So, putting the ramble aside, my fiance and I took to the downtown Santa Cruz streets to do a little book shopping (with a detour prior to that to a nice place in Felton). And here is what I discovered:
I found this interesting book (Stations of the Tide by Michael Swanwick) at Bookshop Santa Cruz. Had a doomsday feel to it and I was in that mood when I saw it. So who knows, might be good.
These were actually really good finds at Logo's (a sort of used/new store that gets a lot of really fascinating titles from small and large presses alike). First is All the Windracked Stars by Elizabeth Bear. You'll notice that it's actually an ARC! Have no idea how it got into the store, or if it was supposed to be there, but I snatched it up quick. Second is Islandia by Austin Tappan Wright. I've never heard of this book before, but something about its obscurity and the fact that it has received a lot of praise made me buy it. I was simply intrigued by it. While this is an old copy, the book has been re-released in a new edition.
Next are two books I found at an antique store in Felton. I don't know much about either, but they were cheap and up my alley, so I snatched them. They are: Rebel Sutra by Shariann Lewitt and The Days After Tomorrow edited by Hans Stefan Santesson.
And lastly from my favorite major chain bookstore (Borders) I found these two interesting books. Unfortunately we showed up a lot later than we should have and missed out on what must have been dozens and dozens of boxes of cheap books. Still, these two books snagged my attention. The first is Samuel Blink and the Forbidden Forest by Matt Haig--what seems like a fun YA fantasy--and the second is Darkness At Noon by Arthur Koestler--a dark novel about the horrors of Stalin's Soviet Union (fiction, I believe).
There you have it. Not quite the load of books I had hoped to pull, but I think I bought too many books throughout the course of the year and thus ran out of options for interesting things to snatch up. Maybe I missed some good books, though. Feel free to make some suggestions! Seriously!