Monday, August 19, 2013

Five Books for Monday

I'm currently reading this one:

T.H. White, whose The Sword in the Stone has been read by hundreds of thousands, now at last has turned his hand to retelling the entire Arthurian Epic. The Once and Future King takes Arthur from the glorious lyrical phase of his youth through the disillusioning early years of his reign to the mature years in which his vision of the Round Table develops into the search for the Holy Grail and finally to his weary old age. In part, T.H. White has drawn on published material which he has revised and reworked heavily to bring form and continuity to an overall work, a tetralogy which will stand as unique and vivid and quite apart from the individual effects of the various particular books. And in part the author has created new material as enchanting as any he has ever set on paper.

When two soldiers from opposite sides of a never-ending galactic war fall in love, they risk everything to bring a fragile new life into a dangerous old universe. From New York Times bestselling writer Brian K. Vaughan (Y: The Last Man, Ex Machina) and critically acclaimed artist Fiona Staples (Mystery Society, North 40), Saga is the sweeping tale of one young family fighting to find their place in the worlds. Fantasy and science fiction are wed like never before in this sexy, subversive drama for adults.

This specially priced volume collects the first six issues of the smash-hit series The Onion A.V. Club calls "the emotional epic Hollywood wishes it could make."

Winner of the 2013 Eisner Awards for Best New Series and Best Continuing Series.

Brian K. Vaughan is the winner of the 2013 Eisner Award for Best Writer for Saga

"[Andrea Barrett's] work stands out for its sheer intelligence…The overall effect is quietly dazzling."—New York Times Book Review

Winner of the National Book Award for her collection of stories Ship Fever, Andrea Barrett has become one of our most admired and beloved writers. In this magnificent new book, she unfolds five pivotal moments in the lives of her characters and in the history of knowledge.

During the summer of 1908, twelve-year-old Constantine Boyd is witness to an explosion of home-spun investigation — from experiments with cave-dwelling fish without eyes to scientifically bred crops to motorized bicycles and the flight of an early aeroplane. In 1920, a popular science writer and young widow tries, immediately after the bloodbath of the First World War, to explain the new theory of relativity to an audience (herself included) desperate to believe in an “ether of space” housing spirits of the dead. Half a century earlier, in 1873, a famous biologist struggles to maintain his sense of the hierarchies of nature as Darwin’s new theory of evolution threatens to make him ridiculous in the eyes of a precocious student. The twentieth-century realms of science and war collide in the last two stories, as developments in genetics and X-ray technology that had once held so much promise fail to protect humans—among them, a young American soldier, Constantine Boyd, sent to Archangel, Russia, in 1919—from the failures of governments and from the brutality of war.

In these brilliant fictions rich with fact, Barrett explores the thrill and sense of loss that come with scientific progress and the personal passions and impersonal politics that shape all human knowledge.

Bestselling author Carolyn Jess-Cooke has written a brilliant novel of suspense that delves into the recesses of the human mind and soul—perfect for fans of Gillian Flynn and Lisa Unger. The Boy Who Could See Demons follows a child psychologist who comes up against a career-defining case—one that threatens to unravel her own painful past and jeopardizes the life of a boy who can see the impossible.

Dr. Anya Molokova, a child psychiatrist, is called in to work at MacNeice House, an adolescent mental health treatment center. There she is told to observe and assess Alex Connolly, a keenly intelligent, sensitive ten-year-old coping with his mother’s latest suicide attempt. Alex is in need of serious counseling: He has been harming himself and others, often during blackouts. At the root of his destructive behavior, Alex claims, is his imaginary “friend” Ruen, a cunning demon who urges Alex to bend to his often violent will.

But Anya has seen this kind of behavior before—with her own daughter, Poppy, who suffered from early-onset schizophrenia. Determined to help Alex out of his darkness, Anya begins to treat the child. But soon strange and alarming coincidences compel Anya to wonder: Is Alex’s condition a cruel trick of the mind? Or is Ruen not so make-believe after all? The reality, it turns out, is more terrifying than anything she has ever encountered.

A rich and deeply moving page-turner, The Boy Who Could See Demons sets out to challenge the imagination and capture the way life takes unexpected turns. In the best storytelling tradition, it leaves the reader changed.

It's the first summer of lust for 14-year-old Jim Finnegan, a boy trying to become a man in 1980s Dublin. Jim's vivid and winning voice leaps off the page and into the reader's heart as he watches his parents argue, his five older sisters fight, and the local network of mothers gossip. Jim hilariously recounts his life dealing with the politics of his boisterous family, taking breakneck bike rides with his best friend, dancing to Foreigner on his boombox, and quietly coveting the local girls from afar.

Over the summer, Jim wins the attention of a beautiful older girl-but he also becomes the unwilling target of a devious religious figure in the community. His life starts to unravel as he faces consequences from both his love for his girlfriend and his attempts to avoid the Parish Priest. When he and his girlfriend take a ferry for a clandestine trip to London, the dark and difficult repercussions from the trip force Jim to look for the solution to all his problems in some very unusual places.

THE FIELDS is an unforgettable story of an extraordinary character. It's a portrait of a boy who sinks into troubles as he grows into a man, and the loving but fractured family that might be his downfall-or his salvation. Lyrical, funny, and endlessly inventive, it is a brilliant debut from a remarkable new voice.

In other words, hey, y'all. :)

10 comments:

SEAN (The Jeep Guy) said...

Yeah! You're back!

Mitchell is Moving said...

Wow! As always, thanks for all the recommendations.

Tamayn Irraniah said...

Good to see you out and about again, especially with a new dose of books! It's funny that White's perspective on Arthur is one of the only ones I haven't read. I still say the best of the Arthurian Legends to read is The Knight with the Lion. Sir Yvain has the strangest of the stories, but the most interesting, I think!

cigardude13 said...

The musical "Camelot" was based on "The Once And Future King" over 50 years ago. I assume that this is a re-issue of Teddy White's book.

Writer said...

SEAN, yes. Well...back-ish. :)

Writer said...

You're welcome, Mitchell. :)

Writer said...

Tamayn, White's Arthur is probably the one that sticks with me the most thanks to Disney's adaptation of the first book of The Once and Future King: The Sword in the Stone.

Though I've read all kinds of other stories: Geoffrey of Monmouth's, the French Romances, Gawain and the Green Knight.

Writer said...

cigardude, Camelot would show on every once in a while on HBO when I was a kid.

This cover is from the 1958 edition of the book. Though I think from the copyright page it is the 18th edition.

JamTheCat said...

Posting, again! Great!!

"The Once and Future Kind" is one of the best books I've ever read. I hope you like it as much as I do.

Writer said...

Kyle, it is so thick. I've already set other thinner books aside to take other book breaks.