Wednesday 30 January 2013

Three books I'm looking forward to this year....

2013 is going to be a vintage year for my bookshelf, with a hat-trick of new novels by some favourite authors due out. I am not going to be able to restrain myself from pre-ordering all three in hard-back. In date order, they are:

Instructions for a Heatwave by Maggie O'Farrell, due out February 28.
It's July 1976. In London, it hasn't rained for months, gardens are filled with aphids, water comes from a standpipe, and Robert Riordan tells his wife Gretta that he's going round the corner to buy a newspaper. He doesn't come back. The search for Robert brings Gretta's children - two estranged sisters and a brother on the brink of divorce - back home, each with different ideas as to where their father might have gone. None of them suspects that their mother might have an explanation that even now she cannot share.

As a writer I think Maggie O'Farrell gets better and better, and her last book, The Hand That First Held Mine, had me enthralled throughout and bereft when I'd finished. Can't wait for this next one.

Life after Life by Kate Atkinson, due out April 2.
This new novel poses compelling and thought-provoking questions, including: "What if you had the chance to live your life again and again, until you finally got it right?"
In 1910, Ursula Todd is born during a snowstorm in England, but two parallel scenarios occur - in one, she dies immediately. In the other, she lives to tell the tale. As the possibility of having a second chance at life opens up, the novel unfolds, following Ursula as she lives through the events of the twentieth century again and again.

Kate Atkinson's debut novel, Behind The Scenes At The Museum is, to use a well-coined phrase, 'stunning'. Recently, she's written a series featuring the private detective Jackson Brodie, all of which I've loved. In this latest offering, I wonder if she will once again push the boundaries of convention as she did in her first book - it certainly sounds like an interesting read.

Helen Fielding
Bridget Jones Diary 3 by Helen Fielding, expected out this Autumn.
Helen Fielding has promised us a third installment of Bridget's famous diary. Although its content remains more or less a secret to us so far, rumour has it Bridget will be hitting her 40s, living in contemporary London and unhappily without a baby at the outset.
Bridget, the icon and the brand has become such a huge phenomenon, it's easy to forget how thoroughly enjoyable reading it actually was. Getting the chance to catch up with Bridget again will be fantastic. Even the small teaser that she'll be counting Twitter followers where cigarettes once were confirms to me that she is a kindred spirit, a soul-mate and a life-long friend. #missedyoubridget

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