Five Books to Look Forward To in 2013

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You know it's January when everyone, including you, is on some quest for self-improvement. Forget about the gym for a while, however, and concentrate on 2013's new book releases. This year promises exciting novels from established writers, so reading more this year should be an easy resolution to keep.

George Saunders, "Tenth of December," January 8

The genius whom you've never read is at it again with another collection of stories. The quintessential writers' writer, Saunders is still far from being a household name despite having received numerous authorial accolades. Previous publications like "CivilWarLand in Bad Decline" and "In Persuasion Nation" contained accounts of dystopian universes and exaggerated satires of contemporary society; Saunders' new work promises to be no different.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, "Americanah," May 14

The award-winning Nigerian author of "Half of a Yellow Sun" is set to return with her first proper novel in seven years. "Americanah" will chronicle two star-crossed lovers, Ifemelu and Obinze, forced to flee a Nigeria full of military unrest. While Ifemelu is able to build a new life in America, Obinze is refused entry to the country; instead, he leads a dangerous life in London's underground. When the two lovers find each other back in Nigeria fifteen years later, it remains to be seen whether geographical closeness will lead to emotional reconciliation.

Khaled Hosseini, "And the Mountains Echoed," May 21

Remember that book called "The Kite Runner?" The one that found its way into every book club and high school English class in the country? Hosseini's second (and, in our opinion, far less nuanced) novel, "A Thousand Splendid Suns," also made quite a splash. His third novel, "And the Mountains Echoed," is due out in May; like its predecessors, it will be centered around themes of family, chronicling an intergenerational tale of sacrifice and triumph.

Neil Gaiman, "The Ocean at the End of the Lane," June 18

Gaiman fans, rejoice: just when you thought he decided to stick with children's books, the terrifyingly prolific author is set to release a new novel aimed at adults this summer. According to Amazon, "The Ocean at the End of the Lane" won't stray far from Gaiman tropes like fairies, necromancy, and the generally macabre.

Thomas Pynchon, "The Bleeding Edge," TBA

Pynchon writes doorstops of novels about esoteric subjects like the Mason-Dixon Line and Nazi rockets, but that hasn't stopped the literary world from shaking with excitement at the prospect of another one of his novels. Despite the popularity of works like "Gravity’s Rainbow" and "The Crying of Lot 49," Pynchon has maintained his reclusive proclivities throughout his novelistic career, rarely allowing himself to be photographed or interviewed. It should come as no surprise, then, that the plot of the novel, along with its release date, remains unknown.

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