Oh dear...it has been a while. When I first started this post, I was in Adelaide, for the Fringe Festival. It was a busy time, but on a day trip into the city I called in at a Borders (I know, I know) to see if they had anything by bell hooks. I asked the retail assistant (I presume this is the correct title) if they had a feminism or "women's studies" section; she said they had a "small section" and gave directions. It wasn't that small - most of one Ikea-standard-sized bookshelf! They only had one bell hooks book, but as soon as I caught the title I felt it might be the one for me. After reading the introduction I decided it would be perfect.
It's called Feminism is for Everybody and the wonderful introduction explains, very quickly, that bell hooks often wished there was a simple book you could give to those people who think feminism is about hating men and became redundant when women got the vote. They've been misguided by a media controlled by patriarchy, after all; they should be able to realise that, as the title says, feminism really is for everyone. She also gives her excellent, succinct definition of feminism as "a movement to end sexism and sexist oppression."
Sadly, now I'm halfway through, I don't think this is the book she wanted. But more on that later, when I've finished it.
The same city trip, I visited the (only?) roleplaying game shop in Adelaide, and instantly remembered why I hadn't bought anything there last time: they're much more expensive than my FLGS* in Melbourne. This time, on their second hand shelf, I found a gem: the Dungeons and Dragons Monster Manual, August 1979 edition, for only $30! It's a classic, with a terrible cover, strange statistics and some odd inclusions, and it's a lot of fun to read. I'm not very familiar with editions of DnD which pre-date late 2nd edition (though I did once create a character using the original rules for an abortive attempt at Keep on the Borderlands), but I'll use it for inspiration for my fourth edition campaign.
I also made the time to visit one of my favourite second hand haunts, O'Connell's Bookshop on Hindley Street. Three times I've been to Adelaide, and every time I've found something great here. This time I picked up a couple of Asimovs - The Caves of Steel and its sequel, Robots of Dawn - and a Douglas Coupland, Eleanor Rigby. I read Robots of Dawn as a boy, after my step dad encouraged me to try Asimov. I really enjoyed it, and a collection of his short stories about a tiny "demon" named Azazel, but when I tried to read Foundation I lost interest. Of Coupland, I've only read Microserfs, but I greatly enjoyed it and thought I'd step away from similar themes for a second pass. (I have, though, watched the first half of the JPod television adaptation, and it's very good.) I've started on The Caves of Steel. For some reason I feel odd reading only one book at a time.
So that's us caught up. The Melbourne International Comedy Festival starts tomorrow, so you may not hear from me until May. I hope you all understand. Assuming there's more than one of you, of course.