note: my new tracking-what-i-done-read system (which i totally stole from bookavore) — i bought a pocket daily planner, and every day (or every couple of days, really) i note down what it is that i’ve been reading, and i have little symbols for finished, liked, didn’t finish, didn’t like, etc. — is working really well. i am pleased. maybe i will even be able to tell you how many books i read at the end of the year!
The Last Werewolf, Glen Duncan: ho. ly. crap. if you’re in the market for a book that is an exercise in contradictions, LOOK NO FURTHER. x-rated, sexy, gory, violent: check. scholarly, literary voice: check. ummm, wait, what? no, really. it’s kind of amazing that Duncan pulls this off at all (which he does). this one isn’t out until July, though. SORRREEEEE.
Insomnia Diary, Bob Hicok: read this for bookrageous poetryrageous episode (RAGEOUS!!!!!) and absolutely adored it. am convinced that i need to get back in the poetry saddle, as it were. thank god i have Lacy to recommend stuff to me.
Silver Sparrow, Tayari Jones: reminds me of Lily King’s Father of the Rain or Heidi Durrow’s The Girl Who Fell From the Sky — falls squarely into the difficult girl-coming-of-age genre without ever being trite or derivative. a moving, lovely read. not out until May.
When Beauty Tamed the Beast, Eloisa James: a historical romance inspired by HOUSE, MD and the fairytale. for. serious. people! James is a great writer, and she knows from sexy. also not to be missed, A Kiss at Midnight, which is the Cinderella rewrite which is also a bit Taming of the Shrew-esque. more of these coming, thank the little fishes, because i am hooked. (PUNS! you’re welcome.)
Bad Dog: A Love Story, Martin Kihn: both a dog memoir and an addiction memoir. i would have gone running for the hills if i hadn’t been handed this book by a trustworthy publicist. and she was right, it is good. Kihn manages to deal with addiction recovery without ever adopting the self-righteous/smug/self-pitying tones that are all too common in the milieu, and deals with the eponymous bad dog without ever descending into maudlin sentimentality or cutesiness. it also helps that this is also partly about the American Kennel Club’s Canine Good Citizen program, which is a genuinely interesting bit of doggy lore. also also, the dog does not die. out in April.
Super Spy, Matthew Kindt: holy awesomeness, batman. shakes up the way graphic novels normally work in a way reminiscent of (but not copied from) Asterios Polyp. storytelling at its finest. super depressing in the best possible way.
A Covert Affair, Jennet Conant: a bit misleading — the title says it’s about Paul and Julia Child’s time in the OSS, and it is — but only really about half. the other half is about their colleague and alleged Russian spy, Jane Foster. WAS SHE OR WASN’T SHE????? a thoroughly absorbing political history of World War II’s covert ops, D.C. bureaucracy and in-fighting, the Red Scare and McCarthyism, and the Child’s. out in April.