I had never heard of it, but Elise recommended We, by Yevgeny Zamyatin. Apparently it's the first dystopian novel, a forefather to favorites of mine like Brave New World and Fahrenheit 451. Now that I've read the blurb and I have a copy in my greedy little paws, I can't wait to read it!
Blurb from Powell's (search for a book via the Powell's search box at the top of my blog and a portion of your purchase goes to Estella's Revenge - the 'zine):
"First published in the Soviet 1920s, Zamyatin's dystopic novel left an indelible watermark on 20th-century culture, from Orwell's 1984 to Terry Gilliam's movie Brazil. Randall's exciting new translation strips away the Cold War connotations and makes us conscious of Zamyatin's other influences, from Dostoyevski to German expressionism. D-503 is a loyal 'cipher' of the totalitarian One State, literally walled in by glass; he is a mathematician happily building the world's first rocket, but his life is changed by meeting I-330, a woman with 'sharp teeth' who keeps emerging out of a sudden vampirish dusk to smile wickedly on the poor narrator and drive him wild with desire. In becoming a slave to love, D-503 becomes, briefly, a free man.
Yum, right?? I love vampiric women that drive people wild. Good times.
And I feel certain I'm almost the last person on earth to pick up Diane Setterfield's gothic goody, The Thirteenth Tale. I allllmost bought this one up the last time I was in an airport, and I've never once seen it in the Half-Price clearance section. Looks like I lucked out! Hardcover, too. Very pretty even if I prefer the comfort of trade paperbacks.
Blurb from Powell's:
"Former academic Setterfield pays tribute in her debut to Brontë and du Maurier heroines: a plain girl gets wrapped up in a dark, haunted ruin of a house, which guards family secrets that are not hers and that she must discover at her peril. Margaret Lea, a London bookseller's daughter, has written an obscure biography that suggests deep understanding of siblings. She is contacted by renowned aging author Vida Winter, who finally wishes to tell her own, long-hidden, life story. Margaret travels to Yorkshire, where she interviews the dying writer, walks the remains of her estate at Angelfield and tries to verify the old woman's tale of a governess, a ghost and more than one abandoned baby. With the aid of colorful Aurelius Love, Margaret puzzles out generations of Angelfield: destructive Uncle Charlie; his elusive sister, Isabelle; their unhappy parents; Isabelle's twin daughters, Adeline and Emmeline; and the children's caretakers. Contending with ghosts and with a (mostly) scary bunch of living people, Setterfield's sensible heroine is, like Jane Eyre, full of repressed feeling — and is unprepared for both heartache and romance. And like Jane, she's a real reader and makes a terrific narrator. That's where the comparisons end, but Setterfield, who lives in Yorkshire, offers graceful storytelling that has its own pleasures.
And the crowning jewel! I've been after a copy of Camille Deangelis's Mary Modern for months! I first heard about it on NPR, and the premise was too darn good to pass up. And from what I remember having heard a blurb read aloud, the writing was pretty good, too! This will probably be my next read after I wrap up Exposure or What is the What.
Blurb from Powell's:
Lucy Morrigan, a young genetic researcher, lives with her boyfriend, Gray, and an odd collection of tenants in her crumbling family mansion. Surrounded by four generations of clothes, photographs, furniture, and other remnants of past lives, Lucy and Gray’s home life is strangely out of touch with the modern world—except for Lucy’s high-tech lab in the basement.
Frustrated by her unsuccessful attempts to attain motherhood or tenure, Lucy takes drastic measures to achieve both. Using a bloodstained scrap of an apron found in the attic, Lucy successfully clones her grandmother Mary. But rather than conjuring a new baby, Lucy brings to life a twenty-two-year-old Mary, who is confused and disoriented when she finds herself trapped in the strangest sort of déjà vu: alive in a home that is no longer her own, surrounded by reminders of a life she has already lived but doesn’t remember.
We finished our eating and book shopping up on Thursday with gelato (wedding cake and wild berry for me). Yesterday was another girls day, this time lunch at Chili's with Susan and an afternoon of Leinenkugel's Honey Weiss beer, snacks, and much gossipping. And we watched Mr. Brooks. I often have issues with Kevin Costner's acting (and he was a tad stilted at times), but overall it was sexy and creepy and twisty and fun. A great girls night movie for the excitement and ogle factor. Wooo!
Today is a lazy day for the most part. I've finished revising next week's Bibliobuffet piece, and I have a day of free reading time. I think I'll try to knock off a chunk of Exposure before I saddle up for a graduation party tonight. Must get my camera juiced up and ready to go!
*Elise would be the dark hair, mine the bottle job blonde. This was a pic of my 26th b-day party (2006). We had the BEST TIME! The great pic is courtesy of Michael Presley, my friend's hubby and a fabulous photographer who was along to document the madness. I think I cut off his copyright when I cropped the pic. Oops!