Vol.1 Brooklyn’s July 2016 Book Preview


Our most anticipated reads for the month of July are a disparate bunch: there’s formally inventive fiction, in-depth explorations of beloved cultural phenomena, expansive looks at the evolution of a genre, and skewed looks at the past, present, and future. And there’s  also a striking-looking graphic novel exploring the singular life of a cult musician. As the temperature gets higher and the range of outdoor activities grows, here are a number of reasons to carry a book with you as you find a comfortable outdoor spot to savor the season.


Seinfeldia: How A Show About Nothing Changed Everything, Jennifer Keishin Armstrong
(July 5, Simon & Schuster)

The story of how Seinfeld slowly became a popular and acclaimed television show–and how its influence has been felt in a host of ways–is a fascinating one. Given that Jennifer Keishin Armstrong is no stranger to histories of television (she’s also explored the world of The Mary Tyler Moore Show), this promises to be a comprehensive overview of all things Seinfeld-related.


The Continuous Katherine Mortenhoe, D.G. Compton
(July 5, NYRB Classics)

D.G. Compton’s 1974 novel, about a woman with a terminal illness living in a society where disease has been virtually eliminated, is making its way back into print via NYRB Classics. (Fun facts: director Bertrand Tavernier adapted it for film in 1980.) And there’s a Jeff VanderMeer introduction to boot, which is never a bad thing.


The Transmigration of Bodies, Yuri Herrera; translated by Lisa Dillman
(July 5, And Other Stories)

Yuri Herrera’s Signs Preceding the End of the World was one of our favorite books of last year, telling an increasingly surreal and ominous story set on the border between the United States and Mexico. The Transmigration of Bodies ventures into an equally stylized yet completely different direction, and focuses on a conflict between two families in a city grappling with plague.


Problems, Jade Sharma
(July 5, Coffee House/Emily Books)

The title of Jade Sharma’s novel is an apt one: its narrator must deal with a wide variety of them, including an extramarital affair, a penchant for heroin, and awkward interactions with her husband’s family. It’s a powerfully told novel, brisk and harrowing in equal measure.


Pond, Claire-Louise Bennett
(July 12, Riverhead)

Summarizing Claire-Louise Bennett’s Pond is not the easiest of experiences–but this is a novel that’s less about plot and more about its ability to bring the reader inside the mind of its narrator, a woman living in relative isolation. How Bennett conveys that mind and that solitude is impressive indeed.


Normal, Warren Ellis
(July 12, FSG Originals)

The latest novel from Warren Ellis will be digitally serialized this summer, with a print version to follow in late November. The plot involves a group of futurists, a locked-room mystery, and a sinister conspiracy, and, given how his novel Gun Machine riffed on the police procedural, we’re curious to see Ellis’s take on the paranoid thriller.


Mickey, Chelsea Martin
(July 12, Curbside Splendor)

Chelsea Martin’s new novella follows its protagonist through life after breaking up with the title character. Martin has earned acclaim for her previous books, which often experiment with and alternate between multiple styles, and we’re eager to see how this particular story is told.


Vaseline Buddha, Jung Young Moon; translated by Yewon Jung
(July 12, Deep Vellum)

Surreal landscapes, automatic writing, and Kafka comparisons? Our interest is piqued by this book, yes indeed.


The Heavenly Table, Donald Ray Pollock
(July 12, Doubleday)

Donald Ray Pollock’s stories of working-class lives and alienation–the books Knockemstiff and The Devil All the Time–have been powerful and harrowing to read. For his latest book, he leaps back in time a century to the year 1917, to tell a story of two families at odds.


The Big Book of Science Fiction, Ann and Jeff VanderMeer, editors
(July 12, Vintage)

Ann and Jeff VanderMeer are a powerhouse editing team; their recent anthology of weird fiction helped define a genre, and took a smart historical global view while doing it. This anthology does a similar feat to science fiction, with an expansive aesthetic and work from a host of writers, including W.E.B. DuBois, Cixin Liu, Ursula K. Le Guin, and George R.R. Martin.


Neon Green, Margaret Wappler
(July 12, Unnamed Books)

It’s a coming-of-age story set in Chicago in the 1990s; also, there are aliens. If there was ever a Vol.1 Brooklyn editorial sweet spot, we’re pretty sure this novel hits it.


Ninety-Nine Stories of God, Joy Williams
(July 12, Tin House)

We are always up for more writing from the singular, prodigiously talented, often disquieting Joy Williams. Hence our excitement for this collection. And, according to this, it’s also something of an homage to the equally singular Thomas Bernhard, which is never a bad thing.


The Incantations of Daniel Johnston, Ricardo Cavolo and Scott McClanahan
(July 19, Two Dollar Radio)

Back in March, our own Jason Diamond proclaimed that this book “might have the best cover of the year.” This is a true thing. Also: it brings together the excellent art of Ricardo Cavolo and the excellent writing of Scott McClanahan to tell the story of cult musician Daniel Johnston, which seems like an inspired blend of artists and subject.


Night in the Sun, Kyle Coma-Thompson
(July 19, Dock Street Press)

The stories in Kyle Coma-Thompson’s first collection, The Lucky Body, were unsettling and neatly drawn, bringing the reader in to their narratives of alienation, violence, and surrealism. Needless to say, we’re excited for his latest collection.


Multiple Choice, Alejandro Zambra
(July 19, Penguin)

Whether novel-length or in shorter forms, Alejandro Zambra’s fiction explores the boundaries of form and narrative, but never loses its ability to resonate. His latest novel is written in the form of a test–hence the title–and indicates that Zambra is far from settling down.

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