While all eyes are on London and the Olympics right now, for us bookish people there's plenty to keep us amused and excited... just look at this lot due to be published in August.
The books have been arranged in alphabetical order according to author's surname.
Okay, tell me which do you want: to be able to fly or to be invisible?' So seven-year-old Alek asks his cousin Giordana, though neither can know where the answer will lead. Family life is tough, and the lives in What the Family Needed are as full of trials, joys, loss and tribulation as any others. But at the moment of greatest need, each of these lives is touched by surprising strengths, by extraordinary gifts, by a strange sort of magic. From a sexually curious teenager to a septuagenarian widower to a middle-aged exile, we read about their secrets over 30 years. At the centre of it all is Alek, the enabler and catalyst for the tale of a family finding itself, as they discover powers they never thought possible.
Amsterdam was born in New York but has lived in Melbourne, Australia, since 2003, where he works as a writer and palliative care nurse. I loved his debut novel, Things We Didn't See Coming, which won The Age Book of the Year and was longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award. This new one sounds quite intriguing...
When Toby is reported 'Missing, Believed Killed' during the First World War, another secret casts a lengthening shadow over Elinor's world: how exactly did Toby die — and why? Elinor determines to uncover the truth. Only then can she finally close the door to Toby's room. Moving from the Slade School of Art to Queen Mary's Hospital, where surgery and art intersect in the rebuilding of the shattered faces of the wounded, Toby's Room is a riveting drama of identity, damage, intimacy and loss.
Most people will know Pat Barker for her extraordinary Regeneration Trilogy (of which I've only ever read the first book long before I kept this blog). I love books set in the Great War, so this one will be on my list of novels-to-read-soon.
Mo Said She Was Quirky tells the story of Helen — a sister, a mother, a daughter — a very ordinary young woman over the course of 24 hours. Her boyfriend said she was quirky but it was more than that. Some things were important. You had to fight for them. Only Helen wasn't as strong as people thought. She tried to be but didn't always succeed. Nobody does, not all the time.
Trust, love, relationships; parents, children, lovers; death, wealth and home. The ordinary stuff of life — but extraordinary too when you think about it. As Helen did, each waking hour, till that strangest of moments on the way home from work when this skinny down-at-heel guy crossed the road in front of her. Brian? Her long-lost brother? How could it be? But it was his shape, his very presence. Could it be?
James Kelman won the Booker Prize in 1994 for one of the most memorable books I've ever read, How Late it was, How Late and for that reason alone I'm keen to read this one. Plus, he's a truly lovely man — and I'm lucky enough to own a proof edition of this one which he signed for me earlier in the year.
The Devil I Know is a thrilling novel of greed and hubris, set against the backdrop of a brewing international debt crisis. Told by Tristram, in the form of a mysterious testimony, it recounts his return home after a self-imposed exile only to find himself trapped as a middle man played on both sides — by a grotesque builder he's known since childhood on the one hand, and a shadowy businessman he's never met on the other. Caught between them, as an overblown property development begins in his home town of Howth, it follows Tristram's dawning realisation that all is not well.
Kilroy is an exciting young Irish writer. I loved Tenderwire, a psychological literary thriller set in New York, but was slightly disappointed by her last novel, All Names Have Been Changed. But this one — one of the first Irish literary novels to explore the ramifications of the fall of the Celtic tiger — sounds right up my street, and I can't wait to read it.
The police are convinced that Jennifer White has killed her best friend. Amanda's body has been discovered in her home, stabbed to death and with four fingers from her right hand neatly removed. The murder is a horrifying shock to a quiet and genteel neighbourhood. Jennifer's work as an accomplished surgeon and the stormy nature of her friendship with Amanda make her the prime suspect. However, even Jennifer cannot tell if she really is responsible. Her days are spent in confusion and her memories are fragmented thanks to the Alzheimer's that is gradually destroying her once brilliant mind...
I've heard a lot of great things about this debut novel, which has recently been longlisted for the CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger 2012. It sounds like a real page turner.
Please note that the release dates quoted are for the UK and are subject to change.
Are there any on this list that have piqued your interest?