Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Another Huge Stack of Books from Borders

There is one, and only one, bright side to having had my entire basement flooded out. And that is the fact that I've been able to gleefully grab books from Borders' going-out-of-business sale, without worrying about shelf space or if I'm helping suppress the natural market for books or anything else. I've got twenty years of ground to make up, so getting 70-90% discounts is exactly what I need right now.

On Sunday, while I was typing up the list of stuff I got from last week's trip to my local Borders, I realized, looking at the list of stores and their closing dates [1] that there was another Borders store less than half an hour from me. So, seeing as how I had about 5,000 books to make up, I made my way there.

The current sale, at least in that location, had an additional kicker: buy 20 books or more and get an additional 15% off. Well, I'm not one to turn down a challenge, so here's what I found:

One Night Stands and Lost Weekends by Lawrence Block -- a collection of very early stories by a great mystery writer. I had a copy, but it floated away.

Steven Brust's newest Vlad Taltos novel Tiassa -- I had a galley of this (from which I wrote my review), which got lost in the flood, but the hardcover Bs are fine (hardcovers from A to L are my in living room, so that's what's left of a previously mighty edifice), so this can actually join the rest of one of the few series I still have complete.

Bangkok 8 by John Burdette -- I've been hearing good things about this mystery series for years and years now, and now I've finally broken down and bought the first one.

Poisonville by Massimo Carlotto and Marco Videtta. I have never heard of this book or the authors before, but it's from Europa Editions (who always do classy, worthwhile stuff) and it's a noir novel set in the north of Italy, so why not? (Plus, the title is a Continental Op reference.)

The Story of My Life by Giacomo Casanova, in a serious-looking Penguin Classics edition, to start to rebuild the shelf of random classics that I plan to read someday.

Rejected, a book of essays by various comedy writers about having their work not receive the reception that they might have hoped, edited by Jon Friedman. This is another book that looked vaguely interesting, and was less than three bucks at the current discount.

Nikolai Gogol's Dead Souls -- see Casanova, above.

God Made Me Do It: True Stories of the Worst Advice the Lord Has Ever Given His Followers, by Marc Hartzman. The title explains most of it; I have a small stack of books (which I saved) that will make their way into the smallest room in the house, to be read in short installments, and this will join them.

The Titanic Awards by Doug Lansky. Lansky is a travel writer, and this book collects his personal thoughts on the worst of everything in the world that you might conceivably travel to do or see.

The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz. First in the humorous mystery series; I previously had the first two in trade paperback, but, alas! It's now what I think is the single and only mass-market paperback in my house, which is very odd.

The First Book of Seconds by Matthew Murrie and Steve Murrie. See God Made Me Do It, above, for the basic explanation of this book listing the second-best at nearly everything.

Emily, Alone by Stewart O'Nan. I love O'Nan's work -- though I've been working through it slowly, since it's emotionally wrenching -- and I lost three or four books by him to the flood. So, in return, I bought this cheap hardcover copy of his new novel, which I was holding off on because a) I prefer paperback and b) I was going to read Wish You Were Here, to which this is something of a sequel, first. No flood is going to make my house devoid of unread Stewart O'Nan!

The Sinner's Grand Tour by Tony Perrottet, a travel book about great places and things in the history of European smuttiness, from the Marquis de Sade's chateau to the pornographic bathroom paintings of Raphael.

The Humbling by Philip Roth, since I keep thinking I should read more Roth (though I did save my Library of America collections of his stuff) and because I always like to grab short books when I see them.

A Sport and a Pastime, a well-known mid-century novel of literary smut by James Salter. This is another one I had a copy of -- bought after seeing it glowing described by someone-or-other -- but hadn't managed to read yet.

Jesse Sheidlower's magisterial The F Word, because I've heard about it for years, and because I lost two jammed-full shelves of word & reference books.

Travel as a Political Act by Rick Steeves. Steeves comes across as a bit of a dweeb and a stuffed shirt on the little bits I've seen of his TV shows, but I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, and I seem to be in the mood for travel narratives of various kinds recently.

Palimpsest by Catherynne M. Valente. I've met Cat, briefly, once or twice, and I liked her YA novel (Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland etc.; watch this space for a review before I have to return it to the library), so I thought I really should read her adult stuff.

Mr. Monster by Dan Wells, the second of three books about a teen sociopath (but a nice, well-mannered one, who doesn't want to hurt anyone and makes all kinds of rules to keep himself acting "normal") who discovers his mind is well-suited to deal with the honest-to-Ghu demons that keep showing up in his home town. Wells's editor is my old colleague Moshe Feder, who I saw at Worldcon. And I was on a panel with Wells there, for what that's worth. And and I read the first book, I Am Not a Serial Killer, on the way back from Worldcon and really loved the voice.

And last is Jonathan Yardley's Second Reading, a book of essays about other books...because I clearly don't have any ideas about what to buy next.

[1] Note that everything has a closing date now, and this coming Sunday is the last day any Borders stores will be open. If you're looking for bargains, you've got no more than four days to find them.

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