Wednesday, February 2, 2011

What to look forward to in 2011: Books

This year may not have another Hunger Games, but it will have equally devastating dystopian novels, as we surely near a change in our world's political climate. But, of course, some of them will not be dystopian. Here's a look at some of the books we are eagerly awaiting this year.

The Legacy
Gemma Malley
Jan. 4
I know this is already out. I completely forgot about this, which is why I need this blog, to keep myself up to date. But this concludes the trilogy of The Declaration and The Resistance, all about immortality and power and the lengths people go to in search of it and in keeping of it. There is much more in terms of theme that run through these books, and they're written with high quality language and an understanding of pace and gripping thrills.

When the Killing's Done
T.C. Boyle
Feb. 22
This book will present themes of what is right in terms of animal rights and natural habitats. Off the Santa Barbara coast, a female biologist tries to keep non-native dangerous, invasive species from killing off native species. Her mission is proved complicated by a local businessman and his hippie folk-singing girlfriend, who want to protect the non-native species and think they have natural rights to be there. This should be another wonderful, strong female protagonist to set off 2011.

Elizabeth I
Margaret George
Apr. 5
With the glory of George's other detailed, historically accurate novels, making untouchable historical figures into unique, deeply flawed, deeply human characters, fleshed out through first person point of view, at last the long-awaited Elizabeth I arrives in stores. It's been 4 years since her last novel Helen of Troy, ancient and beautiful and timeless as the subject herself. If you've never read a Margaret George novel, now's the time. Each novel is researched thoroughly, not only through historical documents but also through physical journeys to where these people had been. George literally follows their footsteps to see what they saw. Her next masterpiece will be a novel from Boudicca's point of view, which I'm extremely pumped about.

The Uncoupling
Meg Wolitzer
Apr. 5
If you've ever read Lysistrata, congratulations, you've read early feminist literature from Greece, where women know their power and use it (and it comes in the form of sex, which they will not have until the men stop the Peloponnesian War). The women of a small town of New Jersey become inspired by the high school drama club's production of the ancient play, and do the same in our time. Rather than using sex, though, for a purpose and power; it's instead looking to be an examination of relationships without sex. The premise is an exciting one, and I'm glad that the ancient play is getting recognition, but it's up in the air in how it will actually turn out. It could go either way.

Tina Fey
Apr. 5
Who doesn't love Tina Fey? Aside from Betty White, she's America's sweetheart. Well, we're gonna love her even more with the release of this book, an in depth look at her life in a collection of essays, from her childhood to her recent days at work. It'll likely take me a long time to read it because of all the laugh breaks I'll have to take.

Caleb's Crossing
Geraldine Brooks
May 3
This takes place in the 1660s. WOOHOO! Already sounds good. Apparently it follows the story of the first Native American man who graduates from Harvard and intermingles with a Puritan minister's daughter. Uh-oh. Star-crossed friends or maybe lovers? Can this tale be original despite the questionably-original plotline with historical basis? Whatever this is, it sounds like it will actually be more about assimilation and being able to balance tow cultures and going against the social norm. It will combine traditions, expectations, willpower, and individualism.

The Submission
Amy Waldman
Aug. 2
This will surely be of social turbulence. A touchy subject these days is the role of Muslims in Western society. Many see the entire group as terrorists, and this novel is here to expel that horrible myth. The designer of a terrorist attack memorial turns out to be a Muslim but American. The novel will deal with the prejudice of Americans, probably in a variety of ways. Of course, when we leave the novel, not all of characters will be changed. Some will remain prejudice and stubborn in their ignorance. We will see through multiple points of view, creating a more open and understanding novel.

In Other Worlds: Science-Fiction and the Human Imagination
Margaret Atwood
Not quite sure, but I do know Lady Atwood is finishing this up right now. It sounds like it's either a collection of critical essays or Sci-Fi creative essays. Not sure. When I know more info, I'll let you know.

Whatever Neil Gaiman cranks out this year.

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