New Books for the New Year | Wyatt’s World

As the close of 2013 and the opening of 2014 usher in glad tidings, hopes, plans, and a new year of books, here is a sampling of the wide title assortment coming in January 2014. From the next Oprah pick to romantic magical realism to a memoir on the politics of war, there’s much to be celebrated.

  • Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen (St. Expurgatory122913Martin’s). An alligator with surprising abilities and an imperiled summer retreat offer a young widow and her daughter a second chance at forging a life. Allen’s many fans will devour her latest lyrical blend of hope and magic.
  • Ex-Purgatory by Peter Clines (Broadway). Fans of Clines’s clever and geekily fun mashup of superheroes and zombies will delight in this fourth outing featuring George Bailey and Stealth. The action remains fast and high as the urban fantasy and pop culture–inspired “Ex” series races on.
  • Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War by Robert M. Gates (Knopf). Sure to make the rounds on popular news shows, Gates’s assemblage of reflections on America’s role in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as his thoughts on Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, promises to be intriguing as it presents a wide view of politics during war.
  • The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd (Viking). Kidd’s vividly realized, intertwined novel of two women—one the daughter of a plantation owner, the other a slave on the estate—has already been picked as the next Oprah Book Club title, but it would have made a splash even without the extra star power behind it.
  • Orfeo by Richard Powers (Norton). Peter Els has spent his life creating music—an interest he expresses through both art and science. In Powers’s arresting novel, it is the latter that gets him in trouble. A suspected bioterrorist at age 70, Els is on the run from the federal government and retraces connections and memories as he plots a way out of the coils of Homeland Security.
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Annalisa Pesek ( is Assistant Managing Editor, LJ Book Review
[photograph by John Sarsgard]