Cinemaps: An Atlas of 35 Great Movies (Quirk, $29.99) is a unique and illuminating document of some of film history’s greatest movies, from Fritz Lang’s Metropolis to George Miller’s Fury Road. Andrew DeGraff has painted maps of thirty-five iconic films, including the routes taken by major characters, so one can now follow the path taken by Cary Grant’s Roger Thornhill in Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest or visualize the hallways of the Overlook Hotel that Jack Torrance navigates in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. One of the most important aspects in a movie is its sense of place and geography which is why Cinemaps is a compelling and fun read: it makes the reader aware of the intricate mapping that goes into the main characters’ journeys within the films. The book also includes essays from film critic A.D. Jameson that examine the cultural importance of each film and explores why all of the thirty-five featured movies here, in their own ways, have solidly imprinted themselves in the collective imagination of everyone who has seen them.
Dorothy B. Hughes isn't interested in your run-of-the-mill noir gumshoe who goes around LA or San Francisco solving murders and attracting "dames". No, Hughes is more interested in the psychology of her characters and the motivations that force people to do what they do. In A Lonely Place is not a novel about a Marlowe-like detective on the tails of a killer. What it is instead is a novel about the killer, his motives, and his history that led him to commit violence against his victims, most of whom are women. Beyond being a noir novel, In A Lonely Place is an exploration of postwar anxiety in 1940s LA and of the misogyny that deems women as fodder for the egos of men.
The premise is simple: Henry King dies. However, what makes this book interesting is that it is a cross between the cult movie Final Destination and the Oulipian masterpiece, Exercises in Style, by Raymond Queneau. In the book, Ball and Evenson presents dozens of scenarios describing Henry King dying in various ways: being buried alive, falling from a building, being beheaded, and overdosing from Viagra. The pair writes with a mix of humor and poignancy that elevates what at first seems as a joke premise which results in a book that explores the many ways we die and, by consequence, also the many ways that we live.