Autumn. That time of the year dedicated to enjoying warm cider and watching the leaves on the trees turn to calming shades of yellow and brown. A season for warm sweaters, chilly winds, and shambling legions of undead. Vampires stalk the streets while tragically cursed werewolves roam the fields. So this year, as Halloween slowly creeps up on us, enjoy a few of these spine tingling volumes that just may save your life…
Pariah by Bob Fingerman
After a devastating zombie outbreak, a small group of slowly starving survivors begin to think that the victims who died early were the lucky ones. Just as all seems lost, hope arrives in the form of a mysterious girl who is able to move freely through the hordes of undead. But how can these survivors rest easy around someone who repulses even flesh eating monsters?
Four Color Fear edited by Greg Sadowski
EC Comics weren’t the only game in town when it came to terrifying children with tales of misery and gore in the 1950’s. Collected here are some of the best stories from a bygone era known for its creepy goodness.
Werewolves and Shapeshifters edited by John Skipp
Following up last year’s wonderful collection of undead tales, Zombies, John Skipp has turned his attention to creatures that are a little less rotten but a lot more hairy. Featuring new tales of body altering horror as well as classic stories that will (I’m sorry for this) leave you howling at the moon, this is an anthology not to be missed.
Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman
Before you watch the premier of AMC’s new television show based on this fantastic comic series check out the original story about a group of tired people trying to find a place to settle down after a horrifying zombie plague wipes out most of humanity.
It took a few more days to tally the staff votes, but we have a winner in our “Name Our Blog” contest. The winning entry, The Ship’s (B)log, was submitted by Andy Wiselogle. Honorable Mentions go out to the customers who submitted B.S. Elliott and Soggy Literati. Many thanks to Andy and to everyone that submitted an entry.
‘Tis the season for book awards, honors, and distinctions. This week is scheduled to include the Nobel Prize in Literature announcement on Thursday, October 7, and Friday, October 8 will see the presentation of the Washington State Book Awards at The Seattle Central Public Library.
First things first: what has been announced is the National Book Foundation’s annual “5 Under 35″ list of writers and their most recent books. This year’s honorees include Tiphanie Yanique, who will be reading at Elliott Bay this Thursday, October 7 at 7 p.m., from her captivating debut, How to Escape from a Leper Colony: A Novella and Stories (Graywolf Press), along with Jessica Kane. This is a book of stories set mostly in the Caribbean; it’s a beautifully-written work.
Others to get the “5 Under 35″ nod include Téa Obreht, who was also selected for The New Yorker’s “Best 20 under 40″ issue, and who is due here in March 2011 when her debut novel, The Tiger’s Wife (Random House), is published; Grace Krilanovich, author of the Northwest-set novel, The Orange Eats Creeps (Two Dollar Radio); Sarah Braunstein, author of The Sweet Relief of Missing Children (W.W. Norton); and Paul Yoon, whose 2009 book is Once the Shore (Sarabande). -Rick
|BOOKNOTES, the newsletter of THE ELLIOTT BAY BOOK COMPANY, is written entirely by bookstore staff. It represents a sampling of recently published books that we have enjoyed reading. We appreciate every opportunity to assist in finding books to meet your interests.
Fiction & Nonfiction
by Nicole Krauss (Norton)
If furniture could speak, what stories would it tell? Would a heavy desk with improbable drawers tell of the writer who created a handful of novels on its glossy surface? Or perhaps it would speak of the Holocaust survivor who scoured Europe for his father’s lost belongings. It may mention the Chilean poet who was lost to Pinochet’s secret police. But it may also remain stoic, silent; it may shun the past, like the wife who escaped a warravaged Germany only to remain trapped in her own regret.
In a series of interconnecting stories, Krauss’s flawed and deeply troubled characters find their fates inextricably tied to one another through the obsession with an antique desk -Leighanne
by Antonya Nelson (Bloomsbury)
Antonya Nelson’s long-awaited first novel offers everything we’ve come to expect from her short stories: outstanding writing, some unique relationships, a hefty dose of dysfunction, and plenty of haunting images. The story focuses on the merging lives of two women: Catherine, who finds herself the assigned guardian to the daughter of her long-lost, recently deceased high school friend; and Cattie, the aforementioned daughter, who is coping with not only the sudden loss of her mother, but also the usual teen angst and coming of age. Nelson, with her excellent eye for detail, deftly connects these two women who initially seem to have very little in common. -Hilary
The Lady Matador’s Hotel
by Cristina Garcia (Scribner)
The characters in Cristina Garcia’s new novel include a Japanese-Mexican-American matador, an ex-guerrilla waitress, a Korean manufacturer, an international adoption lawyer, a colonel guilty of war atrocities, and a Cuban poet, and they all cross each other’s paths in a luxury hotel in an unnamed Central American country. The country is in the midst of political upheaval. Past and present dark deeds are revealed against a violent and sensual landscape. Garcia’s book is the perfect mix of people’s common lives with politics—as much as one may hate the political, it is always present, exerting itself in subtle and not-so-subtle ways. -Greg
by Adam Phillips (Farrar, Strauss & Giroux)
Psychoanalyst Adam Phillips has written an intriguing series of essays on excess and desire. How do we find “balance”—that fine art of walking the tightrope of having our desire(s) without tumbling into excess. Phillips brilliantly ranges over this theme through his use of case studies and all forms of art (literary and visual), arriving at some illuminating insights along the way. The question of what is too much could in fact qualify as one of the essential questions of our existence, I think. Pick up Phillips’s book and engage in an examination of this idea. -Greg