From Way, Way Back: List Here Books That Intrigued You but That You Didn't Read Then

  1. Extollager

    Extollager Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure if there are very many other people who remember, after many, many years, seeing some book that was somehow notably intriguing, but which yet remained unread.

    It may be that, after the passage of so many years, you're content to leave the matter at that; or you may decide to try to read that long-remembered book.

    This thread is not intended as the place to discuss particular books. Please start a separate thread for discussion of remembered books, as I did here for Terror on Planet Ionus:

    Terror on Planet Ionus

    The idea for THIS clearinghouse thread is

    (a) simply to list appropriate books that you remember after so many years, perhaps mentioning when and where you saw them (library, bookstore, friend's house, etc.)
    (b) to provide links, if so desired, for the discussion of such books, especially (but not necessarily) if you do track them down and read them
    (c) to discuss the phenomenon of remembering books you didn't read but do remember, for some reason, after the passage of a long time

    It's up to you to determine what a "long time" is. For me, now in my seventh decade, a book, to qualify, might be something I remember from before I started college at age 18. Indeed, for now I'm restricting it to books from before my 14th birthday, allowing myself perhaps to adjust that in future. Conversely, if you are 21 now, I wouldn't think you'd want to list books from as recently as, say, two or three years ago in a thread with this title.

    Likewise, it's up to you to resolve whether or not a given book can truly be said to have "intrigued" you. Perhaps there would not be much point in listing books that you remember from a long time ago but that didn't catch your interest much.

    It's up to you as to whether you want just to list some books here, or to establish threads elsewhere on them so that there's a place for discussion of those books.

    Finally, it's up to you as to whether you want to stick just to books related in some way to science fiction or fantasy.

    Purposes of this thread? I suspect it will prompt a few readers to reflect on the way they thought then, on the way memory works, and on some books that might be worth tracking down and reading, or amusing to look at again, and even discussing in their own threads.

    Here are some books that I haven't read but remember looking at with interest prior (I think!) to my 14th birthday -- so back in the 1960s.

    James Churchward, The Lost Continent of Mu -- one or other of the prolific colonel's Mu books in the Paperback Library editions caught my eye -- as I recall, it was displayed at a downtown drugstore. The cover design resembled that of Ballantine's design for E. R. Eddison's The Worm Ouroboros, which in turn somewhat reflected the design of Ballantine's original design for the volumes of The Lord of the Rings.

    L. P. Davies, Psychogeist: An sf novel that I'm, at last, reading now, and for which I have started a thread:

    Psychogeist, by L. P. Davies

    Robert A. Heinlein, Red Planet

    Fred Hoyle, October the First Is Too Late

    Alison Lurie, Imaginary Friends: This appears to be a mundane novel, but it caught my eye as I browsed the shelves of the public library; it suggested to me, I suppose, "friends" whom some people could see and others couldn't -- perhaps like Bradbury's "Zero Hour" scenario.

    Andre Norton, Moon of Three Rings

    Alan E. Nourse, The Universe Between

    The Heinlein, Norton, and Nourse were books in the kids' section of the library. I read some otehr sf and fantasy from there, but somehow never read these, not all the way through anyway, as far as I remember. The Davies, Hoyle, and Lurie books were in the grownups' section.

    And: perhaps someone can help me with this -- it seems there was a novel about a man with some kind of fibrous growth on his head, something like a rhinoceros's horn -- but this was NOT Ionesco's play; and it doesn't seem that it was a science fiction novel. Can I be remembering correctly? Does anyone know what this was? I have a vague impression that the novel may have dealt with social issues in some way.

    Just for laughs: in my browsing the adult-section library shelves looking at book spines, reading the titles, I could discover some items that were very far indeed from what I was seeking. Case in point is Sam Greenlee's The Spook Who Sat by the Door. I'd have liked that to be a ghost story! But it seems to have been about a black CIA agent who becomes a terrorist/revolutionary, with cities going up in flames as the novel ends.

    The library in question did, as I recall, have yellow stickers with a red design to mark the spines of sf books, but I seem to have hoped that books of interest there might be, even without the stickers.
     
  2. Dennis E. Taylor

    Dennis E. Taylor Formerly Bizmuth. Destroying Worlds Since {mumble}

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    Would this include books that we've tried to read? I tried to read Atlas Shrugged, but the injuries from my forehead constantly hitting the desk got to be too much for me. :(
     
  3. Extollager

    Extollager Well-Known Member

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    Bizmuth, speaking for myself, I probably wouldn't include books that I've tried to read but couldn't persist with, which is a topic worthy of its own thread.

    I'm aiming at something probably more fleeting in our experience -- books we noticed but didn't buy, library books we picked up but didn't check out, but that we've remembered a long time for some reason.

    I'll give another example. For almost 50 years I thought I remembered the cover of an American paperback edition of John Brunner's Quicksand that I'd seen on sale in a drugstore when I was 13. It seems I'd remembered it as a bright red book with the photo of a woman's face under the lettering. The actual cover is more exploitative. But in any event I'd not completely forgotten the book, never, so far as I remember, having had a copy in hand, until very recently when I got hold of the Doubleday Science Fiction hardcover edition from the library and read it, and found it different from, and better than, I might have expected it to be. The paperback cover might lead one to expect something fairly sleazy. The book was more interesting -- and sadder -- than that. (In all these years, I'd never read any of Brunner's novels till picking up a couple of the others a few months ago.)

    So -- books that have been pretty elusive in our personal experience but which we still remember having noticed. That's my notion of this thread.
     
  4. Extollager

    Extollager Well-Known Member

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    Another book that I remembered from long ago, no doubt largely because of the cover, was Keel's Strange Creatures from Time and Space.
    [​IMG]
    This thread is not for the discussion of particular books, but merely for the listing of books that we remember, for some reason, seeing a lonnnnng time ago.
     
  5. hitmouse

    hitmouse Well-Known Member

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    There was a book I saw in the British Museum entitled The Heraldry of Fishes. I have been intrigued by that since I was a kid.
     
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  6. Extollager

    Extollager Well-Known Member

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    Just started The Lord of Death and the Queen of Life, an interlibrary loan copy of an old Ace 40-center with a Gaughan cover that seems to have stuck in my memory for almost 50 years. So far I'm liking it, though it shows its age of nearly 100 years.

    [​IMG]

    But if I have more to say about it, I'll say that elsewhere than this thread, which (as I see it) isn't the place for actually getting a discussion of a given book going.
     
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