I braved the heat to do some shopping today, looking for a birthday present for my neighbor, and the autopilot in my car dragged me into the parking lot at Half-Price Books. It often does, despite my continuing insistence that I don’t need more books.
I think I’ve actually bought, and read, more paper books than electronic since I bought my Kindle about three months ago. And since the Houston NPR station, KUHF, split into two channels, one news/talk and one classical music, I hear about even more interesting books, both the newly published and those going into paperback release, giving one show or another a good excuse to rerun an interview from last year.
A couple of weeks ago such an interview sent me over to Barnes & Noble to pick up a copy of Empire of the Summer Moon, the story of Quanah Parker, the last great chief of the Comanche, and the son of Cynthia Ann Parker, who was captured by the Comanche as a girl and grew up as one of them. This week it was Last Call, a history of Prohibition.
So there I stood in the U. S. History alcove at Half-Price Books, staring at the shelves, neatly alphabetized by author, completely unable to remember the name of the writer whose interview had made me want to find the book. What to do? Well, I pulled my Kindle out of my purse, flipped the switch, turned on the wireless connection (I have the 3G version, which works anywhere you can get a cell phone signal), and searched the Kindle store for the book. There are a LOT of books with the title Last Call, but there at the top was the one I wanted, by Daniel Okrent. (No wonder I couldn’t remember the name.) And there on the shelf was a copy of the hardback edition.
I also found a DVD for a friend, the birthday present I wanted for my neighbor (three novels by the very talented Deeanne Gist, who writes Inspirational Historical Romances that appeal even to Non-Inspired readers like me), and The Virgin’s Lover, a novel by Phillipa Gregory, whose books take me back to the sweeping historical fiction I read as a girl.
Last night I finished reading The Restorer, by Amanda Stevens, an excellent and scary romance/mystery about an archeologist who specializes in cemetery restoration. (I have a degree in archeology and anthropology myself, and I never knew there was such a specialty.) My only complaint about this book is that the sequel won’t be out until November.
Both Amanda and Deeanne are members of the West Houston RWA chapter, as are two other friends who are releasing some of their backlist books in electronic form. Before Colleen Thompson wrote gritty romantic suspense, she wrote edgy historical romance under the name Gwyneth Atlee. Several of these are now available again as ebooks. Cheryl Bolen writes wonderful Regency era romances, and some of her out-of-print titles can now be downloaded as well.
Time to pick something from my ever-burgeoning collection of unread books. I don’t think I’m quite ready to return to the world of The Hunger Games. Maybe I’ll revisit Sookie Stackhouse in Charlaine Harris’ latest tale. Or find out what’s happening with Cotton Malone in Steve Berry’s new one. Or go to sleep, because I have to go to work in the morning. Naw, that’s too practical. The only problem with all those unread books (including the three I bought yesterday after the meeting) is choosing the next one to read.