Thursday, August 25, 2011

Book Sale Bounty

My annual goal for the library book sale is to donate more than I purchase. Thanks to a major shelf-weeding effort, achieving that goal was never in doubt this year.

From the bottom:

Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger
I loved The Time Traveler's Wife and remember reading several excellent reviews of this one a year or two ago. Should make for excellent Halloween-themed reading.

Still Alice by Lisa Genova
This has been on my wish list for some time. I tried to get my book club to read it last year, but they thought it sounded too depressing. Maybe my pitch will be more effective once I've read the book.

Hotel Du Lac by Anita Brookner
I've only read one novel by Brookner and, for the life of me, can't remember the title. Next summer, I'll be ready for  International Anita Brookner Day.

Modoc by Ralph Helfer
One member of my book club has suggested this nonfiction work several times.  If it gets chosen, I'll be ready.

Last Night In Twisted River by John Irving
I love John Irving - period.

The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
This slim modern classic has been on my radar for years.

Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters
Fingersmith was amazing and I enjoyed The Night Watch, too. Everyone seems to rave about Tipping the Velvet, so I was thrilled to find a pristine copy for only two dollars.

Eight American Poets: An Anthology, edited by Joel Conarroe
I've finally started reading poetry this year and thought this would be a perfect addition to my small collection.

Have you read any of these? Where should I begin?


  1. HAVE to read Her Fearful Symmetry this October, JoAnn! That was the month I read it way back when and the atmosphere was perfect for a ghost story. When I get to London next month I'm heading straight to Highgate Cemetery the first chance I get!

    You did really well at the sale!

  2. I listened to Her Fearful Symmetry as an audiobook last year {but not in October :)}, and really enjoyed it, even more than The Time Traveler's Wife. (And, oh, would it make a great movie in the right hands!) And I've read many Anita Brookners, and I think she's wonderful, but I think you have to be in the mood for quiet, reflective and a little sad. That's not to say that that's not an okay mood to be in, sometimes!

  3. You've got some great reads here. I'm nost interested in Tipping the Velvet. Some of the members from my book club read it and said it was very risque.

  4. I've read Symmetry, Twisted River and Still Alice. Still Alice isn't really all that depressing and I think it is the best read out of the two. Twisted River was OK, but I didn't find it too interesting. Symmetry is fun!

  5. I have Still Alice on my library queue. I just read another "Alzheimer's novel" last week, Turn of Mind by Alice LaPlante. Amazing book--told from the POV of an elderly woman with Alzheimer's who's been accused of murdering her best friend. I think it'll be a big hit for book clubs, lots to talk about.

  6. Are these your new purchases? I'd start with The House on Mango Street. I too have been wanting to read this book!

  7. Darlene - I had your post in mind when I picked up Her Fearful Symmetry! Looking forward to October...

    Audrey - HFS even better than The Time Traveler's Wife? October is looking better by the moment. I remember the mood of Brookner's novel as being slightly sad and reflective (wish I could remember the title). I do enjoy books like that every so often.

    Ti - Think I've heard risque used when describing Tipping the Velvet, too. Sounds like fun! I'm hoping to read it within the next few weeks.

    Judith - Most reviews have said Still Alice isn't all that depressing, but my book club wasn't convinced. Hoping with first-hand knowledge I can convince them otherwise.

    Amy - Ooh, Turn of Mind sounds good! I borrowed Still Alice from the library when I pitched it last year, but had to return it unread (waiting list). Now I have no excuse.

    Harvee - Two of my daughters have read and recommended The House on Mango Street. It's short and I know I'd get a sense of accomplishment from tackling this stack quickly. We'll see...

  8. Definitely save Her Fearful Symmetry for Halloween time! You have the right idea there. :)

    I need to read more Anita Brookner too. I don't think I've read anything by her.

    Enjoy your new books!

  9. Looks like some great ones. The only one I've read is Hotel du Lac, which I really enjoyed. It's just beautifully written, but a thoughtful, quiet read. I'm starting Still Alice this afternoon, and I'm glad someone said it wasn't too depressing.

  10. Nice haul! You picked some good looking titles! The only one I have read is Her Fearful Symmetry and you're right, it will make for an awesome Halloween read. Enjoy!

  11. Nice haul! I do enjoy The House of Mango Street. Its short prose poems are wonderful in their own right and, when woven together, form a strong picture of what her life was like growing up. We use this book a lot at school as a mentor text in writing.

  12. Ack! Tipping the Velvet is the only Waters I haven't read, just because I'm not sure I can handle the idea that I have nothing left of hers to read! I really like Her Fearful Symmetry...probably more than most, but TTW it is not. Not even close.

  13. Tipping the Velvet is my favorite Waters! Her Fearful Symmetry is a great choice for RIP!

  14. I never knew what "tipping the velvet" meant until it was explained at the very end of the book, but then I felt like an idiot for not figuring it out. But for that matter, I never knew what "fingersmith" meant either! :--)

  15. I do love a book sale! I hope you enjoy Her Fearful Symmetry more than I did. Eep!

  16. Melissa - Brookners books are quiet, wistful, and sometimes sad... choose your reading time carefully!

    Carol - I'm looking forward to Hotel Du Lac and may not save it for next summer. There's sure to be another Brookner novel that crosses my path before then...

    Brenna - One more reason for me to look forward to October... Her Fearful Symmetry and pumpkin spice lattes ;-)

    Lynne - Two of my daughters were exposed to The House on Mango Street at school, so it came highly recommended.

    Sandy - That's like me saving Emma... but at least Waters will write more books :-)

    Reviewsbylola - Quite a few bloggers have said Tipping the Velvet is their favorite Waters... hopefully that will be my end-of-summer read.

    Rhapsodyinbooks - Guess I'll have to check the back of the book first...

    Viv - Nothing beats a good summer library book sale! We'll see about Her Fearful Symmetry...

  17. I just wrote most of them down in my journal. More books to check out. Everytime I seen to get a handle on my reading, there is always more I want to add. Go figure.

    Some of these look most interesting. I, too, love John Irving. However, his last book I couldn't get through. Will be anxious to try this one.

  18. I hope you like Hotel du Lac! I didn't think I would like it and then as each page was turned, it really grew on me. Big fan of Ms. Brookner now!

  19. Great job JoAnn. I loved Still Alice, Hotel du Lac and Tipping the Velvet. enjoy

  20. I like how you posed your books by the water. It made them all look so cool. I'm glad to see the poetry on the pile. I've been reading a bit more myself this year. I hope you are going to share some of your thoughts on these books as you read them.

  21. Midlife Jobhunter - Funny, I couldn't get through Irving's previous book either... even bought it in hardcover!

    Natalie - Looking forward to Hotel Du Lac. Hopefully before next year's IABD event.

    Diane - Thanks, think I'm going to enjoy them all!

    Margot - I sure will! Hope to get back to a normal blogging schedule once we settle into our fall routine.

  22. JoAnn,

    Thanks for the hurricane well wishes, I appreciate it!

  23. Looks like a good mix. The only one I've read is Still Alice, but it's a favorite of mine.

  24. I haven't read any of these yet Joann but I have purchased several of them recently such as Hotel du Lac, Still Alice and Tipping the Velvet. I am most excited about the latter since I've wanted to read Sarah Waters work for a long time.

    Enjoy your new acquisitions and have fun!

  25. I recently bought a copy of Still Alice. Let's hope we enjoy it!

    I watched the BBC adaptation of Tipping the Velvet and it is very explicit. I want to read it at some point, but will read her other books first. Enjoy!

  26. Georgia Girls - Books seem more likely to get chosen for book club if one of us has already read it... hope that's the case here.

    Amy - We do seem to have similar taste in books, don't we ;-)

    Jackie - Didn't realize BBC had adapted Tipping the Velvet. It might be a good way to end my summer reading, then settle in for something more serious for fall.

  27. I have been wanting to read Her Fearful Symmetrry for quite awhile now...roughly since it came out! Nice catch. My daughter liked Mango Street when she read it in school.

    Love book sales-- enjoy your haul :)

  28. Enjoy your new books!

    I agree you with re: John Irving - which reminds me I should read another of his books soon!

  29. JaneGS - Library book sales are the best! Can't wait to get started on this stack.

    Booksnyc - I've been a fan of John Irving forever. Couldn't get through Until I Find You, but loved everything else.


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