Recent Acquisitions

I don’t have nearly enough books, so Hobgoblin and I checked out a library sale yesterday evening, and I came home with five new novels. It’s a good thing I don’t hear about all the library sales in my area, because there must be dozens of them, and if we knew about them, we’d visit them, and then … well, then we’d be in trouble.

Here’s what I got. It was an evening for women’s fiction:

  • Barbara Pym, An Unsuitable Attachment
  • Barbara Pym, A Glass of Blessings
  • Elizabeth Von Arnim, The Enchanted April
  • Monica Dickens, Joy and Josephine
  • Anita Brookner, A Family Romance

But that’s not it. From Bookmooch I recently got or will soon receive these:

  • Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead Revisited
  • Jessie Fauset, There is Confusion
  • George Gissing, New Grub Street
  • Elizabeth George, Payment in Blood

I didn’t particularly enjoy the first Elizabeth George book I read, but enough people said the series gets better and enough people I respect have enjoyed her books that I thought I’d give her another try.

But that’s still not it. Oneworld Classics sent me a copy of Victor Hugo’s The Last Day of a Condemned Man, and I bought Chandra Prasad’s On Borrowed Wings (based on Danielle’s post) and Dawn Powell’s Dance Night (for the Slaves of Golconda) at local bookstores.

Oh, dear. I’m probably going to Manhattan with Hobgoblin this weekend, where we will probably venture into some bookshops, and I’m going on vacation starting next Thursday, during which I will probably visit some bookshops, and then there are a couple more library sales coming up, which I will almost certainly visit. Time to buy some more book shelves?


Filed under Books, Fiction

11 responses to “Recent Acquisitions

  1. What a wonderful lot of new books. Enchanted April is a favourite of mine (first recommended to me by Litlove a few years back I think), and there are lots of other authors on your list that I’m also keen on. Not Elizabeth George though. I read four or five in that series and then gave up. I don’t really get the fascination with the aristocracy, at least not in a contemporary context, though I suppose it did add a bit of interesting class tension between Lynley and Havers.


  2. Ohhhh, more Barbara Pym, and an Evelyn Waugh. I am looking forward to your reviews on those books already (no pressure).

    Just tell yourself that because you are going on vacation, you need to be prepared. In case you don’t find any books while away, you’ll need to be sure you pack enough to take along for the whole time, and not run out. You don’t have to ask me how I know.


  3. Such wonderful new acquisitions! I’m a big fan of Pym, and I do indeed love Elizabeth von Arnim and I’m also going to try some more Elizabeth George (only I have Well-Schooled in Murder). The new pick for the Slaves looks wonderful, too. And you remind me I must read some more Brookner – it’s been too long. Books are so immensely tempting, aren’t they? I’d just get those shelves put in. 😉


  4. verbivore

    We recently installed two new huge bookshelves and I was quite dismayed to see that they are almost completely all filled. I’d been stacking so many books along the floor and double stacking books on the shelves that I’ve only given myself about a meter and a half of free bookshelf space.

    But what great books you’ve acquired! I think this afternoon I will need to take a trip to my favorite second-hand bookshop. It’s been a while…


  5. What fun new books you’ve gotten! yay for Pym and Enchanted April! And though you will probably acquire more books when you are on vacation, you can justify it because you will be reading books while on vacation too 🙂


  6. Ann

    I’m coming in with another cheer for Pym and Enchanted April. There was a wonderful TV version of EA some years ago. Inevitably it altered the plot line slightly but really kept to the spirit of the book and had wonderful casting.


  7. I don’t feel nearly so bad now that I went book shopping last night! I think you found better used books than I found new books, however. It’s been a while since I’ve been to a new bookstore and was expecting to find wonderful things but came away a tad disappointed. The Pyms sound great, and the Monica Dickens (I’d like to read more of her work). Save the Von Arnim for a cold, snowy (or rainy) day–you’ll appreciate the escapism even more–it’s a great story with a gorgeous setting. And I’m glad you’re enjoying the Prasad. Enjoy your new books!


  8. Jenny

    I’m not a fan of Elizabeth George either (I find her overwrought) but Brideshead Revisited is on a personal shortlist of the very best novels in the English language. So beautiful. Enjoy!


  9. I’d say it’s time for more bookshelves then! haha…

    You really lucked out at the library sale – Pym, Arnim and Brookner. What a treat!


  10. zhiv

    You really have to get over this vague guilt about having more books than you can read. You love books, you read plenty of them, and you just have to accept the idea that you’re not going to read all of them. You’re building a personal library. You’ll read what you like, and you have copies that you can give away to students and interested people. You have no idea what you’re going to want to read 5 or 10 or 20 years from now, and you’ll be reading some of these books then. You’re exercising your fine judgment and taste and selecting good books. More more more! The benefit of your love of reading and academic training and your profession is that you know how to pick out good books, and buying books is a perfectly reasonable act of self-expression. Bookshelves are just a storage and design issue, another thing that should be fun, not worrisome. So let’s see you hit those NYC bookstores now with some gusto!


  11. Kate — I’m glad to hear that about Enchanted April! And we’ll see about Elizabeth George — I thought I’d give her at least one more try.

    Debby — excellent advice! And I will have to ask you one of these days how you know! I know I’ll be taking a lot of books on this trip, for sure.

    Litlove — you are so right about the shelves, although at some point new shelves won’t do anymore, and we’ll need a new house to fit all the new shelves! I’m glad to hear more good things about Von Arnim.

    Verbivore — I hope you had a nice excursion to the bookstore! That’s funny about your shelves — I have this feeling that would happen to us too. Oh, well, it’s great fun having a house crammed with books, even if they are messily arranged.

    Stefanie — true, although I rarely read as much on vacation as I think I will … but I’ll now conveniently forget I said that 🙂

    Ann — it’s great to hear that everyone is so enthused about my choice of authors! And that’s great about the TV version of EA; after I’ve read it, I’ll have to check it out.

    Danielle — I was recently at a new bookstore too and was disappointed; they had only super mainstream and mostly boring things. But library sales can be great, particularly if you’re in an area with good readers! I hadn’t heard of that particular Dickens book, but she’s someone I’ve heard very good things about.

    Jenny — I’m very glad to hear that about Brideshead Revisited; it’s something I’ve wanted to read for quite a while.

    Iliana — I WAS very lucky! And yes, time to visit wherever it is one buys bookshelves!

    Zhiv — your advice is excellent, but I’m afraid getting over feeling guilty is not something I’m good at … but you’re right, and I like the sound of building a personal library and exercising fine judgment and taste. What could be wrong about that?? So yes, Manhattan bookshops here I come!


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