As I walked forth this Canada Day- which is being uncharacteristically blue-skied, sunny and cool- intent only on exercising my poor poor knees, I passed the Blue'n White Used Bookstore at Bloor and Brunswick, and of course went in to browse, and of course hauled my poor poor knees up their vertiginous stairs to the fantasy and language section. The latter as dangeorus as the former: I suffer from the common belief that all that's needed to learn languages is to buy textbooks and dictionaries. The more you buy the better your mastery of whatever. This is why I had to go back to university to learn Japanese: they actually test you on your kana and kanji.
Bypassing the languages entirely (though momentarily tempted by a hardcover book on Chinese armies and weapons from ancient times to 1830, including a colour pic of a Yue suicide soldier up against a Wu spearman with a shaman in the background-- and where were the shamans in Woxin, I ask me? cause these are tattooed barbarians, right?) I came away with
John M Ford's The Princes of the Air
Christopher Priest's The Prestige
John Crowley's Engine Summer
Patrick O'Brian's The Wine-Dark Sea
& The Commodore
and Hornung's Raffles: The Amateur Cracksman
TO bookstores never have used Pratchett except when they do, when it's all witches or Tiffany, and they never ever ever have Crowley. Trust me: I've been looking for a year. (Nor Holdstock either, though I found one two months ago.) The library doesn't have Crowley except in non-circulating copies. O'Brian is hit-and-miss, especially later in the series, and the chances of finding anything else interesting is minimal.
So this was a day of good hunting for me.
And now I return to Kurotsubaki 8.