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Friday, September 14, 2012

October Titles to Look For

There are some VERY interesting titles coming out in October. There is one in particular for which I have been waiting. Others are - well, quirky is the word I am looking for I guess. Quirky but interesting and I want to have my name on the list to check them out.

I read The Passage by Cronin recently. He was at ALA and was talking about this book, The Twelve, which comes out on Oct 16. It made me want to go back to the first one. Well, I finished the first one and have been pining for this title since then. I gave The Passage to my daughter to read and she texted me that she could NOT WAIT till October. Sometimes, you just have to wait. The first one reminded me of The Stand by Stephen King. It was hair raising, spine tingling, frightening and absorbing. A government experiment gone wrong had turned the majority of civilization into vampire like creatures. The remaining humans called them 'virals'. It followed a group trying to find a way to survive. This title follows some of the original members trying to track the 12 virals that started the epidemic. I can hardly wait - just like my daughter. It is not your usual vampire novel. There is certainly horror in the pages but there is such a mesmerizing story that it is hard to put down - even though it is a BIG book. Both books are over 700 pages but they are worth every single one of them. I promise. And I haven't even read this one yet but I know that it will be worth the wait.

Now for one of the quirky ones. Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan comes out on Oct 2nd. Clay Jannon, a jobless web designer, takes a job at an out of the way bookstore. The few customers who come in, seem to wander to dark corners and sit reading strange texts.  Clay's efforts to find out what is going on lead to some big surprises. Sloan wrote a short story that was turned into this book. It is available on the web at if you would like to see if it looks interesting. Just a few sentences are attached below to give you the 'atmosphere' :
The bell on the door will tinkle and before it’s done, Mr. Tyndall will be shouting, breathless, “Kingslake’s! I need Kingslake’s!” He’ll take his hands off his head (has he really been running down the street with his hands on his head?) and clamp them down on the front desk.
“Kingslake’s! Quickly!”
Mr. Penumbra has a database, believe it or not. The books aren’t shelved according to title or subject (do they even have subjects?) so the database is crucial. It runs on an old Mac Plus, but I copied it onto my laptop and, over the course of a few customer-free nights, mapped it onto a 3D model of the store. (If this sounds impressive to you, you’re over 30.)
It's said to be a contest between modern nerds vs. traditional nerds - approached with charm, humor and adventure.

Another quirky one for you. Father Gaetano's Puppet Catechism is written by Christopher Golden and illustrated by Mike Mignola. It arrives on Oct 16. It is a novella - a short novel - and is highly illustrated as in almost graphic novel form. Mignola created Hellboy so he is big in this format. It takes place during World War II in Italy. Father Gaetano is the only priest in a tiny town and he is responsible for an orphanage set up in the rectory. He teaches the children their catechism by using carved puppets left behind. These puppets come out at night to set the world to rights because they believe to steadfastly in the word of God. The premise sounds fascinating and definitely worth a look.

Another highly illustrated one is by the acclaimed author of The House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros. Cisneros' mother died and to deal with her grief, she penned Have You Seen Marie? which comes out on Oct 2. It is the story of one friend helping the other search for a missing cat. It shows how we can heal by investing in others. A charming story, beautifully illustrated, with Cisneros usual story telling magic.

OK - I'll end with a normal one here. Mark Sullivan has written with James Patterson so you know what his books will be like. Rogue, coming out on Oct 2nd stars a former CIA operative, Robin Monarch, who has left his job behind and become a thief. A job goes wrong and he is trapped into completing a mission for the CIA. A fast paced plot that is intriguing. It is why people like Patterson so it might work for Sullivan too.

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