Been buying a lot of books lately, more than is reasonable considering how little energy I have for reading more, when I come home. Thought I could at least write about my compulsive consumption, what I’ve bought lately, maybe shame myself into reading more. (Also, get myself typing so I could write other stuff tonight).
Let’s see, there’s comics on the ground— those usually get read while I’m trying to sleep. A few “graphic novels”/collections— Baby’s in Black is a true story about the Beatles; I usually have zero interest in fiction about the Beatles, but that one’s a love story set in Germany about Stu Sutcliffe— the art’s lovely. There’s the new nonfiction Eddie Campbell book, the Lovely Horrible Stuff— the best of all comic pleasures, a “what is ____ thinking about lately” purchase. Campbell’s usually a contender for my favorite comic at the end of any year, if he has a comic out. There’s a Chew in the other corner— the second volume; I’d seen the first volume, oh, 6-7 months ago. It didn’t blow my socks off but it was cute and I thought what the heck, give it another try. It’s about a guy who solves crimes by eating things, which I relate to because I also eat things.
There’s Tales from the Goon Squad— that’s a big award winning literary novel. I’ve heard wildly different things actually— people who’ve hated it, just despised the fuck out of it, people who’ve liked it a great deal. Most everything else is pretty trashy so that was probably a “I read too much trash” guilt buy.
There’s two crime novels. The Song is You: I’ve heard great things about Megan Abbott for a while and that was an impulse buy from Book Soup, a LA period history crime novel; Phillip Kerr, Quiet Flame— that was another impulse buy; post WWII German guy solving mysteries; other than Kerr’s reputation, i don’t remember what triggered the impulse. Plus: Angelmaker— that’s John Le Carre’s son, Nick Harkaway, writing a trashy-sounding pulp fantasy that sounds like it treats London crime mythology as a mythology…? I read a Paul Di Filippo review of that, that made that sound fun; that sounded like it had the cornball things that I’m into all smooshed together.
That’s on top of a book of Harlan Ellison screenplays— he’s selling books through Cafe Press now. That one has the Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea screenplay over which Harlan famously broke another human being’s pelvis. And then in the top-right, Jonathan Lethem’s recent critical books, the one about Fear of Music and the one about John Carpenter’s They Live. I’ve read a couple chapters of the They Live book and that is scarily in my wheelhouse— it’s a super-close examination of something a-little-silly that would normally totally elude that kind of writing, so… yeah, I’d say that’s unbelievably attuned to my interests.
There’s an Elmore Leonard crime novel floating around here unfinished— Tishimongo Blues-- I’ve read so much Leonard that even if I never finish it, I feel like I’ll have read it, you know? And then, The Passage— which is sort of a serious novelist writing a Stephen King novel—I started reading that ages ago, and was really enjoying it but got really busy and had to put it down right after the psychic vampire monster people showed up. But I really want to get back to that. And Margaret Atwood, her book the Blind Assassin— that’s around here too; that gets raved about so much; I’m a decent amount into it— done with the first “Book” of it— I’m a little worried I have the story figured out but I hear it’s got a lot of twists to it.