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The month of June went by far too quickly. Readercon is in less than two weeks and I am trying to finish up a non-fiction book precis and the chapter outline. The current working title is Excursions into Terra Ficta: Reading and Imagining Fantastika. Nothing fancy, does what it says on the tin. I’m sort of cramming on what will be the first three chapters so that I feel sufficiently prepared for the reading discussion on Saturday at Readercon.

I dug up my copy of Tutuola’s The Palm-Wine Drinkard to re-read as soon as I finish Jeffrey Ford’s Crackpot Palace, which I’m going to try to get the review up for before I leave for Readercon. I penned a review of Noctuary but now I am substantially revising it but that should be up at SF Signal next week. And of course the column, which will SHOCKINGLY be about theories of reading this week. My Clarion West Write-a-Thon novella is going slowly but it is coming along better than last year’s effort and I am well-pleased with it so far, nascent as it is. I’ll be working on that right up until the day I leave for Readercon, and we’ll see if I can add any words to it over that weekend.

Readercon is having an effect on everything right now: writing, day job (a scramble to find folks to fill in, with the added difficulty that I will need the week after off to take care of my daughter), and book-collecting. This month’s selection is much smaller than last month’s deluge, partly because I will likely be bringing back a stack of books from the con. Also, I have been gathering books to bring to give out at the con; I think I’ll bring a bag to the Bookaholic panel to get people’s book sensibilities charged up. I am not including those here; if you want to see them, come to the panel!

So, my books for June:

This first assortment is actually from May, but somehow the photo never went up and the books were not counted. These are mostly graphic novels, with one role-playing game for the dwindling gaming shelf. The Order of the Stick title was a book sale find, and as it turns out is printed upside-down. Oops.

Mostly fiction and literary stuff here. The Lynd Ward book is wordless and relies on its illustrations to tell its story. I stumbled upon the Ginzburg book by chance, and I am curious to read more about his perspective on literature.

Myth and fiction with a dash of anarchism. The Schulz might be a first English. Very happy to find a few more Hand volumes to inch me closer to completion. The Norse mythology book I swapped for one that had been sitting on my shelf forever and was not detailed enough for my taste. That will not be a problem with this one.

Most of these were rescued books. The PKD graphic novel was a swap, and the Histories of the Future came from Amazon. The Wodicka sounds fascinating: it is a “literary” novel that uses a SCAdian-style historical re-enactor as the protagonist. I wonder what use that background provides?

The Delaney finally arrived, and I began it but put it down for the moment. This is a mixture of titles on subjects I would like to know more about. I got the Spinoza volume partly to read after the Delany. I couldn’t resist the title of the Russell.

The book on goblins is to look at with the kidlet. The Eagleton is his latest book and I have already read a few sections. It looks very promising. The anthropology text is something I have wanted to read for sometime because it argues that the concept of culture is wrung out. I agree with this idea to a large extent, and I may try to read a bit of it before Readercon since I am leading a panel on anthropology.

This last bunch of stragglers includes an early reprint of of a John Carter novel and a Shel Silverstein book for the child. She had yet to experience his art and I am looking forward to introducing her to it. The Eco sounds interesting but I got it mostly to see if it had any germane material for the book. And what writer can’t get something useful out of a book on hoaxes and charlatans?

And finally:

This looks like a first edition. It is not in great shape, although the front cover looks pretty good. The spine is a bit loose and the front end pages are separated. I got this for free from a patron after I promised to take good care of it when my boss rejected purchasing it. She was moving and felt it might suffer more damage bouncing across the country.

My hope was to learn about doing some actual restoration work on it, but my boss did a quick repair job for free. He has little use for books like this unless they are mightily valuable and did not feel it worth the effort to fully repair it. It is now tighter in its binding and the rear end pages are re-attached. I love the illustrations on them:

Despite his dismissal of it this is a fabulous book. Maybe I will eventually learn how to improve its condition myself, although I wonder if restoration will become a dying art as books become even more disposable. Regardless, it joins a growing number of discarded books with history and presence that I am quite happy to keep safe.

 

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