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Friday, February 29, 2008

Small Stuff

I got in my copy of Stephanie Meyer's upcoming adult title, The Host! I am so excited. Once upon a time, while I was still working at the bookstore, my boyfriend picked up the ARC of Twilight. I should have read it, but seeing as it was a teen book, I sent it straight to my sister, who absolutely loved it! She's been devouring books ever since and I just had to brag to her that I got this one. I'll be the cool sister and buy it for her - or maybe after I read it, I'll be really cool and let her read it before all of her friends have a chance. Wouldn't you have just died to be able to do that way back when!

Stephen King, my all-time favorite author, has a new short story collection coming in November. If you're not a fan of short stories, you should read the intro to Nightmares and Dreamscapes. At least I think it's that intro. Anyway, King talks about his appreciation of the short story and encourages readers to embrace them as well. The work that goes into one of these can be much more difficult that writing an entire novel. Makes sense, you have to get the whole story across and build your characters in just a few pages. I am newly appreciative of these. I used to feel a bit cheated when reading a short story. There was so little there and I always wanted more. I still feel that way in some cases, but short stories inspire short reading which makes them perfect for, say, a lunch break. One of my favorite new collections is 20th Century Ghosts by Joe Hill (King's son). I highly recommend the book and the author.

It was Joanne Harris who really changed my mind about short stories. Her collection Jigs and Reels was amazing. Another title that I highly recommend it. In the book, she provides a very short explanation about each tale's inspiration. The stories range from literary feel-good to gothic, supernatural, and the just plain weird.

Speaking of Harris. She just recently release her first teen fantasy - it was very good and plays on Norse mythology and Ragnarok. Her upcoming release, titled Lollipop Shoes in the UK and The Girl with no Shadow here in the states, is due out April 8. It's a follow-up to Chocolat.

The Other Boleyn Girl is out in theaters today and I will probably be heading over there shortly to see it. Not sure how I feel about Eric Bana playing King Henry. He's hot and Henry was, in the end, not. I have not read any of Philippa Gregory's titles. They flew off the shelves while I was at the store, though, and I am hoping that there is more historical merit to her tales than not. Either way, I am expecting a pretty damn good movie.

Finally, two of my favorite Brits have new books out (or shortly) in the UK. Sarah Rayne has just released The Death Chamber (due out April stateside) and Mo Hayder's Ritual is due out March 10 in the UK. These two ladies are masters at gruesome and shocking psychological suspense. I recommend starting with Hayder's Devil of Nanking.

Specialty stores are usually pretty good about ordering overseas titles. I ordered mine from Cynthia at High Crimes - she'll be moving to orders only March 15 and you should give her a call. Scottsdale's Poisoned Pen usually stocks Hayder and gets theirs in about a month after the UK releases. Incidentally, they do have copies of Lollipop Shoes, this is where I got mine.

1 comment:

ICEDREAM said...

Becky,
I love King's short stories. Sometimes they have more substance to them when he has to pare it down a little. Speaking of short stories, I have 20th Century Ghosts sitting on my shelf to read as soon as I am able to get to it. Oh and how lucky you are to read an ARC of Stephenie Meyers new book. I just read Twilight for the first time last week or so and loved it. I don't know what took me so long to get to it but I am anxious to read all her books now. She's a great writer. Love your blog!