today’s indulgent book purchase

ah, returned at last from breakfast and book shopping.  here are my latest acquisitions, in order of discovery:

in the "bargain crime & sci-fi/fantasy" section:

  • Drood, by Dan Simmons – I enjoyed his Ilium and Olympos, and may well have read others in the list of his previous books, but am having a hard time remembering.  This is an historical thriller, "what really happened to charles dickens during his final days."  We’ll see, I guess.  I like historical novels of all bents, especially when they get really off the historical track.  Like for example, Inglourious Basterds… not a novel, but my appreciation is the same.
  • Sister Time, by John Ringo & Julie Cochran – It’s been a while since I’ve read anything by John Ringo, but I like to always buy at least one cheap sci-fi or fantasy or both book on every book-shopping trip, since I consider them the delicious sour gummies of my book enjoyment. 
  • Cally’s War, by the same – I realized that Sister Time was a sequel.  Had to get the first one.
  • My Boring-Ass Life, by Kevin Smith – just because.  no explanation necessary.  But I don’t know why this was in this particular bargain section.

Moving on to the Sci-Fi/Fantasy new arrivals:

  • Butcher Bird, by Richard Kadrey – I was struck first by the nice graphics on the spine.  Then the quote on the front from Wiliam Gibson: "If this novel had been rendered in oil or acrylic, it would be kicking world-class lowbrow ass in multi-page spreads in Juxtapoz or on the walls of La Luz de Jesus.  Go for it.  The man is mad, in every best way."  I decided to simply take Bill’s advice.

On to the Sci-Fi/Fantasy main section:

  • Makers, by Cory Doctorow – I started reading this online, through Creative Commons.  Was really enjoying it.  Saw it on the shelf, so picked it up.

Decided to leave my usual haunt in the bookshop and GO UPSTAIRS, to the general fiction and non-fiction:

  • A Time to Dance, A Time to Die – The Extraordinary Storyof the Dancing Plague of 1518, by John Waller – ooooh, it’s about St. Vitus’ Dance.  I know next to nothing about this, and the first couple of pages drew me right in.
  • Hegemony or Survival – America’s Quest for Global Dominance, by Noam Chomsky – As a former philosophy and linguistics major, I was a big fan of Chomsky, on both fronts.  It’s been a while since I’ve read anything by him, so I thought I’d check out a more recent work (comparatively speaking – this was first published in 2003).
  • God is not Great – How Religion Poisons Everything, by Christopher Hitchens – It was right below the Chomsky section, in bright yellow.  The title’s great.  It was enough for me.


  1. “I started reading this online, through Creative Commons. Was really enjoying it. Saw it on the shelf, so picked it up.”

    A good argument that this kind of exposure is good for artists.

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