[identity profile] monissaw.livejournal.com

The Making of Victorian Sexuality.
You might have noticed I do a lot of reading in Victorian & earlier primary sources. And one thing I keep running into is this difference between our perceptions of that era and what was actually happening. Like, at least in Tasmania, family sizes for most of that period are actually quite small. Less than a handful of kids, and often, as with the Shearn family I was talking about on FB today, one child. Ah, you say, that's because of the high infant mortality. To which I say, that's a fair comment but I first actually realised this when I was checking burials. If family sizes were small due to so many babies dying, they must have been burying them in the background because they don't appear in the death registers or burials. After a while of this, you have to consider that, maybe family sizes were small  because the birth rate was also low? And if so, how/why? Also,  much of what we are told about Victorian times concerns the middle & upper classes, and if you've read things I've written, whether blog posts or fiction, you might have noticed that's not the part of society I tend to deal with. So, this book apparently takes a look at these preconceptions and what was actually going on. I hope it might answer some questions/confirm some observations. And who doesn't like having their observations confirmed?

The Social History of Tea.
This is a hardback with lots of coloured pictures, about tea. Also, I need a book about the history of tea drinking so I don't have to look up such things on Regency web sites. This rarely ends well. (High tea was not so called because it was taken at the "higher" (full-size table). Seriously. If you ever get told this, run away.)

Read more... )
[identity profile] littlerdog.livejournal.com
There haven't been many acquisitions lately due to a shortage of funds. Blame the car, the laptop, the car, and the car again. Meh.

I can't believe how many years we managed without a car and now the damn thing is essential and it has to work every damn day.

Anyway, I digress, and if I continue this will turn into a blog about car woes, which are much less interesting than books.

The good news is that I finally exerted myself to potter down to the local library and now I have a shiny library card that lets me borrow books. Not just physical books from the library, but also ebooks, and audiobooks that I can play on my phone. The library interface allows me to browse the entire collection held by the county and put holds on books I want to read. Those books then magically appear at the local library at the massive expense of 25p each. That's almost affordable in these post-car-fixing days.

The first book I borrowed was Air Confidential: A Flight Attendant's Tales of Sex, Rage and Outrageousness at 30, 000 Feet by Elliott Hester.

Air Confidential cover

What is it about air travel that brings out the craziest, rudest and most ridiculous side of human nature? After fourteen years as an air steward Elliot Hester still doesn't know. However, he does know all about crazy passengers, stressed-out crew and the infamous Mile High club.

It looked like it might be fun. Sadly, it wasn't. Some of the stories could have been fairly interesting but Hester didn't seem to have the knack of rendering them funny. Shame. Turns out ordinary people are almost as mundane in the air as on the ground.

Mostly to work out how it was done, I later downloaded an audiobook of Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel to my phone. It can be surprisingly restful lying and listening to someone read a book to you. Unfortunately, it's so restful that I haven't yet heard it all the way through.

Wolf Hall cover

England in the 1520s is a heartbeat from disaster. If the king dies without a male heir, the country could be destroyed by civil war. Henry VIII wants to annul his marriage of twenty years and marry Anne Boleyn. The pope and most of Europe opposes him. Into this impasse steps Thomas Cromwell: a wholly original man, a charmer and a bully, both idealist and opportunist, astute in reading people, and implacable in his ambition.

Yes, the Tudors. You can't get away from them these days. Blearch.

Once my laptop came back from being mended (NB dropping your laptop on a concrete floor is Not Recommended), I explored the possibilities of obtaining books from the wider library collection. This involved working my way through the Mistressworks wishlist. Seems the library is almost as unpredictable in whether or not it has these books as online vendors can be, but I did find two.

Synners by Pat Cadigan.

Synners cover

In Synners, the line between technology and humanity is hopelessly slim. A constant stream of new technology spawns crime before it hits the streets; the human mind and the external landscape have fused to the point where any encounter with "reality" is incidental.

Shikasta by Doris Lessing.

Shikasta cover

This study guide consists of approx. 43 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more – everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Shikasta.

Intriguing, no? And with shades of Ursula K. Le Guin's Hainish series.

The third book that arrived is by a Mistressworks author, but not actually a Mistressworks book.

Where by Kit Reed.

Where cover

In a coastal town on the Outer Carolina Banks, David Ribault and Merrill Poulnot are trying to revive their stale relationship and commit to marriage, and a slick developer claiming to be related to a historic town hero, Rawson Steele, has come to town and is buying up property.

Doesn't sound very SFnal. But I checked on Goodreads and it is the same Kit Reed, so we shall see what we shall see.

Finally, a free book arrived through the door. Technically, it was addressed to [livejournal.com profile] monissaw but a free book is a free book. An ARC, hence the unconventional cover.

Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent.

Lying in Wait cover

The last people who expect to be meeting with a drug-addicted prostitute are a respected judge and his reclusive wife. And they certainly don't plan to kill her and bury her in their exquisite suburban garden.

Yet Andrew and Lydia Fitzsimons find themselves in this unfortunate situation.

Nice people, huh?

Thus ends this desultory round-up of books I have not been able to buy this month.
[identity profile] littlerdog.livejournal.com
The acquisition of books is a never-ending process. It seems.

Many years ago, when I was a member of a writers' board called Backspace, one of the members was Sara Gruen, and there was a lot of chatter about her book Water for Elephants. It never struck me as a book I wanted to read, but when I saw a copy on sale on the Co-op's charity table the other day, I picked it up. Only 50p, so what the heck.

Water for Elephants cover

Orphaned, penniless, Jacob Jankowski jumps a freight train in the dark, and in that instant, transforms his future.

By morning, he's landed a job with the Flying Squadron of the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. By nightfall, he's in love.

As I say, doesn't really sound like my kind of thing. But we'll see.

50p, remember.

I also bought a book by Philip Reeve that I thought was on my wishlist, but it was one I'd already read. I gave it to other half for their school library, so it wasn't a total waste. Only 50p, again.

In pursuance of my goal of reading, or at least attempting to read, all the books on Ian Sales' SF Mistressworks list, I bought another four books from Awesome Books, of which three have arrived.

Memory by Lois McMaster Bujold.

Memory cover

This turned out to be a hardback, which is nice in some ways, but a tad annoying in others, as I find them more difficult to read. Their corners dig into my hands. Yes, I have supersoft hands, thanks not to Fairy Liquid, but to a regimen of moisturising to keep my eczema at bay.

Mind you, no book has caused me as much pain as the paperback of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, which was so large and heavy it made my hands and wrists ache.

Anyway, back to Memory. Remember that? (Yuk Yuk)

Forced to abandon his undercover role as leader of the Dendarii Mercenaries, Miles Vorkosigan persuades Emperor Gregor to appoint him Imperial Auditor so he can penetrate Barrayar’s intelligence and security operations (ImpSec).

This is the tenth book in the Vorkosigan saga, and to be honest I'm not quite sure why Ian picked it for the list. I think I've read a book in this series before, and didn't become an instant fan. Still, I'm willing to give it a try.

Polar City Blues by Katharine Kerr.

(The title of this book always makes me want to start singing, "Union, Union, Union City Blues." But I digress.)

Polar City Blues cover

A handsome paperback this one, with a good cover.

Polar City: capital of Hagar, one of a handful of worlds on which the tiny, human-dominated Republic sits, uneasily squeezed between the powerful Interstellar Confederation and the enormous Coreward Alliance.

I have to say, I hoped it would be a city in Antarctica, so there's a slight measure of disappointment here.

The quote from Locus on the back doesn't inspire me, either: "There's cops, there's drugrunners, there's whores and pimps...." Uh. Good? How...original.

I probably need to go into this book with a more optimistic mindset than it's given me reason for so far.

Queen City Jazz by Kathleen Ann Goonan.

I observed recently on Twitter that there are a lot of SFFnal books with "City" in the title. Someone should look into that someday.

Queen City Jazz cover

In Verity's world, nanotech plagues decimated the population after an initial renaissance of utopian nanotech cities. Growing up on an isolated farm, she finds her happy life changing course when Blaze, the only young man in the community, and Verity's best friend, is shot.

I felt obliged to insert a comma into that description. You may guess where, if you like.

That's it for the Mistressworks books for now. There's plenty to come, however--it's a long list.

Sister Noon by Karen Joy Fowler.

My niece from America came to visit us recently (I think her parents were there as well) and gave me this book once she'd finished reading it. "I don't recommend it," she said, which isn't a great recommendation, but hey, a book is a book.

Sister Noon cover

I see I had no idea where to shelve this book, so it went in "General Fiction". Maybe I'll have a better idea once I've read it.

I have read other KJF books and enjoyed them, particularly Sarah Canary and We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, but then there was The Jane Austen Book Club, so.... We'll see.

Lizzie Hayes, a member of the San Francisco elite, is a seemingly docile, middle-aged spinster praised for her volunteer work with the Ladies Relief and Protection Society Home, or "The Brown Ark". All she needs is the spark that will liberate her from the ruling conventions.

Pointing From the Grave by Samantha Weinberg.

Pointing From the Grave cover

A charity shop find, this one, picked up for "future reference". Maybe one day I will write the crime novel I've got all these research materials for.

Pointing from the Grave is not only a riveting true-crime story but also a fascinating history of the development of DNA research and its role in forensics, taking the reader on a virtual history of DNA with hard science presented in a very accessible and exciting way. It is also an unforgettable story about an unforgettable woman.

That's all the ones I can find for now. Books appear from every crevice, so there's undoubtedly more.
[identity profile] littlerdog.livejournal.com
I went to the podiatrist's with my Dad on Tuesday, and the hospital housing said podiatry has a small tea shop that sells secondhand books. Books of course have a magnetic attraction for both me and Dad. Nothing immediately suggested itself for buying, but when I looked under the most obvious shelf, among the jigsaws I found a copy of The Queen Of The Tearling by Erika Johansen, marked at 60p. Although someone had attached a sticky label to write the price on, the first stroke of 6 was actually on the book's cover.

The Tearling books have had some traction on Twitter, so I decided to buy this one and give it a try. What's one more book?

Queen of the Tearling cover image

Handsome cover, is it not?

Kelsea Glynn is the sole heir to the throne of Tearling but has been raised in secret after her mother – a monarch as vain as she was foolish – was murdered for ruining her kingdom. For 18 years, the Tearling has been ruled by Kelsea’s uncle in the role of Regent however he is but the debauched puppet of the Red Queen, the sorceress-tyrant of neighbouring realm of Mortmesme. On Kelsea’s nineteenth birthday, the tattered remnants of her mother’s guard - each pledged to defend the queen to the death - arrive to bring this most un-regal young woman out of hiding...

So onto the pile it goes.

Before it became apparent that my mad money was hostage to the diesel needed to get OH to and from work, I ordered four more books from Ian Sales' Mistressworks list. Most of these books are out of print, and difficult to find on the high street, so it's easiest to get them from a mass secondhand retailer like Awesome Books. Four books cost me just under £11 with free postage.

As I've mostly been buying books from the start of the wishlist, I decided to buy some from the end for a change. So instead of G's and H's I've ended up with S W and V.

Alphabetically, they are:

Star Rider by Doris Piserchia, published by The Women's Press in 1987 (first published 1974).

Star Rider cover image

The Women's Press published a small but distinctive imprint of SF by women and Ian Sales has compiled a non-definitive list here.

Jaks claim humans as their ancestors, but have developed, along with their mounts, the power to jump through dimensions and skip across the spaces between the stars. There are other inhabitants of the galaxy and they have their eyes on one young jak: the dreens want to imprison her in motherhood; the varks grin and stay inscrutable. But Jade of the Galaxy has a razor sharp mind and a faithful mount called Hinx. Where will she skip to? Who will she take with her?

Sounds a bit like what all the cool kids are now calling YA. Let's hope Hinx doesn't turn out to be a jinx.

This book had a small faded sticker on the back from Ryman, now removed.

The Steerswoman by Rosemary Kirstein, published by Pan in their Fantasy imprint.

This book is described on the back as Science Fiction/Fantasy, so I'm wondering if it really belongs in a Science Fiction list. Maybe reading it will provide clarification.

The Steerswoman cover image

The jewel was opalescent, its blue and purple tones shifting with the play of light on its silver-veined surface. The face was perfectly smooth, far smoother than a jeweller could have cut it. In all her travels, Rowan had seen only a few like it--and she was sure they were no natural creations.

The blurb goes on to mention wizards. Sounds a bit Fantasyish to me.

Vast by Linda Nagata, published by Gollancz.

Vast cover image

Aboard Null Boundary, a giant starship thousands of years old, four survivors of an ancient alien war are making a desperate journey.

On the back of this book was a small sticker from Oxfam reading, obscurely, 13.

Now that sounds a lot more like Science Fiction to me.

The Wave and the Flame by Marjorie Bradley Kellogg, also published by Gollancz.

The Wave and the Flame cover image

They came to the planet in search of wealth--and found a mystery as old as time....

No stickers on this one, and, going by the spine, it's never been read.

There's another book on its way, but we'll talk about that another time.
[identity profile] littlerdog.livejournal.com
Books are getting expensive. Very expensive. £9.99 for a paperback novel? Ouch.

I only bought one book today at that price, and I paid for it with my stampy card from Waterstones. Obviously I don't get a full stampy card all that often--you have to buy £100s worth of books to fill one, and that's only if you buy them £10 at a time. Although if you're nice to the bookseller they'll sometimes stamp your card twice if you've spent more than £10 but not quite £20.

£9.99 for a paperback. Sheesh.

Today's books:

The Cold Between by Elizabeth Bonesteel;
Joseph Priestley by A.D. Orange (a Shire Lifelines book);
S.S. Great Britain (a small guidebook published for the SS Great Britain Society);
Adventures in the Anthropocene: A Journey to the Heart of the Planet we Made by Gaia Vince
Gossip from the Forest: The Tangled Roots of our Forests and Fairytales by Sara Maitland.

The Anthropocene was in the clearance box in Waterstones at half price. I was torn between it and an interesting-looking book about autism. Planet won.

Then we went and had pizza. A self-indulgent day. We need one occasionally.
[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
Some books I found lying around my chair and which therefore I must have bought recently and neglected to take upstairs.

Dirty Magic by Jaye Wells.

It's not often one of the charity shops throws up Book 1 in a series. So, yay. If I like it I may actually buy another one new. This has been known to happen.

H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald.

This book got a lot of traction when it first came out, but it was out of my price range. At £14 off, it's a steal.

The Phantom Army of Alamein by Rick Stroud.

I actually bought this for Dad, but he doesn't seem to want it, so it can go upstairs and be added to the massive piles blocking the floor.

The Time Team Dig Book by Tim Taylor.

For the pictures. And, no, not the pictures of Tony Robinson. Really, people!

(I am digging these books out from under piles of magazines. I read a lot of magazines, apparently!)

Dreamsnake by Vonda N. McIntyre.

For the Mistressworks list. For which I also recently picked up a few others:

The Archivist by Gill Alderman and

Missing Man by Katherine MacLean (ebook).

Also a book by a Mistressworks author:

1610: A Sundial in a Grave by Mary Gentle.

Sometimes I do this when I can't get the actual book; in this case the actual book is (probably) 220 miles away.

Dodger by Terry Pratchett.

Part of the "round-up" of Pratchett books we inexplicably don't already have. Conversely, once we conflated our collection with Dad's, we now have two copies of some books--and, in at least one case, three.

A Million Suns and Shades of Earth by Beth Revis.

These books were sitting on the shelves of the little tea shop at the hospital where Dad sees his podiatrist. They're books two and three of a series. No sign of book one. I was reluctant to buy them without the first book but they were half-price and the covers were soooo good. So. Here we are.

And finally, to prove I don't buy all my books secondhand, these are recent prizes from Waterstones:

A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab;

A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan and

The Long Way To a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers.

All of which I am looking forward to so much I almost don't dare read them.

The bookshelves groan, or they would if there were even a smidgeon of space left on them.
[identity profile] monissaw.livejournal.com
Birthday & trip acquisitions.

Capturing Time cover

From my sister :) This is a lovely book, a big hardcover, published by the National Library, with lots of coloured pictures but the feature is a series of panoramas, 2-4 pages wide, reproducing old artworks or photographs.
Read more... )
[identity profile] monissaw.livejournal.com

These two books look useful. They have pictures (paintings & drawings) arranged by year/decade, that show what someone is wearing (as on the cover) and the accompanying descriptions are fairly detailed, and broken up in Head, Body & Accessories. So you can see what real people (as opposed to fashion models) where wearing at a particular time and find out the right names for things. Which is Really Useful.

The smaller book covers the 19th century and the larger ones is 1300 to 1984. Despite the different authors & format, they're related, Some of the entries for book 1 are book 2, but not as many because it doesn't cover each centruy is as much detail.
Read more... )

[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
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
Poor, dear, neglected LJ. And there've been quite a few acquisitions that won't be listed here, because lazy. Here however is what I picked up at the Christmas market and charity shops on Sunday in Nearby Town.

Farmer in the Sky by Robert A. Heinlein;
Assignment in Eternity by Robert A. Heinlein;
(they were cheap)
Call of the White: Taking the World to the South Pole by Felicity Aston;
The Dynostar Menace by Kit Pedler & Gerry Davis (irresistible title!);
The Diary of a Farmer's Wife, 1796-1797 by Anne Hughes;
Hyperion by Dan Simmons;
Memoirs of a Highland Lady by Elizabeth Grant of Rothiemurchus;
Roma Eterna by Robert Silverberg;
Time of the Fourth Horseman by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
To Rule Britannia: The Claudian Invasion of Britain AD 43 by John Waite.

The guy who sold me Roma Eterna got really close to me in order to explain it's got Romans in modern times and it's an alternate history book! I think he meant well. He also told me the best SF book he's read recently is The Martian.

The Yarbro book is...not in very good condition. But readable. Roma Eterna looks unread and the tiny tiny font might be why *peers*. The font size in Hyperion isn't much better. SF is for the youngsters, apparently. The Dynostar Menace looks like it's ex-library.

Frank gave Peg the farmer's wife's diary in 1994, in the hope that it would amuse her. Perhaps it did.

The polar book looks unread. Poor neglected little thing.

As for the Heinleins...apparently I had forgotten just how sexist the man was. Sigh.
[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
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
A trip out to a nearby town that has a Waterstones today. Didn't find what I was looking for, although I thought I'd set the bar low enough--a science fiction book by a woman that I hadn't already read. Nope. Nada. Zilch.

Much promotion for To Kill a Mockingbird and its sequel/prequel/first draft/whatevs.

The Empire of Necessity: The Untold Story of a Slave Rebellion in the Age of Liberty by Greg Grandin (reduced to £8 from £25);
To Catch a Rabbit by Helen Cadbury (who signed the book for me);
Arctic Dreams by Barry Lopez;
Confronting the Classics by Mary Beard
a present for my dad which shall remain nameless (his birthday's in September).

Then to the charity shop that has a large book section.

The Four-Gated City by Doris Lessing;
False Colours by Georgette Heyer
The Woman Upstairs by Claire Messud.

Not a bad haul. Expensive day out though!
[identity profile] littlerdog.livejournal.com
Other half is going to the IAT at Fairford so he had today off. Which meant the local town for the flea market, independent bookshop and charity shops!

In the flea market, I persuaded him to buy (for a whole £1) a book on psychology first published in 1922. Something of a curiosity. Our copy of Psychology by Robert S. Woodworth (professor of psychology at Columbuia University) is the expanded and revised twelfth edition from 1940, and was purchased by Margaret J. Grimshaw in 1943. At some point in its life it may have cost eight shillings and sixpence.

Chapters include "The Individual in His Environment" and "Imagination."

Today's haul of books for ME:

Blood Pact by Tanya Huff;
Allegiant by Veronica Roth (at last!);
Prince of Dogs by Kate Elliott
Domesday Book: A Complete Translation, edited by Dr Ann Williams & Professor G.H. Martin (bargain of the day at £3.50!).

Apparently the Huff is book #4 and the Elliott is book #2. There's never any book #1s out there.
[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
Protest: Sixty-five Years of Rebellion in Photographs, edited by Gemma Maclagan.

[identity profile] monissaw.livejournal.com

Actually I went to the Book Fair twice. At 10 am (it opened at 9 am) to see if there was anything interesting or appealing, then after noon (to closed at 1 pm) to get some half-price fiction and vampire books.


The first visit was a bit disappointing but I did find these two non-fiction books which look useful: The Victorian Tailor: techniques and patterns (and now I have 3 books on clothes, one more and they'll be entitled to their own part of a shelf) & the Oxford Dictionary of Word Histories (because you can't have too many books about word histories); and a novel. Then I saw the DVD table and grabbed a big handful of DVDs to put on the "well known movies" shelf. (My DVD collection is both specific and vague, but I know what belongs in it when I see it.)


When I came back I was mostly looking at fiction, that is small paperback crime books mostly written by women without any elements that I'll obviously dislike, it seems


But I also found these two books. I saw Children Remembered: responses to untimely death in the past the first time through, it was sitting on top of the Victorian tailor book but it looked a bit sad. But it is an interesting topic and for $1.50...

The White Chrysanthemum: changing images of Australian motherhood was on the Collectables tables, amongst the overpriced books about Tasmania & the old obscure books that no one wants. I didn't really expect to find anything there ten minutes before closing, but I picked up a pile of skinny magazine-format books and there it was. It's a collection of stories, journal extracts, pictures, poems and other sources about, well, what the title says. Looks rather interesting.
[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)
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
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] monissaw.livejournal.com
Look what I got!


Howitt's journal is one of the main sources used by people writing about the Victorian gold rush, so it seemed like a required reference book to have.

Sea Wolves and Bandits is similar in a way. It's one of those book from the 1940s full of collected anecdotes & oral history that often turns out to be source of much that has been written later. Also, potentially a good sources for ideas that might be written later. It has been on my want list for a long time.

The preface says:

In "Sea Wolves and Bandits," Mr. Leslie Norman has recorded for posterity further glimpses of early Tasmanian history which should prove of great interest to a wide reading public. He tells of sealing, whaling, smuggling, piracy, "wild men" of Van Diemen's Land, bushrangers and bandits, wrecks and wreckers. But for his research, many of these picturesque characters would have passed into obscurity down the gloomy corridors of time.

A little over a hundred years ago, the bitumen roads of Tasmania were country lanes flanked with hedgerows and punctuated with inns for the convenience of stage-coach travellers. Lurking in the eucalypt forests were men of the calibre of Michael Howe and Brady, who both struck terror into the hearts of wayfarers, and attacked and robbed homesteads. Of Brady, Mr Norman says:

"No more spectacular band of brigands existed than that of Brady and his companions. Mounted on blood horses and armed to the teeth, they rode the country highways of Old Van Diemen's Land...."

A fascinating chapter has been written around smuggling and piracy on the Tamar, Forth and Leven rivers These bold characters are described as "bold old beachcombers, sometimes in gaol and sometimes out, they lived their lives and evidently enjoyed themselves."

I also gained a copy of Tasmanian Gallows that sister had bought for me at the market when I couldn't decided which of two books to get (odd little collection of anecdotes type book that also looks at some issues involved in capital punishment). And from mother a set of Rogues and Absconders, which are slim books I see around a lot but never got around to buying, and little book about history of William St the year before Boags Brewery took over it (and my grandmother gets referenced as a source).

(Also, 5 Santa Russian dolls, 4 cat mugs, 2 rolls of Magic Tape & a king-size leopard print mink blanket to use a couch throw.)
[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
The Far North: Explorations in the Arctic Regions by Elisha Kent Kane, MD.

Phew. That took a lot of typing!


The Little Dog Laughed

January 2019

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