New Acquisitions

by Tom Ingram

I’ve just started Iain M. Banks’s Consider Phlebas, and so far I like what I see. Last night I went to Chapters to use up some gift cards. I ran into this display…

No respectable businessman would be caught dead using a four-in-hand knot.

…but ultimately decided to get a book by Shirley Jackson instead. I’ve read the two short stories for which she is best known, but her novels are hard to find and rarely talked about these days. We Have Always Live In The Castle is apparently about witchcraft. At one time, Jackson’s Wikipedia page tantalizingly mentioned that she was a practising witch, but provided no further information. Now the reference is gone. I feel we’ve lost something.

Chapters is getting increasingly low-rent. I only go there because it’s closer than McNally, the only other option, and I’m always getting gift cards. The children’s section is being crowded out by toys and games, and the first floor has been almost entirely taken over by overpriced hippie crap. Now it’s difficult to find a book upstairs that’s not Fifty Shades of Grey. I know that bestsellers are an ugly necessity, but the whole point of them is to defray the cost of selling real books. If you don’t, you know, actually carry the real books, then the bookstore has lost sight of its purpose and become a bloated, obscene utility monster.

Also, cut it out with the second-rate neo-crooner music already.

Next week I’m running the final two Anita Sarkeesian posts. I don’t mean for this blog to become “Social Justice Weekly”, but once I had seen that video, not responding was no longer an option. Also upcoming are reviews for Lord Foul’s Bane and The Left Hand of Darkness, books where that sort of discussion is unavoidable. I’ll try to get something light and guilt-free up here soon. Maybe something trashing Robert Christgau, which I’ve always wanted to do.