I anticipate getting a decent number of books for Christmas (what else would one give to the Bookworm as a gift?), but I’ve also acquired quite a few new ones this month due to travels, holiday sales, and complimentary review copies (which will be appearing here on the blog in January). I got to go to the warehouse location of Second Story Books in Rockville, MD, which I hadn’t been able to visit in years, so that led to some excellent finds. So here’s what I’ve picked up since the last acquisitions update:
Codex Derynianus by Katherine Kurtz and Robert Reginald: At long last, I have the companion to the classic Deryni series.
Two novels by Talbot Mundy: Caesar Dies and Tros of Samothrace, Volume 1: Lud of Lunden.
Two of the UK editions of Hugh Cook’s Chronicles of an Age of Darkness: The Wishstone and the Wonderworkers (Vol. 6) and The Witchlord and the Weaponmaster (Vol. 10). Very hard to find and very, very good.
Invasion! Earth vs. the Aliens (omnibus) by Robert Reginald: A modern retelling and expansion of H. G. Wells’ War of the Worlds.
Two by Jack Vance: Space Opera and The Killing Machine. I already owned copies of both, but not in these editions.
Swan Song by Brian Stableford.
The Nine Unknown (omnibus) by Talbot Mundy: I have been looking for this one for a long time and can’t wait to read it.
Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle by ERB: One of the last remaining Tarzans I didn’t already own.
The Black Magic Omnibus, edited by Peter Haining, Prologue by Dennis Wheatley, Epilogue by Ray Bradbury: Obscure, a very nice find. I am very excited about plunging into this one.
Choice Words, edited by Robert Reginald: A collection of essays by writers writing about writing. (I’ve started reading this one already and am enjoying it.)
The Complete Jack the Ripper by Donald Rumbelow: I’ve always found the case fascinating, so this one goes into my small collection of books about Jack.
The Stephen King Universe by Stanley Wiater, Christopher Golden, and Hank Wagner: Looks like some interesting commentary on King’s work.
Spy Fiction: A Connoisseur’s Guide by Donald McCormick and Katy Fletcher: Only covers up to 1990, but this looks like a great guide to the genre.
Edgar Rice Burroughs: The Man Who Created Tarzan by Irwin Porges: Massive hardbound, coffeetable book-like tome on ERB and his work.
Three short supplements for the WWII-with-paranormals RPG Godlike: Will to Power; Saipan; and the Game Moderator’s Screen.
Dreadful Secrets of Candlewick Manor for the Monsters and Other Childish Things RPG (about creepy kids and their strange monster companions).
Two supplements for the Traveller science fiction RPG: Power Projection: Fleet and Project Steel.
Well, over the last month or so, I’ve kinda gone nuts with book acquisitions, but we had a big local library sale a few weeks ago (how can you pass up even marginally interesting books at $1 apiece?), plus we visited some bookstores while traveling for Thanksgiving. In any case, here’s what I’ve picked up. As always, comments and discussion of any of these titles are welcome.
- The Blackcollar [I've enjoyed the past works by Timothy Zahn that I've read, and I love the old DAW paperbacks, so this was a no-brainer. I had no idea that this was the first of a series.]
- The Court of the Air [A steampunk novel with a really bad description of the book on the back cover (I have no idea what it's about). It was so bad that my wife, oddly enough, had to convince me to buy it.]
- Vorpal Blade [Second book in a John Ringo military SF series. I read the first one years ago.]
- Eye of the Storm [Another John Ringo military SF book in a different series. These suckers are always vaguely entertaining in a "guilty pleasure" sort of way.]
- Slaughterhouse World / Knack’ Attack [Two novellas set in the same universe, looks like a lot of fun. One of the authors, Robert Reginald, has been kind enough to comment here previously. I'll be getting to this one soon.]
- The Sword of the Lady [Another in S.M. Stirling's series. I am ashamed to admit that though I own about five of these, I haven't read any in the series yet, I just keep accumulating them. One day, I'll read them all, I promise. I loved the Nantucket series and wish he'd continue with those, plus maybe some more Draka novels (though that last Draka collection was atrocious).]
- Fleet of Worlds [Another Larry Niven Known Space prequels. Gotta read/reread these suckers]
- Empire in Black and Gold [An interesting new fantasy novel -- I believe it's the start of a series -- that I'd heard about. The only thing that makes me suspicious of it is that I believe the novel's conceit is that all the characters are some kind of anthropomorphic insects.]
- The Golden Dolphin and Other Pirate Tales from the Pulps [These two were the "two random books for a penny" specials I received from Wildside.]
- Amazon Nights [This one had even been on my Amazon wishlist for the past few years!]
- Bloodline (Repairman Jack series) [The first few have been fun. I'm nowhere near ready to read this one -- I probably need to read six or eight more books before I get to this one -- but hey, I'm a long-term planner and collector.]
- Needful Things [This is the only book I've ever listened to as an audiobook. The story itself was so-so, but I acquired it as part of my plan to get (and read) every one of Stephen King's books. I think I need three more books, including his latest that just came out.]
- The Dante Club [A historical book-themed mystery I've been meaning to pick up for a while now.]
- The Library of Shadows [A new book-themed mystery/thriller by a Danish author I just discovered. It sounded so good that I had to pick it up.]
- The Collected Stories of Chester Himes [A classic hardboiled author who doesn't get much attention these days; I've read one of his novels and enjoyed it.]
- The Goliath Bone [The last Mike Hammer novel published to date, and one of the three unfinished Mike Hammer manuscripts that Spillane authorized Max Allan Collins to complete.]
- Mrs. Pollifax and the Golden Triangle [This is an entry in the "Mrs. Pollifax" series that is the only cozy spy thriller series I know of. The first one was an entertaining, light read, so I picked this one up.]
- The Great Brain Reforms [This was one of my favorite series as a kid, and I'm gradually trying to collect all those books I most loved growing up.]
- The Last Apprentice: Night of the Soul Stealer [I've read the first of the "Last Apprentice" series and enjoyed it immensely, so I picked up the third and fourth books as remainder hardbacks for a steal.]
- The Last Apprentice: Attack of the Fiend [See above. Now I need the second in the series so I can read these.]
- In Cold Blood [I haven't read much in the "true crime" genre, but this is the classic that started it all. I had been meaning to pick this one up for a while.]
- Stiffed [I've read it before from the library and it's interesting enough, dealing with American masculinity, which is one of my primary academic research areas, so I grabbed this one to have a personal copy.]
- The Arrogance of Power: The Secret World of Richard Nixon [Sensationalistic, to be sure, but hey, a good book about Nixon, LBJ, or Hoover is always fun.]
- The Kennedy Detail: JFK’s Secret Service Agents Break Their Silence [New memoir by one of JFK's Secret Service agents.]
- A Visual Guide to New England Library, Volume 1 [This one was just published by my British friend Justin Marriott. Now I have a whole host of vintage British paperbacks I need to acquire!]
- The Forever Portfolio: How to Pick Stocks That You Can Hold for the Long Run [I've always been interested in finance and investment, and this buy-and-hold strategy is the one I follow, so I picked this one up for some additional tips.]
I have a bunch of new books (what is the proper collective noun for books?) to report on, so here goes. I picked up a few at a flea market, and a few more from a library book sale, and a few more arrived in the mail. As usual, in no particular order, with a bit of commentary:
- The Lost by Dan Abnett (The third Gaunt’s Ghosts omnibus, set in the Warhammer 40k universe. Man, I love Abnett’s writing and characters. Been waiting for this one to come out for a long time.)
- Communion by Whitley Streiber. I enjoy his fiction, and consider this one to be fictional too. I don’t believe in UFO abductions personally, but I’m willing to believe that Streiber does.
- The Anubis Gates by Time Powers. This one, along with the next bullet, were picked up my my friend — nom de plume of bookstothesky — at a book show in L.A.
- Dragonsbane by Barbara Hambly. Also autographed, courtesy of bookstothesky. For generosity and going above and beyond the call of duty, I hereby award him the Silver Tome medal, with distinction. He inadvertently selected literally my two favorite books by these two authors. Sheer happenstance, but it’s really, really awesome.
- Changes by Jim Butcher. The latest Harry Dresden book. They’re nothing great, but they’re fun, light reads, and I always pick them up as soon as they come out. This one was a $10 special from Amazon, possibly because of the ongoing ebook wars. Bring on more of the same, baby!
- A really neat manuscript package of all the “primary source” documents and clues associated with The Sign of Four. Hard to describe, and I didn’t know it even existed, but it looks damn fun. I’m going to use it in conjunction with the actual text when I reread it.
- The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes by various. Should be interesting reading about other Victorian detectives.
- Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Holmes by Loren D. Estleman. I already owned this one. Oops.
- Expiration Date by Duane Swierczynski. This one showed up randomly in the mail yesterday. And it’s autographed. Yes, this is insane. No idea why it was shipped here from the publisher, but I plan to read and review it soon.
- The Big Knockover by Dashiell Hammett. A bunch of short stories and novellas. Should be awesome.
- War of the Rats by David L. Robbins. Fiction about Stalingrad. I’ll save this one for when I need some light-hearted reading to pick me up.
- Emergency Deep by Michael DiMercurio. He was a submariner, so this should be a good sub thriller.
- The three little chess books that came in my boxed set from Dover, packaged with a neat little traveling chess set. No, I’m not very good at chess, but I’ve always been fascinated by the game.
- All three of the Journal of the Traveller Aid Society (JTAS) reprints for the Traveller RPG. They were only $10 apiece on sale, when they’re usually $30 each, so I couldn’t pass them up. If you’re not a gamer, this won’t make any sense.
- Two memoirs by former CDC virus-hunter-type-dudes. I always enjoy reading this kind of stuff.
- Woodward’s fourth book on Bush and Iraq. Unfortunately the copy I picked up has some underlining, etc., in it, but for a $1 hardback, it’s hard to pass up.
- The West’s Last Chance by Tony Blankley.
- Webster’s American Military Biographies. Old and a bit out-dated, but again, great for $1.
So there we have it. Quite a haul since I last updated.