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New Releases: The Ward by S.L. Grey

More shopping trips, the four reasons to buy books

Have his carcaseThese are extremely bloggy blog posts, but they're pretty fun to write. This week's new books. Well, this week's new old books. 

Type I: The Actual Serious Collections

Anne's been collecting Dorothy Sayers for as long as she can remember. Ditto, my collections of Robert Graves and John D. MacDonald. So finding new stuff - or at least, stuff we don't have, is always a good thing:

  • Have his carcase (Dorothy Sayers) (amazing cover)
  • The Documents in the Case (Sayers & Robert Eustace) (really nice to find with dust jacket in this condition)
  • No More Ghosts (Robert Graves) (third printing, but again, dust jacket - woo!)
  • Antigua Penny Puce (Robert Graves) (first edition; quite lovingly rebound in 1948 by a previous owner. This is definitely the prize of the week...)
  • Deadly Welcome x2 (John D. MacDonald) (two covers I didn't have - the Gold Medal cover takes the cake. This is not one of my favourite JDMs, but it does have a particular charm to it - review coming this week)

Type II: Not a Collection Yet But Becoming Very, Very Close

  • Hauntings (The latest NewCon collection. In the past year, we've gone from 2 NewCon titles to thirteen, plus a standing order for 'one of whatever's coming next, Mr. Whates. As this is the fiftieth NewCon title, there's some catching up to do... As with most not-by-us anthologies, I will probably cherry-pick a few stories to read before carefully shelving with its friends. Hey look, one by Kim Lakin-Smith...)
  • 11.22.63 (Stephen King) (A very well-thumbed review copy, with lots of notes in it. Trying to collect King is pretty futile - I think any serious King collector needs to be a millionaire and/or have started in 1975, when his early work was only really unaffordable. But this is a fun little thing. According to the notes, these proofs are exclusively numbered for each recipient. Resisting to urge to figure out who once owned this one.)

You have been warnedType III: The Stuff to Read

A rather embarrassingly short list.

  • We (Yevgeny Zamyatin) (I've never read it. But I look forward to the wacky adventures of D-503 in this light-hearted comedy set in a happy go lucky future)
  • Falling Out of Cars (Jeff Noon)
  • Alif the Unseen (G. Willow Wilson)
  • Invitation to the Waltz (Rosamond Lehmann)
  • You Have Been Warned: A complete guide to the road (Fougasse & McCullough) (I love Fougasse. Also, the detail in this book is incredible; the cover, type, the end-papers - all a collection of 1930s book design at its finest.)

Type IV: Accidents and Misfits

We get a little enthusiastic sometimes. And we're also both very... soft-hearted. Scraggly charming books can often find new homes on our shelves, as long as they make big eyes and know how to use the litterbox. 

  • The Contour Road Book of England, 1923 (This is the scraggliest mutt in bookland - a dense, 500 page collection showing the elevation of all the roads in the 'South East Divison'. Extract from the stirring 'London to Brighton' chapter: "Tram-lines and London suburbs as far as Mitcham; after that it is somewhat lumpy to Sutton, whence fine surface on the long 1 in 25 ascent, but the 1 in 13-17 descent of Reigate Hill requires care as there is a level crossing at the foot..." )
  • Ancient purbeckAncient Purbeck (J. Bernard Calkin) (There's a delightfully irritated dinosaur on the cover [possibly annoyed because he's been hopping on one foot?], but I think Anne's more pleased by the local area advertising. You'll be pleased to know that The Blue Pool teahouse is open during the season, except Saturday, and serves homemade bread. Of course, this was 1968, so you might want to call first to confirm.)
  • The Astronauts Must No Land / The Space-Time Juggler (John Brunner) (I love Ace Doubles. So much that I occasionally forget which ones I have and buy duplicates. Oops.)
  • Deathless (Catherynne Valente) (I read Deathless when it came out in the US (and rather disliked it), but upon spotting this copy, I went all 'ZOMG SF PRUF FR AWORD WINOR' and immediately snatched it up.)
  • The Land of Wales and English Villages and Hamlets (Gorgeous cover art - and, actually, they're pretty stunning start to finish. More orphans for Anne, I think.)
  • The Deceivers (John Masters) (John D. MacDonald wrote The Deceivers in 1958. One of his adultery dramas - no mystery or anything, just lots of angst. Anyway, JDM hardcovers are always a treat to find, which is why I leapt on this one so quickly. Wait, who is John Masters? Oh. Oops.)
  • Ways of the Ant (John Crompton) (By the acclaimed author of The Spider and The Hunting Wasp, but I think what really sold this to us was the artwork, right down to the oddly existential caption.)