This upcoming month will see the return of some of the most revered authors’ works to bookshelves as well as that of some who are new to the game, leaving bibliophiles drooling. For those who’ve resolved to expand their stacks this new year, or for those who can’t fit another book on their shelf, here are three books to look forward to next month.
“Disgruntled: A Novel”
By Asali Solomon
Following “Get Down,” her 2008 anthology of short stories, Asali Solomon’s first novel, “Disgruntled,” will be released on Feb. 3. “Disgruntled” follows 8-year-old Kenya Curtis from childhood through adolescence in West Philadelphia during the late 1980s as she struggles to identify what makes her different from her peers.
Solomon took an autobiographical approach to writing this novel, including elements of her own childhood, primarily the adversity associated with being a misfit. Kenya practices a distinct form of Christianity, she is not permitted to recite the Pledge of Allegiance and she calls her father “Baba,” all things that separate her from others her age. As an indication of what to expect, author and editor Sarah Weinman tweeted about the book, saying, “When you think you are only going to read a few pages and then lose track of time and realize you have read the entire book in one sitting.”
“Get in Trouble: Stories”
By Kelly Link
In her first book written for adults in nearly a decade, praised writer Kelly Link is re-entering the ring Feb. 10 with this collection of otherworldly short stories. Known primarily for her bewitchingly dark style, Link will take readers into her universe with stories surrounding the supernatural and macabre, as well as a ghost hunting expedition that takes place in a Florida swamp. In recent years, Link has written several children’s books, including “Stone Animals,” about a family who moves into a haunted house where the lawn ornaments come to life. “Stranger Things Happen,” one of her last books for adults, is a collection of stories about aliens with sex appeal and an apocalyptic beauty pageant, among other oddities. Link’s previous work has been described as “quirky, spooky and smart,” and you can be sure this collection will follow suit.
By Matt Sumell
“…I suck at making decisions. My younger brother, on the other hand, doesn’t. He slept with three women, decided he liked the third, and married her.”
In an excerpt published in The Paris Review from his first novel, “Making Nice,” out Feb. 3, Matt Sumell delineates the family structure of Alby, the narrator, following the death of his mother. Through a series of stories, Alby manages grief through insulting and assaulting those around him and making light of his experiences with heartache. Publishers Weekly said “Sumell’s debut demonstrates an almost painful compassion for the sinner in most of us, making ‘Making Nice’ even more fun than eavesdropping in a confession booth.” Although new to the world of novels, Sumell could earn his place on the bookshelf with this novel.