Summer of ’68: The Season That Changed Baseball — and America — Forever

As the baseball season gets into full swing, and as summer slowly creeps up on us, this is the time to find a rollicking good sports book, sit on the deck in the full sun, listen to the game on the radio, and discover both the peace and excitement a fan can have in the world of sports.

Tim Wendel attempts to do something very ambitious in his SUMMER OF ’68, as he blends the storylines of the 1968 Major League Baseball regular season and thrilling seven-game World Series matchup between the Detroit Tigers and the St. Louis Cardinals, along with the chaotic and revolutionary political events of that summer.

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The Cabin in the Woods: The Official Visual Companion

Don’t dare read a single word of THE CABIN IN THE WOODS: THE OFFICIAL VISUAL COMPANION until after you’ve seen the movie. Not that the horror film bears a mammoth twist as the hype suggests, but it’ll be a much more enjoyable experience to go in cold for a change.

Then read the book, a full-color paperback housing the entire screenplay, but whose real appeal is the lengthy interview beforehand with director Drew Goddard and co-writer Joss Whedon. It tells all about the project’s genesis, references and overall vibe and spirit. That’s captured about, oh, 70 percent successfully in the book’s design, although filled with literally hundreds of stills, sketches and behind-the-scenes shots.

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Wanted: a BOOKGASM reviewer!

You may have noticed a slight downturn of late in number of reviews a week. We’re swamped! We need another reviewer to help lighten the load!

If you …
• love horror, sci-fi and fantasy;
• can string coherent thoughts together in a readable fashion; and
• are willing to work for no compensation beyond free books and any ensuing glory

… then email editor at bookgasm dot com, preferably with a sample review (or several) pasted into the body; no attachments. Due to the flood we have received on past searches, we will not be able to respond to every email. Thanks!

An American Spy

Olen Steinhauer’s AN AMERICAN SPY focuses mainly on Milo Weaver, the beleaguered CIA agent featured in two previous novels (THE TOURIST and THE NEAREST EXIT). It follows the narrative thread of those earlier stories, but manages to thrust Weaver into confrontations he never anticipated in his entire career of intelligence gathering and espionage.

Weaver is a member of the CIA’s “Department of Tourism,” a secret section of highly trained assassins who clandestinely perform the blackest of the agency’s black ops. But thanks to a mission previously launched by Xin Zhu, a member of the Socialist Chinese spy organization, 33 American agents have been killed — wiping out almost the entire team of Tourists.

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Imagine you awoke with no memory of your life or where you even are — just that there are people there telling you that you’re needed for a specific task. And on top of all that, you are paralyzed with no idea how that happened.

This is the start to the latest from Brian Evenson. As you can tell, the title of IMMOBILITY is central to the story. The main character is told his name is Josef Horkai and has to go on a mission to save these people. Although confused, he is told repeatedly that he is their savior, that he has been in storage for close to 30 years, and that the world he knew no longer exists.

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Madwoman of the Sacred Heart

Jean “Moebius” Giraud is dead. Perhaps best known in the U.S. for his SILVER SURFER: PARABLE, his importance and influence over the European comics scene is immeasurable.

Case in hand is this remarkable piece of undiluted, effervescent and life-affirming genius he concocted in collaboration with filmmaker/shaman/madman Alejandro Jodorowski: MADWOMAN OF THE SACRED HEART.

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Sadie Walker Is Stranded

Writers sometimes try quirky experiments to relieve creative pressure. “I’ll write this for fun,” we tell ourselves, “and put it online for whoever wishes to read it.” Like an exercise of sorts.

Or we do it to give ourselves creative pressure to force ourselves to write (because there are so many damnable temptations that take us away from the keyboard). We give ourselves deadlines, sometimes impossible ones, in order to spark our creative muse. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes it works so well, some of us get book deals.

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The Burning

Dublin-born, now London-residing author Jane Casey’s second novel, the new-to-paperback THE BURNING, introduces a proposed series character in Detective Inspector Maeve Kerrigan of the London Metro Police. If this debut is any indication, we are in for plenty of intriguing psychological suspense presented in the format of police procedurals.
The Burning Man, a serial killer of women — so-named because of his method of burning the bodies of his victims and leaving them in abandoned areas outside of town — is haunting London. Kerrigan is part of Operation Mandrake, the police team assigned to investigate and capture him.

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Have Yourself a Movie Little Christmas

Christmas is right around the corner — if you celebrate Christmas in July, that is. But when it comes to Christmas movies, I’m not one to wait for sub-zero temperatures to fire them up in my DVD player, especially when the definition is as wide as the array of films presented in HAVE YOURSELF A MOVIE LITTLE CHRISTMAS.

With brief reviews peppered with mild wit, Alonso Duralde’s paperback guide to season’s-greetings cinema includes looks at the perennial favorites, from Frank Capra’s IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE to John Hughes’ NATIONAL LAMPOON’S CHRISTMAS VACATION. Hell, it even devotes an entire chapter to the litany of adaptations of Charles Dickens’ A CHRISTMAS CAROL.

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What It Was

George Pelecanos launched a promising new series late last summer with THE CUT, but apparently felt he still had one more story to tell about Derek Strange, the black Washington, D.C.-based P.I. previously featured in RIGHT AS RAIN, HELL TO PAY, SOUL CIRCUS and a prequel, HARD REVOLUTION. Whatever the reason, we should be grateful for WHAT IT WAS, since it ranks right up there with his finest works.
In 1972, Strange has left the D.C. police force to set up his own private investigation business in his old neighborhood. One day, an attractive young woman employs him to find her missing ring. The case seems odd from the jump, especially since the ring is mostly cheap costume jewelry. But the woman insists it holds sentimental value, and anyway, her cash is good.

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