The Reading List: 10 January Reads to Kick Off the New Year
Add these 10 new book releases to your reading list this January.
1. Best one per cent manual
Plutocrats by Chrystia Freeland
This buzzy new book about the new super-elite-the world’s most bloated billionaires-combines trenchant social criticism, economic analysis and flagrant voyeurism.
2. Best comeback
See Now Then by Jamaica Kincaid
In her first book in a decade (it’s being released on February 5), the Caribbean novelist follows a pair of middle-aged marrieds in New England, probing the excruciating claustrophobia of wedded bliss with characteristically shrewd introspection.
3. Creepiest cyber-thriller
419 by Will Ferguson
The much-loved humour writer veers into darker territory with this novel, winner of the 2012 Scotiabank Giller Prize. It interweaves several stories-a Nigerian cyber-hacker, a Canadian editor, a pregnant runaway-with taut suspense and perfect pacing.
4. Best gift for font nerds
Just My Type by Simon Garfield
The intricacies of mapmaking are at the heart of Simon Garfield’s latest book (out this month), but if that doesn’t satisfy your appetite for arcana, check out his older work about the glory of fonts, serifs, kerning and leading.
5. Memoir supreme
My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayor
Backstories don’t get much more impressive than Sonia Sotomayor’s: a childhood in the projects, a self-propelled rise to prominence at Princeton and, finally, a coveted spot on the Supreme Court bench.
6. Meta-est meanderings
How Literature Saved My Life by David Shields
In his upcoming collection of essays being released on February 5, David Shields explains how works by writers such as Blaise Pascal and Marcel Proust kept him going in tough times; no doubt he’s hoping his book will have the same effect.
7. Most convincing argument for spinsterhood
Washington Square by Henry James
Catherine Sloper, the frumpy heroine of this blistering novella, eschewed marriage long before it was cool. Of course, her singlehood was more a rejection of her mooching, manipulative suitor and emotionally abusive father than it was a feminist proclamation, but whatever.
8. Best New Year’s resolution
Swann’s Way by Marcel Proust
The first volume in an epic ode to a cookie (the series “In Search of Lost Time”) was published a century ago this year. Checking this monster tome off your list is the best way to kick-start your 2013 reading.
9. Best one-liners
This purse-friendly digest assembles the very best of Dorothy Parker’s stories, poems and essays. Great inspiration if you’re looking to come up with caustic comebacks to any and all perceived slights.
10. Best book for rockin’ in the free world
Waging Heavy Peace by Neil Young
The country’s crankiest rocker has penned an endlessly entertaining memoir. It’s a rambling, raucous addition to the Neil Young mythology, filled with backwater towns, patchouli-scented festivals and smoke-filled tour buses.