Aug 052011

August is shaping up to be a busy month here at the Book Corner! I see you looking suspicious already. I can’t believe you doubt me.

“What have you got for me, Ashley?”

I’m so glad you asked.

My sampling went over so well at the beginning of July that I’m going to do it again. You can expect full reviews of these books as the month goes on.

1. Lev Grossman returns to the landscape of The Magicians to pursue what’s happening to Quentin Coldwater a few years on in The Magician King. The Magicians, the first book in the series, follows a group of students who have landed in a school for the magically inclined. The Magicians sees a group of students through school, and The Magician King looks at what happens when some of the students take their magic out into the “real world.” If you hurry, you have time to read The Magicians before The Magician King comes out on August 9. Go for it!

2. If you grew up in the 1980’s, you are going to go nuts over Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One. If you didn’t, you’ll love it anyway. My advance copy had a note with it describing it as “exuberantly geeky” – it wasn’t wrong. I’m 36, and if you do the math, you’ll see that puts me squarely growing up in the 80s. You may safely assume there was an “exuberantly geeky” reader moment when mention was made of the (Intellivision, I think) game BurgerTyme. I hear you laughing, but I played that with my grandparents. But enough about me. This book is set in 2044, and most of the world has come to prefer a life online in a place called OASIS. It’s a place to get away from a world that is increasingly insane. For Wade Watts, a young and lonely gamer, it is, quite suddenly, game on when he trips over the first hint in a quest that the founder of OASIS has left with huge benefit to those who make it to the end. Is he ready? Three excerpts are available on the RP1 website; find the first here. Ready Player One is out August 16.

3. Daniel Polansky’s Low Town is one of my favorite books so far this year. It’s a dark mystery with flashes of magic. The main character of the story, called only the Warden, does not present himself as a likeable man. Once an agent with Black House, the law enforcement in Rigus, he is definitely no longer on the right side of the law. Herein is the contradiction of the Warden – just because he is no longer on the right side of the law doesn’t mean he isn’t a man with morals. Just understand that his morals are not everyone’s, and a murdered child thoroughly offends every shred of decency he has left. In taking Low Town apart to find the killer, the Warden finds that he is no longer who he thought he was. Neither is anyone else. An excerpt of approximately 50 pages is available on the book’s website here. Low Town is out on August 16.

This is just a taste of what’s in store for you in August!

About Ashley Crump

Ashley and her minders, two very strict black cats, make their home on the bayou. One fine day, Ashley finally realized she did not want to write the Great American Novel -- she wanted to understand how writing worked. She set about doing this, and you are seeing her results. It's a long-term project. Enjoy! [The cats do her proofreading...]

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