… or, Yet Another Blog Meme. I saw this on Kev’s The Arcane Model. Basically, list ten books you own that none of your friends also own. I’m guessing here, of course, although with some confidence…
Priddy Barrows, John Jarmain (1944)
Jarmain was killed during World War II. This is his only novel. I reviewed it here. A collection of his poetry was also published posthumously, and I own that too. Both books were difficult to find.
Middle East Anthology of Prose and Verse, edited by John Waller and Erik de Mauny (1946)
The title says it all: this is an anthology of prose and poems by people stationed in Egypt during World War II – both the Oasis and the Personal Landscape groups – including GS Fraser, Sidney Keyes, Lawrence Durrell, John Jarmain, John Pudney, Olivia Manning, Herbert Howarth, Bernard Spencer, and many others.
Zero and Asylum in the Snow, Lawrence Durrell (1947)
I own a few small press chapbooks by Durrell, but I picked this one as representative of them. Zero and Asylum in the Snow was originally privately printed on Rhodes by Durrell himself, but this edition was produced a year later by Circle Editions in California.
The Life and Works of Jahiz, edited by Charles Pellat (1969)
After reading Robert Irwin’s The Penguin Anthology of Classical Arabic Literature, I decided to learn more about the subject. Abu Uthman Amr ibn Bahr al-Kinani al-Fuqaimi al-Basri, or Al Jahiz, was born in Basra around 781 AD, and wrote a number of books, such as Kitab al-Hayawan (Book of Animals), Kitab al-Bayan wa al-Tabyin (Book of Eloquence and Demonstration), Kitab Moufakharat al-Jawari wa al-Ghilman (Book of Dithyramb of Concubines and Ephebes) and Risalat Mufakharat al-Sudan ‘ala al-Bidan (Superiority Of The Blacks To The Whites).
Collected Poems, Bernard Spencer (1981)
Another World War II poet, like Jarmain; and also, with Lawrence Durrell, a co-founder of the Personal Landscape group of poets and writers in Egypt during World War II. Spencer was not very prolific and died relatively young, but he was generally considered to have been capable of greatness.
Yellow Matter, William Barton (1993)
A short story published as a small press chapbook and, I think, Barton’s only small press offering. Barton has not had a novel published since 1999’s When We Were Real, but he continues to write short fiction. It’s about time someone put together a collection of his stories.
Wingless Flight: The Lifting Body Story, R Dale Reed (1997)
I have several space-related books which I doubt my friends own. This is one of the more obscure ones. It’s about, well, lifting bodies – those strange-looking aircraft, one of which crashes so spectacularly in the opening credits of The Six Million Dollar Man television series.
Dune: Fremen Justice, Brian Herbert & Kevin J Anderson (2001)
After the Dune House prequel trilogy was published, small press Wormhole Books published two short stories by Herbert Jr and Anderson as limited edition hardbacks. I bought both (this one and Dune: Hunting Harkonnens). They’re actually not very good. Neither are the Dune House books for that matter.
Swedish Death Metal, Daniel Ekeroth (2006)
Some of my friends do listen to death metal, but I don’t believe any of them own books on the subject. This one is only available through Ekeroth’s MySpace page.
Dreams of a Nation, Hamid Dabashi (2007)
One of my favourite films is Divine Intervention by Palestinian director Elia Suleiman. After watching a few other recent films by Palestinian directors, I decided to read up on the subject, and found a cheap copy of this book.
Now someone just has to prove me wrong…