Daily Thoughts 02/14/2015
Melville House Bookstore. 02/13/2015 2:30-5:00 p.m.
I went to the Melville House, http://www.mhpbooks.com presentation for libraries on Friday, February 13, 2015. The main reason was that they had Lynne Truss, author of Eats, Shoots, and Leaves which is actually a rather entertaining book on grammar. She was reading from her new book, Cat Out of Hell which is a mix of gothic, humor, and mystery writing with a talking cat. She credits H.H. Munro who is also called Saki as being one of the inspirations for her book.
Before the event started, I had a chance to look at some of the materials around the office. They had a variety of unusual sets. For example, Melville House sells a novella series which they call The Art of the Novella which includes a variety of novellas like The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym by Edgar Allen Poe and the Death of Ivan Ilyich by Leo Tolstoy. In addition, they have a series based on overlooked classics called the Neversink library, one that caught my eye was The Right To Do Wrong A Unique Collection of Writings by History's Greatest Escape Artist by Harry Houdini.
I picked up two book posters and a few catalogs. During the event, they were giving out posters for Cat Out of Hell and I took one.
The event itself had some titles of interest that our patrons would like. One that would be of interest to librarians is Patience and Fortitude, Power, Real Estate, and the Fight to Save a Public Library by Scott Sherman. This is coming out on June 23, 2015. Another book that stood out is 33 Days A Memoir by Leon Werth with an introduction by Antoine De Saint Exupery.
There were some very interesting novels bordering on speculative fiction, modern fairytales, or magical realism. Novels that are literary but not quite fantasy. One of them, The Deep Sea Diver's Syndrome by Serge Brussolo reminded me a bit of the classic science fiction book, The Dreaming Jewels by Theodore Sturgeon. Another, The Reflection by Hugo Wilcken was said to have touches of Philip K. Dick.. Another novel that was mentioned was The Visitors by Simon Sylvester, it was supposed to have a bit about the selkies in it. This reminded me a bit of the writer, Jonathan Carroll who has written modern fairytales. There were other novels like Good on Paper by Rachel Cantor which are solid literary fiction.
In additon among the forgotten classics was a reprint of the unique soviet science fiction novel, Definitely Maybe by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky. The book Rules for Werewolves A Novel by Kirk Lynn which was described as being completely written in dialogue reminded me of another book, Sharp Teeth: A Novel by Toby Barlow which is an epic poem.
Among the nonfiction there were some books on modern technology like The Dark Net Inside the Digital Underworld by Jamie Bartlett as well as some political books like a cleaned up version of the Senate Intelligence Committee Report on Torture , Debt by David Graeber, and The Establishment and How They Get Away With It by Owen Jones. The last interview series caught my attention. The library purchased The Last Interview, James Baldwin. The Last Interview Gabriel Garcia Marquez and The Last Interview Jorge Luis Borges also look like they are excellent.
It was a very interesting afternoon presentation at Melville House. It reminded me of when there was still a Dixon Place Reading Series tied in with the New York Review of Science Fiction. http://www.nyrsf.com/
The sense of having a group of editors and very literary people at a reading with wine and snacks brought back some memories.
I still have not gotten to go to the KGB Bar's science fiction readings. These are kind of a successor to the Dixon Place readings in my mind. Being aware of these things can be helpful. http://www.kgbfantasticfiction.org/