- Death Masks – Jim Butcher
- Blood Rites – Jim Butcher
- Dead Beat – Jim Butcher
- Proven Guilty – Jim Butcher
- White Night – Jim Butcher
- Small Favor – Jim Butcher
- Turn Coat – Jim Butcher
- Changes – Jim Butcher
- Ghost Story – Jim Butcher
- Cold Days – Jim Butcher
- Skin Game – Jim Butcher
- Vikram and the Vampire – Richard Francis Burton
- Journeys through the Inside Passage: Seafaring Adventures Along the Coast of British Columbia and Alaska – Joe Upton (unfinished)
- On Language: Chomsky’s Classic Works Language and Responsibility and Reflections on Language in One Volume – Noam Chomsky (unfinished)
It’s been nearly two months since I’ve ventured into a book store or, longer still, a library. That’s an inordinately long time for me, someone who enjoys the smell of books – the feel of the paper and bindings.
Bookshop is a useful tool for picking up some new books and supporting local bookshops (I wrote about it more here, but I haven’t shopped online there yet).
Small sacrifices, I suppose, in favor of the common good. I dare not even try and buy something on Amazon as, a) their shipping schedules are slightly off, and, b) I’m still making my way through the country with no real address to ship to.
However, not needing to buy new books, I delved into my digital library to consume the Dresden Files books once again. I’d read the series before, starting back in maybe 2011 or 2012. Butcher is releasing not one, but two new Dresden novels this year, and I wanted to get reacquainted with the wizard detective.
In truth, there are the two collections of short stories, Brief Cases and Odd Jobs neither of which I’ve read, that I’ll likely pick up as well.
But all of my reading this month was digital. In Alaska, my roommate lent me a couple books to read, but I didn’t get into them before I had to return to the lower 48.
Next up was Vikram, a book that I discovered through an Easton Press email. A long time ago at a discount book store, I found a copy of Tad Williams’s Child of an Ancient City. I read it at some point, probably in the early- to mid-nineties. But upon seeing the email from Easton Press I could not recall the title. So I started looking.
The book, if I still have it, is somewhere in storage. I don’t have access to many of the books I own. Googling all that I remember, I slowly made progress. Finally, I identified the title.
The connection was that Vikram was an Indian raja who was told stories by a vampire spirit occupying itself with taking the time to tell stories. Ancient City also dealt with a vampire (which was in India, according to memory, but turned out to be Armenia), and storytelling in a contest to decide whether the vampire would feed entirely on the party of explorers or not.
The book was illustrated by Greg Hildebrandt of the Brothers Hildebrandt and even included an acknowledgment to Sir Richard Burton, author of Vikram and the Vampire.
Journeys was something I began reading from the Internet Archive
I’m sitting on a stack of unread books – of the digital variety now. Tools of Titans, The Very Best of Caitlín R. Kiernan, A History of Japan, Deep Work, and Slouching Towards Bethlehem. While traveling I was also hoping to listen to some audiobooks, and yet I’ve remained fairly distracted on the trip. Those that I want to listen to most are: How to Defeat a Demon King in Ten Easy Steps, The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe, Unconventional Success, and Washington by Ron Chernow.
There hasn’t been as much time to read since leaving Alaska. More aptly, I’ve been distracted throughout. Too much time in thought, perhaps. One of the most pervasive deterrents to my focusing has been an abundance of time. Which is not something that I thought would ever be a problem.
So, while April gave me ample opportunity to delve into the Dresden series, I’m hoping May will bring a variety of story, along with more certainty about the state of affairs within the country.