For the last two months, I've been hopscotching around the Southwest, picking up a small collection of books along the way. Normally I only buy a handful of Kindle books a year, so these physical goodies are a welcome change of pace. Here's what I've found in the various bookstores, thrift shops, and online deals along the way and my pre-reading thoughts on them.
What They Don't teach You at Film School by Camille Landue and Tiare White
The title and back blurb can't seem to decide whether it's for film school graduates or uninitiated newbs nor whether it contains advice or memoirs, and the 2000 copyright date probably means that some of the industry insiders tips are woefully outdated in a post-YouTube world. Still, Hachette found it worthwhile to slap a new cover on the paper in 2015, so maybe there's something worthwhile within. Or maybe it's a cheap marketing ploy to entice readers to subpar material.
Murder Through the Ages edited Maxim Jakubowski
I bought this one because the title implied it'd be a history of murder. Apparently it's just a historical fiction anthology with a criminal twist. The short stories range from 1000 B. C. to 1941 A. D. At least it shouldn't be boring.
The Gunslinger by Stephen King
Back in high school, I read the revised edition of THE GUNSLINGER, and found it interesting enough to read the next couple books in the DARK TOWER series. But if there's one thing Stephen King fans have told me ad nauseum over years, it's that the revised edition is one of the worst books King's ever written while the original version is one of his best. Might as well see if the fans are right, especially since Idris Elba's casting as the main character in the upcoming film adaptation.
Also, the cover art is gorgeous. I am nothing if not petty.
The Great Secret by L. Ron Hubbard
I love the current trend of republishing old pulps and serials with their original gaudy cover art, and I love Golden Age sci-fi. It should surprise exactly no one that I bought this without a second thought.
Furies of Calderon by Jim Butcher
Stop me if you've heard this one before: in a magical world, a rural boy with no distinguishing features has to to save the world... Yeah, sounds pretty generic, best selling author or not. The only reason I bought this one is because it's been on my Goodreads "To Read" list for years, and it was sale for a couple bucks.
A Handbook of Greek Mythology by H. J. Rose
Did I need another book on mythology? No. Did I buy it anyway? Hell, yes!
On a serious note, H. J. Rose wrote the note sections of the only English translation of the DIONYSIACA, which I reviewed the first two volumes of here and here. As I plan on tackling the the final volume of the epic very soon, I imagination this (likely dated) primer on mythology will vastly help me understand the outside academic influences on the translation as well as the DIONYSIACA's vast content itself.
Ava Gardner: The Secret Conversations by Peter Evans and Ava Gardner
Tell-all biographies/autobiographies of studio system celebrities are almost always fascinating, if only because the era of their prominence required so much taboo to be hidden away from the public eye. Of course, this also means that it's not uncommon for books on the subject to make up unverifiable melodrama as they see fit, especially when the stars in question have been dead for decades. Either way, it usually makes for a memorable read.
The Book of Fairy and Folk Tales by W. B. Yeats
One of my favorite books of all time is THE FAIRY-FAITH IN CELTIC COUNTRIES by W. Y. Evans-Wentz. According to Wikipedia, he was "greatly influenced" by Yeats and his work. This book combines two of Yeats' most well-known books on fairy tale and Irish lore from the same field of research, and may serve as good comparison to Evans-Wentz's work.
Nemesis by Isaac Asimov
Ya'll have no idea how many literal years I've been looking for a hardcover copy of this lesser known Asimov title. Lo and behold, there it was not a week ago, sitting in perfection condition in a used bookstore.
Welcome to Night Vale by Joseph Finn and Jeffery Cranor
Who doesn't know about the affectionate horror? As a small-town desert native of a family who used to run a wacky local radio station, the Welcome to Night Wale podcast holds a special place in my heart. 'Twas only a matter of time before I snagged a copy of the show's literary debut.
The Complete Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe compilation by Barnes and Nobles
Absolutely no one needs as introduction to Poe, so I shan't bother with one. I bought this book because the hardcover design is amazing, plain and simple. I've read most of Poe's stories before, and it's a good collection to revisit on stormy nights.
Sibyls by Jorge Guillermo
The women of piety and prophecy of the ancient world were some of the most powerful people in Roman society. Last year, I visited the Cave of Sibyl itself in Italy, and left with a hunger for more information on the cave's alleged former inhabitants. As a pagapn polytheist with religio romana leanings, the history and practices of the sibyls could also be extremely helpful to my own personal practices.
Banner of the Damned by Sherwood Smith
I have no idea why I bought this. I'm not even sure if this is part of series, and if so, what number it is in it. Apparently it's a royal scribe who is accused of a crime? There's some sort of marriage love-triangle subplot? Literally nothing about this book appeals to me. I can't wait to read it.
The author has one of the best names/pen names I've ever seen, though.