In an effort to stave off our ridiculous acquisitions rates, Kakaner and I have undertaken a pact not to buy any more new books until… well, for as long as we can possibly restrain ourselves, and hopefully we’ve actually read the greater part of the books we’ve bought but haven’t yet read. But prior to that, I, of course, bought a lot of books this summer. Ahem. Here are some of the ones that I’m most excited about.
A 1905 (?) edition of Lafcadio Hearn’s A Japanese Miscellany (originally published 1901) – I’ve been wanting to find a copy of his Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things for ages, with little luck given his relative obscurity. So I was astonished to see three beautiful, first-edition-or-nearly hardcovers of his works on a shelf at Skyline Books in New York City. No Kwaidan, but this seemed the next best thing. 1905 is pencilled in on the endpapers, but I suspect from this nifty index of Hearn’s work that I have the 1906 edition, which would make it second edition.
Hearn (born 1850) was an Irish/Greek/American journalist who lived and worked as an English professor in Japan from 1890 till his death in 1904, and wrote a number of enormously popular volumes on Japanese culture and ghost stories.
Next up, a neat poetry collection I found at Glen Echo Books in Princeton, New Jersey.
Not such a huge fan of Ted Hughes, but Seamus Heaney is one of my absolute favorites, so I couldn’t resist picking it out. I haven’t read the introduction yet so I have no idea what the overall intention of the collection is, except to cultivate a certain sort of folk-tradition assortedness – hence the title and the inclusion of pieces from oral traditions. It’s nonetheless terribly dominated by Dead White Men and, by the same token, Anglo folk traditions, is what I’ve mainly noticed. However, it has introduced me to the work of Edward Thomas (1878-1917), whom I’d only read once before but very much like now.
Also, it has a pleasingly textured cover – it’s a sort of cross-hatched laminate, if that makes any sense.
Finally, a Big Pile of Stuff:
Caitlin R. Kiernan’s Alabaster (previously hankered for here), because I suspect I’ll love her work, the cover art is more than enticing, and it’s already sold out on Subterranean Press. Robin McKinley’s Deerskin, because it’s one of the only books of hers that I didn”t already own, and has been on my wishlist ever since I first read it. Tanith Lee’s Metallic Love because I can’t stand not knowing what happens after The Silver Metal Lover. Also, more Kinuko Y. Craft cover art is always welcome in my life. And from San Diego Comic-Con, via Vega (thank you again!!) – a Digger postcard, a Stephanie Pui-Mun Law bookmark (I always seem to need more bookmarks, though I don’t know what actually happens to them), and best of all – a signed and inscribed copy of Peter S. Beagle’s The Unicorn Sonata, illustrated by Robert Rodriguez, and soon to go out of print and be completely rewritten.
I can’t even remember the last time I bought a novel with full-color illustrations. Excited does not even begin to cover it.
…And this has been another episode of Emera Goes Slightly Crazy Over Printed Matter.