Brighter days are ahead, friends. We have passed the winter solstice, and we’re moving into the light. Now is a time to look forward — and what better to look forward to than some outstanding books? As is tradition, the Turnaround marketing department have carefully combed through our list for 2022 to pick out just a few of the titles we’re personally most excited about next year. It’s never an easy task (so much to choose from! So little space on this blog!), but someone’s got to do it.
Scroll down to see what we’ve got in store for you, and happy holidays from us! So long, 2021.
Ultrasound by Conor Stechschulte
(9781683965343, HB, £29.99, Fantagraphics, May 2022)
A truly dark-looking psycho-sexual drama. Ultrasound is due out at around the same time as the movie — whose screenplay was written by the same author — and I don’t know which one I’d like to see first. The story begins with Glen, tiredly driving home from a wedding, seeking shelter during a storm in which his tire blows out. He finds more than he bargained for with a middle-aged man and his attractive young wife. From there; strange confessions, unexpected offers and government secrets are revealed to build a gloriously confusing and thrilling story. I have the same feelings going into this as I did reading and watching Under the Skin (Canongate Books, 2000). I expect to be left cold and forever changed.
2120 by George Wylesol
(9781910395653, PB, £16.99, Avery Hill Publishing, May 2022)
This book is still being crowdfunded over at Avery Hill Publishing, along with two other great books for their Spring slate, so once you read these recommendations make sure to go over to their Kickstarter and pledge so that we all get to read this amazing book! From George Wylesol who wrote the astounding Internet Crusader, comes another wholly original masterpiece. This 500-page tome of a graphic novel is a homage to point-and-click PC games with a “choose your own” adventure narrative. The character you’re guiding is Wade, a middle-aged computer repairman, struggling to find his way out of a labyrinthian vacant building which he was sent to a job in. Collecting the clues in the empty hallways and rooms that litter this place will give you the answer to the mystery of this story and I for one can’t wait to figure it all out.
Tripping Arcadia: A Gothic Novel by Kit Mayquist
(9780593185209, HB, £21.99, Dutton, February 2022)
When desperate med school dropout Lena takes a personal assistant position working for one of Boston’s most elite families, the illustrious and secretive Verdeaus, she uncovers a secret – the Verdeau patriarch is responsible for the ruin of her family. Lena vows revenge, from the inside. Billed as an atmospheric, Gothic tale set in the 21st century, this page-turner focussing on the dark and layered secrets of a rich, influential family and the dangerous power of wealth looks like the perfect way to ease the pain of months without more Succession. Sign me up.
Amazing Artworks: The World’s Biggest, Oldest, Most Jaw-Dropping Creations
by Éva Bensard & Charlotte Molas
(9781734761894, HB, £20.99, Tra Publishing, April 2022)
Tra Publishing consistently make some very beautiful books indeed, and this looks to be no exception. A globe-trotting and time-travelling overview of the most important artworks and artists, this compendium offers a comprehensive, accessible, and highly visual intro to art history for young readers, eye-catchingly illustrated by Charlotte Molas. Discover the tallest statue in the world (the 182 metre tall Statue of Unity in Gujarat, India), the very first video art (13 Distorted TV Sets by Nam June Paik), and even the oldest jewellery (discovered in Blombos Cave, South Africa — 73,000 years old!).
Nettleblack by Nat Reeve
(9781838390068, PB, £12.99, Cipher Press, June 2022)
This ‘neo-Victorian queer farce’ is set in 1893, when Welsh heiress Henry Nettleblack, having run away from an arranged marriage, is rescued from a robbery by the mysterious local detective agency/neighbourhood watch The Dallyangle Division. Desperate to hide, she disguises herself and enlists — and finds herself in the midst of a small town’s very big problems. Caught between strange new feelings for a fellow Division member, the tomboyish Septimus, and forces threatening to expose her, Henry must find her way through. This debut looks incredible and I can’t wait to get my hands on it.
Crisis and Care: Queer Activist Responses to a Global Pandemic Edited by Adrian Shanker (9781629639352, PB, £13.99, PM Press, June 2022)
It seems strange to want to spend 2022 looking back over the wreckage of the past few years, but this book will undoubtedly be a productive and worthwhile way to do that without losing total hope in humanity. In fact, looking at all of the brilliant work that LGBTQIA+ activists is one of the most forward-looking and hopeful things we can do going forward. Here’s an excerpt from the blurb to give you a taste of what you’ll find in this anthology:
“CRISIS AND CARE reveals what is possible when activists mobilise for the radical changes our society needs. In a time of great uncertainty, fear, and isolation, Queer activists organised for health equity, prison abolition, racial justice, and more”
Solo Dance by Li Kotomi, translated by Arthur Reiji Morris
(9781912987351, PB, £13.99, World Editions, June 2022)
World Editions are known for releasing brilliant translated titles from all over, but as a fan of Japanese translated fiction I am absolutely ecstatic that they’re releasing Li Kotomi’s Solo Dance in June 2022 translated by Arthur Reiji Morris. Telling the story of Cho Norie, an office worker in Tokyo, Solo Dance delves deep into the coming of age of a queer person in Taiwan and corporate Japan. The book received the Gunzo New Writers’ Prize in 2017 and Kotomi has been nominated and awarded numerous Japanese prizes, so the writing is definitely going to be stellar.
Cyberman by Veronika Muchitsch
(9781838386023, PB, £18.99, Myriad Editions, May 2022)
With themes around isolation and the nature of internet voyeurism, Muchitsch’s story chronicling the real life of 50-year old Ari hits home, hard. I’ve been lucky enough to peak inside this gorgeous graphic novel, and let me tell you — you will be unable to look away till the very end. The graphic novel tells Ari’s story as a streamer who spends 24 hours a day, seven days a week sat or sleeping in front of the computer. Over the course of two-years, Muchitsch watches Ari, documenting his story and reflecting on how voyeurism can mirror ourselves back to us.
High-Risk Homosexual by Edgar Gomez
(9781593767051, PB, £12.99, Soft Skull Press, January 2022)
I’m obsessed with this book already, and it hasn’t even come out yet. I haven’t shut up about it since it was announced. Edgar Gomez dropped promotional High-Risk Homosexual t-shirts not too long ago, and I ordered two. That’s where I’m at right now.
This memoir follows Edgar from their uncle’s cockfighting ring in Nicaragua through a series of queer spaces, from Pulse Nightclub in Orlando to a drag queen convention in LA, as they learn to love being gay and Latinx. I’ve read some of Edgar’s essays already (my personal favourite is ‘My Boyfriend, His Lover and Me’, which you should check out as soon as you’ve finished this blog), and am always struck by the combination of humour and heart-rending vulnerability in his writing, so frankly I’m ready for High-Risk Homosexual to completely destroy me. But like, in a good way.
Impostor Syndrome by Kathy Wang
(9780857308245, PB, £9.99, Verve Books, May 2022)
Part page-turning cat-and-mouse chase, part razor-sharp satire, I already know Kathy Wang’s Impostor Syndrome is going to be right up my alley. Julia Lerner, the COO of Tangerine, one of America’s biggest technology companies, is also a spy using the company’s software to funnel information back to Russia’s largest intelligence agency. Low-level analyst Alice Lu is on to her. Now, Alice must decide what to do with this information before Julia catches on that she has it. This novel about women in the workplace, the power of Big Tech and the looming threat of foreign espionage has been praised for it’s humour, snark and impeccable plot — and I can never turn down snark.
Indelible City by Louisa Lim
(9781922458513, PB, £12.99, Text Publishing, June 2022)
This one is going to be fascinating. Louisa Lim’s Indelible City has been described as “a landmark account of [Hong Kong]’s complex past and precarious future”, casting new light on key moment’s in the city’s history. Louisa Lim is a reporter who has been covering the region for more than a decade, and this deeply-researched account gets to the heart of the identity of Hong Kong, painting it as a site of disappearance and reappearance, power and powerlessness, loss and reclamation.