New Arrivals, June 13 – 19, 2011

Uh, what happened here? I had just two things last week and I was feeling pretty proud of that. You recall, no more space for books, only the barest essential additions to the library, exercise restraint. Yeah, well…  read on.

The biggest thing that happened is that I read the Marvin Kaye-edited Nero Wolfe Files. That was while I was shelving books, just something I started glancing at. Such steps sometimes begin long journeys. I got re-interested in the Wolfe corpus (or canon, if you will), perhaps you could say it went to the front burner. I checked to see what I had, and needed. There are 48 books containing 73 stories and novels. Of the 48 I had about 34 so you can guess what happened The result is below. Well, I warned you last week, when there was one Nero Wolfe paperback, that there would more. But hey, there’s a jazz CD to add some variety.

But really, I have the best of intentions. No, really. So take a look, if you like you can click to enlarge the images and I’ll tell you about the books below.

And Four To Go by Rex Stout [Bantam Books 1974 mass market paperback, used] – mystery – Nero Wolfe, four stories / novelettes: The Christmas Party, Easter Parade, Fourth of July Picnic, and Murder is No Joke. I happen to know some people who are very knowledgeable about Wolfe and one was willing to send me some second copies of paperbacks he had. This is one of them, several of the other books listed below are others. Thanks Eotu.

Before Midnight by Rex Stout [Bantam Books 1965 mass market paperback, used] – mystery – Nero Wolfe – another one.

The Black Mountain by Rex Stout [Bantam Books 1955 mass market paperback, used] – mystery – more Wolfe, see paragraph near top of page.

Full Share by Nathan Lowell [Ridan Publishing May 2011 trade paper, new] – science fiction – the third book in the spacefaring adventures of Ishmael Wang aboard the Lois McKendrick. I read and loved Lowell’s Quarter Share and have the second book, Half Share waiting to be read. This one is very welcome, I like these low-key novels filled with  likeable characters – not all of them, of course – and logical world building.

Hex by Allen Steele [Ace 2011 hardcover, new] – science fiction – another book I bought on the strength of very positive reviews, plus I like the cover. I’m not buying many hardcover books these days, but this one just called out to me.

Homicide Trinity by Rex Stout [Bantam Books 1966 mass market paperback, used] – mystery – Nero Wolfe, three stories / novelettes: Eeny Meeny Murder Mo, Death of a Demon, Counterfeit for Murder. Yet more Wolfe.

Kenton’s West Side Story by Stan Kenton Orchestra [Capitol Records 1961 recording remastered for CD, new] – jazz arrangement of film score, recorded at Goldwyn Sound Stage 5, Hollywood, California on March 15 & 16 and April 11, 1961 – When the producers of the film West Side Story heard a sampling of what the Stan Kenton Orchestra had done to their score, they were disappointed that they had not thought to ask the band to play on the soundtrack. This is Johnny Richards’s arrangements of ten of the film’s sound tracks. Soloists include altoist Gabe Baltazar, veteran tenor Sam Donahue and trumpeter Conte Candoli, but it is the raging ensembles that are most memorable about the classic recording. This CD reissue is one I’ve heard about for years, and found on the True Blue Music website. Refreshing.

Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey [Orbit June 2011 trade paperback, new] – science fiction – another book purchased on the basis of very strong reviews, and this one is popping up everywhere, it seems. First of a series, The Expanse, but can be read as a standalone (I hope). By the way, this “paperback” is exactly the same dimensions as the hardcover Hex listed above, except this book is considerably thicker at 561 pages plus “extras” (author interview, preview of next book). For me, that means it has to go on the add one, pull one SF-F shelves. Sigh.

The Mountain Cat Murders by Rex Stout [Dell 1958 mass market paperback, used] – mystery, Non-Wolfe – I like the Wolfe books best but got this anyway. It was there, if you know what I mean.

Plot it Yourself by Rex Stout [Bantam Crime Line 1994 mass market paperback, new] – mystery, Nero Wolfe – yes you read that right, this one is new. Some of the Wolfe books are still available new at cover price, and there is a new set now being published by Bantam with two books per paperback. There are five or six of those so far. Another book bought to fill holes in my Wolfe set.

The Sound of Murder by Rex Stout [Pyramid Books 1965 mass market paperback, used] – mystery, Alphabet Hicks – a non-Wolfe book by Rex Stout because it was there, if you know what I mean, and you do.

Three Witnesses by Rex Stout [Bantam Crime Line 1994 mass market paperback, new] – mystery, Nero Wolfe – yes, another one I got new, as I said some are available.

Trio for Blunt Instruments by Rex Stout [Bantam 2002 mass market paperback, new] – mystery, Nero Wolfe – three novellas: Kill Now–Pay Later, Murder is Corny, Blood Will Tell.

Seven Complete Novels by Rex Stout [Avenel 1983 hardcover, used] – mystery, Nero Wolfe – Okay, you’re thinking by now, enough is enough! Well, yes, with the inclusion of these seven novels I’m about 90% there. The novels here are The Silent Speaker, Might As Well Be Dead, If Death Ever Slept, 3 at Wolfe’s Door, Gambit, Please pass the Guilt and A Family Affair. What’s amazing is that I didn’t have a single one of these, so there’s no duplication by buying this one. Except for the price clipping, it’s in excellent shape. At one time these Avenel editions were sneered at and easily found on the remainder shelves at Crown, BookStar and Barnes & Noble. I have a few, and now I wish I’ve gotten more. Plus, they have gotten really expensive on the used market, though I’m not sure why.

That’s it, ladies and gentlemen, and enough by far for the guy who said he’s not buying any books. But then a lot of this is filling out holes in the Wolfe run, and there is still some room on the small paperback shelves. Still, it might be time to pull back again. I’m trying, I really am.

About Rick Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
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27 Responses to New Arrivals, June 13 – 19, 2011

  1. Bill Crider says:

    I love it when the restraints fail.

  2. Carl V. says:

    Wow, this is a nice looking and enticing group of books. Jeff and I were just talking about Hex after Scalzi featured it the other day. May be checking that out. I ordered Leviathan Wakes from the library a couple of days ago and hope to have it later this week. I decided not to shell out the money for the purchase until after I give it a try (besides I spent waaay to much on books and other fun stuff this month already). If I like it though I’ll pick it up so that I can go ahead and collect the series.

  3. Richard says:

    Bill, that’s kind of an evil thing to say. I mean, heck, I’m really trying to cut back.

    Carl, do you hear the hook in what you said … “I’ll pick it up so that I can go ahead and collect the series“. Hey, if you’re already thinking that way, you might as well go ahead and buy it, but yeah, I get using the library if you can. Have you ever read any Nero Wolfe? Probably not, since you’re mostly a SFD-F reader, but you might try one sometime. I’m eager to get to Hex.

  4. Carl V. says:

    What it really is, is honest-to-God wishful thinking. I’ve read so many reviews about how this is a ‘return to good ol’ fashioned space opera’, or reinvigorating space opera or what not and since it is my favorite kind of science fiction I am really and truly hoping that this will grab my imagination and have me waiting with great anticipation for the next one in the series. I noticed the book has the beginning of the second book in it, so I hope Abraham and the other guy (can’t recall his name off the top of my head) have a lot of it written already (again, being optimistic that I’ll like this one).

  5. chrislatray says:

    I don’t feel so bad about my own fall ass-over-teakettle fall off the book acquiring wagon myself lately now.

  6. Patti Abbott says:

    You can never regret buying Rex Stout.

  7. Evan Lewis says:

    Haven’t seen that edition of The Black Mountain. A paperback first?

  8. Nice little Stout haul there. I’ve had my eye on Leviathan Wakes for a bit now. Hex I’m not familiar with, but looks like it might be good.

    As for the the restraint, I’ve heard that before. Mostly from myself. Have yet to see it work though. The eternal plight of the reader.

  9. Richard says:

    Evan, the information reads thusly:

    Viking edition published October 1954
    Dollar Mystery Guild edition published January 1955
    Bantam edition published November 1955

    That could make it a pb first edition, I think.

  10. Richard says:

    Carl, when I finished reading Where There’s A Will (Nero Wolfe) and it was time to decide on the next book, I darn near picked hp either Hex or Leviathan Wakes. But I’d been wanting to read some Sherlock Holmes so I picked up a pastiche. Maybe the next book. I usually – or used to – buy all of a series and then read the whole thing, but I’m not going to do that any more, I’ve ended up with a bunch of books I didn’t like much. Like you, I have a lot of hope for this one.

    Randy – caught it and made the change. Yeah, the whole restraint thing is sort of “best of intentions“, isn’t it? Still, this time it’s mostly Rex Stout, and most of that Nero Wolfe, and as Patti points out, “you can never regret buying Nero Wolfe“.

    Patti, right you are! I haven’t read all I have, but I will. Just finished a Wolfe book and enjoyed it.

  11. Glad you were able to find a copy of THREE WITNESSES since my copy has either vanished or ended up in Livermore,CA with renown Nero Wolfe aficionado, Art Scott. Nice haul of books this week! That’s more like it!

  12. Richard says:

    Chris, I think we need to be seeing the goods on your website. How about doing a New Arrivals post, today or next Monday?

  13. Richard says:

    George, it arrived Saturday afternoon (I do like Amazon Prime) just in time for inclusion here. Somehow I hadn’t realized it was available new or I wouldn’t have been begging it. Consider this week an anomaly. I am cutting back. Really.

  14. Richard says:

    Oh, did I mention Dave Lewis and I are going to the Rose City Book Fair this Friday? Uh-oh. Of course I’m just going there to browse………….

  15. Jeff Meyerson says:

    Uh oh, he’s at it again.


    I only got one new book in this week. I couldn’t find THE CIPHER GARDEN by Martin Edwards in the library – the second book in his Lake District series – so had to buy a used copy.

    Of course, I do have FULL SHARE on the way…

  16. Richard says:

    Jeff – excellent. I have the first Martin Edwards book, unread, here. I have to read Half Share before Full Share.

  17. Jeff Meyerson says:

    Obviously I liked the first Edwards book or I wouldn’t have got the second. We’ve been to the Lakes many times over the years (looking for books, mostly) and it was very familiar.

    I couldn’t have waited that long to read the Lowell. I took the second to Florida but will read this one soon after it arrives.

  18. Jerry House says:

    I’ve read all the Nero Wolfes and liked them all. Avoid the Robert Goldsborough pastiches written to continue the series after Rex Stout died. I haven’t read that many of Stout’s other books, but I did find ALPHABET HICKS too twee for my tastes.

  19. Richard says:

    Jerry, I got,years ago, the first of the Goldsborough books and it sits unread. With many of the genuine article to go, it will sit considerably longer, I’m sure, but I won’t toss it until I’ve read at least some of it, for curiosity’s sake if nothing else.

    Jeff, there are just so many things sitting here unread, the Lowell will just have to wait it’s turn.

  20. J F Norris says:

    Looks like you got THREE WITNESSES. It’s really hard to find. I was going to send you an email later today with the news. I had no copy and went in search for you out here. There was a 50% off sale in a used book store in the North Loop over the weekend and they had about 30 Rex Stout books. Some were mutliple copies (different printings, though) of the same title. Like five copies of THE BROKEN VASE. Apparently not popular. No copy of THREE WITNESSES, though. I picked up all the Tecumseh Fox books and a few early Wolfe titles. I have to start supplying myself with reading copies of Stout’s books since I only own Mapbacks or 1st printing Bantam editions and I refuse to read those for fear of damaging them. Already had a very bad experience with one of my collectible books and it will never happen again. BTW – your copy of THE BLACK MOUNTAIN is indeed the 1st paperback edition of that particular title.

  21. J F Norris says:

    And that’s a cool jazz CD. I have Bill Charlap Jazz Trio doing their renditions of Bernstein’s theater music (songs from West Side Story, On the Town, Trouble in Tahiti and Candide). I used to haunt the Jazz Record Mart here as often as I did the used book stores. But that passion waned when much to my surprise I became more of an MP3 buyer than a CD buyer. The new laptop has changed a lot of my habits.

  22. Richard says:

    John, as noted quite a few of the Wolfe books are still available in the Bantam editions, new. As for jazz, I have a good deal, and more on the way, and find the fidelity of CDs far superior to MP3.

  23. I sent a batch of those Robert Goldsborough pastiches to Art Scott, but I think he rejected them and they wound up donated to a Library Sale. I think they were all Large Print editions.

  24. Richard says:

    As I recall, at one point during DAPA, he expressed disdain for them.

  25. I have Three witnesses, unread as yet though. I don’t remember it being hard to find though.

  26. Art Scott says:

    George, I didn’t sneak off with your Three Witnesses. I have, and have had, only one copy, which by now is falling apart, its covers stuffed inside as bookmarks. Since I pick up Stout paperbacks whenever I see them (cheap) to either upgrade my read-to-death copies or salt away for needy Stout fans, it looks like it is scare, for reasons unknown. “The Next Witness”, first story in the collection, is one of my favorite Wolfe novellas.

  27. Richard says:

    Hard to understand how it can be scarce when it’s in print, but maybe Bantam brought it back while no one was looking. My new copy is dated 1994, but that may not mean anything. If my listing is correct it’s the 28th book in the series and there are several before it I haven’t read, so I won’t get to it for a while.

    Happy first day of Summer to all.

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