Tuesday, June 2, 2009

BEA Recap: The Books

BEA wouldn't be BEA without a bunch of free books, and this year was no exception. There may have been fewer giveaways this year than in years past, but there was certainly no shortage of free stuff. Rather than grabbing everything I saw (and then having to carry it all home), I went with a plan and picked up only those books I'm truly interested in reading. Here's my personal top ten list, in no particular order:
  • Mirrors: Stories of Almost Everyone by Eduardo Galeano, translated by Mark Fried (Perseus): Described on the jacket as "a sometimes bawdy, sometimes irreverent, sometimes heartbreaking unofficial history of the world seen--and mirrored to us--through the eyes and voices of history's unseen, unheard, and forgotten."

  • Gourmet Rhapsody by Muriel Barbery, translated by Alison Anderson (Europa): This is the book Barbery wrote before she wrote the wildly successful The Elegance of the Hedgehog. Gourmet Rhapsody traces the career of food critic Monsieur Pierre Arthens, a character familiar to those who've read The Elegance of the Hedgehog.

  • Going Away Shoes by Jill McCorkle (Algonquin): A story collection from a great storyteller.

  • Beg, Borrow, Steal: A Writer's Life by Michael Greenberg (Other Press): Greenberg, author of Hurry Down Sunshine, writes "an autobiography in installments, set in New York, where the author depicts the life of a writer of little means trying to practice his craft--or simply stay alive."

  • Love Begins in Winter by Simon Van Booy (Harper Perennial): A story collection that's received some really nice praise.

  • Little Bird of Heaven by Joyce Carol Oates (Ecco): Described on the jacket as a "searing, vividly rendered exploration of the mysterious conjunction of erotic romance and tragic violence in late twentieth-century America."

  • You or Someone Like You by Chandler Burr (Ecco): A "fiercely intelligent and emotionally gripping" novel that grows out of a reading list.

  • Stitches by David Small (Norton): A dark graphic memoir about a child with cancer who wasn't told he had cancer.

  • Logicomix by Apostolos Doxiadis, Christos H. Papadimitriou, Alecos Papadatos, and Annie DiDonna (Bloomsbury): A graphic novel that "recounts the spiritual odyssey of philosopher Bertrand Russell" and is described on the jacket as "a historical novel and an accessible explication of some of the biggest ideas of mathematics and modern philosophy."

  • Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World Through Islamic Eyes by Tamim Ansary (Perseus): Described in a review by the San Francisco Chronicle as "[a] must-read for anyone who wants to learn more about the history of the Islamic world. But the book is more than just a litany of past events. It is also an indispensable guide to understanding the political debates and conflicts of today, from 9/11 to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, from the Somali pirates to the Palestinian/Israeli conflict."

1 comment:

Zibilee said...

Wow! It looks like you got some really great stuff! I look forward to reading some of these reviews when you get to them.