To pass the time I usually just go to my reading material. I always have a bunch of books and magazines I haven’t had the time to crack. Enforced idleness is a good excuse to read, even if it includes positioning an icebag around my knee before opening a book.
Author Andre Norton was born Alice Mary North in 1950. She died at age 93 in 2005. She chose a gender-neutral pseudonym because when she began writing science fiction and fantasy it was a male genre. She began her writing career in Cleveland, Ohio, and before 1950 worked for the library system in that city.
Stand To Horse, a 1956 novel of a U.S. cavalry unit in New Mexico just before the Civil War, is the type of novel not usually associated with Norton, but like her fantasy and science fiction is full of action. A group of soldiers pursuing renegade Apaches become the hunted. It was written for young readers but is of interest to anyone who likes Westerns, or cavalry, or stories of America’s wild frontier. Norton researched it by going to old journals and contemporary accounts of the time.
I checked and the book is available for Kindle right now at $3.99. One seller has listed the paperback edition I bought for 50¢ in a thrift store at $192 (!) on Amazon (good luck on getting your price, seller). Another seller has a hardback edition for sale at a much more reasonable price.
A library book sale got me this book about the self-promoting showman, P.T. Barnum, which includes the information that Barnum was his own top attraction.
Bennett Cerf, who wrote a series of books over several years with funny anecdotes about the celebrities and politicians of the era, published The Life of the Party in 1956. I found this first edition at another thrift store.
Besides Cerf’s witty writing, it is illustrated by one of the top cartoonists of the era, Carl Rose.
I haven’t yet read this edition of She by H. Rider Haggard. I like Haggard, but I keep putting novels by him at the bottom of the stack. I assume I’ll get to it someday.
Perry Mason books by Erle Stanley Gardner are like popcorn for me. They are so entertaining I can read two or three of them in a row, as I did with these two.
There are magazines stacking up, waiting to be read. These two issues of the art magazine, Juxtapoz, are library copies. I was happy when my library subscribed. A good use of taxpayer money, and I’m not being sarcastic. Someone at my county library system is really sharp, and their purchases belie the fact we are in one of the most conservative states in America.
And then there is The New Yorker. Not only am I unable to keep up with the new issues, I buy old issues at thrift stores, and get behind on them, too.
The Barry Blitt cover of the retired Pope Benedict is funny.
I grabbed this 2003 issue with its Gary Larson cover as soon as I saw it. It is a cartoon issue, something that used to be an annual event, but along with the yearly fiction issues, something I haven’t seen in a while.
The issue features this funny story by cartoonist Roz Chast. My wife spent last weekend in Vegas with her niece, who was celebrating her 25th birthday. She didn’t report any experiences like these, although the two of them saw the sights, and more important, did no gambling.