It's been a while since we offered a run-down of our ebook offerings (which can be bought from most major ebook retailers). We've published many more in the last six months. Here are seven of them, each with a representative passage:
"In his old age Orm used to say that this period in his life was lengthy to endure, but brief to tell of, for one day resembled another so that, in a sense, it was as though time was standing still for them. But there were signs to remind him that time was, in fact, passing; and one of these was his beard. When he first became a slave, he was the only one among them so young as to be beardless; but before long his beard began to grow, becoming redder even than his hair, and in time it grew so long that it swept the handle of his oar as he bowed himself over his stroke. Longer than that it could not grow, for the sweep of his oar curtailed its length; and of all the methods of trimming one’s beard, he would say, that was the last that he would choose."
"She put her suitcase on a chair and went to the window. The sun. It came steadily through the window, making no shadows of bars. The key. It was to keep others out, not to keep her in. Whenever she wanted to, she could leave. She looked at the room, the green walls, the floor; she touched the white rough covers of her bed. Here, in this room, to stand, to move, to sleep. Here, perhaps, to live?"
"One of the things—one of the many, many, many things that fascinate me about myself—is how it is possible for me to know something without really knowing it at all. I mean I seemed to have known about queers all my life, I can’t remember when I didn’t, and I generally can guess who is. I mean, it’s no traumatic shock for me or anything like that to discover that so-and-so actually is one—and yet, I swear, I was flabbergasted when I saw that club. There was a style of flirting along the bar where some sailors stood waiting to be picked up, that no starlet could hope to emulate. And the droves and droves. I had no idea there were so many. I just had no idea."
"Anyway here I was back again in Soho in this terrible dive the Crypt because what had happened was that the night before one of the Americans, down from Oxford, had said, 'Hey, someone gave me a list of literary pubs, did you ever? Isn’t it straight out of Shakespearian times? They’re in Soho, see, that’s where all the you know, sort of odd-ball Greenwich Villagey Left Banky off-beat In-group types'—(that was the way he talked)—'oh, artists and painters and all that jazz are supposed to hang out. So why don’t we give it a whirl, hey? Might be a fun thing.'
"So I went. I had nothing better to do, had I, except recount my money and repaint my finger-nails and die of frustration?"
"The city of Singapore was not built up gradually, the way most cities are, by a natural deposit of commerce on the banks of some river or at a traditional confluence of trade routes. It was simply invented one morning early in the nineteenth century by a man looking at a map. ‘Here,’ he said to himself, ‘is where we must have a city, half-way between India and China. This will be the great halting-place on the trade route to the Far East. Mind you, the Dutch will dislike it and Penang won’t be pleased, not to mention Malacca.’ This man’s name was Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles: before the war his bronze statue used to stand in Empress Place in a stone alcove like a scallop shell (he has been moved along now and, turned to stone, occupies a shady spot by the river). He was by no means the lantern-jawed individual you might have expected: indeed, a rather vague-looking man in a frock coat."
"Only a pathological martyr would cook in such weather. The heat sizzled over the filthy streets like an invisible mustard plaster. If you fancy cooked banana peel with pizza and eggshells, there was a feast in the gutter. There were a lot of drunken bums hanging around, competing for nickels with hippies in hair-shirts, rehearsing the plague. I dragged myself to Bleecker Street, holding my unmasked breath until I was in the sheltering arms of the A&P. It was freezing in there. I asked a mustachioed clerk where the cold cuts were hidden, but naturally he didn’t speak a word of English. 'Cold cuts,' I shouted into his insane face. He laughed gleefully, as if I had proposed that we both crawl under the check-out counter and knock off a quickie."
"This shooting trip of mine started, I believe, innocently enough. Like most Englishmen, I am not accustomed to enquire very deeply into motives. I dislike and disbelieve in cold-blooded planning, whether it be suggested of me or of anyone else. I remember asking myself when I packed the telescopic sight what the devil I wanted it for; but I just felt that it might come in handy."
*"Seven are the days of the week." From a song traditionally sung on Passover (which begins next Monday).