My main Christmas gifts this year were books (and Amazon gift cards to buy books), making this holiday similar to my past holidays. As this is by definition a blog for people who like to read, I thought I would share what I got.
The first book, above, is Austin Osman Spare: The Life & Legend of London's Lost Artist by Phil Baker. If you don't know him, Spare was an English artist and occultist.
The book looks very interesting and is illustrated with color plates (so that you actually can see what his art looks like), but I also mention it first because it's a book that has a connection with the usual content of this blog. The book is published by Strange Attractor Press. I also own another book put out by Strange Attractor, Somnium by Steve Moore, an excellent fantasy novel. What these books have in common is that they are both very attractive volumes, obviously put together with care.
Strange Attractor also is the publisher of the upcoming Robert Anton Wilson biography, Chapel Perilous: The Life and Thought Crimes of Robert Anton Wilson by Gabriel Kennedy, aka Prop Anon. The book's publication date has been postponed a couple of times and is now listed for August 6, 2024. I'm choosing to be positive and to assume that Strange Attractor wants to make sure the book will be extra special.
I had my wife give me the 10th anniversary edition of the John Higgs book that is most directly about RAW, The KLF: Chaos, Magic and the Band who Burned a Million Pounds. It has more than 10,000 words of new footnotes; I look forward to reading the latest edition.
Ravenna by Judith Herrin, the other book I asked my wife to give me, is about a city that was the last capital of the western Roman Empire, as well as the local capital when the Eastern Roman Empire temporarily reconquered Italy from the Ostrogoths. Visiting it was a highlight of my trip when I got to visit Italy in 2001.
A couple of people who apparently know me well gave me Amazon gift cards, and I've already used the credits to buy two new Kindle books.
I liked Christopher Beckwith's book, The Scythian Empire, so well I wrote a long review and entered it in the Astral Codex Ten book review contest. I didn't do well, but I posted my losing review on this blog. This book looks like it's going to be great, too.
My favorite mystery writer is Lawrence Block, particularly for his books about the New York City private detective, Matthew Scudder. The above is the latest book in the series, which just came out this year.
In his Transitional Technology newsletter for Substack, musician and writer Ethan Iverson mentioned that a couple of years ago, he re-read all of the Scudder books in order. I am tempted to do the same thing, once I've finished reading the latest.
I hope everyone else got something to read, too!
Hilaritas Press has been quiet of late, but I am hoping for new releases soon.