What book releases are receiving attention in February 2014? These are the titles that you might want to check out, the ones creating the most buzz. There are several short story collections
here, which, like a Valentine's chocolate sampler, give you a sweet variety in one package. Another good thing about short stories -- you can sample the author without investing in a whole novel. And since February is such a short month, it seems fitting to dive into this form of fiction.
'The UnAmericans' by Molly Antopol - February 3
W.W. Norton & Co.
Molly Antopol was named one of "5 under 35" to watch by the National Book Foundation in 2013. The UnAmericans is her debut, a collection of short stories that takes places in several different times and places. The stories look at family relationships and the pressures caused by social and political pressures. Many of the characters are American or Israeli, and much of the tension comes from unmet expectations.
'Glitter and Glue' by Kelly Corrigan - February 4
Glitter and Glue
is a memoir
about Corrigan coming to terms with her relationship mother. Her mother once explained that while their father was the glitter, she was the glue. Corrigan leaves for Australia as a young adult, and only as she gains life experience as a nanny does she come to appreciate her mother and reconcile with her.
'After I'm Gone' by Laura Lippman - February 11
Laura Lippman's mystery explores what one man's disappearance means by looking at the lives of the five women he left behind. Is he dead? If not, where is he? Like all good mysteries, the details reveal the big picture bit by bit and the characters are a mix of virtues and flaws. A good pick for those who want a page turner.
'The Museum of Extraordinary Things' by Alice Hoffman - February 18
Alice Hoffman is known for books that weave magic into everyday life (such as Practical Magic
and Skylight Confessions
). The Museum of Extraordinary Things
is about a girl whose father runs a sort of freak show on Coney Island in the early twentieth century. She meets a runaway from an Orthodox Russian community. This is a book of young love and a story of New York City for Hoffman's fans.
'Kinder Than Solitude' by Yiyun Li - February 25
Kinder than Solitude is a literary mystery that moves between China and America in the 1990s and moves among three characters. One of them may have committed a murder. They are all changed in profound ways by the murder. Yiyun Lee is the author of The Vagrants (winner of the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award) and A Thousand Years of Good Prayers.
'Bark' by Lorrie Moore - February 25
Bark is Lorrie Moore's first collection of short stories in fifteen years (since Birds of America). These eight stories are being hailed as smart and funny by critics. The stories explore a particular moment in American history, and how our personal struggles -- divorce, career disappointments, relationships -- play out in this social and political climate. The whole collection is only 160 pages, so this is a quick read.
'What's Important is Feeling' by Adam Wilson - February 25
The title story of this collection was featured in The Best American Short Stories. Wilson's novel, Flatscreen, was a National Jewish Book Award finalist. What's Important is Feeling is a group of stories that look at coming of age and early adult disillusionment. Sex, drugs, college students and investment bankers all make appearances, as does a debate about young Elvis verses old Elvis.