Saturday, October 25, 2008

Incoming Books: 25 October

Between realizing that I'd missed Brust's Dzur (and we all know how painful that can be! {insert rimshot}) and getting a notice that Borders had a three day sale with buy-two-get-one-free on a variety of categories (including SF/Fantasy) in their stores, I bought several books this week.

And they were...

First was an order from Edward R. Hamilton, who has been my favorite used-books retailer for at least fifteen years. He puts out regular catalogs, he has just about everything currently in remainder status (plus some still-new books at decent discounts), his shipping is ridiculously speedy (especially if you live close to Connecticut, as I do), and his website is bare-bones but serviceable. Before I learned, as a book-club editor, that I could just ask rights people at houses for copies of books (occasionally, and nicely), I used to get huge boxes from Hamilton regularly.

Now an order from them is rarer, but still happens now and then -- like last week, when I ordered:

Dzur by Stephen Brust, because I realized after reading Jhegaala (review to come soon) that I'd missed it.

Filthy Shakespeare by Pauline Kiernan -- the subtitle is "Shakespeare's Most Outrageous Sexual Puns," and I've had it on my list of books to read for about the past year, since I read a good review of it (somewhere that I've forgotten). I didn't manage to find it in person before it was remaindered, so I got it cheaper than I otherwise would -- sometimes life is sweet that way.

And, once I was in that neighborhood of the Hamilton website, I found my way to The Big Book of Sex "Quotes", as compiled by Julian d'Estrange, which actually is moderately thick but otherwise of diminutive size. (And all of the women in the audience are making "Ah, just like my first husband" jokes in their heads.) I like books of quotes, and sex is usually good for some clever wordplay, so into my shopping cart it went.

I also was recently reading Josh Karp's A Futile and Stupid Gesture, a biography of Doug Kenney intertwined with a history of the first decade of the National Lampoon. (Review on that coming soon as well.) That made me nostalgic for the old NatLamp -- I was a subscriber for a while in the '80s, and built up nearly a complete collection back to the beginning before deciding the whole thing was juvenile and getting rid of it around the time I got married. (Lesson: never, ever, get rid of anything, for any reason.) So I dug up two NatLamp reprint collections, from the flurry of NatLamp activity earlier this decade -- after a new owner bought up the brand and was trying to make a quick buck.

The books are National Lampoon Magazine Rack and National Lampoon's Big Book of Love, and I expect I'm more likely to poke at them than to read them straight through. But they were only four bucks apiece, so it's worth it.

And then I went to Borders with the boys today; Thing 2 spent his time reading Guinness: World Records 2009(and asking if I'd buy it for him), while Thing 1 gave me an oral book report on Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets so I'd buy him a new manga. (That's the rule: for every "real" book he reads, and reports to me on, he gets a manga.) The deal was "Buy Two, Get 1 Free," so, after some poking about -- they didn't have Wolfe's An Evil Guest, which I really wanted -- here's what I found:

Caine Black Knife by Matthew Stover. Stover's one of the few writers whom I can say that I've read all of his books -- even the three Star Wars books, which are all excellent by the way -- and there's no reason to break that streak (even if Del Rey forgot about me). I also was the acquiring editor for the SFBC for six of those seven previous books -- couldn't justify buying Blade of Tyshalle, unfortunately -- so I have a slight proprietary feeling towards Stover.

Terry Pratchett's Nation -- I'm not as plugged into the publicity structure at HarperCollins as I am at some other publishers, and in particular I don't know the YA people. So instead of hoping that they'd remember me, I just bought the thing. It's ridiculously cheap -- $16.99 for a hardcover -- and the early word is that it's Pratchett's best book in ages. (Given how good his run-of-the-mill book is, that's saying something.)

And last was Ken Grimwood's Replay, which I've thought that I wanted to read since I saw it in a SFBC catalog more than twenty years ago. It's difficult to read a book that one doesn't have access to, so I've finally fixed that.

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