More 2008 books I want to read
In yet more evidence of how much of a procrastinator I am, I started this list in April. Anyway, I kept all the books that made my original list here, even if they’ve since been published (Dororo) or I’ve received an ARC of the book.
Categorized again, but not in alphabetical order. And I’m including adult books this time.
No Choirboy: Murder, Violence, and Teenagers on Death Row by Susan Kuklin – first, there’s the title. Then there was what Susan Kuklin wrote about it in her first newsletter, which does not seem to be completely archived on her website. I can’t remember exactly what she said, but it made me want to read the book even more. Here’s what she says about the book on her website: “My new book, No Choirboy, takes you into America’s prisons and allows inmates sentenced to death as teenagers to speak for themselves. In their own voices – raw and uncensored – they talk about their lives in prison and share their thoughts and feelings about how they ended up there.”
Out of the Pocket by Bill Konigsberg – gay high school quarterback. ‘Nuff said. Wait, I do have one more thing to say: I really, really hope it turns out along the lines of what happened to Corey Johnson, but I’ll still read it even if it doesn’t.
The American tells the story of Yen Tzu-lu, a child of immigrants unwillingly pressed into service beside a gang of roughnecks, bent on stealing a gold mine from a shadowy villain deep in the western wilderness. Along for the ride are Jack Straw, a famed gunslinger and mystic, Henry Jesus, a former Union soldier and freed slave turned buffalo hunter, Chino, a Mexican outlaw from California whose very country was yanked out from under him, John MacLemore, a Confederate ex-patriot gone west, and his daughter, a true wild child of the western frontier. They must cross the continent: through desert and plains, canyon and forest, Union soldiers and vicious Indians, wild animals and deadly storms. If they make it, they’ll be rich. If they don’t, they’ll almost surely be dead.
And some adult books (warning: excessive use of exclamation marks ahead)
The Fire by Katherine Neville!!!!! – it’s been, what, over ten years since her last book was published? Plus, it’s the sequel to The Eight!!!! Finally!!! Because I love that book! And Neville’s other two books, too, even if they weren’t as good.
Bone by Bone by Carol O’Connell!!!!! – it’s not a Mallory book, which disappointed me for a couple of seconds, because Find Me was excellent (and, wow, all that info about Mallory’s parents!). Then I remembered that the only other standalone O’Connell has written is the awesome Judas Child, which I absolutely love. And, holy cow, does this book sound good! Oren’s brother was murdered twenty years ago. The murder was never solved, and now Josh’s body is being returned…one bone at a time, left at the family’s door.
Curse of the Pogo Stick by Colin Cotterill – no exclamations here, even though I am looking forward to this book. Mostly I’m listing it because Cotterill’s Dr. Siri Paiboun series is fabulous and more people should be reading it. Like, NOW. Septuagenarian doctor in 1970s Laos, pressed into service as the national coroner, and a shaman to boot.
Box Out by John Coy – because I really liked Crackback. And I think the subject of sports and religion, in this case about a basketball player who objects to the team prayers mandated by his coach, is very timely. (I wrote this comment a couple of weeks ago, and look what just hit the news.)
Tiger Moon by Antonia Michaelis – I read about it in this PW Children’s Bookshelf, where it was described as “a fairy-tale-like romance, set in colonial India, in which a young thief and his sidekick, a white tiger with a phobia of water, must rescue a princess from marriage to a demon king.” I admit that the tiger part makes me a bit wary, but the rest has me intrigued.
The Poison Ape by Arimasa Osawa – adult mystery. I thought this was supposed to be published in August? In any case, this is the second book in the Detective Samejima series (the first book is Shinjuku Shark). I thought we got way too much of Samejima’s backstory too early in Shinjuku Shark (like, we learned more about Samejima in the first couple of chapters than we’ve learned about Mallory’s entire life in nine books by Carol O’Connell. Okay, that’s an exaggeration, but not by much), but it must have worked because flawed as I found the book, it got me hooked enough to want to read The Poison Ape.
Gimmick by Youzaburou Kanari and Kuroko Yabuguchi – even if I’m no otaku, I like manga. Largely because they have the kind of plots and/or characters that you never see in Western fiction. Like Hikkatsu! (which also has the great subtitle of Strike a blow to vivify), about a guy who decides to make the world a better place by perfecting a karate chop that will repair things. And he meets a girl who goes around with a pigeon her head. I repeat, a pigeon on her head. Anyway, Gimmick is about a makeup/special effects expert helping others with his talents, by the author of The Kindaichi Case Files, which is, let’s see, one of only four manga series that I’ve managed to keep reading into double-digit volumes.
Sugar Princess: Skating to Win by Hisaya Nakajo – figure skating!
Dororo by Osamu Tezuka – I’ve never read Tezuka before, and this sounds a lot more appealing to me than his other manga that are currently available in English. Demons? 48 of them? Who need to be defeated for a boy to get all of his body parts back? I’m there. Check out the free preview on the Vertical site.
Getting the Girl: A Guide to Private Investigation, Surveillance, and Cookery by Susan Juby – I adored Juby’s last book, Another Kind of Cowboy. Also, I like the title. Well, subtitle, actually. And, yes, I really am that shallow.