"I cannot live without books." -- Thomas Jefferson

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Power by Brian Bendis & Michael Oeming

.......is a series of comic books (turned into graphic novel format) that has been going since 2000. With the upcoming release of Watchmen, Alan Moore's Magnum Opus, Powers becomes even more poignant and important in the genre of alternative superhero stories, again proving that superheroes are more than just grown men in tights. Powers follows the lives of Detectives Christian Walker and Deena Pilgrim, partners who work the homicide beat. There's just one thing different about these two, they work the homicide beat for the Powers, that is, they investigate murders of superheroes. Much like Watchmen, Bendis and Oeming go with the idea that in our world, if there were superheroes, they would be monitored by the Government. But what happens to Deena Pilgrim and Christian Walker when a powers serial killer starts picking off the masked crime-fighters? And what is Detective Walker's connection to these superheroes? It's all in Powers: one of the best comic book series ever, by the master of comic book story telling, Brian Bendis.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Your Face Tomorrow by Javier Marias

When you read these books you will wonder, as I do, how Marias has been largely ignored by the American literary community.
Though frequently compared to Faulkner, Proust, Beckett, Henry James & Dostoevsky, he is a writer unlike any other.
The meandering clarity of his prose is often breathtaking.
His obsessive exploration of human nature, reflection, perception, digression, is as disturbing as it is insightful.
Marias writes with the intellectual intensity of the mad. NOTHING in his universe is trivial.
Yes - This is a spy novel.
Yes - This is a historical novel.
Yes - This is a romance novel.
But like all great works it defies categorization.
While certainly not for everyone, this is a trip unlike any you've ever been on before.

The third and last volume should be out some time late next year.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Nazi Literature in the Americas by Roberto Bolano

Discovering a new author is one of the great joys in life. The feeling when you finish a novel and are halted, lost in a morass of needing--- MORE: more of the voice you've been traveling with, more of the world you've only come to know and for too short a time- this is why we read!
I know you reader. I know you read "The Savage Detectives".
And I know you wanted more. Can you wait until the November publication of "2666", Bolano's masterpiece?
You cannot.
And you don't need to.
New Directions Publishing has released 5 of Bolano's shorter novels of which this--------------------------->
is certainly the best.
And quite possible the most innovative and exciting of all Bolano's work yet published in English.
Start here. Then read EVERYTHING else. You won't regret it.
Nicole Krauss says it better than I ever could:

"When I read Bolano, I think: Everything is possible again. To Step inside his books is to accustom yourself, as much as is possible, to walking along the edge of an abyss. But how he makes on laugh! The laughter of someone who just escaped being buried alive, and suddenly remembers how badly she wants to live. No other writer in the history of the world could have written Nazi Literature in the Americas: it's lucid, insane, deadly serious, wildly playful, bibliomaniacal, and perversely imaginative; in other words, classic Bolano. – Nicole Krauss

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

A Coney Island of the Mind by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Ferlinghetti is a national treasure, and his voice has become part of our collective conscience. Some of his most famous poems from this collection such as "I Am Waiting" and "Junkman's Obbligato" were created for jazz accompaniment. Written in the conservative post-war 1950s, his poems still resonate, as they will continue to resonate, with a joyful anti-establishment fervor that beats a rhythmic portrait of humanity. Ferlinghetti sings of a world in which "the heart flops over / gasping 'Love'," "cadillacs fell thru the trees like rain," and where "we are the same people / only further from home / on freeways fifty lanes wide."

This special 50th Anniversary Edition comes with a newly recorded CD of the author reading the 29 poems of the title section of A Coney Island of the Mind as well as selections from Pictures of the Gone World. Also available in a limited (200 copies) edition with a hard slipcase signed by Lawrence Ferlinghetti.

"I got it signed when I was a teenager. I took the train to San Francisco, went to the bookstore and went to a nearby bar where I heard that he hung out, gave it to the bartender and said, 'Well, if he comes in, have him sign it for me, will ya?' And he did! There are great pieces in A Coney Island of the Mind--it feels very current in spite of the fact that it's fifty years old." --Tom Waits, on National Public Radio

“Lawrence is my favorite poet, to warn us of the coming of Big Brother. Lawrence gets you laughing, then hits you with the truth. From D-Day to 9/11 Lawrence is the poet who asks why the human race is trying to kill itself.” – Francis Ford Coppola

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Well Dressed Authors

William S. Burroughs

Oscar Wilde

Bret Easton Ellis

Noel Coward

Jean Cocteau

Joe Orton

Paul Bowles

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Song for Night by Chris Abani

My Luck, a West African boy soldier stripped of both his youth and ensuing manhood, is part of a mine-defusing unit in war-torn West Africa in Chris Abani's stunning, melancholic, savagely beautiful and most elegantly written novella, Song for Night. The boy is separated from his crew and walks the long, lonely road of death to find them, and redemption—redemption for family and love and innocence thieved—a road lonely in the company of the ghosts of war and the ever-damned. The story unfolds as an inner-monologue and known but silent screams—My Luck's voice has been surgically removed—and the closer he comes to Truth the further Abani leaves us entranced. Cancel all afternoon appointments, read it in one sitting, and spend the rest of the evening blessedly stunned.

-- Ulyss. T. W. Bluebird