July 2, 2009

Chasing Tale: June '09

Either I need to learn to speed read or I need to cool it with the book exchanges with my local used-book stores. My bookshelf is getting crowded again. Who am I kidding? I'm an unrepentant bibliophile. Aside from the modest haul I bought at this month's library fire sale, I also managed to snag some books through my regular jaunts to local used-book stores, and even a few contests.

The Richard Laymon Collection: Volume 18 (The Glory Bus & Friday Night in Beast House) by Richard Laymon – This was my first acquisition of the month, thanks to being the lucky winner of one of Ty Schwamberger's giveaway contests. I read it almost as soon as I received it. I was not disappointed. And now I've got my eye out for a few more Laymon titles thanks to this book and Ty's praise for Laymon's work.

Afraid by Jack Kilborn – The thanks for this title go to Joy from Thoughts of Joy and Brianne of Hachette Books Group. I've been interested in checking this title out ever since Konrath started hyping it up on his blog, and it's been getting positive reviews everywhere I look. I've since read it it, liked it, reviewed it, and looking forward to reading another Konrath/Kilborn novel down the line.

Children of the Night by Dan Simmons – Simmons' The Song of Kali is regarded by many as one of the best horror novels ever written. I have yet to read it, and I haven't noticed Simmons' titles on bookshelves in my travels. So, when I saw this one I grabbed it. Still looking for Kali, though.

The Skin Trade
by Stephen King, Dan Simmons, & George R.R. Martin
– This is a collection of novellas and novelettes, which were originally published in hardcover as Night Visions 5. Three stories from King, three from Simmons, and a novella from Martin. I think this will make for some very good nighttime reading.

Baromter Rising by Hugh McLellan – Many don't know Nova Scotia, Canada fell victim to one of the most horrific man-made disasters of the twentieth century, the Halifax Explosion. During the Great War, a munitions ship collided with another vessel and soon exploded in the Halifax Harbor, wiping out city blocks, killing and injuring hundreds upon hundreds. I've been looking to do a little research on this event for my own purposes, and came across this novel. I hope it's both informative and entertaining.

Ah, Treachery!
by Ross Thomas
– Outside the front porch of one of my regular haunts, there was a table set up with several hardcovers for a dollar each. The cover for this one caught my eye. Another of Thomas' novels is sitting on my to-be-read pile after it was recommended to me by a fellow Elmore Leonard fan. For a buck, I think I can throw the dice on this title.

Covenant by John Everson – It won a Bram Stoker Award, and that's not too shabby. I actually added the title to my wish list only a week or so before spying it on a bookshelf. There's a very nice feeling that comes from that kind of score. I believe this is a debut novel for Everson, I think, so I'm particularly interested in reading it.

A Winter Haunting by Dan Simmons – At a separate shop from where I found Children of the Night, I saw three Simmons novels. Nice. This was the most recent (2002) and most intriguing of the three, judging from the teasers on the back covers. A shamed novelist returns to his childhood home only to be haunted by demons and skeletons in his closet. Sounds like good reading.

The Walking by Bentley Little – I'm on the hunt for Little's The Revelation, but until then I'm content to add this novel to the heap. It sounds a little zombie-ish in nature, but not in a generic, run-of-the-mill way. I believe it's Little who describes himself as an unapologetic horror writer—not thrillers and not dark fantasy—if I recall correctly, so I want to see what this guy has to offer.

Nobody True
by James Herbert
– Here's a name I've heard thrown around for years, yet I've never had an inkling to check out his work. A renowned author—a couple actually, and in recent weeks too—have lauded this guy as a big deal. So, I saw this title and looked at the back. The first line of the novel cinched it for me ... "I wasn't there when I died." Sold.

by Ian Rankin
– This one cost me a whole quarter. It's in fine shape, except several pages in the second half are detached from the paperback binding. They're all there though, so off it goes to the pile. I'm still sour on spy thrillers after being disappointed by that "Jason Bourne" novel, but the premise for this one looked promising.

A Patchwork Planet by Anne Tyler – I wish I could remember who recommended this title to me. In any case, it's been on my wish list for a while, and when I stumbled across it on a shelf—nowhere near the "T" section—I scooped it up. I haven't the foggiest clue what it's about, but it must be up my alley or of keen interest to someone I like if it's on my wish list. I hope it's good.

A Christmas Carol
by Charles Dickens
– A Dickens tale that isn't a heavy read. Yes, please. I'll not say anything to discredit the legend, but my lord, he did enjoy writing lengthy novels. I'm saving this tiny gem until Christmas time ... maybe read it Christmas morning while drinking my hot chocolate. Mmm ... hot chocolate.

Plus, there were a few books I managed to find and read through my local library: Dirty Martini by J.A. Konrath; No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy; Ghost Walk by Brian Keene; When You Are Engulfed In Flames by David Sedaris.

All in all, that's a heckuva pile of books to add to my seemingly insurmountable stack that I have to read. There's buyer's remorse on a few, which have been collecting dust for some time, so I may end up exchanging them down the road for some more credit. I have a suspicion there won't be a day any time soon when I open up Dean Koontz's Mr. Murder or Lois Lowry's The Giver. Who knows.


  1. thanks for the list. I think I'll check out The Walking. By the way, I have Revelation. Not a bad little novel.

  2. I used to get a great haul from my local library sale. But the past couple years haven't been too hot. Still, I have more books than I can read in a year as it is.

    Great list, thanks.

  3. Glad to oblige, you two.

    Library sales can be hit and miss. And in my case, crowded.