Shortly after getting my driver's license I got a job delivering pizzas. A good chunk of the job involved sitting around waiting for a pizza to cook, so I spent a lot of time reading. I always have a book nearby, but one slow night when nobody in the world wanted pizza, I ran out of book. In desperation I grabbed the book which had been gathering dust atop a gallon can of sliced black olives since before I'd started working. The book I found, Roger Zelazny's Jack of Shadows, changed what I read. I needed more Zelazny (though JoS remains my favorite), so using the power of my new driver's license my brother Bill and I traveled to Minneapolis (about 110 miles) to visit Uncle Hugo's and fill the trunk with used books (actually, it was a hatchback and I remember the pile of books pressed against the back window). Having mainlined the gateway drug of Zelazny, I started hitting the harder stuff of the New Wave SF, Blish, and Aldiss, Ellison and eventually, Philip K. Dick (I might be wrong on who is orthodox New Wave). I'm not among the (very considerable) crowd who deifies Zelazny (really, try rereading Nine Princes without laughing at the dialogue), but I still remember being pissed that I finally had to deliver a pizza and had to put it down.
Traveling through Europe during the summer of 1989 I had brought along crappy books (I think I was trying to impress my traveling companions with my wide and sophisticated tastes) and I was struggling through J Ceaser's Conquest of Gaul (by way of retracing histroy). On a brick ledge near an outdoor cafe in Nice, I found an abandoned book. Actually it wasn't abandoned, but intentionally left for me to find--written on the inside cover were a list of names, cities, and dates as that book travelled with different readers around Europe ( a last century pre-intertube version of www.bookcrossings.com) I think the book was something by Randall Garrett. I took it from Nice and it was a good traveling companion. If you have seen the book, I'd be interested to know what it's been up to since we parted in Barcelona. It did save me from ever trying to finish the CoG (the Roman's won, right?)
I don't get much time to read at work, but a while back outside our building I found Wait Until Midnight, by Amanda Quick. It promises to be "a thrilling new novel of the darkness and desires hidden beneath the orderly surface of Victorian England." I'm excited, because reading found books has always been good to me. Best of all, Amanda Quick writes under a bunch of other names, so if I really like it, I'll be set for the rest of the year. Though, when I finish WUM should I start with Late for the Wedding? or skip right to Ravished?