Fall Library Sale: High Fashion, Sacred Art, and a Whole Chapter on Snails and Frog Legs

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you may recall those biannual library sales that I usually go to. I missed this year’s spring sale, alas, but I made it to the fall sale and came away with a whole ton of books. Here’s the list. Comment below if you’ve read any of them or want to read them!

(Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links.)

Art in the Early Church by Walter Lowrie

I’ve always been fascinated by religious art. I’m hoping this book will delve not just into the histories of individual pieces or churches, but also into some of the theological debates surrounding the making and use of images.

The Givenness of Things: Essays by Marilynne Robinson

Robinson is one of those authors whom I’ve heard much about but who I’ve never had the chance to read, so it was impossible for me to pass up a near-pristine copy for $2.

Hamlet: Poem Unlimited by Harold Bloom

While Macbeth may have dethroned it as my favorite Shakespeare play, I do still adore Hamlet and read everything I can find on it. Some other Hamlet-loving friends have highly recommended this book, so I picked it up.

The Master of Us All: Balenciaga, His Workrooms, His World by Mary Blume

I have my sister, who loves fashion and the history of fashion, to thank for this selection. A few weeks ago, she was telling me about a strange Spanish designer whose dresses that seemed to defy the laws of physics. I got interested and fell in love with some of his more avant garde designs, so when I found this book, I had to get it.

Notre Dame de Paris by Richard and Clara Winston

This apparently out-of-print book is part of a series of books published by Newsweek documenting the history of famous landmarks around the world. This should be good both for my interest in Christian art and my Francophilia.

French Cooking by Paul Bocuse

And speaking of France, this enormous cookbook collects about 1,200 recipes from the restaurant of the world-famous French chef Paul Bocuse. These recipes range from basic peasant food to more exotic dishes, like fried frog legs, several different snail dishes, and a black truffle soup whose ingredients cost roughly $200 per person(!).

Tartuffe by Molière, translated by Richard Wilbur

As we’ve discussed before on this blog, Richard Wilbur is a phenomenal translator. I’m trying to get into more classic French literature, so this will be a great place to start.

The Virtuosi: Classical Music’s Great Performers from Paganini to Pavarotti by Harold C. Schonberg

A collection of short biographies of some of the greatest performers in musical history. The subtitle led me to believe that the scope of this book encompassed the nineteenth and twentieth centuries only. It actually begins around the turn of the eighteenth century, with a chapter on the notorious castrato singers of Italy, and ends in the late twentieth century with opera greats like Luciano Pavarotti and Plácido Domingo. I love classical music, and am even beginning to get into opera, so books like this are fascinating to me.

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