Library sales

A while back I mentioned that there were some local library sales coming up, and, of course, I had to check them out (and volunteer at one — this year I volunteered for the second day of the sale, so I wouldn’t miss being able to buy books on the first day, a lesson I learned from last year).  I came back from both sales with quite a stack, and now I’m hoping to be finished with buying books for a while (but we’ll see of course).  Here’s what I found:

  • Barbara Pym’s An Academic Question: The one Pym novel I’ve read I loved, Excellent Women, so I couldn’t resist snapping up another.
  • Matthew Sharpe’s The Sleeping Father: I don’t know anything about this one, but the name was familiar, and I later remembered he wrote Jamestown, which got some blog attention, I believe.  Anyway, it sounded interesting.
  • Ian Rankin’s Dead Souls: I haven’t yet read Rankin, and he definitely should be a part of my reading in the mystery genre.  A couple friends recommended him.
  • Henning Mankell’s Before the Frost: This one is a Linda Wallender mystery; I knew there were Kurt Wallender ones, but not Linda Wallender ones.  I’ve got one of the Kurt mysteries on audiobook, so these two together will make a nice introduction to Mankell.
  • Alan Lightman’s Einstein’s Dreams: This one has been on my wishlist ever since reading Lightman’s book on science, A Sense of the Mysterious.
  • Anthony Trollope, The Eustance Diamonds: It seemed to me like a good idea to have an unread Trollope novel lying around, just in case.
  • Elfriede Jelinek’s The Piano Teacher: I’m not sure I’ll like this book, but I’d like to read Jelinek just to see what I think, controversial figure that she is.
  • Benjamin Black’s Christine Falls: I’ve read the sequel, The Silver Swan, and now it’s time to read the first in the series.
  • Sarah Waters’s The Night Watch: After having a great time reading Fingersmith, I couldn’t resist another Waters novel.
  • James Salter’s Last Night: This is a collection of stories by an author I’ve heard praised by fellow bloggers; I might have preferred to find a novel, but this will give me a chance to read more short stories.
  • Nicholson Baker’s A Box of Matches: Eventually I’ll have read everything Baker’s written.  Well, maybe not — his latest nonfiction doesn’t interest me very much.  But thanks to Book Mooch I have The Fermata on the way to me from Verbivore.
  • Jane Gardam’s The People on Privilege Hill: I’ve heard of Gardam’s novel Old Filth and so was intrigued by this collection of stories.
  • Robert Hughes’s High Wind in Jamaica: I’m always happy to find NYRB books around, and this one looked particularly good.
  • Jane Urquhart’s Away.  Verbivore is the inspiration for this purchase; she sounds like a writer I will like.

There were many more I could have gotten, but that seemed like enough …


Filed under Books

15 responses to “Library sales

  1. Wow, you picked up some great books. I can recommend ‘Christine Falls’ but not read any of the others. I do, however, keep meaning to read something by Barbara Pym.


  2. SFP

    Great haul. High Wind in Jamaica’s definitely one of my favorites this year.

    This is what I wrote about The Sleeping Father back in 2004:

    Anne Tyler was interviewed in the NY Times early last week. She said she reads contemporary fiction “nonstop,” and that new writers seem “to be starting out at a higher and higher level.” She said she was reading “fresh, funny, quirky” The Sleeping Father by Matthew Sharpe. The Sharpe was on the new book cart in the back when I went to work that evening, and since I’d finished the [Wm]Boyd the day before, started it immediately. Astringent, darkly humorous, ultimately warmhearted, I doubt I would have trusted a book giving the postmodernist treatment to a family dealing with a parent’s coma and stroke and subsequent rehab to do anything more than push all my buttons, but Sharpe made it work. I loved the relationship between Chris and his best buddy Frank Dial.


  3. Nice haul! What fun it must have been. We usually don’t have library booksales like that and that’s a good thing or the fire marshal would surely cite me!


  4. I loved Einstein’s Dreams, and my husband loved Christine Falls — so I hope you’ll enjoy them too!
    As for Jane Urquhart, I’d be interested to hear your opinions on Away. She’s from my area so I am always keeping an ear out for what she’s doing next.


  5. Have fun with Christine Falls and James Falter (even though they may put you in a blue mood, the writing is excellent!) I look forward to your comments on Jelinek, to me she’s very disturbing(possibly typical Austrian but I don’t know much about it?)


  6. verbivore

    What a wonderful stack of books! I have The Night Watch on my shelf as well, so we’ll have to compare notes once we’ve both read it. And I do hope you like Away – Urquhart has a particular style and I look forward to hear what you think.


  7. It’s library sale time again, isn’t it. I have one to look forward to in another week or so. I’ve never read Ian Rankin either, but he does seem like a big name in mystery. I read The Piano Teacher after I came home from Austria, but to be honest I don’t remember much about it, and I think it was probably mostly over my head. Someday I will reread it. Nice haul of books!


  8. From your stack, I’ve only read Night Watch – but it was enjoyable. The ending though, was so poignant, and it made you just want to go back to the beginning and read it all over again.


  9. So many good books! Wow! How I wish we had library sales over here…..


  10. Kimbofo — good to hear about Christine Falls — if anything, based on what I’ve heard, it’s better than the sequel, which I liked, so I’m expecting it to be good.

    SFP — thank you for posting the response to the Sharpe novel — I’m very glad to hear you liked it and that you thought it worked (and that Tyler did too!). Good to know about the Hughes novel as well.

    Stefanie — oh, yes, they are very dangerous. Particularly when one of them was only walking distance from my house … 🙂

    Melanie — oh, I’m glad you know you liked Einstein’s Dreams! I don’t know what to expect in it at all, but it looks interesting — such a little book, isn’t it?

    Smithereens — yeah, that’s my impression of Jelinek, interesting but disturbing. I’m curious to see what she’s like, definitely.

    Verbivore — thanks for posting on Urquhart — you’re the one who drew my attention to her!

    Danielle — enjoy your own library sale! I know very little about Rankin, but since I heard good things about him, I thought he was worth a try. We shall see …

    Dark Orpheus — oh, good to know about The Night Watch! I’m certainly curious about the ending now.

    Litlove — library sales are so much fun!


  11. My prediction, Dorothy, is that the Urquhart book will make an addict out of you.
    She is severely addictive. One of our Canadian gems!


  12. The idea of a library sale always intrigues me. Isn’t the purpose of the library to make books readily available to the populace? If they sell the books, then we can’t check them out later. I can see selling old books that are in bad condition, if they are being replaced with new printings. I’m sure I’m missing something along the way.

    Wow! I re-read this before submitting and the tone sounds much harsher than what I was trying to convey, but I’m not sure how to re-write it.


  13. Cipriano — well, that comment is intriguing! I’m looking forward to reading her.

    Bikkuri — I’m not entirely sure, but I think many of the books, if not all of them, at these sales were donated by local people, and so the library sale is really a fundraiser for the library, and it’s not about getting rid of library books. I saw almost entirely books that looked like they came out of people’s homes, so I think that’s what’s going on. Your tone wasn’t harsh!


  14. What a book bounty! I hope you enjoy Ian Rankin’s book… I’ve not read that one you bought but I’ve been reading his Inspector Rebus series. I’m up to book 5 or 6 I think and I really like the main character. And, you found a Pym book – yay.


  15. Elizabeth

    My book group is reading The Piano Teacher now–I have been thinking about how much you might like it. I’m only fifty pages in, but it’s intriguing and smart and strange. And so far, written almost entirely in summary.


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