New Book Releases – Week of 22 October 2012

October 22, 2012 — Leave a comment


Here are a few new book releases from this week (and last week) that are worth checking out:

New Book Releases - Week of 22 October 2012As a fan of Friday Night Lights, I am eagerly awaiting Muck City: Winning and Losing in Football’s Forgotten Town by Bryan Mealer. has chosen it as one of their best books of the month and describe it: “How can a small high school in one of the nation’s sorriest towns–a swampy Everglades burg ravaged by drugs, AIDS, crime, violence, and poverty–produce a football team that’s sent dozens of players to the NFL? In Mealer’s gritty year-in-the-life narrative of Glades Central High’s Raiders, answering that question becomes an exploration of much more than football. The history of the Everglades, the influence of Big Sugar, Haitian immigration, and the obsessive devotion of a homegrown coach all play their part. Though Muck City covers similar turf as Friday Night Lights, Mealer makes it clear that ‘this is not that story.’ The Raiders have no team bus and no booster club; student turnout for games is pathetically low. And yet, in the unlikely setting of central Florida’s loamy muck, ‘high school football was salvation itself.’

Hardback, Crown Books.
Buy now [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]

Our most anticipated novel of the week is The Middlesteins by Jami Attenberg. Publishers Weekly gave it a starred review, saying: “A panoply of neurotic characters fills Attenberg’s multigenerational novel about a Midwestern Jewish family. Shifting points of view tell the story of the breakup and aftermath of Edie and Richard Middlestein’s nearly 40-year marriage as Edie slowly eats herself to death. Richard and his brilliant but demanding and ever larger wife raised two children. Robin is intense and hostile; Benny lives an idyll with his wife, Rachelle, in the Chicago suburbs, sharing a joint after putting their twins to bed at night. Much of Rachelle’s time is spent assuring that the twins’ b’nai mitzvah extravaganza goes off without a hitch. When complications surrounding Edie’s diabetes precipitate Richard’s filing for divorce, the already tightly wound Rachelle becomes obsessed with the family’s physical and moral health. This is a wonderfully messy and layered family portrait.”

Hardback: Grand Central.
Buy now: [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]

In the area of theology, we are very intrigued by Jean-Luc Marion‘s new book, In the Self’s Place: The Approach of Saint Augustine. The publisher describes it as: “an original phenomenological reading of Augustine that considers his engagement with notions of identity in Confessions. Using the Augustinian experience of confessio, Jean-Luc Marion develops a model of selfhood that examines this experience in light of the whole of the Augustinian corpus. Towards this end, Marion engages with noteworthy modern and postmodern analyses of Augustine’s most “experiential” work, including the critical commentaries of Jacques Derrida, Martin Heidegger, and Ludwig Wittgenstein. Marion ultimately concludes that Augustine has preceded postmodernity in exploring an excess of the self over and beyond itself, and in using this alterity of the self to itself, as a driving force for creative relations with God, the world, and others. This reading establishes striking connections between accounts of selfhood across the fields of contemporary philosophy, literary studies, and Augustine’s early Christianity.”

Paperback: Stanford UP.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]

One of the most anticipated poetry releases of the fall is The Poems of Octavio PazPublishers Weekly gave it it a starred review, saying: “Paz (1914–1998), who won the Nobel Prize in 1990, dominated Mexican letters during the last decades of his life; his influence was global, and his powers of invention beyond dispute. This ambitious bilingual selection (far from complete, despite the title) is the first to span his career. Readers new to Paz will notice consistencies—self-consciousness about words and meanings, as “Syllables/ ripen in the mind,/ flower in the mouth”; erotic passion; reliance on common nouns (sun, flame, leaves); and a sense of poetic authority—“listen to me as one listens to the rain.” And yet the same readers may marvel at Paz’s variety: haiku-like miniatures; the tempestuous book-length poem “Sunstone”; fast-moving prose poems; abstract odes; extended descriptions of places in Mexico, India, Afghanistan, and Japan; flourishing responses to visual art.”

Translated by Eliot Weinberger.
Hardback: New Directions.
Buy now : [ Amazon ]

And finally, to end on a whimsical note, this week also sees the release of the first volume in Lemony Snicket‘s next series of four books. Entitled, Who Could That Be At This Hour?, the publisher describes this new book as: “In a fading town, far from anyone he knew or trusted, a young Lemony Snicket began his apprenticeship in an organization nobody knows about. He started by asking questions that shouldn’t have been on his mind. Now he has written an account that should not be published, in four volumes that shouldn’t be read. This is the first volume.”

You can read the first four chapters for FREE using your Kindle or Kindle app…

Hardback: Little, Brown.
Buy now: [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]

Stay tuned every Monday as we plan to make this new book releases column a weekly feature!