Book Shopping

I treated myself to a haircut and a trip to the Last Bookstore In America* today. Here’s what I found.

First, it took me a while to even find the bloody books. Here’s a photo. You walk in and are confronted with a WALL of Nook Stuff. (see the front door back there?) It used to be that when you walk into a bookstore you were bombarded with NYT bestsellers, magazines, and New Releases. Now I’m innundated with a product I have no interest in. Boo.

Ok, past that. I went in to see if maybe (just maybe!) Saladin Ahmed’s Throne of the Crescent Moon was out early, put on the shelf by a non-regulations-following bookseller. Where in the hell are the goddamn new releases? The first tower of books I find past the Nook Shit is “Dieting and Health”. Huh.

Ok, moving on.

I found an edition of Moby Dick that has notes and so forth, excellent! It’s an ugly book, printed like it came off a home desk-jet printer, but the material is good.

Next, there were three copies of M.L.N. Hanover’s Killing Rites. This cover is repellant to me. How many of these have we seen? How many of this type of novel have I started and tossed and is now decidedly on my Avoid catergory? However, I have been assured by MyAwfulReviews that this is not one of THOSE books, just ignore the cover. However, MAR also liked Lev Grossman’s The Magicians, so that’s a negative point. However, I really loved Leviathan Wakes, another novel by this same author (pen names). However, it’s got a Zia on the front. So I bought a copy to make up my own mind.

Next. Another stupid cover. Why do publishers ruin books in this way? Why don’t they just save themselves a buck and make plain-text cover that says: Steampunk Fantasy by an Author You’ve Read Before and like? Ok, sounds great! Steven Harper wrote a murder mystery on the Moon that was an enjoyable read and I have been looking forward to snother by him for a long time. This one is called The Doomsday Vault.

The Treasure I discovered is this other, previously unknown to me, novel by R. A. MacAvoy. MacAvoy has written a lot, and I really liked her Tea with the Black Dragon. Death and Ressurection looks to be more from the same universe, plus some Southwest-“y” spiritual elements tossed in. I love finding small presses that take risks like this. This publisher is Prime Books.

So, let’s dive in!

*I know there are other bookstores.



14 thoughts on “Book Shopping

  1. Thanks for more good book recommendations! I am particularly excited about the MacAvoy, as I also loved “Tea With the Black Dragon”. And I’ll check out your other recommendations too.

    Been thinking: Seems to me that serious, high-quality book-reviewing web sites, of which DarkCargo is one of the few examples that I am aware of, could grow into the kind of filtering system that the traditional publishers sometimes managed to be.* You’re building a serious collection of reviews, too. Maybe a little much to wade through if you’re not looking for a specific author or title. So why not make it a little easier for readers to find recommendations?

    I’m thinking maybe two lists: 1) A list of the best books reviewed on the site – say, in the past year, and 2) a longer, slightly more detailed list of all the books reviewed on the site with a thumb up or down and a brief comment as to why.

    Whatcha think? It would sure help the more recent followers like me.

    *Of course, the sainted traditional presses often choose the popular deck over excellent new authors and exploratory efforts, so they aren’t quite the dependable arbiters of quality literature that some would now make them out to be.

  2. Did I read the “Murder Mystery on the Moon”? More specifically is this THE sequal I have been harassing you about for years? If so can I just say WWWHHHHHOOOOOOO HHHHHOOOOO!! As soon as I get confirmation I will be looking for a kindle edition and if it is unavailable I will be heading to B&N to use th gift card I got for Christmas and have been saving for just such an occasion. :)

    I am gonna be soooo disappointed if this is not the series I think it is!

  3. I would highly suggest reading the first three books of that MLN Hanover series (Man, I should really review those some time) before jumping into book 4. I would say 3 and 4 are the best in the series, but you’ll need the first two in order to see what’s going on.

    • Also, you do realize that my reviews are awful, right? I think they’re good books, but I only pretend to have good taste. Hopefully this is a hit rather than a miss for you (I can see it going badly if you’re not a fan of urban fantasy). Also, I hate those covers, but they must sell books, because the main character is NOTHING like that cover, other than female.

    • Yes, you’ve been jumping up and down about this series, which is why I –DESPITE THE DESPICABLE COVER!– picked this one up. So, a jibe to the marketers, it wasn’t the cover that sold the book to me, but YOU! Except *doh* it’s the fourth in the series. I’ll have to go back and get the first.

      Also, you do really great reviews, we just have polar opposite opinions on The Magicians. I think it’s interesting that people with similar reading tastes can still find books that they disagree on.

      • Honestly, The Magicians was a hard read for me. I felt like it was well-written, and I felt like there were important things going on, quality writing that works in a thousand different ways on the reader. At the same time, I hated most of the characters. For me, it was almost exactly like reading Joe Abercrombie again.

    • I’ve heard the publishing industry referred to as the most conservative industry in the world, and it’s ridiculous covers like this that make me believe that’s true.

      On the other hand, what does Mr. Six-Pack on the cover of MacAvoy’s novel say about it?

      • In order to have true equality, you can’t pick and choose where that equality shows up. Six-pack male for a belly-flashing female.

  4. my barnes & noble looks exactly the same. i mostly just go there to buy christmas cards and chai lattes. :(

    I’ve heard really good things about the Steven Harper, I’m looking forward to your review!

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