Saturday, October 06, 2007

New books

I'm psyched about a few new books. I just got a copy of Jon Armstrong's Grey from the library. I've been wanting to read it since I read the first chapter on the author's website. From the first chapter, it seems like something I'll enjoy -- good writing, interesting characters, and vaguely post-singularity cyberpunk setting. I'm planning on starting it tomorrow, after I finish Joe Hill's Heart-Shaped Box.

Speaking of, Heart-Shaped Box is great so far (a third of the way in), one of the best horror novels I can remember. And it's written very well. It was only recently revealed that Joe Hill is Stephen King's son. A few snarky blogger-types immediately jumped on this, screaming that of course it's easy to get a book published if you're Stephen King's son. You've got all these connections and industry contacts and people who owe your dad favors! I think they're missing the point. If you're Stephen King's son, you've probably managed to learn a lot about how writing (and the writing business) works. Joe Hill apparently had the book published under his own name, with no reference to his father and no special assistance. And I'd believe it; the writing is excellent in every respect, so far. He uses language in interesting ways, builds character in interesting ways, and has mastered pacing and description. And it's his first novel. I can't wait to see what he does next.

I also picked up a copy of Tim Ferriss's Four Hour Workweek, which seemed like a must-read after reading a bit of his website and seeing how many other interesting people were picking up on it. I'm not planning on quitting my job and travelling the world; for one thing, I think the whole outsourcing-your-life concept mostly applies to people with extremely white-collar jobs. Account executives can do it, but bricklayers can't (they're the guys to whom construction managers have already outsourced the actual work), and neither can sound guys. But I at least expect it'll be an interesting read.

I just finished Timothy Scahill's Blackwater. I'll save you the trouble of reading it yourself and sum it up for you: the Blackwater mercenary company is powerful, huge, corrupt, extremely well connected, mostly above the law, and is doing questionable things while pretending to be an arm of the official military. There ya go -- I just saved you 350 pages. You're welcome.

I'm also psyched about the third Eden Moore book from Cherie Priest: Not Flesh Nor Feathers. I enjoyed the first two, and I'm looking forward to reading the end of the trilogy. They're gothic, they're southern, and they're stories told well. I don't know when I'll get the book; I just put it on hold at the library, but it's still officially "on order". Also waiting for me at the library: Scott Westerfeld's Peeps. I've been wanting to read something by Scott for quite a while, and this looks like a good place to start. I'll let you know if it rocks.

No comments: