Book Haul, October 2017

I recently picked up several books at a recent sale.

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by Richard T. Chizmar (editor), Robert Morrish (editor), Dean Koontz (Goodreads Author) (contributor), Dominick Cancilla (Goodreads Author) (Contributor), Douglas E. Winter (Contributor), F. Paul Wilson (Goodreads Author) (Contributor), Gahan Wilson (Contributor), Gary A. Braunbeck (Contributor) , Jack Ketchum (Contributor), John Shirley (Contributor), Lewis Shiner (Contributor), Michael Marshall Smith (Goodreads Author) (Contributor), Paula Guran (Contributor), Peter Straub (Goodreads Author) (Contributor), Poppy Z. Brite (Goodreads Author) (Contributor), Ramsey Campbell (Contributor), Ray Bradbury (Contributor), Richard Laymon (Contributor), Simon Clark (Contributor), Stephen Mark Rainey (Goodreads Author) (Contributor), Thomas F. Monteleone (Goodreads Author) (Contributor), Thomas Ligotti (Contributor), Tim Lebbon (Goodreads Author) (Contributor), William F. Nolan (Goodreads Author) (Contributor), Caitlín R. Kiernan (Contributor), Charles L. Grant (Contributor), David B. Silva (Contributor)

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“A tense psychological thriller with shades of early Ruth Rendell.”

–The Times (London)–

Plagued by guilt, paralyzed by shame, Jinx has spent the years since her mother’s death alone, estranged from her husband, withdrawn from her son, and entrenched in a childhood home filled with fierce and violent memories. When Lemon, an old family friend, appears unbidden at the door, he seduces Jinx with a heady mix of powerful storytelling and tender care. What follows is a tense and passionate weekend, as the two join forces to unravel the tragedy that binds them. Jinx has long carried the burden of the past; now, she must relive her mother’s last days, confront her grief head-on, and speak the truth as only she knows it.

Expertly woven and perfectly paced, A Cupboard Full Of Coats is both a heart-breaking family drama and a riveting mystery, with a cast of characters who linger in the mind and the heart long after the last page has been turned.

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In the nonfiction tradition of John Berendt (“Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil”) and Erik Larson (“The Devil in the White City”), New York Times bestselling author Douglas Preston presents a gripping account of crime and punishment in the lush hills surrounding Florence, Italy.
In 2000, Douglas Preston fulfilled a dream to move his family to Italy. Then he discovered that the olive grove in front of their 14th century farmhouse had been the scene of the most infamous double-murders in Italian history, committed by a serial killer known as the Monster of Florence. Preston, intrigued, meets Italian investigative journalist Mario Spezi to learn more. This is the true story of their search for–and identification of–the man they believe committed the crimes, and their chilling interview with him. And then, in a strange twist of fate, Preston and Spezi themselves become targets of the police investigation. Preston has his phone tapped, is interrogated, and told to leave the country. Spezi fares worse: he is thrown into Italy’s grim Capanne prison, accused of being the Monster of Florence himself. Like one of Preston’s thrillers, The Monster Of Florence, tells a remarkable and harrowing story involving murder, mutilation, and suicide-and at the center of it, Preston and Spezi, caught in a bizarre prosecutorial vendetta.

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When Dorothy triumphed over the Wicked Witch of the West in L. Frank Baum’s classic tale we heard only her side of the story. But what about her arch-nemesis, the mysterious Witch? Where did she come from? How did she become so wicked? And what is the true nature of evil?

Gregory Maguire creates a fantasy world so rich and vivid that we will never look at Oz the same way again. Wicked is about a land where animals talk and strive to be treated like first-class citizens, Munchkinlanders seek the comfort of middle-class stability, and the Tin Man becomes a victim of domestic violence. And then there is the little green-skinned girl named Elphaba, who will grow up to become the infamous Wicked Witch of the West, a smart, prickly, and misunderstood creature who challenges all our preconceived notions about the nature of good and evil.

An astonishingly rich re-creation of the land of Oz, this book retells the story of Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, who wasn’t so wicked after all. Taking readers past the yellow brick road and into a phantasmagoric world rich with imagination and allegory, Gregory Maguire just might change the reputation of one of the most sinister characters in literature.

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More than 50,000 copies of this exhilarating collection of high-seas adventures are already in print. Not only does it showcase the fiction of such classic writers as Daniel Defoe, Jules Verne, and Jack London, but the entries also feature historic first-person narratives, including Christopher Columbus’s own account of his famous voyage in 1492. Every page offers excitement, from vivid tales of heroic naval battles and dangerous journeys of exploration to the thrilling stories of castaways and smugglers. The astonishing variety of works includes “The Raft of Odysseus,” by Homer; Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Mermaid”; “The Specksioneer,” by Elizabeth Gaskell; Washington Irving’s “The Phantom Island”; and “Rounding Cape Horn,” by Herman Melville. Eighteen extraordinary black and white illustrations by Peter Hurd add to the volume’s beauty.

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This is a collection of twenty historic tales of tragedy experienced by Canadians of the not-so-distant past. These events–inflicted by climate, geography, war and human negligence–left no one untouched. From the cannibalistic Franklin Expedition of 1845, to the Spanish Influenza epidemic of 1919, to the Vancouver Bridge disaster of 1958, Butts captures the total devastation these disasters had on small towns and large cities across Canada. These shocking and heart-breaking stories have been collected from survivor eye-witness accounts and archived reports recorded at the time these events took place. Written with compassion and a keen eye for chilling details, Ed Butts shows how disasters–both natural and man-made–can creep up at any time and change the lives of those they touch forever.

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In 1990 two men wearing police uniforms took over the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. They stole works by Degas, Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Manet and got away with the biggest art heist in history. In 1997 Christopher Wallace, the influential rapper known as Notorious B.I.G., was gunned down in Los Angeles. His killer remains free. And these cases are just two among many.

When a major crime is committed, investigators search for recent “hot” clues to track down the culprit. But what happens when the trail turns cold? Many unsolved criminal cases are closed and left dormant for years. On top of that, recent DNA advances and new forensic technologies are overturning guilty verdicts and creating more unsolved cases. “Unsolved Crimes” presents the victims, the details of the investigation, and the suspects in each case, and “Lingering Doubts” sidebars ask unanswered questions and let you assess the situation.

Included are sections such as:

Murder: High-school student Natalee Holloway; California’s Zodiac Killer; the Black Dahlia; “Hogan’s Heroes” star Bob Crane

Political Assassinations: Communist defector Alexander Litvinenko; investigative Russian journalist Anna Politkovskava; Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme; Pakistani leader Benazir Bhutto

Kidnapping: British child Madeleine McCann; Minneapolis socialite Virginia Piper: Moroccan leader Mehdi Ben Barka

Robbery: Airplane hijacker D. B. Cooper: the heist of the Irish “Crown Jewels”
White Collar Crime: Tainted Chinese toothpaste; the Vatican Bank Scandal

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Experience the magic of storytelling…Prepare to be mesmerized by mystical lands and narratives that educate and entertain. From The Epic of Gilgamesh to Aesops Fables, 68 much-loved stories take you far and away to exotic tropical islands, the icy Arctic, and around the world. The drama is further enhanced with over 60 evocative paintings from a leading illustrator of children’s books perfect for all ages. Young children will delight in having these stories read to them, and parents and grandparents will appreciate the precious childhood memories that they stir. Embrace the power of a great and everlasting story!

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A girl’s body lies, posed, on the pale sand of a Hamburg beach, a message concealed in her hand. ‘I have been underground, and now it is time for me to return home…’

Jan Fabel, of the Hamburg Murder Squad, struggles to interpret the twisted imagery of a dark and brutal mind. Four days later, a man and a woman are found deep in woodland, their throats slashed deep and wide, the names ‘Hansel’ and ‘Gretel’, in the same tiny, obsessively neat writing, rolled tight and pressed into their hands.

As it becomes clear that each new crime is a grisly reference to folk stories collected almost two hundred years ago by the Brothers Grimm, the hunt is on for a serial killer who is exploring our darkest, most fundamental fears. A predator who kills and then disappears into the shadows.A monster we all learned to fear in childhood.

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Contents:
Canon Alberic’s Scrapbook (1895)
Lost Hearts (1895)
The Mezzotint (1904)
The Ash-Tree (1904)
Number 13 (1904)
Count Magnus (1904)
“Oh, Whistle, and I’ll Come to You, My Lad” (1904)
The Treasure of Abbot Thomas (1904)
A School Story (1911)
The Rose Garden (1911)
The Tractate Middoth (1911)
Casting the Runes (1911)
The Stalls of Barchester Cathedral (1910)
Martin’s Close (1911)
Mr. Humphreys and His Inheritance (1911)
The Residence at Whitminster (1919)
The Diary of Mr. Poynter (1919)
An Episode of Cathedral History (1914)
The Story of a Disappearance and an Appearance (1913)
Two Doctors (1919)
The Haunted Dolls’ House (1923)
The Uncommon Prayer-Book (1925)
A Neighbour’s Landmark (1924)
A View from a Hill (1925)
A Warning to the Curious (1925)
An Evening’s Entertainment (1925)
There Was a Man Dwelt by a Churchyard (1924)
Rats (1929)
After Dark in the Playing Fields (1924)
Wailing Well (1928)

M. R. James is probably the finest ghost-story writer England has ever produced. These tales are not only classics of their genre, but are also superb examples of beautifully-paced understatement, convincing background and chilling terror.
As well as the preface, there is a fascinating tail-piece by M. R. James, ‘Stories I Have Tried to Write’, which accompanies these thirty tales. Among them are ‘Casting the Runes’, ‘Oh, Whistle and I’ll Come to You, My Lad’, ‘The Tractate Middoth’, ‘The Ash Tree’ and ‘Canon Alberic’s Scrapbook’.
There are some authors one wishes one had never read in order to have the joy of reading them for the first time. For me, M. R. James is one of these.

 

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What kind of strange place is this? When Neil’s father accepts a caretaker’s job at the Wyrd Museum, Neil and his brother have to go live there with him.

The museum is owned by three old sisters who talk in circles, mumbling about fate and destiny. And then there are the exhibits, with everything from shrunken heads and mummies to stuffed ravens.

The sisters have warned Neil never to enter the room that holds The Separate Collection. Of course, that’s just where Neil wants to go. Inside the secret room, he discovers something magical and dangerous–and his life will never be the same!

 

 

 

 

 

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