Sunday, September 03, 2017

Incoming Books: August 31

I was on vacation this past week, and that generally means I get some book-shopping in. Traditionally, my family has a trip to Hershey Park this last week of August -- it's usually still hot, and Pennsylvania schools are back in session, which makes it perfect -- and I've tacked on a trip to the Midtown Scholar in Harrisburg a few of those years, since what is travel but an excuse to hit some bookstores?

Unfortunately, my older son's college schedule has limited our travel options for the past two years, meaning I've had to miss Midtown Scholar. And this year was rainy and cold, meaning we did the open rides (most of them, actually!) really quickly but weren't able to spend any time in the water section that takes up a third of the park. So sometimes the luck does not work out.

It also meant I needed to go to a different bookstore if I wanted to get a shopping trip in this week. I did, and so I did: Montclair Book Center, the indy where I've spent the most time over the years. And these were the books I found on this past Thursday:

Doctor Sleep by Madison Smartt Bell -- I had this 1991 novel on my list of "books to look for" for ages, though I may have removed it at some point. I'm pretty sure I've never read anything by Bell. But this is a literary thriller with possible genre elements, so what the heck.

In Patagonia by Bruce Chatwin -- a semi-famous travel book. I think I acquire more travel books than I actually read, but that's true for pretty much any genre I could mention. Chatwin is someone else I've never read.

Around the World in 80 Cliches by Laura Lee -- it was a small, gift-y book on the "words and language" shelf, and looks like a fine addition to my small stack of books for the smallest room in the house. (For some reason, the covers online are the usual proportions, but the book itself I have is shorter and squatter.)

Nutshell by Ian McEwan -- I've fallen behind on his books a bit, but McEwan is intermittently a great writer and always a good one. This is his retelling of Hamlet among the London borgeoisie, narrated by a fetus -- it sounds just weird enough for me.

Men Without Women by Haruki Murakai -- his new short-story collection. From the title, my assumption is that these stories will tend towards the literary rather than the fantastical, but you know what they say about assumptions....

The Rising by Ian Tregillis -- the second book in Tregillis's "Alchemy Wars" series, after The Mechanical. Tregillis is a real talent, and I think I'm already another book behind on this series.

Love in the Time of Fridges by Tim Scott -- this looked weird and interesting; it was from that era when Bantam Spectra was publishing basically literary SF/Fantasy into the genre to see if people would bite. (I think the answer ended up to be: no, not enough to make it viable. But that's the fate of most good books anyway.)

Riding the Iron Rooster by Paul Theroux -- I'm slowly finishing off Theroux's travel books, and this is one of the ones I haven't read yet. (Well, I think I haven't read it -- I know I didn't have a copy.)

Notes, Vol. 1: Born to Be a Larve by Boulet -- Boulet is a Parisian cartoonist, and I don't think much of his work is available in English. But he does have an online diary comic which has (recently?) started to be translated, and which I've been enjoying a lot lately. This is the first English-language collection of that comic, which strips from 2004-05.

Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons -- You might have heard of this one. I haven't read it in a number of years, and I haven't replaced my copy since my flood in '11. So now I have it in case the mood strikes.

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