Sunday, January 05, 2014

Incoming Books: January 3

I usually try to get at least one good big book-shopping binge in during my vacations, but I nearly missed that this time out of inertia. Finally, it was the last weekday of my vacation, and I'd missed the window to get into the city and hit the Strand -- we'd gotten about half a foot of snow the night before, so getting around was a pain. But I could still get over to the Montclair Book Center, my big local indy shop, and so there I went.

And here's what I found:

Levels of Life, the new book by Julian Barnes, about his life with his late wife (and longtime literary agent) Pat Kavanagh. Barnes's last major nonfictional work was also about death and aging: Nothing to Be Frightened Of, which came out in 2008, soon before Kavangh's death. I suppose that's what happen as you get older: one's attention focuses more and more on the end.

Hyperbole and a Half is a collection of comics and essays and other things, mostly if not entirely from the blog of the same name by Allie Brosh. Brosh is the source of the "do all the things!" image that's all over the Internet, and also a thoughtful, interesting writer -- which may not be unrelated to  her ADHD and depression, the subjects of many of her pieces.

What Were They Thinking? by Bruce Felton -- a collection of short bits about bad ideas throughout history. I'm 99% sure that I've seen this or held this before, but I'm about equally sure that I never actually read it. And it looks like an excellent bathroom book.

How to Lie with Statistics by Darrell Huff -- this is a classic, and my first copy died in the flood. So now I have an excuse to read it again and write about it here, which can count as a win if you squint.

Taxes, the Tea Party, and Those Revolting Rebels is a graphic novel history of the American Revolution by Stan Mack. I believe Mack is left-leaning, so I expect making "Tea Party" so prominent in the title does not have the contemporary political implications one might expect. But I'll have to see when I read it.

META 4, the collection of a comics series by Ted McKeever. I liked some of McKeever's early work, but I haven't seen anything of his -- out of my own laziness and not paying attention, I'm sure -- in a long time. He's an interesting creator, so I should probably catch up on his work.

Reporting, which is a collection of articles for the New Yorker by David Remnick -- I believe all from the era when he was the Editor and general Big Cheese of that operation. I had a copy of this before the flood, but that was a hardcover and this is a trade paperback -- so not only is it totally different, this new one is more portable and thus more likely to get read. Also, Remnick won a Pulitzer for one of his books, so he's gotta be good.

Bandette Vol. 1: Presto! is the first collection of the adventures of the title character, who is the world's greatest thief and also a teenage girl. It's by Colleen Coover and Paul Tobin -- who also did Gingerbread Girl together and a lot of other things separately.

And last is Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume 2. I still haven't read the first one -- I have a bookmark about twenty pages into it, though, so I'm officially reading it, and have been for about three years -- but I will, eventually, and so I'll want this one to follow.

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