It continues to be hot here, the hottest, driest summer in a decade. Both our water and electric bills will soar; it’s a good thing there are plenty of books here to read for free!
The Post Office delivery person bumped our communal mail box structure (eight houses at the top of the street share one of those one-stop mail set-ups you see in condos and apartments) and wrecked the door on the back, so all the mail is being held at an inconvenient Post Office halfway across town. Supposed to be fixed Monday but we’ve had to pick up a couple of times already. Hassle.
Of the books this week, two are even better than expected, one was a disappointment.
Benchmarks: Galaxy Bookshelf 1965 – 1971 by Algis Budrys [Southern Illinois University Press, 1985 hardcover, used] – fiction reviews and criticism. After Todd Mason in this post made me aware of this book, and the next one listed below, and George Kelley’s post about these here, I finally got up off my duff and got copies. I bought a used copy of this (I was lucky to find a very nice one). Erudite, opinionated, well written, and contextual, these reviews-criticisms-opinion essays are a delight to read, often challenging the reader to think. Good stuff!
Benchmarks Continued volume 1: 1975 – 1982 by Algis Budrys [Ansible Editions 2012 trade paper, POD via Lulu, new] – reviews and criticism. See previous listing, above. As noted, it’s a Print on Demand volume which can be ordered through Lulu HERE. Take my advice: click, order, pay, wait eagerly. When it comes, dip right in. That’s what I did. After dinner on the day it arrived I decided to take a peek, then go back to the short story I was halfway through. I never got back to that story, reluctantly putting the book down after 11:00. I spent easily a third of the time rereading a sentence, or paragraph, or just staring off into space, simply letting my brain bump against the concepts Budrys put forth. I’m very, very impressed. Yes, there are two more volumes, but this is enough for me right now.
Dragonwriter edited by Todd McCaffrey [Smart Pop 2013 trade paper, new] – biographical essays, reminiscences and tributes. The book contains 21 essays, most of them about author Anne McCaffrey. I say “most of them” because there are a few that, cloaked in the guise of I remember Anne, are really just about the writer of the essay and his or her personal agenda. There are some excellent entries here, and I enjoyed them, but I certainly would have preferred a bit more about Anne McCaffrey and a bit less about me, me, me.
I read Dragonwriter, listed above with my opinion of it, when it arrived. It made me want to reread some of the McCaffrey Pern books. I reread Shapechanger, last week’s Forgotten Book, and Mouse Guard: The Black Axe which may be the best Mouse Guard story arc yet, and that’s saying something. I finished The Song of the Sky, which was the first book on the Summer reading plan (here), so now I’ve finished three of the 18 books and am continuing to make my way through the huge Black Mask Stories collection. If I followed the plan I’d be starting Caliban’s War but haven’t been in the mood for it, so I reread Dragonseye by Ann McCaffrey, a Pern book. Now I’m starting on Moreta: Dragonlady of Pern.
Have any comments on any of the above?
What did YOU get, new, used or from the library, and
what have you been reading?