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text 2017-04-04 09:16
Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty
Serafina and the Black Cloak - Robert Beatty

Ok, this book, Serafina and the Black Cloak, has been on my TBR list for a while now.

I have a niece and nephew who love to read so I tend to read a lot middle grade and YA books to see what they are interested in or maybe to help them find something new. And now that I belong to the local YMCA which has a before and after school program as well as a preschool, I seem to run into their Scholastic book fairs. I find it very difficult to not buy something. How can I resist? A good book and helping a school type program....And I am finding that there are many really good middle grade and YA Authors who I definitely enjoy reading.

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text 2014-04-05 23:49
Saturday Public Library Book Haul, April 5, 2014
Watson and Holmes - A Study In Black - Karl Bollers,Justin Gabrie,Rick Leonardi,Larry Stroman
Hip Hop Family Tree - Ed Piskor
Read Me: A Century of Classic American Book Advertisements - Dwight Garner
How to Write a Dirty Story: Reading, Writing, and Publishing Erotica - Susie Bright

It was a good sunny day today to go to the public library after a few gray and rainy days this week. I returned some of the books from last time, and I renewed a couple I am still working on. Naturally, a trip to the library means I come out with a few more new things, which I am highlighting in this post. I got a combination of new things and older things from the shelves. I checked out four books this week, including two new ones.


Hip Hop Family Tree caught my eye right away in the New Books shelf. For one, it is by Fantagraphics, and I usually like their work. Two, it promises to be a history of the early days of hip hop with such folks who went on to become stars like Grandmaster Flash and Kurtis Blow as well as those who worked to make it happen behind the scenes like Russell Simmons and Rick Rubin.


These days it seems remaking Sherlock Holmes for modern audiences is a thing. Whether it is the British show Sherlock or the American version of Elementary, the character has been adapted in various new ways. So, when I came across Watson and Holmes, which adapts the duo as African Americans in Harlem, I was intrigued. The cover art looks very good too, so I am looking forward to this one.


Browsing the shelves, I gravitated to the writing area. That is where I found the Susie Bright book on writing erotica. I have been reading some good erotica lately. While I dabble a bit in fiction, nothing that is ready to see the light of day (so, don't worry folks, at least not yet). Anyhow, I borrowed this in large measure on Susie Bright's reputation and I figure I can learn a thing or two to help improve my writing overall.


Finally, the Read Me book was the serendipity find of the day. I had heard of this book before; it has been on my TBR for quite a while, so finding it was a good thing for me. This is a book of old book advertisements. I do like books about books and books about vintage things, which makes this a good combination. It also looks like it will be an easy read given it is mostly a visual book.


All in all, it was a good day to go to the library. As soon as I read them, I will review them for you guys to learn more.


So, any of you visiting your public library? Any good finds? Tips perhaps? Comments welcome.

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review 2012-06-23 00:00
Library Of The World's Best Mystery And Detective Stories
Library Of The World's Best Mystery And Detective Stories - Julian Hawthorne This rather bizarre little item from Kindle's free smorgasbord is in fact the fourth volume (French, Spanish, Italian, Latin, all in translation of course) of what looks like a highly idiosyncratic international compilation of what Poe would have called Tales of Mystery (&/or Terror) and Tales of Ratiocination, with the emphasis - in this volume at least - heavily on the supernatural and terrible, and the 'detective' side really only there to support Hawthorne's dubious claim of Voltaire's Zadig as a sort of early detective. (At best, he's a rational man in Voltaire's wildly satirical irrational world). Hawthorne devotes at least a quarter of his volume to short stories by de Maupassant, most of them very slight. I was intrigued by Balzac's take on Maturin's "Melmoth" - fan fiction of the most sophisticated kind! Balzac rather cynically proposes that the dread exchange of the soul for worldly favours would, if allowed to be exchanged from one man to another, itself degrade for smaller and smaller rewards, and he works this through in his story. I wouldn't mind browsing through the other five volumes, but only if I found them in their proper 1907-1908 format in a library or second-hand bookshop, rather than the faceless, characterless, carelessly scanned version for Kindle. Reading the stories this way made me rather sad.

The compilation was published in 1907-1908 by the Review of Reviews in New York, and one volume contains the first publication of a story by Irish author Fitzjames O'Brien, so it wasn't just a cheap money-making compilation of out-of-copyright stuff.

The six volumes are: American --
English, Scotch --
English, Irish --
French, Italian, etc. --
German, Russian, etc. --
Oriental, modern magic.

and a conscientious librarian (bless their hearts!) has done a further breakdown of the volumes, as follows: American: J. Hawthorne, F.M. Crawford, M.E.W. Freeman, M.D. Post, A. Bierce, E.A. Poe, W. Irving, C.B. Brown. English-Scotch: R. Kipling, E. Castle, R.L. Stevenson, A.C. Doyle, S. Weyman, W. Collins, and others. English-Irish: F. O'Brien, Bulwer-Lytton, T. De Quincey, C.R. Maturin, L. Sterne, W.M. Thackeray, and others. French-Italian-Spanish-Latin: Maupassant, Mille, Adam, Erckmann-Chatrian, Balzac, Voltaire, Alarc╠žon, Capuana, Apulcius, Pliny, the Younger. German-Russian-Scandinavian: G. Meyrink, P. Heyse, F. Hoffman, V. Krestovski, O. Larssen, D. Theden, W. Hauff, A. Chekhoff, J. Bergsoe, B. Ingemann, S.S. Blicher. Oriental: Arabic, Japanese, Persian, Turkish, Sanskrit, Tibetan, Chinese. True stories of modern magic.

It's in the Goodreads header, but just for the record, here's the contents of the volume I read, as pulled from Worldcat: Necklace, The ; Uncomfortable bed, An ; Ghosts ; Fear ; Confession, The ; Horla, The ; Man with the pale eyes / de Maupassant, Guy --
Miracle of Zobeide, The / Mille, Pierre --
Torture of hope / de L'Isle Adam, Villiers --
Owl's ear, The ; Invisible eye, The ; Waters of death, The / Erckmann, Chatrain --
Melmoth reconciled ; Conscript, The / de Balzac, Honore --
Zadig the Babylonian / Voltaire, Jean Francois Marie Arouet de --
Nail, The / de Alarcon, Perdo --
Desposition, The / Capuana, Luigi --
Adventure of the three robbers, The / Apuleius, Lucius --
Letter to Sura / Pliny, the Younger.
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