On Sunday night, I placed another order from ABC Books. I have assigned my children to read The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin and Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass as part of their home school adventure before it became a home school and a little tele-school adventure. I ordered a copy of each off of Amazon, but one of them is reading is assignment faster than the other, so it opened an opportunity for me to place another order from ABC Books. Which arrived on Thursday.
As I might have mentioned, I cannot browse their stacks, but I do the next best thing: I go through their inventory by category and end up placing a bunch of orders based on whether the title looks interesting. For the most part, I don’t even click through to the book description; I just click Add to Cart on the listing page because I’m being, erm, promiscuous (definition 2) in purchasing. More than normal, and with less discernment than when I am physically browsing the shelves (and less blushing). But now that I’ve laid the groundwork for my defense, here’s what I got:
The small haul includes:
- Benjamin Franklin by Walter Isaacson. Now that I look at it, I wonder if I already have it. If I do, perhaps I will assign it to one of the boys.
- Get The To A Punnery by Richard Lederer, a collection of puns one assumes from the title.
- Ethics and the New Testament by J.L. Houlden.
- The Girl in Alfred Hitchcock’s Shower by Robert Graysmith. I’m not sure if it’s true crime or not. I think so. Maybe.
- Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure [Fanny Hill] by John Cleland. HOLY SPIT! That ain’t no memoir. From the Wikipedia entry:
Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure–popularly known as Fanny Hill (possibly an anglicisation of the Latin mons veneris, mound of Venus)–is an erotic novel by English novelist John Cleland first published in London in 1748. Written while the author was in debtors’ prison in London, it is considered “the first original English prose pornography, and the first pornography to use the form of the novel”. It is one of the most prosecuted and banned books in history.
Oh, my. Well, that will go on my “I’m afraid to be seen reading it” shelf alongside the Lawrence and the Nabokov. In related news, I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to go back to ABC Books in person again. Although time will tell if it’s any more saucy than a Gunsmith novel.
- A Harvard Classics (Five Foot Shelf) edition of The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, The Journal of John Woolman, and Fruits of Solitude by William Penn. ABC Books did not have the autobiography by itself, so I got it in a collection. Although this collection might be too nice to give to my youngest to read, it is in a brown binding, and my other Harvard Classics are in the original green (such as Folk-Lore and Fable: Aesop, The Brothers Grimm, and Hans Christian Andersen). So do I put it on my shelf next to the others even though they’re a different color? Or do I collect the set in both bindings?
So I was going to quip that if the coronacation lasts too long, I will eventually have bought the entire inventory of ABC Books without buying the whole shop. To be honest, that might be the best-case scenario as I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to return in person.