January 17, 2004

The Great Purge, Part VII

Something over a year ago, I started a complete purge of my library. Some books got put into boxes for a while, while others I decided to get rid of completely. But as things go when you've got three kids in the house, I didn't finish the job. I finally got around to working on it this afternoon. I suspect that there's more purging to come, but at least I've gotten through all of the mass market paperbacks, along with a few others.

The following books I'm getting rid of only because for one reason or another I have duplicate copies.

  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, by J.K. Rowling
  • The Anubis Gates, by Tim Powers
  • The Best of Cordwainer Smith, by Cordwainer Smith
  • The Instrumentality of Mankind, by Cordwainer Smith
  • Norstrilia, by Cordwainer Smith
  • Quest of the Three Worlds, by Cordwainer Smith
  • The Oathbound Wizard, by Christopher Stasheff

These books, on the other hand, simply didn't measure up.

The Children's Hour, by Jerry Pournelle and S.M. Stirling
Somehow this didn't ring any bells for Jane or I, and it should have.

An Introduction to General Systems Thinking, by Gerald M. Weinberg
This is a classic, and it should have been right up my alley. I enjoyed reading it, but couldn't see any way to make use of it.

Time Machines, by Paul J. Nahin
This is a survey of time travel concepts, gimmicks, paradoxes, and so forth in the fields of physics, metaphysics, and science fiction, and it isn't as interesting as it sounds.

The Accidental Tourist, by Anne Tyler
Breathing Lessons, by Anne Tyler
Once was enough.

Death at Gallows Green, by Robin Paige
Once was more than enough.

The Murders of Mrs. Austin and Mrs. Beale, by Jill McGown
Oddly, I can't remember anything about this book except that the cover design reminded (erroneously, as it turned out) of Sharyn McCrumb.

Trouble and Her Friends, by Melissa Scott
I generally like Melissa Scott's books, but this one left me so cold I couldn't finish it.

Maigret Has Scruples, by Georges Simenon
Yes, Maigret is classic; but that isn't everything. It was OK, but it was insufficiently OK to prompt to buy any more of this series.

The Last Templar, by Michael Jecks
The Boy-Bishop's Glovemaker, by Michael Jecks
Historical mysteries, set in the Middle Ages. I read one of these, and thought it interesting enough to try another...but not interesting enough to try a third.

Chung Kuo, by David Wingrove
The Broken Wheel, by David Wingrove
The same applies to these. It's a grand saga about a future Earth ruled by China in which the entire planet has been encased in a metal shell and few ever see the planet's surface. Uh-huh. Asimov got away with it, but Trantor had a galaxy to feed it. Chung Kuo has only itself.

A Grave Talent, by Laurie R. King
To Play the Fool, by Laurie R. King
With Child, by Laurie R. King
These are from King's "Kate Martinelli" series, which I never cordially liked. I'm keeping the Mary Russell series, though.

The Samurai's Wife, by Laura Joh Rowland
Write 500 times on the chalkboard: "I won't attribute late-20th-century attitudes to 17th-century women."

The Incomplete Nifft, by Michael Shea
The A'rak, by Michael Shea
I bought these thinking that they were by someone else. I read them anyway, but there's no reason I have to keep them.

The Ringworld Throne, by Larry Niven
I've heard this called "The Ringworld Thrown Across The Room". 'nuff said.

What's Wrong With Dorfman?, by John Blumenthal
Not a bad book, but not my kind of thing.

A Comedy of Heirs, by Rett MacPherson
Plenty of heirs, not enough comedy.

The Walls of Jericho, by Jon Land
I'm not sure where this one came from, but I know where it's going.

Native Tongue, by Suzette Haden Elgin
I read this once. Elgin's an engaging storyteller, but I find this book to be ideologically silly.

The Gate To Women's Country, by Sherri S. Tepper
Grass, by Sherri S. Tepper
I've rather gone off Sheri Tepper, especially since she decided to write books of Cultural Significance. Of the ones I've read, these are the two worst offenders.

Household Gods, by Judith Tarr and Harry Turtledove
Oh, yes. I found the main character to be so uncongenial I couldn't get past the opening scene.

The Soprano Sorceress, by L.E. Modesitt Jr.
Generally I like Modesitt's stuff--but he seems to have thrown this one together to pay the bills. It's the first in a series, and though I've occasionally inquired as to whether it got any better later on, nobody has ever written to tell me so.

Posted by Will Duquette at January 17, 2004 07:43 PM

Deb said:

Will, your reasons for getting rid of a book are nearly as much fun as your reasons for reading a book. I assume you are not saying this to the folks you are giving them to, however.

Will Duquette said:

Why shouldn't I? I really don't think the public library is going to get its feelings hurt....