Arts & Entertainment

Odd but interesting reading

Art of War

A Graphic Novel

Kelly Roman & Michael DeWeese

Harper Perennial, $22.99

For 2,000 years, Sun Tzu's "The Art of War" has dispensed battlefield strategy and tactics. And in Kelly Roman and Michael DeWeese's graphic novel, Sun Tzu is alive and well, living as a powerful kingpin in a world in whichChina'sdomination is supreme. A soldier named Kelly, released from prison (where he was sent for a friendly fire incident), wants to know who murdered his brother. The answer, he knows, rests deep within Sun Tzu's organization. How can he infiltrate it? How else? By using the ancient treatise's tactics (of course!). (July)

Bob's Booger 

Scott Black, illustrated by Margaret TerBush

Broccoli Press, $17.99

Thanks to "Go the F— to Sleep," there are plenty of so-called children's books out there that are really aimed at adults. "Bob's Booger," however, is one of those for parents and children alike. Scott Black uses a gross, embarrassing situation — poor Bob is sick and forgets to wipe his nose — to teach an important lesson to young readers about friendship. Everyone laughs at Bob, but no one tells him the reason until his pal Joe comes along. Way to go, Joe! (August)

The Book for Dangerous Women 

A Guide to Modern Life

Clare Conville, Liz Hoggard and Sarah-Jane Lovett

The authors strive to give female readers everything they need, from A to Z, for enjoying a rewarding life. Bits of wisdom are tucked alongside entries on sex and beauty, househusbands and green living. What you have here are more than 300 pages of girl talk and advice, wise and funny. It definitely isn't a definitive guide, however; if it were, you'd find an obvious entry under F — "Fifty Shades of Grey." Maybe that will be included in an updated edition. (May)

The McSweeney's Book of Politics and Musicals 

Edited by Chris Monks

Vintage Books, $14.95

Got your tickets for "Palin! The Musical" yet? Have you read a new version of "Atlas Shrugged" updated for the 2008 implosion of world financial markets? No? The only place you'll find these — and plenty of others — is in this collection of monologues, diatribes, mock musicals and more written by Ben Greenman. Only McSweeney's could combine politics and theater in such a strange, amusing way. (June)

1Q84

3-Volume Boxed Set

Haruki Murakami

Vintage Books, $29.95

E-readers might be the traveling book lover's friend, especially when it comes to Haruki Murakami's mammoth-sized novel "1Q84," but Vintage gives us an unexpected version that's much easier to manage. The novel has been broken down into three discrete volumes — the same packaging when it was first published in Japan — in a hip, transparent slip case. It's far easier to handle than other versions — and a much better choice for the beach than any e-reader. Why? Dropping a book in the sand (usually) won't ruin it. (May)

Sleeping with the Beast 

Dale Ryan

Breeze Hill Books, $34.95

Before you let your house go to the dogs, literally, let Dale Ryan show you why this isn't necessarily a bad thing. This is a practical guide — accompanied by adorable photos of the author's pets and of their home in a lush corner of Connecticut — to having a canine-friendly house. Solid, sturdy furniture and library steps for the bed (if your pooch sleeps with you) are just two of many helpful tips. If a house can be toddler-proofed for a small child, why can't the same be done for our pets? (June)

The Zombie Tarot

Stacy Graham and Paul Kepple of Headcase Design

Quirk Books, $16.95

This publisher's not called Quirk for nothing. It has given us the ghoul-meets-Jane-Austen novel "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" by Seth Grahame Smith (screenwriter for Tim Burton's "Dark Shadows" among other things), Ransom Rigg's "Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children" ... and now a deck of Tarot cards riffing on the popularity of zombies. The accompanying booklet gives a quick, breezy guide to the Major and Minor Arcana, as well as a how-to for conducting a successful reading. Just the sort of thing you'd expect to find on Ozzy Osbourne's nightstand. (June)

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