You Have to Read These

If you came in the store this week and asked me what’s good, I’d size you up and give you one of two recommendations. Since you look like a strong reader, I’ll give you both my suggestions.

Amy Bloom visited M&Q in 2008 to read from . She was funny, wry, and utterly entertaining. Now she’s back with a new collection of interconnected short stories, Where the God of Love Hangs Out. Her haute bourgeois characters drink their wines and mourn their lost loves with elan–French words abound. Francine du Plessix Gray, writing in this week’s New York Times Book Review raved, “Brava, Ms. Bloom. Send us an equally sly, dashing book very soon, please.”

I’ve been a fan of David Peace since I read his Yorkshire Ripper quartet, which chronicles a grisly series of murders in the north of England. (Watch for the movies, coming soon.) His latest book–Occupied City–is set in his current home, Tokyo, but in many ways, he’s still covering the same ground. Reports the Independent, “Occupied City pieces together the investigation into the 1948 Teikoku Bank massacre, in which a man posing as a doctor from the occupying forces pretended to administer a dysentery vaccine to 16 bank employees, and instead poisoned them with cyanide, killing 12 instantly.” Peace’s writing is incantatory. If you like your chills served up in high literary style, this is the book for you.–David E