This is a great year for new books for me! Multiple of my favorite authors have books coming out in the summer and the fall, and I’m listing them here so I remember to get them when they come out! (I have to write things down or I forget.)
Secondhand Souls by Christopher Moore
This one comes out tomorrow, but I’m not sure if I’m going to spring for the hardcover right off the bat, or wait for the paperback next May… So far my only hardcover Christopher Moore books are the ones I have signed, and the one that was never released in paperback.
Secondhand Souls is the sequel to A Dirty Job, which is probably my second-favorite Christopher Moore book. I can never get through the first chapter without crying…
If you’ve never read Christopher Moore, I recommend starting with Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal. Yeah, it’s pretty much as blasphemous as it sounds. But it is the best of Christopher Moore’s books, so if you can see the appeal in it, then you’ll like the rest of his stuff.
I love Lamb, and A Dirty Job, and I have a soft spot for the books set in Pine Cove*, because they remind me of living on the central California coast.
(*Practical Demonkeeping, The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove, The Stupidest Angel)
The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science by J. Kenji López-Alt
FINALLY! Seriously, this book has been scheduled to be out in the autumn of 2012, 2014… I had almost given up hope. Actually, I probably won’t believe it until I hold the book in my hands!
Kenji write The Food Lab series on Serious Eats, the website that was the biggest help to me when I was learning to cook. If you’re interested in learning how to cook, I cannot recommend anything better than going to Serious Eats and just reading every article he’s written. Not only will you learn some astoundingly great recipes, you’ll learn WHY they work and the techniques you’ll need to strike out on your own. I cannot recommend it highly enough. Kenji is also a great writer (so funny!), so I’m probably going to give this cookbook to everyone on my list this Christmas, whether they cook or not: it’ll be just that great of a read.
The Shepherd’s Crown by Terry Pratchett
This one is going to make me cry…
Sir Terry Pratchett, one of the most brilliant literary minds of our time, was taken from us by Alzheimer’s Disease on March 12, 2015. This was the last book he wrote, finished before his death.
Sir Terry wrote over 40 Discworld books, in addition to other novels, children’s books, and collaborations. His wit, wisdom, way with words and perspicacity made his illness and death that much more cruel, as we watched such a unique mind be undone.
I’m in the middle of his second-to-last book right now, the previous Discworld novel, Raising Steam. It has been very hard to get through, because the evidence of his mental deterioration is painfully evident. The words are there, but the magic, the genius, is gone. Some people gave the book terrible reviews and claimed that he was using a ghostwriter. I do not believe that that it the case; I believe that he wrote it, even as his mind was being consumed by disease. It’s bad enough that such a giant of a mind was cut down in its prime, do you have to insult him in product reviews? Where is your empathy? Why not mourn with him, instead of blaming him?
So I do not recommend Raising Steam, or probably The Shepherd’s Crown, as your first venture into the Terry Prachett universe. But I do recommend that you read his books; I know that there are a lot, but your life will be better for it, I promise. There is a reason that they are so popular. Do whatever it takes, but read Discworld, start to finish.
And donate to Alzheimer’s research.