2017 Strand Book Buyer’s Preview
The Strand’s book buying team is the backbone of our store. Often behind-the-scenes but supremely impactful, their curated picks are carefully selected to represent not only our ideals as a bookstore, but most importantly, you, our readers. Of the hundreds of books coming out in the first few months of the new year, we asked the team what they are most looking forward to in 2017.
Things We Lost in the Fire — This new short-story collection from Argentinian author Mariana Enríquez is equal parts disturbing and enchanting. She blends the supernatural with the subtle strangeness of the everyday so seamlessly that these stories will follow you around long after you’ve finished them.
Elif Batuman’s first novel, The Idiot, is a compelling and accurate depiction of a young woman in her first year at Harvard. Even the most uncomfortable moments of this coming-of-age are handled with enough grace and tenderness to re-imagine those experiences with fondness.
Not One Day — The newest translated fiction from Anne Garreta promises to be just as beautifully written and mesmerizing as The Sphinx, the novel that first introduced her to English audiences.
Shadowbahn — Steve Erickson’s new novel contains a wild premise: the Twin Towers reappear in the South Dakota Badlands of 2021, and Elvis Presley’s stillborn brother mysteriously comes into being on the 93rd floor. Why does each visitor to the Towers hear a different song emanating from the buildings? Why does Presley have memories of an alternate history in which he survived instead of his brother? The brilliant Erickson’s take on the American century is sure to be bracingly original.
Spaceman of Bohemia — Through the story of the first Czech astronaut, and his memories of a Cold War-upbringing, Kalfar considers the many degrees of history’s insidious grip: our own past, our family’s past and our country’s past. Well balanced with warmth and humor, and unpredictable until its end, it’s a remarkable novel which will exceed readers’ expectations.
Sorry to Disrupt the Peace — A debut novel receiving praise from other writers is not rare, but the plaudits for Cottrell’s novel about a woman investigating her adopted brother’s suicide are intriguing. Catherine Lacey calls Cottrell a “modern Robert Walser,” and that’s more than enough to get the book in my hands.
William Eggleston: Election Eve — The first commercial release of an extremely rare Eggleston special edition. Only 5 copies were made. The legendary photographer documents his pilgrimage from Memphis to Plains, Georgia, on the eve of Jimmy Carter’s election in 1977. An elegiac look at a vanished South.
Marina Abramovic — A major retrospective of the controversial and revered performance artist. She continues to expand the boundaries of art as she explores the intersection of performing and visual art.
Robert Adam : Country House Design, Decoration, and the Art of Elegance — Interest in the English country house is as strong as ever. This lavish volume, richly illustrated with new photographs, showcases the great 18th century architect’s most important surviving country houses.
Be Boy Buzz (ages 0–5) — A beautiful, rhyming board book celebrating black, male-identifying children! Featuring beautiful illustrations by Chris Raschka, this board book could really be for a reader of any age. There are increasingly more titles available for young children of color that celebrate and normalize self-love, and this is one of the best. DO NOT MISS!
A Greyhound, A Groundhog (ages 3–5) — A sumptuously illustrated, sometimes manic tongue-twister for readers (and audiences) that feel ready to take their story time to the next level. If you think Butter Battle is the peak of witty worldplay, we challenge you to read this aloud all the way through without making a mistake. An absolute delight!
The Unintentional Adventures of the Bland Sisters: The Jolly Regina (ages 8–12)— Two sisters who are stuck in their ways and never want to have any adventures of any kind, find themselves caught up in an elaborate caper featuring an all-lady pirate crew. This middle grade novel has familiar notes of every series you or your children love: from The Hobbit to A Series of Unfortunate Events, with sprinkles of Half Magic and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Another Castle: Grimoire (ages 12+) — A comic book for fans of Lumberjanes and Nimona, but also Island of the Blue Dolphins or The Midwife’s Apprentice. A princess is kidnapped by the king of a neighboring village, but quickly discovers that she has a crucial role to play in the liberation of all the villagers who have been suffering under the king’s rule. Featuring beautiful art and content appropriate for younger readers, this is a feminist fairy tale for the ages!
Keep up-to-date with the newest books with Strand’s weekly new arrivals.