Not sheepish, but individ-ewe-al (livredor) wrote,
Not sheepish, but individ-ewe-al
livredor

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Haha Americans, I laugh at your puny currency!

I've been planning for ages to take advantage of the weak dollar and top up my dwindling book supply with a shopping spree on Amazon. The postage makes it marginal whether it's cheaper to buy books that way rather than in local shops, but the selection of English language books is obviously much greater in Amazon's catalogue than a typical Swedish bookshop. Then hatam_soferet was generous enough to offer to bring my purchases with her when she next visits England, meaning that I can use the free shipping and not even have to pay postage at all.

I got round to putting this plan into action last night. I'd saved up the part of my budget that I consider pocket money for a week, and I was willing to go a bit over that for a one-off purchase. But between the dollar being practically worthless and books being generally cheaper in America and some handy discounts going on at Amazon, I managed to get everything that I wanted that is available to buy, and added in some random CDs while I was at it... and still spent less than half my not terribly generous weekly friv allowance. Wo0t! Having a kind friend who is willing to carry the books for me means it is actually cheaper to buy brand new books from Amazon than second hand books here or even in the UK.

  • Matt Ruff: Set This House in Order
    Tiptree winner a couple of years ago that got a lot of good press, and I read excerpts online which looked interesting.

  • Salman Rushdie: The Ground Beneath Her Feet
    Replacement for the copy I managed to lose, because this is one of my favourite books so I have to own it.

  • Geoff Ryman: Air
    coalescent brought this to my attention, and I've liked some of Ryman's other stuff, so...

  • Elizabeth Moon: The speed of dark
    I think I first heard of this from wychwood but it's been on my to-read list forever.

  • Steven Brust: The Book of Taltos
    The next couple of the Dragaera set, since I enjoyed the first three.

  • Dan Simmons: Hyperion
    Lots of people keep recommending me to read Simmons, so I thought I'd give it a try.

  • Kim Stanley Robinson: The Years of Rice and Salt
    lethargic_man raves about this in a way that makes it sound like my kind of book.

  • Ted Chiang: Stories of Your Life and Others
    Again, coalescent brought this one to my attention, but when I mentioned I was thinking of reading it, lots of other people got very excited and told me that I absolutely must. I enjoyed the title story when I read it in another anthology, so even though I'm not a big reader of short stories this seemed worth a try.

  • Robert Charles Wilson: Spin
    There has been lots of buzz about this recently, including among people I know with good taste such as rysmiel and papersky.

  • Susan Palwick: The Necessary Beggar
    papersky has raved about this so much that I wanted it.

  • Melanie Rawn: Spellbinder
    I like Melanie Rawn, not unreservedly, but for all her flaws she does characterization very well. And while she isn't getting on with writing the third in her Exiles trilogy, I might as well look at her recent standalone.

  • Ian McDonald: River of gods
    I like Ian McDonald, and I like the idea of this book, not to mention that it seems to be getting a positive consensus on my flist.

  • Pamela Dean: Tam Lin
    I enjoyed Dean's Secret Country books, and I am very drawn by the idea of a retelling of the fairy tale set in a university.

  • AS Byatt: A whistling woman
    I've been looking for the fourth in the quartet for ages, and I decided I might as well buy it new, especially since I love book three, Babel Tower, so much

  • Linley Erin Hall: Who's Afraid of Marie Curie?
    linley's book on women in science; I'm interested in the topic (obviously!) as well as knowing the author, and darcydodo reminded me that this book is actually available now.

  • Hanne Blank: Virgin: The Untouched History
    I was reading misia's journal while she was writing this, and this convinced me that I absolutely have to read it.

Music, which I just grabbed because it was there and cheap rather than being systematic about it:
  • John Dowland: English madrigals
  • Scarlatti: Keyboard Sonatas
    I like Scarlatti, and I think it's very unfortunate he was such a close contemporary with Bach, because in any other generation he would have been a shining star. Really, I like playing Scarlatti, but since I have forgotten what small piano skills I once had, listening is the next best bet.
  • Yo-Yo Ma playing Dvořák's cello music
    Yay Dvořák. Another composer that I consider to be really underrated.
  • Glenn Gould: Bach's Art of Fugue
    This feels like one of the discs that every civilized person should own, and I didn't until now.
  • Tallis: Spem in alium
    A random recording, but j4's enthusiasm convinced me I have to get to know this piece better.
  • Rachmaninoff: Vespers, sung by King's College Choir under Stephen Cleobury
    Like the Tallis, a piece which sounds pretty but which I find musically difficult to understand. Hence, I want a copy so I can listen to it enough times to get my head round it. Plus I have a soft spot for Cleobury's stuff; I knew his daughter slightly at school, and he was very much a big noise in the classical music world when I was at an impressionable age.

Things I wanted but which weren't available:
  • Jo Walton: Tooth and claw
  • Walter Jon Williams: Aristoi (I've read it, but I want my own copy and I don't think it's in print, annoyingly.)
  • Anything at all by Suzette Hayden Elgin (ozarque)
  • Theodora Goss: In the forest of forgetting (another that papersky raves about, and it seems to be available only in hardback and costs more than I'm willing to spend on something unknown except for one good review.)
  • Peter Watts: Blindsight (again, only available in expensive hardback.)

Anyway, since I usually read about 3 or 4 books a month, this lot should keep me going until Passover time, when I might well go to Cambridge for a few days and raid charity shops for more. I am so looking forward to getting these; it will be like a fabulous birthday present to myself!
Tags: books
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  • Change your LJ password!

    I have seen pretty good evidence that a bad actor has all the logins and password details from LiveJournal, including old, deactivated passwords and…

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