Shopping List for the Literary Zombie

Last night as I was pulling into my garage and all of a sudden my Droid beeped about a half dozen times in rapid succession. It was my Google Calendar alerting me that today there were a number of books releasing that I needed to stop and pick up. Not that I needed the reminder – I have been sitting on a couple of Borders gift cards in anticipation of this day. I even stopped in last night to see if they were already out so I could go straight home and bask in the awesomeness today. No such luck.

While I would love to hand-write a list on a legal pad, scan it and post it; that is beyond my abilities and time I have available this morning. So, I will offer the books to you in a blog listing. The upside to this format is I can include links to buy them. 😉

Battle of the Network Zombies by Mark Henry

Yes, I did read the ARC of this book and reviewed it. Mark even signed it for me. But in addition to there being changes from the ARC to the publication of it, the retail version has the cover on it and what kind of #SaveAmanda minion would I be if I did not buy one or two copies of this book? You want to read some of the funniest, sickest urban fantasy shit out there? Pick this one up. Hell, pick up one for a friend. New to the series? Happy Hour of the Damned just came out in mass market paperback. A Wisconsin local? If you get me the book before I leave for Romantic Times in April I will get Mark to personalize it and snark it up for you.

Demon Possessed by Stacia Kane

Another member of the League of Reluctant Adults who is releasing today. This is the third in her series about the head of a demonic family. Some of the most solid prose I have read and is a highly entertaining read. I couldn’t put them down when I was reading them. She also has a Gatling gun series coming out this summer you should keep your eyes open for. (That refers to the books coming out in a rapid succession, very little wait between releases.)

Blood of the Demon by Diana Rowland

The first of this series was an awesome combination of a police procedural and a rather unique urban fantasy. The world is not teeming with all manner of supernaturals – just certain people can summon and bind demons to service. The majority of the book is standard police work style writing, until you get into the parts of the serial killer being a demon summoner. If you are interested in reading the first book, I could include you in our Geobooking experiment – especially if you are in Wisconsin.

Dead Matter by Anton Strout

At the 2009 GenCon Writer’s Symposium Anton would introduce himself as a “Jim Butcher Lite” during the seminars. A light urban fantasy with a healthy amount of humor in it. I would agree. The series is definitely part Men in Black and part Ghostbusters. The Department of Extraordinary Affairs has taken the psychometric skills of Simon Canderous and allowed him to use him for a more charitable means. Of course they also offer him all the pamphlets on zombie hunting and dealing with ghosts he can handle.

Cat’s Claw by Amber Benson

The only non-Leaguer on the list today, she still was on the calendar for quite a while in expectation of the latest in the Calliope Reaper-Jones series. Her first book was Death’s Daughter and introduced us to Callie who is the daughter of Death (well the CEO of Death, Inc. anyway). Aside from her geek cred as one of the “Minions of Whedon,” her first in the series was an entertaining story about a reluctant Death. And it even had a Bollywood scene in it. You heard me… Bollywood! That alone should make you pick it up!.

Well, I am pretty sure I hit them all. There are a couple more coming out next week, but I will leave those for their own Shopping List posting. Until then, go out and get some books!

Nano Day 5: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Read a Book

So, aside from the fact that I took this morning to write rather than work out (again), this really has very little to do with Nanowrimo. Not everything in November revolves around that. I’m serious!

As I stated before, the QuinJetta™ broke down yesterday. Between waiting for a tow and waiting for people to show up at Starbucks last night, I read about 13 chapters into “Any Given Doomsday” by Lori Handeland. Partially I picked it up due to a Q&A/Contest over at Bitten By Books. But also there are the rules for bringing new books into Casa de Zombie 2.0. (Lucky for me Mrs. Zombie doesn’t hold me to fast to them.) 😉

First off are signed books. If a book is signed – especially personalized to Zombie Joe – it is a keeper. I can only hope I get to a point where I have too many signed books. But alas, Any Given Doomsday is not signed.

Next on the checklist of “keepers” is the Local Author Rule #338. And for the record that does not mean the author needs to be a member of the Local 338. It simply means that I support local authors. Some people choose to support their community in strange ways. This is my most eccentric one. If you are in Wisconsin and publish a book in my areas of interest, I am likely to pick it up. (Still kicking myself for not getting Pat Rothfuss’ book signed at GenCon.) And as I found out off of Facebook and her web site, Lori is from Milwaukee.

The final and most vague of the bringing more books into a condo that is already hurting for space is the Serendipity Rule. And this does not mean I can keep it if it was mentioned in a John Cusack romantic comedy. Although I do own a copy of Hey Soul Classics. In this case what it means is that the day before I started looking into this author and her series of books, one of the Nanos that showed up to the launch party had an assitant dog. He was a yellow lab named Elwood. I thought this was kind of humorous at the time, and really wanted to see a photo of him with Blues Brothers Glasses on, but what was more surprising is that in her bio, Lori is listed as living in Milwaukee with her husband, two sons and yellow lab named Elwood.

So it was set in stone. It met two of the three rules, so I had to buy it. Although Apocalypse Now was the one that came out this week, I wanted to start at the beginning so picked up Any Given Doomsday first.

What I was most happy to find out about was how pleasantly easy of a read this book was. That was not to say simplistic, but a story that I was able to slip right into. Soulless by Gail Carriger for instance I did not slip right into. It was an incredible book and I am sure to pick up the second but I needed to read into it before it clicked with me. Any Given Doomsday was just – there.

It is urban fantasy with a slight police procedural feel to it. Sort of like a Simon Canderous book, but lighter on the dark humor, heavier on the relationship stuff. It (obviously) has an end of the world, doom and gloom plot to it that reminded me of a lighter version of The Stand. Yet it did all of this while still having a lot of the ass-kicking one would expect from a Joss Whedon heroine.

So this started off as a Day Five Nano update, skirted being a broken car rant and ended up as a minature book review of a book I am still reading. Yeah, that pretty much sums up November brain function in a nutshell.

Write On! 🙂