So many of our friends have written wonderful books, let us recommend some to to you. There's a book about pirates (yaar!), one about werewolves (and vampires), one about living and dying, one about ghosts and adventurers and people who speak with the dead, and one about mythology & Ukrainian folklore presented against a backdrop of WWII. Dig in, root around, buy someone a gift!
Victoria Janssen's The Duke and the Pirate Queen is the reason we're all dressed as pirates around here. Because I'M A PIRATE IN VICTORIA'S BOOK. Fo shizzle. Kyle Cassidy the evil pirate. But don't call him Kyle, he prefers to be known as Venom. Yaar! Be forwarned that it's a racy adventure. So if you've ever had a secret fantasy about crossing swords with me -- er, strike that. Anyway, it's got pirates, sword fights, dominant damsels, marauding corsairs, desert islands, ships, naughty bits, sharks, and did I mention ME?! Victoria's books aren't exactly your mother's romance novels, it's just as likely that Suzy's bad boyfriend is a werewolf as it is that he's got a secret first wife. You could put it in a brown paper wrapper if you're reading it on the subway, but I wouldn't -- the cover's too cool.
Valya Dudycz Lupescu's The Silence of Trees is a Ukrainian fairy tale which made trillian_stars cry when she read it. Valya's coming to Philadelphia this weekend on her book tour. She'll be reading at Robins books Saturday night -- more about this in trillian_stars' lj. We'll be there and there will likely be a par-tay after.
Jay Lake's book about cancer, The Specific Gravity of Grief is a fictional tale, about a writer, named Jay Lake, who is dying. Aside from sharing a name with his protagonist, Jay Lake (the author) has been very publicly dying of cancer for two years now. People who have read his blog (jaylake) have watched the chemo, the doctors visits, the surgeries, they've heard about the pain, the fear and what the disease and the treatment does to ones bowels. In short, Jay Lake has refused to hide himself and hide this illness behind a curtain. He is generous and articulate. One of Jay's goals is to put copies of this book where people and their families suffering in the same ways can get it, read it, understand, cope, learn. In order for that to happen, the original hardcover run needs to sell out. This is a sad, powerful, eloquent, and oddly uplifting book. Jay's writing is beautiful. Given a bed of straw, he's spun gold.
Michael Swanwick's experimental book October Leaves was written on ... leaves. If you know Michael Swanwick (and if you know science fiction you know Michael Swanwick) you will know that he's a pioneer of ... alternative methods of expression. He's written stories and put the in bottles, written stories on lampshades that can only be read when the light is turned on, watched Dorian Grey decompose, put Faust in a cigar box and lots of other things. He wrote this story on leaves in a cemetery, photographed them, and then with his partner, micro-publisher Marianne Porter, came out with this lovely self-produced photo book the likes of which you shall probably never see again. Unless you're in a cemetery one day and all those leaves blow back together in the proper order.
Dianne Salerni's We Hear The Dead is a fictionalized novel about one of my favorite couples, spiritualist Maggie Fox and arctic explorer Elisha Kent Kane. Maggie starts a religion at the age of fifteen and scandalizes and titillates the world by passing along messages from ghosts. Kane, a wealthy adventurer and physician from Philadelphia (go Philly!) is about to leave on a dangerous mission to the arctic in an effort to rescue a lost expedition. Around this a tumultuous love affair begins but must be kept secret.
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