The annual book sale at the YMCA in Carondolet provides many people with the opportunity to expand their libraries at low cost. Most hardbacks are $1, but many are $.50, and the selection proves just a little short of overwhelming. We didn’t get a chance to make it down there this weekend, but fortunately for us, it ran longer than the weekend. Like when we went to the J, today was the last day before the discounts; tomorrow is half price day, and Wednesday is box day, where everything you can fit in a box is a flat rate. Given how I approached this book fair, it’s again a good thing I didn’t get any less reason to reject books.
Heather spent most of her time in the media room, again, whereas I spent most of my time in the uncooled gymnasium storing the fiction with side trips to the tents holding the nonfiction and the second floor multipurpose room holding the rare books and the humor books. Here’s what we got for a total of $42.05.
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- Clash of the Titans and The Black Hole by Alan Dean Foster and Rambo: First Blood Part II by David Morrell because I have a thing for movie tie-in paperbacks.
- The Secret Ways by Alistair MacLean; a paperback, but a book that I’d never heard of.
- The Executioner: Panic in Philly by Don Pendleton. I’ve been trying out some of these pulp paperbacks this year but this will be my first in The Executioner series.
- Ranting Again by Dennis Miller. I like his rants; the fellow has an ear for speech rhythm and an eye for allusion.
- The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy because I don’t have it, and I thought this might be an early edition. Further review indicates it’s an early Book Club Edition.
- Deathtrap by Ira Levin. I saw the film in high school and guessed the plot very early in the film. Let’s hope I can make it through the book without envisioning Michael Caine and Christopher Reeve kissing.
- Just Wait Till You Have Children Of Your Own by Erma Bombeck and Bill Keane. Now that I have a child of my own, apparently this appealed to me. The humor section was rife with Erma Bombeck. It’s been since elementary school that I have read her; I’ll have to see if she holds up into the 21st century and my adulthood. No, seriously, my mother was a fan, so I read some of her books The Grass Is Always Greener Over The Sceptic Tank and If Life Is A Bowl Of Cherries, What Am I Doing In The Pits? when I was a young man.
- Kilroy Was Here, a collection of World War II humor with an introduction by Charles Kuralt.
- Escape by Ethel Vance. Published in September 1939, it tells the story of an actress tried and condemned for treason in Germany who must escape. Published in September 1939. By the time it was out, it was out of date.
- The Winter of Our Discontent by John Steinbeck. I’ve already read this book, but it was a handsome copy with a dustjacket. Book club edition, but still.
- The Inhuman Condition by Clive Barker; apparently a collection of his horror short stories. It’s been over 10 years since I read the first of his Books of Blood, so I think I’m ready for another set.
- The Conquest of Mexico by W. H. Prescott. Don’t tell Heather, but in addition to Classics Club editions, I might start collecting these Book League of America volumes.
- Supership Noël Mostert. Somehow, a novel set on a supertanker just sort of sounded cool.
- False Witness by Dorothy Uhnak. Her mysteries seem fairly prevalent at book fairs; perhaps I’ll enjoy this book and will have access to a new author (to me), cheap.
- Man O’War by William Shatner. Because when James T. Kirk writes a book, I have to buy it. Used.
- The Handyman by Penelope Mortimer. Although it’s supposed to be some sort of story about an older widow putting her life together and rebuilding her life after she moves to an old home in a small town, with a title like The Handyman, decapitation has to come into play sometime. I mean, dude’s got access to power tools, all I am sayin’.
- Three Novels by Damon Knight. Because I need some science fiction in my diet.
- Black Star Rising by Frederik Pohl. Man Plus washed the Starburst taste out of my memory, so I’ll give this author another shot.
- The Saxon Chronicle by Jane Ellen Swan. It’s purportedly a narrative history, but I bought it because it has the Vantage Press imprint. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen one before. Vantage Press is a vanity press; Ms. Swan paid to have this book published. That’s worth it in curiosity value alone.
- The Lion and the Throne by Catherine Drinker Bowen. A biography of Sir Edward Coke, the Attorney General of Britain under Queen Elizabeth. This is a fourth printing, which must mean that this book was somewhat popular ca. 1957. This book virtually guarantees I’ll be smarter than or at worst tie with any fifth grader if asked “Who was Attorney General of Britain under Queen Elizabeth I?”
- Jem by Frederik Pohl. See Black Star Rising above.
- Lori by Robert Bloch. I haven’t read any book length Bloch; all I’ve read has been in the Cthulhu mythos short stories. Perhaps this will lead me to seek books out.
- The Antagonists by Ernest K. Gann. The huge Swedish startlingly-literate machinist next door when I started college challenged me to read more important work than the paperback police procedurals I bought by the bucketload in late high school and the summer before college (as I previously mentioned); he recommended Gann’s Fate Is The Hunter. I only remember the vague outline of that book, but I bought this book to read more Gann. Why not?
So that’s, what, another 23 books? You can see that’s why my collection of unread books now looks like this:
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I’m going to need another bigger house.
Fortunately, book fair season is winding down.