I thought 2014 was a particularly average year for the kind of non-fiction books that I prefer. Sure, there was that awesome “John J. Gilligan” book along with “Pete Rose” by Kostya Kennedy and then Matt Bai’s look at the Gary Hart presidential campaign, “All the Truth is Out.” But generally speaking, this year didn’t do it for me in the non-fiction world. I had a better run with fiction, including “The Goldfinch” (review forthcoming), “Fourth of July Creek” (review forthcoming), “The Rise and Fall of Great Powers,” and “The Good Lord Bird.” Fortunately, next year bodes well in both fiction and non-fiction categories. Here are a few books I’m looking forward to reading in 2015. What did I miss in 2014? What are you looking forward to? Did you have a favorite book of the year?
David McCullough has a biography of the Wright Brothers due out in May of 2015. I would imagine there’s going to be some great Ohio (and Dayton) history and that McCullough will lay out all the trials and tribulations the brothers went through before the first flight. Regular readers know how much I enjoyed his books “The Great Bridge” and “The Greater Journey.”
Erik Larson is a perennial favorite, and his story of the sinking of the Lusitania, “Dead Wake,” comes out in March. Sure to be a good one.
Regular readers of this blog know of my little crush on Stacy Schiff, the brilliant and classy author of “Cleopatra.” According to sources, her book on the Salem witch trials is due out later this year.
This book, “All the Wild That Remains,” is a history of two influential environmentalists. It looks pretty interesting.
Joseph Ellis has a book out about the founding fathers, his fourth in a series. I’m not a regular reader of Ellis, but maybe I should be. And speaking of the fathers, “Liberty’s First Crisis,” about the Sedition Acts looks excellent.
In February, the book “Future Crimes” comes out, and it looks to fit with my continued interest in critical looks at the internet, technology and big data.
John Hooper’s “The Italians,” out later in January, will probably make me want to go back to Italy.
I’m probably most excited about the novel “City on Fire.” This debut novel from Garth Risk Hallberg won a $2 million advance in a two-day bidding war, according to the New York Times. This means the haters will be out in full force, fueled by other envious authors who are certain they deserved some of that giant pile of cash. Me? I don’t care. I think authors should get PAID. And frankly, if you read anything about the plot of this book, it looks incredibly promising. Make your money Garth, I’ll be there waiting for a copy when it is released.
Kazuo Ishiguro has a new novel coming out. I’ve not read anything by him except for “Remains of the Day” which is one of my favorite books of all time. I’m not sure I’ll read his new book, “The Buried Giant,” but I would like to reread “Remains of the Day” in 2015.
I might try to read Nick Hornby’s forthcoming novel, “Funny Girl.” I’m reading a collection of his columns called “Ten Years in the Tub.” He worked for a magazine and wrote a monthly column about the books he read and bought. I love his writing style and humor. And “Ten Years in the Tub” is a great source for book recommendations.
And oh what the hell, I’ll read the new Franzen. You will too. Don’t lie.
So those are the books I’m looking forward to. Those of you who know me know that I don’t always just read what is new, so this list isn’t the complete list of what I’ll try to read next year. I’m never sure how I choose books. I browse in bookstores, virtual or actual, and sometimes a book speaks to me. An important book about current affairs sometimes shows up with limited notice. Authors catch fire and a book goes from nowheresville to top of the bestseller lists. Oh, and Dave Eggers is known to quietly drop a book about once a year now. As always, I take recommendations, my favorite method of picking books, because they are often personally endorsed by people I trust. Leave yours in the comments here.
It’s 2015. So much to look forward to.
Thanks for reading.