Welcome to today's guest author Erika Swyler (Light from Other Stars, The Book of Speculation), who is highlighting books launching in the next few months. If you're an author, and would like to curate a future Can't Wait to Read, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Readers, we encourage you to visit your local library or bookstore and take a look at these new titles.
I’m somewhat contrarian when selecting books. I try fairly hard to ignore any and all industry buzz. If there’s a flood of opinion that something should be beloved, I’m instantly predisposed to find flaws. When I’m eagerly anticipating a read, it’s often because I think that author does interesting things, or that it’s on a subject I’m itching to dive more deeply into, or that it might be the sort of book I wish I’d written myself. These upcoming books tick those boxes.
The Lightest Object in the Universe by Kimi Eisele
Algonquin Books, July 9, 2019. I’ve seen this spoken of as the rare optimistic novel about life after climate catastrophe. That in and of itself is enough to draw me in. In a time where we’re all apocalypse-focused, I’m rooting for books that are looking at how we might live, love, and continue to exist after the worst. How do you fall in love and can you make it work after environmental collapse? That’s a pretty important question.
Three Women by Lisa Taddeo
Avid Reader Press, July 9, 2019. There’s simply no way I won’t read intimate, honest discussions about modern American women’s relationships with sex. Across eight years, journalist Taddeo documented the sex lives and the impact sex has on three women in different areas of the country and different life circumstances. That work and effort is extraordinary. This looks to be the kind of book I’ll immediately read again the second I’ve finished it.
The Women of the Copper Country by Mary Doria Russell
Atria Books, August 6, 2019. In the early 1900s, a young woman in a copper mining town in Michigan confronts social injustice at potentially great personal expense. Russell’s The Sparrow is one of my all-time favorite science fiction reads, so I’m looking forward to seeing what she does in the historical arena.
The Yellow House by Sarah M. Broom
Grove Press, August 13, 2019. Of the few books I have paid attention to the buzz about, this is the one I truly can’t wait to get my hands on. It’s a memoir of a family’s relationship to their New Orleans home, and looks to be an extraordinary and deeply personal look at the cultural, racial, economic, and environmental forces that shape life and families.
The Divers' Game by Jesse Ball
Ecco, September 10, 2019. An examination of the nature of human compassion in a political and social climate like ours feels important. I recently read Ball’s previous novel, Census, and it’s stuck with me. Ball knows exactly how to play with what deserves detail and what demands vagueness. The deep humanity of the prose lent tenderness to an otherwise dark book. I’m excited to see that kind of exploration at work again.
Right after the Weather by Carol Anshaw
Atria Books, October 1, 2019. This sounds like exactly the sort of class-and-life collision that I find fascinating. A theater set designer having a middle-class midlife crisis crosses paths with the violence and criminality living next door. It’s the kind of set-up that makes for a full exploration of the undesirable traits we all harbor, and how we go on living with them.
Erika Swyler is the author of Light from Other Stars (Bloomsbury, 2019), about a young girl and an invention that alters the fabric of time, and The Book of Speculation (St. Martin's Press, 2019), the story of a librarian seeking to stop a centuries-old curse that plagues his family. Her essays and short fiction have appeared in Catapult, VIDA, The New York Times, and elsewhere. Swyler lives on Long Island, NY, with her husband and a petulant rabbit. She writes, bakes, is a casual runner, and has very strong feelings about typewriters. You can find her online at erikaswyler.com and on Twitter @ErikaSwyler.