New Acquisitions is a feature where I talk about recent books that I’ve purchased, borrowed, won, and/or received for review consideration. All book descriptions are taken from Goodreads.
Last week a friend and I went to an event at one of the embassies in DC, and after a few glasses of wine, we ended up at a favorite used bookstore in the neighborhood (for you DC folks, it was Second Story). I ended up purchasing three books, all of which I am excited to read. In order from top to bottom, they are:
Authority by Jeff Vandermeer
I just finished reading the first book of the Southern Reach trilogy, and it was mindblowingly awesome. I couldn’t pass up the second installment in the series.
For thirty years, a secret agency called the Southern Reach has monitored expeditions into Area X—a remote and lush terrain mysteriously sequestered from civilization. After the twelfth expedition, the Southern Reach is in disarray, and John Rodriguez (aka “Control”) is the team’s newly appointed head. From a series of interrogations, a cache of hidden notes, and more than two hundred hours of profoundly troubling video footage, the secrets of Area X begin to reveal themselves—and what they expose pushes Control to confront disturbing truths about both himself and the agency he’s promised to serve.
Captive of Gor by John Norman
This series is misogynistic, offensive, and objectively terrible, but I keep coming back to it because the books cheer me up when I’m feeling down with their pulpy alternate world that’s basically A Princess of Mars with scantily clad sex slaves. Book seven is the point where most reviews I’ve seen tend to go from thinking the series is bad-but-bearable to completely awful. Based on the description alone, this seems like it might be the case… Not at all urgent on the TBR, but can sit on my bookshelf for a rainy day.
In this seventh book in the Gorean Series, beautiful and headstrong Elinor Brinton of Earth finds herself thrust into the savage world of Counter-Earth, also known as Gor. Brinton must relinquish her earthly position as a beautiful, wealthy and powerful woman when she finds herself a part of the harsh Gorean society. She is powerless as a female pleasure slave in the camp of Targo the slave-merchant. Forced to learn the arts of providing pleasure to any man who buys her, Elinor is determined to escape. Nevertheless, she is sold for a high price, and her master is determined to get his money’s worth.
Smoke and Mirrors by Neil Gaiman
Back to the books that are actually good. I’ve read several of Neil Gaiman’s books, and each time, I’ve been impressed. He’s a natural storyteller who can evoke feelings of magic, foreboding, and childhood nostalgia. The first Neil Gaiman book that I read was a collection of short stories, and I’m happy to be able to do so again.
In the deft hands of Neil Gaiman, magic is no mere illusion… and anything is possible. In this, Gaiman’s first book of short stories, his imagination and supreme artistry transform a mundane world into a place of terrible wonders — a place where an old woman can purchase the Holy Grail at a thrift store, where assassins advertise their services in the Yellow Pages under “Pest Control,” and where a frightened young boy must barter for his life with a mean-spirited troll living beneath a bridge by the railroad tracks. Explore a new reality — obscured by smoke and darkness, yet brilliantly tangible — in this extraordinary collection of short works by a master prestidigitator. It will dazzle your senses, touch your heart, and haunt your dreams.