faustus: (Default)
( Nov. 7th, 2011 12:09 am)
I know a number of you are interested in Girl's School novels and some of you collect them. This may be old news to you, but I came across a company in Edinburgh which reprints them - titles by Susan Scarlett (Noel Streatfeild), O. Douglas (Anna Buchan), Susan Pleydell, D.E. Stevenson and several more. Not my kind of thing - but Greyladies may be of interest to you.

ETA: "Girls’ School Stories - written for adults
Adult books by children’s authors
A spot of vintage crime"

Looks like a mix of other stuff they wrote and school stories aimed at adults not children
faustus: (Comedy)
( Apr. 12th, 2011 03:28 pm)
I have a shelf of Doctor Who novelisations, pretty well all Target editions, presumably numbering somewhere in the region of a hundred, and stretching up to the end of Peter Davison's period, possibly including the odd Colin Baker. At one point it would have been complete, at least in the sense that I had all the novelisations available at that point. It became incomplete when they novelised virtually all the remaining Old Who stories (I'm guessing the Adams stories are the only ones left) and obviously there were Baker and McCoy adventures, plus the missing season. My records of which I have are not as accurate as they might be - I took a short cut when importing them into my database - and I think a couple have gone astray.

Every so often - as in on Thursday - I come across a bookshelf of novelisations, secondhand. A few times I've filled in gaps. It is an incomplete collection.

And that offends me.

On the other hand, I have virtually no interest in reading any more novelisations of Doctor Who, and certainly would not want to get into the Virgin adventures or New Who.

But, still. Offensive. Careless.


I notice Arden 3 has an edition of The Sonnets, unlike, as far as I can see, Arden 2.
Alibi's top earning crime writers

Is Michael Crichton really a crime writer? First Great Train Robbery, I suppose. Bit of a stretch for Ian Fleming, come to that.
faustus: (seventies)
( Mar. 26th, 2011 11:37 pm)
As far as I can tell, I have now got all the Shakespeare titles in Arden 2 -- having recently found a Love's Labour's Lost and now a Pericles and assuming there is no separate edition of The Sonnets. If I want The Two Noble Kinsmen I need to turn to Arden 3 (or possibly 4).

I am tempted to turn to Revels Editions, and indeed found a cache on Thursday, but they were mostly £6 each. Since I am unlikely to ever actually read them, this seemed a little excessive. I did pick up a The Alchemist, which I studied at ... A Level and didn't have a copy of. I need a better list, to check which I have already and some pricing research, although the two pound rule may be invoked.

I think I am up to seven copies of The Thirty Nine Steps, each of them a distinct edition. Six to go. The hunt continues.

I note also I have have been saying, "This used to be a bookshop" a lot this week.
This is interesting: Let's Have a Local Bookshop Year, in addition to the suggestion that you buy a book to give to someone rather than the giveaway which has meant publishers are producing books to give away for free (loss leaders?), which doesn't benefit booksellers or authors (and not publishers, for that matter).

I was going to say I don't have a local bookshop, now that Albion has closed to make way for a second branch of Subway. Albion was part of a chain,albeit a limited one. We had a branch of Methven, which was at least a smaller chain, and stayed open until about 8pm. Now, it's another quasi Italian restaurant, because this town doesn't have enough quasi-Italian restaurants, aside from Little Italy, Pinnochio, Strada, Ask, Zizzis, Pizza Express and Pizza Hut. Now we have a Waterstones and a Wottakers which back on to each other - Sussex Stationers closed last week.

Of course, there's shop on campus, where I get a 10% discount.

We're told that the way in which local bookshops get squeeze ahead is on service. In seven years I ordered three books from them. I'm assuming one of these arrived without any trouble. The other one I ordered that day turned up on a shelf in the shop, and they had no trace of my order. The third one they'd never heard of, and had difficulties in finding online to order the day before publication. The book? Michael Moore's Dude, Where's My Country? Or possible Stupid White Men.

Guess which book was number one on Amazon when I asked them to scroll up through the list?

I would much rather shop local. And shop small. But sometimes, some people don't want to sell.
faustus: (seventies)
( Oct. 27th, 2010 06:09 pm)
I picked up Troilus and Cressida and King Richard III from Oxfam today - over the £2 mark, but remember I have to buy it if it's less than £2, not can't buy it if it's more. Although I had hoped... But they were £2.49 and £2.99, so reasonably priced.

(I also bought Collected Plays 4 of Pirandello, which I fear completes the set, unless I can find evidence that Calder Publications released a volume 5. This is clearly a moment where we realise that Collected =/= Complete. At a guess I have only half of the plays. And at least one of his works of prose was interesting, which I think was called Shoot!. And it's online. Uh huh.

(Across in the general Oxfam, I picked up two more Skinner novels, of which more anon, both at the ankle displaying £1.99. I see that Jardine gives up on having Skinner in the title, so I must check if they have those two as well. There are two more with his name I don't have - will have to think if I want to read them out of order, as there does appear to be an internal chronology. [Although the also by list doesn't list them in order, so perhaps Trail is a prequel, so it's too late as it were. I don't think so, from a quick look at Amazon, which also reveals I can buy it for a penny and £2.75 postage. I invoke the £2 law, maybe it needs to be cheaper than £2 because I don't want it that badly])

I see I still need to acquire:

  • Cymbeline
  • Love's Labours Lost
  • Merry Wives of Windsor
  • Pericles

which is odd, since I have held all of them in my hand. If so they haven't made it to the shelves.

There's also the Sonnets, helpfully listed on Amazon as by Katherine (Editor) Duncan-Jones (Author). I don't recall ever seeing this - and it isn't cheap secondhand. I need another edition of The Sonnets even less than I need the plays (I have the other poems in an Arden edition), but... I would also need to find a couple of The Two Noble Kinsmen, but that's an Arden 3 and everything else is Arden 2 (clearly it wasn't thought to be sufficiently by Shakespeare between 1950 and 1985 or so).

It also strikes me than I have huge Renaissance gaps - aside from Marlowe - in the shape of Webster, Dekker, Ford, Jonson, and it would be nice to collect the Revels editions (in preference to New Mermaids). Must hunt down a little list. Not that I'll ever read any of them, but the Renaissance was part of my life for a long time, off and on.
faustus: (seventies)
( Aug. 3rd, 2010 01:03 am)
"the copy I read already had international bestseller written across it, which means that not everyone thinks it's a hateful misogynistic book"

Anyone spot a logical flaw in Andrew Motion's reasoning?
Have finished Wednesday's lecture in note form - need to add photos and pictures.

Might have got this done sooner, but I missed a bus by about 45 seconds and there's a 40 minute gap. Should have walked but was lazy and had laptop.

I'll try and write up Julie and Julia tomorrow, but it's worth seeing for the cat alone - and Los Cronocrimenes, an old-fashioned and eventually efficient time travel movie. Plus the weekend's viewing.

I got a remarkable two hours in the library this afternoon, having hoped for about four and dreamed about six, but starting the lecture took more of this morning than planned.

Last night I dreamt they'd redecorated the Farmer's Market. The colour scheme was that of the Carbuncle, which I'd discussed Saturday night.

Sunday's Mail on Sunday had an article on Steven Gately attacking homophobic innuendo about his death. Suzanne Moore did not mention Jan Moir by name.

Dave and I did the Mail on Sunday cryptic crossword.

The RIBA Stirling Prize holds a prominent place in my annual calendar for personal sentimental reasons I shall not go into, but I taped digitised it as I'd gone out on Saturday night. Annoyingly Broadcasting House went straight into an interview with the winner the next day without giving me a chance to turn off the radio. Bum.

Saturday night I'd gone to see Reginald D. Hunter live, supported by Steve Hughes. It was notable for a walk out by a middle aged couple some twenty minutes into the support act. They shouted they'd come to see Hunter not him. Curiously, they did not return after the interval. Okay, the ticket does not say PLUS SUPPORT - and maybe should - but it's fairly standard practice as most comedians do the psychoanalytic Edinburghian hour, and need a support for the first half/third.

Saturday afternoon I bought the more expensive copy of The Taming of the Shrew. Barnardo's had a copy at £2.75, but I thought I'd check Oxfam first - and they had the same edition, different cover, at £2.99. I figgered I prefer the cause and couldn't be bothered to go back and compare conditions. I must do a list of my Arden wants list so I can fill in the gaps. A rough count says 24 - the gaps include The Tempest (leant to a friend, now dead) and comedies and problem plays. A dozen or so left to go - Coriolanus, Titus Andronicus, Troilus and Cressida, All's Well That Ends Well, As You Like It, The Comedy of Errors, Cymbeline, Love's Labour's Lost, Measure for Measure (odd as I've seen and studied this), Merry Wives of Windsor, Pericles, Prince of Tyre, The Tempest, The Two Noble Kinsmen. A baker's dozen. I must check that the Sonnets are distinct from The Poems.

And so to bed. Dreaming of time travelling.
faustus: (Heaven)
( Oct. 12th, 2009 01:52 pm)
I admit a little part of me would like there to be more Winnie the Pooh stories to read - and the ending of The House at Pooh Corner is still very sad. Would I read a sequel by another hand? I don't know. I don't think I'd pay for it.

Meanwhile, the radio tells me Eoin Colfer's sequel to The Hitch Hiker's Guide is long awaited. By whom? It always seemed sad to me that Adams got stuck in the rut of more Hitch Hikers and the endless, doomed to failure, negotiations over film rights. But what do you do when your first breakthrough is as good as it gets? How do you top Catch 22, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Catcher in the Rye? I read the sequels with an increasingly sense of duty, hated the new radio versions, and never bothered with The Salmon of Doubt.

I confess that I am enjoying Stephen Fry reprising Last Chance to See, partly because of the relationship with Mark Cawardine and the mick being taken out of urban urbane Fry. (I've stopped watching Charlie Boorman, because it was the relationship with MacGregor that mattered; without, it's Boorman getting in the way of scenery .) Fry's reading on the radio sequels, as well as his sitting in for Humph on ISIHAC is too knowing; Peter Jones and Humph had that confused deadpan of apparently not knowing it's a joke, whereas Fry seemed to signalled THIS IS A FUNNY.

So Eoin Colfer is the approved sequel writer - I confess I was put off him by the hype for Artemis Fowl, and have never read any, but I'm not going out of my way to read it. I may give Book at Bedtime a listen on Radio 4.

But apparently John Coxon, secretary of ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha, says it was "certainly as good as the later books Adams wrote."

Ah, fainting with praise damns, I suspect.
The presence of T.S. Eliot's Prufrock and Other Observations and Thom Gunn's The Sense of Movement on my 15 Books Meme list notes what poetry got to me first - although it was in a sense the lovesong and "On the Move" in particular, and now I'm more likely to go back to The Waste Land. I have all the Eliot and Gunn I want (although if I ever saw the juvenilia of the former at a reasonable price I'd pick it up - Inventions of the March Hare: Poems 1909-1917, and no doubt there are scattered late poems by Gunn).

But a handful of poems by Auden got to me first. Auden became a minefield, though - in terms of quality and texts. The general consensus is that he lost something once he had settled in the US - and I note that there is The English Auden: Poems, Essays and Dramatic Writings, 1927-1939, but no corresponding American Auden. But he also rewrote and revised poems, even dropping those he no longer liked. Thus the available Collected Poetry have varying contents and aren't complete - as the English opts for the earliest texts, they opt for the latest. There are Collected Longer and Collected Shorter poems, but I'm not sure how complete these are. I've also picked up a couple of his travel books and a libretto or two over the years, and a Selected Poetry which covers the whole ground - but selectively.

At some point I picked up Juvenilia: Poems 1922-1928 and Libretti and Other Dramatic Writings, 1939-1973, both of which I assumed to be part of the Complete Works edited by Mendleson. I've seen other volumes over the years - but priced so I talked myself out of them. I mean, when would I read them? But the find of Prose and Travel Books in Prose and Verse, Volume I: 1926-1938 led to me to follow it upo.

The Juvenilia turns out to be a separate project - and there is a different, expanded, paperback. There is no sign of the poem volumes, and the projected is projected to have eight volumes. Thus far:

  • Plays and Other Dramatic Writings, 1927-1938 (1989)
  • Libretti and Other Dramatic Writings, 1939-1973 (1993)
  • Prose and Travel Books in Prose and Verse, Volume I: 1926-1938 (1997)
  • Prose, Volume II: 1939-1948 (2002)
  • Prose, Volume III: 1949-1955 (2008)

I guess there's Prose, Volume IV: 1956-1965? (2012?) and Prose, Volume V: 1966?-1973? (2016), then two volumes of the poetry? At this rate I shall die of old age...

On Tolkien, meanwhile, Christopher seems to be publishing every scrap - and I faithfully followed Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales and Lost Tales before running out of steam. Curiously I stopped at the fourth volume, The Shaping of Middle-earth, just before The Lost Road, a text I'd always wanted to read. I'm sure I bought it, but I can't find a copy. In Liverpool and Tonbridge I picked up War of the Rings, Children of Hurin and the lectures on Beowulf etc (having found Return of the Shadow in a local secondhand bookshop), then in Whitstable last week found a run of them from Return to The War of the Jewels. As I'd nearly bought a couple in the Fantasy Centre at a fiver the week before, I was trapped in by the pesky two pound rule - each were £1.95. I'd sadly forgotten I already had War of the Rings, and still no Lost Road.

I have no idea when I shall read these - probably not before Dec 2010 - but clearly I need to get the remaining two volumes.
faustus: (Default)
( Jun. 15th, 2009 05:31 pm)
Curiously, today has been about books, and about reading.

But first a backtrack: just over ten days ago I went to Professor Roger Luckhurst's inaugural lecture which, in a stunning display of Birkbeck think, was about the mummy's curse and ends up being a Secret History of 19th century literature. Bad things happen to many of those at the opening of Tutankhamen's tomb, although novelist Marie Corelli seems to be one of those who invented the Tut curse. Other Egyptian curses circulate - such as the one on the dedicatee and co-plotter of The Hound of the Baskervilles, Bertram Fletcher Robinson, although there is a suggestion that he was poisoned (by Doyle), one on a mummy in the British Museum, and a rumour of a sarcophagus on the Titanic, whose passengers included W.T. Stead, of the Pall Mall Gazette and Maiden Tribute of Babylon fame. There is a sort of meta-curse, as those who write about the curse also seem to die in odd circumstances.

I note this because Richard Dadd lost his sanity in Egypt (he thought he was possessed by Osiris) - and he was written about in All the Devils Are Here by the now-late David Seabrook. And in Saturday's Guardian, which I have but have yet to read, there was a selection of summer reading recommendations, including - as noted by Peter Mclachlin - Iain Sinclair:

The book about "place" to which I return, as often as I venture along the banks of the Medway or roll up my trousers for a paddle in Ramsgate, is All the Devils Are Here (Granta, 2002) by David Seabrook. [...] When Seabrook died, earlier this year, it was a horribly premature loss: now this mysterious author is fated to become part of the zone he described to such effect; an anecdote, a rumour, a legend.


Meanwhile, I paused at Cafe Nerd on the way home to finish rereading a volume I seem to have had on the go forever:

XXIX: Robert A. Heinlein, I Will Fear No Evil )

Then home via the Barnardo's bookshop (dull, dull, dull) and Oxfam - where I scored a copy of Purity and Danger, the reprint of the Yale French Studies devoted to Lacan and Henry James and a volume of the Collected Auden.

This is an endeavour which I never quite follow because I can't work out what has been released, and I never know if I care enough to collect the set. As far as I can see, the Collected Poems is still the version in which Auden butchers himself, and there is no American Auden to complement The English Auden. I have the Juvenilia and Libretti, but there are at least two volumes of prose to get - and I dare say Auden wrote prose after 1955.
faustus: (Default)
( Jun. 10th, 2009 12:52 am)
This has been doing the rounds on another social utility - so I thought I'd have a go. Name the fifteen books that will always stay with you - first thoughts, what you think of in fifteen minutes, that sort of thing.

I'm not entirely surprised that only two books by women appeared (The Teddy Robinson books should be there), and I was looking for the theory book that made me quiver, but it's pseuds corner. Many of these I read for the first time between 16 and 21 (or younger):

Cheap suspense )

The interesting question would be why these fifteen...
faustus: (heaven)
( Apr. 6th, 2009 03:43 pm)
IX: Marion Zimmer Bradley, Heritage of Hastur
X: Samuel R. Delany, Dhalgren
XI: J.G. Ballard, Crash
XII: Colin Dexter, Last Seen Wearing
XIII: Colin Dexter, The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn
XIV: Michael Moorcock, The Warlord of the Air
XV: Michael Moorcock, The Land Leviathan
XVI: Barry N. Malzberg, Beyond Apollo

A catchup listing only - most of these are rereads, for 1970s sf purposes; the two Dexters are new and the pattern is familiar - suspect everyone until you are right. The Malzberg is late new wave - an unreliable narrator tries to recall the two man mission to Venus as he writes his memoirs.
faustus: (lights)
( Apr. 4th, 2009 05:59 pm)
In my last job a student gave me a Jay and Silent Bob poster as a thank you - in fact a Bluntman and Chronic one. For many years it has been on my office wall, although it now needs remounting, and I'd misfiled the student's name. That's a disjunct there - I will have taught five hundred, maybe a thousand or more students since them, and they can't all be remembered. But still.

And thus on Thursday I returned for a flying visit - I avoided the college itself, but I met up with G, who I taught and who (as far as I can tell) replaced the person who replaced the person who replaced me. It's weird, because he's crossed the professional divide, and whilst we were perhaps more social with selected students there than I am now, the relationship is bound to be different. And it's more evidence for the shift from young turk to old fart.

At first the town centre looked much the same - I didn't get that thrill of recognition I get with returning to Nottingham and Hull, or the sense of disjunction from Birmingham or Leicester - and it remains a market town that's lost its market and not found a role. That is until you get into the former Octagon Centre, which has been renamed and expanded, with an Identikit mall splice on its western end where the bus station used to be. It spills out over a lost pub, and a couple of car parks, and has the usual run of shops that would be expected. No trees, no water, no art, no life, few places to sit, and an ambivalent attitude to be public or private space. but there was a Cafe Nerd, which is where I met G, before we adjourned to a pub that I'd not visited when there. (I didn't get to my usual haunts bar one - meant to get back to the Bell but didn't, have boycotted the Antelope since Jon was sacked/resigned, and the Falcon and O'Neils were about the company, not the pub. I did have a quick time kill in the Hobgoblin.)

G caught me up with the college, and basically it sounds like management has destroyed everything that we'd set up and made work through incompetence, reorganisation and I suspect bloodymindedness. I am so glad I got out when I did, because now I know I would have been dead by now. Dead and unemployed. G shot off to get ready for his gog; I checked into the guest house and scratched tea together from Tescos.

I walked back to the Nag's Head, and realised it had been the Pride when I lived here, and that this was the venue where the Sex Pistols played an earlier gig. (And if everyone saw that who claimed to have done, it must have been much bigger then.) G's band was on third, but I had missed the first act, and the second group were fine if a little noisy. Xenon Codex featured G in white suit and loud shirt, a guitarist, a five string bass, a drummer, and a two octave keyboard wired through twenty pedals. They played two songs and an encore, over forty five minutes. Ah, he's learnt the seventies prog rocks rules well.

Afterwards I sat outside for a while before I went to refind G. He introduced me to B, who apparently was scared of meeting me and didn't believe I was there. God rot my memory. It was B, of course, of the Jay and Silent Bob poster. She told me how much she looked up to Mark and myself, and of course that was very flattering and touching. But still. It's such a mismatch. I can't remember them all. But it did come back.

And the next day, a day as grey as Thursday was Sunday, I caught the bus out to a secret location, and, arriving earlier than planned or necessary, I sat at the pond and communed with the ducks. [livejournal.com profile] lamentables arrived at about the time I thought I was going to, and we wander across to the shop. There followed two hours of scouring, and taking out and putting back, and frowning at British reprints editions, and dark looks at the Irish guy who was whistling the first verse of some hymn or other, before we got to the closing for lunch point. We paid for our purchases - well I dealt with the paper money and [livejournal.com profile] lamentables with the shrapnell, one of us having taken the precaution of a cash point raid - and made for the Red Lion.

In the past we might have gone back to the shop for a further hour, but we had run out of energy, and I had run out of cash. We chatted, instead; it's been a while, and it was nice to soak up the sun which had burned through. Then back to the station.

My ticket failed to work in any turnstile, and I managed to catch the slow train down to home. Memo to self - it is possible to be overtaken on that route.

And now I have another legacy of the trip - two foot of books to catalogue.


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