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Books Books Books

Well well well. The Seattle libraries are holding their annual Book Sale online. According to the Seattle Times, this year they are partnering with Amazon and some Colorado company to do the sales, and raising more money. Sure, there's something to be said for finding something hidden in a pile of musty tomes, holding the book in your hands, smelling paper, doing all that stuff that hardcore bibliophiles find so oddly stimulating. Me, I prefer to avoid pawing through the bins and all the other inconviences of realspace retail; I'll be visiting the KCLS Foundation online to buy my books this year. They have 32,000 items available.

Not that I need more. At the moment, the library books on the nightstand include Connie Willis' Bellwether, (quick fun read, finished on the bus), plus Nipponofiction such as Laura Joh Rowland's The Samurai's Wife and The Pillow Book of Lady Wisteria, and Sake and Satori by Joseph Campbell. Plus the Sinofiction such as Shanghai Baby (surprisingly tough to get into), A Thousand Pieces of Gold by Adeline Yen Mah, and The Chan's Great Continent by the amazing Jonathan Spence.

Good thing I'm commuting by bus more often. I need the time to read.


( 8 sutras — Your wisdom )
Sep. 27th, 2003 07:13 pm (UTC)
Connie Willis is truly a great author. I've made a point of purchasing almost all of her novels. If I recall correctly, she's won something silly like 6 Hugos & Nebulas for her work (well-deserved, in my opinion, given her unique gift of combining humour and ideas). For one of her more serious efforts, try Passage.

Sep. 28th, 2003 07:12 am (UTC)
I'll look for Passage from the library. Bellwether was fun, but I saw the punchline coming about 100 pages from the end. And it's only 200 pages long.

I do enjoy her work, though. Doomsday Book is still my favorite.
Sep. 28th, 2003 09:23 am (UTC)
That was definitely her best, no doubt.

Sep. 28th, 2003 10:30 pm (UTC)
She also won the Campbell in 1988 for Lincoln's Dreams -- not for Doomsday Book, because (I bet) it seldom goes to the same author twice.

Sep. 28th, 2003 03:42 pm (UTC)
Connie Willis: Record holder
If I recall correctly, Connie's won more Hugos and Nebulas than anyone else. With her most recent win, she surpassed the previous record-holder, Robert Silverberg.

Years ago, when the World Horror Convention was held in Las Vegas, Connie and I were both in attendance. She and I took one afternoon and toured some of the larger casinos. What impressed me most about her was how she mined everything for material. She talked to everyone we met. I remember one conversation in particular that she had (and I witnessed but did not participate in because she was clearly on a roll), with a Vegas show girl. She grilled the woman in the friendliest way possible, and by her questions, I could tell she was furiously taking mental notes and filing them away for future use. It was a fascinating process to watch, and it was a writer's lesson that, unless you're privileged to witness it in action, isn't really something you can learn in the rarified atmosphere of a writer's workshop. Something really special.
Sep. 28th, 2003 07:43 pm (UTC)
Re: Connie Willis: Record holder
Interviewing a showgirl sounds like a writerly exercise many would enjoy. Wish I'd seen it.
Sep. 28th, 2003 03:46 pm (UTC)
Books Books--oy--Books
I took a look at the sale site: lots of titles, but they don't seem to be organized in any way that makes them easy to search. You've got to really want to scroll through the whole catalog, which will take some time. Still, it's a huge selection, and I bet it's well worth perusing. I didn't have the patience, myself.
Sep. 28th, 2003 07:45 pm (UTC)
Re: Books Books--oy--Books
I didn't have the patience; that's what Search Category/Seller is for. I checked out my favorite topics and authors (Renaissance, China, etc). Worked pretty well, and didn't require hours of rooting around tables, boxes, etc.
( 8 sutras — Your wisdom )

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