Did you hear about Misha Defonseca? She's the writer whose memoir, Misha: A Mémoire of the Holocaust Years, turned out to be a total fabrication. And now she's been ordered by a judge to repay the more-than-twenty million dollars she supposedly earned over the years. It's insane. Did she even earn that much in royalties? If so, bully for her.
I mean, I'm no fan of fake memoirs--I'm no fan of memoirs, period--but even I find such a beyond-the-pale judgment to be stymieing. Were people just so outraged by learning she wasn't raised by wolves--yes, that was one of the linchpins to her tale--that they felt the need to publicly humiliate and destroy her?
Look, she bullshitted her way through a memoir. It's not like she's the first, and quite frankly it's not like the entire genre of memoirs isn't founded on writers steering clear of the "autobiography" tag so that they can exercise some creative license? Okay, she basically wrote a novel and passed it off as her life story. Fine. Slap her on the wrist or whack her on the nose with a rolled-up newspaper, but this judgment is obscene.
Ah well, enough of that. Here are a bunch of books to arrive on my own bookshelves recently. I'm pretty sure they are all fiction, but it would be kind of neat if one or two got passed off as memoirs. Take a look.
Donnybrook by Frank Bill - This is a novel I first heard about through the Booked.Podcast. Just imagine a raw-boned, slobberknocker of a tale about a backwoods free-for-all with a big jackpot to the winner. Like Cannonball Run for street fighters and meth heads.
Uprising by Sarah Cawkwell - Here's a new one coming out from Solaris Books that asks the question: what if King Richard hadn't died at Bosworth Field and had instead won the day? I have an interview coming up in the near future with Sarah, so watch for that, too.
The Colony: Genesis by Michaelbrent Collings -Apolcalypse, baby. This is the first volume in a serialized set of novels that have gotten some good praise online. Hey, it was cheap.
The Narrows by Michael Connelly -Can't say as I've ever read a Michael Connelly novel, so when I saw this paperback at my local library's fundraiser a couple weeks back, I scooped it up.
BEAT to a PULP: Superhero edited by David Cramner and Scott D. Parker - I'm so used to the crime and western stories from the BEAT to a PULP gang that this scifi/fantasy riff feels like a big change of pace, but it's got a cool-looking table of contents, so I'm up for it.
The Passage by Justin Cronin - I remember this novel getting a lot of hype when it first hit shelves. A lot. To the point that I wondered if it was over-hyped. Well, either way, it's hit the point of popularity that a lot of copies are littering used book shops and such. I got mine at the library fundraiser.
Bewitched, Body and Soul: Miss Elizabeth Bennett by P.O. Dixon - I tried reading Pride and Prejudice once, but it didn't take. I have tried a couple adaptations by modern authors though that have been palatable, so this one I won from Dixon could be enjoyable too.
L.A. Confidential by James Ellroy - Another grab from the fundraiser book sale. I liked the movie, but it's been ages since I saw it and I've never read the book. Hey, perfect time to buy it and add it to the TBR pile.
Dahlia's Feast by Milo James Fowler - Out of the blue I won this short story from Milo. His short fiction is primarily what I read and enjoy, so I expect this is more of the same.
Those Who Hunt the Night by Barbara Hambly - Here's a writer I hear mentioned now and again, and this book gets recommended to me since I'm a horror hound, but it's never in the shops. But I did find a copy of it finally, so some historical vampire murder mystery goodness shall finally be read.
Shadows & Tall Trees 2014 edited by Michael Kelly - The latest incarnation of one of the best literary horror journals out there has hit shelves. It's more of an anthology this year, but that has no bearing on the great looking table of contents with some impressive contributing authors.
The Way Down by Barry Napier - A novella from Barry that I managed to snag for free during its first week of release. Yay me.
Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips - I heard about this book years ago on CBC Radio. Basically Greek gods living in the modern world and trying to get by with their daily lives. Kind of like American Gods, but not really.
Ack-Ack Macaque by Gareth L. Powell - It's a cigar-chomping war hero ... in talking monkey form. Oh yeah, this might be awesome.
Femme by Bill Pronzini - The Nameless Detective meets his match with the quintessential femme fatale. I wound up buying this mystery novel direct from Cemetery Dance when they had their spring cleaning sale.
Standing in Another Man's Grave by Ian Rankin - The last of the gems I found at the library fundraiser. Everywhere I turn, Ian Rankin is lauded as the king of crime fiction, so I should probably have even more of these Rebus novels on my bookshelf.
Home and Hearth by Angela Slatter -This is the latest chapbook from Spectral Press. No idea what it's about, and that's fine, because all I need to know is it's from Spectral Press. British, literary horror of a high quality, I reckon.
Once a Warrior by Anthony Neil Smith - A brand new novel from Smith, this time a followup to his thriller, All the Young Warriors, which features a terrorism component with smalltown America. Gotta get started on this series, but I also have another series of his I need to read.
The Red Shoelace Killer by Susan Sundwall - I won a copy of this one from Sundwall a week or two ago. Sounds like it's a bit cozier than the mysteries I tend to go for, but I dig the premise and it's got a cool cover, too.
The Door in the Mountain by Caitlin Sweet - A new one from the Chizine gang. This time Caitlin Sweet has a bit of a fantastical tale involving some ancient mythology with what looks like a modern tie-in, so that should make for an interesting read.
Slingers: One Fall to a Finish by Matt Wallace -This is the second installment is Wallace's serial series. I won the first part from AISFP podcast, but got this one straight from the Kindle Store.
Damascus by Jad Ziade - A fantasy novel with a Syrian twist. Neat. I don't read a whole lot of this epic fantasy, high fantasy, or whatever you want to call it, but this one does look pretty cool.