15 Awesome New Releases for Spring 2015

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Now that Spring is arriving, it’s time to dust off the patio table and get yourself a whole new set of books for your collection. Featuring Erik Larsen, Jonathan Lethem, Hanif Kureishi and others, check out some of the most anticipated releases of the Spring below. Let us know what you think!

1.  Erik Larsen – Dead Wake

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Larson has proven his success as a writer of colorful history and true crime during some of the brightest and darkest eras in history. Dead Wake is about the sinking of civilian cruise liner the Lusitania during World War I, an attack that prompted the United States to enter into the Great War.

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2. Mario Vargas Llosa – The Discreet Hero

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Llosa is already an immortal figure in the literary world, but his output of strong and evocative novels continues with the Discrete Hero, about two middle-aged Peruvians trying to balance family and business life. The novel is a particular realist work reminiscent of George Eliot or Emile Zola.

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3. Kirstin Valdez Quade – Night at the Fiestas

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Quade sets this selection of short stories in northern New Mexico, where she explores the depths of love of and depravity from a number of different perspectives. A great, intricate read for those who love Alice Munro and Flannery O’Connor.

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4. Hanya Yanagihara – A Little Life

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A novel about trying to be successful in New York City, Yanagihara brings together a colorful cast of characters into 730 pages of reflection on happiness and success in the 21st century. A great book for those who loved Tom Wolfe’s Bonfire of the Vanities.

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5. Lynne Truss – Cat out of Hell

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Truss did something you would never imagine a writer would do: Write a novel from the perspective of a cat. Set in rural England, the verbose, tale-telling cat is not even Truss’ first work focusing on cats. Her 1995 essay collection, Making the Cat Laugh, explores the author’s obsession with the timeless authorial companion.

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6. Thomas Keneally – Shame and the Captives

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Australian bestselling author Keneally has seen his share of success, but his 31st novel is among his strongest work. About an World War II internment camp, the novel tracks an attempted escape by hundreds of prisoners as the incarcerated and incarcerators try and find meaning in their lives.

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7. Jonathan Lethem – Lucky Alan

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Lethem, author of such successful works as Motherless Brooklyn and The Fortress of Solitude, taps into his inner postmodernist in this collection of short stories. Comical but sharply critical of both artistic vanity and consumerism, Lethem’s 20th book is a reminder that he’s still one of America’s best.

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8. Neal Stephenson – Seveneves

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Snow Crash introduced a whole generation to cyberpunk, The Diamond Age to the curious world of steampunk. So what will Seveneves do? When only a handful of survivors leave a wrecked Earth, it takes their progeny 5000 years to return. The novel is about the return of several separate races onto a forgotten planet.

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9. Kazuo Ishiguro – The Buried Giant

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Ishiguro, as unique in his subject matter as he is masterful in his craft, goes 1,500 years into the past to look at a Britain from both a historical and fantastical perspective. Combining familiar lore with an unpredictable plotline, Ishiguro moves away from science fiction and into something completely different.

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10. Hanif Kureishi – The Last Word

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Buddha of Suburbia made Kureishi a fan favorite the world over, but now in his sixties, the celebrated novelist is taking a closer look at the role of the author in society. About a biographer commissioned to write about a haughty, unlikeable post-colonial novelist (apparently based off of V.S. Naipaul), The Last Word takes an unflinching look at the good and evil inherent in the false-propheteering trade of fiction writing.

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11. Elliot Ackerman – Green on Blue

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Ackerman, a decorated veteran of the War in Afghanistan, depicts the complex and all-too overlooked conflict between American and allied Afghan soldiers from the perspective of Aziz, who struggles to comprehend a battle few Americans understand in the first place. In an age where cultural appropriation is a cardinal sin, this novel makes a great case for depicting an opposing perspective.

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12. Rafael Yglesias – The Wisdom of Perversity

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In an age where power protects some from the consequences of the law, Yglesias takes a close look at paedophelia through the eyes of three sufferers who have come of age and want revenge. Yglesias’ tenth novel looks at the many problems with how society deals with the horrific acts of sex offenders, particularly in Hollywood.

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13. Jane Urquhart – The Night Stages

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Canadian novelist Urquhart adds a hint of magic to her historical novels, all of which transform the past into magical, journey-filled landscapes filled with intrigue and unforgettable characters. About a woman who falls in love with a meteorologist in the 1950’s, Urquhart blends romance with a murder mystery in a story that spans the Atlantic.

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14. Lynn Crosbie – Where Did You Sleep Last Night?

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Anansi Press dubbed Crosbie’s book “Haute Fan Fiction”, but this novel about a teenager who falls in love with the ghost of Kurt Cobain looks closely at the lifestyle that brought him to life–and eventually killed him.

15. Tom McCarthy – Satin Island

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Satin Island is hard to categorize, but then again, a lot is in this era of big data and artificial intelligence. That’s what McCarthy’s novel is all about, and he brings to life a world that some believe can be entirely calculated, but is in so many ways elusive, as well.

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Scotiabank Giller Prize Announces All-Star Jury


The Scotiabank Giller Prize Committee has just announced that Margaret Atwood, along with Esi Edugyan and American author Jonathan Lethem, will make up the coveted prize jury for the 2013 award.

The Giller is one of the most coveted in Canada, and it will grant the winner of this year’s prize with 50,000 dollars in cash. Previous winner include jury members Atwood and Edugyan, along with celebrated writers like Alice Munro and Michael Ondaatje. Not only has this award bolstered the sales of previously-recognized works, but many have also gone on to be nominated for the Man Booker Prize, arguably the British Commonwealth’s largest literary recognition.

The Giller Prize was founded in 1995 by philanthropists Jack Rabinovitch as a tribute to his late wife, and has in recent years received the sponsorship of Scotiabank, helping to raise the prize money from 25k to 50k. While the grand jury is often lead by notable figures, this year’s choices are particularly considerable.

Edugyan rose to immediate fame with her 2011 tour-de-force Half-Blood Blues, winning the Giller and getting shortlisted for both the Orange and Man Booker prizes. Lethem is also a highly-decorated author; his book Motherless Brooklyn won the National Book Critic’s Circle Award in 1999 and he will be releasing a prolific ninth novel this fall.

We will still have to wait until September for the longlist and November for the final decision. Until then, you can check out a list of recent works that they have deemed eligible for the upcoming prize.