Our annual trip to the big book sale
(The books in bold are the ones Krys picked up.)
1. The Will by Reed Arvin (2000). A big-city lawyer returns to his hometown in Kansas to execute the will of the town's richest man. There lies intrigue! This sounds fun - I might have to read it eventually.
2. The Templar Legacy by Steve Berry (2006). You might expect me to get a book like this, but to be honest, I'm not that keen on fiction about the mysteries of the Templars. This sounds like a Da Vinci Code-style thriller - which means it's probably a fun, inconsequential read. I'll have to ask Krys what she thinks of it before delving into it myself.
3. The Righteous Men by Sam Bourne (2006). Another thriller about a weird religious secret that people will kill to protect! Krys was really into thrillers this year. She can't explain it! I think it's because her husband is so very boring, and this is how she gets excitement in her life.
4. Four Complete Novels by James M. Cain (1982). The books are: The Postman Always Rings Twice, Mildred Pierce, Double Indemnity, and Serenade. I've only ever read Double Indemnity and liked it a lot, so I figured I'd pick this up for one thin dollar!
5. Imperial Life in the Emerald City by Rajiv Chandrasekaran (2006). Krys and I saw the author interviewed on The Daily Show, and this book sounded fascinating, but I never got around to buying it. But for $3, I couldn't resist!
6. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrel by Susanna Clarke (2004). I heard tons of good things about this, but I also heard some bad things about it. I'm very curious to see what's what. I'm also glad I didn't buy it when it first came out!
7. Days of Infamy: Military Blunders of the 20th Century by Michael Coffey (1999). Despite the fact that a lot of this book seems to be devoted to World War II - the dullest of all wars! - it still sounds neat. I love military screw-ups.
8. Sphere by Michael Crichton (1987). Krys picked this up. I'm not sure why. It keeps with her theme this year of buying trashy thrillers. I guess this fits the bill.
9. Olivia Joules and the Overactive Imagination by Helen Fielding (2003). This is Krys's nod toward chick lit, although it seems to be somewhat thriller-ish as well. She liked Bridget Jones's Diary, so I guess she'll like this one.
10. The Mephisto Club by Tess Gerritsen (2006). And we're back to thrillers with religious overtones! Is Satan stalking the streets of Boston? Well, considering the way Boston sports teams have performed over the past few years, I'd have to say yes, and that they sold their collective souls. Now he wants his payment! This is another one I may read, depending on Krys's assessment.
11. The Seduction of Water by Carol Goodman (2003). A "gothic mystery" about a woman researching her mother's death, and finding strange secrets about it. It might be interesting.
12. Soon I Will be Invincible by Austin Grossman (2007). It's a novel about a superhero! How could I not love it? I'm glad I saw this at the sale, because I've been considering buying it for a while, and I'm happy I didn't have to pay full price.
13. A Season for the Dead by David Hewson (2004). Another thriller, this one set in the Vatican and involving murders and priests and martyrs. Another one I will ask Krys about before reading.
14. America's Wars and Military Excursions by Edwin P. Hoyt (1987). I love me some "military excursions" in places like Hawaii and Central America, but I don't know much about them, so I figured this would be a good book to read.
15. The Trudeau Vector by Juris Jurjevics (2005). Shockingly enough, it's another thriller, but just as shockingly, religion does not appear to be involved! It's a murder mystery at the North Pole (or thereabouts), and environmental disaster is involved somehow! What could be going on?
16. The Night Manager by John le Carré (1993). Well, it's John le Carré, so I doubt we're getting a love story!
17. The Dust of Empire: The Race for Mastery in the Asian Heartland by Karl E. Meyer (2003). America and Britain's involvement in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the rest of the Stans is examined. I love books about "The Great Game" that British imperialists played in this part of the world a century ago, and I like modern equivalents to that. So I guess I'll like this book!
18. Le Colonial by Kien Nguyen (2004). Three French men head to Vietnam in the 1770s. Man, it sounds right in my ballpark!
19. The Fig Eater by Jody Shields (2000). In 1910 Vienna, a girl is found murdered near the Imperial Palace. Krys got this one, but I'm fascinated by pre-World War I Austria, so I might have to read this eventually.
20. Gorky Park by Martin Cruz Smith (1981). I've never read it. I probably should, shouldn't I?
21. A Factory of Cunning by Philippa Stockley (2005). The story of a French noblewoman on a mission of revenge against a British aristocrat in eighteenth-century London. This is probably the closest thing to a non-thriller that Krys bought this year.
22. War in the Falklands (1982). This book was put together by a bunch of writers from The Sunday Times of London. I've never read much about the Falkland War, so I figured this was a good place to start.
23. Caliban's Shore: The Wreck of the Grosvenor and the Strange Fate of Her Survivors by Stephen Taylor (2004). The Grosvenor was a ship that wrecked on the southeast coast of Africa in the 1780s. This sounds really neat.
24. Rhodes: The Race for Africa by Antony Thomas (1996). In all the books I've read about African imperialism, Cecil Rhodes, weirdly enough, doesn't get enough attention. I mean, authors don't ignore him, but he seems to spring full-grown like Athena onto the African scene. So I got a biography of him! Okay, he sounds like a scumbag, but a fascinating one!
25. Mr. Sebastian and the Negro Magician by Daniel Wallace (2007). A magician disappears one night in 1954 and his circus friends try to unravel the mystery of his life. Daniel Wallace wrote Big Fish, the movie of which I haven't seen completely yet, but he seems to be good at these weird, whimsical, somewhat mystical books.
26. Nanjing 1937 by Ye Zhaoyan (1996). A professor in a sterile marriage falls in love with a woman when he sees her on her wedding day. Of course, it's all set during the horrible massacre perpetrated by the Japanese, which should make it depressing. I love historical fiction!
We also bought a few kids' books for less than a dollar. So we got 30 books (I think we got four books for the children) for $88.30. Not a bad haul at all. I always enjoy going to the book sale, because it's quite fun, especially after I was done shopping and was just looking around at some of the odder stuff. They had several Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew sets, which I might have to get at some point, but no Three Investigators. I loved the Three Investigators when I was but a lad. Of course, I shouldn't be buying books at all, as my stash of unread books gets larger and larger. I'm almost 37. I may finish all the books I haven't read that I own by the time I'm 70. And that's if I stop buying books until then. What are the chances of that?
Damn the torpedoes, I say! There are books to be bought!