I’d just finished Ghosts of Karnak and The Clown Service – both fun, if not great, bits of steampunk-ish escapism – and needed some new fuel for my reading fire.
What to do, what to do? I could drive into Harvard Square and hit the Harvard Bookstore (LOVE this place!) or Rodney’s or the MIT Press Bookstore but parking is hellish. Yes, I drive a microscopic smartcar – so small it could be parallel parked inside a postage stamp. One prob – parallel parking is MOST DEF not one of my superpowers. While I have been known to accomplish this major feat successfully, it’s up in the neighborhood of things I stress over monstrously. I avoid it whenever possible.
The other downside of motoring into town is, of course, I-93. It is always, ALWAYS rush hour on 93. No thanks. Here’s the thing though, out here in Suburbia Land the only bookstore around is Barnes and Noble and that’s in the next town over. It’s a shorter, less onerous expedition than driving into Cambridge AND there’s a parking lot – no scary parallel action
It’s really not a bad shop but I prefer independent booksellers.
- Supporting the local economy – a good thing
- Great, knowledgeable service – always
- I’m always finding new authors and titles – ones that either aren’t carried by the chains or are buried under piles of the latest Ludlum, Patterson or Macomber.
- CATS – the Independents almost always have a bookstore cat or two
In any case, there I am at B&N, surrounded by an ocean of remaindered romance novels, epic swords & sorcery fantasy tomes – all set in pre-indoor plumbing worlds *ick*, mysteries, assorted bestsellers and badly written, bulk-buy, soon to be convention give-away Republican diatribes.
After perusing the discount bins, I zipped back to fiction and sci fi (of course).
Brave Story by Miyuki Miyabe totally popped out at me. Honestly, just LOOK at this great cover illustration! It's got a fabulous Hieronymus Bosch vibe goin' on. Why didn’t I buy? It’s a big, fat book and I didn’t want to invest the buckos in an author I’d never heard of without researching. Investigation accomplished and I WILL look for this next time.
What I did get was Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor.
Behind the seemingly innocuous façade of St Mary's, a different kind of historical research is taking place. They don't do 'time-travel' - they 'investigate major historical events in contemporary time'.Ah but it IS a time travel story and I’m loving it! The hero is a strong, funny and wildly up for adventure woman. She's a fallible human too – not some '50s comic book cut out. YES! I'm happy to see that this is the first in a series.
Taylor's bio on Goodreads is pretty hilarious too:
Jodi Taylor is, and always has been, a complete history nut. It takes vast amounts of chocolate to get her out of bed for anything after 1485. And if it's raining, there's no chance.I think I want to meet this babe – share a bottle and imagine what our lives would've been like in the 12th century or so.
Led Zepplin – Kashmir