And at last, beloved patrons, we come to our Five Book Friday post, which offers you a brief sampling of our new book buffet, just in time for the weekend. There is every chance that this weekend might actually permit some outside activities, so before you go out to enjoy the sunshine, be sure to stop by and check out a tale to bring along on your adventures!
Servants of the Storm: Delilah S. Dawson made her name with the Blud novels, a sort of carnie-punk/steam-punk/vampire-ish romance novels that are simply phenomenal. Her boundless imagination and fearless characterizations are out in full force in this new-to-us young adult novel. She balances the weird and the numdane beautifully, creating a coming of age story with some shiver-inducing twists and turns. When Hurricane Josephine ravages Savannah, Georgia, and kill’s Dovey’s best friend, Carly, it doesn’t appear that things can get much worse. But suddenly, Dovey sees Carly sitting at their favorite cafe…which simply can’t be…unless the storm brought some other things to Savannah. Things too dreadful to name….And as Dovey puts aside the pills and the advice of those around her, and embraces all the strange sights around her, she realizes that the hurricane was only the beginning.
The Fellowship : the literary lives of the Inklings: J.R.R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Owen Barfield, Charles Williams: For three decades, Tolkien and Lewis held weekly meetings, either in Lewis’ rooms at Oxford, or in a nearby pub, known as the Inklings. In these meetings, two of the most lauded British authors of the century, along with their closest friends–Owen Barfield (and linguist and noted philosopher) and Charles Williams (a poet of self-described “supernatural shockers”) discussed literature, poetry, philosophy, and life in general, as friends tend to do. In their new book, Philip and Carol Zaleski bring readers inside these meetings, charting the odd, enlightening, inspiring, and outrageous ideas discussed among the Inklings, highlighting their genius, but also their humanity. Fans of Tolkien and Lewis will delight in this all-access pass to their inner thoughts, fear, doubts, and beliefs, but this is also a book about Britain in the twentieth century, and the fundamental changes that it wrought on the people living through it.
The Convictions of John Delahunt: In the course of researching a social history of Merrion Square in Dublin, Andrew Hughes came across the story of John Delahunt, a man who was hanged in 1842 for the murder of a young boy. The case consumed the Dublin media, not only because of the disturbing nature of the crime, but because it turned out that Delahunt was a paid informant for the British authorities ensconced in Dublin Castle, making the threat he posed to the nationalist-minded public that must more intense. But rather than write a history of Delahunt, Hughes decided to write a novel, told from Delahunt’s point of view. In giving a voice to this bogey-man of history, Hughes is able to discuss some fascinating history, and the moral implications of Delahunt’s decisions. With its defiant characters and heady atmospheric details, this is definitely a book that history buffs and fiction fans alike will savor.
The Storm Murders: I know, I know, the last thing we need is to be reminded of winter at this point, but John Farrow’s formidable detective (hailed as “the Poirot of Quebec), Emil Cinq-Mars always deals in extreme weather conditions, and this case looks like quite a memorable one. According to the catalog description, this is a locked-room mystery that adds a startling twist….there are no footprints in the snow leading to the murder scene, and no footprints leading away. Is this merely a case of murder/suicide? Or could it be that there is something much more sinister afoot?
The Water Knife: Paolo Bacigalupi was a National Book Award finalist for his stunning novel The Windup Girl, which provided readers with a fully-detailed, and somehow beautiful post-apocalyptic world. This book looks to continue this tradition, telling the story of a future American southwest that has been ravaged by drought, that has several tongue-in-cheek references to contemporary political culture–and some dire observations about our current commercial practices. When a new source of water reportedly appears in Phoenix, Angel Valsquez, a spy, assassin, and enforcer for a ruthless water-controlling conglomerate, is sent to investigate. But what starts as rumors soon becomes a violent hunt for the truth behind an overwhelming conspiracy. NPR’s All Things Considered described this book as “A noir-ish, cinematic thriller set in the midst of a water war between Las Vegas and Phoenix. . . . Think Chinatown meets Mad Max.” Which seems like as good a reason to give this book a try as I’ve heard in a while!
Happy reading, and happy Friday! Don’t forget the sunscreen!