Sunday, October 28, 2007

Weekend Book Acquisitions

I'm tired, crampy, achy, and bored. So what else to do on a Sunday morning to cheer me up but go to the Baltimore Book Thing?

For those who may not remember, or are relatively new to my blog, The Book Thing is a nonprofit organization that collects any and all used books to give out to schools, libraries, shelters, prisons, soldiers in Iraq, basically anyone and anywhere that needs a book. On the weekend, they open their warehouse to the general public and you can go browse around and take as many books as you want. For free. To keep. It is my favorite place in Baltimore.

Browsing the shelves today, I saw a few books that were possibly part of the 3 boxes I donated a month or so ago. The rest seem to have found a home already, which is always a delight to think about. And, of course, I came away with a bag of my own new-to-me books. No amazing finds, like what I found last time: A pristine Catcher in the Rye with the original dustjacket, or half of the 40-something volumes of Honore de Balzac's La Comedie Humaine, with a publication date of 1896. (I will most likely be searching and/or acquiring the rest of that set for many years to come!). But I still came away with some gems:

1. Stones from the River - Ursula Hegi. I recently read a review of one of her books on another blog. Who was that? I can't seem to find it again!
2. The Tin Can Tree - Anne Tyler. Anne Tyler books are in large supply here, her hometown. I have found quite a few of her books at The Book Thing.
3. Anil's Ghost - Michael Ondaatje. Not his most well known novel, but this story takes place in Sri Lanka, Ondaatje's country of birth, and sounds intriguing.
4. The Brothers K by David James Duncan. Although this copy is slightly beat up, I was very excited to find it, I've been meaning to read this book for years.
5. The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen. I know this book has a lot of hype, which I have largely ignored. I can't wait to judge it for myself.
6. The Testament by Elie Wiesel. I love his non-fiction writing, so it was a joy to find one of his novels.
7. Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha by Roddy Doyle. One of my favorite finds for today, I can't wait to delve into this Booker prize winning novel, in my slow but steady effort to read all of the Booker winners.
8. An Academic Question by Barbara Pym. I am acquiring quite a few Barbara Pym books, this is my sixth. They are all gems.
9. Best American Essays edited by Susan Sontag. This 1992 edition includes essays by Joan Didion, E.L. Doctorow, Jamaica Kincaid, John Updike, and Gore Vidal.
10. The Best Known Works of Henrik Ibsen. This one was published in 1928.


1. Rebecca by Daphne du Murier. I have been waiting to acquire my own copy for quite a while. Maybe now I will actually get around to reading it.
2. The Tempest by Shakespeare. Another Shakespeare to add to the collection.
3. The Constant Gardener - John Le Carre. I have never read anything by Le Carre, but I really enjoyed this movie.
4. Eva Luna by Isabel Allende. Another Allende for the collection, this is one of the few I haven't read.

12 comments:

Kristina said...

It really looks like you found some great books!!

Eva said...

Looks like you had fun!

Kailana said...

I read Anil's Ghost this month. I wouldn't call it a fav of all time, but it was better than "In the Skin of the Lion". I really didn't find favour with that book.

Literary Feline said...

I hope you are feeling better soon. :-( At least you have a lot of great reading ahead of you. :-) Stones From a River is one of my favorite novels.

Maggie said...

Ah, another person who hasn't read The Corrections. I was keeping this shame my very own secret, but now the cat is out of the bag. :D

Nyssaneala said...

kristina and eva - I had a lot of fun!

kailana - That's good to know. I still haven't read The English Patient, so I'll probably get to Anil's Ghost sometime after that.

wendy - Thanks! The cramping comes and goes, nothing resembling actual labor yet! Thanks for the rec about Hegi's book.

maggie - :) Just because I now own it doesn't exactly mean I'll be reading it anytime soon!

Lotus Reads said...

Wow, lucky you, those are some great books! I have "Constant Gardener" on my netflix queue, I can't wait to see it! BBC 4 recently dramatized Daphne du Maurier's "Rebecca" and it was one of the best audio experiences I have had in the longest time! One day I will read the book too! :)

SuziQoregon said...

Great books - two of those (The Brothers K and Rebecca have been on my TBR list for a while now . . . . someday.

Dewey said...

When you said Baltimore, before you started listing your finds, I thought, "I wonder if Anne Tyler is really popular in that town?" Got my answer, thanks!

The Tempest is coming up everywhere for me lately, which probably means I should reread it about now, right?

iliana said...

What a great organization. I hope you enjoy your books... I read Stones from the River a long time ago and loved it. I want to read Hegi's latest book soon.

meli said...

I've been meaning to read The Brothers K for years, too. The head of the European Studies department at my old university was mad on it. And cos I adore The Brothers Karamazov, I'll have to get on to it someday. I'm interested to hear what you think of it!

Jeane said...

I LOVE the BOOK THING! My husband won't let me go more than once a month because I bring to many books home and our apartment is beginning to look like a library (hee hee). Maybe I'll run into you there one weekend! I need to read "Stones from the River" my sister has a copy and it looks fascinating.