Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Books & Zombies & Whatnot

So, it always seems I get my best reading done when I'm traveling and this past weekend was no exception.  I went down to Memphis to visit my two best friends and over the course of the weekend I got a few books read.  I read Zoe Klein's forthcoming Drawing in the Dust from Pocket Books on the way down there.  It's a story that combines archaeology, religious fundamentalism, romance, and ghost stories in modern day Israel.  Fun, frothy, and easy to read, it made my day of travel much less tedious than if I hadn't read it.  Don't worry--the cover of the advance reading copy is quite pretty, showing a woman's hair blowing in the breeze with the desert blurred and faded in the background.  I'm not sure why it's not been "unveiled" yet, but there you go.  Fans of The Red Tent and People of the Book will probably find much to enjoy in this debut novel.

Random House sent me a copy copy of Olive Kitteridge that I finally read this weekend.  I hadn't realized that it's actually a novel of connected short stories where the titular character may or may not be the protagonist.  This way we get a fuller version of Olive, a woman of a certain age who lives in a small coastal town in Maine--she's complicated and ornery, smart & sharp spoken, weary of fools and wary of change.  Her influence over the town is both distant and far-reaching, as she taught seventh-grade math to most of its denizens.  She's respected but not well liked, but she surprises everyone, including the reader, with her periodic bursts of insight and compassion.  Definitely an interesting read, this book should please both short story readers and those who prefer novel-length fiction.

 In other news I'm also really excited about an unexpected new book published by Quirk Books this week-- Pride & Prejudice & Zombies, by Seth Grahame-Smith. At first I wondered why the author didn't choose a classic more suited to the gothic & the macabre to introduce zombies. Wuthering Heights seemed the most natural choice. Even Jane Eyre had the nifty plot device of the mad woman in the attic. If you're going to start with Austen, Northanger Abbey might seem more logical. But then I read what prompted the author: why was the regiment stationed in Meryton when they were actually needed to fight on the continent? Could it be...that zombies had invaded the town and that the residents' lives were in danger?

I'm eagerly awaiting the comp copy that my sales rep promised. But if it doesn't arrive by the week
end you can bet that one of the store's copies will be going home with me!

Interested in ordering any of these books?  Click Here!

~Emily C.

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