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Did I buy more books? You betcha!!

So last week I took Friday off (trying desperately to use up all my vacation before it vanishes, courtesy of the Evil HR Dept). We drove over to Ithaca, checked out the Falls, had lunch at Moosewood (salmon chowder, nom nom nom), and stopped at The Phoenix used book barn on the way back. I love shopping at used bookstores, especially ones that are a) so huge they have no idea what they have, e.g. The Strand in NYC or b) so off the beaten path that they don't feel compelled to keep on hand ten copies of "A is for Alibi" and three of everything Jodi Picoult ever wrote. The Phoenix, happily, is both. (It's so off the beaten path it doesn't even have a website, and so huge that I got lost in it. Twice.)

So. Among other gems, I found a book by a long-time favorite author that I didn't know existed, a book on the Midrash (which I've been curious about since I read The Red Tent last week) and an FSF short story collection by an author I never heard of but which turned out to be tremendous: Speaking in Tongues, by Ian McDonald. Unusual, powerful, intriguing, and every story very different from the others. Among them was one with the odd title "Floating Dogs," which is possibly the most heart-wrenching -- and damning -- post-apocalypse story I've ever read. Well OK, it's a tie with "People of Sand and Slag" from this anthology. If you can read these two stories and not get at least a little choked up, I don't wanna know you.

Still plodding through the run-up to World War II with Churchill & Co., but have to take these little breaks every so often to recover from the repeated idiocies (how could Chamberlain have thought giving Czechoslovakia to Hitler was a good idea? How???)

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