Monday, May 13, 2013

Book Sale Bounty


Book sale season has arrived! On Saturday afternoon, I made an impromptu trip to the Friends of the Tompkins County Public Library book sale. This is easily the largest sale around. Boasting a warehouse  filled with over 250,000 titles, I could happily browse for hours. We had all sorts of activities planned for Mother's Day weekend and a trip to Ithaca wasn't on our agenda, but around mid-afternoon it was beginning to look like a possibility and we were on our way shortly after three.

The crowd had thinned and browsing was easy by the time we arrived around 4:30. I was hoping to find something by Angela Thirkell or Barbara Pym (for Pym Reading Week), but it was not to be. There was nothing at all by Thirkell, and a single well-worn trade paperback of Excellent Women was the only Pym available.

My first thought was that Thomas had scooped up the Thirkells earlier in the day, but he struck out, too. Either nobody in upstate New York is reading Angela Thirkell, or they all sold the first weekend of the sale. As for the Pyms, Thomas left a couple of hard covers and several trade paperbacks, so there are obviously more fans in the area... and they all arrived ahead of me!

There were still thousands of books to peruse and I left with a very nice stack (from the bottom):

Abide with Me by Elizabeth Strout
Strout is always a favorite. I recently finished The Burgess Boys (fingers crossed for a review this week), loved OliveKitteridge, and enjoyed Amy and Isabelle  years ago, too. This is a pristine hardcover edition of her second novel.

Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward
Book blogger favorites are irresistible.

Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha by Roddy Doyle
Prize winners always catch my attention, too, and this won the Booker Prize in 1993.

The Distant Hours by Kate Morton
I enjoyed The Forgotten Garden  and thought this might be a good summer read.

Birds Without Wings by Louis de Bernieres
Corelli's Mandolin  is a favorite. I've wanted to read this for years.

Old Filth by Jane Gardam
I've been meaning to read Gardam for some time and snapped this up in light of a recent New York Times book review.

God on the Rocks by Jane Gardam
A beautiful Europa Edition of Gardam's 1978 first novel

Cheerful Weather for the Wedding by Julia Strachey
I can never pass up a Persephone Classic.

Snow Angels by Stewart O'Nan
After reading four of O'Nan's novels, I want to read them all.

Loitering with Intent by Muriel Spark
I seem to be reading a lot of British novelists lately...

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
It seems everyone in the world has read these books, but I'm afraid they may be too gruesome and have continued to avoid them. Yet another friend raved about the series during a recent dinner party and convinced me to give it a try. We'll see...

Any thoughts on these books?




36 comments:

  1. I tend to gravitate towards prize winners as well. I have Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha for that very reason (picked up at a library sale) but it's been languishing on the shelves for YEARS. I keep meaning to read Kate Morton, too. Fun stack!!

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    1. Trish - I always feel drawn toward prize winners... guess I like to see whether I agree with the judges ;-)

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    1. Carol - Thanks... wish I could lock myself in a room for a week with them ;-)

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  3. I've been avoiding the Dragon Tattoo series also. Someday I may try. Your pile makes me so happy! There's nothing quite so exciting as a good book sale :)

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    1. Shelley - Oh, I know... I just love books sales! And if I don't like the Dragon Tattoo, I can always donate to it next time around.

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    1. Ti - Now if I can just find time to read them all while I'm still interested...

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  5. What a wonderful haul. I need some Pyms myself--odd you couldn't find any.

    I haven't read any of the Girl with the books--my kids have warned me that they are pretty disturbing (they do shelter me!).

    I love the title, Cheerful Weather for the Wedding--it's bound to be good :)

    Enjoy your haul.

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    1. JaneGS - No Pyms other than the battered copy of Excellent Women, which I already own. Oh, well... None of my kids have read The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, and my friends may not realize what a total wimp I am when it comes to books like that. Worst case scenario is I don't finish and donate to the next sale!

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  6. Dragon is a bit gruesome but I felt the story and the suspense of the three books, esp books 1 and 3 more than made up for it. I loved them. Strout is a wonderful writer and how fortunate to find a Persephone in a sale. Enjoy the loot.

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    1. TravellingPenguin - I think the Dragon book might be perfect for 'by the pool' reading this summer... time to push my comfort zone a little.

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  7. Some new-to-me authors in your stack, which is always fun - someone new to discover. Jane Gardam sounds particularly interesting.

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    1. Lisa May - I'm most excited about the Jane Gardam books. The article in the NY Times sold me!

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  8. great stack! I am jealous but probably should be thankful there are no sales like that around here - the books are already caving in around me!

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    1. Colleen - I guess there wouldn't be many places for a sale like that in the city! Before book sale season begins, I try to cull my shelves for donations so I have room for the acquisitions!

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  9. That's a big warehouse full of books! What a great way to spend some time. I recently picked up Dragon Tattoo too.

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    1. Stacybuckeye - Hmm, maybe I'll let you go first with Dragon Tattoo ;-)

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  10. This sounds like a sale that I would love to attend!! I think you snagged some great titles!! Enjoy!

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    1. Staci - I try not to go overboard with these sales, but that's not always possible!

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  11. I am a wimp and I didn't like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. It is too graphic, too violent and too...much! However, the plot was really fast paced and suspenseful.
    The rest of your stack looks amazing. What a great haul!

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    1. Anbolyn - I think The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo will really push the limits of my comfort zone.

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  12. I loved all the Larsson books. My only advice is that you really have to lower your head and plow through the first hundred pages or so. Once you get past that it is going to grab you and not let go. LOVE Kate Morton, every single one of her books. And I have Old Filth on my shelves too, very highly recommended by one of my favorite indie booksellers up in Chicago.

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    1. Sandy - I'll keep your Larsson advice in mind, thanks. So far I've only listened to Kate Morton... hope she's just as good in print.

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  13. I read Birds Without Wings several years and thought it was great. Powerful. And I learned a lot of history, too!

    I have Captain Corelli's Mandolin sitting on my shelf but have yet to read it. ;-)

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    1. Debbie - I'm so glad to know you enjoyed Birds Without Wings! Learning some history is a nice added bonus, too. Hope you decided to read Corelli's Mandolin soon - I loved that one :-)

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  14. I've posted my Ithaca hall over at My Porch. I also have a hc of Pym to send you.

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    1. Thomas - Can't wait to see what you found. I'll email you my address - thanks!

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  15. Lovely pile of books! I've never got around to reading the Larsson trilogy either . I do keep meaning to start on Jane Gardam's Old Filth stories.

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    1. Cat - I don't know much about Jane Gardam, so I'm really looking forward to reading those two!

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  16. Cheerful Weather and Loitering With Intent! Oh, JoAnn, they are both wonderful!

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    1. Simon - I was shocked to find a Persephone edition of Cheerful Weather... they don't seem to make their way across the pond very often. It's been a few years since I read Spark (Memento Mori most recently), so that will be a treat, too. I'm glad to know you enjoyed them!

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  17. Maybe not what you were looking for, but you certainly picked up some great books!

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    1. Lisa - Now I need to read them all ;-)

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