WHAT ARE WE READING?

PRESENTED AND CURATED WEEKLY BY E. SHAVER, BOOKSELLER

Secret Identity by Alex Segura

It’s 1975 and the comic book industry is struggling, but Carmen Valdez doesn’t care. She’s an assistant at Triumph Comics, which doesn’t have the creative zeal of Marvel nor the buttoned-up efficiency of DC, but it doesn’t matter. Carmen is tantalizingly close to fulfilling her dream of writing a superhero book.

One of the Triumph writers enlists her help to create a new female hero. But her colleague is acting strangely and asking to keep her involvement a secret. And then he’s found dead, with all of their scripts turned into the publisher without her name. Carmen is desperate to piece together what happened to him, and to hang on to her piece which turns out to be a runaway hit. But that’s complicated by a surprise visitor from her past, a tenacious cop who is piecing everything together too quickly for Carmen, and the tangled web of secrets and resentments among the passionate eccentrics who write comics for a living.


The Postman Always Rings Twice by James Cain

An amoral young tramp. A beautiful, sullen woman with an inconvenient husband. A problem that has only one grisly solution--a solution that only creates other problems that no one can ever solve.

First published in 1934 and banned in Boston for its explosive mixture of violence and eroticism, The Postman Always Rings Twice is a classic of the roman noir. It established James M. Cain as a major novelist with an unsparing vision of America’s bleak underside, and was acknowledged by Albert Camus as the model for The Stranger.


Goliath by Tochi Onyebuchi

In the 2050s, Earth has begun to empty. Those with the means and the privilege have departed the great cities of the United States for the more comfortable confines of space colonies. Those left behind salvage what they can from the collapsing infrastructure. As they eke out an existence, their neighborhoods are being cannibalized. Brick by brick, their houses are sent to the colonies, what was once a home now a quaint reminder for the colonists of the world that they wrecked.

A primal biblical epic flung into the future, Goliath weaves together disparate narratives―a space-dweller looking at New Haven, Connecticut as a chance to reconnect with his spiraling lover; a group of laborers attempting to renew the promises of Earth’s crumbling cities; a journalist attempting to capture the violence of the streets; a marshal trying to solve a kidnapping―into a richly urgent mosaic about race, class, gentrification, and who is allowed to be the hero of any history.

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