Dispatches | January 25, 2013


Every once in a while, literature has a phenomenal year. For example, 1922 which saw the publication of Jacob’s Room, Ulysses, The Wasteland, Babbitt, The Worm Ouroboros, Siddhartha, and of course, Just William. Usually when us writers get grumpy (often), we like to complain that there will never be another year like 1922.

This is true.

However, there are still a lot of good books that come out every year. More and more people from more and more countries get to write, hopefully edit, and publish. But how do we separate the wheat from the chaff? How do we read the first edition of Ulysses in any given year instead of the first edition of something terrible, like what is written by WaPo’s 2012 Person in Publishing, E.L. James?  You’ll have to look carefully, and judge wisely. Here–in one place–are several different previews of the books to look forward to in 2013:

High Literary Genius

1. Scott Esposito’s Conversational Reading website presents a comprehensive look at the Most Interesting New Books of 2013 (with a particular and well-deserved emphasis on Dalkey Archive Press).

2. Because we have a huge crush on The Millions website, here is their preview (sunny-tempered as expected)

3. Across the pond, The Guardian has an  international look at the upcoming year in publishing. In case you did not know, The Guardian has a great books section and also tells you about the “literature-related non-book events” such as movies based on Hemingway and plays based on Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. As a bonus you can make fun of how long it takes for some American books to get published in the UK.

4. While we are all the way “over there”, here is The Telegraph‘s look at 2013. 

5. The Huffington Post continues their slightly insipid books section for no apparent literary reason, but they hit all the major books you “should” read this year.

6. Flavorpill also has a list of 30 Most Anticipated Books of 2013, even though the previews themselves tend closer to the Carver-esque ideal than marketers probably want.

7. The Writers No One Reads Tumblr is one of the funner things on the internet. They also point out several of the great books (many in translation) that will hit shelves this year. If you’re afraid of missing out on that new hep Slovenian novelist, this is where you should go.

8. The L.A. Times does it with a video! They have always been revolutionary. Caution: this video is half an hour long.

9. If you don’t want to plan out your whole year of reading quite yet, look through The Atlantic’s list covering only the Winter.

Good luck and happy reading!

What books are you most looking forward to this year? Tell us in the comments below: