BOWERS, DOROTHY. Shadows Before. Rue Morgue. 2005. 191p. ISBN 0-915230-81-X. pap. $14.95. MYSTERY
This 1939 Bowers mystery follows her two Scotland Yard officers, Chief Inspector Dan Pardoe and Detective Sergeant Salt, as they investigate a series of poisonings.
Perhaps not the old boy’s best-known work (hey, at least it’s short), this 1866 collection offers eight stories all transpiring at Mugby Junction.
HAMILTON, PATRICK. Hangover Square. Europa Editions. Jan. 2006. c.335p. ISBN 1-933372-06-0. pap. $14.95. F
As World War II looms over Britain, protagonist George Harvey Bone suffers from blackouts during which he envisions murdering the no-good woman with whom he’s smitten. An intoxicating thriller.
PINGET, ROBERT. Trio. Dalkey Archive. Nov. 2005. 229p. ISBN 1-56478-408-8. pap. $13.50. F
The aptly titled volume combines three of the French author’s best works: Between Fantoine and Agapa, That Voice, and Passacaglia. The volume also features an introduction by John Updike.
TUTEN, FREDERIC. The Adventures of Mao on the Long March. New Directions, dist. by Norton. 2005. 134p. ISBN 0-8112-1632-2. pap. $11.95. F
Released in 1971, Tuten’s satire offers a multilayered narrative of the Long March and of Mao himself while also tackling numerous themes (aestheticism, sexism, etc.). Everyone from Hemingway to Greta Garbo somehow is worked into the plot. More for the lit crowd.
UNDSET, SIGRID. Kristin Lavransdatter. 1144p. ISBN 0-14-303916-4. pap. $25.
VOLTAIRE. Candide. 155p. ISBN 0-14-303942-3. pap. $11.
ea. vol: Penguin. (Classics). 2005. F
Two standards of European literature join Penguin’s Classics Deluxe Editions club. Candide sports an especially spiffy cover by comic artist Chris Ware and a top text. The Undset volume combines all three parts of the epic with explanatory notes.
Commodore Perry and the Opening of Japan: Narrative of the Expedition of an American Squadron to the ChinaSeas and Japan, 1852 – 1854. Tempus, dist. by Trafalgar Square. Jan. 2006. 512p. comp. by Francis L. Hawks. illus. index. ISBN 1-84588-026-9. pap. $30. HIST
First published in 1856, this volume chronicles Perry’s voyage to Japan and meetings with the Shogunate that resulted in the 1854 Treaty of Kanagawa with the United States, ending that nation’s longstanding policy of isolationism to block exposure to foreign religions. The scholarly text includes numerous illustrations and an index. More for hard-core history collections.
DEFOE, DANIEL. The Storm. Penguin. (Classics). 2005. maps. ISBN 0-14-143992-0. pap. $14. HIST
Though first released in 1704, this title is quite timely. Defoe here offers a detailed report on a massive hurricane that hit Britain, leaving thousands dead and homes and businesses destroyed for miles in every direction. Sound familiar? This edition contains maps and scholarly info.
Des Barres, Pamela. I’m with the Band: Confessions of a Groupie. Chicago Review. 2005. 320p. photogs. ISBN 1-55652-589-3. pap. $14.95. MUSIC
Ultimate rock groupie Des Barres dishes the dirt by the truckload in this 1987 remembrance of the rockers with whom she rubbed elbows – and other body parts. The text is thick with photos, and this edition contains a new foreword by Dave Navarro of Jane’s Addiction.
DOYLE, SIR ARTHUR CONAN. The Sherlock Holmes Mysteries. 547p. ISBN 1-59609-176-2.
HUGO, VICTOR. The Hunchback of Notre Dame. 523p. ISBN 1-59609-171-1.
ROSTAND, EDMOND. Cyrano de Bergerac. 235p. ISBN 1-59609-177-0.
ea. vol: Signet. 2005. pap. $14.95 with DVD. LIT
These clever packages combine a classic text with a DVD of a film version. The Holmes volume’s 22 stories accompany Terror by Night and The Woman in Green, starring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce. Hunchback looms over the Lon Chaney silent version, while Cyrano includes the popular 1950 José Ferrer flick. Sweet for the price.
GORDON, LYNDALL. Shared Lives. Virago, dist. by Trafalgar Square. Feb. 2006. 335p. ISBN 1-84408-143-5. pap. $15.95. MEMOIR
Gordon’s 1992 volume recalls growing up with other Jewish girls in South Africa in the 1950s. She shares the isolation of being in a small community and the societal pressures on women.
Roots & Wings: Poetry from Spain; 1900 – 1975. White Pine. 2005. 528p. ISBN 1-893996-34-4. pap. $20. POETRY
Released in 1976, this bilingual collection gathers the work of 30 Spanish poets, including Miguel de Unamuno, Antonio Machado, Juan Ramon Jimenez, and others. ¡Magnífico!
SHAKESPEARE, WILLIAM. Othello. 394p. ISBN 1-4022-0102-8 [ISBN 978-1-4022-0102-8].
SHAKESPEARE, WILLIAM. Romeo & Juliet. 360p. ISBN 1-4022-0101-X [ISBN 978-1-4022-0101-1].
ea. vol: Sourcebooks mediaFusion. 2005. illus. pap. $14.95 with CD. DRAMA
Another cool book-and-disc combo, these editions of the bard’s beloveds offer the full illustrated text with an audio CD sporting numerous key scenes. A great idea.