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Winnipeg Free Press



Books with buzz

Free Press literary editor picks a dozen noteworthy titles for early 2019

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 4/1/2019 (631 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Last year proved to be an exciting one for readers of both fiction and non-fiction. From the runaway success of Esi Eduygan’s novel Washington Black (both in Canada and elsewhere) to the deluge of Trump-related books to the continued rise in popularity of graphic novels and more, it was a year that saw sales at book stores continue to climb — and with good reason.

Rather than wait around for titles by big-name authors slated to drop new writing later this year (Margaret Atwood’s sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale called The Testaments, a memoir by Michelle Obama’s husband and — dare we say it? — a new instalment in the A Game of Thrones series from George R. R. Martin... maybe), here are a dozen books set to be published over the next few months that are sure to garner some significant buzz...


Merchants of Truth: The Business of News and the Fight for Facts
By Jill Abramson

February 5

Former New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson looks at the advances of two established (the Times and the Washington Post) and two more recent (Vice, Buzzfeed) media outlets, the way they have handled their respective audiences as well as the people reporting on and reading the stories they are creating.

Pre-Order on Amazon


Black Leopard, Red Wolf
By Marlon James

February 5

James follows up his Booker Prize-winning A Brief History of Seven Killings with the first novel of his Dark Star trilogy. The first of the three books introduces Tracer, an African hunter who goes against his better judgment and joins a group that has converged to seek out a boy who disappeared three years prior.

Pre-Order on Amazon


By Elizabeth McCracken

February 5

The Austin, Texas-based McCracken (The Giant’s House, Thunderstruck and Other Stories) returns with an epic family novel spanning the 20th century, detailing three generations of a Massachusetts whose matriarch dies and leaves the fate of the family bowling alley in limbo.

Pre-Order on Amazon



Alfred A. Knopf / The Associated Press files</p><p>Toni Morrison</p>

Alfred A. Knopf / The Associated Press files

Toni Morrison

The Source of Self-Regard: Selected Essays, Speeches, and Meditations
By Toni Morrison

February 12

One of the most poignant modern literary voices, the Pulitzer Prize winning Toni Morrison (Beloved, Jazz, The Bluest Eye) delivers a collection of essays and ruminations spanning four decades and which tackle a wide range of issues such as the role of the artist, 9/11, female empowerment, the notion of the "foreigner" and more.

Pre-Order on Amazon


The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump
By Andrew McCabe

February 19

Fired by U.S. President Donald Trump less than two days before he was slated to retire, the ex-deputy chief of the FBI recalls the time between Trump’s inauguration and his firing in explicit detail, outlines the role the FBI plays in relation to national security and ponders the threat Trump poses to the nation.

Pre-Order on Amazon


By Helen Oyeyemi

March 5

In her new novel, the London-based Boy, Snow, Bird author invites readers into the world of the Lee family — the young Perdita and her working mother, Harriet, whose gingerbread is a transcendental delight. When Perdita sets out to find Harriet’s long lost friend Gretel, a surreal telling of Harriet’s back story ensues.

Pre-Order on Amazon


Supplied photo</p><p>David Bezmozgis</p>

Supplied photo

David Bezmozgis

Immigrant City and Other Stories
By David Bezmozgis

March 12

The first short-fiction collection in a decade from the Toronto-based Giller finalist (The Betrayers, Natasha and Other Stories) explores the lives of a cross-section of immigrants to Canada, new Canadians and visitors to the country in this exploration of place, family, belonging and home.

Pre-Order on Amazon


The Parade
By Dave Eggers

March 19

The latest novel by the prolific San Francisco author (The Circle, The Monk of Mokha) tells the story of two men with wildly different personalities who are sent to a recently war-torn country to perform a dangerous task — build a highway that connects numerous villages with the country’s capital.

Pre-Order on Amazon


Little Boy

By Lawrence Ferlinghetti

March 19

The 99-year-old author, who kept company with the most prominent Beat poets, delivers what publicists are calling his "literary last will and testament" — a novel that traces a life through the Second World War, scholarly pursuits in Paris, the life of a poet, our uncertain future and more.

Pre-Order on Amazon



Normal People
By Sally Rooney

April 16

The Dublin-based Rooney (Conversations with Friends) made the Booker Prize long list with Normal People last year. The novel follows Connell and Marianne, who run in different circles of friends throughout school and struggle to hide their irrefutable, irresistible connection to each other.

Pre-Order on Amazon


Machines Like Me
By Ian McEwan

April 23

Set in an alternative 1980s London much different than that of real life (Britain lost the Falklands War, for example), the latest novel from McEwan (Atonement, The Comfort of Strangers) sees a love-struck Charlie buy a first-wave synthetic human to try to help spur a complex love triangle with the woman he loves.

Pre-Order on Amazon


Sarah Taylor / Winnipeg Free Press files</p><p>Ani DiFranco</p>

Sarah Taylor / Winnipeg Free Press files

Ani DiFranco

No Walls and the Recurring Dream
By Ani DiFranco

May 7

The New York-based singer, songwriter and activist’s memoir focuses on her life between ages 18 to 30, when DiFranco became an underground feminist folk sensation, started her own record label and managed to eschew convention and the mainstream while retaining a devoted legion of fans.

Pre-Order on Amazon


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