2011 Other Recommended books

The Best Books of 2011? Part 2: Debut/Lesser Known Authors

Last week I showed you books to look out for in 2011 written by authors you’ve might have heard of. This week it is the turn of ones you probably haven’t.

Here are the books I’m getting excited about!

Note: UK release month shown in brackets.

The Facility by Simon Lelic (January)

Rupture was one of my favourite books of 2010. I’m quite sad that it didn’t receive the recognition it deserved, but I am very excited that his new book comes out in January. I really hope that I’ll be able to persuade lots of people to try Simon Lelic in 2011.


.The Tiger’s Wife by Tea Obreht (March)

Tea Obreht was the youngest author on The New Yorker’s Top 20 Writers under 40 List. This story about a tiger escaping from a Balkan zoo during WWII looks like a cross between The Jungle Book and the most harrowing of war novels. I love the sound of it!


. The History of History: A Novel of Berlin by Ida Hattemer-Higgins (January)

An American women finds herself in a forest just outside Berlin, clothes torn, with no recollection of what has happened to her. This harrowing story combines the history of Berlin with a bizarre world in which Nazi ghosts manifest themselves as falcons and buildings turn into flesh. If it is as interesting as it sounds then it could well become my book of the year!


.The Sentimentalists by Johanna Skibsrud (March)

This book came from nowhere to become the surprise winner of the 2010 Giller prize. I think it might be too quiet for me, but I know a lot of other people will be excited about its appearance in the UK.  



 Leela’s Book by Alice Albinia (June)

This book manages to combine India’s great epic, the Mahabharata, with a modern love story. I love books that defy genre and this sounds different enough to be worth trying.



  How to Read the Air by Dinaw Mengestu (30th December, 2010– it is near enougth to 2011 to count, isn’t it?!)

Dinaw Mengestu’s 2007 debut novel, Children of the Revolution, won the Guardian First Book Award. His new novel is a family history that takes place in war-torn Ethiopia and contemporary America. It is a story of identity and belonging that promises to be heart-breaking. I love a story that requires a box of tissues to be on hand!


Annabel by Kathleen Winter (March)

Annabel was shortlisted for the 2010 Giller prize  and Canadian readers with a similar taste in books to me are raving about it. I loved Middlesex, the only other book about a hermaphrodite that I’ve read, so I’m intrigued by how this one compares.


Waterline by Ross Raisin (July)

Ross Raisin’s last book, God’s Own Country,was nominated for eleven awards including the Guardian First Book Award, the John Llewelyn Rhys Prize and the Impac. Rumors are saying that this one is even better. This sounds like a book worth getting hold of.

The Echo Chamber by Luke Williams (May)

Narrated by a woman called Evie with uncannily keen hearing (she could even hear in the womb) it is the story of a childhood in colonial Nigeria, of travels with a lover across America and of Evie’s present-day efforts to record her life and adventures before her powers of listening fade completely …

The Free World: A Novel by David Bezmozgis  (May)

David Bezmozgis was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book award in 2004 for his short story collection Natasha and other Stories. Free World, his debut novel, was snapped up in a “substantial five-figure deal”. It centres on Russian émigrés living in Italy in the 1970s and promises to be a comic, but tragic tale about the intensity of family relationships.

The End of Everything by Megan Abbott (April)

From the US and UK publishing teams of The Lovely Bones and Room comes a new novel that promises to be just as moving. It is about a thirteen-year-old girl who goes missing and her best friend who uncovers some dark secrets in a quest to uncover the truth.

Other books to keep an eye out for:

Ours are the Streets by Sunjeev Sahota (January)

Caribou Island by David Vann (January)

The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown (April)

The Storm at the Door by Stefan Merril Block (May)

Africa Junction by Ginny Baily (June)

Which debut authors are you getting excited about?

2011 Other

The Best books of 2011? Part 1: Authors We Know and Love

The lists for the best books of 2010 books are everywhere at the moment, so I thought it would be nice to have a look at some of the books which we might be talking about this time next year.

Here are the 2011 books that I am getting excited about!

Note: UK release month shown in brackets.

Untitled Novel by Rohinton Mistry (July)

The book which I’m most excited about reading in 2011 hasn’t even got a title yet. I know nothing about it. All I know is that A Fine Balance is my favourite book of all time.

1Q84 by Haruki Murakami (October)

We’ve waited a long time for this one, but publication is finally in sight. A new Murakami is a good reason to celebrate, but a return to his unique bizarreness is very special. Read this summary and try to not be excited.

Cain by Jose Saramago (July)

This is the last book Saramago wrote before his death last year. Its religious content meant that it caused some controversy on its release in Portugal. The English translation will be available this summer and I am intrigued by it.

After the End of the World by Chris Cleave (July)

The Other Hand was an emotional roller coaster and it doesn’t sound as though this one is going to be any happier. His new book is about a relationship between a young couple, one of whom has terminal cancer. I’m looking forward to getting the tissues out!

The Islanders by Christopher Preist (October)

I loved The Prestige when I read it earlier this year. I think Christopher Preist’s unique mixture of great writing and complex plotting may mean that he will be added to my list of favourite authors by the end of the year.

The Land of Painted Caves – Earth’s Children Book 6 by Jean Auel (March)

Exactly 30 years after the publication of The Clan of the Cave Bear, the final book in the series is finally here. I just need to read books 4 and 5 first! 

River of Smoke by Amitav Ghosh (June)

This is the second in the Ibis trilogy. I wasn’t a big fan of Sea of Poppies, but I know I’m in the minority. The question is whether or not this one will be good enough to be short listed for the Booker Prize too.

Great House by Nicole Krauss (February)

The History of Love seems to be loved by a lot of people. Her follow up, Great House, was released in the US in 2010 and has received rave reviews. It finally reaches UK shores in February. I’m going to try to read The History of Love soon and if I enjoy it as much as I think I will then I’ll try to squeeze Great House in before the end of 2011. I can’t believe I’m already planning that far ahead!!

Last Man in Tower by Aravind Adiga (June)

His debut novel, White Tiger, won the Booker Prize. I’ll be interested to find out what this one is like.

The Lake of Dreams by Kim Edwards (January)

The Memory Keeper’s Daughter was a huge hit. I’m sure that this one will be too.

When the Killing’s Done by TC Boyle (March)

I’m a big fan of TC Boyle and this book which examines a rat’s right to life sounds thought provoking and original. I can’t wait!

Other 2011 releases to look out for:

Pulse by Julian Barnes (January)

The Leopard by Jo Nesbo (January)

A Man of Parts by David Lodge (April)

The Final Testament of the Holy Bible by James Frey (April)

Bullfighting by Roddy Doyle (April)

The Pale King by David Foster Wallace (April)

The Lake by Banana Yoshimoto (May)

The Forgotten Waltz by Anne Enright (May)

There but for the by Ali Smith(June)

Mr Fox by Helen Oyeyemi (June)

Which 2011 books are you most looking forward to?

Come back next week to see which books by debut/lesser known authors I’m looking forward to!