There a three due to be released in the first quarter that I’m particularly looking forward to (and that I will likely clear my schedule for—if you’re a client and you need something from me, I suggest you request it and set the deadline for it now).
The first is Melbourne-based author Anna Krien’s second non-fiction book, Night Games, which continues in her investigative journalism tradition of examining fraught, multifaceted issues. Her first (and award-winning) book, Into The Woods, explored the Tasmanian logging debate to stellar effect. Frankly, Krien’s ability to pour insight and poetic brilliance onto a page left me a little writer’s blocked and a lot in awe.
Night Games will turn the spotlight onto the shadows of football: ‘the world of Sam Newman, Ricky Nixon, Matty Johns, the Cronulla Sharks, and more’. Even non-football fans would be aware of and captivated by the tales of the exploits of these men, most recently, of course, of the train-wreck tale of Ricky Nixon and an incredibly young and seemingly unstable girl.
If Night Games is anything like Into The Woods, it’s going to be widely read and widely awarded; with it Krien will (if she hasn’t already) cement her status as one of Australia’s best writers.
The second book I’m desperately waiting to be released is one by the perennially popular, genre-hopping storytelling trendsetter Dave Eggers. Returning to his non-fiction roots (which I consider his best and sharpest), Visitants is Eggers’ first foray into travel writing (kind of surprising, I know—for some reason without any articulate-able reason for its basis, I would have thought he’d have gotten there sooner).
Visitants spans Eggers’ decades-long career’s entirety (has it really been more than five or so years since he lobbed onto the literary scene with A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius?), and apparently features writing on such disparate but characteristically complex places as Saudi Arabia, Sudan, China, Cuba, and Thailand. ‘Globetrotters and Eggers fans alike,’ the blurb tells us, ‘will find a faithful companion in his unique combination of humour, humanism, and empathy.’
The third book I can’t wait for is David Sedaris’ Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls. I mean, really, if you aren’t intrigued enough to pick up the book based on that title, you unquestionably don’t have a pulse.
Also a travel book of sorts, Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls (I can’t help but want to type that again, and to be impressed that he topped his previously outstandingly titled book, Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk) reportedly features a rant against litterers, a fascination with a disembodied arm found in a taxidermist’s shop, and the eating habits of Australia’s own kookaburras. I’m especially tempted to get the audiobook version of this one, as Sedaris’ voice makes anything and everything surprise snort-inducing funny.
If these three titles live up to their highly anticipated hype, 2013 is off to a crackingly good release-schedule start.