Nightstand V

Stacks of books are everywhere in the house.
Stacks of books are everywhere in the house.

Books, books, beautiful books. From bottom to top:

Peter T. Leeson. The invisible hook: The hidden economics of pirates. The thesis is that pirate crews were organized as they were (his focus is on the 18th century Caribbean) because economic forces made them so. I believe that “economic forces” are as real as fairy tales, but the arguments here are worthwhile.

Orhan Pamuk. My name is Red. I am trying this again solely on the strength of Helen Dewitt‘s regard for it.

Samuel R. Delany. About writing: Seven essays, four letters, and five interviews. I am, slowly, expensively, acquiring a reading copy of every Delany title. The chance to speak with him was the highlight of Readercon earlier this month.

David Mitchell. The bone clocks. Borrowed from the library; too slight an achievement to want to own. I enjoyed it — although the swamp of exposition (and it’s exposition that relies more on Portentous Capitalization than story or even logic) in part five nearly drowned me. But the plain, clear humanity of part six redeemed the tale for me.

John Clute. Pardon this intrusion: Fantastika in the world storm. Another purchase at Readercon, another fine talk from the author there.

Tom McCarthy. C. I picked this up at a friends-of-the-library sale. I haven’t read it yet, but the first page and the flap blurb make it appealing.

Samuel R. Delany. Phallos. Wesleyan University Press had a table in the dealers’ room at Readercon, with special discounts. My cash was limited, or I would have filled my suitcase.

Kenneth Barrett. 22 walks in Bangkok: Exploring the city’s historic back lanes and byways. One of the best ways to learn a culture is just to walk around.

Greer Gilman. Cry murder! in a small voice. My final Readercon splurge. A novella chapbook about — a murder mystery starring Ben Jonson! Truly, I ask you, who could resist?