WITH the possibility of more corporate mergers, the rise of digital platforms and the eternal threat of the death of the printed word, the publishing world is beset by challenges.
Nothing seems about to change in this department as we flip the calendar to another year.
Yet book publishers are eternal optimists. They are always enchanted by what they read and they believe a ready-made audience exists for everything they release.
Thousands upon thousands of books will be published in 2013. Below are a dozen we are anticipating in the coming months.
The World Until Yesterday, by Jared Diamond (Viking, Jan. 5) In such books as Collapse and Guns, Germs and Steel, the American academic has become one of the world’s leading public intellectuals, blending ideas from geography, anthropology and sociobiology.
His new book, due out first thing in the new year, is subtitled What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies?
Beyond Belief, by Jenna Miscavige Hill (William Morrow, Feb. 1) Subtitled My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape , this exposé has been penned by the niece of the controversial religion’s current leader, David Miscavige. Maybe the straw that broke the camel’s back for her was being fixed up with Tom Cruise.
It’s All Good: Delicious, Easy Recipes That Will Make You Look Good and Feel Great, by Gwyneth Paltrow (Grand Central, April 2) Not only is the Academy Award-winning actress gorgeous and talented, she likes to frolic in the kitchen — and even make money from her efforts.
This is Paltrow’s follow-up to her 2011 bestseller, My Father’s Daughter: Delicious, Easy Recipes Celebrating Family & Togetherness.
Instant Mom, by Nia Vardalos (HarperCollins, April 2) Winnipeg’s favourite comedy actress turns her populist sense of humour to a subject near and dear to her heart — her attempts to conceive a baby with her actor husband, Ian Gomez.
Her subtitle, I Thought I Knew Love, and Then I Met My Daughter, promises that her story has as happy an ending as her famous movie, My Big Fat Greek Wedding.
Amityville & Sorrow by Peggy Riley (Little, Brown, April 16) Big things are expected from this American literary debut, which focuses on a mother and her two teenage daughters who escape from a polygamous cult in rural Oklahoma.
Author Riley, originally from Los Angeles, lives in England, where she was achieved some success as a playwright.
Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls, by David Sedaris (Little Brown, April 23) A new collection of essays from the bestselling American humorist tackles everything "from the perils of French dentistry to the eating habits of the Australian kookaburra, from the squat-style toilets of Beijing to the particular wilderness of a North Carolina Costco."
Paris: The Novel, by Edward Rutherfurd (Doubleday, April 27) The City of Light gets the same ambitious fictional treatment its author perfected in his bestsellers on London and New York.
The storyline follows invented characters through hundreds of years of Parisian history.
And the Mountains Echoed, by Khaled Hosseini (Riverhead, May 21) The California-based medical doctor and Afghani immigrant hit the literary big time with his novels The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns .
Little is known about his third effort, but if it runs true to form, it will be a life-affirming tale of courage, loyalty, love and the importance of family.
Trains and Lovers, by Alexander McCall Smith (Random House, June 11) The insanely prolific mystery writer offers the North American release of his first new stand-alone novel in years. It is being described as "a story that explores the nature of love — and trains — through a series of intertwined romantic tales."
The Orenda, by Joseph Boyden (Hamish Hamilton, September) The Canadian Giller Prize winner of Three Day Road and Through Spruce Epic returns with a historical novel set in Georgian Bay area at the dawn of the 18th century. His publisher describes it as "heartbreaking, intensively violent and cinematic."
David and Goliath, by Malcolm Gladwell (Little, Brown, October) Winnipeggers who saw the famed New York-based writer and author speak in town last October got a sneak preview of some of the ideas in his new book, being billed as "an exploration of what happens when underdogs confront the powerful."
Gladwell, Ontario-born and raised, is best known for such non-fiction hits as The Tipping Point and Outliers.
Rolling Stones: My Adventures Among the Curling Peoples, by Al Rae (Random House Canada, November) This is the tentative title for the debut book by Winnipeg CBC Comedy Festival director, whose Scottish roots are finally being put to good comic use. Rae will be getting his literary rocks off in time for the 2014 Winter Olympics.