The two-week long Edinburgh Book Festival, set to welcome 250,000 visitors and feature writers including Joyce Carol Oates, Carol Ann Duffy, and Phillip Pullman, opens its doors on August 14. Looking ahead, the end of summer will see the release of a variety of books for every interest, including Jonathan Franzen's latest study of suburbia, Sara Gruen's Water for Elephants follow-up, and Stephen Hawking's musings on physics and the universe.
Edinburgh Book Festival
The 2010 Edinburgh International Book Festival is set to run from August 14 through 30 at the historic Charlotte Square Gardens in Scotland's capital city. Nearly 250,000 people attend the annual event, which together with six concurrent events in Edinburgh is said to make up the world's biggest arts festival. More than 700 events for all ages are scheduled for the festival's 2010 edition, which opens with a debate featuring Philip Pullman. Among the other 750 writers from 50 countries set to participate are author Joyce Carol Oates and UK Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy. Event prices range from free to around €15, and many events sell out well in advance.
Rhonda Byrne's 'The Power'
A new self-help book by Rhonda Byrne, author of 2006 international best-seller The Secret, will pick up where her last book left off. The Secret focused on the law of attraction - what Byrne calls "the most powerful law in the universe" - claiming that positive thinking serves as a magnet for wealth, health, and happiness. The book was translated into 46 languages and continued to hold spots on best-seller lists through 2009. In The Power, Byrne will reveal "the single greatest force in our universe," claiming that "perfect health, incredible relationships, a career you love, a life filled with happiness, and the money you need to be, do, and have everything you want, all come from The Power." The book will be sold in an illustrated hardcover edition, with translated editions to follow.
Final installment of 'The Hunger Games'
Suzanne Collins's internationally best-selling trilogy The Hunger Games - which so far includes 2008's The Hunger Games and 2009's Catching Fire - will wrap up with the August release of The Mockingjay. The dark young adult adventure series takes place in a future society in which one boy and one girl from each of 12 districts, all between the ages of 12 and 18, are selected by lottery to participate in the "Hunger Games," a televised event in which the participants must fight to the death. The series has been a major hit, and the release of the third book will be celebrated with midnight release parties in bookshops throughout the English-speaking world.
Beijing International Book Fair
August 30 - September 3
The Beijing Book Fair has been gaining in importance in recent years as publishers set their sights on the Chinese market - what some call the "final frontier" in publishing. China has one of the largest publishing industries in the world and its demand for English-language titles is growing. The fair is back in Beijing in 2010, having moved outside the city in 2009 after the Olympic Games. An estimated 1,000 publishers and 200,000 visitors from 55 countries attended the 2009 event. The fourth day of the fair is historically open to the public.
Jonathan Franzen's 'Freedom'
August 31/September 23
Enjoying glowing advance reviews,
Freedom is Jonathan Franzen's much-anticipated follow-up to 2001's
The Corrections, which won a US National Book Award. Like his previous novel,
Freedom focuses on the troubles of a family in American suburbia. Patty and Walter Berglund are the liberal-minded residents of a gentrified neighborhood for whom things go sour when their teenage son moves in with a Republican family next door; when Walter, an environmental lawyer, takes a job working with Big Coal; and with the frequent presence of Walter's college best friend and rival, once a budding rock star, in the couple's lives.
Sara Gruen's 'Ape House'
Sara Gruen's Ape House is the follow-up to her 2006 bestselling historical novel Water for Elephants, which became an international bestseller and is now being turned into a feature film starring Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon. The new novel will continue the theme of the relationships between humans and animals, this time shifting its focus from the circus elephants of Water to a family of bonobo apes. The highly anticipated novel was one of the hottest titles at the 2010 edition of BookExpo America.
Stephen Hawking's 'The Grand Design'
Theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking is due to publish his first book since 2001's The Universe in a Nutshell. Co-written with Leonard Mlodinow, The Grand Design will "examine the evidence for the existence of a 'unified theory'-a single theory that can describe and explain all the forces of nature." It is being called Hawking's "ultimate book," set to tackle the key hows and whys of the universe. Especially known for his work on theories about the Big Bang and black holes, Hawking is the author of a handful of books written for the general public. His runaway international bestseller A Brief History of Time remained on bestseller lists for years and has sold ten million copies worldwide.