I’ve no idea if I’ll keep this up, but it doesn’t seem like too much to tiptoe back onto the blog with one small monthly feature. I’m still chugging along with weekly release picks over on reddit, but I haven’t tried to go back and pick the “picks of the picks” for a month in a long, long time, and, hey, this gives me a chance to put in pretty pictures again! Anyway, here’s the first in what I hope is a monthly column this year, of use especially to those really looking for one or two recommendations, and (for the “most missing” roundup) audiobook publishers looking for a stray gem. For the full, far-too-much-at-length, probably, weekly roundups, see: January 2, January 9, January 16, January 23, and January 30. (For the purposes of my sanity, I’m going to ignore books out on January 31 until February’s installment, ok? OK.)
PICKS OF THE MONTH
Frankenstein in Baghdad: A Novel by Ahmed Saadawi, read by Edoardo Ballerini and Kaleo Griffith for Penguin. The novel was Winner of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction, Winner of France’s Grand Prize for Fantasy, and here it’s published in English in time to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s original, and? it’s just plain brilliant. “From the rubble-strewn streets of US-occupied Baghdad, Hadi – a scavenger and an oddball fixture at a local café – collects human body parts and stitches them together to create a corpse. His goal, he claims, is for the government to recognize the parts as people and to give them proper burial. But when the corpse goes missing, a wave of eerie murders sweeps the city, and reports stream in of a horrendous-looking criminal who, though shot, cannot be killed. Hadi soon realizes he’s created a monster, one that needs human flesh to survive – first from the guilty, and then from anyone in its path.”
Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire, read by Michelle Dockrey for Macmillan is book 3 of McGuire’s wonderful “Wayward Children” series which began with the Alex, Hugo, Nebula, and Locus Award-winning, World Fantasy Award finalist Every Heart a Doorway. With Beneath the Sugar Sky the series gets its third different narrator, and some new characters to go along with some of our now dear and familiar faces.