Monday, April 02, 2012

New This Week

Another pretty active week here. I seem to be buying more books since I started taking part in this series. Not a good development.

Erle Stanley Gardner – nine double volumes of Perry Mason novels published in a uniform series by Walter J. Black, the Detective Book Club publisher. The novels range from 1948 to 1971, and one volume, THE CASE OF THE CRIMSON KISS, includes a Perry Mason novella and four of Gardner's non-series pulp novelettes from the Twenties and Thirties. The titles of the novels, in case you're wondering are (insert THE CASE OF THE in front of all of these, of course): DUPLICATE DAUGHTER, SUN BATHER'S DIARY, SHAPELY SHADOW, FIERY FINGERS, LONG-LEGGED MODELS, FOOT-LOOSE DOLL, MISCHIEVOUS DOLL, NERVOUS ACCOMPLICE, FABULOUS FAKE, DROWNING DUCK, PHANTOM FORTUNE, BEAUTIFUL BEGGAR, CALENDAR GIRL, FENCED-IN WOMAN, RELUCTANT MODEL, BIGAMOUS SPOUSE, and FUGITIVE NURSE. I've read a few of these before, but it was years ago and I don't remember anything about them. I probably didn't really need them, but they look great, they were cheap, and I've been in the mood to read some Perry Mason novels ever since I downloaded the theme from the TV show and put it on my cell phone as my ringtone. I get some interesting looks whenever it starts to play while I'm out in public.

Stephen Coonts, editor – VICTORY, a massive anthology of novellas set during World War II that came out about ten years ago. Authors included are Coonts, Ralph Peters, Harold Coyle, Harold Robbins (although this one may well have been ghosted), R.J. Pineiro, David Hagberg, Jim DeFelice, James Cobb, Barrett Tillman, and Dean Ing. I'm a sucker for WWII fiction.

Clair Huffaker – ONE TIME, I SAW MORNING COME HOME.  A memoir by the novelist and screenwriter about his life growing up in a small town in Utah during the 1930s. It may be a memoir, but it looks to be written like a novel. Huffaker wrote some fine traditional Westerns, many of them made into movies for which he wrote the screenplays, as well as adapting novels by many other authors for film. And of course he's the author of THE COWBOY AND THE COSSACK, one of my all-time favorite novels.

Wayne D. Dundee – RECKONING AT RAINROCK.  An ARC of a Western novel coming out later this year featuring Lone McGantry, the protagonist of Dundee's earlier novel DISMAL RIVER. I thought DISMAL RIVER was a great Western, and I'm looking forward to reading this one.

Larry Alexander – BIGGEST BROTHER: THE LIFE OF MAJOR DICK WINTERS, some World War II non-fiction, a biography focusing on one of one of the major figures in Stephen Ambrose's book BAND OF BROTHERS and the resulting HBO mini-series. We've been watching the mini-series on DVD – somehow I missed it until now – and I'll have an Overlooked TV post about it in a week or two.

Matt Hilton – DEAD MAN'S DUST, the first in his Joe Hunter series. I haven't read any of them yet.

Also, some comic book trade paperbacks:

Brian Wood – Volumes 3 through 6 of the NORTHLANDERS Viking series.

Ed Brubaker – POINT BLANK and SLEEPER, SEASONS ONE AND TWO, an espionage series, and THE SINNERS, Volume 5 of the CRIMINAL series.

Brandon Choi and Jim Lee – DEATHBLOW: SINNERS AND SAINTS, collection of a mini-series from almost twenty years ago, from the early days of the Wildstorm Universe, and man, it's hard for me to believe that was almost twenty years ago! I read this back then and remembered liking it, but that's almost all I remember about it.

Steve Gerber, et al. – THE ESSENTIAL MAN-THING, VOLUME 1, a big, black-and-white collection of the first 32 stories featuring the "muck-encrusted man-monster". I was a big fan of this series as well as DC's very similar SWAMP THING, both of which first came out at almost exactly the same time and both of which owe an obvious debt to Theodore Sturgeon's classic story "It!", as well as The Heap, from AIRBOY COMICS. Pure Seventies comic book goodness . . . I hope. We'll see. I haven't read them since then.

Dave Wood, et al. – SHOWCASE PRESENTS: BLACKHAWK, VOLUME 1, another big black-and-white collection, this one from DC, reprinting twenty issues of BLACKHAWK from 1957 and 1958. This is the version of the Blackhawks I first encountered, and I'm looking forward to seeing how well the stories hold up.

Clearly, I need to figure out some way to do without sleep so I'll have time to read all this stuff. There'll be blog reviews of most of it . . . eventually.

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