The OF Blog: January 21-31 Book Porn

Saturday, January 31, 2009

January 21-31 Book Porn



Seven books this time, four of them bought and three being review copies sent to me. Interesting mix of the old and new here, as there are two debut authors and one making her debut as a novelist, to go along with four established novelists. Two short story collections, a short novel, and only two books that go past 400 pages. Interested to know more? Read on!

Left: Holly Phillips, The Engine's Child (I enjoyed her debut collection, In the Palace of Repose, so I plan on reading her debut novel sometime in the next month or so); Peter Beagle, We Never Talk About My Brother (this collection, coming out in March, will likely be read/reviewed around then. Looking forward to it); Roberto Bolaño, Amuleto (originally released in Spanish in 1999, this short novel so far, 25 pages in, seems to be on par for Bolaño's writing - direct and yet evocative at the same time).




Left: Patrick Ness, The Knife of Never Letting Go (if I remember correctly, this was the book that Martin Lewis claimed was one of his best YA novels for 2008. I've only read the first couple of chapters so far, but it does seem to be worthy of consideration for genre awards for YA); Brian Evenson, Altmann's Tongue (just finished reading it about an hour ago. Damn good, unsettling story collection. This was Evenson's first book, published in 1994, and it certainly stirred up plenty of talk, not all of it positive. I'm currently in the middle of conducting an interview with Evenson and hopefully the final result will lead to people going out and reading his work).




Left: C.S. Friedman, Wings of Wrath (this is the second volume in her latest trilogy, and unfortunately, I haven't yet gotten around to buying the first. However, I will do that in the very near future, as her previous stories have been a joy to read); David Moody, Hater (expect to hear a lot of talk about this book in the near future, as it has an interesting history from going from a 2006 self-published book to the author, without the aid of an agent, selling the movie rights to Guillermo del Toro, J.A. Bayona, and Mark Johnson - all top-notch producers, before St. Martin's Press bought the US rights. I'll be reading it sometime in the next few weeks and if I like it as much as the premise intrigues me, I might even see about conducting an interview with Moody).

6 comments:

Fábio said...

The Knife... is REALLY the best YA book I read last year, Larry. I´m recommending it to all my friends and to some publishing houses in Brazil as well.

(Fabio, finishing a major translation job, utterly tired, apologizing for not dropping by more often, and promising to KICK ASS with his list of books read in January. ;-)

Larry said...

Like I said, from what I can tell, I would expect it to be in the running for the Norton Award for YA Fiction, not that I'm nudging any SFWA jury members reading this to consider it... ;)

As for your reading list, well...I'm going to post mine in a couple of hours. I seem to have recovered from a slow start ;)

Liviu said...

Holly Philips debut novel is Burning Girl. This one is her "majors" debut.

I loved Engine's Child and I bought both the collection and Burning Girl, which I plan to read sooner rather than later.

I read about half the stories from In The Palace of Repose so far and I liked them.

Rick said...

I'm interested to read your thoughts on Hater. I'm adding it to my list of books to read.

The Knife sounds like it is also a book that needs to be read. Thanks for the strong recommendation Fabio.

Larry said...

Liviu,

My mistake. Thanks for making me aware (more?) of Burning Girl, which I obviously haven't yet read.

Rick,

With any luck, I'll have read and possibly reviewed it around Feb. 17, when it'll be released in the US.

Liviu said...

Burning Girl is very different from Engine's Child in style; darker and more "introverted". It almost reads like one of those books where dream and reality are intertwined, though it seems the external reality here is well defined. I read maybe 20 pages so far and I *definitely* plan to read it soon, but I have not yet been in the right mood for it.

I tried to read Ness book Knife of Never Letting Go after all the glowing reviews, and honestly I do not get it; I cannot suspend disbelief for even one page - as a children tale it would work, say a darker, 7-10 th grade Hugo Cabret or Benedict Society, but I cannot take it seriously in any way, shape or form.

I enjoyed a lot two books with teenagers as main protagonists this year, one is a candidate for top 5 of the year - Mortal Coils - and another was a bit campy, but fun all the way - Walls of the Universe - so there are books with YA main characters that I can take seriously, but Knife was not one of them

 
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