Books bought: “Why Call Them Back From Heaven?” Clifford D. Simak; “The Diaries of Adam & Eve,” Mark Twain; “If You’re Feeling Sinister,” Scott Plagenhoef; “The Farther Shore,” Robert M. Coates; “Bright Orange for the Shroud,” John D. MacDonald; “Booked to Die,” John Dunning.
Books read: “Why Call Them Back From Heaven?” Clifford D. Simak; “The Diaries of Adam & Eve,” Mark Twain; “Adventures of Sherlock Holmes,” A. Conan Doyle; “If You’re Feeling Sinister,” Scott Plagenhoef; “The ‘Reel’ Benchley,” Robert Benchley; “Millard Sheets: The Early Years (1926-1944),” Gordon McClelland; “The Bob Dylan Scrapbook, 1956-1966,” Robert Santelli.
Seven books in June — not bad for a fellow who hadn’t finished even one by June 21, if I do say so myself. I also managed to finish three of the six books I acquired, as well as one acquired the previous month (and one each in 2007 and 2005, and another from, er, 1976 or thereabouts).
To run through this quickly, and in order: the Simak was an intriguing SF novel about cryogenics and faith; the Twain a minor work, unfinished, but perhaps my favorite of the month’s reading; tied with the first collection of Holmes stories, most of them classics; the Plagenhoef, about a Belle and Sebastian album, is padded even at 105 pages; the Benchley is a curio from 1950 of stills and transcripts of six of his comedy shorts; the Millard Sheets reproduces 93 of his paintings, paired with a biography of the Pomona native that is informative, dull and horribly copy-edited, with a minimum of one mistake per page (the man credited as “text editor” was overpaid even if he volunteered); and the Dylan is a basic but gracefully written bio with many photos and inserts of repro’d handbills, handwritten lyrics and the like, a fun collection.
And, for those who like to know such things, I bought Simak used at St. Louis’ Book House, Twain new at the Montclair Borders and Plagenhoef new at St. Louis’ Subterranean Books, all in June; Sheets in the gift shop of the Pasadena Museum of California Art in May; Holmes new somewhere circa ’76 (and read it then as well); Benchley used at Portland’s Powell’s in 2007; and Dylan at Rhino Records upon publication in 2005.
In the latter case, it’s a bit embarrassing that it took me five years to get to a book that took three hours to read, and in the meantime was remaindered for a fraction of its $45 purchase price, but at least I read it now.
Halfway through 2010, I’ve read 30 books — more than expected, since my goal was 50. Either I’ll coast the last half of the year, or I’ll double my total to 60. (Already in July I’ve finished one.)
Whew! Now, what are you reading?