The other city and bookish thoughts

The city I live in, The Hague, has a wide range of stores, but they are mostly of average size, which usually means it doesn’t take me much time to browse through them. On the other side the limit on my options usually make it easier to make a choice. With finding new books the situation is different. I like a large choice available, as the smaller the store, the more standard the collection of books will be. They mainly sell what’s most popular. For that reason I visit Rotterdam about once a month. Usually even less often than that as the book collection doesn’t change that fast anyways. Rotterdam is not far away, so that’s not really the issue.

This time it had been about 3 months since I visited last due to some vacations I spent abroad and because I still had a good stash of books. Still one shouldn’t have too large intervals as you could miss out on some opportunities. In the end I was somewhat relieved I didn’t find that many new books. Just three to be exact. In my terms that is a good amount.

First is the second volume of the Renshai Chronicles named Prince Of Demons (1996) by Mickey Zucker Reichert. Obviously another fantasy series. The reason I picked it up were twofold. First was that its price was cheap and second was that I’ve had the first volume for some time. Yes, I was in no hurry to complete the trilogy. I do try some things now and then if I’ve seen certain books in the stores often enough and I haven’t been put back that much. The first book was okay, but nothing peculiar. This book will not be on top of my to-read list, but it is always handy to have something extra for traveling or waste some time.

The next book I had actually read already some years ago. It’s Caesar (1998) by Colleen McCullough, the fifth volume of her historical Masters of Rome series. Only the first three books have been translated in Dutch. I got them from the library in my hometown (when I still went there). Several years later I bought them for a cheap price. They are massive books, but very well written with many details of the first century BC. Most remarkable about the books, and why I liked them so much, was that they didn’t take sides. McCullough tried to portray the characters as they were, although there was obviously some dramatization.

Anyways, I had never bothered about there being sequels until I bumped into some e-books of the author’s name. I did like them, although they didn’t feel as good as the first three. So I was in no rush to get them in paper, unless, as usual, I bumped into them and found the price to low to let be. Now it is so that I’m missing volume 4, so that’s sort of a pity. As I’ve read the novel already I don’t expect to read it again soon. Most probably when I get volume 4, but I’m not in a hurry.

The last book was on my Wanted Books list. It’s The First Collected Tales Of Bauchelain And Korbal Broach (2010) by Steven Erikson. It contains the novellas Blood Follows (2002), The Lees Of Laughter’s End (2007) and The Healthy Dead (2004). I’m a big fan of Steven Erikson and the world of the Malazan books so I’m happy he’s writing more about it.

The only thing I have to decide is if I write a review for the whole book or the three novellas. Technically a novella is long enough for a separate review. With the length of the total book as 380 pages and each novella being over 100 pages it’s just short of a short novel. I didn’t write separate reviews for the collected works of Elric by Michael Moorcock because it contained a lot of extra material next to the main novel and/or novella, which leaves a lack of reviewing the collection edition itself, which is also important. This is not the case for this collection as it contains no more than the three novellas. I’m already ahead in it, so I’ll have to decide soon.

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