My amazon.com cart is very seldom empty. I am constantly adding books to it, removing them, adding them back, adding some more until I get just the right ratio of books-per-dollar-amount. Then, when I have the perfect mix of books, I let it simmer for a while. There is a thought that adds a delay to the time I get the books in the cart just right to the moment I press “Proceed to Checkout” and that thought is (as I look over my unread pile of books): “I really should finish these ones first.”
However! I am now on the very verge of pressing that all important button, and here are the five books that will be taking a trip across the Atlantic and into my bookshelves once I do.
1. Roadside Picnic, Arkady and Boris Strugatsky
I first heard of this book at BookRiot, in the Best Books of January post us contributors made. Here is what fellow BookRiot contributor Scott Beauchamp had to say about it:
“The story involves people living in the strange aftermath of an alien visitation that no one can quite comprehend. The area where their crafts landed has become an off-limits zone which dangerously defies the rules of rational cause and effect and physics as we understand it. The only people allowed to enter the zone are scientists – but a criminal black market group of guides known as Stalkers are willing to lead you in (or get stuff out for you) for a price. This isn’t just the best book I read this month, it’s one of the best SF books I’ve ever read.”
2. Heart for the Ravens, Colin F Barnes
This is a book by Colin F Barnes, who is head of Anachron Press, one of the more interesting and ambitious independent publishers out there, though this book is being published by Fox Spirit Books. It is described as a gothic horror novella in the tradition of Poe. The reviews are mostly positive and the main complaint is that it is too short (probably a compliment in disguise). Also, great cover.
3. East of Eden, John Steinbeck
I recently read Grapes of Wrath, and was blown away by it. It is definitely one of the best books I have ever read, a classic deserving of a place with Dickens’ Great Expectations and Garcia’s One Hundred Years of Solitude. I also read Of Mice and Men a while back and was no less impressed. Steinbeck is good. People who think otherwise are simply wrong. East of Eden is simply the logical next book to read.
4. Hell House, Richard Matheson
There is a book called I am Legend, written by Richard Matheson. There are few excuses for not having read it, none of them good. I am Legend is the polar opposite of Twilight; the world ended, and the few humans that didn’t die were turned into vampires. A single human, at least as far as the reader knows, survives and spends his days killing vampires. He is a drunk and totally unlike-able and awesome. I love this book, and have reason to assume that Mr. Matheson writes good books. There is also this:
“Hell House is the scariest haunted house novel ever written. It looms over the rest the way the mountains loom over the foothills.” –Stephen King
So yeah, I’m buying Hell House.
5 Give us a Kiss, Daniel Woodrell
Daniel Woodrell is a genius and each and every last one of you should buy all his books now. Seriously though, Woodrell is a really good writer, and for some reason he remains not famous. Give us a Kiss is one of the last of his books I haven’t read. He has yet to disappoint, and judging from the reviews the book gets, i am confident this one will not disappoint either.
But don’t take it just from me, let this one-star review drive the point home:
I have read 3 other Daniel Woodrell novels, and found them very good, although somewhat violent. this one is not only violent, but vulgar too.