tastes a little strange

strange is good

the first haul


The crown jewel of the first haul, a hardcover Three Hearts and Three Lions by Poul Anderson. This was one of the titles I was the most excited about, and I just love this 1961 cover. The old Doubleday science fiction logo got a closeup shot because it’s just the best.


Mistress Wilding by Rafael Sabatini. This one is not technically on the list, but Sabatini’s nothing-like-the-errol-flynn-movie The Sea Hawk is, and I’m currently waiting for that one to be tracked down.  And also JUST LOOK AT IT. Like I was about to leave the bookstore without it.


The Third Man by Graham Greene. I’ve been wanting to read this for the longest time.


The Wreck of the Mary Deare by Hammond Innes. The cover art is unattributed, but I would love to know who did it. It’s phenomenal!


A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs. A late 70s edition with a lot of boobs going on on the cover. Apparently any of  the John Carter novels are pretty expensive, even if it’s just a mass market reading copy. This lil dude was $7! Okay, that’s not horrendous, but most of the others were ~$2.


Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson.


The Dispossessed by Ursula K Le Guin


The Man Who Was Thursday by GK Chesterton


Assignment in Brittany by Helen MacInnes

These were all found at Landmark Books and The Bookie Joint in TC.

I’m thinking of taking day trips  to Curious Book Shop in East Lansing, and to the John K Kings in Detroit & Ferndale to see what they’ve got available.



it’s adventure time!

I saw this post by HiLobrow editor Joshua Glenn and was inspired. I want to go out and find not all, but many of the 200 books on his list, and read them this summer. I love the idea of reading adventure novels published in the article’s time-frame (early 1800s-mid1900s), and have read a fair few and loved them, but this is also a kind of experiment. Does this stuff hold up? Just how offensive does it get? Am I in love with the idea of old adventure novels, but they’re actually just unreadable? Will all of my pulpy fantasies come true? Will I be weirdly aroused 75% of the time?


While I had some pedantic issues with the list (mainly, what is the criteria used by this list to define an adventure novel? It’s a question Glenn obviously didn’t ignore, but still makes me wonder how books like Brave New World made it on there), I found myself absolutely enthralled with it. It hit all of the right notes: most of the choices I had read I agreed with wholeheartedly, there were a ton of titles on the list I’d been meaning to read for ages (everything ever by H. Rider Haggard, for example), and also a ton I’d never heard of but sounded awesome. I made an alphabetized excel spreadsheet that very night, color coded by how much I was into it. The classic, scientific measure for deciding what to read.

The other motivation for this project that I should mention, other than I feel like summer time is the perfect time to be reading this stuff (I’m picturing riding my bike to the beach with a trashy adventure novel sticking out of the back pocket of my cutoffs), is that I’ve been in kind of a reading rut for a while now. I get a lot of advanced reader’s copies from my job, stuff I feel an obligation to read because it will keep me up with What’s Going On In Book Publishing Right Now, which I’m supposed ta. And unfortunately, I’m not yet the kind of person who responds very productively to feeling obligated or supposed ta. Thus, the piles of unread guilt-ARCs covering every surface of my apartment, death-glaring me whenever I go to read anything else. So, I feel reading a bunch of 200-page, fast paced stories could be what I need to get going again.

I’ll be tracking these titles down with the help of some local used bookstores (the amazing & beautiful Landmark Books, whose owner  Paul Stebleton has been enlisted to help me find some of the more obscure stuff, as well as Traverse City mainstay The Bookie Joint) and if I absolutely have to order something, it will be through one of these places or my own book store. Using certain online retailers would take every last drop of fun out of this project.