McKinley: Tell Amazon to shove off!!

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Date: Sat Aug 14 1999 - 01:46:26 PDT

I am once again going to address several topics in one post (and I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one who does this), but the title is definitely the main one. Let me explain: if you buy out-of-print and/or hard to find books from Amazon, they are most likely scamming your pants off. I discovered this after they once again told me that the cheapest copy they could find of Peter's _Death of a Unicorn_ (Peter Dickinson, not Peter S. Beagle, just to avoid any confusion) would set me back somewhere around $20. I had just read about another website - - in a newsletter at work (the library), so I decided to try it. Guess what -I found the book for $2.50, with SHIPPING INCLUDED. I have received and read it, and it was in good condition. Bibliofind is actually a database of lots of small used bookstores, so they all have different rules for payment, etc. - the one I bought the book from didn't take credit cards, so I had to send them a check, and it took quite a lo!
t longer (I wasn't counting, but it was probably about two weeks) than Amazon would have to send me a book they had on hand, and some of the other stores did charge shipping, but I still think you could probably find any out of print book there much much cheaper than at Amazon. And there were a few stores in the Bibliofind database that were located in the U.K., too! As for new books: it's usually better to order them through a 'real' store, even if they aren't going to stock the book, because they usually won't charge you shipping either (ask first).
OK, now that I've got that off my chest...
Pre-historical fiction: I liked _A Bone From a Dry Sea_ a lot. Read it. _Eva_ is not pre-historical - it's about a girl in the future whose body is mangled in an accident; however, the doctors manage to salvage her brain and put it into a chimpanzee. _The Kin_ series is good, yet on a level that very young children could understand (_Bone_ is probably more YA material) because it's written the way early people would have thought and talked.
Girls Who Do Things in Picture Books: Try _Petronella_, which I got to bring home for free last week because we were withdrawing one of the older copies from the library:) In Petronella's kingdom, there have always been three sons in each generation of the royal family. The oldest one has always been named Edward (OK, I made that up because I actually forgot the name, but it's something like that), the middle one is always Michael (that one I'm sure about), and the youngest one is always Peter. The older two always go off to seek their fortunes and are never heard from again, but the youngest one always rescues a princess and returns home to become the next king. Then one generation there's some kind of fluke and the youngest one's a girl. They just can't name her Peter, so they call her Petronella. Imagine her family's surprise when she announces, as her brothers are about to depart for their fortune-seeking, that she is leaving also, and intends to find herself a prince to r!

And my book recommendation of the week, or month, or whatever: _Warrior Women and Popular Balladry, 1650-1850_ by Diane Dugaw. It may be hard to find...I bought it from Amazon, before I saw the light. Anyway, it analyzes the huge body of ballads about women who disguise themselves as men and go off to war and/or the sea. Some of them were based on fact. Dugaw looks at such fascinating topics as why the ballad authors (almost certainly men) didn't seem at all dismayed by the transvestite heroines even in the 1600s, and why the heroines themselves gradually grew weaker, more feminine, and less convincing as men until the ballads finally died out. Some chapters, such as the one with lots of charts showing the structure of various ballads, are less interesting than others; you're allowed to skip those. But the rest of the book is very interesting.

Maren "Bob" Williams

"Never wear a hat that has more character than you do." - Utah Phillips
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Received on Sat Aug 14 01:48:08 1999

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