|Budd Inlet, Olympia, Washington (C) Ron Scheer|
Two months ago BITS went on hiatus while we took a road trip up and down the West Coast. The main objective was to escape some of the desert heat at home, where the household weather station says the temperature got up to 117 degrees while we were gone. We also missed the smoke and ash from the fires west of here a while ago.
A good friend in Olympia, Washington, let us housesit, which was perfect for a couple of people who aren’t all that adventurous anymore. Neighbors across the street went to the Arctic for a week while we mowed their lawn and watered the flowers and tomatoes. We were content to see their (breathtaking) photos when they returned.
Between walks along the many hiking trails through and around town, a day-trip to Mount Rainier, and crossing to Victoria for a visit, with stops in Port Townsend and Sequim and ascent to Hurricane Ridge in the Olympic National Park, we mostly hung around the house reading. Thanks to Jonathan Evison, by the way, whose novel West of Here (reviewed here) was a great introduction to the Olympic Peninsula.
|Powell's Books, Portland (C) Ron Scheer|
The Paperback Exchange in Olympia saw us three times and Powell’s in Portland, which is an amazing experience for any book shopper. I know they don’t have everything in print, but it sure seemed that way. A nifty feature is the way they shelve used and new books together. In the western section I found OOP copies of two John Reese novels in hardback, as well as B. M. Bower’s Flying U Ranch (1912) in perfect condition for $5.95. My traveling companion, a crime fiction fan, came out with a shopping bag full.
I should mention Munro’s Books in Victoria, too. There a helpful employee introduced me to Canadian author Guy Vanderhaeghe, whose two recent western novels, The Last Crossing and A Good Man, came home with me.
Writing up reviews as I read, I can promise you future posts on books by Loren D. Estleman, Richard Wheeler, Johnny Boggs, Jory Sherman, Robert Conley, Ann Parker, Elmore Leonard, John Reese, W. R. Benton, and Lloyd Fonvielle. Interviews are also lined up for Richard Wheeler, Johnny Boggs, and Ann Parker.
Finally, I finished the last of the early frontier novels for the book I’ve been writing: Helen Hunt Jackson’s Ramona (1884) and Irene Welch Grissom’s The Superintendent (1910). Reviews of both will appear here shortly. I’m now working on the second draft of that survey of early frontier fiction and have hopes that it will see print before the end of the year.
Last and maybe least, I consolidated all the Old West glossaries I’ve been posting at BITS for the past 3 years. I’ll be starting with the A’s and then proceeding through the alphabet so that eventually the entire glossary will be easily searchable online. There will also be separate postings for Old West cuss words and words related to strong drink.
Good to be back, and I’ll be catching up with you all again in the blogs and at FB.
Photo credits: Ron Scheer
Coming up: Gil Adamson, The Outlander
Glad to have you back. Sounds like you had a great time book hunting. I'm looking forward to seeing that glossary consolidated. It will be a great resource for writers like me. Do tell me when your book comes out and I'll be sure to mention it in my Reader News section.ReplyDelete
Welcome back! That part of the world you were visiting is one of my favorites on the planet. I have Vanderhaeghe's The Last Crossing but I haven't read it yet.ReplyDelete
Sounds as if you've spent a busy and productive two months. Welcome back to the real world of writing, reading, and reviews, Ron.ReplyDelete
Sounds like a restful and rewarding trip. Welcome back.ReplyDelete
Great to have you back Ron. There was definitely something missing in my daily routine these last 2 months. I am particularly looking forward to your Richard Wheeler interview, as his own blogs have gone totally quiet lately. Welcome back!ReplyDelete
Nice to have you back in action after what sounds like glorious R&R - looking forward to more reviews and commentary :-)ReplyDelete
I am pleased that you and your bride had a fine, cool summer, and discovered Powell's, one of the world's best haunts for people who love literature. Some of my research library came from there-- for example, a book about the cholera that worked its way out the trails into the West.ReplyDelete
Seems to me that figures in the opening chapters of your gold rush novel, SIERRA. Cholera, not Powell's books.Delete
Welcome back. You were sorely missed.ReplyDelete
Glad to see you back! It sounds like you had a wonderful trip...and Powell's sounds like an amazing place to visit. I'm definitely looking forward to the consolidated glossary too.ReplyDelete
Good to have you back and I gotta say I'm jealous of your trip, Ron. Everything you did right down to housesitting would have entertained us.ReplyDelete
Some interesting titles- http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/10372 early frontier stories by an upper-crust Englishman- not that unusual, actually, as British Gentlemen in the Wild West, The Era of the Intensely English Cowboy by Lawrence M. Woods shows.
George R. Stewart- best known now for Earth Abides wrote East of the Giants, set in early California and Sheep Rock, partly set in the same time and place. Stewart looks at people from and strange, detached angle- a bit like Robinson Jeffers, some of whose narrative poems could be categorised as westerns.
John Prebble is famous for Scottish history, but he wrote westerns in The Buffalo Soldiers and My Great Aunt Appearing Day
Thanks for the tips, Roger. Currently reading Vanderhaeghe's THE LAST CROSSING, which involves three English brothers in Montana.Delete
Good to see you back; glad you had a nice, relaxing time. I envy you your trip to Powell's.ReplyDelete
Glad to see you back - thought maybe you just got lazy like me.ReplyDelete
Welcome back, Ron! Glad you had a good trip. I look forward to reading your reviews of books and films, the consolidated glossary, and your book on early frontier fiction. Missed BITS in my regular blog visits.ReplyDelete
I'm glad you're back, too. And putting your dictionary together will be much appreciated by this writer.ReplyDelete
You were missed, Ron. That said, I am pleased to hear that your summer has been such a good one... and that you've been introduced to Guy Vanderhaeghe. When you're finished The Last Crossing and A Good Man I recommend The Englishman's Boy. Enjoy!ReplyDelete
Welcome back, Ron (and it was on my birthday, too). I'll be catching up here...ReplyDelete
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