Fall 2014 Preview Part One: Most Anticipated Books

Watch for Part Two: Literary Events next week!

If you follow literary publications like Publishers Weekly, Quill and Quire, or 49th Shelf you’ve probably noticed a bunch of “Most Anticipated Fall Books” lists lately. I find these lists really overwhelming! There are tons of books and they don’t seem to be listed in any kind of order. Here’s my attempt to impose some order on the situation. Geographically, anyway. This is also a handy preview of what you’ll see reviewed here on Reading in Bed over the next little while.

Disclosure: I received reviews copies of most of the Canadian books. Also, I’m panicking about writing all these reviews.

Edmonton Authors


Last year, I wondered if it was normal to have SO MANY Edmonton authors launching SO MANY great books all at once, and indeed, it may have been an anomaly. I had a hard time finding books to list here. I assume everyone’s just working on their next novel. Actually, I know Todd Babiak is working on a sequel to Come Barbarians and Jennifer Quist finally named her next novel, but hasn’t revealed the title just yet. No pressure guys (just kidding, lots of pressure!)

  • The only Edmonton book I am certain to review is Blind Spot by Laurence Miall. I’ve already read it and I’m trying to figure out whether I liked it or not! I’m not one to dismiss a novel because of an unlikable character, but man, this guy is unlikeable. Check out Another Book Blog’s review while I sort out my feelings. The book launch is September 5th at The Black Dog, which features prominently in the book!
  • Every Blade of Grass by Thomas Wharton is eco-lit (which I don’t always love) and epistolary (which I usually do love,) but I kind of want to read his first novel, Icefields, first. The librarian who sold it to me at the library book sale was SO EXCITED about it.
  • Lightfinder by Aaron Paquette is a YA novel, but I’m feeling the need to shake things up a bit. Sometimes YA is just the ticket.
  • Edited to add: Northeast by Wendy McGrath, a rare novel because it is written by someone who lives in Edmonton, and is actually set in Edmonton! It’s about a working class family in the 1960s and I have heard McGrath’s writing described as more like a poem than prose; I am really curious about this book and the first in the series, Santa Rosa.

Canadian Authors

between man sweetland girlrunnercan detachment betweenclay

  • I devoured Between by Angie Abdou while I was slogging my way through Outlander. Actually, I devoured a number of books while forcing myself to read Outlander. That could be it’s own post. Anyway, this book forced me to relate to an unlikeable character and it was uncomfortable and shocking and dark, and these are all compliments! Review to come and book launch September 12 in St. Albert and September 13 in Edmonton (7:00 p.m. at Audreys, see you there).
  • I got a review copy of Man by Kim Thuy in ebook format, but I bought the hardcover anyway, because I’m crazy it’s beautiful.  It’s a novella that’s almost written in verse and it’s unlike anything I’ve read. I’m just getting started so check out Hello Hemlock‘s review while I finish up.
  • Did you know SportLit is a thing? The things you learn on Twitter. In Girl Runner, author, blogger, and The M Word contributor Carrie Snyder writes about a woman at the end of her life remembering the days when she could run.
  • I feel like Sweetland by Michael Crummey has been out for a while. because of all the hype, but it was just released so I’ll call it a fall book. I love island settings, so this story of a dying community in Newfoundland should do just fine.
  • Between Clay and Dust by Musharraf Ali Farooqi was published in India a couple years back to great acclaim and is being published in Canada this year by Freehand books. I’ve heard it’s like a classic, like a fable, like a myth – ok, sign me up!
  • Detachment by Maurice Mierau provides a little non-fiction balance to this list. It’s an adoption memoir written from a father’s perspective – a perspective I’ve been missing from the parenting books I’ve reviewed of late.

World Wide

colourless agirliswallcreeper

  • Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Marukami (Japan) because I’m not immune to hype. Also, look at this review by The Heavy Blanks. Just look at it. It’s perfect.
  • A Girl Is a Half-Formed Thing by Eimear McBride (Ireland). The good reviews make me want to read it. The bad reviews make me want to read it. Just give it to me already!
  • The Wallcreeper by Nell Zink (US). A wildcard pick. It’s blurbed by Jonathan Franzen and this bit of the synopsis tells me why: “Life becomes complicated with affairs, birding, and eco-terrorism.” That’s classic Franzen. It’ll either be great or have great snark potential.

W&Pshirley remains

Yes, I do plan to read a few! I might have to do a Classics Club spin or something. I was thisclose to jumping on the #readWP (that’s War and Peace) bandwagon but the first page was mostly French and I just wasn’t in the mood. What to do?

What are you most excited to read and review this fall?



  1. Emma

    Just the idea of War and Peace makes me shudder, though maybe that’s because I’m struggling to make my way through Middlemarch (enjoyable but loooong!). Thanks for the round up of good books in the pipeline – I tend to look at those lists and then forget what might be worth keeping my eye out for.


  2. Lindy Pratch (@GreatStuffLindy)

    Thanks for compiling these! Kathleen Winter has a collection of short stories coming out in September – The Freedom in American Songs, and so does Dionne Brand – Love Enough, and I’m looking forward to both. Also, Ann-Marie MacDonald’s Adult Onset, Thomas King’s The Back of the Turtle, Lee Maracle’s Celia’s Song, and Martha Baillie’s The Search for Heinrich Schlogel.

  3. debbierodgers @Exurbanis

    This is a great way to organize your preview list. I especially like that you single out Edmonton authors because, living in Nova Scotia, I only occasionally hear about western writers. The only ‘literary publication’ that I peruse is Atlantic Books Today, so you can imagine I’m a little more informed about this side of the country. I think I’m going to grab Icefields later this fall – thanks for the tip.

    I actually bought Sweetland on the weekend although it’s third down in my reading pile. I love Michael Crummey’s writing! And I thought Remains of the Day was one of the best books I read last year.

    Have fun with your list!

  4. meghanrose

    War and Peace – beware the Tolstoi Spew! The entire last section is just Tolstoi Spew. You can stop once the plot runs out, just ignore the last hundred or so pages. You’ve been warned 🙂

    (from someone who spent Autumn 2013 reading War and Peace)

  5. ebookclassics

    I love this post! First of all, the Lightfinder cover is gorgeous. Tell me more about this book! I’m still reading W&P slowly. It’s very much a soap opera/war novel and I quite like it, but wonder when I’ll start feeling its length. I have Sweetland, Girl Runner, The M Word and Remains of the Day ready to go on top of a million other books, so I’m actually feeling a bit overwhelmed and it’s not even September.

  6. tanya (52 books or bust)

    Thanks for keeping me up to date on all things Canadian. We didn’t make it back to Toronto this summer so I’m feeling particularly distant from CanLit at the moment. Hopefully I’ll be back at Christmas so I can stock up.

  7. Naomi

    Those lists are SO overwhelming. I just really want to read everything. I love how you organized these. There are so many I have my eye on, and you’ve reminded me that I still haven’t read anything by Angela Abdou. Although, I could say the same thing about many other authors. I guess we can’t read them all.

    I also love the cover of Thuy’s novel, and loved the writing! Have you read Ru? If it is similar, I want to read it!

    • lauratfrey

      Man was a little too hyped for me, I think. I just finished it and it didn’t blow me away like I expected it would. The cover is gorgeous. I had an ebook but I bought the hardcover, just cause 🙂 I would still like to read Ru. Maybe I’ll save that for Novellas in November!

      Between is really good! Review coming soon.

  8. Pingback: Fall Preview Part II: Three literary festivals and a giveaway | Reading in Bed
  9. Pingback: Fall 2015 Preview Part II: Local Reads and CanLit | Reading in Bed

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