Hot Off the Proverbial Presses: January 7, 2014

The Impossible Knife Laurie Halse AndersonThe Impossible Knife by Laurie Halse Anderson

For the past five years, Hayley Kincaid and her father, Andy, have been on the road, never staying long in one place as he struggles to escape the demons that have tortured him since his return from Iraq. Now they are back in the town where he grew up so Hayley can attend school. Perhaps, for the first time, Hayley can have a normal life, put aside her own painful memories, even have a relationship with Finn, the hot guy who obviously likes her but is hiding secrets of his own.

Will being back home help Andy’s PTSD, or will his terrible memories drag him to the edge of hell, and drugs push him over? The Impossible Knife of Memory is Laurie Halse Anderson at her finest: compelling, surprising, and impossible to put down.

WHY WE’RE EXCITED: Like all Laurie Halse Anderson novels we’re sure this one is depressing but still manages to tell a gripping tale of human nature and what it means to love. Because.

Independent Study Joelle CharbonneauIndependent Study: Book Two of the Testing Series by Joelle Charbonneau

In the series debut The Testing, sixteen-year-old Cia Vale was chosen by the United Commonwealth government as one of the best and brightest graduates of all the colonies . . . a promising leader in the effort to revitalize postwar civilization. In Independent Study, Cia is a freshman at the University in Tosu City with her hometown sweetheart, Tomas—and though the government has tried to erase her memory of the brutal horrors of The Testing, Cia remembers. Her attempts to expose the ugly truth behind the government’s murderous programs put her—and her loved ones—in a world of danger. But the future of the Commonwealth depends on her.

WHY WE’RE EXCITED: The second book in a dystopic trilogy about a horrible right of passage called the Testing. Where we’re from it’s called the SATS.

Dark Duets Christopher GoldenDark Duets: All-New Tales of Horror and Dark Fantasy [edited] by Christopher Golden

DARK DUETS: New Tales of Horror and Dark Fantasy will be published in January, 2014 by Harper Voyager. Edited by Christopher Golden, it features an extraordinary lineup of collaborative stories, with the authors of each story collaborating for the very first time. And here they are!

-TRIP TRAP by Sherrilyn Kenyon & Kevin J. Anderson
-WELDED by Tom Piccirilli & T.M. Wright
-DARK WITNESS by Charlaine Harris & Rachel Caine
-REPLACING MAX by Stuart MacBride & Allan Guthrie
-T. RHYMER by Gregory Frost & Jonathan Maberry
-SHE, DOOMED GIRL by Sarah MacLean & Carrie Ryan
-HAND JOB by Chelsea Cain & Lidia Yuknavitch
-HOLLOW CHOICES by Robert Jackson Bennett & David Liss
-AMUSE-BOUCHE by Amber Benson & Jeffrey J. Mariotte
-BRANCHES, CURVING by Tim Lebbon & Michael Marshall Smith
-RENASCENCE by Rhodi Hawk and F. Paul Wilson
-BLIND LOVE by Kasey Lansdale & Joe R. Lansdale
-TRAPPER BOY by Holly Newstein & Rick Hautala
-STEWARD OF THE BLOOD by Nate Kenyon & James A. Moore
-CALCULATING ROUTE by Michael Koryta & Jeffrey David Greene
-SISTERS BEFORE MISTERS by Sarah Rees Brennan, Cassandra Clare, and Holly Black
-SINS LIKE SCARLET by Mark Morris & Rio Youers

WHY WE’RE EXCITED: Dark fantasy and horror, sign us up! Add in a story called “Sisters Before Misters” by Sarah Rees Brennan, Cassandra Clare and Holly Black and we are so there.

Wolverton Station Joe HillWolverton Station by Joe Hill

Saunders made his fortune as a hatchet man for hire and “The Woodcutter” has brought his sharpest axe to England to do what he does best: maximize corporate profits by chopping down the little guy. But his train north is about to make an unexpected stop in the deep dark woods, to let on some hairy-handed gents straight out of the darkest kind of fairy tale. Now “The Woodcutter” is up to his ankles in blood and finding out just what it really means to live in a dog-eat-dog world…

WHY WE’RE EXCITED: We’ll read anything by horror writer extraordinaire Joe Hill, so we were super excited to see this short story pop up on GoodReads!

Why I Read Wendy LesserWhy I Read: The Serious Pleasure of Books by Wendy Lesser

“Wendy Lesser’s extraordinary alertness, intelligence, and curiosity have made her one of America’s most significant cultural critics,” writes Stephen Greenblatt. In Why I Read, Lesser draws on a lifetime of pleasure reading and decades of editing one of the most distinguished literary magazines in the country, The Threepenny Review, to describe her love of literature. As Lesser writes in her prologue, “Reading can result in boredom or transcendence, rage or enthusiasm, depression or hilarity, empathy or contempt, depending on who you are and what the book is and how your life is shaping up at the moment you encounter it.”

Here the reader will discover a definition of literature that is as broad as it is broad-minded. In addition to novels and stories, Lesser explores plays, poems, and essays along with mysteries, science fiction, and memoirs. As she examines these works from such perspectives as “Character and Plot,” “Novelty,” “Grandeur and Intimacy,” and “Authority,” Why I Read sparks an overwhelming desire to put aside quotidian tasks in favor of reading. Lesser’s passion for this pursuit resonates on every page, whether she is discussing the book as a physical object or a particular work’s influence. “Reading literature is a way of reaching back to something bigger and older and different,” she writes. “It can give you the feeling that you belong to the past as well as the present, and it can help you realize that your present will someday be someone else’s past. This may be disheartening, but it can also be strangely consoling at times.”

A book in the spirit of E. M. Forster’s Aspects of the Novel and Elizabeth Hardwick’s A View of My Own, Why I Read is iconoclastic, conversational, and full of insight. It will delight those who are already avid readers as well as neophytes in search of sheer literary fun.

WHY WE’RE EXCITED: A book about reading? Psh, there was no way we couldn’t include this.

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