Yet Another Book Haul

You know how this works: the local library holds a massive book sale, I come away with a whole mess of books, and then I blog about them. And you comment on them. Let’s go.

"Joan of Arc" by Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Image via Wikiart.
“Joan of Arc” by Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Image via Wikiart.

1: Saint Joan by George Bernard Shaw

Owing to my long-standing fascination with Joan of Arc and Fariba’s excellent review of the play, I decided to pick this one up.

2: Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

This is one of those books that I’ve been meaning to read for ages. The inside cover was scribbled on a little by its previous owner, but for 50¢, I really can’t complain.

3: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead by Tom Stoppard

A perfect follow-up to Hamlet, don’t you think?

4: The Oxford Book of English Verse

Suzannah Rowntree at Vintage Novels highly recommended this book so when I saw a not-too-beat-up copy of it on the “Poetry” table, I was excited. I was even more excited when I got home and found out that this particular version, edited by Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch, is out of print and extremely rare. For $2, I’d say that’s a steal. 😀

5: Fear and Trembling by Søren Kierkegaard

I picked up this one per Fariba’s recommendation as well. Having never read Kierkegaard, this looks like just the place to start.

"Faust" by Rembrandt. Image via Wikiart.
“Faust” by Rembrandt. Image via Wikiart.

6: Dr. Faustus by Christopher Marlowe

While trying to find out what is meant by a “Faustian deal,” I ended up reading about this play. I’ve been wanting to read some non-Shakespearean Elizabethan drama for a while and this seemed like the ticket.

7: Selected Poems by Robert Browning

I read “My Last Duchess” in high school and there ends my knowledge of Browning’s work. Let’s see how this goes!

8: Look Homeward, Angel by Thomas Wolfe

I like to read the authors that made my favorite authors who they were. Wolfe is one such author, having been cited as a major influence by Ray Bradbury.

Gustave Flaubert
Flaubert channeling Napoleon. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

9: Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

Blame Karen Swallow Prior for this one: her enthusiastic praise of Madame Bovary made me curious.

10: The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William L. Shirer

Widely considered the definitive history of Nazi Germany. I got all 1,245 pages of it for a dollar.

11: A Historical Atlas of Judaism by Ian Barnes and Josephine Bacon

This one might be a dud, I’m afraid. Since bringing the book home, I’ve read some reviews of it that claim it’s inaccurate in places. Good thing I only spent a few dollars on it. 🙂

12: The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy

This too might be a biased waste of money, but at $2, I couldn’t pass it up. If nothing else, it would make an admirable doorstop. 😉

While not technically a book, I also bought a 2008 copy of Life magazine about Audrey Hepburn.

Has anyone out there read any of these? What did you think? Any you would like to read? Let me know in the comments.


Library Sale, Part II

I love book hauls, especially ones where I come away with eleven books, all in admirable condition, for a combined total of $13.00. God bless the Jefferson Parish Public Library.

On to the list!

1: In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
In Cold Blood








I quite nearly had a heart attack when I saw this book on the antique books table because, as you can see, its cover matches the first edition exactly. Inspecting the first few pages, I found that this book was copyrighted in 1965–same as the first edition. And the price tag read $1.00! “The librarians must not know what they have!” I thought. Handing the book to my sister, I frantically pecked away at my phone’s keyboard to find out what other marks distinguish a first edition In Cold Blood. Sadly, this book is not a first edition, but it is an early printing, which still excites me. For one dollar, I really couldn’t turn it down (despite the fact that I may or may not be able to stomach the plot).

2: You Can’t Take It with You by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman

This book, upon which one of my favorite films is based, was printed in 1937 and also cost a dollar. Why not?

3: A Man for All Seasons by Robert Bolt

Fariba from Exploring Classics made this play sound fascinating in the review of it she posted last August. I’m afraid I know very little about Henry VIII’s reign, and even less about Sir Thomas More, but I look forward to learning more about both.

4: The Elements of Style, Fourth Edition by William Strunk and E. B. White

I’ve heard wonderful things about this book, but I’ve never read it. For one dollar, I figured I couldn’t afford not to buy it.

5: Night by Elie Wiesel

I kept promising myself I was going to read this book one day. It looks like that day is nigh upon us.

6: The Giver by Lois Lowry

Given my recently-acquired interest in science fiction and dystopian fiction, this book seems right up my alley. I’m still not quite sure what the book is about, but there will be plenty of time to find out when I read it. And even if I hate this book, I’m only out fifty cents.

7: The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey

Suzannah Rowntree of the blog Vintage Novels recommended that I follow up Shakespeare’s Richard III with this mid-century mystery novel about a detective attempting to exonerate King Richard for the murders of his nephews. I had never heard of this book before Suzannah mentioned it, so I certainly didn’t expect to find it at a secondhand book sale, amid the glut of James Patterson, John Grisham, and other current crime fiction. Lo and behold!

8: The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan

And please excuse the shoddy photos I took with my flashless phone camera.
And please excuse the shoddy photos I took with my flashless phone camera.










I’ve been wanting to read this book for a while–I even downloaded the public domain e-book–but I still prefer having an actual book in my hand. And this one is so pretty.

9: The Miserable Mill by Lemony Snicket (or Daniel Handler, if you prefer)

I only know Snicket by reputation, not by having read his books, but that reputation was enough to make me want to walk into this book almost completely blind.

10: Schindler’s List by Thomas Keneally

This was my most expensive book, at a whopping $2.50! The World War II/Holocaust eras are another part of history that I want to learn more about, so it made sense to buy this one as well.

11: English Poetry, Volume III: Tennyson to Whitman edited by Charles W. Eliot

It’s not a proper book haul without a poetry book. I was intrigued by Tennyson, but when I looked down the table of contents and found that this book also contains some of Edgar Allan Poe’s poetry, I was sold.

I also wanted to buy Brave New World and The Great Gatsby, but they were both more damaged than I was willing to put up with, even for a dollar. Maybe someday, though, I’ll finally read these.

P.S. My sister also scored a copy of L. M. Montgomery’s Anne of Avonlea that was printed in 1909! Don’t think I’m not a little jealous.

Library Sale!

Today was a grand, glorious day! I spent most of the afternoon at a book sale one of the main libraries in town was holding. Six books for fifteen dollars, and considering I recently spent thirty-five dollars on three books at Barnes and Noble, I’d say I cleaned up.

Now for the list:

1: The Help by Kathryn Stockett

My brother asked why I bought this book since I’ve already seen the movie twice and know how it ends, but I’ve always been able to enjoy a book even after having the movie spoil the ending for me. I’ve read the first few pages so far, and already, I’m hooked! Might I say, Aibileen is much more interesting in the book than she was in the movie.

2: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

It’s high time I read this book, and, because I loath the thought of reading such a long book on my Kindle app, I wanted a print version. In hindsight, I really should have inspected the book closer before I bought it: whoever used it before me apparently felt the need to smother the book in notes and highlighter marks, then end nearly every chapter with a chapter summary. Here’s some of the damage. Beware: it’s gruesome:



CAM00064Excuse me? You don’t write in a book and then give it away for someone else to use! That’s like walking into a movie theater so you can talk over the movie! Some people . . . Continue reading “Library Sale!”