Stacking the Shelves

You know how I was talking about only three books, this week? Well, it’s a multiple of three? — Why are you looking at me like that? I just felt like an adventure, okay, and my adventures involve books (and awesome second-hand bookshops). And… you couldn’t expect me to leave a bookshop without buying anything, right? Right?

So yeah. Big haul; twenty-seven books in all, counting books from publishers, not counting comics, though Ms Marvel and Captain Marvel both came out in the last week (eee!).

Wait, I just redid the total. Twenty-eight? Man, I dunno. Just look at the pretties.

ARCs/review copies

Cover of The Genome by Sergei Lukyanenko Cover of City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett Cover of The Heart Does Not Grow Back by Fred Venturini

Cover of Black Swan, White Raven, ed Ellen Datlow Cover of Joan of Arc, by Helen Castor

I’ve heard good things about the middle two, particularly City of Stairs, and I’ve read some of Lukyanenko’s work before. Plus, with a title like The Genome, no one’s surprised my ears pricked up. I’ve read other work by Helen Castor and enjoyed the way she writes. And Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling are just… legendary editors and it’s high time I read their anthologies.


Cover of The Archer Who Shot Down Suns by Benjanun Sriduangkaew

I’ve been hearing a lot of good things about Benjanun Sriduangkaew, so when I was alerted to this being a freebie, off I went at speed. And that’s the end of the modest sections: onto the rest of my acquisitions!

Dead tree

Cover of Five Hundred Years After by Steven Brust 6079793 Cover of Brokedown Palace by Steven Brust

Cover of Ombria in Shadow by Patricia McKillip Cover of The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia McKillip Cover of The Midnight Queen by Sylvia Izzo Hunter

Cover of Hero by Perry Moore  Cover of Tessa Masterson Will Go To Prom by Emily Franklin and Brandon Halpin Cover of Salt by Adam Roberts

Cover of Watchtower by Elizabeth A. Lynn Cover of Dancers of Arun by Elizabeth A. Lynn Cover of The Northern Girl by Elizabeth A. Lynn

 Cover of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean Dominique Bauby Cover of The Worm Ouroboros by E.R. Eddison

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly was mentioned a lot in the neurobiology class I took on Coursera (a class I recommend if it comes round again, by the way). Lots of classics, otherwise; stuff from the 101 best SF novels list I’m reading; Steven Brust and Patricia McKillip are tried and true for me…


Cover of Aristoi by Walter Jon Williams Cover of Scale Bright by Benjanun Sriduangkaew Cover of The Taxidermist's Daughter by Kate Mosse

Cover of Under the Skin by Michael Faber Cover of The Falling Woman by Pat Murphy Cover of Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas

Cover of Genesis by Poul Anderson Cover of Glimmering by Elizabeth Hand

Most of these, though not all, are for the aforementioned 101 best list I’m reading my way through. I swear.

And finally…


Captain Marvel #7 Ms Marvel #8

That Captain Marvel cover had better make a lot more sense in context, because I am not a fan of Carol Danvers looking like a cringy heroine from a horror movie who is about to get eaten. The lady kicks ass, people. Steve Rogers is disapproving of you right now. Right now.

Anyway! Anyone been sticking to resolutions better than me?

Bookshop Review – Paramount Books

Earlier this week I had a hankering for books and a pressing need to get myself out of the house for once. Because really, self, that’s not healthy. I ended up deciding I’d take a random trip to Manchester, because I’ve exhausted the more local Thumbnail of map showing Paramount Books' locationbookshops, and I found a few second-hand shops in Manchester by googling. Armed with google maps and GPS, I ventured out. I actually had to stop after just a couple of stores, and it was mostly the fault of Paramount Books (Shudehill, Manchester City Centre, 061-834 9509, open until 7pm most days). It’s super easy to find; not too far away from Manchester Piccadilly station, on a corner near Arndale Shopping Centre.

One problem is that it’s a tiny little place, with nowhere near enough room between the aisles to get in there with a wheelchair. There’s no ramp that I could see, and I’m not convinced the door would be wide enough anyway. There is enough room to get in there if you’re using a stick, I think, but I don’t have any experience with that beyond a few days on crutches once, so I couldn’t say for sure.

First impression on walking in was, “whoa, loud classical music”, which is probably my only other complaint. Which is likely because I was just about on top of one of the speakersPhoto of the front of Paramount Books where I was looking at the science fiction and fantasy section. Unlike some shops that have an SF/F section, this one wasn’t dominated by just George R.R. Martin and Tolkien: there was a good selection of stuff from across the genre. Lots of stuff that I didn’t know, some stuff that I’d been wanting, and probably something for just about everyone. Apparently there’s more in the back room, too, but it was busy when I got there — and probably safer for me in the long run.

It’s not just SF/F, of course. There’s a good selection of old comics, more general interest reading, and plenty of little corners to squirrel yourself away in with a book you’re interested in orPhoto of inside of Paramount Books a shelf you want to study. I saw one of the owner(?)’s young relatives doing exactly that, of which I fully approve. With the loud music and so on it’s not a library, but it’s no Waterstones either — there’s no corporate efficiency, it’s much more personal than that, and no one disturbed my browsing with questions about what I’m looking for (which always annoys me when I’m blatantly browsing rather than seeking something particular). I had a great conversation with the person who took my money, who wisely mentioned liking Wales, and it really made me smile when I was also told to pick some fruit from a big bowl on the desk before I left!

They also pay cash for CDs, cassettes, videos and LPs, and sell old/valuable books as well as the usual old Poul Anderson-style paperbacks.

Things to keep in mind: not a place to find the latest releases — rely on serendipity, cash payment only, take a big bag to carry your finds home in!