Saturday, February 27, 2010

Incoming Books: 27 February

The Wife has watched two different productions of Persuasion this week -- the recent BBC miniseries (rerun on some channel), and the mid-90s movie -- and so she asked me to get her a copy of the book to read. Since she's interested in reading a book only about once every seven years these days, I went out of my way to help her -- first checking my own shelves (to no luck: I have a Sense and Sensibility and a Mansfield Park, and possibly a Northanger Abbey half-lost somewhere) and then searching the shelves on the usual library trip this afternoon (also to no luck).

So I finally just ran out to the local Borders after dinner to buy the thing -- it's available in several paperback editions for cheap, and I got the Penguin Classics -- but ended up coming home with a few books for myself as well. (Isn't that always the way?)

The first thing I found was a two-year old Peter Robinson novel, Friend of the Devil, near the front among the remainders. I still haven't read the previous book in this series -- Piece of My Heart, on my shelves somewhere -- and this one has the tagline "a novel of suspense" on the cover, which is generally a red flag to me. But I've liked the Alan Banks novels quite a bit -- particularly the late '90/early aughts books -- so I was willing to pay a remainder price to have this on my shelves (and, I hope, read someday). (I reviewed an early book in this series, The Hanging Valley, back in 2007, but my other readings in this series all predate this blog.)

Then I wandered over to the comics section -- they tend to call it "cartoons" in a bookstore, and shackle it to humor, to keep it distinct from the "graphic novels" and "manga" sections across the store, similarly shackled together, but I have hopes that some day the lands of comics will be united in book-store commerce -- to find the new Pearls Before Swine treasury edition, Pearls Sells Out, by Stephan Pastis as always. I've stopped buying as many reprint books of newspaper strips over the past few years -- partly because the strips are all up online, partly due to ever-shrinking shelf space, and partly due to worldweariness -- but I'll keep buying Pastis's treasuries as long as he keeps including a lot of commentary and other ancillaries in them.

And then I did a search to see where Sexually, I'm More of a Switzerland would be...and that sent me right back to humor, where I just was. Sexually is the second collection of personal ads from the London Review of Books, edited, like the first one (They Call Me Naughty Lola) was, by David Rose. I found the first book a lot of fun, and so I was willing to actually pay money for this one!

(And I also picked up a copy of Roald Dahl's Fantastic Mr. Fox earlier in the day, during the library visit I alluded to above. I've read several Dahl books -- and still have The Witches and Over to You and possibly his complete stories somewhere in the unread shelves -- but I liked the movie, and this book is so short I can whip through it in half a day next week. So I will.)
Listening to: Gram Rabbit - American Hookers
via FoxyTunes

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