So, once again I've been going through the shelves and
pulling off some books to get rid of. For the most part, these fall into one of
two categories. Either they're books I read long ago and don't see myself
re-reading, or they're books I bought on impulse years ago and am finally
admitting I probably won't ever get around to. As I get older, and being
mindful that my eyesight isn't good and won't get better, I find myself
starting to think that there's a finite number of books I'll get to read from
here on out, and maybe I shd start being a little more selective . . .
Anyway, here's a listing of the latest batch, with some
thoughts on each book:
PETER PAN (the novel) by J. M. Barrie. I was never
particularly a fan, but thought I shd have a copy handy for reference in case I
ever needed to. Doesn't look like that'll be the case, and it's readily
available if that shd ever change.
THE FAIRY OF KU-SHE by M. Lucie Chin. I picked this up when
I was seeking out everything that reminded me of THE BRIDGE OF BIRDS. I see I
bought this one at the late lamented Turning Page in Milwaukee more than twenty
years ago and haven't cracked the cover yet, so think this is an impulse buy
whose time has passed.
THE FALLIBLE FIEND by de Camp. Extremely minor de Camp. I'd rather keep the good stuff and
let this one go.
THE DREAM YEARS by Lisa Goldstein. An interesting enough
read, but find I don't particularly want to re-read it, so it can go.
THE RED MAGICIAN by Lisa Goldstein. I think this was the one
that made me decide Goldstein was pursuing a direction in fantasy that didn't
particularly appeal to me, despite being well-written.
STRANGE DEVICES OF THE SUN AND MOON by Lisa Goldstein.
Bought this when I thought I was going on a Lisa Goldstein kick, but turned out
I was wrong about that.
HAWK & FISHER: WINNER TAKES ALL by Simon R. Green. Think
I picked this one up off a freebie table at work, so it's not even an impulse
buy. The impulse to actually read it never having arrived, it can go.
TRAVELING WITH THE DEAD by Barbara Hambly. The sequel to
THOSE WHO HUNT THE NIGHT, which I found an interesting take on vampirism (she
posits it's a virus). Picked up this sequel a few years later but never read
it, and recently realized it's because for me that first book was sufficient: I
don't want to know more about those characters; I want to leave them where they
were at the close of the previous novel. So, this one can go.
STARSHIP TROOPER by Heinlein. Read this one for book group
soon after we moved out here. Didn't particularly like it. Didn't like the film
supposedly based on it. Don't foresee any need to ever re-read it -- and if one
arises, replacement copies will be readily available.*
AT AMBERLEAF FAIR by Phyllis Ann Karr. Picking up this one
apparently seemed like a good idea at the time, but never having read it have
to admit I'm never likely to in future, so it can go.
FROSTFLOWER AND THORN by Phyllis Ann Karr. Unpleasantly kinky.
THE IDYLLS OF THE QUEEN by Phyllis Ann Karr. A murder
mystery set in Camelot, with Sir Kay as her detective.**
JINX HIGH by Mercedes Lackey. The only Lackey I've read, one
of the 'Diana Tregarde' series. If it'd been better, I might have read more, or
indeed want to keep this one.
AT THE BACK OF THE NORTH WIND by Geo. MacDonald. The only
one of MacD's fantasies I'd never gotten to, now that I've read it I definitely
don't want to keep it. When Phillip Pullman accuses C. S. Lewis (a huge fan of
MacD's) of celebrating 'a culture of death', this is the kind of thing he's
THE GIRL, THE GOLD WATCH, AND EVERYTHING by John D.
MacDonald. Once you have the idea behind the story, you don't really need the
story itself (which hardly does justice to it). Bought this one at X-Con many
years ago (in fact, at the last X-Con I ever went to, right before Taum died). Amusingly, has a Pam
Dauber movie tie-in cover.
DREAM SNAKE by Vonda McIntyre. A really good short story
turned into a disappointing novel. I'm keeping the short story and letting the
NEVER THE TWAIN by Kirk Mitchell. Sounded like a clever
premise -- a descendent of Bret Harte goes back in time to try to convince Sam
Clemens not to take up writing so that his own ancestor will be more famous.
But I've never been moved to read it in the more than quarter century since I
spotted it on the shelf and picked it up, so think its window has closed for
PARSIVAL by Richard Monaco. This one was recommended to me
by a friend (Jim P., I think), but for whatever reason I've never gotten around
to it, so now it's falling prey to my 'make some room' mood. Besides, having read Wolfram and Chretien, I don't really need to read a modern novelization of the story.
THE JADE ENCHANTRESS by E. Hoffmann Price. Having read this
more than a decade ago and not remembering a single thing about it, and given
how much I disliked the other Price I recently re-read, can't face the thought
of re-reading this one too. Off it goes to hopefully a more appreciative home.****
RED MARS by Kim Stanley Robinson. Another I read for book
group. I rather liked this one --KSR has some interesting ideas, and is good in
presenting them -- but never moved
on to the second and third in the series, and don't feel any particular desire
to re-read this one, so it can go.
THE FALL OF HYPERION by Dan Simmons. Interesting book, also
read for book group. I admire
Simmons's ambition for drawing upon some of Keats' lesser known work for his
inspiration, but I was fine with just reading the first book and not pressing
on to the second and third of the series. And now fourteen years later realize
I have no particular desire to re-read the one either. So it can go.
A WIND IN CAIRO by Judith Tarr. I enjoyed some of Tarr's
work, but not this one (about a rapist redeeming himself after being
transformed into a stallion). If I were to get in a Tarr-reading mood, I'd
rather re-read ALAMUT, her best work (of the half-dozen or so I've read).
AGENT OF BYZANTIUM by Harry Turtledove. Enjoyable enough, but
THE CASE OF THE TOXIC SPELL DUMP by Harry Turtledove.
Faux-hardboiled detective story, read for book group. From what little I
remember of it, kind of like Turtledove's equivalent to CAST A DEADLY SPELL or
Hambley's BRIDE OF THE RAT-GOD.
THE OLD GODS WAKEN by Manley Wade Wellman. A 'Silver John'
novel. The short story collection was great, but the novel's terrible: a dull,
DARKER THAN YOU THINK by Jack Williamson. Recently read, after
having it on the shelf for years. Awful. Originally published in UNKNOWN; I can
only assume the magazine version was shorter and therefore better.
*my notes say I bought this on my first ever visit to
Borders in Tukwila, the same month I moved out to this area from Wisconsin
**she does a good job with Kay, Gawain, and Mordred, but a
terrible job with Arthur, Lancelot, Gareth, and especially Merlin; her Guinever
is essentially invisible
***a library discard from the Milwaukee public library, just
to give some idea how long I carried this one with me through move after move
before finally getting to it and finding out how bad it was.
****bought this one on a rare trip to in interesting old
bookstore in Auburn with Dale D. (Hi Dale!)