Author Topic: New shit books coming down the shit chute for 2021  (Read 2350 times)

Captain Crunch

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New shit books coming down the shit chute for 2021
« on: January 01, 2021, 03:58:11 PM »
I do realise this is a bit like your annoying uncle watching Top of the Pops and going “uuuuh it’s all just noise I can’t make out the words look at his hair, tsk tsk” BUT look at the state of this horrible little list from the BBC:

CW: contains shit

All of these books sound dreadful.  So bleak.  I’ve mentioned already my dislike of Sebastian Faulks and it looks like he’s just releasing the same book all over again. 

Call me a killjoy but I don’t want to read ANOTHER book about a drippy girl being crap on whatsapp.   

Richard Coles - no thank you, for reasons best explained in this thread.

And the insistence that because a book has been made into a film or TV show, it must be worth reading.  No.  Some careerist writers just write in a very screenplay style with an eye on future income, it’s not something to be celebrated. 

Very poor.

Anything good on the horizon for this year?

Fambo Number Mive

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Re: New shit books coming down the shit chute for 2021
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2021, 08:55:58 PM »
Quote
Anything good on the horizon for this year?

There's a new Stuart McBride book being released next week, "The Coffinmaker’s Garden" (Ash Henderson not Logan) and a new David Peace book book released in June, "Tokyo Redux".

Looking forward to reading both of those.

Captain Crunch

  • Twister, Dustbuster, Hospital Bed
Re: New shit books coming down the shit chute for 2021
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2021, 10:34:21 AM »
It looks like the BBC have just skimmed off a bit of popular toss in that article.  Not like them.

Anyway I’ve found a much better list from Evening Standard of all people:

A look ahead to the best new books in 2021: from Marcus Rashford to Bill Gates

Celebrity self-help titles, race, colonialism, gender and identity politics are the big themes in non-fiction, while in fiction publishers have splurged on commissioning lots of débuts alongside the more established names. Plenty of treats in store - here’s the lowdown:

Celebrity self-help

Jordan Peterson is back after a year of family crises and personal health problems, with a follow-up to 12 Rules for Life. The sequel,  Beyond Order:  12 More Rules for Life (Allen Lane) combines deeply personal lessons from his own life as well as from his clinical practice. Love him or loathe him,  it’s bound to ruffle feathers.

Recovering alcoholic Bryony Gordon writes about what her mental illness has taught her about mental wellness in No Such Thing as Normal (Headline), while mother of five business woman Anya Hindmarch offers a hands-on, practical guide to managing the stresses of daily life in If In Doubt Wash Your Hair: A Manual to Modern Life (Bloomsbury).

Man of the moment Marcus Rashford has turned author as well as setting up his own book club à la Oprah. His first title, in a new series aimed to inspire 11-16 year olds, is You are A Champion, Unlock Your Potential, Find Your Voice and Be The BEST You Can Be (Macmillan Children’s).

Race and colonialism

Books on race range from histories to economics to memoirs, sometimes a combination of all three. At the tip of what’s an extremely large iceberg are Biracial Britain (Constable) by Polish-Nigerian author Remi Adekoya , Brown Baby: A Memoir of Race, Family and Home (Bluebird) by Nikesh Shukla, Aftershocks (Sceptre) by Nadia Owusu , a memoir of ‘loss, racism and displacement’, Millennial Black (HarperCollins) by self-proclaimed antiracist ally Sophie Williams, and Raceless (Sphere) by Georgina Lawton,  ‘a journey through family secrets, self-discovery and racial identities in crisis’.

Several authors tackle colonialism in very different ways, from Alex Renton confronting his own family’s involvement in slavery in Blood Legacy: Reckoning with a Family’s Enslaving Past (Canongate), and Sathnam Sanghera in Empireland: How Imperialism Shaped Modern Britain (Viking) to Kehinde Andrews, who rather more controversially takes on capitalism and racism together in The New Age of Empire: How Racism and Colonialism Still Rule the World (Allen Lane).

Gender and Identity Politics

Likewise gender and identity politics get a good look-in, from Julie Bindel’s manifesto, Feminism for Women (Constable) and Julie Burchill’s Welcome to the Woke Trials (Constable) - apparently a ‘personal take’ on what being woke means, to You Are Not the Man You Are Supposed To Be: Into The Chaos of Modern Masculinity (Bloomsbury) by founder of the Book of Man website Martin Robinson, as well as Unspoken: Toxic Masculinity and How I Faced the Man Within the Man (HarperInspire) by grime artist Guvna B.

Robin Dunbar, who invented Dunbar’s Number (the maximum number of friends a single person can have), writes about masculinity and male friendship in Friends (Little, Brown), Hannah Jewell’s We Should All be Snowflakes: In Praise of Offence-Taking (Coronet) is self-explanatory, or at least more so than My Broken Vagina: One Woman’s Journey to Solve Sex (Hodder Studio) by Fran Bushe of Ad Libido comedy show fame.

Climate Change

Long time campaigner Bill Gates sets out his blueprint to save the world in How to Avoid a Climate Disaster (Allen Lane), while Hans Ulrich Obrist has edited a more light-hearted volume, Artists on the Climate Emergency (Penguin), from Olafur Eliasson to Marina Abramovic.

Social History

Will Edmund de Waal’s new book, Letters to Camondo, the story of the Count de Camondo and his treasure-filled Parisian palace, be a return to the kind of social history like The Hare with the Amber Eyes that made his name as a writer? Perhaps.
Olivia Laing investigates the body as a source of pleasure and pain in Everybody: A Book About Freedom (Picador), using her own experience together with the writings of renegade Austrian psychoanalyst, Wilhelm Reich, while in Frostquake (Chatto), Juliet Nicolson focuses her lens on the snowy, frozen winter of 1962, the year she turned eight.

Politics and Economics

There are no big politicians’ memoirs expected, but an economics treatise from Ed Miliband is modestly entitled Go Big: How to Fix Our World (Bodley Head), while Vince Cable tackles money and power in Money and Power: The World Leaders who Changed Economics (Atlantic).

Historian Niall Ferguson gives his ‘global post mortem for a plague year’ in Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe (Allen Lane).
Essays.

In his first volume of full length essays to be published in English, Karl Ove Knausgaard covers everything from art to the meaning of life in In the Land of the Cyclops (Harvill Secker), while Booker Prize-winner George Saunders gives a literary masterclass in A Swim in a Pond in the Rain (Bloomsbury) pairing  essays with seven classic Russian short stories by Chekhov, Turgenev, Tolstoy and Gogol.

Salman Rushdie’s essays from 2003 - 2020 on evolution of literature and culture come together in Languages of Truth (Cape) and Jeanette Winterson continues her love-hate, but mostly love, affair with AI and its implications for the way we live in 12 Bytes (Cape).

Biographies

To mark the 100th anniversary of Patricia Highsmith’s birth, a new biography, Devils, Lusts and Strange Desires: The Life of Patricia Highsmith (Bloomsbury) by Richard Bradford comes out this month (together with two newly discovered Patricia Highsmith stories, Under a Dark Angel’s Eye from Virago, while Dosteovsky in Love: An Intimate Life by Alex Christofi (Bloomsbury) celebrates the 200th anniversary of the Russian writer’s birth.

Other promising-sounding biographies include Fall:The Last Days of Robert Maxwell by John ‘A Very English Scandal’ Preston (Viking), Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and Its Urgent Lessons for Today by Eddie S. Glaude Jr (Chatto) about Baldwin and the history of racial injustice in the US, Keats by Lucasta Miller (Cape), which offers a ‘fresh interpretation’ of the poet’s life, and Philip Roth (Cape) by Blake Bailey, an authorised biography of the great writer, who died in 2018.

Misery Porn

The theme of suffering is key to many other new year memoirs, from Breathtaking: Life and Death in a Time of Contagion, an account of the pandemic by NHS palliative care doctor Rachel Clarke (Little, Brown) published exactly a year on from the first confirmed UK cases of Covid-19, to A Still Life by Josie George (Bloomsbury), who writes about living with pain and disability.

Claire Eastham tells the story of living with and overcoming panic in F**k I Think I’m Dying (Square Peg). Alexandra Heminsley, who wrote about learning to love wild swimming, has written a memoir about having a baby and her husband’s decision to transition in Some Body to Love (Chatto), while Ruth Coker Burks tells an extraordinary story in All The Young Men: How One Woman Risked It All To Care for The Dying (Trapeze), about becoming an accidental activist helping men with AIDS in the 1980s - a story soon to go to Hollywood.

Fiction

In fiction, the most keenly-anticipated title must surely be Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro (Faber) about Klara, an Artificial Friend who longs to make a human connection. Ishiguro’s daughter Naomi Ishiguro meanwhile sees the publication of her second novel, Common Ground (Headline),  a ‘bittersweet’ coming-of-age story.

Double Blind (Harvill Secker) by Edward St Aubyn follows three friends and their circle through a year of transformation, there are new short stories, First Person Singular (Harvill Secker) from Haruki Murakami, and Bill Clinton makes his fiction début in what’s being billed as an ‘explosive thriller’, The President’s Daughter (Century), co-written with James Patterson.

Other treats include Taffy Brodesser-Akner’s second novel, Long Island Compromise (Wildfire), which drills down into the collapse of the American dream, climate crisis is confronted by Richard Flanagan in The Living Sea of Waking Dreams (Chatto) and Asylum Road by Olivia Sudjic (Bloomsbury) looks at what happens when love and social conventions collide.

Rachel Cusk does more auto-fiction in Second Place (Faber) a story about a woman who invites a famous artist into her house, while in I Couldn’t Love You More (Bloomsbury), Esther Freud imagines a schoolgirl’s affair with a famous sculptor.

Oyinkan Braithwaite, author of last year’s surprise hit, My Sister, The Serial Killer, has written The Baby is Mine (Atlantic), described as  ‘Lagos gothic’, about parenting and playboys, while Francis Spufford returns with Light Perpetual (Faber) about life and resurrection in wartime London. O, William! (Viking) by Elizabeth Strout comes later in the year.

At some stage we will get The Wife of Willesden (Hamish Hamilton), by Zadie Smith, a play script reimagining Chaucer’s Wife of Bath, to tie-in with the production of the play at the Kiln Theatre.

The most bizarre novel for 2021 might just be the UK first publication and reissue of Bear, a 1970s Canadian ‘classic’ by Marian Engel (Daunt Books), apparently much admired by Margaret Atwood, about a shy woman librarian who visits a remote island, befriends a bear and has sex with him in the woods. Very strange.

Débuts


Encouraged no doubt by the diverse and début-heavy Booker Prize shortlist,  publishers are pushing first novels like there’s no tomorrow. Far too many - and far too many to mention here - but highlights include Animal (Bloomsbury) by Lisa Taddeo of Three Women fame, about a woman who describes herself as ‘depraved’, Luster (Picador) by Raven Leilani, about a black girl coming a-cropper in life, love and in her all white office, and similarly, The Other Black Girl (Bloomsbury) by Zakiya Dalila Harris, about a black girl who - mistakenly - thinks she’s found an ally when another black girl comes to work in her all white publisher’s office.

little scratch (Faber) by Rebecca Watson imagines a day in the life of a woman who’s just been raped, An Ordinary Wonder (Dialogue) by Buki Papillon imagines the life of a Nigerian boy who wants to live as a girl, while What It Feels Like for a Girl says it like it is, according to trans activist Paris Lees (Particular Books).

Open Water by 26 year-old British Ghanian, Caleb Azumah Nelson (Viking) has drawn comparisons to Sally Rooney’s Normal People, 'told from a black male perspective’.

People Like Her (Mantle) by a husband-and-wife team writing as Ellery Lloyd, is a cautionary tale about the perils of being a social influencer, and might just be the first example of Instagram noir, while The Push (Michael Joseph) by Ashley Audrain, about a mother feeling her newborn daughter ‘isn’t quite right’ is probably classifiable as mother-baby noir.

Last One at the Party (Hodder) by Bethany Clift is dystopian-virus noir, about a woman who has miraculously survived the 6DM virus (six days being the maximum survival time before the body destroys itself), for which Ridley Scott’s studio has snapped up the TV rights, and last, but by no means least, is our very own Evening Standard’s features editor,  Phoebe Luckhurst, with The Lock In (Michael Joseph), about a group of housemates who get trapped in their flat together, with hilarious, if disastrous, consequences.


Yay, George Saunders, heavy snow and people have sex with bears, that’s more like it.  Cheered me up. 

Captain Crunch

  • Twister, Dustbuster, Hospital Bed

bgmnts

  • Depressed to the point of poisonous toxicity.
Re: New shit books coming down the shit chute for 2021
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2021, 12:00:45 PM »
Third novel in as many years for the one author. The next Stephen King?

Inspector Norse

  • I bash the Bishop well.
Re: New shit books coming down the shit chute for 2021
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2021, 12:17:16 PM »
Guardian’s done a big list too.

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2021/jan/02/2021-in-books-what-to-look-forward-to-this-year?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

Quote
Everything You Really Need to Know about Politics by Jess Phillips (Simon & Schuster)
The opposition frontbench politician lifts the lid on the mysteries of Westminster.

BritishHobo

  • That is a really reductive impression
Re: New shit books coming down the shit chute for 2021
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2021, 03:19:16 AM »
Quote
The big fiction event of the autumn is likely to be Jonathan Franzen’s sixth novel, which is the first volume of a trilogy and has the lavish title Crossroads: A Novel: A Key to All Mythologies, Volume 1 (Macmillan). It is the story of the Hildebrandt family and the effects on the children of the joyless marriage between their unstable parents.

I feel exhausted just reading this summary.

buttgammon

  • Magnums (Magna)
Re: New shit books coming down the shit chute for 2021
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2021, 09:24:08 AM »
Franzen clearly likes the same sort of stuff as me, so why does his writing end up as the sort of middle-class ennui that makes for my most hated strand of American literature?

Inspector Norse

  • I bash the Bishop well.
Re: New shit books coming down the shit chute for 2021
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2021, 09:49:55 AM »
I like Franzen and think he’s a good and enjoyable writer and look forward to his books, but there’s always this bitter hollow cynicism there, as if he’s unable to hide his disdain for the characters or society he writes about; he’d be a better writer if he could move away from those themes or at least show some light and joy, make his characters more sympathetic or relatable: real people rather than punchbags for his hang-ups.

chveik

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Re: New shit books coming down the shit chute for 2021
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2021, 11:58:21 AM »
well that's a shitload of shit books. poor amazonia

Captain Crunch

  • Twister, Dustbuster, Hospital Bed
Re: New shit books coming down the shit chute for 2021
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2021, 04:04:24 PM »
The most bizarre novel for 2021 might just be the UK first publication and reissue of Bear, a 1970s Canadian ‘classic’ by Marian Engel (Daunt Books), apparently much admired by Margaret Atwood, about a shy woman librarian who visits a remote island, befriends a bear and has sex with him in the woods. Very strange.

I’ve just finished this and it’s great.  Very short, pretty and unusual. 

idunnosomename

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Re: New shit books coming down the shit chute for 2021
« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2021, 04:23:25 PM »
matt haig should be shot into the sun

imitationleather

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Re: New shit books coming down the shit chute for 2021
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2021, 12:52:20 PM »
matt haig should be shot into the sun

I read that book about depression he did and it was absolutely appalling. His solution for depression appeared to boil down to "Have a great life with lots of security. Also don't be that depressed to begin with."

bgmnts

  • Depressed to the point of poisonous toxicity.
Re: New shit books coming down the shit chute for 2021
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2021, 02:23:00 PM »
Who the fuck wants to read about a middle class family having ordinary struggles? Boring.

Re: New shit books coming down the shit chute for 2021
« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2021, 11:23:48 PM »
Quote
I’m a massive fan of the short-story format

Fuck off.

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