Three books of note coming out in July, August, and September 2007.

Rosie Little’s Cautionary Tales for Girls by Danielle Wood
MacAdam/Cage; around 255 pages; $18.75; July 13, 2007

These linked stories promise to reinvent the fairytale, some say originally meant to caution young girls against “bad” behavior. Marked in the table of contents not only by their titles but also categories, such as Virginity, Truth, Commitment, and Art, they are surprising reminders that we control the endings of our own stories. As with Paula and Will who upon their 2nd anniversary “were like a pair of dangerously deflated balloons,” the setting we make for ourselves may not always be pretty, but we find a way to survive.

Lottery by Patricia Wood
Putnam; around 296 pages; $24.95; August 2007

This debut novel is sparking excitement across the country. Wood has three manuscripts under her belt, is in her 50s and lives on a boat in Hawai`i, but it’s her endearing main character that’s engendered a large advance and sale to over five countries. The novel has been characterized, in a kind of 30-second elevator pitch, as Forrest Gump Wins Powerball. Written in the voice of a 31 year-old cognitively challenged man who wins the Washington State Lottery, the novel will challenge you to inhabit the world of someone who no one wants to know, and then to see how money changes everything, for the worse and the better. Watch out also for my full review here, from the Miami Herald, and a feature in the Honolulu Advertiser, both in August.

Tree of Smoke: A Novel by Denis Johnson
FSG; around 614 pages; $27.00; September 2007

Nothing less than a beast of a book, the publisher views it as one of theirs and Johnson’s best works. It’s is a war-novel but not, a spy-novel but not, a Viet Nam novel but not. So what is it? It’s worth the days or weeks it will take you to scurry through myriad perspectives and discern the truth amongst the intricacies of PsyOps warfare and all the lies—internal and external. Watch out also for my full review here: a short from Paste Magazine and a long from the Honolulu Advertiser, both in September.