The 2016 literary goodie bag comes with many treats across the genre board. From white pages of poetry to illustrated neon bliss, spring and summer promise books you (and your cat [and maybe the teen you nanny]) should look forward to. Get cozy with your credit card. These non-Curbside titles will look great in your shopping cart.
1. Come in Alone by Anslem Berrigan, Wave Books, May 2016
This is a book of rectangular poetry, where sentences loop around the edges of the page. Wave describes Berrigan “like a painter with the prosody of a poet.” Why are we so excited? New York-based Berrigan wrote in surprising poetic forms before, making his pensive and humorous thoughts urgent. Also, the physical act of reading this book sounds fun—to rotate the pages topsy turvy in this rectangular puzzle.
2. The Voyager Record: A Transmission by Anthony Michael Morena, Rose Metal Press, May 2016
“The Golden Record” was sent from Earth to space in 1977 and included images, music, directions to Earth, and greetings in more than fifty languages. The Voyager Record trailer says, “You think it will end with the sound of cars and jets and rocket ships, but it doesn’t. A crying newborn is kissed by its mother, which is followed by strange, pulsing sounds.” In this “transmission,” Morena muses on the two Voyagers in hybrid genre. Rose Metal Press has reimagined pieces of history before, in books such as Jim Goar’s The Louisiana Purchase and Kelcey Parker’s Liliane's Balcony. We anticipate Morena’s interpretation of the spacecrafts to be unique and intriguing.
4. The Mirror Thief by Martin Seay, Melville House, May 2016
Martin Seay’s debut novel adventures three incarnations of Venice. There is sixteenth century Venice, during the making of Venetian glass; Venice Beach, California, circa 1958; and the Venice casino in Las Vegas, circa now. The “old-fashioned, stay up all night” novel is destined to keep the reader on edge, questioning the mystery and divinity of something now so common as a mirror. The misplacement of this precious invention in its prime time would lead to terrifying, deadly consequences.
5. Patience by Daniel Clowes, Fantagraphics, March 2016
Over five years have passed since Clowes delivered a graphic novel to love and adore. In Patience, Clowes transports into a sci-if universe, flashes neon psychedelic colors, and shares a 180-page story of love. The book looks totally exuberant and is lengthy enough to settle our Clowesian hunger this year. Fantagraphics says this story is “utterly unique in the author’s body of work.” We hope and anticipate surprising (but not too surprising) satisfaction.
6. Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina, Candlewick Press, March 2016
The choice Young Adult novel for spring, Burn Baby Burn by Cuban American Meg Medina is a coming-of-age tale of Nora, a seventeen-year-old trapped in the famous 1977 New York City blackout. Blacked out New York City is dangerous, haunted by Son of Sam, a serial killer who shoots women on the streets. Nora must juggle her fear of the city, the peril of her family, and a delicate blooming romance. If you haven’t read Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass, believe when we say Meg Medina’s Young Adult writing will kick your ass.
7. The Reactive by Masande Ntshanga, Two Dollar Radio, June 2016
Ntshanga’s first novel, The Reactive, shares the story of Lindanathi, a young HIV-positive man dealing with the aftermath and guilt of his younger brother’s death. This story of bereavement is interwoven with escapades in the party scene of South Africa. Lindanathi’s journey begins before the wide distribution of ARVs and tracks his reckoning of safety in an adventurous lifestyle. Named “the hottest novel of the year” in South Africa, The Reactive promises heartache and humor for a global audience.