A Look Ahead at the Season’s Big Books

How would you define a “big book”? It could be a new offer from a beloved author or a dive into a trendy topic, or a story that has generated unusual enthusiasm among editors and other early readers: By In one way or another, these are books that resonate and create momentum in the weeks and months leading up to publication. In this week’s podcast, Book Review editor Gilbert Cruz talks to Tina Jordan, associate editor, about the books they’re most looking forward to this season, including new novels by Salman Rushdie, Eleanor Catton, and Eleanor Catton. Victor LaValle, and non-fiction books from Matthew Desmond, Claire Dederer, and David Grann.

Among other things, Cruz and Jordan discuss the culture of cancellation, the revealers of the word “Macbeth,” and the concept of what publishers call “bookmaking.”

“A book where the publisher often, though not always, spends a lot of money and spends a lot of money on a marketing campaign,” says Jordan. “In other words, they will cover this book. You will hear about it.

The books discussed on this week’s podcast are:

  • “City of Victory,” by Salman Rushdie

  • “Birnam Wood,” by Eleanor Catton

  • “Pineapple Street,” by Jenny Jackson

  • “Poverty in America,” by Matthew Desmond

  • “Lonely Woman,” by Victor LaValle

  • “The Beast,” by Claire Dederer

  • “Betting,” by David Grann

  • “Covenant of Water,” by Abraham Verghese

  • “Oscar Wars,” by Michael Schulman

We’d love to hear your thoughts on this episode and on the Book Review podcast in general. You can send them to [email protected].


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