Sunday, September 23, 2007

Book Haul

Twice a year there is a major second-hand book fair in my town. The book fair is huge and the quality of books tends to be very good, plus all proceeds go to charity so book buying can feel even more virtuous than usual!

Yesterday we headed there first thing in the morning. Once inside, the husband headed off towards the history section and I made a beeline for general fiction. We blew the budget in a major way, but this is what I ended up with:

A Confederacy of Dunces John Kennedy Toole
New Grub Street George Gissing
The Orchid Thief Susan Orlean
Behind the Scenes at the Museum Kate Atkinson
The Pilot's Wife Anita Shreve
Birdsong Sebastian Faulks
The Snow Leopard Peter Matthiessen
The Year of Magical Thinking Joan Didion
The Rise of the Gothic Novel Maggie Kilgour
Dared and Done: The Marriage of Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning Julia Markus
The Grave of Alice B. Toklas Otto Friedrich

There's a bit of a mix in there. Some books that I've been meaning to read for a while (Birdsong, The Orchid Thief) and others than I've only heard of in passing (New Grub Street). I also bought a bit more non-fiction than I might normally have- I'm particularly looking forward to the book about Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Browning. I was very pleased with my haul and came away vowing not to buy any more books for at least a few months. Not sure how likely I am to stick to that vow though...


kimbofo said...

You got some great books! The Orchid Thief is wonderful -- I read it many years ago. Ditto for Birdsong.

Stephen said...

I've read "The Nether World" by Gissing and it's great. I bought "New Grub Street" as a follow up but it's still in the pile somewhere!

Dorothy W. said...

Wonderful list! I love book fairs and library sales; I always find great stuff. I don't blame you for blowing your budget!

jess said...

Thanks for the comments. Yep, I can't wait to get stuck into the pile. In fact, I've already started reading The Year of Magical Thinking.

Lazy cow said...

Behind the scenes at the museum was the first Kate Atkinson book I ever read, and I adored it. The words Book Fair send a shiver down my spine. Obviously you live far, far from Melb otherwise I'd have sniffed it out??

LK said...

You really scored! I didn't really like the Anita Shreve novel, though. The Gothic novel one sounds like a real find...

jess said...

Lazy cow: No, I'm not in Melbourne, although I hear the second hand bookshops are very good there. Will have to get down and check them out sometime.

LK: I don't know much about about the Anita Shreve novel- just took a punt on it- so I'm curious to see what it's like now. The gothic novel book looks great. I bought it with an eye to future units that I might teach, but will probably end up reading it for pure pleasure.

Melanie said...

"New Grub Street" is one I've meant to read. I read Gissing's "The Odd Women" last year and thought it was a fascinating social document, if not a flawless novel.