Monday, December 19, 2022

Reviewing the Mail: Week of December 17, 2022

Three books this week: all from the library, two of them from holds and one that I wandered into the stacks to find.

(Note: the mighty Emmanuel Einstein Public Library of Pompton Lakes is indeed mighty, and a lovely building, but it's also quite small, so "stacks" might give an unwarranted impression. I just noticed, this time, that SF is one bookcase, faded from being near a window and seemingly mostly relics of the '90s and Aughts, for example.)

Adventuregame Comics, Vol. 1: Leviathan is the new book from Jason Shiga, which seems to be a return to the format of his Meanwhile... of ten years ago: a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure style comics story, ostensibly for younger readers. This one looks to be possibly less ambitious than Meanwhile was; it's definitely in a smaller format and possibly shorter. It's also apparently set in a D&Dish fantasy world, though with Shiga, I'm expecting something sneakier and less obvious than dungeon crawling.

First Person Singular is a collection of eight short stories by Haruki Murakami, published in 2020. I used to be a huge Murakami fan - discovered A Wild Sheep Chase from the SFBC way back in the '90s; was part of the World Fantasy jury that gave him an award for Kafka on the Shore - but his books are bug-crushers lately, and my modern reading regime includes a strong allergy to crushing bugs. So I still have 1Q84 glaring at me from the to-be-read shelf, and I suspect there are other Murakami books that I don't even own. Like this one, for example. But this one is short, and I have hopes of reading it quickly - that is one of the great things about library books; they have to go back, so you have to read them now.

And then there's I Never Promised You a Rose Garden, a graphic novel by Mannie Murphy in an odd style - each page is divided into hand-written scripty lettering, laid out like it's in a composition notebook, and a single image in a blue-ink wash. I think I'll need to use my whole eventual post about it to say "what it's about" - it's one of those books that looks to be a head-dump of everything the author cares about, or everything tangled up in one nexus in that author's head.

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