Sunday, March 21, 2010

Girl, Don't Play With That Fire!

A couple of these (Kerr and Judt) released on March 18th (Thursday is an odd day for new releases), while the rest are out on Tuesday this week. The biggest book in this post: the much-anticipated paperback release of Stieg Larsson's The Girl Who Played with Fire happens on Tuesday. Part three of the late Larsson's massively successful trilogy, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, releases on May 25th.
  • If the Dead Rise Not by Philip Kerr - Kerr's sixth novel featuring WWII-era Berlin private detective, Bernie Gunther. The early books – now packaged as a trilogy know as "Berlin Noir" - were great, but more in a classic, "Hey, dollface", Chandler-esque gumshoe style. Once Kerr revisited the series in 2003, after a decade away from Bernie, the characters and plots have had a much grittier taste to them and really pulsate with great historical nuances and blazing dialogue. Dead alternates between a seasoned, bitter, & exiled Bernie living in the political volatility of Cuba 1954 and the relative innocence of 1934's Berlin Bernie, just beginning to suspect the path his homeland is on. For fans, it’s great to see pre-war Bernie again – and newcomers can jump right in, as Kerr is writing the best stuff of his career.
  • Ill Fares the Land by Tony Judt - critically acclaimed historian Judt, author of Reappraisals: Reflections on the Forgotten 20th Century and Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945, returns with his treatise on where we as a society have gone wrong in the last 60 years. The title is from Oliver Goldsmith's poem of nostagia, The Deserted Village:  "Ill fares the land, to hastening ills a prey, Where wealth accumulates, and men decay."
  • Caught by Harlan Coben - a new thriller by the bestselling author.
  • Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes - Marlantes spent the last 30 years perfecting his intensely personal novel of the Vietnam War and has been getting some stellar early reviews. PW called it "a grand, distinctive accomplishment" and Warwick's own John Hughes has been raving about it. Come down & meet the author on Monday, April 19th.
  • Known to Evil by Walter Mosley - continuing the "Leonid McGill" series of mysteries.
  • Bite Me by Christopher Moore - I'll give you the first sentence of the publisher's blurb & let you decide: "The city of San Francisco is being stalked by a huge shaved vampyre cat named Chet, and only I, Abby Normal, emergency backup mistress of the Greater Bay Area night, and my manga-haired love monkey, Foo Dog, stand between the ravenous monster and a bloody massacre of the general public."
  • 1001 Beers You Must Taste Before You Die by Adrian Tierney-Jones - just too funny to not make a note of. I plan on trying them all, even if it kills me.
  • Gone Tomorrow by Lee Child
  • The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson
Happenings: a busy week.
  • Stephen J. Cannell, The Pallbearers - Tuesday at 7:30.
  • Annabelle Gurwitch & Jeff Kahn, You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up - Wednesday night at 6:30 at Isabel's Cantina. (This is a ticketed dinner event - you can check or call for details.)
  • Springtime Children's Party - Thursday afternoon at 4:30.
  • Frances Mayes, Every Day in Tuscany - Thursday night at 7:30. A follow up to her bestsellers, Under the Tuscan Sun and Bella Tuscany.
  • Cherie Currie, Neon Angel - a "signing only" event on Saturday afternoon at 4:00. Currie was the lead singer for Joan Jett's band The Runaways in the 80's - you know, "Ch-ch-ch-ch-cherrybomb!"

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