Friday, November 30, 2007

Loot (books)

0712 book loot
Originally uploaded by
You know the way some bookshops and newsagents have tables of bargain books, at, say $5 each or 5 for $20? I hit paydirt on one of those this week. Sometimes you're lucky (there's usually a bunch of dross in there that you quite understand being at that price) and find books that otherwise would cost upwards of $20 each.

From the top...

I've read good things about John Dunning's 'book' mysteries, so pounced on this one. The Sterkarm Handshake I remember reading and enjoying some time ago from a library, so at this price, it can belong to this house's library. People keep saying how much they enjoy Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum books, so although this isn't the first in the series, it's a taste to see if they appeal to me. The House on Mulberry Street sounds like a gentle, easy read, a meringue book for a summer afternoon. Autumn Castle plays with ideas of faerie and again, at this price, I'll see how I like it. It's yonks since I read Sarah Paretsky, so again, I'll dabble. Not bad going for $25, wouldn't you say?

The Night Watch is a Russian vampire novel that was made into a film (which I haven't seen), but the book was highly recommended to me earlier this year. That reader had had to buy it in large format paperback from the US (hurrah for Amazon), but there I was with a book voucher and there it was on the shelf... It's quite dark, I believe, and there are at least two sequels, but I'll try this and see how it goes. I've read a few vampire books this year, inspired by Robin McKinley's brilliant Sunshine (probably my favourite book of the year), but nothing has come close to that one (although it's been an interesting excursion into genre fiction).

Earlier in the year I read Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy, knowing that The Golden Compass (which just premiered in the US - the link I've given here to the IMDB will give you links to reviews/release dates) was coming (this is the first book in the trilogy, published in England/Australia as Northern Lights, and the US as The Golden Compass). I wanted to read the books first. Again, they were from a library - but Angus and Robertson bookshops have the hardback of the trilogy, and the softback of the trilogy, at the excellent price of $29.95 (individually they're about $17 each in paperback and the compilations up to $60) and I wanted to read them again, so I snaffled up the opportunity. (No affiliations, but if you're in Australia, Angus and Robertson's online store has free delivery until mid-January, and apparently the trilogy in one cover is exclusive to them).

Both Sterkarm and Materials would be worth wafting in front of your teenagers, particularly if they like fantasy novels. Another fantasy series that lots of teenagers have been enjoying (well, the girls, for reasons that won't take you long to work out...) is by Stephanie Meyer - the vampire romances Twilight, New Moon and Eclipse. The boys are impatient to read the second Skulduggery Pleasant book (due out around Easter 2008), if you want a boy recommendation (not that girls won't like it, they will too) - it's funny and clever and fun.

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