Tuesday, July 28, 2009

An August assembly...of books

When I was younger and earnest-er, by this time of year I would have already bought all my English uni texts and read through them.

By the time I was back at uni four years ago, picking up a few English honours courses with the idea of turning my on-the-side three year English degree into a slightly-more-functional four year English degree, I was lucky to get through them at all, enmeshed in my job, the Banff Centre's Wired Writing Studio, and a variety of freelance commitments.

The Book of Secrets of Albertus Magnus of the Virtues of Herbs, Stones and Certain Beasts also A Book of the Marvels of the World. Eds Michael Best & Frank Brightman (Oxford University Press, 1974)

A Medieval Bestiary w/wood engravings by Gillian Tyler by T.J. Elliott (Godine, 1971)

Royal Persian Manuscripts Ed. by Stuart Cary Welch (Thames and Hudson, 1976)

Little Books for Cooks: Mushrooms (Andrews and McMeel, 1997)

How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading by Mortimer Adler and Charles Van Doren (Simon & Schuster, 1972)

Reversed Forecast by Nicola Barker (Faber & Faber, 1994)

The Ghost Road by Pat Barker (Penguin 1995)

Edison & The Electric Chair: A Story of Light and Death by Mark Essig (McClelland & Stewart, 2003)

I'm not feeling sentimental for my younger days or even the year before Aa was born, precisely, because I still get heaps and piles of reading done and I have the great good fortune to have my reading subsidized by my job at Aqua Books, but I sort of miss long hot August mornings with nothing to do but pre-read my uni texts...

(Except even then I envied those people who didn't have to get summer jobs.)

Anyways, this long hot nearly-August intro was meant to set up a post about the excellent stack of books I've managed to snag recently at Aqua, the second-hand bookstore where I work...

In terms of my selections, my personal opinion is that you can never have too many woodcuts and translations from the Latin of fanciful creatures, UK-based authors named Barker, and gorgeous gold-embossed Persian illustrations.

It should go without saying that you can never have too many mushrooms.

Also, I would like to note what a relief it was to FINALLY source Edisonia from Aqua. I mean, what would it look like if I got all my research materials elsewhere? Like I'd been cheating on my bookstore, that's what it would have looked like.

Finally, having just been assigned a book for review, I'm looking forward to cross-reading how I SHOULD be reading it.


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