Home / The Early Word: New Books for the Week of November 10, 2008

The Early Word: New Books for the Week of November 10, 2008

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"Shake and shake / the catsup bottle / first none'll come / and then a lot'll." Make a few metaphoric leaps and Richard Armour's quatrain about condiments might apply to book release schedules, too. Compare and contrast to previous weeks, or just do the math:


Just After Sunset
Stephen King

In the introduction to this hefty, 384-page collection of short fiction, his first since Everything's Eventual (2002), King credits editing Best American Short Stories (2007) with renewing his interest in the short form, and inspiring some of this volume's contents. Spending a year reading and rereading hundreds of short stories, he says, made for a reinvigorated, fit-for-a-King volume, evocative and ideal reading indeed for "just after sunset." Of the 13 stories, "The Cat from Hell" — about a killer feline and the hit man hired to bump it off — dates back 30 years to its days as a men’s magazine contest entry.  But most are of more recent vintage, though they span a variety of subject matters from the gross-out fear factor of being trapped in a porta-potty in "A Very Tight Space," to more serious concerns as the 9/11 theme that pervades "The Things They Left Behind.”

Just After Sunset is sure to bring something unsettling to mind page after page. As King writes, "[I]t's how we see the world that keeps the darkness beyond the world at bay." And he tells the reader, "I hope at least one of [the stories] keeps you awake for awhile after the lights are out."

The Hour I First Believed
By Wally Lamb

Rooted in the intense ordeal of the 1999 Columbine High School massacre and racing back into historic events, Wally Lamb offers an incisive tour de force, a reflection on the human condition and a compassionate evocation of character. The Hour I First Believed embraces myth, family history, and matters of faith that lie at the heart of everyday life.

A Mercy
By Toni Morrison

This prequel to Beloved conjures up 17th century America with the same sort of lyrical language that distinguished Toni Morrison’s earlier novel. Set 200 years before Beloved, A Mercy sees a Catholic plantation owner satisfy a debt by offering Anglo-Dutch trader Jacob Vaark a young slave girl-whose mother hopes she will find a better life. What follows is a tale of love, disease, and the brutality of slavery that might be better considered as a lengthy prose poem than a novel.

The Christmas Sweater
By Glenn Beck

By Roberto Bolaño, Natasha Wimmer (Translator)

Ender in Exile
By Orson Scott Card

The Bodies Left Behind
By Jeffery Deaver

Snake Dreams (Charlie Moon Series #13)
By James D. Doss

The Northern Clemency
By Philip Hensher

By Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons (Illustrator)

The Fire Kimono (Sano Ichiro Series #13)
By Laura Joh Rowland


Promised Land: Changed America
By Jay Parini

Poet, novelist and literary critic Jay Parini examines the books he believes represent the spirit of the American republic. Some of these books are masterpieces, others icons of a moment in American history. Promised Land: Changed America offers a rich work of cultural history that will appeal to all book lovers and students of the American character alike. In his essays Parini demonstrates how these books entered American life and altered how we think and act in the world.

The 13 "books that changed America":
Of Plymouth Plantation • The Federalist Papers • The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin • The Journals of Lewis and Clark • Walden • Uncle Tom's Cabin • Adventures of Huckleberry Finn • The Souls of Black Folk • The Promised Land • How to Win Friends and Influence People• The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care • On the Road • The Feminine Mystique 

Life of Evel: Evel Knievel
By Stuart Barker

Enough: True Measures of Money, Business, and Life
By John C. Bogle

Abraham Lincoln: A Life
By Michael Burlingame

Warlord: A Life of Winston Churchill at War, 1874-1945
By Carlo D'este

Lessons in Disaster: McGeorge Bundy and the Path to War in Vietnam
Gordon M. Goldstein

Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman Created California
By Frances Dinkelspiel

Gastropolis: Food and New York City
By Annie Hauck-Lawson (Editor), Jonathan Deutsch (Editor), Foreword by Michael Lomonaco

American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House
By Jon Meacham

Born Country: How Faith, Family, and Music Brought Me Home
By Randy Owen, Allen Rucker

Too Fat to Fish
By Artie Lange

The Jazz Ear: Conversations Over Music
By Ben Ratliff

Love Junkie: A Memoir
By Rachel Resnick

You: Being Beautiful: The Owner's Manual to Inner and Outer Beauty
By Michael F. Roizen, Mehmet C. Oz

Sinatra in Hollywood
By Tom Santopietro 

Lyrics 1964-2008
By Paul Simon

God Stories: Inspiring Encounters with the Divine
By Jennifer Skiff

Call Me Ted
By Ted Turner, With Bill Burke

Le Corbusier: A Life
By Nicholas Fox Weber

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