It’s only a matter of time before ebooks destroy the print publishing industry, an evolutionary inkling that Ted Scheinman and yours truly documented at the District level (and here’s the NYT Magazine‘s Gerry Marzorati writing about people who’d rather read novela-length cover stories on their Blackberries). As Kindle Come draws near, bibliophiles can (and should) take refuge in the musty alcoves that still serve their kind.
After the jump: tonight’s recommended reading and the sale of the season at Vertigo Books.
TONIGHT: I tend to steer clear of the “thriller” aisle unless I know before entering my local book nook that Lee Child has a new novel out, but Jonathan Maberry, who wrote Jujutsu how-to manuals before he decided to tackle horror fiction, has scored a smart homer with Patient Zero: A Joe Ledger Novel. Maberry’s ocean-spanning espionage novel weds zombie gore with post-9/11 angst and notes of Jack Reacher (polygamy!). The plot: Joe Ledger of the Baltimore PD is recruited by a top-secret military agency to fight against Islamic terrorists who have bioengineered a zombie virus, which—as is the case in David Wellington’s Monster Nation—is versatile enough to create smart, intentionally malicious zombies as well as dumbshit chaingun fodder. The perspective shifts from chapter to chapter, which can lead to page skipping in sections where one character’s narrative is better than the others’, but I think this just might be a universal weakness of the thriller/zombie genre. Regardless of which section Maberry reads, it’ll probably hold the audience’s attention better than the average political expose. Maberry discusses and signs copies of Patient Zero. Barnes & Noble Bethesda, 4801 Bethesda Ave., Bethesda, Wed., 4/1, at 7 p.m. Free. (301) 986-1851.
In other book news, College Park’s Vertigo Books, which Washington City Paper deemed 2nd Best Independent bookstore in all the land, is having a buy 2, get 1 free sale: “Through Sunday, April 5 you can save BIG on everything in the store. Choose from our great selection of full or sale price paperback and hardcover books: children’s or adult fiction and nonfiction, mysteries, graphic novels, world literature, plus the best new books.” More on the Vertigo’s selection at their blog.