A Heron New Year – 7 January 2023

A very happy new year to you all; I hope that the festive period brought you many books and some time to sit down and read them.

Already the media is teeming with new titles to look forward to in 2023. And for very good reason. We wanted to share some books coming out in January and February about which we are really excited. None of them are about Prince Harry.

We are also looking forward to our book groups getting underway. The fiction book group is almost full and we have a few more spaces available in the non-fiction book group so do rush to sign up if you haven’t already.

Books to look forward to in 2023:

Out now / this week

The End of Nightwork by Aidan Cottrell-Boyce
A seventeenth-century Puritan prophet, a thirty-year-old man who has looked twenty-three since he was thirteen and the end of the world: what more could you want or fit in a book? It also comes highly recommended by Eley Williams, which is always a good thing in our book(shop).

A Writer’s Diary by Toby Litt
Man’s search for meaning is really only a secondary struggle to man’s search for the perfect pencil sharpener. Novelist Toby Litt blends his own daily life and routine into fiction and makes the reader reconsider what constitutes a story and what constitutes a life.

Avalon by Nell Zink
One of the sharpest wits writing today, Nell Zink’s latest novel tells the story of Bran, a California teenager dealing with a mother in a Buddhist cult, a stepfather in a biker gang and a plant nursery that she’s left largely in charge of. Until, that is, she’s offered a route into the world of art, literature and East-Coast intellectuals.

The Book of Desire by Meena Kandasamy
A two-thousand-year-old Tamil epic on love, translated for the twenty-first century by one of India’s most polemical and daring poets.

All Sorts of Lives: Katherine Mansfield and the Art of Risking Everything by Claire Harman
On the centenary of the death of the only writer Virginia Woolf ever admitted to envying, Claire Harman brings Katherine Mansfield’s tremendous novels and her extraordinary life back into focus.

The Written World and the Unwritten World by Italo Calvino
A newly translated collection of essays, articles and letters from the archives of literary great Italo Calvino (1923-1985). Still today Calvino’s thoughts on life, literature, where they are going, where they’ve come from appear as playful, generous and insightful as when he first committed them to paper.

Fiction coming soon:

Really Good, Actually by Monica Heisey 17 January
The Hero of this Book by Elizabeth McCracken 26 January
Victory City by Salman Rushdie 9 February
A Spell of Good Things by Ayobami Adebayo 9 February
Content Warning: Everything by Akwaeke Emezi 16 February

Non-fiction coming soon:

Pirate Enlightenment, or the Real Libertalia by David Graeber 26 January
Still Pictures: On Photography and Memory by Janet Malcolm 2 February
Red Memory: Living, Remembering and Forgetting China’s Cultural Revolutionby Tania Branigan 2 February
The Snakehead: An Epic Tale of the Chinatown Underworld and the American Dream by Patrick Radden Keefe 16 February

We hope that whets your appetite. It’s not all about the latest releases though: we’re currently thoroughly enjoying Mayflies by Andrew O’Hagan, also available on the small screen in a BBC adaptation. If you’re looking for a night out rather than a night in, the Old Vic is staging Olga Tokarczuk’s Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead at the end of this month, which we’re very much looking forward to.