber & Faber, 2016) / Lucy Caldwell
3. Man and Wife (A Strange Object, 2016) / Rufi Thorpe
4. The Pier Falls and Other Stories (Jonathan Cape/Doubleday, 2016) / Mark Haddon
5. The High Places (Sceptre/Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2016) / Fiona McFarlane
6. Allegheny Front (Sarabande Books, 2016) / Matthew Neill Null
7. The Doll-Master and Other Tales of Terror (The Mysterious Press/Head of Zeus, 2016) / Joyce Carol Oates
8. Wild Quiet (New Island Books, 2016) / Roisín O'Donnell
9. Gods and Angels (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2016) / David Park
10. You May See a Stranger (Triquarterly/Northwestern University Press, 2016) / Paula Wyman

POETRY
1. Pearl (Faber & Faber, 2016) / Simon Armitage
2. Beyond Elsewhere (trans. from the French by Hélène Cardona) (White Pine Press, 2016) / Gabriel Arnou-Laujeac
3. Collected Poems, 1974-2004 (W.W. Norton, 2016) / Rita Dove
4. Fugitive Colours (Polygon, 2016) / Liz Lochead
5. Selected Poems (Faber & Faber, 2016) / Jamie McKendrick
6. May Day (Graywolf Press, 2016) / Gretchen Marquette
7. Say Something Back (Picador, 2016) / Denise Riley
8. Once and For All: The Best of Delmore Schwartz (ed. Craig Morgan Teicher & with an introduction  by John Ashbery) (New Directions, 2016) / Delmore Schwartz  
9. Meanwhile, Trees (Bloodaxe Books, 2016) / Mark Waldron

NONFICTION
1. Secondhand Time: The Last of the Soviets (trans. from the Russian by Bela Shayevich) (Random House/Fitzcarraldo Editions, 2016) / Svetlana Alexievich
2. Voyager: Travel Writings (Ecco, 2016) / Russell Banks
3. Plots (Columbia University Press, 2016) / Robert L. Belknap
4. Joseph Brodsky and the Creation of Exile (Princeton University Press, 2016) / David M. Bethea
5. The Irish Enlightenment (Harvard University Press, 2016) / Michael Brown
6. Braving It: A Father, a Daughter, and an Unforgettable Journey into the Alaskan Wild (Crown, 2016) / James Campbell
7. Boy Erased: A Memoir (Riverhead Books, 2016) / Garrard Conley
8. The Morning They Came for Us: Dispatches from Syria (Liveright, 2016) / Janine di Giovanni
9. The Cultural Revolution: A People’s History, 1962-1976 (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2016) / Frank Dikötter
10. White Sands: Experiences from the Outside World (Pantheon, 2016) / Geoff Dyer

11. Culture (Yale University Press, 2016) / Terry Eagleton
12. The Wood for the Trees: A Long View of Nature from a Small Wood (William Collins, 2016) / Richard Fortey
13. The View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction (Headline/William Morrow, 2016) / Neil Gaiman
14. Little Labors (New Direction, 2016) / Rivka Galchen
15. The Chicago Guide to Grammar, Osage, and Punctuation (The University of Chicago Press, 2016) / Bryan A. Garner
16. Free Speech: Ten Principles for a Connected World (Yale University Press/Atlantic Press, 2016) / Timothy Garton Ash
17. Mother Tongue: My Family’s Globe-Trotting Quest to Dream in Mandarin, Laugh in Arabic, and Sing in Spanish: A Memoir (Avery/Penguin Random House, 2016) / Christine Gilbert
18. Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging (Twelve, 2016) / Sebastian Junger
19. Cast Away: Stories of Survival from Europe’s Refugee Crisis (Portobello Books, 2016) / Charlotte McDonald-Gibson
20. Liberty or Death: The French Revolution (Yale University Press, 2016) / Peter McPhee

21. Strangers in Our Midst: The Political Philosophy of Immigration (Harvard University Press, 2016) / David Miller
22. English Voices: Lives, Landscapes, Laments (Simon & Schuster, 2016) / Ferdinand Mount
23. On Friendship (Basic Books, 2016) / Alexander Nehemas
24. When True Love Came to China (Hong Kong University Press, 2016) / Lynn Pan
25. Edge of Irony: Modernism in the Shadow of the Habsburg Empire (The University of Chicago Press, 2016) / Marjorie Perloff
26. India’s War: World War II and the Making of Modern South India (Basic Books, 2016) / Srinath Raghavan
27. My Grandmother’s Glass Eye: A Look at Poetry (Atlantic Books, 2016) / Craig Raine
28. The Violet Hour: Great Writers at the End (Virago, 2016) / Katie Roiphe
29. East West Street: On the Origins of Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity (Weidenfeld & Nicolson/Alfred A. Knopf, 2016) / Philippe Sands
30. The Romanovs: 1613-1918 (Alfred A. Knopf, 2016) / Simon Sebag Montefiores

31. The Great Clod: Notes and Memoirs on Nature and History in East Asia (Counterpoint, 2016) / Gary Snyder 32. First Light: A Celebration of Alan Garner (Unbound, 2016) / Erica Wagner (ed.