May 21st, 2006


I Will Taunt You A (Third) Time

Since elissa_carey's format has worked so well previously, we'll return to it once again, running down the 107 books, four magazines, and one tarot deck that I got at BookExpo this year. (20 of the books are for mollpeartree, however, and are thus not eligible for entry. Your jurisdiction may have further restrictions. Consult our website or your state lottery commission for details.)

Five Favorite Books:

The Blast: The Complete Collection, by Alexander Berkman. Full facsimile reprint of the famous anarchist San Francisco newspaper from 1916-1917. Another triumph over private property, courtesy of the fine folks at AK Books.

Empires of the Atlantic World : Britain and Spain in America 1492-1830, by John H. Elliott. Comparative discussion of colonial empire, just like it says. Elliott is a British scholar who specializes in Spain, which is probably about as good as you can get for a book like this.

Spiritual Merchants: Religion, Magic, and Commerce, by Carolyn Morrow Long. Awesome looking book on the commercialization of hoodoo and bruxeria in botanicas and "candle shops" all across this great land of ours. A tremendously interesting, quite possibly mandatory, book on modern American magical life. I salivate at the prospect of a special study of John-the-Conqueror root that lies within. St.-Expedit, I salute thee!

The Chinatown Death Cloud Peril, by Paul Malmont. Walter Gibson and Lester Dent team up to fight crime -- starting with the Creeping Death of H.P. Lovecraft -- in this recursively pulp thriller.

Abominable Snowmen: Legend Come to Life, by Ivan T. Sanderson. A reprint of Sanderson's 1961 classic, from my main man David Hatcher Childress' Adventures Unlimited Press.

Favorite Childhood Books:

Hmmm... Kids' books. I got two retournements of classics; Frank Beddor's not-for-kids Looking Glass Wars and the latest Peter Pan sequel, Peter and the Shadow Thieves.

Funniest Book:

Obscene Interiors: Hardcore Amateur Decor, by Justin Jorgensen. He took online male personal ads and, after blocking out the person, makes fun of the interior decor revealed therein. Think of it as the hipster doofus version of James Lileks' Interior Desecrations.

Scariest Book:

Not counting the two zombie books for mollpeartree, either Horror: The Best of the Year 2006, edited by John Gregory Betancourt and Sean Wallace, or Eugenics and the Welfare State: Sterilization Policy in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Finland, edited by Gunnar Broberg and Nils Roll-Hansen.

Guilty Pleasure:

It's neck and neck between Walking The Da Vinci Code in Paris, a tour book for Guess What, and The Shakespeare Code by Virginia Fellows, another sojourn into Baconianism from the good folks at Elizabeth Clare Prophet's Church Universal and Triumphant. Let's all keep in mind that I paid nothing for these.

Book Everyone Ought To Read:

The New Faces of Christianity : Believing the Bible in the Global South, by Philip Jenkins. Over the last century, Africa has become half Christian. India, China, and eastern Asia in general may contain more Christians than Europe and the U.S. put together. Until and unless nanotech takes off, this is probably the most important trend of the 21st century. Jenkins is a little sloppy on North American fundamentalism, but this book (and his previous The Next Christendom) are indispensable treatments.


My normal DC hookup has apparently appeased Mordru and no longer has to work this show. Hence, I got only Batman: Hush by Loeb and Lee, and Batman: the Complete History by Les Daniels.

More generally, many, many kudos to righteousfist for his hospitality and wheels, to Mark Cenczyk for injecting just the right note of arch saveur into the process, and to bibliorex and bittergrrl for letting a total stranger come into their house, monopolize their couch, drink their liquor, and handle their priceless autographed Ulysses S. Grant calling card. A great time had by all, I think.