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Chris Little 2010 Winter Spring

What have you read in 2010? Post your list here and update it as you go along! (One thread per member, please.)
Posts: 4585
Joined: August 2008

Post by annis » Sat July 10th, 2010, 3:10 am

Not sure how common Trease's novels were in the US. Thee was a US edition of Snared Nightingale (with an utterly boring cover), but it's pretty hard to find these days. I picked up my second-hand copy quite a few years ago.

Yes, I'm very familiar with the purge which follows the rush to add free internet computers in libraries :( A couple of years ago this happened to our library- computers are all the thing, don't you know- who needs books? We watched in horror as staff from our home branch (we couldn't be trusted not to save stock) came over and decimated our collection. Even now I'll sometimes tell a patron- "Oh yes, we have a copy of that" - only to find on checking that it was a victim of the purge.

We still have an uneasy and turbulent relationship between "old-style" patrons, who want books and a quiet place to sit, and loudly Skyping tourists and kids playing computer games-at high volume; one that will only be resolved by having a much bigger library, and that won't be happening anytime soon, alas.

Chris Little
Posts: 64
Joined: February 2010
Location: Going back in Time

Watching Libraries Get Tomahawked

Post by Chris Little » Sat July 10th, 2010, 3:58 am

The local ILL clerk is still trying to get a "Horse Coin" for me, now from a university library in Kansas, and I'll try her on another Trease next. "So Wild the Heart" might be available from three USA west coast libraries.

When I see members of the " (my) Old Girl Network" (the library's political base as the commissioners called it) in stores, etc, they ask me to come back to replace the recently departed guy who took my place. He was a computer oriented non-book person who also installed new catalog software that is very frustrating ... Still, there are signs of hope. The regional library bought a bunch of Sutcliff for the YAs. May the book people prevail!

The "fees in the library" discussion intrigued me, in predicting some of the ongoing changes to the book-library. It might be instructive to watch the UK. They may be the first major library culture to take some of the darker fee paths. Worldwide, at $54 annually, the UK spends more per capita for its libraries than any other country. Canada and Australia are second and third at approximately $45, followed by the USA $43, and Norway at $40. As a percent of GDP, the UK spends 0.21% of its “wealth” on libraries, with Australia and Canada allocating 0.20% each, and the USA 0.12%. (Don't have a lot of confidence in those stats, but ...)

Posts: 4585
Joined: August 2008

Post by annis » Sat July 10th, 2010, 8:19 am

Snared Nightingale and So Wild the Heart seem to be the only surviving extant Geoffrey Trease adult novels, though he did write 2 others which appear to have vanished into a black hole (or if you’re a Terry Pratchett fan, perhaps they have disappeared more kindly into L-space )

SWTH didn’t grab me quite as much as SN, though it is a lovely piece of satire about academic life at Oxford and English tourists on the Continent in the post-Waterloo Regency period. It includes a free-thinking communal group ensconced at the Italian lakes, complete with some stereotypes recognizable to anyone familiar with similar groups in the 1960s :) Like SN it is at heart a romance.

I think Horse Coin one of the best of David Wishart’s novels, but for some reason it’s extremely hard to find, and ridiculously expensive to buy second-hand. I took advantage of a very favourable exchange rate earlier this year to finally get a copy of my own from England, though I had read a library copy many years ago. It’s a good one to read in conjunction with Shipway’s Imperial Governor.

Edit- I'm surprised to discover from discussions on this forum just how much US readers get and expect in the way of free library services- either you have generous local authorities or philanthropic endowments of a sort the the rest of us don't benefit from!
Last edited by annis on Sat July 10th, 2010, 8:30 am, edited 5 times in total.


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