Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind? Certainly not, if you consider any of the following books old friends. Now’s the time to download and re-read these recent classics, or even get to know them for the first time, as all these authors have fabulous new titles out next year. So what better way to fire up your Kindle, kick-start your Kobo or get hooked on your Nook…
In 1940, with the Japanese about to invade Malaysia, textile merchant and petty crook Johnny Lim embarks on honeymoon with his beautiful new wife Snow Soong. Years later, Snow’s son searches for the truth about his father. Look out for Tash Aw’s Five Star Billionaire next year – a kaleidoscopic tale of life in modern Shanghai.
A literary icon on the life of a Hollywood icon – Marilyn Monroe; the most famous blonde in the world. Oates explores the inner life of Monroe, looking beyond the myths to give us the story of the woman. 2013 is the year of The Accursed, as Oates plunges the distinguished residents of turn-of-the-century Princeton into a hell on earth, after a mysterious visitor comes to call on US President-to-be Woodrow Wilson.
Eighteen-year-old Helen Memel is in hospital after an intimate shaving accident. Helen then describes this, and various aspects of her sex life, sparing absolutely no detail. Wetlands was the book that everyone had to read in 2009, and Wrecked, a taboo-busting tale of sex, grief and marriage, will be the talking point of the coming year (so to speak).
A family with a history of secrets. But who knows what really happened? Amy Tan takes us back to Shanghai in the 1920s, through to the Second World War, and beyond in The Kitchen God’s Wife. Valley of Amazement will be out in Autumn 2013 and is another fabulous, multi-generational epic, following the legacy of a painting passed from grandmother, to mother, to daughter.
Kambili lives a closeted existence, ruled over by her fanatical father. But then a military coup leaves Nigeria changed forever, and Kambili’s eyes are opened to the possibilities of the world around her. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie returns in the spring with Americanah; a startling exploration of race, coming-of-age tale and heartrending love story all rolled into one.
Alex Cold is sent to live with his indomitable grandmother. She is a reporter, bound for an assignment deep within the Amazon rainforest. But rather than leave her grandson behind, she brings him along for the adventure. A departure from Isabel Allende’s usual style, Maya’s Notebook is a gritty tale of a young woman’s descent into addiction; her notebook is the diary of her longed-for redemption.