It’s difficult to predict which books will be next year’s must-have reads, what with 2009’s absence of anything Harry Potter or Twilight. But we do know which books we’re preparing to tear off the shelves. Here’s a list of titles we’re looking forward to seeing on stands in 2009 (and sorry, Bret Michaels, your April memoir, Between a Rose and a Thorn, is not included. That might just have to remain on my personal to-read list, shhh).
1. I Love A Man in Uniform, by Lily Burana (pictured): The author’s memoir about exotic dancing days — Strip City — made EW’s Best Books list in 2001, so we’re already preparing to give Burana a 21-gun salute for her decision to write a memoir about her life as a military wife.
2. I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti, by Giulia Melucci (April 8): Melucci’s relationship memoir chronicles the food she made to entice men – and console herself when they left her broken-hearted. The title alone makes us want to smile…and eat.
3. Admission, by Jean Hanff Korelitz (April 13): Korelitz’s latest novel follows a 30-something Princeton admissions officer whose career is threatened after she backs a talented 17-year-old that doesn’t fit the ivy mold. One reason we expect roman à clef to be good? Korelitz, conveniently enough, worked in the admissions office at Princeton.
4. Cutting for Stone, by Abraham Verghese (Feb. 3): The doctor/My Own Country memoirist tries his hand in fiction with his first novel set against the backdrop of 1950s Ethiopia. If nothing else, we’ll be checking it out purely to see if there’s anything Verghese can’t do.
5. Don’t Cry, by Mary Gaitskill (March 24): Oh Mary, how we missed ye! The author returns with her first collection of stories in more than 10 years. And if it’s half as compellingly salacious as 1988’s Bad Behavior, we’ll be sold.
6. A Fortunate Age, by Joanna Smith Rakoff (April 7): This novel — chronicling the lives of a group of Gen-Xers in pre- and post-9/11 New York City — is being touted as the the next The Group (Mary McCarthy’s beloved 1963 novel).
7. Mommywood, by Tori Spelling (April 24): Come on, admit it already: Tori Spelling’s 2007 memoir, sTori Telling, was as sinfully delicious to devour as an ice cream sundae, or a Lifetime movie, for that matter. So really, how could anyone resist checking out her upcoming memoir on motherhood?
8. Cheever, by Blake Bailey (March 10): The author of A Tragic Honesty: The Life and Work of Richard Yates will likely knock another one out of the park with this bio on John Cheever, the first major book to chronicle the writer’s life.
9. I Drink for a Reason, by David Cross (Aug. 31): We have to pick up this memoir from the Arrested Development/Mr. Show comedian, because we’re dying to know the man inside him.
10. Year of the Cock: The Remarkable True Account of a Married Man Who Left His Wife and Paid the Price, by Alan Wieder (July): Because how could you not be just a little curious after reading that title?