Books come out every week, all year round, so it’s a little silly to feel excited about a brand-new year of books, but I do. You bet I do.
Here are some of the books I’m looking forward to in the first half of 2019:
“Late in the Day,” by Tessa Hadley (Harper, Jan. 15). Hadley, an accomplished and clever writer of fiction, is well known in her native U.K. Here’s hoping this new novel — about the complicated relationships of four middle-aged friends — raises her profile here in the U.S. She’ll be at Magers & Quinn Jan. 24.
“Inheritance,” by Dani Shapiro (Knopf, Jan. 15). In midlife, both parents dead, Shapiro finds through DNA testing that the man she believed to be her father was not her biological father. It seems fitting that a serial memoirist like Shapiro would have something this momentous happen, and she handles the material skillfully. In conversation with Nora McInerny, 7 p.m. Jan. 28, Modern Well, 2909 S. Wayzata Blvd., $30.
“The Dreamers,” by Karen Thompson Walker (Random House, Jan. 15). Walker’s first novel, “The Age of Miracles” — a subtle book of speculative fiction about time slowing down — scared me for months. Her new book is about a town taken over by a strange illness that puts people into a deep, unbreakable sleep.
“The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee,” by David Treuer (Riverhead, Jan. 22). Treuer, who grew up on the Leech Lake Reservation in Minnesota, presents a sweeping history of American Indians since the Wounded Knee slaughter of 1890 to the present day.
“Bowlaway,” by Elizabeth McCracken (Ecco, Feb. 19). The saga of three generations of a family that owns a bowling alley in New England. McCracken, author of “The Giant’s House” and “Niagara Falls All Over Again,” is the soul of dark, quirky humor.
“Little Faith,” by Nickolas Butler (Ecco, March 5). A Wisconsin woman falls under the spell of a cult, placing her young son in danger, and her father must figure out how to navigate their relationship without alienating her.
“Mitochondrial Night,” by Ed Bok Lee (Coffee House Press, March 5). A new collection of poetry by the Minnesota Book Award winner. Book launch 7 p.m. March 16, Plymouth Congregational Church, Mpls.
“Chronicles of a Radical Hag (With Recipes),” by Lorna Landvik (University of Minnesota Press, March 26). When a beloved small-town newspaper columnist suffers a stroke, the newspaper begins rerunning her columns from 50 years ago. Literature Lovers’ Night Out, March 26 and 27 in Stillwater and Excelsior, hosted by Valley Bookseller and Excelsior Bay Books.
“Henry, Himself,” by Stewart O’Nan (Viking, April 9). Stewart O’Nan’s “Emily, Alone” is an almost perfect novel about an elderly widow and her dog trying to navigate a lonely life after the death of her husband. And now comes a companion novel, a prequel of sorts, telling the husband’s story.
“Big Sky,” by Kate Atkinson (Little, Brown, June 25). A new Jackson Brodie mystery. Need I say more?
“The Lager Queen of Minnesota,” by J. Ryan Stradal (Pamela Dorman Books, July 23). A pie-making sister, a beer-brewing sister, a family feud, Minneapolis — what more do you want? By the author of the very well received “Kitchens of the Great Midwest.”
And one more thing — not a book, but an event for which you must all mark your calendars immediately: Wordplay, the big two-day celebration of reading, books and authors, will take place May 11 and 12 in downtown Minneapolis.
Hosted by the Loft Literary Center, the festival will stretch from the Guthrie Theater to Open Book to the Mill City Museum. A sampling of authors who will be here include Nicole Chung, David Treuer, Gabrielle Bell, Beth Dooley and Bill McKibben. More details will be released this month.
Laurie Hertzel is the Star Tribune senior editor for books. On Facebook: www.facebook.com/startribunebooks