Looking for something great to read this summer? Next year? Look no further! The Millions recently posted their most anticipated books for the rest of 2011, and I have to say, the list is nothing short of impressive. I picked out a few reviews that caught my eye especially (several happen to be nerdy/sci-fi/fantasy oriented because that’s what I like; the list covers plenty of genres), but definitely take a look on your own. What are you looking forward to?
A Dance with Dragons: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Five by George R. R. Martin: The hit HBO show has made Martin’s “Song of Ice and Fire” the sweeping fantasy epic mostly likely to be discussed at your nearest cocktail party. While the HBO fans may have a ways to go before they’re ready for book five, true fantasy connoisseurs, for whom Martin’s series is the current ne plus ultra of the form, have been eagerly, even impatiently, awaiting this new installment. The latter group will eagerly devour Dragons and begin clamoring for books six and seven, still forthcoming. -Max
The Magician King by Lev Grossman: In The Magicians, Grossman introduced the magical world of Fillory, where hipster magician-from-Brooklyn Quentin is now a king, along with a few of his friends from magical college. Allusions to Hogwarts and Narnia abound, but no homage is paid, as Grossman’s sequel continues his dark, nuanced look at magical life and the wizards who lead it. Quentin and his friends are lazily soaking up their royal luxury until an enchanted ship takes him to the last place he thought he’d ever return: Massachusetts. -Janet
(Ok, this one’s cheating, I read it already. It’s great, you should read it too!)
Reamde by Neal Stephenson: Is there anything Neal Stephenson can’t do? Snow Crash is a cyberpunk classic. Cryptonomicon tackled code-breaking and cryptography. Anathem was speculative fiction teeming with holy wars, global catastrophes, mathematics and techno miracles. Now comes Reamde, the story of a draft dodger named Richard Forthrast who makes a bundle selling marijuana and becomes addicted to an online fantasy game that puts him in touch with Chinese gold farmers. Only trouble is, Richard gets caught in the deadly crossfire of his own fantasy war game. Fans who have come to expect a lot of meat on the bones of a Stephenson novel won’t be disappointed by Reamde – which weighs in at 960 pages. -Bill
The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides: For Eugenides fans, October is a long time coming. Nine years after the publication of Middlesex, The Marriage Plot (The Millions took an exclusive look at the first lines), will deal, in Eugenides’ own words with “religion, depression, the Victorian novel, and Roland Barthes” (also Mother Teresa). Unlike the multi-generational Middlesex, The Marriage Plot sticks close to 1982, following three college graduates as they wander around the Eastern Seaboard and Calcutta thinking about love and novels and one another. Eugenides has shown that he can work across material, space, time (and page length). As we move toward the publication date I anticipate a buzz frenzy, and I can’t wait. -Lydia