Last Thursday and Friday, I attended BookExpo, the largest book trade show in the US, with four of my colleagues. As always, I enjoyed being immersed in the new offerings for the fall and seeing all of the talent and enthusiasm (aficion, as the Spanish say) on display. Despite my own enthusiasm for books and publishing, I am reminded of the words of Qohelet: “Of the making of many books there is no end, and much chatter is a weariness of the flesh” (Ecc. 12: 12).
Perhaps it’s just my folly, but there were plenty of books there that seemed to be a far cry from mere chatter. The following is a selection of the forthcoming books that caught my eye . . .
- Jeffrey Brown, Darth Vader and Son and Vader’s Little Princess (Chronicle Books)—I found these two mock kids’ books very amusing. Entertainment Weekly offered a preview here.
- Mary Clayton, editor and translator, Old English Poems of Christ and His Saints (Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library, Harvard University Press, November 2013)
- Leo Damrosch, Jonathan Swift: His Life and His World (Yale University Press, November 2013)
- John Ferling, Jefferson and Hamilton: The Rivalry That Forged a Nation (Bloomsbury Press, October 2013)
- Moshe Halbertal, Maimonides: Life and Thought (Princeton University Press, December 2013)—An excellent Jewish scholar from NYU.
- David Bentley Hart, The Experience of God: Being, Consciousness, Bliss (Yale University Press, September 2013)—His last book, Atheist Delusions, was incredibly erudite and scathing to boot. You can read a review of it here.
- Alan Jacobs, The Book of Common Prayer: A Biography (Princeton University Press, October 2013)—An installment in Princeton’s Lives of Great Religious Books series. Last year I greatly enjoyed Ron Hendel’s installment on Genesis.
- Mark Larrimore, The Book of Job: A Biography (Princeton University Press, October 2013)—An installment in Princeton’s Lives of Great Religious Books series.
- Timothy H. Lim, The Formation of the Jewish Canon (Yale University Press, October 2013)
- Robert Llewellyn, photographer, Seeing Flowers: Discover the Hidden Life of Flowers (Timber Press, September 2013)—Surely a gorgeous follow-up to his previous book, Seeing Trees.
- Tremper Longman III, editor, The Baker Illustrated Bible Dictionary (BakerBooks, August 2013)—These references are only as good as their editors. Longman’s scholarship is excellent and trustworthy.
- George Masden, The Twilight of the American Enlightenment (Basic Books, January 2014)
- R. K. Narayan, The Mahabharata: A Shortened Modern Prose Version of the Indian Epic (University of Chicago Press, October 2013)
- Alessandro Scafi, Maps of Paradise (University of Chicago Press, September 2013)
- R. S. Sugirtharajah, The Bible and Asia: From the Pre-Christian Era to the Postcolonial Age (Harvard University Press, November 2013)
- Corrado Vivanti, Niccolo Machiavelli: An Intellectual Biography (Princeton University Press, June 2013)
- Robert Wuthnow, Small-Town America: Finding Community, Shaping the Future (Princeton University Press, June 2013)—This book seems to be a perfect complement to Rod Dehrer’s The Little Way of Ruthie Leming.
I sincerely hope that more than a few of these books, once published, will receive extended discussions in this blog.