February’s order has arrived! This time around, it consists of three books.
The first is David Ferry’s Bewilderment: New Poems and Translations (Phoenix Poets), a collection of poems and translations by renowned poet David Ferry (who, weirdly, lives about four miles away from me). “Poems and translations” means the book contains a mix of both original poems as well as translations of other, mostly ancient, verse. The book won the National Book Award. It looks like it was pretty well received, so I look forward to reading it!
Meanwhile, Palmistry for All (Illustrated Edition) is yet another automatically generated book from the Project Gutenberg archive of public domain works. It was published in 1916 by the mysterious “Cheiro”, who notes in the text that he is retired and anyone claiming to be him should be taken as an impostor! Cheiro’s real name was William John Warner, and he was a well-known occultist of the kind you’d find hanging out in aristocratic circles in the early 1900s.
Couple of amusing things: Amazon reviews of this book complain that there are no illustrations, which makes a book on palm reading kind of useless! In my edition there are illustrations, so it must have been updated due to complaints. The other funny this is this page in the front of the book, listing Kissinger Legacy Reprints’ other “scarce and hard-to-find reprints”:
Last up, we have Abilities, by Marc Quaranta. This is exactly the kind of book that I don’t want to read: someone’s first stab at what appears to be young adult fiction. We’re almost immediately introduced to three characters who are all 24-year-old men, which caused me to guess that the author is a 24-year-old man. Turns out I was right! Anyway, I’m going to read this simply to spite myself. Maybe I’ll read it out loud to my spouse. I am not expecting to like it, but then, what’s a random shopper that doesn’t buy you something you’re sure you’ll dislike?