Sunday, October 24, 2010

Books around the world

(Coming back a second time is my post on books around the world. This is actually a cathartic experience for me because I usually don't get to buy whatever book I find interesting-- much more read it. As such, I'll just talk about it in posts like these. After all, that's what blogging is for, right?)

Wandering around Fully Booked is always an interesting experience for me because of the books I find on their bookshelves (which is more varied than Powerbooks). As such, I normally find books that aren't what you call run of the mill. Moreover, I like the fact that I seem to be getting a sample of works from all over the world.

For example, Drift by Sharon Carter Rodgers is published by a Christian publisher. But despite this, the book comes off as interesting with its noir-meets-apocalypse tone. Check out the back blurb on this one.
Charlie Murphy, boss of the crime syndicate, the Organization, is dead. His sassy, impulsive, bold, daring, and fearless twenty-year-old adopted-by-kidnapping daughter, Baby Doll, stands by his open grave—poised, ready to run. If Maurits, Charlie’s bodyguard and heir to the Justice position, discovers the role she played in Charlie’s death, she will pay the ultimate price.A few yards away, a freezing man huddles in a ball on a freshly filled-in grave. He doesn’t seem to be mourning. He seems to be helpless. Hopeless. Waiting. Foolish.He is a Drifter, waiting for a new tether—a person who will see him when no one else can. And he will stay with that person for an unknown period of time. For unknown reasons. He drifts through life invisible to all but one. Heaven and hell are unattainable for him. There is pain. Sometimes lots of pain. But there is no death, even when he wishes it would come. This time, he becomes tethered to Baby Doll, who is determined to finish what she started and will do anything to accomplish it.In a world where loyalties and betrayals are both rewarded with death, each pawn in this deadly game must stay one step ahead of the rest, or they will find themselves six feet under—next to Charlie Murphy.

Meanwhile, somewhere in the dark north, we have Finland's award-winning Troll by Johanna Sinisalo. I've actually heard this recommendation before and had a chance to get it at A Different Bookstore at the Podium (but didn't due to monetary reasons). I'm gld Fully Booked has stocks of this one now.
Everyone has their rough nights, but things have clearly taken a turn for the surreal when Angel, a young photographer, finds a group of drunken teenagers in the courtyard of his apartment building, taunting a young troll. Trolls are known in Scandinavian mythology as wild beasts like the werewolf, but this troll is just a small, wounded creature. Angel decides to offer it a safe haven for the night. In the morning Angel thinks he dreamed it all. But he finds the troll alive, well, and drinking from his toilet. What does one do with a troll in the city? Angel begins researching frantically. Angel searches the Internet, folklore, nature journals, and newspaper clippings, but his research doesn't tell him that trolls exude pheromones that have a profound aphrodisiac effect on all those around him. As Angel's life changes beyond recognition, it becomes clear that the troll is familiar with the man's most forbidden feelings, and that it may take him across lines he never thought he'd cross. A novel of sparkling originality, Troll is a wry, peculiar, and beguiling story of nature and man's relationship to wild things, and of the dark power of the wildness in ourselves.

Next up is a real find, a classic in every sense of the word: Edogawa Rampo's collection of short stories, Japanese Tales of Mystery and Imagination. This guy's real name is Hirai Taro but he became famous for this pseudonym (a Japanese play on the Edgar Allan Poe's name) and becoming the first modern writer of mysteries in Japan. Unfortunately, this slim book's a bit pricey even for me.

Lastly, Wonderful World by Javier Calvo has a great, eye-catching cover. Like some other selections I've picked, it's not really spec fic but this one reminds me of The Brief Life of Oscar Wao but more genre than literary. But it still looks interesting.
When Lucas Giraut inherits the family company from a father who never really cared enough to get to know him, it comes with a lot of unanswered questions...and an archenemy: Lucas's mother, Fanny. An ambitious and ruthless entrepreneur, Fanny believes her son is as useless as his father, whose recent, mysterious death delights her. Determined to understand exactly what he's been bequeathed, Lucas follows clues found in a windowless secret apartment—and in his dreams—deep in Barcelona's underworld and far from the comforts of his home, a former ducal palace. Meanwhile, Valentina Parini—a precocious and troubled seventh-grader and the self-proclaimed Top European Expert on the Work of Stephen King—looks to Lucas, her upstairs neighbor and only friend, as she struggles with growing up.
An interesting selection of books, yes?

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