I went to my local Borders last Friday and picked up a few books I'd been wanting before all the books got picked over. Thought I'd share my book haul with you.
Tales of the Dying Earth by Jack Vance
This is a bindup that includes The Dying Earth, The Eyes of the Overworld, Cugel's Saga, and Rhialto the Marvellous
I don't hear too much about Jack Vance anymore, but he is a prolific writer who goes back to the Golden Age in Science Fiction writing. His works, when they can be found, are usually filed under Science Fiction, but they are a delightful combination of SF, Fantasy, and Adventure.
I had to buy this bindup even though I already own these titles as individual publications. Those separate books are getting old and fragile so I thought a nice bindup with The Dying Earth and its sequels would be an appropriate addition to my collection.
Planet of Adventure by Jack Vance
Another Jack Vance bindup that includes City of the Chasch, Servants of the Wankh, The Dirdir, and The Pnume.
It's been ages since I've read these books, but I can remember the fun I had reading them! Vance's worlds and creations just suck you in. I can still "hear" the clicking noises of one of the alien languages he created for this series.
Again, I wanted to add this bindup to the collection since my individual copies are old and fragile. One drawback of a bindup though is the loss of the individual cover art. I will miss the artist's rendering of the Pnume on the original cover of the book by that name.
Smoke and Mirrors by Neil Gaiman
Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman
I probably don't need to say much about why I picked these two books up! If you are a Neil Gaiman fan, then you understand. What I don't understand is why I didn't already have them in my collection. I can't tell you how many times I went to the store and had these two titles in my hand and then put them back on the shelf. Apparently, I can sometimes show book buying restraint, but it is a bit odd that I restrained myself from two of Gaiman's books (THAT I REALLY WANTED). Oh well, I have them now. Smile.
Riddle-Master by Patricia A. McKillip
This bindup includes The Riddle-Master of Hed, Heir of Sea and Fire, and Harpist in the Wind.
Apparently I'm on a bindup binge! I've never read any books by this author, but I've seen her titles around for a long time and have seen other bloggers commenting on her books. I'm hoping that I enjoy this one. It is fantasy, and I like fantasy. Stephen Donaldson and Peter Beagle both make positive comments in the book blurb on the back of the book, and that is a positive sign since I like both of those authors.
Additional bonus: The cover art on this copy of the book is by Kinuko Y. Craft. Love her work.
Mr. Timothy by Louis Bayard
I recently read my first Bayard novel and enjoyed it very much. I read The Black Tower, a historical detective novel about the period following France's Reign of Terror and Restoration and the young son of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette.
This book appears to be a take on one of Dickens' characters from A Christmas Carol. Tim Cratchett is now a 23 year old adult living in a London whorehouse and trying to gain financial independence from Uncle Scrooge. Oh, and in this one it is Timothy that is haunted by a ghost. One book blurb comments on "Bayard's appreciation for the lurid exoticness of Victorian London." Sounds like my kind of book!
Wondering if I should save it to read closer to Christmas?
Royal Escape by Georgette Heyer
When I want to escape, one of my "go to" authors is Georgette Heyer. She is a mid-twentieth century writer of historical fiction, Regency romances, and mysteries.
Royal Escape will be my first historical by Heyer. So far I've read several of her Regency romances and have yet to read any of the mysteries. One of the things I like about Heyer is the obvious amount of research she puts into her work.
In Royal Escape, Heyer "follows King Charles II's daring flight to France in 1651 after Cromwell's forces defeated the king at the Battle of Worcester. For six weeks, Charles's life was in danger as he hid in the English countryside disguised as a servant, unable to find a way across heavily guarded borders. Two young women helped him finally escape, one of whom became his lifelong friend." (from back cover)
Shadowland: The Mediator #1 by Meg Cabot
The Mediator is a Young Adult (YA) series about Suze, a teen aged liaison between the living and the dead. In other words, she sees ghosts. From what I can tell from reading the first chapter, Meg Cabot includes witty dialogue (and I love witty dialogue) and creates a likable character in Suze. The fact that the story involves ghosts is a plus for me.
I'm sure this will be a quick and fun read, but since I purchased it in mass market paperback format I can afford not to like it too. I'll see how this one goes before picking up any more in this series.
Ghost Train to the Eastern Star: On the Tracks of the Great Railway Bazaar by Paul Theroux
Ghost Train to the Eastern Star is a travel narrative and the only non-fiction I picked up in this book haul. I have a fascination with books about the Silk Road, Asia, and train travel. This book covers two of those fascinations. Paul Theroux recreates a grand tour by train through Asia that he took 30 years ago when the world (especially that part of it) was quite different.
I will leave you with this passage from page 2, which should show you why I decided I had to read this book:
"Ghosts have all the time in the world, another pleasure of long-distance aimlessness -- traveling at half speed on slow trains and procrastinating. And this ghostliness, I was to find, was also an effect of the journey I had chosen, returning to places I had known many years ago. It is almost impossible to return to an early scene in your traveling life and not feel like a specter. And many places I saw were themselves sad and spectral, others big and hectic, while I was the haunting presence, the eavesdropping shadow on the ghost train."