It’s our Incoming Books feature – May 18th, 2012.
It’s our listing of the books that we have coming up for review. In this selection we have a variety of books to share, many of them indie or from small publishers; a few have speculative elements contained in their pages.
The best part about sharing these books is finding out which interest you – our friends and blog readers - the most.
So please tell us: Which of these books do you want to pick up and read first?
You Came Back ~ by Christopher Coake; June 12th 2012; Grand Central Publishing.
Thirty-something Midwesterner Mark Fife believes he has successfully moved past the accidental death of his young son Brendan, as well as his subsequent divorce from his college sweetheart Chloe. He's successful, he's in love again, and he believes he's mastered his own memories.
But then he is contacted by a strange woman who tells him not only that she owns his old house, but that she believes it to be haunted by Brendan's ghost. Will Mark--who does not believe in ghosts--come to accept the mounting evidence that Brendan's is real? Will his engagement to his new love Allison be threatened by the reappearance in Mark's life of Chloe--who does believe? If the ghost is real, what can these two wounded parents do to help their son?
The Woman with the Bouquet ~ by Eric- Emmanuel Schmitt; Europa Editions; September 2010.
In his new collection of stories, Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt, author of The Most Beautiful Book in the World, probes the paradox that the events that shape our lives are often the stuff of dreams, yet nonetheless true. Humor, tenderness, irony and exquisite writing have always been the hallmarks of Schmitt’s work. Here, he adds a pinch of philosophy.
A translated from French collection by one of Europe’s most beloved authors.
The Age of Miracles ~ Karen Thompson Walker; June 26th 2012; Random House.
On a seemingly ordinary Saturday in a California suburb, Julia and her family awake to discover, along with the rest of the world, that the rotation of the earth has suddenly begun to slow. The days and nights grow longer and longer, gravity is affected, the environment is thrown into disarray. Yet as she struggles to navigate an ever-shifting landscape, Julia is also coping with the normal disasters of everyday life—the fissures in her parents’ marriage, the loss of old friends, the hopeful anguish of first love, the bizarre behavior of her grandfather who, convinced of a government conspiracy, spends his days obsessively cataloging his possessions. As Julia adjusts to the new normal, the slowing inexorably continues.
Spartacus ~ by Ben Kane; June 5th 2012; St. Martin's Press.
Long the stuff of legends, Spartacus is known to most modern readers through the classic Kubrick film version of Howard Fast’s novel. Now bestselling historical novelist Ben Kane returns to the source material and presents a lively and compelling new vision of the man who was Spartacus—Roman army auxillary, slave, gladiator and ultimately the leader of an army of slaves who nearly brought Rome to its knees.
Ben Kane’s brilliant novel begins in the Thracian village to which Spartacus has returned after escaping from life as an auxiliary in the Roman army. Jealous of his attachment to Ariadne, a Dionysian priestess, the Thracian king betrays Spartacus to the Romans who take him, along with Ariadne, into captivity and to the school of gladiators at Capua. Against the background of the unbelievable brutality of gladiatorial life, Spartacus and Crixus the Gaul plan the audacious overthrow of their Roman masters. They escape and flee to Vesuvius, where they recruit and train an army of escaped slaves that will have to face the conquerors of the known world, the most successful deadly army in all of history in a battle that will set in motion the legend that is Spartacus.
Girl Below ~ by Bianca Zander; June 19th 2012; William Morrow Paperbacks.
Suki Piper is a stranger in her hometown. . . .
After ten years in New Zealand, Suki returns to London, to a city that won't let her in. However, a chance visit with Peggy—an old family friend who still lives in the building where she grew up—convinces Suki that there is a way to reconnect with the life she left behind a decade earlier. But the more involved she becomes with Peggy's dysfunctional family, including Peggy's wayward sixteen-year-old grandson, the more Suki finds herself mysteriously slipping back in time—to the night of a party her parents threw in their garden more than twenty years ago, when something happened in an old, long-unused air-raid shelter. . . .
Permanence ~ by Vincent Zandri; Bear Media; May 4, 2012.
Based upon Vincent Zandri's most anthologized Pushcart Prize-nominated short story of the same title, Permanence, is the story of Mary Kismet, a travel agent and grieving mother of a toddler who suffered an apparent accidental drowning. Now, all alone in the world, she attempts to ease the pain of her suffering by immersing herself, body and soul, into a love affair with her psychiatrist, a man haunted by his own demons. A tragic novel of obsession, dark compulsions, and madness, Permanence transports the ill-fated lovers from New York to Venice, Italy, and back again.
Come Back ~ by Sky Gilbert; May 1st 2012; ECW Press.
The year is 2050 and contrary to popular belief, Judy Garland did not die in 1969, but rather, after several liver transplants, she has lived to the grand old age of 138. Re-embracing her real name, Frances Gumm, she becomes a feminist scholar working on her PhD and writing her thesis on a little-known gay Canadian playwright Dash King, whose career ended in drugs and promiscuous sex. Frances is obsessed with King’s antiquated notion of gay politics, and his tragic story triggers her own meditations on what it means to be an addict. This is the intense communication between Frances and her PhD advisor in a dystopian future that holds more than a few surprises. Included in these digital missives are musings on everything from the merits of post-structuralism, the future of queer theory, and a passionate monologue about the past and the future by one of the premiere divas of our time.
The Complete Lockpick Pornography ~ by Joey Comeau; May 1st 2012; ECW Press..
Combining two stories into one volume, this collection explores the effects of prejudice and the ramifications of violence with a slightly unhinged sense of humor and unexpected tenderness. Lockpick Pornography, originally published in 2005, is a gender-queer adventure story that was not widely available until now. We All Got It Coming presents the experiences of a young couple dealing with the aftermath of an act of violence. From kidnapping the son of a "family values" politician to violent confrontation, these are characters who fight back.
So, tell us, which of these books would you read first?
Have a great weekend!