Wednesday, May 2, 2012

6 Fiction titles to watch for in May

Based on the number of great books being released this month, I'm thinking May must be a big month for fiction. And it makes sense, summer vacations are just around the corner and folks are already looking for vacation reading. With so many great books coming to my attention, it was hard to narrow it to my standard five: so I didn't. Here are six books to watch out for this month!

The Family Took Shape (M) by Shashi Bhat (May 1st). I am very excited about this first novel with Halifax connections. From the publisher: "When Mira Acharya's father dies, the challenges facing her Indo-Canadian family become that much more daunting. Ravi, her autistic older brother, requires special care but longs to be just like other children. Their mother must work full time to keep a roof over their heads and still make time to be a parent to an over-achiever and a developmentally challenged child. As much as Mira loves her mother and brother, she resents the situations in which living with them places her.... The Family Took Shape, is a touching, hilarious, and endearingly honest story about one unique family's search for happiness in Canadian suburbia." Shashi Bhat is a creative writing professor at Dalhousie University.

Another first time Canadian novel can be found this month with Grace O'Connell's Magnified World (M) (May 29th). When her mother kills herself, Maggie goes back to work, but begins to suffer blackouts, while at the same time receiving visits from a mysterious stranger who offers to help. The publisher calls it "A vivid look at the various confusions that can set in after a trauma and an insightful, gently funny portrait of a woman in her early twenties... [that] dramatizes the battle between the head and the heart and the limitations of both in unlocking something as complicated as loss." The Magnified World is one of two books included in this year's Knopf's New Faces of Fiction (the other being Ru by Kim Thuy), a program that has previously featured debuts from Ann-Marie MacDonald, Yann Martel, Esi Edugyan and other now well-established names in Canadian fiction.

Everybody Has Everything (M) by Katrina Onstad (May 29th). Looking for some gripping family drama? This one, from the Canadian author of 2006's How To Be Happy (described as "the thinking woman's answer to Chick Lit"), sounds sure to fit the bill. From the publisher: "What happens when the tidy, prosperous life of an urban couple is turned inside out by a tragedy with unexpected consequences? After a car crash leaves their friend Marcus dead and his wife Sarah in a coma, Ana and James are shocked to discover that they have become the legal guardians of a 2½-year-old, Finn."

Moving away from Canadian authors, fans of cozy mysteries will definitely want to know about the first book in a new series set in post-World War II England. Sidney Chambers And The Shadow Of Death (M) by James Runcie (May 1st) introduces amateur sleuth and Anglican minster Sidney Cambers investigating a number of cases. I've already seen several comparisons to G. K. Chesterton's Father Brown series. While if thrills, rather than civilized sleuthing are more your thing, you might be interested in Ice Fire by David Lyons (May 1st). Another series first, this one introduces Louisiana Federal Judge Jock Boucher in a fast-paced legal thriller that brings in corruption and ecological disaster.

I'll wrap up with a couple of big name books that you'll want to know about. Nobel Prize winning author Toni Morrison has a new novel in May, Home (M) (May 8th) tells the story of a former Korean War soldier, facing racial prejudice and family strife upon his return to America. Joseph Kanon doesn't have the same name recognition as Morrison, but his spy thrillers are popular nonetheless. Istanbul Passage (M) (May 29th) brings readers to 1945 Turkey, and follows an American undercover agent at the beginning of the Cold War.

No comments:

Post a Comment