Five Books I Want To Buy

I’m not currently allowing myself to buy any books.  I’ve been cataloging my library on LibraryThing (the site that powers the random book widget at the bottom of the sidebar), having a lot of fun with tagging and categorization.  In the process I have discovered that I currently have 46 books at home that I’ve bought but not read.  So no new books for me until I make a dent in that stack.  But there are a few books that I’m quite excited about, any of which would probably jump to the top of my reading stack if it were not for my self-imposed restrictions.  Here are five of them.

Black Juice by Margo Lanagan – I’ve read two stories by Lanagan, her Hugo-nominated “Singing My Sister Down,” which was incredible, and “An Honest Day’s Work” from the anthology The Starry Rift.  I’m eager to read more.  I’ve also heard good things about her novel, Tender Morsels.

It’s Too Late To Say I’m Sorry by Joey Comeau – I first encountered Joey Comeau through his webcomic, A Softer World.  Then I read his novel Lockpick Pornography (which is available for free download) and greatly enjoyed it.  Some of the stories in this collection were originally published online, including a couple at Strange Horizons, which will be publishing one of my stories soon.

Theory Of Light And Matter by Andrew Porter – Won the Flannery O’Connor award last year.  I took two fiction writing classes from Andrew Porter while I was at Trinity University.  I might not have ended up going to Clarion if I hadn’t gotten back into writing thereby.  I’ve only ever read one of his short stories, though, so I can’t wait to get my hands on this.

Palimpsest by Catherynne M. Valente – I know little about this author, but trusted sources are recommending this book everywhere I turn.  As far as high-concept fantasy goes, this book apparently has a city which is also a sexually transmitted disease. I want to read this book on the strength of that concept alone.

The Manual Of Detection by Jedediah Berry – I paged through a copy of this in a bookstore and was intrigued.  Add in positive recommendations from both Kelly Link and Megan Kurashige, and I’m sold.  I understand that Jedediah Berry works for Small Beer Press, whose entire catalog is on my “want to buy” list at one level or another.

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  1. I am uberly excited about Palimpsest — my copy is coming in the mail on Mon/Tues, so I should be posting some thoughts on it Thurs/Fri.

    Valente’s … I’m not sure whether she’s a classicist-formalist, or a classicist-animist. She’s highly, highly polished, experimental, and imaginative. But the things she’s experimenting with and re-imagining are not just structural and story-telling devices; she experiments a lot with concepts. Reading “Orphan Tales: In the Night Garden” was interesting, because it has zombies and witches and many traditional tropes that have been reinvented to fit into a new mythological framework.

    If formalism also involves creative, experimental worldbuilding and playing with concepts and tropes, then she’s utterly a formalist-classicist. But I don’t know if it does.

    Either way, she is both a joy and an intellectual challenge to read.

  2. Re: _Black Juice_.

    Skip directly to “Sweet Pippit.” Do not pass Go.

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