November 26, 2022
The holiday festivities are beginning but there are still 2022 books we don’t want to miss. Here we highlight voices from Spain, Canada and Ireland: feminist fiction, fiction (and non-) about dance, eye-opening pop culture, and suspenseful crime.
Buyer, The Center for Fiction Bookstore
The Last Days of Terranova
By Manuel Rivas
Published by Archipelago Books
Translated by Jacob Rogers from the Galician
It’s especially exciting when one of our own has a publication. In this instance, it is The Center’s bookseller Jacob Rogers’s highly praised translation of Manuel Rivas’s novel about a bookstore. Opened in 1935, the store is now in its waning days after a seventy-year run stewarded by a succession of family members. By unfolding the story of the shop, we also glimpse the history and political upheavals of northwestern Spain. Vividly poetic and a lovely carta de amor to bookstores everywhere.
A World of Curiosities
By Louise Penny
Published by Minotaur Books
Tried and true, reliably page-turning, each new installment of Penny’s Québécois Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series is eagerly anticipated. This, the 18th in the series, concerns an old murder that is reopened when the children of the victim return to the village of Three Pines to discover a century-old letter that reveals clues to the crime. The title refers to a bricked-in room, also reopened, resulting in new horrors, evil deeds, and unsolved mysteries that hit very close to Gamache’s heart. And catch up on the previous episode, in paperback, The Madness of Crowds. Penny just gets better and better..
By John Banville
Published by Knopf
Banville has a remarkably wide talent in several genres. The new novel harks back to some favorite characters from previous fiction (i.e. The Infinities). He plops his protagonist, Felix Mordaunt, recently released from prison and looking for a new start, into an old estate where he once lived. Banville fills the novel with wry commentary on cosmology, ghosts and romance. This playful, Booker-winning Dubliner is an extraordinary prose stylist, and as his hero says, “Words are all that remain, to hold the dark at bay.” Banville’s most recent mystery, April in Spain, is now in paperback.
They're Going to Love You
By Meg Howrey
Published by Doubleday
Holiday time brings many people into the theater, especially for perennial favorite The Nutcracker. This month we have a beautiful new novel that examines the culture of the ballet through the eyes of Carlisle, a dancer turned choreographer. It begins with an anticipated reconciliation with her father, a former ballet teacher in the West Village. The compelling and complicated world of dance, and NYC in the throes of the AIDS crisis, comes alive in Howrey’s (a former Joffrey Ballet dancer) lovely paean. Dance aficionados might also like to know there are two new dance bios just out: George Balanchine (Mr. B) and Martha Graham (Martha Graham)..
Butts: A Backstory
By Heather Radke
Published by Avid Reader Press
Radke is the well known contributor and editor of WNYC’s Radiolab. Her exhaustive history of the derrière might seem frivolous at first, but I urge you to dip in. She reminds us that, “…butts, as silly as they often seem, are tremendously complex symbols, fraught with significance and nuance, laden with humor and sex, shame and history.” By telling the story of their origins (in Kenya 1.9 million years ago) through modern day implications, (hence the chapter titled “Bootylicious,” which includes Jennifer Lopez and Kim Kardashian) one can see how examining this one body part can tell a much larger story. It is both revealing and hugely entertaining.