Saturday, June 6, 2009

New Books You Might Have Missed - Fiction

With so many great books being released every week, it can be hard to keep up with what is new. Often we see the same books talked about over and over again in the press, while other books get passed over for promotion. Here's a few of those lesser hyped yet interesting looking titles that passed by my desk in the last few weeks (all descriptions come from the library catalogue):

Flying by Eric Kraft:
An ambitious comedy set both in the present and in an alternate 1950's universe--Flying. It is the story of a young dreamer named Peter Leroy who builds a flying motorcycle and innocently fools his entire home town into believing that he has piloted it across the country--and how, fifty years later, he sets the record straight. Flying is composed of a trilogy of novels, drawing together Kraft's previously published Taking Off and On the Wing, with the final part, Flying Home, which appears in print for the first time in this paperback original. Flying is a brilliant, buoyant comedy of hoaxes, digressions, do-it-yourself engineering, and the wilds of memory.

Ablutions: notes for a novel by Patrick deWitt:
In a famous but declining Hollywood bar works A Barman. Morbidly amused by the decadent decay of his surroundings, he watches the patrons fall into their nightly oblivion, making notes for his novel. In the hope of uncovering their secrets and motives, he establishes tentative friendships with the cast of variously pathological regulars. But as his tenure at the bar continues, he begins to serve himself more often than his customers, and the moments he lives outside the bar become more and more painful: he loses his wife, his way, himself. Trapped by his habits and his loneliness, he realizes he will not survive if he doesn't break free. And so he hatches a terrible, necessary plan of escape and his only chance for redemption. Step into Ablutions and step behind the bar, below rock bottom, and beyond the everyday take on storytelling for a brilliant, new twist on the classic tale of addiction and its

Everything Asian by Sung J. Woo:
You're twelve years old. A month has passed since your Korean Air flight landed at lovely Newark Airport. Your fifteen-year-old sister is miserable. Your mother isn't exactly happy, either. You're seeing your father for the first time in five years, and although he's nice enough, he might be, well--how can you put this delicately?--a loser. You can't speak English, but that doesn't stop you from working at East Meets West, your father's gift shop in a strip mall, where everything is new. Welcome to the wonderful world of David Kim

Transgression by James W. Nichol:
This is a tense, gripping novel about forbidden love. Set in Paris and Canada in the winter of 1946. While playing in the woods, children discover a severed finger and soon the corpse of a man who is the victim of a terrible crime. The murder connects the past: it's linked with the fate of the young Frenchwoman Adele who, during the war, fell in love with a German soldier and was branded a collaborator. In Canada, she hopes to forget her dark secret. But then the past rears its head - with a deadly consequence.

Livability: stores by Jon Raymond:
A tired man, struggling to overcome the loss of his wife in a car accident. Two old friends, hoping to rediscover their connection on a trip to the woods. A screenwriter hoping to hear news about the future of his film. In Jon Raymond’s deft, nuanced stories, these and other characters contend with the frustrations, longings, and mood swings we face every day. Artfully conveying the feeling of lived experience, these stories brim with gratifying sensory detail: the sound of a tree root snapping underfoot, the smell of a roast, the stillness of the air after music has stopped. And, with careful observations and a humane spirit, Livability gives us a portrait of America, full of characters finding ways to survive their own choices.

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