by Beth Cronk, Litchfield head librarian
I’m starting to see lists of the most-anticipated books coming out this spring. Some of them you can request now; for others, you’ll have to wait a bit. Here are a few of the highlights:
One sure bet is the new Erik Larson book, Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania. Larson is the author of Devil in the White City and In the Garden of Beasts, both bestselling nonfiction books that got stellar reviews. This May marks the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Lusitania. It’s a familiar story of World War I, but Larson is said to have brought his detailed research and thriller-style writing to once again bring a moment of history to life. “Dead Wake” comes out March 10.
Short story collections aren’t often popular in our library, but Western stories are. The book Crow Fair: Stories by Thomas McGuane is a collection of Montana short stories. Publishers Weekly describes them as “ironic echoes of the Old West.” This book comes out March 3.
Novelist Kazuo Ishiguro moved to England from Japan when he was five. His most famous works are The Remains of the Day, made into a movie starring Emma Thompson and Anthony Hopkins, and Never Let Me Go. He is known for writing fiction that varies widely in genre and subject. His newest, Buried Giant, is fable-like and set in fifth century England. The reviews are tremendously mixed, with some praising the novel as magical and unforgettable, and others panning it as tedious and lacking in subtlety. This book was released March 3.
Toni Morrison has a new novel coming out April 21. God Help the Child is a story about how childhood trauma shapes and misshapes the lives of adults. Morrison won the Pulitzer Prize for Beloved in 1988.
The reviews for The Fifth Gospel are fantastic. Author Ian Caldwell had a bestseller ten years ago with The Rule of Four. He has reportedly been researching for this new novel for the intervening ten years. Although it sounds like The Da Vinci Code, The Fifth Gospel is supposed to be much smarter and just as difficult to put down. The curator of a mysterious upcoming exhibit at the Vatican museums is murdered, and the reason seems to involve a controversial relic and the Diatesseron, a compilation of the four Gospels that was created in A.D. 150. This book will drop March 3.
Kate Atkinson’s Life After Life was a bestseller and a staple of the best of 2013 book lists. Her new companion novel is called A God in Ruins. This time she follows the younger brother of Ursula Todd, the main character of Life After Life. Teddy survives the war, something he never expected to do, and faces a future he didn’t expect to have. No word on whether he lives his life over and over. This book comes out May 5.
I know many of you are eagerly anticipating the sequel to the classic novel To Kill a Mockingbird. I can promise that we will be getting Go Set a Watchman even if it isn’t in the library catalog yet – and it might be listed by the time you read this in the paper. That book will be published July 14. What astonishing news in the world of books!
Our adult winter reading program runs until the end of March. If you read a great or awful book between now and then, sign up for our program, write a very short review, and let us all know whether you recommend a book or not. Winter is the perfect time to get away in a book!