Monday, January 13, 2014

Reviewing the Mail: Week of 1/11

This is beginning to get eerie: for what I think is the fourth week in a row, I have precisely one book to write about this week. (I don't mind getting one book for free in a week, just as I don't mind getting any number of books free -- getting books free is glorious whenever it happens. But when it's so precisely measured for a long time, I begin to suspect Sinister Forces are at play.)

My vague paranoia aside, the book this week is Alex Bledsoe's He Drank, and Saw the Spider, which I believe is the fifth in his Eddie LaCrosse series, about a hard-boiled detective in an epic fantasy world. I've got a small shelf of Bledsoe books staring at me -- all of his books sound like exactly the thing I would love, and so I've been piling them up -- but I still haven't managed to read any of them, for reasons I really can't explain. This time out, Bledsoe pulls a Ross Macdonald and has Eddie return to a place where he once saved a baby girl from a bear, to see how she's grown up in the fifteen years since then. Of course, things are complicated and dangerous, and Eddie finds himself right in the middle of that as soon as he arrives. He Drank, and Saw the Spider is a Tor hardcover, hitting stores this Tuesday.

I also got two books from a major online bookseller on Friday, so I'll mention them as well. Both of these are things I paid my own good money for, if that helps anyone prioritize them.

The Burglar Who Counted the Spoons is the eleventh in Lawrence Block's series about Bernie Rhodenbarr, gentleman burglar, following a bunch of bestsellers from the past four decades. (I started reading this series, back when there were only two or three of them, in one of my first journeys upstairs to Adult Fiction in my local library, back longer ago than I care to mention.) Block self-published this one -- for reasons unknown to me, whether they have to do with lack of interest from his publishers, a desire to keep all of the money, a sense of experimentation, or something completely different -- though it has a cover design very reminiscent of the early books in the series (from Doubleday, if I remember right). This is out now, and you might miss it if you're not careful -- one potential problem with self-publishing is that an individual author usually doesn't have the outreach ability (publicity, marketing, getting books into stores) that a company does.

And I've been looking for Daryl Cunningham's How to Fake a Moon Landing for so long -- it was published last April, and my copy in the box was the first time I saw one in person -- that I'd forgotten that one of the reason I was interested in it in the first place was that it was in comics form. So: comics, skepticism, and real science in one package. If my audience is anything like I think it is, many of you will want this book.

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