Book-Haul Diwali 2009

So after keeping my emotions about books in check all through this year’s Landmark Sale, I decided to make a visit on the last day of the sale, hoping that the available selection would have been reduced, and I wouldn’t end up bankrupt as I usually do. I did just fine. Went over-budget by only 50%, which is good because my usual is around 200-300%. This continues my couple-of-months-long streak of not splurging on books till I read enough of the ones I have.

So, as usual, here’s a short, mostly uninformed set of opinions on some of the books I bought. It’s essentially an annotated list, but I’ve linked to stuff this time so you can take a look for yourself.


I decided to get myself some comedy, for one thing. So it was extremely fortunate that there was a Robert Rankin book on sale (The Toyminator, sequel to the rather awesome The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse), and one by Jasper Fforde – The Fourth Bear. This one isn’t part of the matching hardback set I talked about some time ago – it’s a paperback, but I haven’t read this book, and I can always give this copy away when I get the matching set.

I also saw Eoin Colfer’s Hitchhiker’s book, And Another Thing …, but I decided not to buy it just yet because looking at it just made me sad.

I found a lovely hardback of Good Omens for Rs. 149, with this sort of flippable dust cover, so you can choose the white angel cover saying ‘Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman’ or the black devil cover saying ‘Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett’. It was a pity I couldn’t find more copies to give to other people.

I bought a couple of books for a friend – a second copy of Daniel Kehlmann’s Measuring the World (I haven’t yet finished reading the copy I own, because a friend ‘borrowed’ it fairly quickly), and Death by Chick-Lit by Lynn Harris, which, of course, I’m going to read before I give to my friend.

Which reminds me, I got one ladlit book (for myself) – Love and Other Near-Death Experiences by Mil Millington – and chose not to get one by Mike Gayle because that dude sucks at endings.

I missed out on buying Best New Horror 15, because I thought I already had a copy. Turned out I had Best New Horror 12. But anyway, I’ve got way too many anthologies at home which I still have to read, and also, Landmark had something like five copies. It’ll stay. Speaking of horror, I got Joe Hill’s Heart-Shaped Box, which I’d been craving for a while. I also got Transgressions 2, which has a story by Joe Hill’s dad.

The find of the day originally seemed to have been Eagle Annual: Best of the 50s (featuring Dan Dare, apparently ‘the Greatest Comic Strip of All Time’), but it turned out to be more of an interesting artefact than something of actual reading value. Still, cheap!

I tried to renew my old allegiance to sci-fi by buying Black Man by Richard Morgan and Spook Country by William Gibson. (Proof I’m a bad sci-fi fan? I’ve only read the first 30 pages of Neuromancer – I got bored and stopped.)

Assorted weird books that stood out from the (rather large) pack – Lost Souls by Michael Collins, Time Was Soft There by Jeremy Mercer (a memoir centred on a bookstore), The Discomfort Zone by Jonathan Franzen (a holistic memoir, it seems), The Testament of Gideon Mack by James Robertson, The Somnambulist by Jonathan Barnes (New Victoriana), Rain Dogs and Love Cats by Andrew Holmes (bought due to the Tom Waits connection, and currently reading) and The Insatiable Spider Man by Pedro Juan Gutiérrez (nothing to do with Peter Parker).

Also bought my first Jeanette Winterson (Tanglewreck) and Simon Spurrier’s first (Contract).

Finally (did you notice how I reserved it for the end, didja, didja?), I got Electric Feather, mainly because I wanted to finish reading the Samit Basu story excerpted here. I finished this book last night, by the way, and it was quite interesting. I’ll be writing a review soon. All in all, I’m glad I got it. You can read Ruchir Joshi’s introduction here on Nilanjana Roy’s blog.

And that’s all for this shopping spree. I don’t have the usual feeling of shame and huilt at overspending, which makes me happy. And these’ll last me for a while, don’t you think? Yeah, right!

5 responses to “Book-Haul Diwali 2009

  1. Half of these books were not there today, I can vouch for that. Though I did buy Dealth by Chicklit.

    I had a book shopping list that I had requested a friend to get from my fav bookseller in Delhi who gives me 20% off round the year. So, I did find several such titles from my list at 20% off. No loss, no gain.

    • Most of the stuff I bought were last copies. Though there were some other books by the same authors that I managed to resist. I cut out 5 Ian Rankin books I’d selected because I haven’t read the ones I have.

      By the way, this bookseller in Delhi – Midland Books, by any chance?

  2. Yes, it is. :) How would you know? Which branch have you been to?

  3. It’s amazing what you stumble upon at times in bookshops. I recently picked up The New Discworld Companion by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Briggs at a little store in Bandra for just Rs. 100. Supremely sweet deal I say!

  4. Am waiting for the Electric Feather review…

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