New Books

Book Talk

I stopped in Portland yesterday during a rattling trip down I-5 to find the family, and “accidentally” wandered into Powell’s for a little while. I had been hoping to find a copy of Mary Lovell’s biography of Richard Burton, A Rage To Live (which I did), but I didn’t run for the exit quickly enough.

An hour later, my stack comprised of: the third volume of the Library of America collection of Philip K. Dick novels (because one can never not have enough copies of VALIS floating around); Dave McKean’s erotic art book, Celluloid; Michael Moorcocks’ The Chinese Agent and Modern Times 2.0; and Jean-Patrick Manchette’s Fatale. One of the recent short-term goals is to keep bookstore purchases to a stack that can be consumed within the week. It will still probably take me six months to get around to all of these; any longer and they suffer the distinct possibility of never being read.

The new McMenamins Crystal Hotel is now open, and I stayed overnight. Edgefield and the Kennedy School are still favorites, but you can’t beat the location for the Crystal Hotel. The place was filled with the typical McMenamins charm, and according to a review I noticed in the Portland Mercury, the Zeus Cafe is a step up from the typical McMenamins pub fare (having had breakfast there, I submit that the Mercury is pretty spot on).

And that’s probably the extent of my carefree vacation time this summer. Back to the word mines for me. Chapter 38 of The Mongoliad came out yesterday. After the action of the last few chapters, this one slows down a bit and dwells on characterization.