Attention all literary-inclined Binghamton University students: the year’s biggest book season is quickly approaching. Be sure to visit your local Barnes & Noble and check out these upcoming book releases.
September 11 — “Telegraph Avenue” by Michael Chabon
After publishing two novels in 2007, Michael Chabon has been absent from the publishing world except for a couple of essay collections. “Telegraph Avenue” is set in the summer of 2004 in northern California, dealing with two friends who own a struggling record store, when a lover from their past fractures their friendship. Furthermore, a black ex-NFL quarterback plans to build a megastore in their neighborhood, threatening their business. If Chabon’s earlier novels are any indication, this book will deal with racial and social differences with grace and style.
September 11 — “Vagina: A New Biography” by Naomi Wolf
Bestselling author of “The Beauty Myth” and renowned feminist activist Naomi Wolf takes the biographical approach to the female reproductive organ. Using an accessible writing style to process scientific sources and cultural criticism, the book should be an informative read for those interested in, as the publisher describes, “the ties between a woman’s experience of her vagina and her sense of self.”
September 27 — “The Casual Vacancy” by J.K. Rowling
Since “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” J.K. Rowling has only published “The Tales of Beedle the Bard,” a slim volume that left fans hungry for more. Now she ventures outside of her fantastic universe with “The Casual Vacancy.” The novel is a dark comedy about a small British town at odds with itself when one of the town’s councilman dies and his seat opens up for election.
September 27 — “The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail-but Some Don’t” by Nate Silver
Nate Silver, author of New York Times blog FiveThirtyEight, has attracted national interest for his startlingly accurate predictions of the 2008 presidential election and baseball games. In his insightful new book, he examines sports, weather, gambling, the stock market and more. From this data, he draws patterns to explain the importance of paying attention to the right details and avoiding overconfidence while making predictions.
October 2 — “This Book Is Full of Spiders: Seriously, Dude, Don’t Touch It” by David Wong
Jason Pargin, better known under his pseudonym, David Wong, is best known for editing and writing columns on www.cracked.com, the phenomenally popular comedy website. In 2010 he published “John Dies at the End,” a hilarious, trippy horror-comedy made into a yet-to-be-released movie starring Paul Giamatti. In “Spiders,” Wong revisits the characters in his previous novel as they get into more funny, bizarre adventures.
October 2 — “Do Movies Have a Future?” by David Denby
His pieces in The New Yorker, where he has been writing for 20 years, have always been insightful and sharp, but Denby has strangely not yet written a book about the movies. This all changes with “Do Movies Have a Future?” a prospective essay collection that traces cinema through art, culture and business while considering its relationship with other mediums, such as television and the Internet, to predict how the cinematic medium may exist in the future.
October 16 — “Waiting for the Barbarians: Essays from the Classics to Pop Culture” by Daniel Mendelsohn
When analyzing books, movies or theater in his essays, Daniel Mendelsohn, a professor at Bard College, approaches them with a vast knowledge of their context in the cultural conversation and of the creator’s other works. His reviews are always highly informative and fascinatingly insightful. His new book collects his essays from The New York Review of Books, The New Yorker and The New York Times Book Review.
October 16 — “The Big Screen: The Story of the Movies” by David Thomson
Acclaimed author of over 25 books on cinema, including “The New Biographical Dictionary of Film,” David Thomson now takes another stab at movie history. This time, he studies the role of movies in a wider cultural context and how they affect our way of life.
October 23 — “The Middlesteins” by Jami Attenberg
From the popular author of “Instant Love” and “The Melting Season,” Jami Attenberg’s new novel has been getting plenty of advance critical acclaim. It’s the humorous and compassionate story of a dysfunctional Midwestern family and their struggles with marriage and obsession.
November 13 — “Sweet Tooth” by Ian McEwan
The bestselling and award-winning author of “Solar,” “Atonement” and “On Chesil Beach” takes his hand at the twisty espionage genre. In 1972, the middle of the Cold War, England’s intelligence agency MI5 attempts to control the cultural conversation by funding authors whose ideas are the same as the government’s. One Cambridge student that MI5 hires as a recruiter, Serena Frome, falls in love with an author the organization is considering hiring, leading to a complicated chain of events that Serena must grapple with if she wants to keep her job and love.