Monday, April 25, 2011

New Books and the Discovery of the Summer

Here is my latest haul:
The London Satyr - Robert Edric (1st ed, UK)
Edric should be more popular than he is.  Satyrs, too.

Hanging Hill - Mo Hayder (1st ed, UK)
Her books are always thrilling and/or terrifying.  You see those words on jacket copy all the time - but really, when was the last time you were terrified by a book?  Rarely happens.  The one person I've come across who plays with the supernatural but explains it all nicely is Mo Hayder.  She a crime writer from the UK who writes terribly scary novels.  Pig Island, Ritual, Skin, The Devil of Nanking - all flirt with haunted/demonic/paranormal stuff but there's always real things behind whatever is going on.  (This always struck me as important but apparently its the basis for everything done in Scooby Doo - somebody always tries to make the house look haunted to cover up their misdeeds.  But I maintain that she (Mo) does it very well.  And I always was a giant Scooby Doo fan.) Tremendously good entertainment - I am looking forward to this one.

The Fetish Room: The Education of a Naturalist - Redmond O'Hanlon and Rudi Rotthier
Redmond O'Hanlon is the Hunter S. Thompson of natural history writing (minus the drugs, a hell of a lot smarter, with a better employer - the TLS, and much more charm and humility.).  He did not write this book - Rotthier did but apparently the publishers felt it would sell better with O'Hanlon's name listed first.  I don't care - I just want to hear more stories from him/about him.  (Also - one learns that 'the fetish room' has many other meanings on the internet when one searches for a book cover with safesearch off on Google Images.)

The Strangers in the House - Georges Simenon
This is a nice New York Review of Books trade paperback edition.  I have an older Penguin edition (with a movie tie-in cover) that is a different translation.  I never read my Penguin copy (I have an entire bookcase devoted to Simenon and have yet to read my way through all of them) and am interested to compare the new and old translations.  
 361 - Donald Westlake
 This needs no introduction.

Get Real - Donald Westlake
This is the last Dortmunder novel.  I am currently on the ninth one (I think), What's the Worst That Could Happen? and will be sad when I  run out of Dortmunders.

What I Tell You Three Times Is False - Samuel Holt/Donald Westlake
This is the third Samuel Holt book - I don't have the first two.  I grabbed it because I rarely find used Westlake for sale anywhere (though I just found copies of Deadly Edge and Butcher's Moon dirt cheap now that I already own and have read them).  My first impression of this Samuel Holt thing is that it doesn't look very good.  That will probably turn out to be wrong and even if not, a bad Westlake is better than the work of most others.  I don't think I would have ever considered reading this if it were by someone else.
Clare DeWitt and the City of the Dead - Sara Gran (advance reading copy)
Now this - this is dynamite.  I've blogged about two of Sara Gran's earlier books, Come Closer and Dope before.  This is her fourth novel and is the first of a new series.  This woman is insanely talented - and really cool.  And she has a fantastic blog -  (And no, I do not know her.)  This is an advance reading copy - the book is not published until June 2, 2011.  I've only just started to read it - the story concerns the search for a missing person in New Orleans 18 months after Katrina.  (Also - season two of David Simon's Treme has just started - I hope it is as wonderful as the first.)  I see that this book is already generating good word-of-mouth in its run up to publication.  I hope it continues to do so and that it becomes a hit.

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