Curling up

November 9, 2006

I was looking through USA Today’s top 150 best sellers for any graphic novels, and I found myself distracted by prose.

At #47 is Erik Larson’s Thunderstruck, another look at murder near the turn of the century. Larson also wrote the generally excellent The Devil in the White City; the paperback version is at #140. While Larson does have a tendency to try and go further into the heads of the people he writes about than non-fiction usually permits, I found White City really fascinating for its look at the intersection of crime, culture, and history. (There’s a great graphic novel version of roughly the same material from Rick Geary in his Treasury of Victorian Murder series from NBM.)

At #73 is I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence by Amy Sedaris. You might know Sedaris as inspiration for some of the more disturbing essays from brother David, or you might have seen her as middle-aged prostitute high school student Jerri Blank on Comedy Central’s Strangers With Candy. She is also famous for her cupcakes, which surely will play a role in this combination of useful party-planning advice and twisted comedy.

At… well… okay, it isn’t on the list, but I was at Barnes & Noble the other day, buying some manhwa, when I noticed that there’s a new collection of short stories from Susanna Clarke, author of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. The book is called The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories. Most of the stories in the collection have been published elsewhere, but they’ll all be new to me.