Fall Book Preview: Part II
After my last post (Fall Book Preview) I realized that there were still so many good books that we hadn’t highlighted. I felt terrible about allowing these amazing novels to wallow un-reviewed and un-recommended. They would be left to bravely shake the dust off their covers and promote themselves. Sacrilegious! I could not allow this travesty to take place. Fortunately for my Constant Readers (I hope there are a few of you besides my Mom out there…) I have taken it upon myself to continue the Fall Book Preview in this article, giving you a few more gems that will be coming out this fall. See below for a few books that look particularly promising. The book descriptions have been provided by the publishers.
The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving, by Jonathan Evision: Benjamin Benjamin has lost virtually everything—his wife, his family, his home, his livelihood. With few options, Ben enrolls in a night class called The Fundamentals of Caregiving, where he is instructed in the art of inserting catheters and avoiding liability, about professionalism, and on how to keep physical and emotional distance between client and provider
When Ben is assigned to tyrannical nineteen-year-old Trevor, who is in the advanced stages of Duchenne muscular dystrophy, he soon discovers that the endless mnemonics and service plan checklists have done little to prepare him for the reality of caring for a fiercely stubborn, sexually frustrated adolescent with an ax to grind with the world at large.Bursting with energy, this big-hearted and inspired novel ponders life’s terrible surprises and the heart’s uncanny capacity to mend.
NW, by Zadie Smith: Here you’ll find guests and hosts, those with power and those without it, people who live somewhere special and others who live nowhere at all. And many people in between. Every city is like this. Cheek-by-jowl living. Separate worlds. And then there are the visitations: the rare times a stranger crosses a threshold without permission or warning, causing a disruption in the whole system. Like the April afternoon a woman came to Leah Hanwell’s door, seeking help, disturbing the peace, forcing Leah out of her isolation…
Zadie Smith’s brilliant tragi-comic new novel follows four Londoners – Leah, Natalie, Felix and Nathan – as they try to make adult lives outside of Caldwell, the council estate of their childhood. From private houses to public parks, at work and at play, their London is a complicated place, as beautiful as it is brutal, where the thoroughfares hide the back alleys and taking the high road can sometimes lead you to a dead end.
This is How You Lose Her, by Junot Diaz: The stories… by turns hilarious and devastating, raucous and tender, lay bare the infinite longing and inevitable weaknesses of our all-too-human hearts. They capture the heat of new passion, the recklessness with which we betray what we most treasure, and the torture we go through – “the begging, the crawling over glass, the crying” – to try to mend what we’ve broken beyond repair. They recall the echoes that intimacy leaves behind, even where we thought we did not care.
They teach us the catechism of affections: that the faithlessness of the fathers is visited upon the children; that what we do unto our exes is inevitably done in turn unto us; and that loving thy neighbor as thyself is a commandment more safely honored on platonic than erotic terms. Most of all, these stories remind us that the habit of passion always triumphs over experience, and that “love, when it hits us for real, has a half-life of forever.”
Again, all three of these novels look great, especially the Diaz short story collection, since he’s one of my favorite writers. They’ll be making their way onto my Kindle library sooner or later. I hope they’re as enjoyable as they sound like they will be. What do you think? Have you heard of these books? Are you going to read them?