So, as we can all see, I haven’t updated this in a while, and so, there has been quite a bit of activity in the literary world.
So first off, we’re going to start with some sad news. Over the past several months, several of our favourite and beloved authors have passed away. First off is Iain M. Banks, popular science fiction and fiction author. He was the best selling author of The Culture series of science fiction novels. He was born in Scottland in 1954 and he passed away on June 9th, 2013. In April, he announced he had inoperable cancer, which claimed him two months later. He was 59.
Richard Matheson, popular science fiction, horror, and fantasy author, has also left us. Some of Matheson’s most known books were I am Legend, which was turned into a movie we won’t talk about here, Steel, which is a short story that was adapted into the movie Real Steel featuring the fantastic Hugh Jackman, Hell House, What Dreams May Come, The Shrinking Man, Bid Time Return, and Return of Echoes. He lost a long battle with illness this year, passing away on June 23rd, 2013, at the age of 87.
Now, in happier news, a few new releases and interesting side notes.
On the media side of things, the movie for Divergent is just around the corner, as well as The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. While I haven’t read either book myself, I’ve been told they are amazing. To be honest, City of Bones looks a little too teen angsty/romancy for my taste, but maybe I’ll give it a try. I broke down and bought Divergent a while back, though it is sitting with my several hundred books I still have to read. One day…
I’ve also heard rumours that Guillermo Del Torro and Chuck Hogan’s book The Strain will be turned into a TV series, which I am definitely down for. Horror movies, I can’t do, but I’ve never had a problem with horror novels. After reading The Strain, however, I never wanted to fly again, and I was terrified something was going to come out of my armoire and decided that I looked perfect for a midnight snack. But the last time I watched a horror movie, I was a teenager. Maybe I can handle them now. If anything can get me watching horror, it will be The Strain.
For new releases, we have a new Stephen King book just around the corner. It will be called Doctor Sleep, and is the long, long, looong awaited sequel to The Shining. This book will take place many years later, when Danny has reached middle age. It should prove to be quite interesting and terrifying. Release date is September 24th, 2013 It’s available for pre-order now, and if you do so online through Chapters website, you’ll get it for a nice discount. That’s only online though, not in store.
Having said that, do absolutely go into any Coles, Chapters, or Indigo store if you are at all interested in the author Diana Gabaldon, as her newest book, Written in My Own Heart’s Blood, the newest book in the Outlander series, will be on sale for $25 Canadian. This is one of the rare instances where we do recommend you pre-order, and that you do so in store. The book isn’t due for release until March 14th, 2014. The good news is that the price may still drop even further. The better news is that if you do pre-order it before the price drop, we’ll refund you the money!
This is starting to sound like an add for Coles Chapters Indigo… I should stop now.
Another new release, one that I’m really excited about, is Emperor of Thorns, by Mark Lawrence, the final book in The Broken Empire trilogy. I read Prince of Thorns close to when it first came out and I was blown away. It was so different from anything else I had read recently, which was very refreshing. If the books had been told from the point of view of almost any other character, the main character would be the antagonist. This books is shaping up to be a dark, macabre, and disturbing end to an amazing series. I don’t expect to be smiling at the end of it. Well, other than in gleeful, viscous delight, but not happy smiling.
A book I’m sure you’ve all heard of by now, Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth by Reza Aslan, has finally landed in all stores. The book was getting some pretty good critical acclaim on its own; good story telling, an unbiased look at one of the most influential figures of our past (whether you believe in him or not). Then the author was invited onto Fox News. And the woman who interviewed him was a moron. Reza Aslan is of the Muslim faith, and the poor reporter couldn’t seem to get past that. To her, he couldn’t write about Jesus, the founder of the christian faith, because he was Muslim, and Jesus wasn’t Muslim. It was something you would watch from behind your hand, cringing in second hand embarrassment for this poor woman. Great publicity for the author though, as suddenly everyone wants his book.
And finally, one of the biggest news bits of the year so far, literarily speaking at least, is that surrounding Cuckoo’s Calling, by Robert Galbraith. The book was published just at the end of April to decent praise. It was hailed as a strong opening novel by a first time novelist. The main character was such a strong character, that people wanted to see more of him. Then, one of the lawyers at the law firm responsible for this author told his wife a secret, which we all know you never do. Because then his wife told her friend said secret, and the friend tweeted a news group, and suddenly, everyone knew that Robert Galbraith was, in fact, J. K. Rowling. Turns out, Rowling published another adult book just under our noses. Suddenly, Cuckoo’s Calling shot up over 1000 places to hit amazon’s #1 bestseller spot.
Now, a lot of people were not fans of her previous book The Casual Vacancy. I personally believe the reason for that is it touched on too many taboo subjects for most peoples tastes. It was disturbing, eye opening, and just too much for some people. Cuckoo’s Calling, however, proves to be a strong mystery that leaves you wanting more. Rowling has confirmed that this will be a trilogy and that book two is set for release next year.
That’s all for this time around. Now, let’s see if I can’t make this a regular thing, eh?