March 4th, 2013March 4, 2013
As of today, Redeeming Qualities has been around for 6 years. I know I was better at posting regularly when I was a student, or when I was unemployed, but even when I haven’t posted for months at a time, Redeeming Qualities has always been a source of good feelings and I’ve never considered abandoning it. So if you’re reading this — and especially if you read RQ regularly, thanks for being around and for sharing opinions and recommendations and for enjoying ridiculous books with me. Some of you are as important to this blog as the Williamsons, and none of you are less important to it than John Kendrick Bangs.
I’m thankful to be done with my Edgar Wallace kick, which culminated in me rereading several of his books that I had read once already. Hopefully I will soon be posting something about Geoffrey Strong, by Laura Elizabeth Howe Richards, although I might wait untill I’ve finished what seem to be the two other books in the series. Meanwhile, I’ve also just finished rereading Set in Silver (which may have overtaken Secret History Revealed by Lady Peggy O’Malley as my favorite Williamsons) and I’ve just started another of A.E.W. Mason’s Hanaud mysteries (The House of the Arrow, which so far I’m enjoying a lot). Plus I’m rereading The Hobbit for the first time since I was a kid, and finding it less awesome than I remembered, so maybe I should stop.
The House of the Arrow came from a book shopping expedition on Saturday, when I set out with a couple of family members in search of a fairly recent bestseller and a copy of Frankenstein. Neither of the two indie bookstores we tried had Frankenstein, but the second one had the other book. We continued on to one of my favorite used bookstores, but they were in the process of moving, and if they had a copy of Frankenstein, it was inaccessible. But we’d noticed another used bookstore around the corner, one I’d never been to, and it turned out to be kind of amazing.
Not only did we find a copy of Frankenstein, we found two, although the second was abridged and therefore unacceptable, in spite of the excellent 1960s children’s adventure style illustrations, which made Frankenstein’s monster look an awful lot like the Hulk.
For the rest, this store was a monument to paperbacked genre fiction. Romance novels took up the most space — there were signs saying things like, “We’re sorry, Nora Roberts has been moved to the back room,” and when you would go to the back room, you’d see an entire bookcase devoted to her — but there were also bookcases for different categories of thrillers and mysteries. My companions were inclined to be mean about the romance novels, which always makes me kind of angry on principle, but we all found things we wanted. I came away with three post-1923 Mary Roberts Rinehart mysteries, as well as the A.E.W. Mason, so I left pretty happy, but I want to go back soon, with less judgmental people.