New Arrivals, Current Reading April 15 – 21, 2013

I’ve heard a lot about people receiving damaged books from Amazon. It had only happened to me once before,  several years ago, until this last week. The box was really beat up, one corner almost torn open. The box came FedEx Two Day. It contained seven books, two hardcovers and a trade paperback were damaged enough for me to want them replaced. I called the next morning and as usual they were nice about it, no hassles, the replacements were shipped to me UPS 1 day. I was given prepaid barcoded labels to send the damaged books back later. I told them, and note here, that both times I’ve had damaged books from Amazon it has been in a box delivered by FedEx. UPS parcels or Post Office packages are fine.

After just two things came last week, I got a bunch this time, most from good old Altus Press.

Complete Casebook of Cardigan, Volumes 2, 3 and 4 by Fredrick Nebel [Altus Press, 2012 trade paper, new] – pulp mystery fiction – 2nd through 4th volumes of the collected short stories by Nebel about private detective Cardigan. These stories are top notch. I’ve been reading the 1st volume and as I got near the end I figured I needed to order these. Volume 4 takes the stories through 1937.

Rust: Visitor in the Field by Royden Lepp [Archania August 2011 hardcover, new] – graphic novel – I read a review of this, perhaps on the Bookgasm blog, and it sounded fascinating. Told with very little text, the delivery of the story is carried by the seemingly simple artwork which communicates volumes.

Rust: Secrets of the Cell by Royden Lepp [Archania December 2012 hardcover, new] – graphic novel  – continuation of the story. See above.

The Black Bat Omnibus Volume 2 by Norman A. Daniels [Altus Press April 2013 trade paper, new] – pulp mystery fiction – second set of three short novels. See my review of the first book on the series HERE).

Complete Pulp Adventures of The Green Lama, Volume 1 by Kendell Foster Crossen [Altus Press 2011 trade paper, new] – pulp mystery fiction – An American scholar who becomes a Buddhist monk uses temporal and spiritual powers to fight crime in the U.S.  These novel-stories appeared in 1940 in Double Detective magazine. Certainly should be something different…

The Sun Never Sets by L.W. “Bill” Lane Jr. [Stanford General Books (Stanford University Press) April 2013 hardcover, new] – autobiography – Bill Lane founded Lane Publishing, the publisher of Sunset magazine from it’s early days until the mid-1990s. My parents subscribed throughout their lives, and I do now. I have high hopes for this. 

I finished Crooked Adam by D.E. Stevenson, a wartime spy novel written in 1942 and enjoyed it. Sure, it’s dated now, but what from 1942 isn’t? With that read, I turned to the short story collections I’ve been reading all year, making good progress on Complete Casebook of Cardigan Volume 1 and the Black Mask collection. Nose to the grindstone…

What did you get, new, used or from the library, and what have you been reading?

About Rick Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
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15 Responses to New Arrivals, Current Reading April 15 – 21, 2013

  1. Rick Ollerman says:

    Probably 20 percent of my Amazon books come damaged–not the packaging, and the carrier is not a factor. The books are dropped in the box, often with no padding or else those air pack things that are either not inflated or too few of them are used. The packing is bad again now, but for a week or two it got better, but the books themselves were damaged before they were packed. I can’t believe how many books I send back, and I can’t believe I’m the only one, and I have no idea how this is something Amazon wouldn’t want to fix. But they don’t. There are separate packers for Prime customers, too, and in my experience they tend to be much worse than the non-Prime ones. Frustrating as hell.

  2. Richard says:

    Rick, I guess I’ve been lucky, then. As long as it’s rare – for me every year or two – and they are so goos about making it right, I’ll not have too much of a problem with them, especially since for a lot of books they are just about the only game in town. I haven’t tried B&N mail order, but maybe I should. I order direct from small independent publishers like Black Dog when I can, even if the price is a little more, to support them. In this particular instance, I do think it was FedEx, as the box was beat to hell.

  3. Patti Abbott says:

    My biggest complaint is when they arrive smelling of either cigarettes or being in a basement. These are used books, of course, ordered through Amazon but not from Amazon. My Charlotte Armstrong Reader smells so bad, I can’t really read it.
    Hurray for the U.S. Post Office.

  4. I’ve seldom had a damaged book problem with AMAZON. The last time I did, it was over a year ago when THE ANNOTATED SHERLOCK HOLMES arrived practically shredded in a box wild dogs must have chewed on. AMAZON replaced the books with no hassles. Most of my AMAZON delivers arrive via UPS.

  5. Richard says:

    Patti, I don’t think I’ve ever gotten a used book that smelled moldy or of smoke. I guess I’ve been lucky. Is there no way to air that Armstrong collection so the smell goes away or diminishes?

    George, it hasn’t been a frequent occurrence for me either. I’d say the non-USPS deliveries are about 2/3 UPS, 1/3 FedEx.

  6. cgramlich says:

    Wow, never heard of Cardigan. I need to check it out.

  7. Richard says:

    Charles, if you like early hard boiled stuff, yes, you should try Fredrick Nebel’s Cardigan stories.

  8. Jeff Meyerson says:

    Those Nebel Cardigan books have been on my radar for a while but at $30 each I’m still pondering….

    I’ve rarely had a problem with books from Amazon. The problems I have are generally with UPS. They (supposedly) ring the bell downstairs but don’t leave a notice they’ve been here. Or they claim they tried to deliver and there was no one home when I haven’t left the apartment all day. Or any number of other excuses. Most of the time it’s OK but when something does go wrong it goes spectacularly wrong.

    New books: none. Books read: Billie Sue Mosiman, THE SUBWAY COLLECTION: Dark Stories to Read on the Go (ebook) and Lee Goldberg, Mr. MONK GOES TO GERMANY.

  9. Richard says:

    Jeff, the UPS driver, who we sort of know to wave at, leaves ours by the front door and rings the bell. We filled out a form saying it’s okay to do that and we have a dry place by the door and it’s not easy to see from the street. If I don’t hear the bell, we see any package when we go to get the mail, so nothing sits out all night. No new books, eh? Such restraint.

  10. Jeff Meyerson says:

    It’s weird because most of the UPS drivers know that they can go around to the back of the building and come in through the basement – the outside door is open most of the day and if not they can ring a bell and usually get someone to let them in. Then they can go upstairs and ring the apartment doorbell and, if no one is home, either leave it next door or leave the note. Some are just lazy or late or…whatever. Most amazon shipments now are left without us having to sign. The last big trouble was the Kindle, which I guess they wanted to make sure we got.

  11. Richard says:

    The biggest difference is house vs. apartment building, of course.

  12. Wow, some gorgeous looking books there. Where, oh where will you shelve them? LOL!
    I am one who seems to have about a 50% success rate with Amazon. I generally have to send stuff back at least once to end up with a like-new copy and almost every time you can see that lazy, faulty packing was the reason for the damage.

  13. Richard says:

    Carl, as for shelves… we’re in a holding pattern **sigh**

    As for Amazon, it’s never the packing, it’s always the handling, since I’m pretty sure Amazon wouldn’t put books into half open, corner-torn, dented boxes.

  14. Cap'n Bob says:

    I’ve never had a book damaged from Amazon. Recent reading are three Trailsman novels. Two down, half of one to go.

  15. Richard says:

    Bob, I usually don’t have damage either, but sometimes… I’ve heard those Trailman books are pretty good.

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