Dunedin on the weekend of the 22nd was also George's graduation, so my presence in Dunedin was fairly much demanded throughout the weekend and into the next week.
Things didn't begin well. I'd taken both weeks as annual leave from work (the bean counters have been at me to get my accumulated leave down to a manageable level for quite a while now and this was supposed to help it). As it was I could probably have taken at least some of the week as sick leave (of which I have even more needing to be taken... my accumulated sick-leave days is getting close to three figures by now). This was because I came down with a virus on the Saturday. By the Thursday before the book sale I was almost alive again so did the usual driving up to Dunedin thing.
The book sale loot was fairly good this year. Highlights included:
Iain M. Banks: Consider Phlebas, Against a Dark Background, Look to Windward, Use of Weapons and Feersum Endjinn. I've been meaning to start reading his Culture books for a while now and someone had obviously just donated their collection to the Regent.
Gordon McLauchlan: The Big Con.
The Best of Fritz Leiber, mainly for the cover picture (a cute little kitten paw crushing a huge space-opera city-sized spaceship).
The novelisation of The Fifth Element.
The Wordsworth Dictionary of English Usage.
The World's 72 Toughest Golf Holes, an interesting piece of pre-Photoshop phototrickery.
Howe/Stammers/Walker's Doctor Who handbooks for the Second, Third, Fourth and Sixth Doctors.
After the book sale (and catching up with people I haven't seen for the best part of ten years, at George's graduation party) I managed to get home and to be almost alive enough to go to work last week. Then on Friday I took the morning off for Invercargill's own fund-raising book sale (this time raising money for Rotary). Notable acquisitions from this expedition included:
Witi Ihimaera's Tangi and The Whale Rider.
Nicky Hager's The Hollow Men.
The Golden Age of Myth and Legend.
Nicola McCloy's Curious New Zealand Place Names. Most interestingly about this book, it appears to be well enough researched that the usual legend about the place names of Thomson's Barnyard isn't uncritically repeated.
But back to Dunedin. There were a couple of good finds at the University Bookshop as well:
Whites Aviation: Classic New Zealand aerial photography. I've already got a couple of Whites Aviation atlases, but this is a worthwhile work in its own right: not only does it include a high proportion of aerial photography not found in those atlases, but the print quality is also much better in this collection.
And finally: Nick Bollinger's 100 Essential New Zealand Albums. This is quite an important work and itself essential reading for people interested in local rock music but who have only started building up a collection. The only issue I have with it is the same issue anybody else would have with it: namely, that their favourite albums aren't all included. Due to this sort of collection inevitably being the compiler's personal favourites, this is completely to be expected and more a personality quirk than a flaw.
Anyway, for the record (pun not intended but if it amuses you, go for it) these are the differences of opinion I have with it:
Th' Dudes' Right First Time is included, in preference to their (more consistent and with better songs) second album Where Are The Boys.
Split Enz' Waiata, itself one of my "guilty pleasure" albums, is included, in preference to their much better "transitional era" album Dizrythmia
The Hulamen's Beer and Skittles is an excellent EP, but it's only an EP, with only about 20 or so minutes of music on it. If I was going to include EPs, there'd have been a couple of the Clean's efforts in my "31 Albums" list. The Hulamen are way overdue for a CD release; there's got to be something else around that they could use to fill up a CD - if nothing else, they could find some Holidaymakers unreleased oddities or live recordings.
The Chills' Soft Bomb was the weakest of their four full length albums.
The Exponents' Something Beginning with C has their biggest hits, but albums like Grassy Knoll or Expectations had more depth.
There is also a notable lack of anything by the Terminals - not even their recent (and excellent) Last Days of the Sun gets a mention.
And on this note... as you may have noticed, with the last album cover showing up a week ago, you've now got your friends-pages back now.