Sunday, October 12, 2014

Planned Parenthood Book Sale, Part 2




My husband bought eleven books at the book sale. He is much more in control of his book buying impulses than I am. But he was very happy with most of the books he got. This is a sample.

Whispering Bodies by Jesse Michaels

About the author:
Jesse Michaels is an artist, musician and writer from Berkeley California. Over the years he has played in bands, created fanzines and illustrations, and written fiction. He was the singer of the punk bands Operation Ivy, Big Rig, Common Rider and Classics of Love. He has created art for Neurosis, Green Day, Christ on Parade, Filth, The Criminals, Spencer Moody, Pretty Girls Make Graves and many others.
Description of the book at the author's website:
Whispering Bodies is a comic novel which employs a mystery frame to tell the story of a reclusive man who must leave the safety of his isolated world to clear the name of a woman he has fallen for.
A comment on the back of the book suggests this book is like The Third Policeman by Flann O'Brien, so Glen picked up a copy of that one also.


Unfortunately, Glen did not enjoy that book at all. Here is his review at Goodreads:
The unnamed narrator of this book is a failed farmer and pub keeper who finds himself increasingly under the thumb of John Divney, a hired man who - over time - considers himself part owner of the farm and pub. Divney needs money and his solution is to enlist the (very passive) narrator in murder and robbery. The murder takes place and so far so good. Then the book decides it will be an "Alice and Wonderland" - with a quest for a box possibly filled with loot, nonsensical and surrealistic dialog, a visit to eternity, and endless discussions on bicycles - and it is then that it becomes a slog (and only 206 pages!) for me. Many readers really (really!) like this book but I'm afraid I found it a great struggle to finish.

London After Dark

From Kirkus Reviews:
Addenda to his earlier Fabian Of The Yard fills in the picture of crime in England and works its way from general exposition on various types of illegalities to specific cases. From night haunts, guarding royalty, gambling, dope, sex, perverts, unlawful pictures and satanic practices, he goes on to the crooks themselves, the informers, the rackets, and winds up with 14 examples of the painstaking police activities that untangled varying iniquities. This dossier has a very moral tone to its yarning, and its expertising, by an ex-superintendent of the Yard, offers solid, dependable -- and interesting material for the true crime fancier.


Ghosts by Gaslight


From a review at Deseret News:
Ghosts by Gaslight: Stories of Steampunk and Supernatural Suspense edited by Jack Dann and Nick Gevers, is a collection of all new ghost stories, inspired by the likes of Edgar Allen Poe and Arthur Conan Doyle. The stories, by established authors, infuse a modern fascination with old-fashioned technology into a Victorian setting in a genre called steampunk. While not every contributing author is a short story specialist, each story has some unsettling or haunting aspect to it.
From the reviews I read, the biggest criticism of this book was that not all stories had steampunk elements. As in any collection of short stories, some are better than others, and this depends on the reader's taste.



Blackmail by Parnell Hall
This is the ninth book in the Stanley Hastings series.

From Goodreads:
Complications arise when Stanley Hastings handles a blackmail payment involving pornographic pictures. Not only does he fail to stop the blackmailer, but everyone he talks to dies.
“Every page quivers with comic frustration and the result is an absolute joy.”—Kirkus (starred)
“Parnell Hall succeeds in making Stanley Hastings one of a kind …. BLACKMAIL is pleasantly reminiscent of an earlier era, when detectives like Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin brought some humor to their chores.”—The Wall Street Journal 






The Girls of Atomic City by Denise Kiernan

The description below is from Boing Boing. There are also lots of photos at that post of WW II workers in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
At the height of World War II, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, was home to 75,000 residents, consuming more electricity than New York City. But to most of the world, the town did not exist. Thousands of civilians — many of them young women from small towns across the South — were recruited to this secret city, enticed by solid wages and the promise of war-ending work. Kept very much in the dark, few would ever guess the true nature of the tasks they performed each day in the hulking factories in the middle of the Appalachian Mountains. That is, until the end of the war—when Oak Ridge’s secret was revealed.
Drawing on the voices of the women who lived it—women who are now in their eighties and nineties — The Girls of Atomic City rescues a remarkable, forgotten chapter of American history from obscurity.


18 comments:

  1. I will look up the Jesse Michaels book as it seems interesting to me. I will also be trying Parnell Hall on Glenn's say so, but have limited myself to the first book only!
    I did leave him a comment of The Third Policeman - I stopped reading after a few pages, I couldn't get into it at all.

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    1. I think the Jesse Michaels' book sounds interesting too, Col, but I will let Glen try it first. I will probably read enough of The Third Policeman to get a taste of it... just out of curiosity. I have read one Parnell Hall and plan to read more. Especially since Glen is paying for them.

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  2. Tracy, your husband has equally good taste in books. I'd pick "The Girls of Atomic City" to read right away. I'm familiar with Parnell Hall but I haven't read any of his novels.

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    1. That book about Atomic City does sound very good, Prashant. You would think I would know more about this, haven't grown up in the South. But I don't.

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  3. Nice selection too. Watching MANHATTAN on TV, *about the MANHATTAN PROJECT) that book about the woman interests me greatly.

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    1. That TV show, Manhattan, sounds interesting. We don't have access now, will watch it later probably. I am marginally more familiar with the Manhattan Project than with the work at Oak Ridge.

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  4. Tracy - I like the sound of these books! And such great variety too! I can well imagine that between you, you and your husband have an excellent home library.

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    1. Well between the two of us, there is not much room for anything but books. He buys less books than me but he keeps a lot of books that he has read or art books.

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  5. The Third Policeman is one of the oddest books I've ever read, and even reading the intro in my edition and talking about it at book club a couple years ago didn't really make it any clearer for me. (Or maybe it was clear briefly and I've forgotten by now). Glen is not alone!

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    1. Rebecca, I am glad to hear from someone who read The Third Policeman. I plan to try it, at least the beginning. When Glen passed on his copy to me, I saw that it had questions / explanations, etc. at the back for discussion, I guess.

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  6. Only the Atomic Girls sounds interesting to me. My family is from that area and I've been to the Oak Ridge Museum of Science and Electricity. http://amse.org/. Very interesting!

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    1. Peggy, that museum would be great to visit. I have spent very little time in Tennessee but what I have seen is beautiful.

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  7. Fantasti ccollection of titles TracyK - apparently the Flann O'Brien took decades to find a publisher ...

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    1. I had read something like that, Sergio. Published shortly after his death?

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  8. Really interesting selection. I would go for the Atomic Women one straight away. I have read the Third Policeman and can't say I loved it, though it is a cult favourite for many people. I thought Glen's review was hilarious!

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    1. Glen reads a lot of non-fiction books, Moira. I cannot stay involved with them, even ones I like on topics I am interested in. We did notice that Third Policeman had tons of 5 Star reviews on Goodreads. I am glad you found his review entertaining.

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  9. Another excellent haul. 'Ghosts by Gaslight' looks good!

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    1. It does look like an interesting book, Sarah. My husband is much more into ghost stories than I am, but I do plan to try some of them. They don't seem too scary for me.

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