vol1-jan-2015-books

And then, it was a new year. For us, January’s most anticipated books provide a cross-section of what we love about literature, from histories that provide a fresh angle on certain subjects to fiction that pushes the boundaries of prose to work that takes us to new places–sometimes literally. Here are ten January books that have caught our eye.

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The Deep Zoo: Essays, Rikki Ducornet
(January 6, Coffee House)

Rikki Ducornet has been writing difficult-t0-classify work for decades now, whether creating surreal short fiction or pushing past the boundaries of myths and folk tales. This collection of essays meditates on art, mysticism, and more; it’ll leave a reader with plenty to ponder. -Tobias Carroll

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Almost Famous Women, Megan Mayhew Bergman
(January 6, Scribner)

First, I love Megan Mayhew Bergman’s writing. Birds of a Lesser Paradise was a wonderful collection, that I told myself that I’d be back whenever her next book came out. Now, with Almost Famous Women, stories about women connected to famous people who haven’t been given their due, she shows just how much further her imagination can stretch. Such a delightful way to kick off 2015. -Jason Diamond

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Tesla: A Portrait with Masks, Vladimir Pistalo (Author), Bogdan Rakic and John Jeffries (Translators)
(January 6, Graywolf Press)

Translated from Serbian, Vladimir Pistalo’s novel about Nikola Tesla glows and hums like anything in his subject’s lab might have. -Jason Diamond

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Binary Star, Sarah Gerard
(January 13, Two Dollar Radio)

Sarah Gerard’s debut novel is unnerving and visceral, a wrenching work about a young woman grappling with a fundamentally flawed relationship, an eating disorder, and a growing fascination with political radicalism. Gerard’s prose is meticulously constructed and amasses a stunning velocity while enduring long after you’re done reading. -Tobias Carroll

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The Business of Naming ThingsMichael Coffey
(January 13, Bellevue Literary Press)

Michael Coffey’s body of work encompasses nonfiction and poetry; with the collection The Business of Naming Things, he makes his first foray into fiction. An excerpt that appeared in BOMB last year made for impressive reading. -Tobias Carroll

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Fram, Steve Himmer
(January 13, Ig Publishing)

Steve Himmer’s new novel Fram blends bureaucratic satire and Arctic exploration–which, as combinations go, is a pretty enticing one. -Tobias Carroll

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Mort(e), Robert Repino
(January 20, Soho Press)

Unconventional post-apocalyptic fiction? Check. An evolved cat as the hero? Check. A summation of Robert Repino’s Mort(e) hits many of the same buttons for me that Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely’s comic We3 did, which sounds incredibly promising. -Tobias Carroll

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The B-Side, Ben Yagoda
(January 22, Riverhead)

From the early days of Tin Pan Alley into the modern era, Yagoda explores more than just American music in this marvelous book. In a way that calls to mind The Rest is Noise by Alex Ross, Yagoda effortlessly connects the past with the present, but also never misses an opportunity to explain how the times influenced the music, and how the music influenced the times. -Jason Diamond

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Thus Were Their Faces: Selected Stories, Silvina Ocampo
(January 27; NYRB Classics)

Silvina Ocampo’s dreamlike fiction should be much more widely read than it is. A contemporary of Borges, the fiction written by Ocampo (save a collaborative novella with her husband, Adolfo Bioy Casares, that Melville House released in 2013) can be hard to find in the US. Hopefully, this collection (with a Helen Oyeyemi introduction) will help change that. -Tobias Carroll

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Get It While You Can, Nick Jaina
(January 28, Perfect Day Publishing)

If you follow Portland’s indie rock scene, chances are good that you’ve encountered Nick Jaina’s music at some point; the guy’s made a host of acclaimed albums over the years. Turns out he’s also got a knack for prose: Get It While You Can is his first book, and has drawn plenty of warm words from those in his city’s literary community. -Tobias Carroll

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