Seeing as it’s the start of the year, I thought I’d do a bit of research into what bookish things are coming up in the first few months of 2017.New releases, adaptations for stage and screen – exciting happenings for literature lovers seem to be in abundance on the horizon. Here are just a few of the ones I’m looking forward to …
For me, this month is all about Trainspotting T2, the film adaptation of Porno by Irvine Welsh. Danny Boyle returns to direct Ewan McGregor, Johnny Lee Miller, Robert Carlyle et al. in the sequel to the cult film of the 90s. I’m reading the prequel, Skagboys, in an attempt to acclimatise to the heavy Scottish accents and swearing. Choose life!
On my reading list is the recently released Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi, which you can get for half-price at Foyles at the moment. It tells a story spanning 8 generations of the same family, beginning with slavery in the 1800s and winding up in the present. The reviews are fantastic, so I definitely want to read this for myself.
Over the last couple of years, it has become de rigeur to be seen reading the novels of Elena Ferrante’s Neopolitan quartet. And from the end of February, you can catch the stage adaptation of all four books (in 2 parts). I am a huge fan of Ferrante after attending a talk about her as part of #ReadWomen in 2014 and devouring all four books in record time. I’m undecided as to whether I want to see the plays – partly because I can’t begin to imagine how writing as subtle as Ferrante’s can be staged without losing the depth of feeling from the books. Also, if the plays are faithful to the books they are going to be bloody long, and frankly life is too short!
One of my favourite food writers, Lorraine Pascale is releasing a brand new book in March – Bake: 125 Show-Stopping Recipes, Made Simple. I’ve got a few of her other books and I can honestly say that pretty much everything I’ve made has turned out well, so I’m really excited to see what her ‘modern and creative baking bible’ will be like. Expect beautiful photography, simple instructions and delicious results (fingers crossed!).
A bumper month for book lovers everywhere – there are some fantastic looking releases coming up in April.
First up is the TV adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale, the trailer for which has given everyone the chills on Twitter this week. If you haven’t already, READ THE BOOK! It’s probably Margaret Atwood’s most well-known novel and is set in a dystopian future where the place of women has been reduced to mere property. There’s a lot more to it than that, but I don’t want to launch into a full Margaret Atwood essay here so I’ll let you find out for yourselves. You won’t be disappointed, I promise. And, since no one seems to know exactly how we are going to be able to watch the series in the UK (it’s been made by an American company called Hulu), you will have plenty of time.
Fiction wise, there are three new novels due out in April that I can’t wait to read: Reservoir 13 by John McGregor, White Tears by Hari Kunzru and The Blood Miracles by Lisa McInerney. I first came across McGregor and Kunzru during my MA in Contemporary Literature and have been meaning to read more by them. And Glorious Heresies, Lisa McInerney’s debut novel, is one of the best things I read last year. All three are very different to one another, but they represent some of the best British contemporary fiction writers out there.
In terms of cookery, I am most looking forward to A Year of Beautiful Eating by Madeleine Shaw. I am very sceptical about the current trend for clean eating and the smugness that seems to sit alongside it, but her fuss-free take on healthy eating has proved to be tasty and filling, so I’m interested to see what this book will come up with.
And, finally, there is a film adaptation of The Circle by Dave Eggers due out in April. Although I don’t think this is Eggers’ most well-written novel, I do think that it pinpoints something troubling that is already happening in society; the rise of the mega internet company and the way that everyday life is impacted when these tech companies get too powerful. It stars Emma Watson and Tom Hanks and the trailer is dark.
I think that’s enough to be getting on with for now! Later in the year there is loads more to look forward to: Arundati Roy’s second novel (at last!); new offerings from Alan Hollinghurst, Kamila Shamsie and Han Kang; plus a new graphic novel from Alison Bechdel. And as if that wasn’t enough, Marlon James has announced that he’s working on a new fantasy trilolgy, the first of which will be released in 2018.
Happy reading, dear readers!