Ah, my Amazon.com Wish List, how carefully I manage you, update and refine your collection of my heart’s desires! I maintain this list with the same assiduity that others pour into their Fantasy Football Leagues, only occasionally culling from its number a few select items which I order with ultimate satisfaction. Today I experimented with the final cost of purchasing my books second hand and paying for shipping or buying them new directly from Amazon and saving on their Super Shipping promotion. The outcome? Buying 2nd hand was much cheaper, despite the fact that the price of shipping nearly doubled my bill. Why so? Because you can buy books that are practically as good as new for less than $2. You know what that calls for? MONKEY CLAPS*.

So yes, indeed, I have gone ahead and splurged and purchased SIX, read them SIX of my coveted novels! None went for more than $5, and all are guaranteed to be priceless. Which ones, I hear you ask, edging closer to the firelight, lured in by the promise of vicarious pleasure at the knowledge of the books I shall be delectating upon a few days hence? Well, gather closer and I shall reveal all.

First! Necroscope, by Brian Lumley. Coming in at a whopping 512 pages, this is the first in the trilogy (and more apparently) that kicked of Lumley’s famed vampire series. It’s received 88 five star reviews, and only 10 reviews that rated it 3 stars or less. Furthermore! Many claim that Lumley depicts the best vampires ever, and really, how can you let a claim like that stand without testing it? I’m eager to dive into this, envisioning a mixture of Stephen King and John Steakley, with a little John Norman thrown in for good measure.

Second! Ah, Ekaterina Sedia, with a name like that, how could you be anything but an intriguing and enigmatic author of Russian urban fantasy? I’ve been eying her books for some time now, and finally splurged and went all in. Rave reviews from all round, and what an excellent cover. Not that I’m judging her book by it, oh noes, but still. Doesn’t hurt, does it? Can’t wait to sink into her tapestry of spider’s silk and bird feathers and shadows and Russian dust!

Third! Neil Gaiman, the name that is on everybody’s lips, the media’s darling and rising meteor superstar. I’ve read most of his stuff, but have not kept abreast of his latest works; Anansi Boys is my bid to return to form, to be followed soon no doubt by The Graveyard Book. I expect ribald humor, excellent storytelling, a rich and inspiring imagination and all the other ingredients that make Gaiman the luminary that he is today. Hip hip!

Fourth! 20th Century Ghosts. The collection of short stories that launched Joe Hill’s career, that made him a name to watch (this being before his father’s name was revealed). I’ve read Mr. Hill’s A Heart Shaped Box, and found it creepy, amusing, an excellent story and told with the confidence and authority of a seasoned pro. Again, people have been bringing down the house with applause for this one, so into the cart it goes!

Fifth! Castle of Days. Now this is a little more estoric, being a collection of essays and ruminations of the Grand Master Gene Wolfe. I’m most excited about Wolfe’s words on his New Sun Trilogy, but really, I would read his shopping lists if he made them available. I’ve studied and read my fair share of Joyce, Faulkner, Proust, Flaubert, etc, and Wolfe easily, easily ranks amongst them. Why is he not a household name? Because he writes Speculative Fiction, is why, and as such is consigned to the obscurity of any genre writer. I, however, have had the luck to read his work, and as such this collection is avidly anticipated.

Sixth! The Etched City, by K. J. Bishop. First, check out the cover. Rich crimson against luscious black. Can’t go wrong. Second, good friends of impeccable taste have recommended it to me, and third, this has been one of those titles I’ve been aware of and wanted to acquire for years. What is it about? I’ve no idea. All I know is that it’s going to knock me out of my socks, and as such, my mailbox keens in anticipation of its arrival.

So there you have it. Greedy of me, I know, given that I’ve not yet finished the last set of books I purchased, but ah, we bibiophiles are known for our indescretions. Ah, books, books, marvelous books!

*To Monkey Clap, sit back, raise your legs, and smack the soles of your feet together while hooting.