Saturday, February 25, 2012

Used Book Bonanza!

There's something about a long dreary winter that makes it that much easier to succomb to the siren call of the library used book sale.  I've always associated summer more with book sale season at any of several local libraries, but it's the winter ones that I live for, that give a little island of anticipation in the dreary months between Christmas and and when springtime finally shows its face. 

With a combination of ignorance, luck, and self-discipline, but mostly the first two, I only shuffled myself off to one winter book sale this winter, which is a good thing given the imminent collapse of the house under all the unread books.  I made it worth my while, though, and ended up with a slew of promising reads.  Here they are for your viewing pleasure, with haphazard commentary, of course!

One Day by David Nicholls - Between all the blogosphere buzz and the movie previews, it wasn't hard deciding to pick this one up.  Plus, the idea of revisiting a relationship on just one day of each year is kind of fascinating.

Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson - I've heard nothing but good things about Chains, and so far I've got a great track record with Halse Anderson's books like Fever 1793 and Speak.  This was purchase was a no-brainer!

Say You're One of Them by Uwem Akpan - I think I won this in a giveaway once upon a time, but it never came, and I was very sad.  =(  But now I have it anyway, so I am very happy! =)

The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen
The Bookseller of Kabul by Asne Seierstad
The Swallows of Kabul by Yasmina Khadra
The Ballad of West Tenth Street by Marjorie Kernan

The Bermudez Triangle by Maureen Johnson - Who that heard Maureen Johnson speak at the first Book Blogger Con and who subsequently took up following her wildly entertaining Twitter stream would pass up the chance to acquire more of her writing when faced with it at a book sale?

Gardens of Water by Alan Drew
Open Secrets by Alice Munro

Under the Dome by Stephen King - I probably would have picked this up just because I'm a Stephen King fan from way back, even though I've been wandering from the fold, but it's Bellezza's two posts that got me really intrigued about it.

Somebody Else's Daughter by Elizabeth Brundage

The March by E.L. Doctorow - I read Ragtime once upon a time, and I really enjoyed the way Doctorow does historical fiction, getting it from all different angles and perspectives and incorporating real historical figures.  Hope this is similar!

The Northern Clemency by Philip Hensher - Seeing the Booker Prize shortlist emblem on the front of a cover nearly always draws my interest. 
The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman - It's Kim's review of this one that got me interested, and I almost missed it completely at the sale but for spying my mother slip it off the shelf and back on and catching a glimpse of the cover.  The copy's just like new!

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty - This one's been all around the blogosphere and sounds great.  I'm sure I've read a zillion positive reviews of it, but Raych's is the only one with an exploding snow man illustration of the novel's plot, so we'll blame her for my acquisition of this novel.  P.S. this is one of those books where U.K. cover is much lovelier than that which was trotted  out to the U.S. audience.  It's quite nice when people who donate their books donate their books from other places. 

The Devil's Company and The Whiskey Rebels by David Liss - Historical fiction, for being one of my favorite "genres" has been sorely lacking in my reading of late, which is perhaps why I've elected to collect yet more of Liss's work based on a now distant satisfied feeling about The Coffee Trader which I read many, many moons ago.

We Thought You Would Be Prettier by Laurie Notaro - I can remember one of my best friends (who I didn't meet for the first time on the internet) having driven to my house had something by Laurie Notaro on audio for the trip that she said was hilarious.  This is not audio, but I hope it reads just as hilariously!

The Story of a Marriage by Andrew Sean Greer
Luncheon of the Boating Party by Susan Vreeland

Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - One of Eva's favorite authors, which is more than enough reason for me to pick something up at a book sale, for sure.

Light from a Distant Star by Mary McGarry Morris - Okay, I may have just thieved this one from my mom.  I bought it for her for Christmas because I think she's read just about every one of Morris's books, and I'd hate for her to have a gap in her reading and because buying a book for my mom is almost like buying a book for myself since once she reads it, it becomes mine... ;-)

Son of a Witch by Gregory Maguire - An impulse buy that I might regret.  I felt meh about Wicked the book, felt great about Wicked the musical, and then Wm Morrow sent me a copy of the final book in the series, so I thought, hey, it costs a buck, why not revisit the series and see what I think because surely I can't read the last book in a series without having read the others!

There you have it, the newest used additions to the collection.  Are there any that I should push to the front of the to be read line?  Any that were total mistakes?


  1. That is an awesome book sale haul! (I agree with you about winter used book sales.) I'd put my vote in for The Story of a Marriage to be bumped up to the top of your list (or close to it). I loved that one immensely and think it deserves more attention than it has gotten.

    You got some great books ... enjoy!

    1. I had a good feeling about The Story of a Marriage when I picked it up. I'm glad to hear you loved it! =)

  2. Wow, that's a great bunch of books! I'd love to find some of those used. Makes me want to go do some book shopping myself ;-)


    1. Used book shopping is the best, isn't it? It's almost like treasure hunting! ;-)

      Lots of the people who donate books to this particular library, donate just the books I most like to find used!

  3. I've only read two of the books on your list. Interestingly, one I adored (The Bermudez Triangle) and one I loathed (The Bookseller of Kabul). Fair warning on the second: while it's supposedly nonfiction, it's incredibly inaccurate and sensationalized. In my personal opinion, the author ought to be fined or in some way penalized for slander for that book. It was my very worst book of 2008, and every time I hear about it even four years later, I want to go on a rant and then burn it...yeah. Can you tell how strongly I feel? Haha. :D

    1. Jeez, Amanda, tell me how you really feel! LOL. Ugh, seriously, what a shame to hear The Bookseller of Kabul is so inaccurate and sensationalized. It seems like a story that even if it has some basis in truth would need to be neither to make an impact. I'll probably still read it, but I'll definitely go into it with a healthy dose of skepticism. I'm glad to hear The Bermudez Triangle is a great one, though, to balance things out! ;-)

  4. Wow, you did great! I say put What Alice Forgot at the front of the pile!

  5. whoa - that is one amazing haul of books! You have some great titles in there!

  6. Ahhhh, book sales. Book sales are so beautiful and glorious. I wish I could go to an amazing book sale right now and buy dozens of books; that would be awesome. Your haul looks amazing!

  7. Woo hoo, The Imperfectionists! I have wanted to go to a used book sale soooo badly lately. I ended up buying a ton of books online, but it's not quite the same. I'm majorly jealous right now :)