Leaf Bookmark

Hello! It’s been a long time since I posted on here… A lot has happened in the in-between. Most recently, I finished my Masters in Literature and Publishing (in IRELAND of all places). So here’s a short post on a few cozy-weather books to look out for this Fall. I can’t wait to read them myself!

The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton 

Release date: September 18th, 2018 (US; Sourcebooks Landmark)

The 7 1:2 Deaths of Evelyn HardcastleI am so excited for this book to come to North America. It was initially released as “The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle” in the UK in February. It became a bestseller, sold to the US (under a slightly different name, but these things tend to happen), and sold its TV rights in its first few months. And it’s Turton’s debut novel. Did I forget to mention that? Oh, yes. There’s a lot to look forward to.

I’m not a huge murder mystery fan, though I tend to read anything that promises a good story, and this one seems particularly interesting. The publisher’s website begins its blurb with “At a gala thrown by her parents, Evelyn Hardcastle will be killed. Again.” (Poor girl.) The story follows Aiden as he tracks the murder and events of the night through seven (1/2?) people at the party (something, he learns, he’s already done countless times before). If nothing else, this book sounds like fun. But I expect it’s going to be more than that, too.

First, Turton is funny. The title alone tells you that. (He also assured the Goodreads community not to worry, whether you have Seven or 7 1/2 you’re getting exactly the same amount of murder for your money.”) He also has a background in journalism so you can expect he knows how to write. Lastly, the book is described as “unputdownable” by some and “dazzling,” “mind-boggling,” and full of “thrilling upsets” by The Guardian. (They know what they’re talking about.) Aiden is out to save himself from an endless time-loop, but he’s also out to save Evelyn. There are plenty of less than savoury characters in this book, but she isn’t one of them. Expect to be engaged, expect to be confused, but most of all expect to be thrilled.

You can pre/order it through your choice of Amazon/B&N/IndieBound/BAM! here.


A Key to Treehouse Living by Elliot Reed

Release date: September 18th, 2018 (Tin House)

A Key to Treehouse LivingThis is another debut novel (I love debuts. If they drum up any kind of clout pre-publication–which is hard for new names on the scene–they are usually astounding), by Reed, who earned his MFA at the University of Florida.

It’s a quirky tale about a young boy trying to make sense of the world around him by making a glossary. Sound interesting? Maybe. Sound riveting? Maybe not. But the excerpt proposes that it is, indeed, both of these things.

We follow William Tryce’s solo journey down a river. He’s lost both his parents; one to death, the other to some other life that maybe didn’t involve fatherhood. He’s alone, and he’s much more than the sum of his years. (“Not all mothers want to be with their children” he states in ABSENCE.) William’s insights are honest in a way only a child can be (“Jealousy, in its purest form, is observable at your local Little League game,” from ANGER, JEALOUS) but profound to an unsettling capacity for someone so young. There are also moments of humour (“If you’re trying to sneak into an abandoned, vine-covered Victorian in the park, and you and your buddy Ned climb over a fence that surrounds the house, and the fence is hung with a sign that reads BAD DOG–let’s say you and your pal are doing it in the name of archeology–and when you get over you see an overweight poodle snoozing in the shade of the tree, you must assume that this dog, no matter how harmless and cuddly it looks, is a bad dog. Proceed quietly past the poodle and into the house.”). The voice is strong, even in the short excerpt, the tone and style consistent. It’s also been picked up by a few big names, including Joy Williams and Publisher’s Weekly, and I predict this is only the first few ripples in the pond.

You can pre/order it directly from the publisher here.


The Gradual Disappearance of Jane Ashland by Nicolai Houm

Release date: October 23rd, 2018 (Tin House)

The Gradual Disappearance of Jane AshlandThis is not a debut. It is, however, Houm’s first work published in English. His previous two publications were literary storms in Norway.

The Gradual Disappearance follows an American woman traveling through the Norwegian mountains. The narrative explores her present, starting with Jane waking up in a tent in the middle of a Norwegian mountain range, and her past, back home in Wisconsin. When asked on the plane why she’s going to Norway, she responds “I needed to get away for a while” before drinking Southern Comfort straight out of the bottle and bag she’d bought it in–having just downed 300mg of Valium and a Rum and Coke from the Stewardess. Her “need” to get “away” appears to be an understatement. They haven’t even taken off yet. Her seat companion and the person who she ends up following into the mountains tells her an Inuit expression, “If you’re afraid, walk in a new direction.” Jane responds “Here’s another one. When the snow melts, you’ll see the dog shit.”

This is a character-focused story, though it appears to have its fair share of drama, too. It’s tragic, dark, and deep. And I expect it will both astonish and astound.

You can pre/order it directly from the publisher here.

This is all to say, you should read these three books. I think they’re going to be great. I’m ready for cardigan weather, hot coffee, and some dark/humourous tales to match. Bring on the rainy days. Bring on the books.