“Heart-Shaped Box” by Joe Hill. According to an Oct. 19th USA Today story, William Morrow publishers picked up this first novel by a two-time Bram Stoker Award winner on its own literary merits, not knowing that Hill is the pen name of Joe King, son of Stephen. Aging death-metal guitarist Judas Coyne, who’s obsessed with the macabre, is living peacefully in upstate New York when he buys a dead man’s haunted suit from an online auction site. It arrives in a heart-shaped box. Soon he and young Goth girlfriend Georgia are pulled into battle with the ghostly old man and their own shattered pasts. Hill’s writing has genuinely touching emotional moments as well as action-packed confrontations with the dead. This pulse-pounding supernatural thriller is a remarkable debut novel from a blazing new talent.
“The Watchman: A Joe Pike Novel” by Robert Crais. As the subtitle suggests, Joe Pike, the intriguing, enigmatic partner of L.A. PI Elvis Cole, takes center stage in this intense thriller from best-seller Crais. To pay back an old debt, Pike is coerced into protecting Larkin Barkley, a hard-partying young heiress whose life is in danger after a “wrong place, wrong time” encounter that quickly escalates and spins out of control. The enemy is shadowy, violent and relentless, but the fierce, focused Pike, one of the strongest characters in modern crime fiction, is equal to the challenge. The breathless pace and rich styling are sure to appeal to readers of hard-boiled fiction.
“Shadowplay” by Tad Williams. Williams continues his first epic fantasy trilogy since his best-selling “Memory, Sorrow and Thorn.” Rich with detail and exotic culture and filled with a cast of characters both diverse and three dimensional, “Shadowplay” is an epic of storytelling by a master of the genre. The bewildered star players of this fine second volume of his Shadowmarch trilogy must deal with a very adult world being transformed by war, magic, secrets and a weird, powerful scrying-mirror. Best-seller Williams once again delivers a sweeping spellbinder full of mystical wonder.
“Entering the Castle: An Inner Path to God and Your Soul” by Caroline Myss. Fans of Myss’s earlier books, which drew inspiration from such diverse traditions as Indian medicine and ancient divination methods, may be surprised at how thoroughly entrenched her new book is in the Western religious tradition. In the preface, she discusses how an out-of-the blue seizure and a midlife hunger for an authentic spiritual practice set her exploring the mystical tradition of her childhood Catholic faith. Using St. Teresa of çvila’s metaphor of the “interior castle” as a template, Myss challenges readers to get in touch with their own souls and shows how they can then lead deeper, more joyous lives. The material clearly springs from a deeply personal place and every page rings with the passion and intensity of someone who has finally found what she was seeking.
“Back on Fire” by Gary Snyder. Following “The Practice of the Wild” and “A Place in Space,” this new collection of essays by Gary Snyder blazes with insight. In his most autobiographical writing to date, these essays employ fire as a metaphor for the crucial moment when deeply held viewpoints yield to new experiences, and our spirits and minds broaden and mature. Surveying the current wisdom that fires are in some cases necessary for ecosystems of the wild, Snyder contemplates the evolution of his view on the practice while exploring its larger repercussions on our perceptions of nature and the great landscapes of the West. He honors poets of his generation, like Philip Whalen and Allen Ginsberg, and meditates on art, labor, and the making of families, houses and homesteads. All of these essays maintain Snyder’s reputation as an intellect to be reckoned with, while often revealing him at his most emotionally vulnerable.
Compiled by manager Susan Beck at The Book Seller, 107 Mill St., Grass Valley, 272-2131. Hours are Mon. through Fri. 9:30 a.m. Ð 7 p.m., Sat. 9:30 a.m. Ð 5:30 p.m., and 11 a.m. Ð 4 p.m. Sunday.
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Authorities have identified a Grass Valley women killed in a wreck last week.