We’re a bit late with the Radar this week; ALA MidWinter got in the way.
Fresh Off the Boat, Eddie Huang, (RH/Spiegel & Grau; RH Audio; BOT)
The founder of the popular East Village food shop Baohaus got an early push for his “brash, leading-edge, and unapologetically hip” memoir (Publishers Weekly), with a profle last week in the NYT‘s “Fashion & Style” section, followed by a review in the “Books” section by Dwight Garner, who clearly enjoyed the ride, concluding, “It’s a rowdy and, in its way, vital counterpoint to the many dignified and more self-consciously literary memoirs we have about immigration and assimilation. It’s a book about fitting in by not fitting in at all.”
The Things They Cannot Say: Stories Soldiers Won’t Tell You About What They’ve Seen, Done or Failed to Do in War, Kevin Sites, (Harper Perennial; Blackstone Audio)
Pre-pub reviews have been strong on this original trade paperback, which profiles 11 soldiers. The author is an award-winning journalist and former soldier. PW calls it a “riveting and emotionally raw debut.”
Here I Go Again, Jen Lancaster, (Penguin/NAL)
The author of six memoirs and this, returns with her second novel, (more on her earlier books, here), Lancaster has endeared herself to fans with her humorous takes on her own shortcomings (check her blog post on joining a gym). The novel, about going back to high school to right wrongs, sounds like an exercise in wish fulfillment. The trailer, below, gives the idea:
Lancaster performs another kind of exercise in her upcoming, The Tao of Martha (as in, Stewart). Subtitled, My Year of LIVING; Or, Why I’m Never Getting All That Glitter Off of the Dog, it is about her efforts to live like the domestic goddess and is the basis for a possible TV series of the same name, exec. produced by Martha (as in, Stewart).
Richard Russo compares librarian favorite Haigh’s new book to Sherwood Anderson’s classic:
The characters … are so vividly drawn, the inner lives revealed so deftly, with such intelligence and sympathy, that fictional Bakerton, Pennsylvania, takes on the additional weight of, say, Winesburg, Ohio.”
Until the End of Time, Danielle Steel, (RH/Delacorte; Brilliance Audio; RH Large Print); Steel with a spiritual twist; two intertwined love stories, the second (between an Amish woman writer and her publisher), a possible reincarnation of the first.
Speaking from Among the Bones, Alan Bradley, (RH/Delacorte; RH Audio; BOT; Thorndike); in the fifth Flavia de Luce novel, the main character remains eternally eleven-years-old (as she will in the next five titles in the series). Director Sam Mendes (American Beauty and Revolutionary Road) has optioned the books for a possible TV series.
Insane City, Dave Barry, (Penguin/Putnam; Penguin Audio; Wheeler Large Print); An IndieNext selection for February, Barry’s first adult novel in ten years is about a destination wedding that goes off the rails (you may entertain thoughts of The Hangover).