Monday, December 17, 2012

Random Free Reading, Shopping, Putting English in it's Place and my First New Year's Resolution

In my reading of short stories I regularly come across the name Nina Kiriki Hoffman.  I'm always blown away by her writing.  I never follow up on her; only to stumble across her name in a later anthology or year's best collection to start the process over again.  I'm calling myself out: my next book purchase will absolutely contain something by Nina Kiriki Hoffman.  She is awesome and a favored author of mine; why have I not treated myself before?  

I looked around for what to buy and why by Ms Hoffman and, in addition to answers to those questions, I came across a buncha free reading by the author.  Should anyone else be curious (which you should be) and can tolerate reading on a computer screen (sometimes I can't) Futures in the Memories Market (great title don't you think?) is at Clarkesworld; Ghost Hedgehog is at; and Firebugs is from Eclipse online.  They are all great short stories though none rival my favorite from Hoffman.  After linking to all those stories I think I'll be getting a novel and a short story collection in my new year's Hoffman purchase.  

I went shopping today to trade in a few books and upon entering Books for Less second store, a local bookseller I give all my money to, I was rendered unable to shop.  I'm so accustomed to the other store, the layout, 'clutter,' the excessive inventory, and the slightly claustrophobic feeling of the store that the Alpharetta location's open spaces breathing room actually worked as a turn off.  Go figure that one out... I think this store had more stuff than the one I'm inclined to like but none of the past years worth of history and romantic involvement to make me like it.

What's wrong with me?  

So to get a dose of 'normal' I went to a Barnes and Noble and while I didn't buy anything I did take notice of a bit of bookstore layout that really appealed to me.  The young adult books (resisting the urge to preach about how stupid this, and other, genre appellations are) were separated by "New Young Adult Books"; "Young Adult Books" which I took to be anything not 'new'; and "Paranormal Young Adult Books".  Perhaps they could do so as the store didn't stock the same physical quantity of all things young adult as they did adult, but whatever the reason, I really liked this distinction.  At a glance I could find the young adult stuff without a trace of vampires, werewolves or any fantasy elements.  (Not that there is anything wrong with that it's just not what I'm feeling right now.)  As cool as I thought this separation was, woe betide the poor book clerk that has to make such a distinction in the "adult fiction" area should ever such a mandate come down... 

Oh, before I left Books for Less I did by Coraline by Neil Gaiman.  It was on the checkout counter and I didn't have to shop to find it.  I'll finish it tonight.  Speaking of Gaiman I found this while looking for Hoffman short stories.  Haven't read it yet but I'm looking forward to it.  I think the title is supposed to be a play on the first sentence of Robert Graves I, Claudius a book that I, and anyone else who has read it, loved.  Okay fine, some of you didn't click the link; I'll entice you with the story's title:    I, Cthulhu, or What's a Tentacle-Faced Thing Like Me Doing In A Sunken City Like This (Latitude 47 9' S, Longitude 126 43' W)?

With the completion of The Club Dumas I'm pretty sure that Arturo Perez-Reverte has become my second most read author behind Gene Wolf.  (I'm not counting David Gemmell, Michael Crichton, or John Grisham as I haven't reading anything by any of them in years.)  I feel stupid saying this but Perez-Reverte has a blog: it's in Spanish.  Ya know; because he's Spanish if the name didn't give it away.  This thought never occurred to me before.  I like him.  He blogs regularly and says interesting things and when I'm not being super lazy, I can make myself read Spanish.  It boggles my mind to think I hadn't come across this before... as if I'm surprised the whole world doesn't speak English. 

The final bit in today's exposé of randoms: I could swear I owned a copy of Michael Chabon's Wonderboys.  I know I do!  I can't find it and it's what I want to read right now.  It's possible I'm dreaming I own something I don't or it's possible it's in my collection and I can't find it.  (Not likely...)  

Where did that book go?!?!

1 comment:

Marion said...

Oh, man, I have to go read that Gaiman thing!

I loved The Club Dumas. I think I read The Flanders Panel first, but I was captivated by Corso and the club.