Monday, April 27, 2009

The Books Not Taken

This is more Festival of Books follow-up. I though I'd share the books I saw and wanted at the book fair but didn't pick up (mostly due to the overwhelming number of books already purchased). Most of these will I will probably purchase at some point, but they were somehow less urgent than the ones I ended up taking home. I'd love to hear your thoughts on these and how quickly I should rush out and get them.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie:
In his first book for young adults, bestselling author Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist who leaves his school on the Spokane Indian Reservation to attend an all-white high school. This heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written tale, coupled with poignant drawings that reflect the character’s art, is based on the author’s own experiences and chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he seems destined to live. (From the author's website)

The Age of Dreaming by Nina Revoyr:
In her cunning follow-up to Southland, Revoyr returns to L.A., this time to when Sunset Boulevard was just a dirt road and Jun Nakayama was a famous silent film star. Prompted by a journalist's visit in 1964, 42 years after he left the screen for good, Jun revisits his youth in Japan, his discovery at L.A.'s Little Tokyo Theater, his rise to stardom and the scandalous events that led to his abrupt retreat from public life. Mixing real people with fictional characters like principled Japanese actress Hanako Minatoya, troubled starlet Elizabeth Banks (not the one in Seabiscuit), ingénue Nora Minton Niles and dashing director Ashley Bennett Tyler, Revoyr creates a vibrant portrait of a time when the film studio was a place of serious work. As Jun reveals the secrets he has kept for decades, he uncovers new twists in his own history and comes to terms with other painful experiences he has repressed, namely his loneliness and the effects of the anti-Japanese racism he mistakenly believed he could overcome by being as agreeable—and American—as possible.(From Publisheer's Weekly via Amazon)

The Android's Dream by John Scalzi:
A human diplomat kills his alien counterpart. Earth is on the verge of war with a vastly superior alien race. A lone man races against time and a host of enemies to find the one object that can save our planet and our people from alien enslavement...A sheep.(From the author's website)

Beige by Cecil Castellucci
From the author of Boy Proof comes an edgy novel full of humor and heart. Katy really doesn't want to spend two weeks in L.A. with her father, a recovered addict and drummer for a punk band. But she won't fuss. After all, she is a nice girl--a girl who is, well, beige. Or is she?(From IndieBound)

Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips:
Being immortal isn't all it's cracked up to be. Life's hard for a Greek god in the 21st century: nobody believes in you any more, even your own family doesn't respect you, and you're stuck in a delapidated hovel in north London with too many siblings and not enough hot water. But for Artemis (goddess of hunting, professional dog walker), Aphrodite (goddess of beauty, telephone sex operator) and Apollo (god of the sun, TV psychic) there's no way out...Until a meek cleaner and her would-be boyfriend come into their lives, and turn the world literally upside down. (from the author's website)

Janes in Love by Cecil Castellucci:
In this sequel to The Plain Janes, the Janes are back. But when the Janes become entangled in matters of the heart, they discover that in art and in love, the rules don't always apply. (from IndieBound)

Prom Dates from Helll by Rosemary Clement-Moore
Maggie Quinn knew high school was hell, but even she thinks the smell of brimstone is a little out of the ordinary. When she’s the only one to see that something supernatural is stalking the school’s ruling clique, it’s up to Maggie to channel her inner Nancy Drew and ferret out the origin of the ancient evil, before all Hell breaks loose at the Senior Prom. (from the author's website)

What Would Jane Austen Do? by Laurie Brown:
From the author of Hundreds of Years to Reform a Rake, a new time travel romance featuring a modern day career woman swept back in time to Regency England, where she thwarts a Napoleonic spy, chats with Jane Austen, and falls in love with a notorious rake.(from the publisher's website)

And there were a couple of books I came prepared to buy if I saw at the festival but that I didn't happen to run across. It's part of the luck of browsing that I didn't happen to see them, but I will probably pick these up soon, too.

The Forever War by Joe Haldeman:
Mandella starts out as a foot soldier in man's thousand-year war against the Taurans and ends as a reluctant major. Spanning the stars at faster than light speeds, Mandella and his comrades age only months as the centuries zip by on an earth that becomes increasingly foreign. But few soldiers will return to the altered home planet; in battles fought with powered suits and other stranger weapons, the odds for survival approach zero. This war is the opposite of the one Heinlein glorified in Starship Troopers (1959)- bloody, cruel and meaningless. (from Kirkus via Amazon)

Jane Austen Ruined My Life by Beth Pattillo
Emma Grant has a major beef to settle with her literary heroine, Jane Austen. Austen’s novels taught Emma, a college professor, to believe in happy endings, but her own happy ending goes up in flames when she discovers her husband, Edward, in the arms of her teaching assistant, after which the two have her professionally discredited by claiming she plagiarized a paper. Disillusioned and disgraced, Emma flees the U.S. for her cousin’s house in England after being contacted by Gwendolyn Parrot, an elderly woman claiming to be in possession of a stash of lost Austen letters. Rather than simply handing over the letters, Mrs. Parrot sends Emma on a succession of tasks that gradually reveal a secret about Austen’s life previously unknown to scholars. Along the way, Emma reconnects with Adam, her former best friend whom she fell out of touch with after marrying Edward. (from Booklist via Amazon)

Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder
About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered a reprieve. She'll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace, and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia. And so Yelena chooses to become a food taster. But the chief of security, leaving nothing to chance, deliberately feeds her Butterfly's Dust, and only by appearing for her daily antidote will she delay an agonizing death from the poison. (from the author's website)

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith: Just what it sounds like: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies!

As you can see, I may be in the mood for a Jane Austen takeoff marathon sometime in the future.


  1. Hmm...Pride and Prejudice and Zombies looks interesting indeed.

  2. I've only read The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian and Janes in Love. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian was fantastic: it was at times funny, inspiring and heart-breaking. I'd say that it's a "rush out and read" title. Janes in Love, I can't remember, so you probably don't have to rush out for that one (though I'm sure it was good).

  3. I haven't read any of those books, so I'm not going to be of much help. But I have Pride, Prejudice & Zombies in my to-read stack.