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Huzzah! The first book arrivals of 2018!

I’ve been staring nervously at our depleted stacks these last few weeks, wondering if anyone else had noticed that our stacks were growing barer by the day. Some creative shelving helped mask the growing number of brown spots, as did some emergency runs down to one of our distributors’ warehouse. But deliverance was at hand — the first of what I hope to be many shipments of our January stock came by way of our favourite delivery guy Ayau yesterday. Definitely some interesting stuff in the package yesterday, with two books from the frontlist. Here’s a quick run-down:

Front List

  • What the Hell Did I Just Read by David Wong: The latest book by David Wong of John Dies at the End infamy, What the Hell Did I Just Read promises a good time. Check this:

    While investigating a fairly straightforward case of a shape-shifting inter-dimensional child predator, Dave, John and Amy realised there might actually be something weird going on. Together, they navigate a diabolically convoluted maze of illusions, lies, and their own incompetence in an attempt to uncover a terrible truth they — like you — would be better off not knowing.

  • The Vagina Monologues (20th Anniversary Edition) by Eve Ensler: Hard to believe it’s been 20 years since the publication of the original Vagina Monologues. The monologues, which delve into a wide range of female experience, has become a cultural marker of the 20th century, and continues to remain relevant in the 21st. Not uncontroversial, this edition of the book includes six previously unpublished monologues and a new foreword.

Mid and Backlist

  • How to Measure a Cow by Margaret Forster: The English novelist’s final work before her death in 2016, How to Measure a Cow is the story of a former convict who is seeking a new beginning in a northern English town. She fosters an unexpected relationship with the curmudgeonly widow, Nancy, across the street who–and I am guessing here–teaches her how to measure a cow. Quite looking forward to this one.
  • Who Was Changed and Who Was Dead by Barbara Comyns: A classic, overlooked tragicomedy where a flood in a small English village brings more than wet shoes and socks to a cast of poor village sops. Subsequent to the flood, they are afflicted by a madness causing each of them to summarily commit suicide in, from what I gather, not uninteresting manners. An introduction and summary to this edition is available here:
  • The Man from the Diogenes Club by Kim Newman: I first stumbled onto this book after Googling ‘Diogenese Club’ after listening to Stephen Fry’s excellent 60-hour performance of the Sherlock Holmes’ novels. I was somewhat familiar with Newman’s Anno Dracula series, and thought this could really work given the impressive summary provided by the publisher:

    The debonair psychic investigator Richard Jeperson is the Most Valued Member of the Diogenes Club, the least-known and most essential branch of British Intelligence. While foiling the plot of many a maniacal mastermind, he is chased by sentient snowmen and Nazi zombies, investigates an unearthly murderer stalking the sex shops of 1970s Soho, and battles a poltergeist to prevent it triggering nuclear Armageddon. But as a new century dawns, can he save the ailing Diogenes Club itself from a force more diabolical still?

  • Deep Red by Hisashi Nozawa: We picked this up because of the cover, if we are going to be absolutely honest. But it helps that it’s also a prize winner that has been well reviewed. From what we gather, it’s a Japanese thriller where lots of people have been killed, and a protagonist who has to make sense of it all and survive. Why not?
  • 50 Greatest Stories: Ah, the short story compilation, edited by an unknown editor, published by a company that bills itself as the House of Bestsellers, this is a book of enigmatic provenance but nevertheless contains a good selection of classic short stories including The Gift of the Magi, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and features an author list including Chekov, Dickens, Fitzgerald and Conrad. Makes for a nice gift for a young reader embarking into the world of classics.

We’re looking forward to more books coming in this week and we will be reviewing some of these in the near term so look out for them. Signing out for now with a modicum of relief.

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