Scuppernong Bookshelf

October Surprises

Histories, mysteries and a brand new Green

 

By Brian Lampkin

For readers of young adult fiction, there’s only one date that matters: October 10, 2017. That’s the day that Dutton Books will release the new John Green novel, Turtles All the Way Down. It’s Green’s first book in five years. The extraordinary success of The Fault in Our Stars left Green wondering if he’d ever write another book.

In 2016, he said of his time between books: “Somewhere in that period, my job stopped being Person Who Writes Books, which is a present-tense job title, and became Person Who Wrote That One Book, which is a past-tense job title.” His thousands of fans had begun to despair: There might never be another emotionally wrenching, radically inspiring, real-life-revealing John Green novel. In a tearful YouTube post, Green added, “I don’t know if I’ll ever publish another book and even if I do, I don’t know whether people will like it.”

But here it is, finally, another book filled with “shattering, unflinching clarity in a brilliant novel of love, resilience and the power of lifelong friendship,” according to Dutton Books. Scuppernong Books will host a Midnight Release Party of Turtles All the Way Down immediately after a showing of The Fault in Our Stars at the Carolina Theatre at 9 p.m. on October 9.

Other October New Releases:

October 3: Origin, by Dan Brown (Doubleday, $29.95). As excited as the YA world is about John Green, there remain equally dedicated readers of Dan Brown (surely this is not what is meant by the term “writers of color”). This novel will “navigate the dark corridors of hidden history and extreme religion.” Sound familiar?

October 3: Going Into Town: A Love Letter to New York, by Roz Chast (Bloomsbury, $28). From the No. 1 NYT bestselling author of Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?, Roz Chast’s new graphic memoir is a hilarious illustrated ode/guide/thank-you note to Manhattan as only she could write it.

October 10: The Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany, by Thomas Childers (Simon & Schuster, $35). By 1932 the Nazis had become the largest political party in Germany. Although Hitler became chancellor in 1933, his party had never achieved a majority in free elections. Within six months the Nazis transformed a dysfunctional democracy into a totalitarian state and began the inexorable march to World War II and the Holocaust. Sounds like necessary reading for our times.

October 17: Where the Past Begins: A Writer’s Memoir, by Amy Tan (Ecco Press, $28.99). The author of The Joy Luck Club and The Valley of Amazement delves into vivid memories of her traumatic childhood, confessions of self-doubt in her journals, and heartbreaking letters to and from her mother and gives evidence to all that made it both unlikely and inevitable that she would become a writer.

October 17: The Letters of Sylvia Plath Volume 1: 1940-1956 (Harper, $45). A comprehensive and historically accurate text of the known and extant letters that she wrote. Intimate and revealing, this compilation offers fans and scholars generous and unprecedented insight into the life of one of our most significant poets.

October 24: I Can’t Breathe: A Killing on Bay Street, by Matt Taibbi (Speigel & Grau, $28). In America, no miscarriage of justice exists in isolation, of course, and in I Can’t Breathe Taibbi examines the conditions that made an infamous tragedy possible. Featuring vivid vignettes of life on the street and inside our Kafkaesque court system, Taibbi’s kaleidoscopic account illuminates issues around policing, mass incarceration, the underground economy and racial disparity in law enforcement.

October 31: The King Is Always Above the People: Stories, by Daniel Alarcon (Riverhead, $27). A slyly political collection of stories about immigration, broken dreams, Los Angeles gang members, Latin American families, and other tales of high-stakes journeys, from the award-winning author of War by Candlelight and At Night We Walk in Circles.  OH

Brian Lampkin is one of the proprietors of Scuppernong Books.

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