‘New York’ Mag’s Summer Picks

New York magazine points to nine nonfiction books and realistic novels, apparently anticipating a sober summer. The piece begins with the elephant in the room, Thomas Pynchon’s new novel Inherent Vice—“part noir, part psychedelic romp” and a “mere 400 pages”– which gets a brief mention, but no critical verdict.

 
Inherent Vice
Thomas Pynchon
Price: $27.95
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Penguin Press (2009-08-04)
ISBN-10: 1594202249
ISBN-13: 9781594202247

Available from Penguin Audio (8/4/09)

  • Unabridged edition; $39.95;  978-0143144762

Dark Places, Gillian Flynn’s second novel, receives praise for the author’s skill in making a “caustic, self-loathing, unpleasant protagonist into someone you can come to root for, even if you never entirely like her.” The book is already on the extended NYT Fiction bestseller list at #35. It’s also discussed on the ARRT wiki — and the author will be at ALA in Chicago.

 
Dark Places: A Novel
Gillian Flynn
Price: $24.00
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Shaye Areheart Books – (2009-05-05)
ISBN-10: 0307341569
ISBN-13: 9780307341563

Mark Kurlansky’s The Food of a Younger Land is dubbed “a thoroughly entertaining” collection of American Depression-era recipes, like ‘Squirrel Mulligan’  from the never-completed WPA project that sent depression era writers on the road in search of regional specialties. ” This one’s already at #400 on Amazon.

 
The Food of a Younger Land
Mark Kurlansky
Price: $27.95
Hardcover: 416 pages
Publisher: Riverhead Hardcover – (2009-05-14)
ISBN-10: 1594488657
ISBN-13: 9781594488658

Available from Tantor Media (05/09):

  • MP3 CD;$24.99; 140016169X 
  • Unabridged CD; $69.99; 1400141699   
  • Playaway; $69.99; 161545683X

Fordlandia: The Rise and Fall of Henry Ford’s Forgotten Jungle City by Greg Grandin tells the story of how in 1927, Henry Ford, the world’s richest man, tried to annex a piece of Amazon jungle the size of Connecticut and build a rubber plantation. “Two things keep you reading: curiosity over how long this harebrained scheme could go on, and Ford himself, who, in his later years, was less a visionary than a wack job.” The book also received a starred PW review.

Fordlandia: The Rise and Fall of Henry Ford’s Forgotten Jungle City
Greg Grandin
Price: $27.50
Hardcover: 432 pages
Publisher: Metropolitan Books – (2009-06-09)
ISBN-10: 0805082360
ISBN-13: 9780805082364

In the Land of Invented Languages by Alicia Okrent is a survey of languages from Esperanto to Klingon, and the hilarious hubris of their creators, which New York called “a celebration of the power of natural languages” and also received a starred review from PW.

 
In the Land of Invented Languages
Arika Okrent
Price: $26.00
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Spiegel & Grau – (2009-05-19)
ISBN-10: 0385527888
ISBN-13: 9780385527880

How to Sell, Clancy Martin’s tale of the diamond trade is praised for it’s “fun, flash and fakery,” and also for being a “capitalist satire.” (In addition to the other reviews mentioned here yesterday, it was also called also called “a good, pacey and ultimately unchallenging read” by the New York Times Book Review).

How to Sell: A Novel
Clancy Martin
Price: $24.00
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux – (2009-05-12)
ISBN-10: 0374173354
ISBN-13: 9780374173357

Available from Blackstone Audio:

  • 7 Tape; $59.95; 1-4332-7573-9
  • 1 MP3CD; $29.95; 1-4332-7577-7
  • 8 CD; $80; 1-4332-7574-6
  • Playaway; $59.99; 1-4332-7581-4

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