I have many old books in my house, collected from second hand shops, flea markets and church fêtes over the years. Today the Minion discovered this in a dusty old copy of Black Beauty (publication date unknown)…
It seems pretty old. I wonder how it made it all the way across the Atlantic.
Was it a love letter from a soldier to his sweetheart back home?
A letter to a little girl from her pen-pal on the other side of the world?
A secret missive smuggled across the ocean in a children’s book?
Okay, okay. That third one wouldn’t require a stamp. But still. If this stamp could talk, I wonder what tale it would tell.
A few years ago I took an online creative writing course (you can tell, can’t you?). Naturally discussion often turned to books, and at one point someone, on hearing about my love of fantasy, exclaimed, “But then you must have read Stephen Donaldson!”
There was an awkward silence, broken only by the chirping of crickets. (Well, not really. This conversation happened in an online chat forum, and I only saw the message likely hours after it had been posted, but isn’t it just awkward if someone assumes, nay, insists that you’re familiar with something…and you aren’t?)
Never heard of him, was my reply. Oh, the other person came back. You should. You’ll enjoy him.
I’ve been in a reading slump lately. Ever since I finished Terry Pratchett’s Jingoaround Christmas last year I’ve been reading only non-fiction, and slowly at that (I started a book on Quantum Theory a month ago, and am not even halfway with it yet). Among all the novels on my shelves I just couldn’t find anything I felt like reading.
Then Sir Terry died, and the next day I got Dodgerat half price. I finished it on Friday (review to come), and picked up Mort (with which I’m almost done). I’ve decided to make my way through the whole Discworld again, or at least through those titles I already own, which brings up the question of which order to read them in.
Yesterday the wife and I headed to the neighbouring town, as she was in need of some clothes and it has the only mall within eighty kilometres. Also the only bookshop. Yeah, I know.
I was browsing the shelves, not looking for anything in particular, and as is my wont I gravitated towards the fantasy section. This particular chain has never heard or either Jim Butcher or Neil Gaiman, but they often have significant markdowns on the titles they do stock, and I was pleasantly surprised to find not one, but two of Terry Pratchett’s more recent publications at half the regular price. Considering the great man’s passing this week, I took it as a sign.
I also picked up The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce. It’s not a Pratchett, but I’ve seen many references to this novel online, it looks like a fun read, and it was also half-price, so why not?
As I’m feeling all melancholic at present, I think I’ll be putting my current read (a non-fiction book on Quantum Theory) aside for now and first read Dodger.
While we’re talking about reading, head on over to The Book Notes Project for a fun questionnaire on what you’re reading at the moment.