Thursday, April 30, 2009

So I Bought Some Books Today

One of the things that is good about travelling 110% of the time for work is that I build up lots of Amex Rewards points. I build them up way faster than I can really keep track of; every time I check I seem to have another couple hundred bucks worth of points. So, I try to spend them from time to time, usually by ordering Barnes & Noble gift cards. This past weekend when I got back from Columbia I had a $100 card waiting for me. So what do I do with a $100 gift card? Why, spend it, of course. I didn't spend all of it (there's $15.85 or something like that left), but I got a number of books that I'm looking forward to diving into.

With Arrow, Sword, and Spear
This was a total impulse purchase off the bargain racks at the front of the store. To quote the cover, it is "a history of warfare in the ancient world." The author's idea of the ancient world includes China and India, which is the real reason I picked this up, as I wanted to learn a bit about how those cultures did warfare in ancient times.

The Silmarillion
Yeah, I never owned a copy of this book, so I wanted one. The version I got is a hardback with 45 Ted Naismith color plates in it, which is pretty sweet. And I didn't even notice this until I got out of the store, but it has a fold-out map in the back of "Beleriand and the Lands to the North," whatever that is. Maps are cool, though.

The Ultramarines Omnibus
Being a collection of three novels set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe, focusing on the space marine chapter, the Ultramarines. I don't play Warhammer 40,000, or any Games Workshop games, anymore. So why did I buy this? I dunno, but it's 750 pages of military sci-fi adventure with lots of shooting of space orks and daemonic extra-planar entities and stuff. And the Ultramarines were my first Space Marine chapter when I played the game, so there.

I've been reading more pulp fiction from the '30s over the last few years, stuff from C.L. Moore and Robert E. Howard, as examples. This is another Howard novel, but the title character is new to me, and I think only appeared in this book. This is Howard's entry into the Sword & Planet genre. Definitely an impulse purchase, but odds are it will be a good one. Not necessarily good bang for the buck, though; it cost $12.99 for 150+ pages, which is only $1 less than that massive Ultramarines book.

By the Sword
Man, I love Mercedes Lackey stories. She writes the best female protagonists ever. Most writers create female characters who are all tough as nails, until some "bad boy" hot dude rolls around and then it turns into erotica as the woman swoons and her bosom heaves, and a bunch of stuff happens that I don't want to read about in the detail people seem to think I need. Lackey's heroines kick butt and take names without having to turn into sex addicts at the drop of a hat, and I respect that. This story concerns the grand-daughter of one of my favorite Lackey characters ever, the sorceress Kethry (who actually bothered to marry the man she fell in love with), and hopefully will continue the run of strong heroines who don't turn into simpering idiots when 'hot dude' rolls around.


Sigmar said...

You have a treat in store. The Silmarillion is one of the finest imaginative works ever written. It really puts LOTR into context.

I wish I had only just found it :(

Enjoy your read.
my WHFB Blog

Aaron W. Thorne said...

Well, I read the Silmarillion many years ago (my father owns a copy), but I don't remember any of it. I wanted a nice version to go with my other Tolkien books, and I am looking foward to reading it again.