December 6, 2009

Chasing Tale in November '09

The air is getting colder, and quiet nights with a book are becoming all the more precious. It's difficult to say how much scavenging I'll be able to do once the snow hits the ground, so browsing bookshops may be a luxury left until spring. I didn't trade in too many books this month, but I still managed to snag a few gems.

Drawing Blood by Poppy Z. Brite - Here's a name that's been around for some time, yet I've never seen one of her novels on a store shelf until this month. Well, it's entirely likely there's been a book or two over the years, but I've only had her name on my wish list for a year or so. I've read a couple of her short stories and liked them, so I figured I should snatch up this tale of terror while I had the chance. No telling when another of her books will snake its way to my neck of the woods.

The Purloined Boy by Mortimus Clay - This showed up in the mail out of the blue. I won it through a giveaway, hosted by Fantasy Book Critic, and I forgot all about it until I ripped open the mysterious envelope from Amazon. I remember the premise of the book catching my eye, prompting me to throw my name in the hat. To see it on my to-be-read pile, I'm glad I won without really knowing I won--like an early Christmas gift.

Borrowed Flesh by Sèphera Girón - I'm not hip on all of the awards out there, but after picking up this novel with its tantalizing title I discovered that Sèphera Girón won the Silver Hammer at last year's Bram Stoker Awards. Was it an actual silver hammer? Beats me. I'll have to look that up some time. This book deals with an insatiable thirst for immortality. Fingers crossed.

The Gentling Box by Lisa Mannetti - A real treat. Thanks again to Lisa Mannetti for sending me a review copy of this novel, as I enjoyed it even more than I had anticipated. If it wasn't already an award-winning piece of fiction, I'd say it needs to be. And if you're curious to know what it's about, you can read my review of it here.

Boy's Life by Robert McCammon - Nanci Kalanta and Mark Justice praised this novel on an episode of Pod of Horror. I can't recall which episode, but when I heard them talk about how much they each loved it, I figured I ought to add it to my wish list and keep an eye out for it. Towards the end of the month, I spied a 1992 paperback edition of the novel that was in pristine condition. And if you've ever seen the condition of early-nineties paperbacks in used-book stores, you'll know such an unscathed novel is rare--it'll probably look like a dog gnawed on it by the time I'm done reading it.

Shadows of the Emerald City by J.W. Schnarr (editor) - It came, it finally came. My contributor's copy of the Dark Oz anthology. Oh, and look, my story's right there on page 266--"Scarecrow's Sunrise." I've been wading through some of the stories, and I've enjoyed what I've read thus far. It feels good--real good--to see my first official publication and to hold it in my hands. A small step, yes, but a necessary one.

So, that's my November haul. December is already shaping up as well, as I'm expecting two short story collections from authors who contacted me about reading and reviewing their works. Plus, I won a couple more book blog giveaways in November. I think I need to add "extra bookshelf" to my Christmas wish list.

And what about you? What books, whether new releases or older gems, have you added to your personal library this month?

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