Vol.1 Brooklyn’s October 2014 Books Preview


Whether your taste in books runs towards pastoral meditations on uniquely American themes or surreal stories of bizarre crimes, October will have plenty to offer. Writers reveal stories of favorite bars and beloved tattoos; cult authors return with shifts in style; and first books leave a significant mark. The weather’s getting colder; thankfully, there’s plenty on this list to go along with the seasonal beverage and sweater of your choice.


The Wallcreeper, Nell Zink
(October 1, Dorothy, a publishing project) 

Nell Zink’s first novel, about a pair of expatriate Americans in Europe who find themselves enmeshed in subcultures ranging from birdwatchers to political radicals, is both comic and harrowing. Zink neatly deconstructs everything from academic strivers to adulterous lovers, and elements of it hearken back to Wharton’s The Custom of the Country. Not a bad feat at all. -Tobias Carroll



Research: A Novel for Performance, Joseph Riippi
(October 1, Civil Coping Mechanisms)

Joseph Riippi’s Because, released earlier this year, was a wrenchingly good confessional work. For Research, he showcases another side of his writing, offering up two versions of the same story, one told in prose and one written for the stage. -Tobias Carroll



A Brief History of Seven Killings, Marlon James
(October 2, Riverhead)

Jamaica in the 70s to New York in the 80s and then back to Jamaica in the 90s, Marlon James effortlessly moves across time and gives us a cast of characters that make this one of the sleeper hits of the year. – Jason Diamond



Lila, Marilynne Robinson
(October 7, FSG) 

Shouldn’t the release of a new Marilynne Robinson novel bring peace across the world while we all read and discuss the latest work by one of America’s greatest writers? If we can’t have that, we’d like to think that her returning to the town of Gilead at least merits some sort of day off of work or national day of praise. – Jason Diamond



Pen & Ink: Tattoos and the Stories Behind Them, Wendy McNaughton and Isaac Fitzgerald
(October 7, Bloomsbury)

This collaboration between illustrator Wendy MacNaughton and editor Isaac Fitzgerald looks to be a fine work for anyone who’s intrigued by the world of tattoos. Here, numerous people tell stories about tattoos that adorn their bodies; the whole thing is then illustrated. Some of the storytellers include Roxane Gay and Cheryl Strayed; there’s a whole lot of talent involved in this project. -Tobias Carroll



The Absolution of Roberto Acestes Laing, Nicholas Rombes
(October 11, Two Dollar Radio)

Nicholas Rombes’s work encompasses fiction and extensive writings on media, from cinema history to The Ramones. His new novel involves a search for a reclusive filmmaker, and should appeal to both the cinephiles and bibliophiles out there. -Tobias Carroll



A Different Bed Every Time, Jac Jemc
(October 14, Dzanc Books)

Jac Jemc’s fantastic novel My Only Wife deconstructed a marriage, taking a familiar scenario and adding tension both narratively and in the way that the narrative was told. In the stories in A Different Bed Every Time, she delves into a series of lives, finding unexpected ways to illuminate connections between people in precise prose. -Tobias Carroll



300,000,000, Blake Butler
(October 14, Harper Perennial)

Blake Butler has made his name through stories of bodies and landscapes coming apart; these were books about disorientation that were themselves deeply disorienting. 300,000,000 looks to be more narrative-driven than what’s come before; descriptions suggest a kind of crime-fiction template used as the scaffolding for Butler’s sensibilities. And staring at the cover is making me uneasy. -Tobias Carroll



Come Here Often: 53 Writers Raise a Glass to Their Favorite Bar, edited by Sean Manning
(October 14, Black Balloon Publishing)

In this collection of essays, writers including Joe Meno, Rosie Schaap, and Craig Finn pay tribute to the bars that have shaped them. It’s an outstanding and talented group, and a subject that’s close to the hearts of many literary types. -Tobias Carroll



The Peripheral, William Gibson
(October 28, Putnam)

And then October gave us the first new William Gibson novel in four years. – Jason Diamond 



The Last Projector, David James Keaton
(October 31, Broken River Books)

Between David James Keaton and Nicholas Rombes, October seems to be the month for VHS-inspired book cover art. This is as it should be. Keaton’s The Last Projector looks to be a particularly unhinged example of crime fiction, with unexpected chronology, generations-long mysteries, and more. -Tobias Carroll


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