Shutting the Book on 2008

Written by NY Press on . Posted in Books, Posts.


The same stories have been told since the dawn of time, but the way they’re told is what’s always changing. Books in 2009 will be no exception. Check out some of last year’s hottest literary trends—and how they’ll translate.

Happiness Whether it was Happy for No Reason: 7 Steps to Being Happy from the Inside Out, The Happiness Trap: How to Stop Struggling and Start Living or The How of Happiness:

A New Approach to Getting the Life You Want, 2008 was all about finding inner peace. And if you didn’t? Tough shit! In January 2009, Eric G. Wilson’s Against Happiness will be released to celebrate the sorrow that causes so many people to strive for more. As the book jacket says, “It’s time to throw off the shackles of positivity and relish the blues that make us human.”

Music Last year saw literary efforts from musicians like Eminem (The Way I Am), Juliana Hatfield (When I Grow up: A Memoir) and foxy old Dean Wareham (Black Postcards: A Rock & Roll Romance). In 2009 it looks like we’ll be reading stuff that’s more akin to listening to the music we like than reading about it. In January, Noise: Fiction Inspired by Sonic Youth will be released with essays by Mary Gaitskill, Peter Wild and more; in March, loony crooner Ryan Adams will release Infinity Blues, a collection of his surprisingly charming poetry; and in July, Heavy Rotation: Twenty Writers on the Albums That Changed Their Lives will come out with great minds like Kate Christensen and Josh Ferris writing about their favorite albums. Bonus points to Mark Grief for choosing Fugazi’s self-titled record.

The World Around Us Everyone and his mother and her favorite New Yorker staffer is writing a book about Obama, but by the time they come out we’ll be much more interested in books on the economy. So while Scout Tufankjian’s Yes We Can: Barack Obama’s History-Making Presidential Campaign is all the rage now, it will seem like sweet memories once crash-tastic titles like Rob Coby’s Discover the Upside of Down and I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi.

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