Saturday, March 04, 2006

Miscellaneous Book Thoughts

21. The Best British Mysteries 2005, ed. Maxim Jakubowski. Mysteries, 3-4, pp. 341

Best is an arguable description for this collection of short stories. Ian Rankin, Peter Robinson and a smattering of other authors are definitely worth perusing, but it's an uneven assortment at best.
Attended the annual Washington Antiquarian Book Fair yesterday. I'm not at all certain why I parted with $12 to do so. I bought two books, both from the same dealer. Generally, the books on offer are extremely over-priced. Book fairs do tend to attract dealers who are quite proud of their inventory. In fairness, book fairs are costly ventures for dealers--there's the cost of travel and subsistence as well as the registration fee. I do wonder if they serve much of a purpose. I enjoy looking (but not buying) all the rare and expensive books on offer. Such pleasure is increasingly offset by the $12 opening day fee and the difficulty of getting to the Washington Book Fair which is, strictly speaking, in Arlington, Virginia.
Borders annoys me. They persist in shelving Joan Didion's fine memoir, The Year of Magical Thinking, among the fiction. I have found other memoirs there, also. This is most annoying. Why don't the powers-that-be at Borders establish a section for biographies, autobiographies and memoirs? In this, they could learn from their counterparts at Barnes & Noble.

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