Thursday, September 08, 2011

Borders Deathwatch Enters Its Final Days

Have I mentioned the Facebook page with the dates of store closings yet? Well, if not, I have now. The big rush of closings is starting now -- all of the airport stores are closed, and more are closing each day. (My local has a big "9 days left" sign on it, but it's listed as "TBD" on that site.)

Anyway, I went back out there tonight for another bunch of ever-cheaper books (they're now all 70-90% off), which reminded me that I never blogged about the books I bought last week -- that was my first post-flood book purchase (gotta get back on that horse!), but they didn't come into the house until today, out of deference to the gentle sensibilities of The Wife, whom I suspect is none to happy with the stacks of books scattered around the kitchen and bedroom. (I didn't save much, compared to what I lost, but it's still a lot when it's on the floor in unruly piles.)

So this is what last week brought, and I'll get to this week's bigger haul in a day or two:

I had a copy of Kate Atkinson's mystery novel Case Histories in hardcover, because my next-door-neighbor at the book clubs, the editor of the Mystery Guild, had said it was really great. That copy is now toast, but I have a slimmer new trade paperback, which I might get too soon.

Alain de Botton has been a mixed bag for me -- I really liked How Proust Can Change Your Life, but was much cooler on The Architecture of Happiness -- but I'm a sucker for quirky non-fiction, particularly if there's a stunt aspect to it. Which is to say that I grabbed A Week at the Airport when I saw it; de Botton was the "writer-in-residence" at Heathrow for a week in 2009.

Everyone has a few books that they need to re-read every so often; I may be particularly odd in that one of mine is John Gardner's Grendel. But it is, and I lost my copy in the flood, but now I have a new one, which I may need to read again before it goes on the permanent shelf.

When books are cheap, there's a freedom to buy really weird or silly ones -- so I got Wanted: Bear Cubs for My Children, a collection of weird Craigslist posts edited by Gary Fingercastle.

I've thought I should read Carla Speed McNeil for a while, and had my eye on a copy of her recent The Finder Library, Vol. 1 in that Borders as the discounts rose. (It's like a game of chicken -- how long can you wait and still have the book be there?) This time, I grabbed it.

I had a couple of Jean Shepherd books -- I know I read The Ferrari in the Bedroom, since I reviewed it, but I'm not sure what else was on the shelf, read or unread -- but there's no reason not to grab a copy of In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash when you see it. And so I did.

Longer ago than I care to remember -- it was before I started this blog, which is plenty long ago -- I read The Thackery T. Lambshead Pocket Guide to Eccentric & Discredited Diseases, and realized that Jeff VanderMeer (who edited that book with Mark Roberts) had a very similar strain of quirky appreciation to my own, and so I set out to get more of his stuff. (Most of those perished in the flood; I did manage to read Finch in the meantime, but nothing else.) And now he's back on the Lambshead beat, editing The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities with his wife, the Hugo-winning just-barely-ex editor of Weird Tales, Ann VanderMeer. It was a brand new book, and I got it for something like 60% off. Sometimes life can be pretty darn sweet.

And last was Martha Wells's The Cloud Roads, in part because I heard her read from it at Worldcon. (I was planning to go to more readings this year, but that was the only one I made it to -- I really need a friend, or cluster of friends, at Worldcon to drag me to things so I don't just mope around on my own.) I've been a Wells fan since The Element of Fire, which I read for the SFBC, and I read all of her books for about a decade (and, if I remember right, bought a bunch for the club). I was sitting on her trilogy from the middle of this decade -- another thing that I was holding to read for a club omnibus when the axe fell -- but those, too, were lost in the flood. But now I've got this one, which is newer and shinier and stands alone, so I have to consider it better in all possible ways.

No comments:

Post a Comment