Do you have an Amazon Wish List? I do. I use it mainly to keep up with books, movies, and CDs that I find that are interesting that I might want to consider buying or reading more abut later. No one, besides myself, has ever bought anything off the list for me. You can put anything on your list which is sold on Amazon; like I said, I have all books and CDs, maybe a movie or two, but also have a pair of shoes on mine.
My problem is that I read some of the most obscure and esoteric books out there, that upon a recent browsing session of my list, I found that a lot of my books have pretty much gone out of print. Like Geoff Ryman’s Was from 1993. It’s a book I came across and added to my list in September 2009 when I think I was actually looking at Gregory Macguire’s Wicked which probably led to a random search on other books about Oz. It’s out of print now and used copies were like .35 cents on Amazon from Marketplace sellers, so I bought it.
Elf Child by David Pierce is a book I found and added to my list in 2007. I don’t remember why, other than I thought it had a very interesting cover. It’s a book about a shape shifter. It also seems to be out of print, and the only book by Mr. Pierce that is available on Amazon. I did happen to notice it was published by Harrington Park Press. This was an imprint of Haworth which was sold to Taylor & Francis a while back, but the HPP titles got lost in the shuffle and ended up with no publisher to call home which is why this book may be unavailable other than through used booksellers on Amazon. So, I bought it.
Patti Frazee is another one-book author who I found through Alyson Publications. Her book Cirkus was published in 2006 and added to my wish list shortly there after. I followed Patti’s author blog for some time and was motivated by her experiences at the Saints and Sinners Festival that she attended about the time her book came out. A few blog posts in 2007 suggest Patti’s life was unfortunately going in some sad directions that were distracting her from writing, which may be why we haven’t seen another book from her. I haven’t forgotten about her first book though and intend to read it still. So, I bought it.
Her Fearful Symmetry was written by Audrey Niffenegger. Yes, you have heard her name before. She wrote The Time Traveler’s Wife, which was just made into a movie. I mooched a copy of TTTW on BookMooch and after reading the reviews, was led to Ms. Niffenegger’s second book which hasn’t gotten such stellar ratings. I liked the sound of it because it had a ghost in it. Yes, I’m a ghost fanatic and believe in them. Put Casper on toilet paper and I’d probably buy that too. By the way, this one is not out of print. But guess what? I bought it anyway.
Although I never read Mysterious Skin, which was a more popular book by Scott Heim which was also made into a movie (I didn’t see the movie either.), at some time or another I clicked on his name and found his 2008 book called We Disappear. It’s not out of print either. It’s actually Heim’s third book and is about a woman in Kansas who becomes obsessed with missing children. Her and her gay son end up trying to solve the mystery of a missing teenager who is found dead. Yep, I bought it.
Here’s another odd one that I have no idea how I came across. It’s called First Person Plural and it was written by Andrew W. M. Beirle and published by Kensington, a publisher well known for the gay and lesbian fiction. It’s about an odd couple: a pair of conjoined twins, one who is straight and one who is gay. As Porter and Owen’s carefully balanced arrangement of give-and-take, sacrifice and selfishness, is irrevocably shattered, each twin is left fighting for his relationship–and his future–in a battle of wills where winning seems impossible, and losing unthinkable… Bought it!
Last on my list are two books by Josheph Olshan. The first is called The Conversion. I first came across a hardcover edition in Borders a while back and was immediately drawn to the book’s cover. It’s about an author visiting France with his lover, who suddenly dies of a heart attack. The author becomes wrapped up in a mystery surrounding the secret life of his now dead lover. I didn’t purchase it in Borders that day although I wish now that I had. The book has always been in the back of my mind and eventually made its way onto my Wish List so I wouldn’t forget about it. But I bought it now so…
The second is called Sound of Heaven, also by Olshan. I know I probably found it after reading about The Conversion on Amazon and clicking on the author’s name. It’s long out of print from like 1993 and used copies were selling for as much as $50 (not what I paid for it though). The description on Amazon was brief, but enough to capture my attention, and so….yep, I bought it. By the way, Olshan wrote Clara’s Heart which was made into a movie with Whoopi Goldberg.
I love my Amazon Wish List for reasons like these. Without it, I probably would have forgotten about most of these books by now. But I can forget about them now on my wish list because my reading list just got a little longer.