Friday, 14 April 2017

Some Book Buying and then the normal Birth Day Thing, etc. :)

I mentioned yesterday that I had found a few moments to visit Russell Books in Victoria during our recent visit there. I also found a neat early publication of Vanity Fair on the way down to Victoria. Besides that I had a book that I ordered arrive at one of my local book stores, The Laughing Oyster, while we were in Victoria, so I picked that up as well this past week. So let's see what books I managed to find this past week. Maybe some might interest you.

1. Company Town by Madeline Ashby. I bought this book at The Laughing Oyster when I went to pick up the book I'd ordered. I just thought I'd take a few minutes to look around before I picked up the other one. This one sounded very interesting, a combination Science Fiction and Mystery.

2. Head of a Traveler by Nicholas Blake. This is one of the books I was specifically looking for at Russell Books. Cecil Day-Lewis wrote mysteries under the pseudonym of Blake. I've previously read A Tangled Web and The Widow's Cruise and enjoyed. This book was published in 1949.

3. Wrapped up in Crosswords by Nero Blanc. I have yet to read any of the Crossword mysteries by husband and wife team, Steve Zettler and Cordelia Frances Biddle but I've been picking the books up as I find them. Wrapped up in Crosswords is a Christmas mystery. I definitely plan to read at least my first this year.

4. The White Road by John Connolly. This is the 2nd book in the Charlie Parker thriller series. I've been trying to find the first in the series, Every Dead Thing, but I might not wait for that to try one of the books I've already got.

5. The Drums of Fu Manchu by Sax Rohmer. I do like these cult adventure / thriller series. I've read the first in the series and when I have the opportunity to buy one, I usually take it. I purchased two, in fact, this past week at Russell Books. Drums was originally published in 1939.

6. The Island of Fu Manchu by Sax Rohmer. Island of Fu Manchu was the next book in line by Rohmer. It was originally published in 1941. The Fu Manchu stories are combinations of mystery, thriller, supernatural. All entertaining and good fun. (Well, the first was. I have no reason to think the remainder won't be.)

7. The Funeral Boat by Kate Ellis. The Funeral Boat, published in 2000, is the fourth book in the Wesley Peterson, archaeological mystery series by English writer, Kate Ellis. I've enjoyed the other Ellis books I've read so far. I've also started her Joe Plantagenet mystery series.

8. Katapult by Karen Kijewski. This is the second book in the Kat Colorado mystery series. Colorado is a California PI, somewhat in the vein of Sue Grafton's Kinsey Milhone. I think they might even get along if they met. :0) I liked the first book, Katwalk, very much.

9. Spend Game by Jonathan Gash. I only recently discovered that the Lovejoy TV series, one I enjoyed watching very much, was based on a book series by English writer, John Grant AKA Jonathan Gash. I read the first book, The Judas Pair, recently and it's made me want to explore Lovejoy's world of antiques and mystery more.

10. The Moving Finger by Agatha Christie. I've rediscovered a love for Christie's excellent mysteries, featuring Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple, Tommy and Tuppence, etc. The Moving Finger is the 3rd book of twelve that featured Miss Marple. It was originally published in 1943.

11. Cop Hater by Ed McBain. I've been interested in trying McBain's 87th Precinct books for a couple of years now. I finally found the first book in the series at Russell's. Cop Hater, published in 1956, will move to the top of my list, I think.

12. The Dead of Jericho by Colin Dexter. I've enjoyed the Inspector Morse, Lewis and even Endeavour, all based on Colin Dexter's Inspector Morse series. I've read the first book so far and want to read all of the books in the series. The Dead of Jericho was published in 1981 and is the 5th book in the series. I was sad to hear when Dexter died in Mar of this year. He has left behind a legacy. If you watch the series always check out where he might crop up, as, like Hitchcock, he did like to make cameos in most of the TV series. You can Google it if you want to know which episodes and when he does make an appearance in specific ones.

13. A Clergyman's Daughter by George Orwell. There are authors such as Graham Greene, whose works I've been slowly collecting. George Orwell is another of those. A Clergyman's Daughter was published in 1935 and was the third of his novels (fiction and non-fiction) that he wrote.

14. Death at Victoria Dock by Kerry Greenwood. I made a mistake when I ordered this book. I didn't realise it was an audio book. The missus and I have enjoyed the TV series featuring intrepid Australian PI, Phryne Fisher, very much. It's an excellent period piece. Love her clothes. :) So I've been reading the books and found this one online. It will be my first attempt at an audio book. Who knows where it might lead?

15. Ice on the Grapevine by R. E. Donald. This is the book I had ordered through The Laughing Oyster. It's the second book in the Hunter Rayne mystery series by Canadian writer, R. E. Donald. It features ex-RCMP officer, turned long haul trucker. I enjoyed the first book and wanted to find the 2nd. The Laughing Oyster were able to find the publisher online and there you have it.

16. Old Man's War by John Scalzi. One of the few Science Fiction books I bought on this trip. He was nominated for the Hugo award for his Old Man's War series and won it for Red Shirts in 2013. It was because of my checking through the Hugo's for one of my ongoing posts that I discovered him. Looking forward to giving his writing a try.

17. The Players and the Game by Julian Symons. I had enjoyed Symons' The Blackheath Poisonings. I was looking for his The Progress of Crime for which he won the Edgar Award in 1961, but couldn't find it. However this one did look interesting.

18. The Return of Tarzan by Edgar Rice Burroughs. This is the 2nd book in the Tarzan series. I will be starting it this year.

19. Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray. Thackeray wrote Vanity Fair in 1848. I have read it previously and thought it was fantastic. When I saw this copy, published around 1899, in Nanaimo, I wanted it to grace my bookshelves. I do have a few of these collectible, antique books. I love them.

20. Order of Assassins: The Psychology of Murder by Colin Wilson. I do have Wilson's The Schoolgirl Murders. This book is a non-fiction examination of what makes an assassin. I thought it might be worth a try.

So those are my recent purchases. I won't follow on with my usual Little Bit of History as this has taken up a fair bit of time and space. But I will continue with my Songs and books of the Year, especially where related to the date of my birth, November 10. Yup, that's my bit of vanity. Today I move along to 1959, with the Number 1 US and UK songs of the week of November 10, plus some award winning books and authors of that time.

US Billboard #1 Song 10 November 1959

Mack the Knife by Bobby Darin. Darin lived from 1936 - 1973. He started as a song writer for Connie Francis but gained fame when he released Splish Splash in 1958 and followed those up with Dream Lover, Mack the Knife and Beyond the Sea. In 1962, he won a Golden Globe when he co-starred with his first wife, Sandra Dee, in Come September. Mack the Knife was his first US #1. It comes from Bertholt Brecht's, Threepenny Opera.

UK #1 Song 10 November 1959

Travelin' Light by Cliff Richard and the Shadows. The Shadows were Cliff Richard's backing band. They were credited with 69 chart singles from the '50s to the '00s; 35 as The Shadows and 34 as Cliff Richard and the Shadows.  Travelin' Light was written by Sid Tepper and Roy C. Bennett and was #1 for 5 weeks.

New York Times #1 Fiction Best-Seller, November 10, 1959

Advise & Consent by Allen Drury. This was a political novel exploring the Senate confirmation of a Communist Party member. It was on the NY Times best-seller list for 102 weeks. It was made into a film in 1962, starring Henry Fonda.

Pulitzer Prize Winner - 1959

The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters by Robert Lewis Taylor. This book was also made into a TV series starring Kurt Russell. The story follows the protagonist as he accompanies a wagon train from St. Louis to the Gold Rush fields of California. Although it sounds Tom Sawyerish, it was aimed at adult audiences.

Nobel Prize Winner - 1959

Salvatore Quasimodo (Italy). Quasimodo was an Italian novelist and poet who lived from 1901 - 1968. He won the Nobel Prize for his poetry, "for his lyrical poetry, which with classical fire expresses the tragic experience of life in our own times".

Hugo Award Winner - 1959

A Case of Conscience by James Blish. I'm pretty sure I had this book at one time, it may have been one of the Science Fiction books I took in my university course on Science Fiction novelists.

Edgar Award Winner - 1959

The Eighth Circle by Stanley Ellin. Ellin was an American mystery writer who lived from 1916 - 1986. This was the 3rd and final Edgar Award that he received.

So there you go... whew... Hope you get some reading ideas from the selections above.

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