Location: Seattle, Washington, United States

What you have here is an old guy. In education for 30 years, started teaching elementary, ended as library and media director of community college. I've enjoyed mountain climbing, sports car rallying, was pipe major of a bagpipe band, played guitar and sang during the folk revival, walking and hiking later in life. Now fairly sedentary. Enjoy reading, esp. mysteries and fantasy, but my reading is pretty eclectic. Enjoy movies, giving Netflix a workout.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Gift of a Set of Kipling

I’ve been away too long. It’s easy to get lazy. But I shall resolve to do better. A while back I was writing about the visit of a friend and a gift that he gave me. But I said that there was more. The friend is Mike Horvat, who, by the way, recently sold a huge fanzine collection to the University of Iowa Libraries. Many of the fanzines in that collection were my fanzines and those of many other people in the science fiction and mystery worlds of fandom with whom I had exchanged zines.

Mike has been recently trying to put together matched sets of authors he has enjoyed. Sometimes he gets carried away. The second gift that he gave me was eighteen volumes of a matched set of the works of Rudyard Kipling. These were published by Scribners. I have since learned that the complete set runs to thirty-five volumes. At first I thought "well, I can attempt to fill in the missing volumes one or several at a time." My second thought was that I might try reading these eighteen volumes and if I’m still alive then I might search for the others. Probably the second thought is better. Whatever the outcome, I need to thank Mr. Horvat publicly for the fine gift. Now what about those Stevenson and Scott books you were talking about?

I seem to be on a kick all of a sudden of reading older authors. I’ve recently read books by Robert Louis Stevenson, R.D. Blackmore, Sir Walter Scott and Eden Phillpotts. My current after-breakfast book is The Monastery by Scott. It’s interesting to get involved in books of this sort which move more slowly and use a much different syntax than the current books being published, be they mystery, science fiction or mainstream. The payoff is that they are truly good stories and there is a sense of accomplishment when you are finished.


Blogger Bill Crider said...

So when are you moving on to Dickens?

6:49 AM  
Blogger Frank Denton said...

Dickens and I don't get along very well. Wilkie Collins, who was, I think, Charles' brother-in-law, I find much more agreeable. Not to mention Sir Walter Scott and Richard Doddridge Blackmore.

7:40 PM  
Blogger stevejzoo said...

Hi Frank,
I wonder if those Kiplings could possibly be the partial set I picked up one summer in Wisconsin in the early nineteen sixties? The Kiplings traveled to Pennsylvania, then to Oregon, and then of their fate I recall nothing. It is not a stretch to think that I traded them to Mike Horvat, perhaps when I did not have rent money.
More recently, many books from my Oregon days have been packed again, or at least moved again, this time from New York to Alaska. After 28 years at the Bronx Zoo, in January 2008, I moved to Anchorage to take another library job. It will be another month until the books arrived; and four months until my wife joins me.

Steve Johnson

10:19 PM  

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