Enough of 2013. It’s time to look to the future. What will you need on your 2014 reading list? Here’s the best of the bunch.
1. The Railway Man, Eric Lomax
Released: 2nd January 2014, Vintage
The Railway Man is the true story of Eric Lomax, who was sent to a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp during World War II, where he was tortured and forced to work on the infamous Burma-Siam Railway.
The experience haunted him for the rest of his life. Fifty years later, he was able to meet and reconcile with one of his former torturers.
If you’re one of those god-awful people (like me) who need to tell everyone how much better the book was than the movie, you’ll need to get on this one quick.
The film, which stars Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth, premieres on 10th January in the UK. Watch the trailer on IMDB.
2. The Invention of Wings, Sue Monk Kidd
Released: 7th January 2014, Tinder Press, Hachette
From the author of bestselling The Secret Life of Bees, it’s been recommended by Oprah’s book club, so it already looks set for stardom.
Set in the deepest darkest American South in the 19th century, The Invention of Wings opens as Hetty ‘Handful’ Grimké is taken from the slave quarters she shares with her mother, and presented as a birthday gift to her master’s eleven-year-old daughter.
3. Every Day is for the Thief, Teju Cole
Released: 6th March 2014, Faber & Faber
Teju Cole’s debut Open City was released to great critical acclaim in 2012. It won the PEN/Hemingway Award and the New York City Book Award for Fiction. Cole’s a powerful new literary voice among those emerging from Africa at the moment (Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche and Taiye Selasi, for a start).
Every Day is for the Thief paints a portrait of modern day Nigeria, through the eyes of a returning expatriate.
4. A New York Winter’s Tale, Mark Helprin
Released: 13th Feb 2014, Picador
This one begins with a burglar breaking into a New York mansion, only to find that the occupant is in. This young girl, who’s dying of consumption, begins an affair with the Irish robber, which leads them both to some strange (and supernatural) places.
It’s just been made into a film (called ‘Winter’s Tale’) starring Russell Crowe, Colin Farrell and Jessica Brown Findlay.
The UK premiere of ‘Winter’s Tale’ is 21st February 2014 (14th February in the US). Watch the trailer.
5. Leaving the Sea, Ben Marcus
Released: 9th January 2014, Granta
This one’s a short story collection, full of dystopian delights. Within its stories are nightmarish parallel realities, ‘where strange illnesses strike at random and where people disappear without a trace’ (Granta). Not for the faint of heart!
Ben Marcus’ writing has previously been published all over the literary shop: in Granta, the New Yorker, Harper’s, the Paris Review, and the New York Times.