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Lord Reading: Rufus Isaacs, First Marquess of Reading, Lord Chief Justice and Viceroy of India, 1860-1935
Denis Judd
Progress: 90/316 pages
Charlotte Lennox: An Independent Mind
Susan Carlile
Progress: 137/528 pages
Operation Don's Main Attack: The Soviet Southern Front's Advance on Rostov, January-February 1943
David M. Glantz
Progress: 382/952 pages

I sense a conspiracy . . .

The Industrialisation of Soviet Russia, Volume 2: The Soviet Collective Farm 1929-1930 - Robert W. Davies

For the past month I've been trying to accumulate the "Industrialisation of Soviet Agriculture" series. It hasn't been easy, as used copies of the later volumes start at $150. Still, I managed to find copies of the first and fourth volumes at reasonable prices, and both now rest snugly on my shelves.


But for some reason, the second volume eludes me.


This isn't because copies aren't listed for sale, or even that they are not reasonably priced. At the end of last month I found a seller offering a copy for $20, yet while I placed the order successfully apparently it was lost in the mail — this despite the fact that I had ordered another book from the same seller earlier that same day which managed to arrive successfully.


Last week I gave up on ever receiving the initial copy I ordered, and decided to acquire another copy that I found online. Though it was cheaper, I had passed on it the first time around because it was advertised as smelling of tobacco smoke. Deciding that an airing would probably fix it, I placed an order for the book.


Today, my package arrived in the mail. Inside was a copy . . . of the first volume.


Over the years I've purchased enough books online from used booksellers to expect the occasional mistake. When two happen with the same book, though, I start to wonder if there is a conspiracy to stop me from owning this book. Not that I will let it, of course — it will be mine!