Friday Five: Gateway Smut
Underground Reading: Dragonlance Chronicles by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman


Battle LinesThe results of this week's shopping expeditions.

Will Hill's Department 19: Battle Lines. A signed copy. Despite the size of the Department 19 books, I find them to be incredibly quick reads. I'd love a good, clean day without interruptions (or deadlines) (or work) (or all those other things that come with being an adult) to plow through this. I'm a big fan of the series, which is a bit, um, Dracula meets Gossip Girl (I mean that positively - I love Gossip Girl.) (Forbidden Planet)

Tina's Mouth by Keshni Kashyap was something I picked up after reading the review on Practically Marzipan. High school existentialism. What's not to love? (Abebooks) 

Dava Sobel's Longitude is research for a 2014 Pandemonium project. (Mysterious!) (Abebooks again)

Cancertown 2: Blasphemous Tumours (Cy Dethan and Graeme Howard) is a lovely-horrific graphic novel from independent publisher Markosia. I'm a big fan of their work - they've got a few delicious commercial titles propping up a whole stable of utterly bonkers, extremely edgy work. This book is also Pandemonium research, and damn if I'm not enjoying it. (More mysterious!) (Publisher's own site)

M.R. James' Abbeys. So M.R. James - the M.R. James - wrote a book in 1925 about the abbeys of Britain. But not all of them. Just the ones on the Great Western Railway. Who, coincidentally, also published this book. A big, very lovely book, it comes with a gorgeous map in the back that shows - go figure - the Great Western Railway and its proximity to all the abbeys one might ever want to visit. (Brick Lane)

Isaac Rosenberg's Poems. One of the best finds I've ever made. Not just a rare edition, but also with a warm inscription from Rosenberg's sister, Annie. Rosenberg sent all his poems to Annie from the front, she then retyped them for the benefit of his friends. Rosenberg was killed in action on 1918. This edition, the first of his work, wasn't published until 1922. A pretty shockingly marvellous find and the new prize of my World War One collection. (Brick Lane)

Some of my earlier stockpiling also paid off at the Chris Beckett/Ian Whates signing at Forbidden Planet. As well as picking up copies of Mr. Beckett's The Peacock Cloak and Marcher, he signed my hoarded copies of The Holy Machine and (BSFA/ACCA-nominated) Dark Eden. Mr. Whates signed my copy of The Gift of Joy and his new collection, Growing Pains. All that, plus two new copies of NewCon Press's Imaginings series (Tony Ballantyne and Nina Allan). NewCon and PS are two of my small press role models, get special devoted shelves... (Forbidden Planet)

It occurs to me that these random book-diary entries are the reverse of the normal book blogger shtick, where the reviewer carefully catalogues all the books that they've received for review. Without making a thing of it, here are the reasons I'm going about it this way:

  1. Listing the stuff we get for free just feels a bit gauche. I understand that most bloggers do this for purposes of transparency, and that's a very good reason. But, in the same way that we don't blog about invite-only events, I'm not going to list stuff we got for nothing. Not a moral judgement, just our, er, house style.
  2. The personal reason behind these posts is to have some sort of record, however spurious, of the stuff I was buying (that is, choosing). Review copies aren't a choice (I mean, they are in a broader, lifestyle sense, but I don't choose which books). So they're not really a reflection of what I'm into at the moment as much as the stuff I purchase.
  3. It kind of ties in with my no-more-Amazon resolution, but I secretly hope that the "joy of discovery", or as the great Roman philosophers put it, " Oyjay ofay iscoveryday," is a bit infectious. Finding stuff in bookstores is awesome, and everyone should do it. 

If transparency is a concern, please assume that all books reviewed on Pornokitsch were given to me by the author alongside a fat wedge of cash.