I know the aim of my blog goes a little wide of the atheism target sometimes, but I don’t really think it matters too much what topics I ultimately hit. I’m not aiming to be the blogger’s equivalent of a brain surgeon anyway. Less specialized and more like an ice cream store of all flavours. Or at least, a store I operate with all the flavours I like. There really is something wrong with people who don’t like Tiger Tiger. Really, there is. I feel super sorry for people who a) haven’t heard of it and b) have heard of it but can’t get it. Those poor, poor people.
Anyway, back to the title of my post here, the jackpot. Book jackpot, actually. I went to the nearby mall for groceries this morning and was ecstatic to discover the SPCA used book sale was running. Oh, the books, the glorious books! There had to be a dozen tables set up, all sagging in the middle from the weight of so many boxes of books on them. A couple carts were nicked from Zeller’s to hold records and puzzles and games, too. I never even had a chance to look through those. Oh man, I could have carted out a cart load of books, easy, but I limited myself to what I could carry in two arms instead. I almost walked out with an Erich von Daniken classic, but I think I’m tired of ancient astronauts for the time being.
I usually focus on the young adult books when I’m looking through sales like that. I’ve always loved reading and there were so many books I loved as a kid that I’ve been hunting for. I know I could probably browse eBay or Chapters and Amazon and other online book sellers and find most of them in 20 minutes but that’s not even one percent of the fun I have touching every book in the box, hoping to find one I recognize from childhood.
My aunt had loaned me a box of books she’d gotten while in school in the 1960s. Over the years I’ve found some of the Scholastic titles I remember were in the box. No luck with that this time around, so I just grabbed a mystery from 1965 called Voices in the Night by Rhoda W. Bacmeister. Takes place in 1862, so that should be cool.
I managed to find a half dozen books from the Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators series. Cripes, I loved those. I used to have a very battered copy of Mystery of the Green Ghost and I was so creeped out by the cover, I had to keep it face down in my closet. I felt better about it once I read it though. It was really good.
I picked up two by Peggy Parrish; Key to the Treasure I had already but this one’s in better condition. Haven’t read The Ghosts of Cougar Island though. I preferred these mysteries to her Amelia Bedelia books but those were pretty silly and enjoyable too.
I had a choice of a couple different Choose Your Own Adventures so I selected Inside UFO 54-40 because Edward Packard was a bloody CYOA genius. All his books in the series were fantastic, as were R.A. Montgomery’s. UFO has 30 possible endings. I used to find an ending I liked and then work my way backwards to find the path that would lead to it. A little unconventional, but hey. I think I still have Journey to the year 3000 at my folks’. It’s twice the size of the usual ones.
So’s the Archie’s Double Digest I snagged. Remember when they were actually 256 pages of Archie and friends tomfoolery? Only $1.95 for a cover price, too. The one I saw at Safeway today was a quarter of the length for $3.99. That’s why I quit buying Disney Duck comics, too. It was getting too damned expensive to keep up with all the titles. Library has a lot of the comics now .. er, “graphic novels” .. so if I’m desperate for a Donald Duck story, I can get them there. I love Carl Barks but Don Rosa’s stories are very well drawn and totally hilarious. He just has a way with those ducks.
What else did I get – one by Zilpha Keatley Snider (The Headless Cupid) and Covenant of the Crown by Howard Weinstein. That’s a Star Trek book from 1981, one I don’t think I’ve read. Some of books from the Trek collection are quite good, especially the earlier ones like Price of the Phoenix and Fate of the Phoenix both by Sondra Marshak and Myrna Culbreath, and The Entropy Effect by Vonda N. McIntyre. Wiki’s got the whole list, big surprise there.
The last box I really pawed through was filled with science fiction, and none of the classics, either. I found two authors that might sound familiar, Lester Del Rey‘s book The Mysterious Planet and Theodore Sturgeon‘s The Synthetic Man. I haven’t heard of Gerard Klein but I picked up Starmasters’ Gambit anyway. It might be good, as might Android Armageddon by Robert Tralins and Time War by Lin Carter.
I think I’m going to wind up doing a series of posts featuring these sci-fi oldies and other not-so-classic books from the genre. I think that could be fun.