Theme for July: Books my friends have stolen from me

How many of your books have been stolen by friends?  How many of your books have been stolen by friends repeatedly? Our theme for July are those books which you love so much you lend them to friends, only to find they love them more than you, and vanish with them.

My own list starts with two books that have been stolen from me on three separate occasions.  The first one is Nine Princes in Amber, which sadly the library does not have, either on its own or anthologised as The Amber Chronicles or The Great Book of Amber. I used to play the Amber Diceless Roleplaying Game a lot, and my players used to nick my books.  8)

The second of my thrice-stolen books is

Better in the dark cover

Better in the Dark by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro. Chelsea Yarbro has been writing vampire romances since the 1970s, but her books are odd for their genre. You know, because you’ve read the first book, that the hero will not meet the love of his eternal life until a certain historical point. Therefore, every relationship before that is, in some sense, doomed. As such they are arguably tragedies, not romances. Yarbro’s novels are very heavy on the historical elements, with a dash of thriller in most of them.  So, vampire romances, but not light reads.

This one is the most self-contained of the series.  That makes it perfect for lending to friends.  Disreputable, untrustworthy friends.

Bloody chamber coverThe Bloody Chamber and Other Stories

Folktales, retold with a strong feminist slant. Deeply, but so short as to be almost unpublishable now, I imagine.

It’s the sort of quick book people could finish in a fortnight and then give back, but my copies of it kept getting swiped. Strangely, I still have my original copy of Red as Blood by Tanith Lee, which is very similar in tone.

Hobbit cover The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkein

I saved my pocket-money to pay off a lay by (ah, kids, a lay by was this thing we did before credit cards where the shopkeeper would put something aside for you, provided you paid for part of it in advance and paid a certain amount every so often) for an anniversary edition of The Hobbit. When I went away to Uni, my parents moved house and packed up all of my books, so I lost track of my copy of The Hobbit.

One of my relatives has a favorite book from childhood: a hardbound anniversary edition of The Hobbit.  Now, I’m not saying it’s mine, necessarily…and to be fair I did pinch my cousin’s copy of 50 Great True Ghost Stories from the boxes in Gran’s garage, so, karma, but someday I’m checking that book for my messy adolescent fingerprints.  8)

Aces high cover Wild cards series by George R. R. Martin

No, these really were stolen.  As in, my flatmate deliberately stole them when he moved out.  Back then, Bantam Spectra sold the first few in the series in Australia, and then just stopped, partway through the series, so I hope he enjoyed the cliffhanger as little as I did.