My original plan was to tell you all about last weeks trade show, but that will have to wait. Instead, I just have to talk about two books that have been getting rave reviews from customers. Several months ago my friend Marlene said " I just read a book that I know you will like. It's about a bookstore." That sort of undersold the book, but Marlene was very right. Backing up a little...one of my favorite tween books is the first in a four books series by Trevor Stewart, The Mysterious Benedict Society. A group of kids, each with a specific, savant like talent, is swept away (OK, they're kidnapped) and taken to the Benedict Society where they are told they must pool their skills to solve a mystery. However, they first have to figure out what the mystery is.
All the while I was reading it I kept thinking that I would love a similar books for adults...and then voila (absent accent since Blogger won't let me put one in) - Penumbra appears. The book indeed does take place in a bookstore, but no one is actually allowed to buy books there. Instead, the store functions as a sort of clearing house for seekers of knowledge on an age old myth. The book is populated with techno-geeks, code breakers, paranoid eccentrics, and uber intellectuals.(again please excuse the missing umlaut). The fable-esque , didactic ending didn't dampen the search that drew me into the lives of the each character.
Wayne and Kerry, along with a myriad of literary critics have been making noises about this book. I can't remember the last time I read a 600 page book that wasn't required for a course of some sort. Gone With the Wind perhaps - gave me bragging rights in junior high school, I guess. To be honest, I resisted reading Night Film because the author's first novel, Special Topics in Calamity Physics has that P word in the title, and I don't do science. But I caved under pressure, and several phone calls from Wayne asking if I had started and/or finished the book yet. After weeks of lying, I figured it was time to accept the challenge and begin reading. That lying thing, and the fact that Wayne dropped off his Advance Reader copy with another insistent litany of "should's" threw me into guilt overdrive.
What a roller coaster. I am really not sure what the book is about yet, or where it is leading, but the hooks are strong and the plot flies. I get the feeling that every word, every picture and every scanned document needs to be studied for clues, and so this book my be a time commitment. Ashley Cordova, daughter of cult filmmaker dies of an apparent suicide, but journalist Scott McGrath isn't convinced. McGrath, determined to rehabilitate his career which was destroyed by the Stanislas Cordova dark and twisted contingency, finds himself tangled in secrecy and danger. I can't tell yet if he is motivated by revenge, or whether the hard core journalist in him as been lying dormant for far too long and he simply wants to discover something he believes others may have missed. Entwined with the prose are facsimile police reports, crime scene photos, and text transcripts.
I only work until 2:00 today. Guess what I'll be doing all afternoon.
Thanks for stopping by.