Beethoven: Anguish and Triumph by Jan Swafford (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1104 pages, August 5)
From the biographer of Charles Ives and Johannes Brahms comes a massive, definitive life of Beethoven, whose music and personality have become a part of our culture. Swafford traces Beethoven's life from his birth in Enlightenment-era Bonn to his later deafness and ill health, all the while exploring what made his compositions so extraordinary. And of course this biography had to be 1100+ pages- it's Beethoven!
(For the record, Murakami's new novel is out this month and I CAN'T WAIT TO GET MY PAWS ON IT. But since that news has been well-publicized recently, I decided to spotlight a less-well-known August release).
2 A.M. at The Cat's Pajamas by Marie-Helene Bertino (Crown, 272 pages, August 5)
Forgive me, but I was instantly attracted to this book because of it's funky-cool title and the cover art's whole "I Dream of Jeannie" thing that it's got goin' on. But what's it about, you ask? Well, it's the story of three people whose lives intersect at a Jazz club called "The Cat's Pajamas": a nine-year-old aspiring jazz singer, a recently-divorced teacher looking for love with an old flame, and the owner himself, who might have to close the place down. What happens when the three converge? Looks like a fun read.
Invisible City by Julia Dahl (Thorndike Press, 417 pages, August 27)
Dahl, a journalist, has written her debut novel about a girl who searches for her mother in the tight-knit, cloistered Hasidic community of Brooklyn. When Rebekah Roberts moves to New York to pursue a career as a reporter, her investigation of the murder of a Hasidic woman leads her down some pretty sketchy paths, and the murderer might just get away with the crime. Dahl offers us a tantalizing thriller that also asks us to consider the intersections of justice and religious beliefs.