03 June 2012

New books ... too many new books

Just got back from a week down in the steaming swamphole known as The Unnamed Port City. It was... well, hotter than hell. Much hotter than normal for this time of year. Otherwise it was OK. Once thing I have to say about the place is that it actually has some bookstores, one of them great.

That would be Inkwood, last of the independent booksellers. I think it has survived on the strength of its amazing selection of titles. It is a small place and each topic has a relatively small number of books, but within every one I can find something I want. I restrained myself and only bought Notes on a Century: Reflections of a Middle East Historian by Bernard Lewis. I am not always sure of what to make of Lewis but he writes extremely well, is brilliant, competent and then some in more than a dozen languages, and is probably the most well known historian of the Middle East out there.

Then I made the mistake of going into a very good used book store, the Book Swap in Carrollwood on North Dale Mabry. Found bunches of books I had to get. Had to.

Bought On Writing Well. Possibly it will improve the writing on this blog, but I doubt it. Michael Wood's In Search of the Trojan War, now much dated but it certainly tells what was the latest archaeological data with elan. Then Whose Bible Is it? by Jaroslav Pelikan which ought to be interesting. It is supposed to be "an engagin and highly readable survey of Biblical scholarship" and judging by what I've read of Pelikan before it will be. Also something I have been looking for for much of my life, a book telling lefties how to produce beautiful italic handwriting called logically enough, Left-handed Calligraphy. I can make one more attempt to do as well as Dad did.  Finally, two Elmore Leonard Westerns. Hombre is generally considered his classic western, but for my personal taste it is clearly Valdez is Coming. Got them both (and both have been made into good movies).

And no visit to a city is complete with out going to Barnes and Nobles now that Borders is gone. One trip I got Ralph Sawyer's Ancient Chinese Warfare and on the second trip Warfare in the Medieval World, both for my scholarship. The last trip I picked up two magazines, one Medieval Warfare I will have to subscribe to and the other Strategy and Tactics.

Now, as to how many I have had a chance to read ... well, I'm a third of the way through Bernard Lewis and about halfway through the left-handed calligraphy book. Should be done by the end of summer.


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