Library Sale Loot [May]

Oh, hello-hello! I’m not going to bore anyone with excuses on why exactly I haven’t been posting here. I’ve been having one of the worst reading slumps in years, but I’ve been very productive in my other projects too. So in other words, my priorities have shifted at some point a couple of month ago and haven’t bothered to shift back to allow me some motivation for reading. I still read my minimum 4 books a month limit to prevent myself from getting totally braindead, but my reading habits have been grossly messed up as of late. For example, I might spend 3-4 days binge reading and finishing a whole bunch of books only to completely stop for like three weeks. But I promised not to bore you with excuses, so I’m just going to jump into the main reason why I am briefly showing some signs of life here – the Library Book Sale!!

I don’t know about others, but I absolutely love when people post some kind of hauls or do themed lists. Feel free to skip if that is not you thing, but also feel free to comment to let me know whether or not my purchases were worthwhile. Read on and sorry for the poor quality of the pictures. I only had my phone camera around for the occasion.

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1. What’s Bred in the Bone and The Lyre of Orphans by Robertson Davies – I bought this series even though it lacked the first volume. I’m sure I’m going to locate the missing book sooner or later, so that doesn’t bother me, but still, why does this always happen to me? Robertson Davies was a prolific Canadian writer of whom I’ve heard great things. I also have the first two books in his Deptford trilogy, which a couple of people I know absolutely adore.

2. The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie – I was super excited to get this book as I’ve meant to give this series a try for a long time. Apparently if you like dark fantasy like The Song of Ice and Fire series you should enjoy this one too.

3. The Help by Katheryn Stockett – I think I’m the last person on earth who hasn’t read this one. Please tell me I’m not alone?

4. The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick – This is not a book I would normally go for, but it has captured my interest with Jennifer Lawrence snatching an Oscar for the big-screen adaptation. I’ve been going back and forth on reading it for a while, so getting it used is probably my best option.

5. The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt – Another Canadian author I’d like to try. Also, wasn’t it nominated for some kind of literary award?

6. Mistress of the Monarchy by Alison Weir – One of the few books by Weir that I do not own yet. For some reason it was laying around general fiction sale, though it was clearly a biography. I remain in the dark about British history dating earlier than 15th century, so this would be a good place to start.

7. The Historian by Elisabeth Kostova – I’ve had this book on my TBR for at least five years. I thought not getting it for only $2 would be a crime.

8. The Well-Educated Mind: A Guide to the Classical Education You Never Had by Susan Wise Bauer – I literally squealed with joy upon seeing this book for sale. I borrowed a copy from the library past winter, but couldn’t finish on time. This is not a book I want to rush through, so having my own copy is a real treat.

9. Dragonfly in Amber and Voyager by Diana Gabaldon – I don’t know what I was thinking. I don’t even particularly enjoy Outlander. But what if it turns into one of those trashy guilty pleasures? I need to be prepared.

10. The Haunting on Hill House by Shirley Jackson – Amazing book. Had to have a copy.

11. The Man in the Iron Mask by Alexandre Dumas – I totally forgot that I had this book already. I guess I’m going to give it to my mom, since she loves Dumas.

12. The Josephine B. Trilogy by Sandra Gulland – Which is an omnibus of all three books in the series describing the life of Joséphine de Beauharnais. The separate books are titled The Many Lives and Secret Sorrows of Josephine B., Tales of Passion, Tales of Woe, and the Last Great Dance on Earth respectively.

13. A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry – The book was brought up to my attention by members of a Goodreads group I belong to. I’ve never read anything set in India so it would be a nice little trip to an exotic locale.

14. Ben-Hur by Lew Wallace – I’m very-very happy with this find. It’s a a collector’s edition from Reader’s Digest, which contains gorgeous illustration on every page. I don’t really care for it to be a Reader’s Digest version, but the illustrations and the story get me excited.

15. Doctor Sleep by Stephen King – Another great King find of mine. For some reason Stephen King is one of those authors that are perpetually present in used book stores and garage sales. Everyone seems to own something of his.

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16. The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough – I’ve been hearing about this book since my childhood from both my mom and grandma. McMullough also wrote a series of books on ancient Rome that I really want to read one day. For an author who published so many novels, she is quite hard to locate on sale.

17. The Pale Horseman and Sword Song by Bernard Cornwell – I was soooo excited to stumble upon a little treasure trove of Cornwell this time. I got a total of five books of his, and all from the series I am most curious about. These are books 2 and 4 out of the Saxon Stories, which are about one of my favourite subjects of all – vikings!

18. The Winter King, Enemy of God, and Excalibur by Bernard Cornwell – Finally, a complete set of novels! This is the King Arthur trilogy, which is on my tbr shortlist. Very short list. If only I could find some Sharpe books now!

19. The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio – I’ve had plans to read Decameron this year. I don’t know if my time or motivation would permit me to go through with it, but I’m glad to have a copy if I do.

20. 2001 A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke – a classic sci-fi movie and novelization. Besides, it’s about time I checked out Clarke.

21. The Dragon Reborn, The Path of Daggers, Winter’s Heart, and Crossroads of Twilight by Robert Jordan – books 3, 8, 9, and 10 of The Wheal of Time series. Now I am only missing books 5-7, 11 and the three written by Brandon Sanderson as the conclusion to the series.

22. Greek Myths by Robert Graves – This beauty was part of the special items sale among large coffee table books and encyclopedias that the library priced separately from other items. The brand new two volumes of Folio Society editions in a collector’s slipcase cost me only $10 – amazing price for any Folio Society book. I’m very excited to add it to my small collection.

I think that was everything I brought home with me. Generally speaking, this time I haven’t found any books that I was specifically looking for. Anything by Brandon Sanderson and Steven Erikson still eludes me. I also couldn’t find a single book from the Masters of Rome by Colleen McCullough or any non-fiction off my wishlist. But the addition of Bernard Cornwell, Joe Abercrombie and a Folio Society books really make me feel lucky.

10 comments

  1. You are not alone. I have not read The Help; I’ve only seen the movie. Excellent!

  2. I have not read the Help either but I have seen the movie. The Medieval world excites me, so I really need to check out Bernard Cornwell’s books.

  3. I thoroughly enjoyed The Decameron, once I figured out that the key to it was to only ever read a bit of it at a time. In one sitting, I would read a bit of it, and then I would leave it alone for a while, and come back and read another bit later. It worked great.

  4. I, too, have not read The Help but have seen the movie. Congratulations on The Well-Educated Mind “score”! It’s a great guide to reading the Great Books! A Folio Society Greek Myths! Lucky you! I’m reading The Decameron right now with O at Behold the Stars. I’m really enjoying it and, as Jenny said, you are able to read just a bit of it and put it down, which I really need now at this part of my busy spring!

    I’ve missed your blogging but we all need a rest sometimes, right? I hope your book haul has helped inspire you to read again on a regular basis!

  5. Hey, I was at this library sale too! It was my very first. Haul post coming soon.

    I also picked up The Sisters Brothers. I noticed quite a few copies.

    Josephine B!!! What a great series. A must for historical fiction lovers.

    The Help is a good read. I devoured it.

    Really jealous of A Well-Educated Mind. I would have snapped that up too.

  6. The Josephine B trilogy is fantastic, every single one of them, I don’t usually read historical fiction, but since I live in France I decided to read this as a great way to get to know more of the history through the characters that make up France’s past and this was a fantastic read, very sad to finish it, but I think Sandra Gulland is writing a book about her daughter now. 🙂

  7. @Ruth, I’m glad I’m not the only one. It seems everyone around me tends to read every book that is being adapted to big screen as some kind of a ritual. 🙂 Perhaps this would be a good summer read.

    @Fariba, Yes! Do check out Bernard Cornwell. He seems to always write about the best historical subjects. I’ve heard his Arthur series is excellent, and I think it’s ridiculously hard to find decent retelling of the legend nowadays.

    @Jenny, Thanks for the tip! I will certainly follow your advice. Isn’t Decameron a collection of stories? I agree that a format like this would require my brain to digest information slowly.

    @Cleo, Thank you for all the kind words. I’ve been feeling like such a slacker lately, but then I have to remind myself that my other projects are doing pretty well thanks to this break. I do miss blogging here, but I just feel like I have nothing to say worthwhile.

    @Laura, That is awesome! I was wondering about other Edmontonian book bloggers showing up for the event… I go to every single one of them, unless it’s one of those one-day outdoor sales. I skip them once in a while, since I rarely find anything worthwhile. Well, once I did find Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder – the book I had a very hard time finding used anywhere. I am anxiously looking forward to see your loot!

    @Claire. That’s interesting you say that, because I rarely read historical fiction myself (though I would like too), so I’m really excited to read it now that you said you loved it too. I kind of took a gamble on it, since I’ve never heard of this series. Perhaps I should dedicate a few months this year to read historical fiction only. But I always worry that the lack of knowledge in a certain time period would sabotage by enjoyment of the books.

  8. The only one of these I’ve read (besides The Help!) is A Fine Balance. It’s very good, but definitely shows a pretty dark view of India.

  9. Hmm, that’s what I heard. But I do appreciate a good drama. Thanks for letting me know!

  10. Ha,indeed,you got The Greek Myths at a very nice price! 🙂

    And the edition for Ben-Hur looks really great too! A very nice haul! 🙂

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