July 1, 2010

Chasing Tale in June: Ray Bradbury, Andrew Sean Greer, Scott Nicholson ...

Wow, June went by --snap!--like that, didn't it? And you know what the worst part is? The days are gonna get shorter and shorter now. Yup, summer just started officially, but there's going to be less sunshine each day for the rest of the year. Ain't that a bitch. Now we have to wait for winter for the days start getting longer again. God, I'm depressing myself now.

Alright, let's talk books. Everyone is diving into their summer reading lists, or at least reading the books on someone else's reading list. Me, I'm trying to avoid making a list of books to read this summer. I'll be reading plenty this summer and I don't want to make it feel like assigned reading.

Honestly, I kind of prefer my reading habits to be a little more random rather than prescribed. Know what I mean? Like, if I have a list of six-to-eight books I've assigned myself to read, I'm going to start treating those books like homework ... just a little bit. No matter how much I've anticipated reading them prior to putting them on the list. Blerg, I'm just a screwball.

Anyway, here are the books I got in June. Ironically in list form.

The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury - Back in June, or maybe it was late May, I read an article that mentioned one of Bradbury's short stories called "The Veldt," which I'd read and loved in an anthology years back. When I realized it was part of this collection of Bradbury's short stories, I put it on the list and luckily found an old paperback of it for a buck.

The Devil You Know by Poppy Z. Brite - Here's another collection I happened upon, though this one wasn't on my radar. It looks to be an eclectic assortment with the table of contents showing stories that even include ones originally published for Hellboy and The Matrix franchises. Neat. I've already read one of the stories, "Lantern Marsh," which was published in the Halloween anthology, October Dreams, which I reviewed here. I liked that one, and I'll bet I like the rest.

The Confessions of Max Tivoli by Andrew Sean Greer - The latest book to arrive courtesy of Brande the Book Junkie. I first heard about this book as the story that the movie, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, wished it could be. It's the story of a man who ages backwards and uses his strange circumstances and changing appearance in his efforts to win the heart of the woman he loves. I never saw the Brad Pitt movie, and I'm not in a hurry to, but I'll give this book a shot. I should read Fitzgerald's novella too sometime.

From the Borderlands by Elizabeth & Thomas Monteleone (editors) - I was scouring the shelves of a local used-book store and happened upon this anthology. I think it was originally published as Borderlands 5, so chances are I've missed out on four other editions with equally great authors in the roll call, as the table of contents for this one is stacked.

Drummer Boy and The Skull Ring (e-books) by Scott Nicholson - It was almost fateful that days after mulling over when I should get around to reading Nicholson's debut novel, The Red Church, he would contact me to see if I'd be interested in reviewing a couple of his more recent novels. Drummer Boy deals is about an adolescent boy dealing with some tumultuous goings-on during a civil war reenactment, and The Skull Ring involves a cult tormenting a single mother and her child.

Presumed Innocent by Scott Turow - Man, it has been so long since I saw the Harrison Ford movie adaptation, I can't even remember the plot, let alone the big reveal at the end. I only know the book's a suspenseful mystery that keeps you guessing until the last page. So, since there's a pseudo-sequel out by Turow this summer, simply titled Innocent, I thought it'd be a good idea to read the original book that garnered so much praise. I just hope I can avoid spoilers between now and then.

That's my haul from this past month. What titles have you gotten your paws on lately?


  1. The Bradbury one is wonderful. Prepare to be transported to other worlds. I picked mine up at a flea market for a buck too. Along with a handful of other Bradbury books.

    I'm not a list person either. I'm a book horder. I pick up a bunch of new books, put them in a stack and choose according to mood. I always have something I want, but if I don't I run out to the flea market, the bookstore or one of my other book stashes and go digging. Because I usually have twenty or thirty new books to read at a time, I rarely re-read a book. If I do, that says something about how good the book was.

    I've gone back and re-read several of the stories from both Illustrated Man and From the Borderlands. You'll enjoy them.

    I'm also reading The Drummer Boy, a fitting follow up to The Red Church. Have you read They Hunger, yet?

  2. Actually, no, haven't read They Hunger. Read his novella, Burial to Follow, last week and now reading Drummer Boy. Interesting stuff so far, with a very southern twang to it all.