Monday, March 26, 2018

Reviewing the Mail: Week of 3/24/18

Welcome back! Every Monday morning, I list here new books I've gotten -- some sent by publishers for publicity purposes, some bought because I want them, some from libraries because I want them only temporarily. This week, there's one library book, and a stack I bought.

(Some of the ones I bought came from a sale run by a library, just to be confusing.)

I'll start with two graphic novels I bought so I can finish off their respective series, since those are the ones I was specifically looking for out of this week's haul:

Sunny, Vol. 5 is the penultimate volume of the manga series by Taiyo Matsumoto; I've reviewed volumes one, two, three, and four here, and I already have the sixth book on my shelf. So I was waiting to run across this one in a store for a good six months, and finally broke down and bought it online.

Demon, Vol. 4 is the end of the Jason Shiga story originally as a webcomic -- again, I've had the first three volumes for a while and finally just bought the last one from a gigantic hegemonic online bookstore so I'd have all of them. Expect a review of the whole series sometime this year, when I'm far enough ahead on Book-A-Day to spend four days reading something for one post.

Next up are books I found at the annual library booksale in the neighboring town; I'm going to list them in the order I found them, just because.

Gilgamesh the King is a little-known Robert Silverberg novel, from the Majipoor years. I think he was trying to become a general bestseller at the time, and so writing various things that might do that for him -- it didn't exactly work, but we all got some interesting books out of it. I know I had this book before, and I think I read it back in the '90s. But that was a long time ago.

The Drop by Dennis Lehane -- as far as I can tell, this is a novella published as a book, possibly slightly expanded from its original appearance in an anthology. I really liked Lehane's early novels -- especially the mystery series about a couple of Boston PIs -- but I haven't read as much of him since I left the bookclubs and he moved to writing big thrillers aimed at becoming movies. This one also became a movie, but it's short, so it looked like a good way to get back to Lehane.

The Old Gringo by Carlos Fuentes is another book that I know I had before my 2011 flood and probably read. (It might even have been on the syllabus of a "Latin American Literature in Translation" course that I took in college -- I'm pretty sure something by Fuentes was.) I'm an Ambrose Bierce fan, and I have no memory of reading this, so spending 50 cents on it was easy.

And last from the library was Richard Hughes's A High Wind in Jamaica, which I bought almost entirely because it was published as a NYRB Classic. I only vaguely remember hearing about the book, and while googling to find this here image of the cover, I was surprised to discover that it was a movie way back in the before-times. I really have no idea what the story is, or why I might want to read it -- again, it cost 50 cents, it's from a respected press, and so it stood out from the sea of Evanovich and Patterson at the library sale.

The one library book was Nina Bunjevac's Fatherland, a graphic memoir of her family and especially her Serbian-nationalist father. I got it entirely because there was an excerpt in one of the Best American Comics books I read recently -- it's the one thing from those books I both wanted to read more of and was able to find in a local library.

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