Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Shelf Control #1

Hosted @ Bookshelf Fantasies

Shelf Control is a meme that introduces books we want to read and already own. I love this idea because the stack of books in my TBR pile continues to grow, yet I Can't.Stop.Buying. I have a problem.

The book I'm featuring for my first Shelf Control is Manila Noir, part of an anthology series that focuses on stories set within particular cities.

             Title: Manila Noir (part of the Akashic Noir series)
             Author(s): Various Filipino authors
             Published: 2013
             Length: 280 pages

From the introduction by Jessica Hagedorn:

"Manila's a city of survivors, schemers, and dreamers...A city of extremes. Where the rich live in posh enclaves, guarded by men with guns. Where the poor improvise homes out of wood, tin, and cardboard and live by their wits. Where five-star hotels and luxury malls selling Prada and Louis Vuitton coexist with toxic garbage dumps and sprawling 'informal settlements' (a.k.a. squatter settlements), where religious zeal coexists with superstition, where 'hospitality' might be another word for prostitution, where sports and show business can be the first step to politics, where politics can be synonymous with nepotism, cronyism, and corruption, where violence is nothing out of the ordinary, and pretty much anything can be had for a price--if you have the money and/or the connections, that is...

As you will see from this steamy collection of stories, all these delicious contradictions serve to enrich and expand our concept of noir. What you will also find are the noir essentials: alienated and desperate characters, terse dialogue, sudden violence, betrayals left and right...All the fabulous and fearless writers gathered here have a deep connection and abiding love for this crazy-making, intoxicating city. There's nothing like it in the world, and they know it." Amazon

How I got it: I bought it! From Centuries & Sleuths, an awesome history and mystery bookstore in Forest Park.

Why I want to read it: I randomly came across it while browsing at the bookstore and it immediately jumped out at me. There's not nearly enough diversity in fiction (mysteries are particularly bad about this), and a mystery anthology set in my mother country immediately spoke to me. I don't know why it's taking me so long to get around to reading it, but I think it's definitely moving up to the top of my pile.

So what books have been sitting unread and unloved on your shelf for way too long?

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