Tears of a Wallet: Latest Acquisitions

As these things inevitably go, I got home to Texas, and priority one was heading to the Half Price bookshop in search of all the books dominating the year-end lists, and a few others. Mainly, I was searching for half priced David Foster Wallace, but had no luck. In fact there were many novels I was searching for where they had the author in question, but not the specific novel. So I decided to hold out, and got only three (three!) books, where normally I'd come home with a cartload.

Flannery O'Connor - Complete Short Stories

I took a number of short fiction classes in college (probably because I thought there would be an easier workload), and they ended up being some of my favorite classes. There were three stories we studied that particularly stood out (apart from all the Russian stuff that I was predisposed to love). First was "The Enormous Radio," by John Cheever (I still recommend this to anyone, creepy creepy science fiction of the Twilight Zone variety). Second was "Cathedral," by Raymond Carver (Oh, how I love Raymond Carver).

Finally, there was "A Good Man Is Hard To Find," by Flannery O'Connor. If you've read short fiction, you've probably read this famous tale of murder and mayhem in the antebellum South. It's the sort of thing that might be turned into a Coen brothers movie, except that it's way too dark.

You all know I love Southern Gothic, so this was an obvious choice at the bookstore - (This is Me: "OOOOH SHINY!").

And for the benefit (or boredom) of all of you, I'm going to blog about each story as I read them.

Connie Willis - Passage
I've been looking forward to Connie Willis for a long time. Everything I've read tells me that I would love her greatly - sci-fi of the Neil Gaiman mould, humanistic stories involving weird science and time travel.

They didn't have the ones I wanted, which were either Doomsday Book (medieval history student accidentally ends up in 1320), or Blackout (Oxford historians from 2066 are repeatedly sent back in time to change the past during the most crucial horrors).

But Passage is also quite well regarded (and shockingly has no time travel in it. I think. But I secretly hope it does.)

Henry James - Daisy Miller and Washington Square
I am taking it on faith that I'm going to love Henry James (dont ask me why). But this was a dollar, and has his most well-regarded novels (in one book!) I was going to read Turn of the Screw first, but I left it in London. There's every possibility that I will get to Washington Square first, and fill another important gap in my personal canon.

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