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Art and Culture

Likely Stories: Looking Ahead to 2015

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Jim McKeown
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Planned reads for Likely Stories in 2015

A list of planned reads for Likely Stories in 2015.

I’m Jim McKeown, welcome to Likely Stories, a weekly review of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and biographies.

2014 was an amazingly wonderful reading year for me, but now it is time to look ahead to 2015.  So I have been mining my teetering TBR pile for some interesting reads to start off 2015.  Here are a few under consideration.

Honeymoon by Patrick Modiano, the winner of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Literature.  This interesting story is a meditation on the memory, regret, and dreams of a young man who travels with a mysterious couple through Vichy, France in the early days of World War II.  This was the first of his novels translated into English I could snag.

While we think about France, I am considering Palace of Books by Roger Grenier.  This French writer, editor, and publisher, born in 1919, has penned more than 40 books.  This excursion through literature promises to be a source of several novels which may also appear on Likely Stories.

Haruki Murakami – my latest literary obsession – has come out with an intriguing piece of experimental fiction.  The Strange Library uses a variety of visual arts to illustrate the story of 3 people trying to escape from a nightmare.

Richard Ford’s new book, Let me Be Frank, is a collection of four tales connected to his “Frank Bascombe” trilogy.  These four volumes of Middle Americans and all their trials and tribulations, shine a bright light on the reality of life in America today.

Reaching back to 1973, I want to begin exploring Cormac McCarthy from the beginning.  This early novel, Child of God, details the story of a man falsely accused of a crime, and now released from prison, who wanders around East Tennessee.  The jacket promises some “scenes of the comic and the grotesque,” with an “unforgettable conclusion.”

An Italian Wife, Ann Hood’s latest novel, tells the story of seven decades in the life of Josephine Rimaldi .  Grace Tiffany contributes a work of historical fiction entitled Paint, about the mysterious “Dark Lady.”  She is the subject of the last group of sonnets by William Shakespeare.  Underappreciated writer, James Salter, works his way into my TBR pile again with Last Night, a collection of ten short stories,  Susan Sontag wrote of him, “Salter is a writer who particularly rewards those for whom reading is an intense pleasure.”

Some other possibilities include The Dog by Joseph O’Neill, Colm Tóibín’s Nora Webster, Texas writer, Michael Cunningham’s new novel, The Snow Queen, Julian Barnes’ latest, Levels of Life, Andrew’s Brain by E.L. Doctorow, Transatlantic by Colum McCann, and an author I have shamefully neglected, Jane Smiley and her latest novel, Some Luck.

Of course I hope Hilary Mantel’s conclusion of her trilogy will appear soon.  So join me in 2015 for what I am sure will be a reading year of “intense pleasure” – all of them – 5 stars!

 

Likely Stories is a production of KWBU.  I’m Jim McKeown.  You can find this list on the website KWBU.org/Likely Stories.  Join me again next time for Likely Stories, and HAPPY READING!