When I go to ALA Conferences, the swag I look forward to most is the Readers Advance books - what's new? what's going to be a really great read I can pass on to my friends/students/colleagues?
Sadly, many of the books I get are just Not Ready For Prime Time Reading. Some are (The Lightning Thief and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time blew me away). Some probably have appeal to an audience other than myself. Some are just, well, clearly a publisher's attempt to catch a genre wave and ride it, and most of those are just poorly written and poorly edited. Any number of trees could have been saved had someone just said "no" to the whole thing.
The most recent book off Mt. Bookpile was a re-release of Harlan Ellison's Spider Kiss. I'd never read anything by him before, and there was a certain amount of "go ahead, amaze me" in my attitude. But this book - out of print for a long time - was really good. I'm not quite sure why reprints didn't happen, to be honest. This feels like a book that read well when it was first published (1961, as Rockabilly) as it does now. It's not his usual fantasy/sci-fi, either. This is grittier, based in the world of early rock'n'roll and told through the eyes of a PR man who sold his soul... and might sell it again...
I may even recommend it to our Upper School students, and a few teacher. And, Dear Readers, I'm recommending it to you.
Tags: books, Harlan Elison