This is it! The annual week in November that I turn over to looking at what books are available for Christmas, gushing – as ever – at the sheer amount of goodies on offer. Here are my fiction recommendations.
Short story collections are certainly enjoying a revival of late, defying the old publishing adage that they are unsellable and not read by everyday readers. I’m very pleased to see this change – let’s hope it continues on the upswing. I’m reading Merciless Gods at the moment (only just started, so haven’t really formed an opinion yet), but Tsiolkas has such a solid fan base I’m sure this book will do well.
Golden Boys by Sonya Hartnett, $22.75
Sonya Hartnett is an extraordinary writer (spoiler: she’s the only author to be getting a ‘double mention’ in this week’s Christmas book coverage). Golden Boys is Hartnett’s third novel for adults; this is the blurb from the website:
Colt Jenson and his younger brother Bastian live in a world of shiny, new things – skateboards, slot cars, train sets and even the latest BMX. Their affluent father, Rex, has made sure that they’ll be the envy of the new, working-class suburb they’ve moved to. But underneath the surface of the perfect family, is there something unsettling about the Jensons? To the local kids, Rex becomes a kind of hero, but Colt senses there’s something in his father that could destroy their fragile new lives.
I’m looking forward to getting my hands on a copy.
Whenever I see David Mitchell on a chat show or being interviewed, he comes across as one of those bright-eyed, sharp and funny authors that you can’t help liking while being jealous of their talent at the same time. That’s a skill in itself! The Bone Clocks is his latest novel, longlisted for the 2014 Booker Prize, and if you’re into thick books with big, inventive, “kaleidoscopic” (from the website, and describes his style perfectly) plots, then Mitchell is for you.
Short stories appearance number two, I’m always pleased to see a new BAS hit the shelves – that’s when I really know that Christmas is on its way. I always make a point of reading the ‘Best ofs’ that Black Inc puts out, because it gives me a chance to get ‘filled in’ on all the good stuff that I’ve somehow missed in the year. That, plus, many times, I see the work of friends included and that’s always a buzz!
I have a confession: I wasn’t a fan of Faber up until this year. I tried The Crimson Petal and the White before eventually giving up. All that changed when I read Under the Skin, easily my favourite novel of 2014 (note: it was published in 2000 – so I’m late!). The Book of Strange New Things is Faber’s first novel in twelve years and “is a wildly original tale of adventure, faith and the ties that might hold two people together when they are worlds apart”. It sounds intriguing.
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Important information: order in stock titles by the 10th of December for delivery by Christmas. Non stocked items ordered after the 1st of December will be delivered in the New Year.