You won't find a lot of new books on the bookstore shelves this week. Maybe March will be going out like a lamb...
Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris
Anyone currently undergoing the nine-to-five workaday monotony interspersed as it is with gossip, office romance, pranks, and coffee break after coffee break — or who has escaped such routine and left with "visceral, rich memories of dull, interminable hours" — should find many resonating moments, droll and emotional, in Then We Came. The coworkers in the struggling Chicago ad agency central to Joshua Ferris’ incisive and wickedly amusing novel wait one-by-one to be cordially invited to clear their desks to “walk Spanish down the hall” in a ghoulish procession that seems absurdly apt for the dot-bomb end of the '90s boom: "We’d watch the singled-out walk the long carpet with the Office Coordinator leading the way" - heading to a fate akin to a date with Ol’ Sparky. As the narrator goes on to describe, "A few minutes later we’d see the lights dim for the voltage drop and we’d hear the electricity sizzle and the smell of cooked flesh would waft out into the insulated spaces."
Burning Bright by Tracy Chevalier
For a Few Demons More (Rachel Morgan, Book 5) by Kim Harrison
Grotesque by Natsuo Kirino, Translated by Rebecca Copeland
Invisible Prey by John Sandford
Cultural Amnesia: Necessary Memories from History and the Arts by Clive James
With seemingly everyone from Beatrix Potter to Franz Karfa represented in this treasure trove of 110 incisive and provocative biographical essays by British critic James, Cultural Amnesia illuminates and occasionally disparages the careers of many of the greatest philosophers, artists, musicians, and writers of the twentieth century. Whether savaging jazz musician John Coltrane's penchant for "subjecting some helpless standard to ritual murder" or rebuking French apologists for communism, including Jean-Paul Sartre, who "could sound as if he was talking about everything while saying nothing," James aims to please, or provoke. Whichever the occasion demands.