Tuesday, May 11, 2010

April Books

(This one's been published in advanced as I'll be on my way to the airport by this time. Will be writing from the US in my next few posts. See you on the other side!)

Well, last month's pile of books is considerably lower than the previous month as I've had to struggle a bit with finances. But interesting enough, I managed to score some hard-to-find books in the secondhand shops. Plus it's all steampunk, all the time!

First off was the 2008 Man Asian-award winning Ilustrado by Miguel Syjuco with the copy available in local bookshops being published by Farrar, Strauss, & Giroux. What's more, whatever you can say about National Bookstore, they do make it a point to make local books (even ones published internationally) cheaper by 10 percent pricewise for readers.

Similar to my earlier purchase of the 2007 Man Asian shortlisted novel Soledad's Sister by Butch Dalisay, I'm obviously interested in reading this book to see how outsiders see local literature-- or how it regards which local lit is interesting enough for them.

The next three books: William Hope Hodgson's Carnacki the Ghost Finder, Fred Saberhagen's The First Book of Swords: Woundhealer and Louise Cooper's Avatar have been on my book "hit-list" for quite some time now. The latter two are part of a couple of old fantasy series I've been keeping track of while the former is part of a 'psychic detective' subgenre I want to check out after reading about it at a forum. All good secondhand book finds here.

I never got into Chris Wooding's Weavers of Saramyr but his Retribution Falls looks interesting, fantastic cover of steampunk ships and all. It also helps that it was shortlisted at the recent Arthur C. Clarke Award. On the other hand, I've always wanted to try out Karin Lowachee's stuff but I wasn't really taken by her SF books. Fortunately, her recent outing, Gaslight Dogs, is an alternative history/steampunk tale.

Last but not least, I was curious about Alexa Carriger's book Soulless (plus the cover!) but Charles Tan's review made me decide to get it for the sheer heck of it. Granted it has a feeling of the urban fantasy/romance books which I'm not particularly into but the humor in the first few pages was enough to convince me to shell out.

Interesting stuff, no?

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