This year we sat down and talked to over 20 authors, one of the highlights being Jackie Collins who, it turns out, has had an even wilder life than her characters. She told us that about 10 years ago, a masked man shoved an Uzi in her face and screamed, “Don’t move, b**** or I’ll blow your f***ing head off.” I imagine her running away, the adrenaline kicking in as she gives a silent cheer, thankful for her survival, but more thankful for the story she’ll have for future dinner parties. It’s the type of thing that you’d expect to happen to the woman whose written books like Lethal Seduction and Deadly Embrace.
Either you love Jackie Collins or experience a willful apathy towards her. It’s part of the magic of the woman who has sold over 500-million copies of her books. Stephen King, by comparison, has sold about 350-million books, but you already know these authors. You have firm opinions about them that we’re not trying to sway. So, what about the authors you’ve never heard of? One of the most exciting parts 2014 has been introducing our audience to new writers. Below are three of our favorites. They’re not unknown authors or “new discoveries” by any means, but they are all worthwhile reads and we want to make sure you don’t miss them.
This was one of the most eye-opening books I’ve ever read. Caitlin is a mortician and death theorist, and beyond the macabre details that excited the heck out of me (Did you know that the fatter a corpse is, the faster it will burn during cremation?), she explains the sociological implications of not being exposed to corpses, a privilege that we have in the developed world. This has made us fear death and the dead in ways that are unique to the last 100 years, and reading Smoke Gets in Your Eyes altered many of my views.
In this book, Dinah uses the many objects in her life – both tangible and not – as a vehicle to share her experiences. In what could have been gimmicky, The Object Parade comes across as quiet and endearing. It felt like you were watching a movie where the cameraman was given free rein to explore the stage, hovering in and out of the actors in the scene. It made me nervous reading Dinahs’ depiction of her mother, knowing that she would read these things herself, and in that, Dinah’s presentation of herself felt authentic and whole.
I wanted to drive Thomas home after our interview so that I could keep talking to him. He speaks in lucid paragraphs that incite the Aha! Moments that Oprah dreams about. We get to choose how to embody our gender, and Man Alive says that it can be as complicated or as simple as we need it to be. Thomas’ matter-of-fact style was given breath by the poetry of his writing, mimicking his own struggles on his path to self-recognition.
We hope you enjoy these. We’ve got some big announcements in 2015 we’re excited to share with you. Have a great holiday.
– Jeffrey Masters, Managing Editor | @jeffmasters1