I admit that I have no right to add more books to my 2012 reading list, but most book lovers know how that goes sometimes. How can you say NO to a book that seems irresistible? So these are a few books I'm planning on reading in 2012.
(Sept 25th - Gallery Books)
Olivia Donatelli’s dream of a “normal” life shattered when her son,
Anthony, was diagnosed with autism at age three. Understanding the world
from his perspective felt bewildering, nearly impossible. He didn’t
speak. He hated to be touched. He almost never made eye contact. And
just as Olivia was starting to realize that happiness and autism could
coexist, Anthony died.
Now she’s alone in a cottage on Nantucket,
separated from her husband, desperate to understand the meaning of her
son’s short life, when a chance encounter with another woman facing her
own loss brings Anthony alive again for Olivia in a most unexpected way.
Beth Ellis’s entire life changed with a simple note: “I’m
sleeping with Jimmy.” Fourteen years of marriage. Three beautiful
daughters. Yet even before her husband’s affair, she had never felt so
alone. Heartbroken, she finds the pieces of the vivacious, creative
person she used to be packed away in a box in her attic. For the first
time in years, she uncaps her pen, takes a deep breath, and begins to
write. The young but exuberant voice that emerges onto the page is a
balm to the turmoil within her, a new beginning, and an astonishing
bridge back to herself.
In a piercing story about motherhood, autism, and love, New York Times
author Lisa Genova offers us two unforgettable women on the verge of
change and the irrepressible young boy whose unique wisdom helps them
both find the courage to move on.
(Harper - August 21st)
At the turn of the twentieth century, in a rural
stretch of the Pacific Northwest, a reclusive orchardist, William
Talmadge, tends to apples and apricots as if they were loved ones. A
gentle man, he's found solace in the sweetness of the fruit he grows and
the quiet, beating heart of the land he cultivates. One day, two
teenage girls appear and steal his fruit from the market; they later
return to the outskirts of his orchard to see the man who gave them no
chase. Feral, scared, and very pregnant, the girls take up on Talmadge's
land and indulge in his deep reservoir of compassion. Just as the girls
begin to trust him, men arrive in the orchard with guns, and the
shattering tragedy that follows will set Talmadge on an irrevocable
course not only to save and protect but also to reconcile the ghosts of
his own troubled past.
Transcribing America as it once was
before railways and roads connected its corners, Amanda Coplin weaves a
tapestry of solitary souls who come together in the wake of unspeakable
cruelty and misfortune. She writes with breathtaking precision and
empathy, and in The Orchardist she crafts an astonishing debut
novel about a man who disrupts the lonely harmony of an ordered life
when he opens his heart and lets the world in.
(Knopf - January 2012)
A debut of extraordinary distinction: through the life of her
unforgettable heroine, Hattie Shepherd, the author tells the story of
the children of the Great Migration, a story of bitterness and love and
the promise of a new North, built on the backs of Hattie's children.
1923, seventeen-year-old Hattie Shepherd flees Georgia for
Philadelphia, where, though her first two babies die because she can't
afford medicine, she keeps nine children alive with old southern
remedies and sheer love. Saddled with a husband who will bring her
nothing but disappointment, she prepares her children for a world she
knows will not be kind to them. Their trials are the trials on which the
history of America was forged, a tribute to the resilience of the human
spirit, and a force stronger than love or trouble, the determination to
get by and get through. A searing portrait of an unforgettable family,
an emotionally transfixing drama of human striving in the face of
insurmountable adversity, and a ferocious vision of humanity at its most
threadbare and elemental, The Twelve Tribes of Hattie introduces a writer of the very first order.
Hogarth - Sept 25th
In this stylish, haunting novel, journalist and novelist Lawrence
Osborne explores the reverberations of a random accident on the lives of
Moroccan Muslims and Western visitors who converge on a luxurious
desert villa for a decadent weekend-long party.
Jo Henniger, a doctor and children's book author, in search of an escape
from their less than happy lives in London, accept the invitation of
their old friends Richard and Dally to attend their annual bacchanal at
their home deep in the Moroccan desert – a ksar they have
acquired and renovated into a luxurious retreat. On the way, the
Hennigers stop for lunch, and the bad-tempered David can't resist
consuming most of a bottle of wine. Back on the road, darkness has
descended, David is groggy, and the directions to the ksar are
vague. Suddenly, two young men spring from the roadside, apparently
attempting to interest passing drivers in the fossils they have for
sale. Panicked, David swerves toward the two, leaving one dead on the
road and the other running into the hills.
At the ksar,
the festivities have begun: Richard and Dally’s international friends
sit down to a lavish dinner prepared and served by a large staff of
Moroccans. As the night progresses and the debauchery escalates, the
Moroccans increasingly view the revelers as the godless "infidels" they
are. When David and Jo show up late with the dead body of the young man
in their car, word spreads among the locals that David has committed an
Thus the stage is set for a weekend during
which David and Jo must come to terms with David's misdeed, Jo's
longings, and their own deteriorating relationship, and the flamboyant
Richard and Dally must attempt to keep their revelers entertained
despite growing tension from their staff and the Moroccan Berber father
who comes to claim his son's body.
With spare, evocative prose,
searing eroticism, and a gift for the unexpected, Osborne memorably
portrays the privileged guests wrestling with their secrets amidst the
remoteness and beauty of the desert landscape. He also gradually
reveals the jolting back-story of the young man who was killed and
leaves David’s fate in the balance as the novel builds to a shattering
(Allen and Unwin - March 2012)
The unforgettable story of three young friends making their way in the
world - told with warmth, music, clarity and simplicity, it speaks
directly to the heart.
Abandoned as a young child, Kalu, a cheeky
street kid, has against all odds carved out a life for himself in rural
India. In the quiet village of Hastinapore, Kalu makes friends: Bal,
the solitary buffalo boy, and Malti, a gentle servant girl, who, with
her mistress, Ganga Ba, has watched out for Kalu from the first day.
high in the branches of a banyan tree, Kalu chooses a leaf, rolls it
tightly and, doing what he's done for as long as he can remember, blows
through it. His pure simple notes dance through the air attracting a
travelling healer whose interest will change Kalu's life forever,
setting him on a path he would never have dreamed possible, testing his
self-belief and his friendships.
With all the energy and colour of India and its people, Dancing to the Flute
is a magical, heart-warming story of this community's joys and sorrows,
the nature of friendship and the astonishing transformative powers of
(#6 - John Corey Novel-my guilty pleasure)
Oct 16th - Grand Central Publishing
Anti-Terrorist Task Force agent John Corey and his wife, FBI agent
Kate Mayfield have been posted overseas to Sana'a, Yemen—one of the most
dangerous places in the Middle East. While there, they will be working
with a small team to track down one of the masterminds behind the USS Cole
bombing: a high-ranking Al Qaeda operative known as The Panther.
Ruthless and elusive, he's wanted for multiple terrorist acts and
murders—and the US government is determined to bring him down, no matter
the cost. As latecomers to a treacherous game, John and Kate don't know
the rules, the players, or the score. What they do know is that there
is more to their assignment than meets the eye—and that the hunters are
about to become the hunted.
Do any of these sound good to you?