As I prepped to write this, I realized that many of the upcoming titles I’m excited about involve communication—be it interviews or letters or examinations of how we interact—and crafts. Here are some I find particularly interesting.
“I had to put down By the Book: Writers on Literature and the Literary Life from The New York Times Book Review (Holt, Oct.),” edited by Pamela Paul, “to do real work,” I wrote to one of LJ’s literature reviewers. She helpfully agreed to review the book. The astute unabridged interviews feature a wide range of nonfiction and fiction writers such as Dan Savage, Neil Gaiman, and J.K. Rowling.
Another upcoming interview collection worth noting is Daniel Rachel’s The Art of Noise: Conversations with Great Songwriters (Griffin: St. Martin’s, Oct.). Originally published in the UK, it’s a thick volume that boasts new and in-depth interviews with 27 British songwriters whose popularity spans decades—everyone from Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe (Pet Shop Boys) to Noel Gallagher (Oasis) and Lily Allen talk about their craft. Read it cover to cover or skip around to your favorite artists.
As for books on how we interact, one that seems to blend social science with pop culture and memoir is Nev Schulman’s In Real Life: Love, Lies & Identity in the Digital Age (Grand Central, Sept.; Prepub Alert, 3/17/14). Schulman hosts MTV’s Catfish: The TV Show, which investigates whether people are in online relationships with someone legitimate or a “catfish,” defined by Merriam-Webster as “a person who sets up a false personal profile on a social networking site for fraudulent or deceptive purposes.” Here he provides insights into the show and people’s motivations for catfishing.
I’m also starting to think about fall crafting projects. One book on my radar is Vintage Knit: 25 Knitting & Crochet Patterns Refashioned for Today (Laurence King, Sept.) by Marine Malak with Geraldine Warner. It’s well organized and offers large photos, including one of the original piece that inspired each pattern; also helpful is that instructions for color-work are both written out and charted. I can’t wait to try out the Two-Colour Spot Jersey. But, should this go awry, as I unravel my project and cast-on again I’ll keep close at hand a copy of Heather Mann’s CraftFail: When Homemade Goes Horribly Wrong (Workman, Oct.). Based on the blog of the same name, it makes light of disastrous crafting escapades. “They come out squashed and torn and look like something one might use to scrub feet,” laments the caption of a tissue paper flower. Try, try again.—Amanda Mastrull
Hard to believe summer is almost over. As consolation, the fall publishing promises a cornucopia of great titles as selected by LJ’s ever-discerning book review editors.