Friday, July 31, 2009

Friday Finds... because I can't seem to do anything else

Hoo boy, well that big self-reprimand I gave myself last week turned out to be hot air... or it's computing, internet equivalent... because all I managed to churn out last week was a Friday Finds (however extensive it was, it was still just a meme).

Alright, after this post, I will re-post something here that appeared last week in Publisher's Weekly's weekly newsletter, "Children's Bookshelf." I was interviewed for a "Galley Talk" column, where they ask you a bunch of general questions about an upcoming release and you answer as well as possible (on the fly) and then the put your answers into a somewhat coherent review. Why bother, right? If the woman asked me to write a review, in an hour I could have sent her in something comparable to what was published (if not better). But okay, I'll re-post it here, because so far only my mother has read it... And I like attention...

On with the finds!

So this week's finds come almost exclusively from impromptu trip to Half Price Books. I don't always land a huge pile when I go there - I tend to be a bit picky about editions and prices - but this was a fairly successful venture. I went looking to pick up Madeline L'Engle's entire "Time Quartet" and I was not disappointed:

- A Wrinkle in Time, A Wind in the Door, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, Many Waters by Madeline L'Engle - Not only did I get the entire foursome for a steal, but they're all the same edition (which I was hoping for, but I was willing to settle if need be). I read WiT when I was a kid - my mother kind of forced me (thanks Mom!) - and I've been dying to re-read it ever since I read When You Reach Me. I never did make it through the entire series, however, so this is a good time to give it a go again.

- The Long Walk by Stephen King (writing as Richard Bachman) - This and another Bachman book, The Running Man, are obvious inspirations for one of my favorite books of last year, The Hunger Games. I've read all about this one, so I was glad to finally snag a copy. However, if anyone ever finds an old edition in a used bookstore or thrift store (etc.) please get it for me, and I'll pay you twice what you paid. I love the old paperback cover of this book, and the new one just doesn't hold the same pulpy terror.

- Other Voices, Other Rooms by Truman Capote - Because I don't own it, it's terrific, and at Half Price Books, mass market paperbacks are half the cover price. This old paperback cost $1.50 list price... So $.75 for a classic isn't so bad.

- Foundation and Foundation and Empire by Isaac Asimov - I have a hard time swallowing hard science fiction (my taste runs toward not the fantastic side, but science fiction with a larger emphasis on literary themes than detailing and exploring the machinery inhabiting the world - I want to know the why, not the how, basically), but I like Asmiov, and I've been wanting to get more of his books.

- The Word for World is Forest by Ursula K. LeGuin - LeGuin is my favorite science fiction author, one of my favorite writers period. Reading Lathe of Heaven changed the way I felt about science fiction and fantasy, so while I/m not really a completist with most authors, I am with her.

- The Night of the Gun by David Carr - I heard a lot about this book upon its release, so when we found the hardback on the discount shelves for $2.00, I begged and pleaded with my roommate (another devoted bibliophile) to hand it over. He eventually did.

Not bad for one hour's visit. There were a few galleys that came my way, but nothing extraordinary seeming. Our general manager, Chris, handed over a hardback copy of Joyce Maynard's new book, Labor Day, but I think I'm going to pass it on.

Oh, and I just finished Jincy Willett's The Writing Class - the author's ability to mercilessly poke fun at her own self is once again used to great effect. I won't say anything more on the subject except for this: If you have ever taken a writing workshop, if you have frequented them, if you have only taken one, you need to read this story.

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