I got a couple new books this week -- one was a gift and one was a rare hardcover book purchase (I almost always wait for them to come out in paperback.) The first book is Norah Vincent's Self-Made Man, which Kevin sent to me. The book is about a woman who dressed up as a man to experience what it was like to be a man in today's society. She did this on a dare from a friend of hers and what she finds out (according to the reviews) will come as no surprise to a lot men in society. While men have a certain amount of freedom that may not necessarily come to women by virtue of gender roles, they come at a bit of a cost. According to the book jacket, the book is much in the vein of Black Like Me and Nickeled & Dimed (I've only read the latter) I'm eager to start reading it, and it's only appropriate that Kevin gave it to me considering we met on a listserv discussing men's issues.
The other book was one that I actually bought, and to say I bought it sight unseen would be lying, even though I probably would have. It's Stephen King's new book Cell, the first two chapters of which were published a couple weeks back in Entertainment Weekly. The premise, basically is that on a sunny day in October, The Pulse is sent out over everybody's cell phone, and anyone who happened to be on their cell phone at the time is turned into a crazed, flesh-eating zombie. Now as I've outlined here ad infinitum, I will pretty much watch or read anything that has to do with zombies as they are without a doubt my favorite of all movie monsters. So I have high hopes for the novel. Not that I haven't been disappointed by King before -- the climax of It, the entirety of The Tommyknockers, but he is also capable of brilliance -- 'Salem's Lot, which I read at the age of 25 and was still scared to death and the short story collection Night Shift. Many dismiss King for being a hack, but as Heidi mentions, he really cares about the craft of writing and if nothing else, he sure knows how to tell a story. Let's just hope they don't turn Cell into a movie because the movies based on his books almost always disappoint.