[identity profile] littlerdog.livejournal.com
Mad money time came round again so I bought another four books off Ian Sales' Mistressworks list:

Leviathan's Deep by Jayge Carr;
Lost Futures by Lisa Tuttle;
Body of Glass (aka He, She and It) by Marge Piercy and
Heroes and Villains by Angela Carter.

Slowly but surely whittling it down--but what shall I do for a book list when I'm finished?

Also purchased at the charity shops and local bookshops recently:

The Long Song by Andrea Levy;
Villette by Charlotte Bronte;
Over the Edge of the World by Laurence Bergreen;
Conquest: The Roman Invasion of Britain by John Peddie;
The Fabled Coast: Legends & Traditions of Britain and Ireland by Sophia Kingshill and Jennifer Westwood, and
World War I in Photographs, edited by J.H.J. Andriessen.

The Kingshill/Westwood book has a list price of £25.00 and looks absolutely brand spanking new. Bizarre.

A good haul, all in all; I'm especially looking forward to the Magellan book.
[identity profile] littlerdog.livejournal.com
Christmas bookstack 2015

2015 was a bumper year for books. I don't think I've ever been so inundated with them before. Amazing.

59 Seconds: Think a Little, Change a Lot by Richard Wiseman;
Harbinger of the Storm by Aliette de Bodard;
How Do You Build a Time Machine? by Erwin Brecher;
I Call Myself A Feminist: The View from Twenty-Five Women Under Thirty, Victoria Pepe et al (editors);
If This Is A Woman: Inside Ravensbruck: Hitler's Concentration Camp for Women by Sarah Helm;
The Jane Austen Pocket Bible by Holly Ivins;
The Land of Decoration by Grace McCleen;
The Masked City by Genevieve Cogman;
A Merciless Place: The Lost Story of Britain's Convict Disaster in Africa by Emma Christopher;
The Science Fiction & Fantasy Quiz Book by Joseph McCullough;
Signal to Noise by Silvia Moreno-Garcia;
SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome by Professor Mary Beard;
Steering the Craft: A Twenty-First-Century Guide to Sailing the Sea of Story by Ursula K. Le Guin;
Suffragettes: The Fight for Votes for Women by Joyce Marlow;
The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu;
Touch by Claire North;
Women in the First World War by Neil R Storey & Molly Housego
and
Women Travelers: A Century of Trailblazing Adventures 1850-1950 by Christel Mouchard & Alexandra Lapierre.

Thank you Dad, OH, and [livejournal.com profile] monissaw :D.
[identity profile] littlerdog.livejournal.com
Just a quick note of the books I picked up today while out doing hospital things.

Penguins Stopped Play by Harry Thompson;
The Medieval Machine: The Industrial Revolution of the Middle Ages by Jean Gimpel;
Catch Me If You Can by Frank W. Abagnale and Stan Redding
and
Europe and the People Without History by Eric R. Wolf.

Basically, if you want me to pick up a book, just put penguins in the title or on the cover.
[identity profile] littlerdog.livejournal.com
This is going to cover a long period of time so there might be a few more books than usual. Don't worry, I'm not bankrupt. Just lazy.

The Rabbit Back Literature Society by Pasi Ilmari Jaaskelainen;
Archer's Goon by Diana Wynne Jones;
Pathfinders: A Global History of Exploration by Felipe Fernandez-Armesto;
Women on Men and other laughing matters, edited by Jasmine Birtles;
We are all Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler;
The Victorian City: Everyay Life in Dickens' London by Judith Flanders;
The Scapegoat by Daphne du Maurier;
Solutions for Writers: Practical Craft Techniques for Fiction and Non-Fiction by Sol Stein;
Ethnic Minorities in Britain: Diversity and Disadvantage by Tariq Modood, Richard Berthoud, Jane Lakey, James Nazroo, Patten Smith, Satnam Virdee and Sharon Beishon;
A History of the World in 100 Weapons by Chris McNab;
The Commonwealth of Thieves: The Sydney Experiment by Tom Keneally;
The Long Road Home: The Aftermath of the Second World War by Ben Shephard;
Battle Royale by Houshun Takami;
Forgotten Heroes: The Australian Waler Horse by Jill Mather;
An Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Uniforms of the Roman World by Kevin F. Kiley
and
Protest: Sixty-five Years of Rebellion in Photographs, edited by Gemma Maclagan.

Phew.
[identity profile] littlerdog.livejournal.com
The charity shops have been scoured pretty much clean recently, along with the odd little charity table you can unexpectedly come across in supermarkets. Still, some 50p-£1.50 books have been acquired.

Following Hadrian: A Second-Century Journey Through the Roman Empire by Elizabeth Speller (Age UK, £1, hb, looks completely unread);
The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Archaeology, edited by Andrew Sherratt (Tesco's charity table, £1, hb, been read);
The Russian Court at Sea by Frances Welch (pb, good condition);
Feather Boy by Nancy Singer (Hospice shop, 50p, pb, looks like it'd been trodden on recently);
The Odd Women by George Gissing (bit worn)
and
The Blood of Others by Simone de Beauvoir, the Vatican's favourite author. Not. (pb)

The Gissing book drew my attention even though the one book of his I have read (New Grub Street) was incredibly miserable and depressing because of these lines in the back-cover blurb:

"Questions of marriage don't interest me much...my work and thoughts are for the women who do not marry--the 'odd women' as I call them...."

That quote from Gissing is probably enough by itself to justify publication of the book by Virago. I wonder however if it will be as heavy on the heart as New Grub Street, which was almost Sartre-esque in its despair. But then I don't think Virago would have published it if it was all about how dreadful it is for a woman not to be married.

We shall see.

I've never read anything by de Beauvoir (now there's an admission for someone who calls herself a feminist) so if and when I get round to her book, that'll be a first. I also haven't read Greer's The Female Eunuch, although it lay around the house for a long time when I was young, as my mother had a copy. I vaguely remember asking her why it had that title. She explained the idea of women lacking the protuberance that many seem to think essential to being human, and I declared it stupid. At no time have I ever considered changing my view on that. It strikes me as so absurd as to not even be worth the effort of arguing about, but apparently it does get argued about. A lot.

One observation I did make while going through the charity shops was that people round here read a lot of crime fiction, and not much SFF. I kinda wish it was the other way round!
[identity profile] littlerdog.livejournal.com
Yes, I know I have been bleating about a lack of money with which to buy books this year. But husband gave me a ten-note when I went to see my therapist on Friday, with the intention that I have a look round the flea market. Unfortunately, there was no market. So the £10 and I went round the charity shops instead.

Nothing cost more than £1.50 except lunch which was £1.55!

The Cruising Woman's Advisor by Diana Jessie;
Nee Naw: Real Life Dispatches from Ambulance Control by Suzi Brent
and
The Law's Strangest Cases by Peter Seddon.

I've already read some parts of the Nee Naw book and it's fascinating. Also useful if you happen to want to know how ambulances are dispatched.
[identity profile] littlerdog.livejournal.com
A mixed bag :). My dad said the only thing missing was a new bookcase.

How to Drive a Tank: and Other Everyday Tips for the Modern Gentleman by Frank Coles;
Crime on the Line by Adrian Gray;
Wedlock: How Georgian Britain's Worst Husband Met his Match by Wendy Moore;
Bad History: How We Got the Past Wrong by Emma Marriott;
The Enchantment Emporium by Tanya Huff;
The Establishment: And How They Get Away With It by Owen Jones;
Agatha Raisin and Kissing Christmas Goodbye by M.C. Beaton;
Amelia Earhart: The Mystery Solved by Elgen M. Long & Marie K. Long;
Scrooge's Guide to Christmas by Richard Wilson;
Cat Sense: The Feline Enigma Revealed by John Bradshaw;
In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Journey of the USS Jeannette by Hammond Sides;
The Terracotta Army: China's First Emperor and the Birth of a Nation by John Man;
Poetry For Cats: The Definitive Anthology of Distinguished Feline Verse, edited by Henry Beard;
The New Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko;
Question Everything: 132 Science Questions--and their Unexpected Answers by New Scientist;
Pilgrimage: The Book of the People by Zenna Henderson;
Trail of the Octopus: From Beirut to Lockerbie--Inside the DIA by Donald Goddard with Lester K. Coleman
and
The Far North: Explorations in the Arctic Regions by Elisha Kent Kane, MD.

Phew. That took a lot of typing!
[identity profile] littlerdog.livejournal.com
On the way to the Pharmacy I dropped in at the Co-op to peruse their charity books. The charity they're supporting this year is the Alzheimer's Society, which is an added incentive to buy paperbacks for 50p.

The Letters of the Younger Pliny, translated by Betty Radice (A Penguin classic. Bit bent.)
and
The Bookseller of Kabul by Asne Seierstad.

You can view those of my Rome books that I've catalogued here: Romans Go Home!.
[identity profile] littlerdog.livejournal.com
Yesterday, before I had the bright idea of getting off the bus at the wrong stop and losing myself in empty, cold and wet countryside*, I bought a couple of books. I was carrying them throughout my ordeal and both they and I came through safe. I got muddy. The books didn't.

Charles Dickens and the Great Theatre of the World by Simon Callow
and
Rome: The Autobiography by Jon E. Lewis.

I read some of the Rome book while sitting in the pub waiting for husband to come and rescue me from the wilds** and although it's interesting, the voices are very stiff and formal. Maybe that's translation or maybe it was the Roman style.

I did find the Twelve Tables (summary of the law as it then stood) fascinating, especially that it was found necessary to state twice that it's no crime to kill someone who comes as a thief in the night. Maybe they wanted people to be really clear on that one. Or maybe the stonemason made a mistake.



*It was getting dark, too.
**The last mile to the 'nearest pub' was the hardest.
[identity profile] littlerdog.livejournal.com
At the weekend we went to a local Christmas craft fair, in the social club. Lots of people there and a fair selection of stalls but nothing much we wanted to buy. I rather fancied a toy moose, but it was more than I could bring myself to pay. Or thoil, as they say in Yorkshire.

There were however some cheap books. And so the inevitable happened.

Tornado Down: The Horrifying True Story of Their Gulf War Ordeal by Flt Lts John Peters and John Nichol
and
Precious Victims by Don W. Weber and Charles Bosworth, Jr.

Also on the stall were a lot of Colin Dexters that tempted me, but not enough.

In other news, I am giving some thought to my Christmas wishlist. And realising I have left it far too late to send things to Monissa. Again. Good resolutions wrap no parcels.
[identity profile] littlerdog.livejournal.com
Continuing my read-through of Claire Tomalin's oeuvre, we come to Mrs Jordan's Profession, a biography of actress and royal mistress Dora Jordan.

Biographies aren't my favourite read, and Dora Jordan hadn't previously crossed my radar, but Tomalin is so readable, and so intensely interested in and compassionate for her subjects, that her books are irresistible. I've read her Dickens biography and have The Invisible Woman and the Jane Austen biography lined up for future reads. I suspect I'll find the Austen the more interesting of the two, being something of a fan*.

Dora Jordan was a celebrated actress who supported her mother and siblings, her many children, and a profligate Royal prince who went on to become King William IV. Despite her years of dedication to both her profession and her family, she died alone and in poverty, having been swindled by one of her sons-in-law and deserted by the prince who later commissioned a grand statue to her memory.

Tomalin notes that in a two-volume biography of the prince, published in the Victorian era, Dora, who lived with him for twenty years and bore him ten children, is dismissed in a single sentence. Only a woman, and not even a 'proper' woman.

This book is thoughtful, comprehensive, and does not shrink from the sadder, darker truths of Dora's life. She seems to have been a charismatic actress, a loving mother, and certainly did not deserve to be cast into outer darkness at the end of her life. Her children had mixed fortunes--two committed suicide in later life, another became a much-loved member of the clergy.

Well worth a read even if actresses and royal mistresses aren't your thing; Tomalin makes her subjects as fascinating to us as they evidently are to her. That said, this book did take me some time to read, as, although I was enjoying it, I could put it down.


*Modesty forbids.
[identity profile] littlerdog.livejournal.com
After something of a hiatus, some books were acquired in a quick dash up the high street with pitstops at most (not all) outlets that sell secondhand books.

Under My Skin by Doris Lessing;
Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens (my copy has been read to death; so has my dad's);
Helmand: Diaries of Front-Line Soldiers, edited by Linda & Pete Thornton;
Gambling's Strangest Moments by Graham Sharpe;
The Unknown Ajax by Georgette Heyer;
Folk Medicine by D.C. Jarvis, MD
and
The Book of Assassins by George Fetherling.

Lots of 'may come in handy one day' books in there, but the Helmand one may help with the WIP.

I also purchased a two-book box set with the intention of adding it to my dad's Christmas presents. I think he'll like it.
[identity profile] littlerdog.livejournal.com
I had to go for yet another vitamin injection to the surgery (apparently I have to do this every three months until I die or the NHS runs out of money, whichever is the sooner) so on the walk back I popped into the Co-op to see what they had in the way of charity books. They've been moved into the Post Office, which doesn't keep the same hours as the Co-op, and instead of their shelving unit they're now in a basket. But they're still 50p for paperbacks and £1 for hardbacks, with the proceeds going to the Alzheimer's Society. So it's still good.

I only had £1 and some silver on me so I told myself I could have two paperbacks and no more.

After digging through the Catherine Cookson's and Barbara Taylor Bradford's I picked up:

Not on the Label: What Really Goes into the Food on your Plate by Felicity Lawrence (possibly more suitable for Halloween than the run-up to Christmas, but eh)
and
The Men Who Stare at Goats by Jon Ronson.

I shall be interested to find out if any goats were harmed during the writing of the book.

And that's it for the acquisitions lately. Been a lean week.
[identity profile] littlerdog.livejournal.com
The pile of books I acquired on Saturday while I was supposed to be filling my prescription just fell onto the floor, so now seems as good a time as any to write about them here.

Haven't been feeling too well lately so the aim was to go to the nearest town, get the prescription filled, then come home. Of course, it didn't work out quite like that.

Firstly, we turned up at the pharmacy just as they closed for an hour for lunch. Timing! Secondly, there were Daleks. And Stormtroopers. And stalls. Stalls with books. Well, one stall with books, anyway.

And of course the charity shops, one of which had recently reopened after a fire.

And an hour to kill.

The Roman Republic by Michael Crawford;
The Great Abolition Sham: The True Story of the End of the British Slave Trade by Michael Jordan;
(as you can see, it was a day for Michaels; also, a day for Michaels with the same names as Famous Michaels)
Meridian by Alice Walker;
Travelling with Che Guevara: The Making of a Revolutionary by Alberto Granado
and
The Sweetest Dream by Doris Lessing.

Not that I need any more books about Rome, really.
[identity profile] littlerdog.livejournal.com
Husband observed today that it was the first time he'd come home from a trawl of the local bookshop and charity shops with more books than I had.

Trust me, it wasn't for want of trying on my part. It was just he was vacuuming up books for his work. Honest.

The Anatomy of Motive by John Douglas and Mark Olshaker;
The Complete Roderick by John Sladek (great find!);
Agent Zigzag by Ben Macintyre;
Treasure Seekers and Borrowers by Marcus Crouch
and
To Rule Britannia: The Claudian Invasion of Britain AD 43 by John Waite.

I read a Roderick book many years ago and enjoyed it, then found out belatedly that there were more books. Have had The Complete Roderick on my wishlist for I don't know how long. And today, there it was. Made me so happy. Almost a compensation for retinal photography, glaucoma test, fields test, and I don't know what else tests that left me exhausted and only wanting to go home, plus an ophthalmic referral. Grr for glasses.
[identity profile] littlerdog.livejournal.com
Yes, more books. The shelves are full, the house is full, but still they come.

Firstly, a three-volume box set I picked up at the agricultural show yesterday. Probably crap but you never know what ideas might be sparked. Also, the money went to help cats.

True Crime:

Criminal Masterminds: Evil Geniuses of the World of Crime* by Anne Williams, Vivian Head and Sebastian C. Prooth;
Great Unsolved Crimes: Getting Away with Murder* by Rodney Castleden
and
Killers in Cold Blood: Glimpse into the Dark Side of the Criminal Mind** by Ray Black, Rodney Castleden, Gordon Kerr and Ian and Claire Welch.

Just dropped the second volume into my tea. Bah. Now it can't go back into the box until it dries.

Another box set, this one from Penguin, picked up in the Mind shop.

Great Ideas:

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius;
Why I Write by George Orwell;
Civilisation and its Discontents by Sigmund Freud;
A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf;
Why I am So Wise by Friedrich Nietzsche;
On Natural Selection by Charles Darwin;
On Art and Life by John Ruskin;
On the Suffering of the World by Arthur Schopenhauer;
On the Pleasure of Hating by William Hazlitt;
The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels;
Common Sense by Thomas Paine;
The Christians and the Fall of Rome by Edward Gibbon;
The Social Contract by Jean-Jacques Rousseau;
A Tale of a Tub by Jonathan Swift;
A Vindication of the Rights of Women by Mary Wollstonecraft;
On Friendship by Michel de Montaigne;
Confessions of a Sinner by St Augustine;
The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli;
The Inner Life by Thomas a Kempis
and
On the Shortness of Life by Seneca.

Phew! That's a few weeks reading right there.

Tomorrow When the War Began by John Marsden;
We Need to Talk about Kevin by Lionel Shriver;
Medical Blunders: Amazing True Stories of Mad, Bad and Dangerous Doctors by Robert Youngston & Ian Scott
and
Across the Nightingale Floor by Lian Hearn.

I also picked up two books from the house wishlist:

The Holy Thief by Ellis Peters
and
Sidetracked by Henning Mankell.

Quite a successful few days.



*presumably, titles like these are how we indicate our condemnation of crime and criminals
**whereas this title merely makes you go, EH?
[identity profile] littlerdog.livejournal.com
It was a good year for books:

Laughter in Ancient Rome: On Joking, Tickling, and Cracking Up by Mary Beard;
Nylon Angel by Marianne de Pierres;
Boneland by Alan Garner;
My Salinger Year by Joanna Rakoff;
We, The Drowned by Carsten Jensen;
Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History, edited by Rose Fox and Daniel Jose Older;
Pompeii by T. Pedrazzi;
Tommy's Ark: Soldiers and their Animals in the Great War by Richard Van Emden;
To Walk in the Dark: Military Intelligence During the English Civil War 1642-1646 by John Ellis;
Adequately Explained by Stupidity? Lockerbie, Luggage and Lies by Morag G. Kerr
and
Dangerous Work: Diary of an Arctic Adventure by Arthur Conan Doyle.

Plus, as a bonus, I got a free book via My Independent Bookshop:

Think Like A Freak by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner.
[identity profile] littlerdog.livejournal.com
While we were getting soaked to the skin in Lincoln and conspicuously failing to see two Lancasters, or even one Lancaster, let alone any Red Arrows, I bought a book from a secondhand/antiques sort of place.

Well, OF COURSE you did, I hear you muttering. What ELSE would you do?

The book is Afro-American Folk Tales, selected and edited by Roger D. Abrahams. The shop actually had two copies--on different shelves--and the first one I picked up was £4.50. The one I came home with was £4.00, possibly because it has a protective cover stuck to it, over even its original price sticker. £7.95. On the sticker it also says Random House UK and something that looks like Wet UK or maybe Het UK or Met UK? Mysterious. It's also possible the price difference is down to the large library stamps on the inside covers: NORTH AREA AFRO/ASIAN RESOURCE LIBRARY. Mysterious, again. One of the stamps is clearly under the protective cover, which must therefore have been applied after the book was stamped.

It's also a bit odd that although this is a 1985 edition, there's an ISBN sticker (again, under the protective cover) with a 13-digit ISBN. These 13-digit numbers weren't introduced until 2007.

Obviously, this is a book with a bit of a history, but I don't see much hope for finding out what it is.

Nothing unusual inside the book so far as I can see, although recently in secondhand books I've found a Cambridge bus ticket and a note that defies interpretation. See photo.

cambus

Apparently Xatral is a drug used to treat swollen prostates (SR stands for Slow Release) so this note was probably written on a pad given out free to a doctor or medical establishment by a pharmaceutical rep. But the note itself--V eight side for Sunday--is enigmatic.

It's good that books come with histories. Sometimes though it would be nice to know what those histories are.

While in Lincoln, I also acquired another book, although its sojourn with me will be temporary. It's a Book Crossing book, a travelling book, the first one I've ever found. It was sitting on a low stone pillar outside Lincoln cathedral, in a plastic bag. I found out on the Book Crossing site that it had been there since the previous day--presumably I was the only person bold enough to pick it up.

It's With No One as Witness by Elizabeth George, an author I've never read before. I shall read it then turn it loose once again. This may of course take some time....

Also, my dad came home from his book club with some books that had been donated to the library but which weren't, apparently, wanted.

Four Days in June by Iain Gale;
Great Battles: Decisive Conflicts that have Shaped History, edited by Christer Jorgensen
and
The Year After by Martin Davies.

All's grist to t'mill.
[identity profile] littlerdog.livejournal.com
Husband came home from the air show on Saturday with two books for me:

The Crusades by Terry Jones and Alan Ereira
and
Trench Warfare 1914-1918: The Live and Let Live System by Tony Ashworth.

He said there wasn't much to choose among by way of presents.

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