Monday, March 12, 2012

New On The Shelf: Adventures in Book Collecting

Well,I've been trying to be good. I really have! But this collection of new books has built up slowly from the last post. Let's take a look at what I've collected:

Goodwill Book Store

Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
Coraline by Neil Gaiman
Mort by Terry Pratchett

This was from a random stop. We were out and about one Saturday afternoon and we passed by so I insisted we make a stop. Mort is #4 of the Discworld books. After recently reading Snuff and liking it a lot, I was really excited to add another Discworld book to my collection.

Venessa really enjoyed The Tale of Despereaux movie and really really really likes Coraline (she went a week where that was all she watched recently), so I thought the book versions of both would be nice to have.


Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed

This book was stalking me. I first saw the book here at the OF Blog. During a browsing excursion to Barnes and Noble (where I didn’t buy anything, thank you very much!) I saw it on the shelf. Then I read the reviews here and here. The last review and the comments convinced me this is a book to read. I tweeted this as my #FridayReads and got a response from the author, saying he hopes it doesn't ruin my weekend. I'm happy to report it didn't and I don't need to resort to this.

Goodwill, Destin, FL

The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
How to Read a Film: The Art, Technology, Language, History, and Theory of Film and Media

While on vacation in Destin, FL (which has beautiful beaches by the way!), the weather was poopy so we just took walks on the beach when we could and ate good food and had lots of drinks! We also did some shopping and that included exploring some of the local thrift stores. My husband found the film book for me because I had mentioned wanting to get one. I thought it’d be nice to have some knowledge on film techniques to help with my future film reviews. This book is older but for a couple bucks it looks like it’s a good start.

I read the Maltese Falcon years ago and I couldn’t pass up having my own copy. I remember so little of it and the movie! Time to correct that!

Fun fact #1: Once upon a time I was obsessed with the name Dashiell. Some of you ladies have probably done this as well, but I kept a list of names I wanted to name my kids. Dashiell was on the list and I also thought it’d make a great pen name.

I also found a copy of one of the Fuzzy books by H. Beam Piper. Fuzzy Nation, the book I reviewed recently, was a retelling of one of the stories. I really want to read H. Beam Piper’s but the copy I found wasn’t that great. I was disappointed and sad. It was only .75 but the book was in really bad shape.

Great beaches in Destin!

Loud Voice Books

Shining at the Bottom of the Sea by Stephen Marche
Dangerous Laughter: Thirteen Stories by Steven Millhauser
The Company Man by Robert Jackson Bennett (Dammit! I forgot to have it included in the pic!)

This was a two part trip. On some other weekend I felt the need to browse a bookstore so I went to Loud Voice Books. I didn’t have anything in mind and ended up with Dangerous Laughter and Shining at the Bottom of the Sea.

Then of course after such purchases I see Steven Millhauser’s name pop up on a blog where I find out he’s nominated for something and someone not at all happy with some other Stephen Marche book called How Shakespeare Changed Everything.

I believe The Company Man was a Kindle Daily Deal that popped up on my Facebook feed. It sounded really interesting as alternate histories go. I emailed Loud Voice and got a great deal on it. Much better than if I’d gone through Amazon!

From Mom-In-Law

Spy Killer by L. Ron Hubbard
Inside Straight (Wild Cards, #18) by George R.R. Martin and others

My mom-in-law, Laura, sent these two to me. Notice how George R. R. Martin's name is insanely huge compared to the title. It's the same on the front of the book. Reading through Goodreads this book has some pretty good reviews. And though it's part of a series, it sounds like you can jump in with this book and not be completely lost.

I enjoyed L. Ron Hubbard’s, Battlefield Earth (enough to have read it twice and yes, I saw the movie, which was NOT GOOD) so I’m really curious about this one. According to his Wikipedia page, he did a lot of writing before he invented Scientology.

Fun Fact #2: One of the reasons I read Battlefield Earth was 1) curiosity and 2) those Dianetics commercials. Does anyone remember those? It’s the only book commercial I ever remember seeing on TV and they were on ALL the time it seemed!

Fun Fact #3: In my days as a QA Analyst I used this program to find broken links: Xenu is a "dictator of the "Galactic Confederacy" who, 75 million years ago, brought billions of his people to Earth in a DC-8-like spacecraft, stacked them around volcanoes and killed them using hydrogen bombs". I swear I did not make this up. I copied it straight from wikipedia so it must be true!

Scientology just amuses me. Please, don't be afraid. I'm not trying to brainwash you! I'm curious to see what Spy Killer is like, if it will have traces of the beginnings of Scientology, where in Battlefield Earth, his beliefs were blatantly obvious.

So that's it! Anything look interesting to you? Has anyone read any of these? Let me know what you think if you have.


  1. Tales of Despereaux and Coraline are both wonderful books, I hope you enjoy them. I have yet to see the Despereaux film, but I do love Coraline. Amazingly done.

    I've read some Hammett, but not Maltese Falcon, and that version you picked up is one I've had my eye on for awhile. Love those covers for it, Red Harvest, and The Thin Man (which I own).

    The Steven Millhauser book has some amazing stories in it. I read it a couple of years back. Need to snag a copy of it for myself. I recently bought his short story collection The Barnum Museum with hopes of reading it during the Once Upon a Time Challenge.

  2. Yes, I'd seen that cover for the Maltese Falcon on Amazon and really liked so I was really excited to find that copy at the Goodwill. The Thin Man is next on my list to acquire, having read it as well years ago around the time when I first read the Maltese Falcon.

    Good to hear about the Steven Millhauser. The cover caught my eye and after reading Fragile Things and having a good experience with most of the stories, I thought I'd give more short stories a try.

  3. If you haven't read Millhauser's novella, Enchanted Night, I strongly encourage you to pick it up. It is a wonderful must-read.

    1. I just read the summary on Goodreads. It sounds like a good one! I'll keep a lookout for it!