Finding fun sci fi books – at Tesco….?!?!?!?


Not only is Tesco not a store I normally shop at (I usually use a small local Asda), but it’s also not the place I would expect to find interesting books as its book section is usually stuffed to the gills with the latest bestsellers – not my cup of tea….

However, as I was lurking in the entrance area yesterday, trying to keep warm and dry while waiting for my lift, I noticed a small bookshelf with some battered old books and a charity tin. There was a notice saying how much had been raised for the local community so far, and the implication was that you took a book and made a donation. Now, I’ve never been one to turn away from a collection of second-hand books and so I had a little browse and this is what came home with me…


I did, of course, leave a suitable donation….

Finding older sci-fi titles in a place like this astonished me – these kind of ad hoc book sales seem to be springing up all over the place, when I think about it; there’s one in our local Wilkinsons too, but the books are mainly tatty and unpleasant and of no interest at all. These are tatty, admittedly, but the titles *do* intrigue!


Aldiss is an author I’ve enjoyed very much, and I’ve made a mental note to pick up whatever of his I come across. I know nothing about these titles but I’m willing to give them a go!


I’ve never, ever seen a second-hand copy of New Worlds so this one was irresistible. I will, of course, have the Ballard stories in my collected volumes, but I’m hoping the rest of the contents will be interesting. The last book I know absolutely nothing about – but I couldn’t resist the cover!

I have been doing *so* well with not acquiring books lately, but alas these just *had* to come home with me. Time to go and scout for a few to take in and donate today, methinks….. =:o

Big Books Update – plus some incoming….


Surprisingly enough, I’m finding it quite enjoyable to read several big chunkies simultaneously – although perhaps I’m cheating slightly as two of them are short story collections, and I’m also reading a slim poetry volume too. Yes, that’s right – *two* short story collections, as there has been a new arrival and here is the state of the currently reading:

big books plus

The new arrival is the Aldiss collection – his short stories from the 1950s. I stumbled across this recently and managed to snag it for a *very* reasonable price online. Staggeringly, his 1960s stories will run to four volumes – what a prolific man!

This is progress so far (ignore the bottom book, the second volume of Ballard, as I obviously haven’t yet started that):

big book progress

As can be seen, I am gradually making my way into them, and I’m finding this method of reading working well. I’m reading at least a chapter of each of the big books, a short story from each of the collections and a couple of poems a day, and this has had several beneficial effects: it’s slowing down my reading, so I’m having time for each chapter to sink in; I’m not feeling I must rush to get through a book so I can pick up another one; I’m able to read a variety of things all at once!

The Dickens is proving to be excellent, and each chapter so far is introducing a new set of characters which I’m having time to get to know. I’d forgotten just how good a writer Dickens was… I’m enjoying DQ very much, though I have to admit that at the moment it reminds me very much of Pokemon: DQ and SP travel along, encounter someone or something, have a fight, get beaten to a pulp, recover, travel along, encounter…..!

As for the short stories: Ballard, of course, is masterly and each story so far is a pure gem. I’ve only read a few of the Aldiss ones so far, but I love them – so clever and so pithy and so imaginative. The poetry is coming along nicely and I’m about to start the third poet in this collection, Peter Porter.

So – thus far things are going ok with the big books – watch this space!

As for incomings, obviously the Aldiss arrived in the week, plus another couple of Modern Poets have made their way in. I hadn’t intended to do much book browsing this weekend, but things never go as planned…

finds 2

I hadn’t been into the RSPCA shop for a while, so I popped in on the off-chance to be met with a BL Crime Classic for 95p! It appears to be brand new and unread, so quite why it’s there I don’t know – but I’m not complaining! I’m trying very hard not to start a collection of these, because lovely as they are I suspect most of them are one-read books for me. But I haven’t seen this one around yet, so I figured it was worth less than a pound to try it out!

finds 22 8

The other three titles were from the Oxfam – Howard’s End is on the Landing because I’ve heard good things about it; The Man who knew Everything because it’s a Capuchin Classic; and the Vintage short story collection because it has a lovely selection of authors. All four for less than the cost of a new book, which can’t be bad…. 🙂

Books Big and Small


At the moment, there are a number of books of varying sizes jostling for my attention. I’ve just read quite a lot of smaller volumes (getting very behind with reviewing in the process); and with a slight hint of a chill in the air, I’m feeling rather like getting lost in a big book.

On the shelves there are a few choice volumes crying out to be read:


Proust has been knocking about for a while – I finished the first volume of “Remembrance” but I’ve yet to embark on the second. Also I need to catch up with my Slightly Foxed and Manchester Modernist mags.

skinny ppoetry

Then there are the skinny poetry books – volume 1 of the Penguin Modern Poets is finished! Though the review will no doubt take a while to get to as I’m a bit behind with these… Volume 2 is proving excellent so far and I’m finding myself unexpectedly positive about Kingsley Amis’s verse.

big books

And here are the chunkies! I’m a reasonable way in to Don Quixote, and I read the first chapter of Our Mutual Friend last night and loved it. Plus I’m restarting the Ballard short stories from the beginning again – the first is just marvellous, what a writer that man was…

Whether I’ll manage to read all or some of these simultaneously remains to be seen – watch this space!


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