Saturday, June 25, 2011

Reading Roundup, 25 June 2011

  • The Book Bench, the New Yorker's book blog, examines the phenomenon of the fake memoir, working backward from the latest (Greg Mortenson's allegedly fake kidnapping by and rescue from the Taliban, which has led to some very real fundraising to build nonexistent's a whole big thing, Jon Krakauer and others allege). I don't know about you, but I feel a lot worse about Greg Mortenson--if the allegations are true, collecting money from soft-hearted people who want to do good, than I do about poor old James Frey, who was only spinning tales to make money for himself, and never involved impoverished schoolchildren in far off war-torn lands.

    • Near-Luddite that I am, I'm not sure what-all exactly this one entails, but any super popular app involving a book is okay by me. The Los Angeles Times reports on Apple's iPad app for On the Road, which includes such "enriched materials" as commentary, maps, and audio recordings, and is one of Apple's top-grossing book apps. You can't, ah, beat that. 
    • And then there's the Gawker rant which inspired legions of frazzled booksellers to raise their fists in solidarity. I have actually had people tell me after I've spent ten minutes recommending the perfect book for them, "Oh, no, you don't need to get it for me. I'm going to download it on my Kindle. 

    Harry Dolan's Bad Things Happen is a smart, savvy crime novel, with interesting characters and snappy dialog. Best of all, it's set in the world of books. Read the review here.

    Melissa de la Cruz, author of the popular Blue Bloods series for young adults, ventures into adult fiction with Witches of East End, to mixed results. The characters, a trio of immortal witches banned from using their magical powers since the Salem witch trials, are a likeable enough bunch. But the writing is hackneyed and often laughable, and the story doesn't get truly interesting until right before the end. Read the review here

    Though it could be seen as yet another YA dystopian, still, Lauren Oliver's Delirium is a cut above most. In the future as envisioned by Oliver, the United States has perfected a cure for amor deliria nervosa (that's love to you and me) and made said cure mandatory. Lena, our heroine, has the nerve to fall in love before she's been subjected to the cure. Oliver captures perfectly the roiling emotions of an adolescent girl, magnified by dread of her impending procedure. Read the review here.

    I've had my sights set on these two ever since I saw they were coming out. Both of these authors, Dan Simmons and Robert McCammon, are favorites of mine who have spent the last few years writing historical horror. Each is returning to contemporary or near future settings with his newest work. I didn't expect to have to buy both of them on the same day...but I walked into work on Wednesday morning and there they both were. It's not my fault. I needed them.


    Two that I want to read, one that I don't want to read, and one which offends my sensibilities at all levels. 'Nuff said.

    Did you come across any book-related posts or articles during the last week that you'd love to share? Did you write a book-related post you'd like to share? Please, link them up using the linky tool below. I know I'd love to read them, and I bet others would as well.



    Teen Fiction Centre said...

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    Sharon Henning said...

    I like how your review a whole slew of books in one pop. I think I'm going to need to start doing that.

    Conor said...

    Great post. The Simmons and McCammon books look like solid reads. I will have to check them out.

    Rebecca Glenn said...

    Conor--I'm about 2/3 of the way through the Simmons, and it's awesome. Will be picking up McCammon next.

    The bounty!