Power Play By Joseph Finder

Joseph Finder is a best-selling author known for his business thrillers (Paranoia and Company Man). Power Play is another white-knuckle tale of suspense. This time Finder focuses on the aviation industry, telling the story of Jake Landry, a low-level executive at Hammond Aerospace.

When Landry's boss is called away, he is invited to attend the company's team-building retreat with the rest of the company's top management. The retreat is held in a remote lodge in the British Columbia wilderness. What is supposed to be a fun and challenging weekend quickly turns into a nightmare when a gang of woodsmen take over the lodge and hold the executives hostage.

Finder hooked me with an alluring premise: watching overconfident, swaggering businessmen recoil into the shadow of the story as Landry, a smart-mouthed, former juvenile delinquent, takes on the woodsmen.

A Dungeon Too Many

What happens to the Keeper's lucrative business of luring, plundering, then massacring adventurers when a competing dungeon (complete with balloons, cotton candy, and puppet shows) is built next door? Get an inside look at the workings of a fantasy dungeon, run CEO style by a bird in a top hat. Full of heroes such as Marvin, an anthropomorphic vegetarian dragon who loves to bake, and Herbert, a timorous duck. Joann Sfarr has teamed up with other French cartoonists, Lewis Trondheim, and Manu Larcent to create the wonderful universe that is Dungeon. Larcent's panels are dense with informative details. Including gory cartoon-violence! The subtle jokes involving Grogro the monster are particularly wonderful.
Cliquez ici pour visiter le site officiel du Donjon (en français).

New Fiction on the New York Best Sellers List (8/26/07)

Years ago William Gibson found a cult following with his prescient first novel Neuromancer which introduced the world to the idea of a virtual matrix and coined the term cyperspace. The cyperpunk subgenre of science fiction was born.

Neuromancer was the first novel to win the trifecta of major science fiction awards: the Nebula, the Hugo, and Philip K. Dick Award.

It also predicted the rise of the internet and its implications for the world as we now know it. In Gibson's latest novel Spook Country, the protagonists include a musician/journalist, a spy and a cryptographer all trying to push back against that world and its technology and bureaucracy.

The other new entries are Devil May Cry by Sherrilyn Kenyon, Sandworms of Dune by Herbert and Anderson, Waking with Enemies by Eric Jerome Dickey, Critical by Robin Cook, The Burnt House by Faye Kellerman and Fourth Comings by Megan McCafferty.

The rest of the List can be found online.

Grace Paley, genius of brevity, has died

Grace Paley, genius of brevity, has diedGrace Paley, genius of brevity, has died

Grace Paley, short story writer extraordinaire, died Wednesday, August 22, 2007, in Vermont.

Born in New York of Jewish Russian immigrants, Ms. Paley knew of what she wrote -- Jewish single women, often mothers, just trying to get through the day the best they knew how. Her gift for language was both efficiently economical and magically rich.

Her first collection of stories, The Little Disturbances of Man, was published in 1959. Fifteen years later, Enormous Changes at the Last Minute: Stories was released, followed in 1985 by Later the Same Day.

In 1994, The Collected Stories was a finalist for both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer.

Ms. Paley was 84.

Ain’t Nobody A Stranger to Me by Ann Grifalconi

A grandfather tells his granddaughter how a stranger helped him escape from slavery and to always help a stranger in need. Jerry Picnkey’s illustrations add a sense of timelessness to this touching tale.

A Dangerous Innocent, An Accidental Heroine

It has been a long wait for fans of Amy Bloom, but her new novel since Love Invents Us (1997), will be payback enough. It's heartbreaking, romantic, and completely unforgettable.

Away*, a historical novel set in the 1920s, is based loosely on the life of Lillian Alling, as documented in Cassandra Pybus’ meticulously researched The Woman Who Walked to Russia (2002).

In Away,, Lillian Leyb, a 22-year-old Jewish immigrant arrived in New York City alone, mourning the loss of her young daughter. Sheer determination got her the much sought-after job as a seamstress at the Goldfadn Yiddish Theatre and the attention of the handsome lead actor and his very connected father.

But when word came that her daughter might be alive in Siberia, Lillian was determined to make her way there. The journey was arduous, to say the least.

“Encompassing prison, prostitution and poetry, Yiddish humor and Yukon settings, Bloom's tale offers linguistic twists, startling imagery, sharp wit and a compelling vision of the past. Bloom has created an extraordinary range of characters, settings and emotions. Absolutely stunning.” ~Publishers Weekly

* = Starred Reviews (see the August 20th New York Times Review).

He's still "singin' in the rain," on screen, that is

Is modesty the new rage?

According to this article on NPR, the new fashion trend for ladies is modesty. Wendy Shalit has written two books on this subject, exploring the "Modesty movement". Check out A Return to Modesty from 1999, or her latest book Girls Gone Mild.

After the War

I just found two brand new stories for young children that remind us that wars do end and that there is compassion, humor and generosity even in the midst of destruction. Both Dadblamed Union Army Cow by Susan Fletcher and One Thousand Tracings:Healing the Wounds of World War II by Lita Judge are based on true stories. The feisty Union Army cow refuses to leave her young soldier and saves many men from starvation. In One Thousand Tracings a mother and daughter send hundreds of shoes to distressed families in war torn Europe. Both stories are beautifully illustrated with fascinating author's notes at the end.

Her Majesty’s Dog

Transfer students Amane and Hyoue are mystifying their new classmates with their odd-couple romance. She’s a social misfit; he’s the hottest guy in school. But the truth is that Amane’s a powerful medium, and Hyoue isn’t human at all: he’s her guardian spirit, a demon-dog, whose powers are literally fueled by her kiss. Read Her Majesty’s Dog, the manga series by Mick Takeuchi, to follow their adventures in subduing vengeful spirits, bringing peace to the dead, and surviving high school. After all, as Amane’s finding out, all the magical power in the world can’t help her navigate the ins and outs of high school social life!

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