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Book Binge

Spent the last two days getting my book-fix.  Just felt that need, that craving, for some books.  Fellow Hardcore Book Nerds know what I mean.  I had a little free time yesterday (and when I say "free time" I mean time during the daylight hours when children are not hanging onto my legs), and as I was passing a bookstore anyway, I decided to drop by and check out a couple things.   Did I mention there just happened to be a few dollars in my bank account which I haven't spent on groceries or tobacco yet? 

What d'ya know, the store acutally had a book whose review I just read on Bookgasm, Orcs by Stan Nicholls, a Tolkienian fantasy told from the perspective of the darker forces of fantasy (kind of like a WWII novel told from a Nazi soldier's POV.  Sounded very cool (unlike Nazis, who are not cool).  Close by on the sci-fi fantasy shelves was Christopher Priest's Inverted World.  Actually, I first picked up Priest's novel, The Prestige, but noticed Inverted because of its unique NYRB Classics binding.  The copy on the back cover immediately sold it to me (you can read it here).  I also picked up Victor Gischler's Go-Go Girls of the Apocalypse because . . . well, it's called Go-Go Girls of the Apocalypse and I just want to read a book called that.  Seriously, Gischler's a very good crime novelist (although he's no Emerson LaSalle). 

Today dawns and, lo and behold, I have even more free time (daylight, no kids on leg).  So I mosey on over to my favorite used book store, Harvest Books (alright, I used to work there and still love the place) where I pick up a slew, two bags worth, of books (fourteen in all plus one video). all for 20 bucks.  Books at the Harvest Book Outlet are all $2, buy 5 and get 1 free.  The outlet is filled with books that they can't put into their vast online inventory.  My Harvest haul today:

The Unknown Poe, I have most of the writings in this collection, but the second half of the book contains several French writers and critics on Poe, handy to have in one place.

Bunker Man by Duncan McLean, a Scottish Horror/Thriller that I had never heard of, but might turn out to be the find of the bunch

20th Century Ghosts by Joe Hill, a collection of stories by the son of Stephen King.  I know, I know, I've expressed my dislike of King on many occassions, but I thought I'd give Joe a shot, especially when I read that one of the stories, "Bobby Conroy Comes Back Home from the Dead" is "not a horror story at all, though it takes place on the set during the making of George Romero's classic film Dawn of the Dead."   That story alone should be worth the two bucks.

The Wrong Case by James Crumley, seemed like an good find on the day after Crumley died.  I've been wanting to read Crumley's The Last Good Kiss for years now (I have a copy), so maybe I can make it a twofer this weekend.

Hostage: London by Geoffrey Household, about a terrorist trying to leave the terror biz.  Household's Rogue Male is one of my favorite novels. 

Robbie's Wife by Russell Hill, published by Hard Case Crime.  I bought this because it is an Advanced Reading Copy and those are hard to come by.  Hard Case only sends out around 60 review copies, so they're not too many on the market.  And I got mine for just two bucks.

The Adventure of Ectoplasmic Man by Daniel Stashower.  The copy on the front cover reads, "Holmes meets Houdini in the most phantasmic adventure of his career."  Had to buy this one.  AND I'm on a Poe panel with Stashower at Bouchercon next month (he also wrote The Beautiful Cigar Girl), so it'll be fun to pull this one out and have him sign it. 

King of the Hustlers by Eugene Izzi.  I've heard a lot of good things about Izzi, but haven't read anything yet.

Time Out of Mind and other stories by Pierre Boulle.  Boulle wrote Planet of the Apes (which is a really great sci-fi novel almost completely unlike the equally great movie) and the back cover on this one calls him a "disturbing genius."

The Killing Breed by Mark Graham, a favorite of mine, hard-boiled crime fiction set in 1874 Philadelphia.  One of those books of which I like to have extra copies, so I can give them away.

Remscela by Gregory Frost, the "Glorious Sequel to Tain."  How could I pass up a "Glorious Sequel," especially one containing "Magic, Mystery, and Blood-Drenched Fury."  I prefer my fury drenched in blood, don't you?  Silly book-jacket copy aside, Frost is also a fantastic writer, so I was happy to find one of his earlier novels.

The Dark Fantastic by Ed Gorman, a collection of stories.  Gorman's one of the kings of genre fiction, but I haven't had the chance to read him yet, so this should be a good start.

Angels Flight by Michael Connelly, a Harry Bosch mystery.  I haven't read Connelly yet, either, but I'm slowly picking up all the Bosch books.  I have a feeling I'll enjoy them, so one day I can just plow right through them all at once.  And I just discovered Connelly was born in Philly.  I wonder if he grew up here, too?

The video I picked up was an old Sherlock Holmes movie, with Clive Brook as the detective.  The clerk at Harvest gave it to me for free because he said the transfer was so bad he couldn't even watch it.  I don't think he knows about the twenty year old TV I use for my VHS viewing.  Sometimes, it's like watching movies through a rain-soaked window. 

Ahhh, a good couple days of some serious bibliophagy.  Now I've got some work to do before I can read. 

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Reader Comments (1)

Swierczynski, of course, knew about Connelly's Philly life: not a city guy, but close to it.
September 20, 2008 | Registered CommenterEd Pettit

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