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Books & Cute Photo

Total­ly unre­lat­ed to any­thing else: Squee! (Thanks, AMQ!)

For some odd rea­son, I got this weird notion about track­ing down as many of the books I’ve read as pos­si­ble. No, I don’t know why.

I’m not even going to try to remem­ber all the series books and such that I read as a kid—Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, The Bobb­sey Twins, The Box­car Chil­dren, The Three Inves­ti­ga­tors, Ency­clo­pe­dia Brown, etc. When I was 9 or 10, I lit­er­al­ly read my way through every sin­gle book on the chil­dren’s side of the Gads­den Pub­lic Library, final­ly get­ting the exalt­ed per­mis­sion to check out books from the adult side. There’s no way I’ll ever remem­ber all those books, or track them down. Some bits have teased at my mem­o­ries for years, but nobody else has ever rec­og­nized them.

The books I’ve read as an adult, though–that’s fair­ly doable. (I have a decent mem­o­ry of those I read back into mid­dle school, but I don’t think it’s ter­ri­bly valu­able to go there.)

Any­way, that led me to look­ing through a bunch of author’s web sites, and sites like Fan­tas­tic Fic­tion that have exten­sive lists of books sort­ed by author, year, series, etc. I’m thrilled to find that some authors I assumed to be dead are still pump­ing out word count, and some series I fig­ured to be long fin­ished are in fact alive. I hope that I won’t ever be des­per­ate enough to read some­thing like The Cat Who…series again, but if I am, they and all the knock-offs are out there.

I’m get­ting to enjoy some books all over again just by hav­ing my mem­o­ry jogged, with­out actu­al­ly going back and re-read­ing them. With oth­ers, I can tell that I’ve for­got­ten so much that I could enjoy a re-read, which is nice.

Oth­er details are mad­den­ing­ly elu­sive. I know I read bunch­es of Andre Nor­ton’s books, start­ing in those child­hood years. So why, when I look at a list of her works, do I go blank? I know I read plen­ty of her stand­alone works, in and out­side of the Witch World series, so why am I only sure about the co-writ­ten books I read?

I remem­ber quite well when I was lim­it­ed to look­ing up the books that the local library hap­pened to own, or if I was real­ly com­mit­ted, get one of those huge tomes from their ref­er­ence desk to see what books an author had in print. The web makes that whole process so much more thor­ough, not to men­tion faster and eas­i­er! I would­n’t have ever known about all those pseu­do­nyms Mar­i­on Zim­mer Bradley used, or that she wrote a bunch of les­bian pulp nov­els, with­out the web. I cer­tain­ly did­n’t ever find quite a few of the Dark­over books she wrote, despite going through a seri­ous Dark­over phase in high school.

Variable StarThen there are the dead peo­ple who are still pub­lish­ing books. Wow. I had no idea. I mean, I remem­ber that the Sci­en­tol­ogy guy had put out just one or two books of what was sup­posed to be a ten-vol­ume series when he died, and the books kept com­ing out with­out a hitch, sup­pos­ed­ly based on his “notes.” Okay, right. I cer­tain­ly rec­og­nized a lot of Hein­lein influ­ence in the posthu­mous nov­el co-writ­ten with Spi­der Robin­son, Vari­able Star. MZB’s Dark­over and Aval­on prop­er­ties are pump­ing right along, cred­it­ed to Deb­o­rah J. Ross (aka Deb­o­rah Wheel­er) and Diana L. Pax­son. But there’s no men­tion of “notes” or oth­er authors cred­it­ed with some of these peo­ple, and they’ve got books com­ing out five years or more after their deaths.

Sword and Sorceress 22I’m nowhere near fin­ished enter­ing books in Now Read­ing (because look, if I’m gonna look all this up, I want some­thing to show for it, darn it), but I’m already real­iz­ing that I have quite the anthol­o­gy habit. I am absolute­ly tick­led to hear that there’s a Sword & Sor­cer­ess anthol­o­gy that I missed, and anoth­er sched­uled to come out this fall. Look­ing at the lists of sto­ries in antholo­gies reminds me of authors I haven’t heard of in ages, too, so I end up look­ing them up and find­ing out about new works, which gives me even more stuff to look for­ward to.

I use the “Not Read Yet” part of the Now Read­ing list to search the library cat­a­logs and request books to read. It’s a very handy way to keep books in mind, espe­cial­ly those that I know about pre-release, since the library often does­n’t have those in their cat­a­log quite yet. It’s a handy way to keep a “wish list” in a place that I can access from any­where, with­out putting books I just want to read (not nec­es­sar­i­ly own) into an actu­al wish list.

How do you track books you want to read? How do you keep up with your favorite authors’ upcom­ing releas­es?

3 comments to Books & Cute Photo

  • Squee!! What an adorable pic­ture 🙂

    I keep a list of book to read in the spread­sheet I track what books I’ve read. I also keep track of things to read on GoodReads.com

    I’m ter­ri­ble at keep­ing up with new releas­es. What I try to do is put it on my cal­en­dar to look for them around when they’re expect­ed to come out, then put in a request at the library, once they have it list­ed.

  • Oh, just crossed my mind — Project Guten­berg has some of Andre Nor­ton’s works post­ed — http://www.gutenberg.org/browse/authors/n#a7021