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Book Hauls 4: Another way to jump start a dead economy

Literary Snobs

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Oct 5, 2011, 4:34pm Top

The Age of American Unreason by Susan Jacoby
Ideals of Beauty: Asian and American Art in the Freer and Sackler Galleries
Aristocrats by Robert Lacey
The Children of Hurin by JRR Tolkien

Oct 5, 2011, 4:45pm Top

The Leopard by Lampedusa.

This week's odd pattern at the thrift store: at least 5 Banana Yoshimoto novels, including a translation in Spanish and a translation in Russian.

Oct 5, 2011, 7:49pm Top

I was just at the local Goodwill again and did quite a lot of economy supporting (if Goodwill counts?). There was a huge plastic dumpster full of hundreds of books, which had apparently all been donated from a guy's collection who was moving overseas. He had great taste and I loved looking through his collection.
The clerk tasked with putting away the books, however, was not so thrilled. He treated the poor books as if they had done some grievous personal harm to him at some point - tossing them about roughly, slamming them down onto the shelves, even ripping pages at some points. It was terrible! But at least I rescued quite a few from his evil clutches. About 40, actually...

Some of the best finds:

Charterhouse of Parma - Stendhal
Typee - Herman Melville
Do the Windows Open? - Julie Hecht
Symposium - Plato
The Know-it-All - A.J. Jacobs
Women in Love - D.H. Lawrence
Baudolino - Umberto Eco
Faith and Treason: The Story of the Gunpowder Plot - Antonia Fraser
The Diary of a Provincial Lady - E.M. Delafield

Oct 5, 2011, 9:34pm Top

This town needs a better quality thrift shop...

Edited: Oct 6, 2011, 10:46am Top

3: Goodwill totally counts. It's where I found my books as listed above. Since my mid-sized town lacks a Half Price Books, I've had the tendency of raiding thrift store book sections. Lots of worthless trash, but gems if you can find them.

Additional: The Aristocrats book by Lacey has a profile of the Thurn und Taxis postal dynasty. Should prove fascinating reading, especially for those Pynchonophiles out there.

Edited: Oct 6, 2011, 3:54pm Top

I've come to the conclusion that anybody around here that had any taste whatsoever in books has already died and dispersed their libraries. (Or someone is cherry picking the books before they go on the shelves.) Interesting finds at my usual thrift stores have all but come to a halt. Most of them even seem to be reducing the amount of space they devote to books.

The only thing worth bragging about that I've bought in the last few months was a copy Mr. Citizen by Harry S Truman. And I really only bought that because Harry himself had signed it. I couldn't pass that up for a buck fifty.

Oct 6, 2011, 4:46pm Top

I was just looking at Aristocrats and considering getting it on Amazon. I just devoured the entire first season of the gorgeous British TV series Downton Abbey, so now I feel like reading some books about the titled British upper class.

Oct 7, 2011, 10:36am Top

Just got my notification from the library: the new Jim Harrison is in.


Oct 7, 2011, 5:51pm Top

I love getting library notifications. It's like Christmas!

Oct 7, 2011, 6:05pm Top

A pleasant surprise: along with the new Harrison several other arrivals, including THE SISTERS BROTHERS, WISCONSIN DEATH TRIP, Ian MacDonald's ARES EXPRESS and Adam Roberts' YELLOW BLUE TIBIA.

Now all I have to do is free up the time to read the little beauties.

Oct 10, 2011, 7:49am Top

At my local used bookshop:

The Odyssey, Robert Fagles translation
Early Greek Philosophy
Dangerous Liaisons
What Maisie Knew
The Portrait of a Lady
The Turn of the Screw
Theodora: Actress, Empress, Whore

It was a good day for Henry James. All of these are brand new copies for only $15.

Oct 10, 2011, 12:45pm Top

Money by Martin Amis
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Chabon.
Turbulence by Chico Buarque

Oct 13, 2011, 8:14pm Top

My thrift store haul for today, coincidentally all non-fiction:

From Dawn to Decadence
Mountains Beyond Mountains
The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt
Outwitting History

Oy vey, I can't wait to read that last one.

Oct 13, 2011, 8:36pm Top

Had a splurge at http://www.brotherhoodbooks.com.au/, as they're offering free postage this month:

Death in a Strange Country, Donna Leon
The Winter Queen, Boris Akunin
The Miernik Dossier, Charles McCarry
A Grain of Truth, Nina Bawden

I prefer to buy my crime novels second hand, and since I prefer to read in order, I've been a bit stymied with a few series! I've got several of McCarry's Paul Christopher series, but couldn't find the first one locally anywhere. So I went to BrotherhoodBooks, and then things snowballed a little...

Oct 14, 2011, 11:54pm Top

Good haul today at the Rotary Bookarama Sale. A lot of Grisham and Trollope to sift through, but came up with some good'uns.

Shalimar the Clown by Salman Rushdie
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
The Road Less Travelled by M Scott Peck (hard cover as a gift)
Alone in Berlin by Hans Fallada
The War Against Cliche by Martin Amis (collection of essays)
O Pioneers! by Willa Cather
The Guernsey Literary Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer (hard cover as a gift)

And in the prize winners category.....Especially pleased with these
The Ghost Road by Pat Barker (Booker 1995)
Moon Tiger by Penelope Livey (Booker 1983?)
The Gathering Anne Enright (Booker 2007)
Life Class by Pat Barker (Booker 1995)
A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain by Robert Olen Butler (Pulitzer 1993) (short stories)
The Finkler Question by Howard Jacobson (Booker 2010)

$2 each.

Edited: Oct 15, 2011, 10:10pm Top

I went to yet another massive 100,000+ library sale today. And again, what an enjoyable way to spend a couple hours. I hauled in a dozen titles, each for less than $2.

These included:

Tertullian, Apology, De spectaculis
Enemy at the Gate
The Portable Dorothy Parker
Gunnar's Daughter
Travels with Herodotus

et al

Oct 15, 2011, 5:10pm Top

#16 : I hope that's Joanna you're referring to. If you're dissing Anthony... Why, them's fighting words!

Oct 15, 2011, 7:32pm Top

>18 bencritchley: yes! Joanna. Never been drawn to her works, I must say.

Oct 16, 2011, 5:42pm Top

Collected Poems of Sylvia Plath -- including the poem where she compares her dad to a Nazi. Then again, she was writing before the Godwin Rule went into effect for Reasoned Internet Discourse:


And American Chinatown by Bonnie Tsui

Oct 17, 2011, 12:27am Top

At my parents' place on the weekend and dug around in their box of books to be donated to charity. Couldn't have a proper rummage because I didn't want to look totally book mad in front of my cousins (and because the charity does deserve the books, too), but did skim off the top:

Making an Elephant by Graham Swift
Larry's Party by Carol Shields
The Girl on the Landing by Paul Torday

Oct 23, 2011, 1:39pm Top

I went through my father's collection of Penguin paperbacks and scored some good stuff. I'm going to have to bring it home in dribs drabs, though. Today, I brought home:

The Rebel, Albert Camus
Albert Camus 1913-60, Philip Thody
Essays of a Humanist, Julian Huxley
Aspects of the Novel, EM Forster
Intruder in the Dust, William Faulkner
Down and Out in London and Paris, George Orwell

Oct 23, 2011, 1:51pm Top

I've been looking for a good Camus bio--let me know how Thody does.

Oct 27, 2011, 4:40pm Top

The Kabbalah Unveiled, translated by SL MacGregor Mathers
The Collapse of the Third Republic by William L. Shirer

Saw a volume by Jung and a short story collection by Will Self, but they were too battered to buy. (I'm a dandy that way.) And I saw a couple volumes by Murakami.

Oct 27, 2011, 8:37pm Top

Ah, the Mathers is a tough one to turn up. Good find.

Oct 28, 2011, 9:53am Top

26: Exactly. Not even sure which section I found it in -- either history or religion. My reaction being, "The hell? Cool!" Even though I still have the multivolume Pritzker edition of the Zohar on my wishlist. But it's like Faust and War and Peace, always nice to have multiple translations around.

Oct 29, 2011, 3:41pm Top

A real score from Goodwill:

The Conquest of a Continent: Siberia and the Russians by W Bruce Lincoln
Hegemony and Socialist Strategy by Laclau and Mouffe
The Jaguar Smile by Salman Rushdie
Collected Poems of Wallace Stevens
The Dream Songs by John Berryman

Oct 30, 2011, 2:57pm Top

I popped through to Glasgow yesterday and got a good haul (most unexpected find was A Glastonbury Romance which, at £4.95, was also the most expensive. Worth it though.)
I think my favourite find was a 1960s book club edition of Silent Spring which has a typewritten sheet of green paper inserted wit the following : (capitalisation and punctuation reproduced verbatim.)

The July Choice in READERS UNION will be Sir Steven Runciman's splendid book THE FALL OF CONSTANTINOPLE, a work of great scholarship which was also a "best-seller".

There followed some reviews and a date of July 1966.
I love finding stuff like this. £1.50, that cost me

Nov 2, 2011, 12:05pm Top

My sister found Low Life by Luc Sante at the Met and gave it to me for my birthday. Looks pretty cool ... life of the other 99%.

Nov 3, 2011, 12:27am Top

Rutgers' Alexander Library for some reason has installed a cafe in place of the periodical reading room. I was in a political meeting there and noticed that they had a shelf of books for sale cheep (¢50-$1). I found several art books full of plates and couldn't resist. These are all hardcovers so $5:

The Sculpture of the Hellenistic Age by Margarete Bieber
The Art of Palmyra by Malcolm A. R. Colledge
The Art and Architecture of the Ancient Orient by Henri Frankfort
The Art of the Romans by J. M. C. Toynbee
The Coming Struggle for Power by John Strachey

And a little while back I rescued the following 1st edition Thomas Bergers from a big pile of books a neighbor had put out for the trash:

Neighbors: A Novel
The Feud: A Novel
Being Invisible: A Novel
The Houseguest: A Novel
Changing the Past: A Novel

along with an interesting opportunity for opposition research:

Labor Unions, How To: Avert Them, Beat Them, Out-Negotiate Them, Live with Them, Unload Them

and few others

Nov 3, 2011, 3:36am Top


Great score on those Bergers!

Nov 6, 2011, 11:21am Top

Made a killing at Half Priced Books:

BFI book on "Groundhog Day"
Crow by Ted Hughes
Three Short Novels by William Faulkner
The Blackbirder by Dorothy B. Hughes
Blood's a Rover by Ellroy
Strong Opinions by Nabokov
Early American Drama
Philosophical Fragments and Johannes Climacus by Kierkegaard -- a gorgeous edition of the Hong translations.
The Grove Companion to Samuel Beckett
Service with a Smile by Wodehouse, a Blandings Novel
The Collected Works of Nathanael West
Nixonland by Rick Perlstein
The World: Travels 1950 - 2000 by Jan Morris
Starting with Ingredients by Aliza Green

Gotta love it when you find Wishlist books in the Clearance section.

Nov 6, 2011, 4:30pm Top

The thing that sucks most about being unemployed isn't not being able to pay the mortgage. It's not being able to buy books, dammit. :-( I like my books new, untouched, pristine. But new books require cold, hard cash and I'm fresh out. Shop on, kindred folk!

Nov 6, 2011, 6:05pm Top

34: I'm kind of in the same boat, so I haunt thrift shops and the library. Yesterday was a rare splurge. Retail therapy in the age of economic apocalypse.

Nov 6, 2011, 9:53pm Top

I got a big stack of New Directions paperbacks from Powells.

Nov 8, 2011, 10:01am Top

First week of November saw my birthday and what people saw fit for gifts.


Naked Lunch.

The Beats by Mike Evans, an illustrated coffee table book.

The Complete David Bowie, an encyclopedia of everything the man ever touched, new and updated sixth edition.

Nov 8, 2011, 12:00pm Top

Sounds like a very happy birthday to me! Many returns of the day, nymith.

Nov 13, 2011, 3:40pm Top

A Singular Man by JP Donleavy
Beowulf: a new telling by Robert Nye, with illustrations by Alan E. Cober Nye wrote it for his child. Looks far less dreadful than that abomination excreted by Neil Gaiman. The 3rd Nye book I bought, I probably should actually read one of them.

Nov 14, 2011, 9:15am Top

The Alexandria Quartet in hardcover as done by the Folio Society: with individual slipcases, thick and beautiful paper, art photography scattered through the text.... The work has taken pride of place sandwiched between Duras and Durrenmatt. Now I just have to hope it's as good as its packaging....

Nov 14, 2011, 10:02am Top

40: Delicious! I have an AQ edition put out by Penguin: 4 paperbacks to fit into a nice compact slipcase. I'm sure there is a Kindle/Nook, etc. edition of the AQ, but nothing beats the material sensation of a slipcase.

And I forgot to mention: my last 2 books I snagged were library discards. So ... they won't be snatching any huge investment potential, but they are still catnip to the completist, plus I felt like I did my good deed for the day in rescuing them from certain oblivion. Nye and Donleavy are in Burgess's 99 Novels, so I do plan to read both.

Nov 14, 2011, 1:29pm Top

You don't have to read it, just owning it is enough. (Sorry, Ian.)

Nov 14, 2011, 5:58pm Top

Arrived just today:

THE HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY (Diarmaid MacCullough)--discussed previously in this group and it piqued my interest
AN UNSPEAKABLE BETRAYAL (Selected Writings of Luis Bunuel)

...joining the teetering TBR pile...

Edited: Nov 19, 2011, 5:00pm Top

Eminent Victorians by Lytton Strachey
Seven Plays by Sam Shepard
In the Belly of the Beast by Jack Henry Abbott

... and a bottle of Balvenie 12yr scotch from the local liquor store. (That was on sale too!) I'll have something to warm the cockles of my heart in the impending winter months.

Nov 19, 2011, 5:07pm Top

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
Under Western Eyes by Joseph Conrad
Strong Motion by Jonathan Franzen

Am nervy about the Dickens ones....a learned friend said that all he had to say about Dickens was that he was paid by the word, and it showed. I do recall in Oliver Twist a "sentence" lasting half a page (large format, small font, small borders)....

Nov 26, 2011, 11:59am Top

Fetched some more from my father's collection of Penguin paperbacks: The Little Sister, Raymond Chandler; The Sound and the Fury, William Faulkner; Hear Us O Lord from Heaven Thy Dwelling Place, Malcolm Lowry; Le Grand Meaulnes, Alain-Fournier; Clock Without Hands, The Member of the Wedding and The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Carson McCullers; and The Plague, Albert Camus.

Edited: Nov 28, 2011, 8:26pm Top

Another bucket o' books from Savers:

Patently Erotic by Richard Ross
Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds
Sister Carrie by Dreiser
The Buddha Tree by Fumio Niwa
The Golden Ghetto by Noel B. Gerson -- a wonderfully trashy cover.
P.S. Wilkinson by CDB Bryan
Birthday Letters by Ted Hughes
Austerlitz by Sebald
World's Spring by Vladimir Gakov, editor -- an anthology of Soviet sci fi.
The Big Nowhere by James Ellroy
The Sacred and the Profane by Mircea Eliade
Mystic River and A Drink Before the War by Dennis Lehane
Great Spanish Plays
Feersum Endjinn by Iain M. Banks

Had to control myself, since I almost bought 4 more Dorothy Sayers mysteries.

Nov 28, 2011, 12:23pm Top

My God, where's your Savers? My Savers never has anything but diet and celebrity books.

Nov 28, 2011, 8:26pm Top

48: It's all about digging and keep an eye open. Then again, Rochester white-collar transient population probably helps, along with all the college kids coming and going from the Twin Cities. Savers seems to be the proper place to dump unwanted textbooks or books from literature classes. But getting rid of Birthday Letters? Seriously, who does that? My copy is a hardcover that looks nearly untouched.

Nov 28, 2011, 10:23pm Top

My haul from the big city:

INTO THE SILENCE by Wade Davis (this one's gonna be fantastic)

...and four books from a library sales pile:

LINGER AWHILE (Russell Hoban)
NIGHT CLIMBERS (Ivo Stoughton)
STRANGE PILGRIMS (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)

Nov 28, 2011, 11:29pm Top

The big city? You made it all the way into Asquith? Or do you refer to Biggar, which is surely biggar?

Nov 28, 2011, 11:35pm Top

You exaggerate my isolation.

Er, only slightly.

Nov 29, 2011, 10:04am Top

People always exaggerate the city-ness of Rochester, MN. It's a big town, there's a major difference. But some visitors and residents make it sound like one is living in Bangkok or Manhattan. It's population is large, but the over-all mental state is one of intellectual atrophy, bourgeois persecution manias, and mall monoculture monotony. Ferdinand Celine and Alexander Theroux would have a perfect little petri dish to ridicule and satirize.

It's a town of 100K that feels like a town of 500. I guess some would like that. I find it overly confining and culturally devoid of anything worth preserving. Would you save any place that venerates Jeff Dunham and Air Supply? Bleccch. In addition, the way people desire a Chili's restaurant is akin to religious fervor.

Color me not impressed.

Although the thrift stores and ethnic markets aren't bad, the rest can be amputated and cauterized without me even noticing they're gone.

Nov 29, 2011, 10:21am Top

Black Friday shopping at the Strand (Only looked through half a mile of the 18 on display, had to leave before I spent too much money).

Miles Errant
The Years of Rice and Salt
A Talent for War
Yellow Blue Tibia
The Finkler Question
A Virgin in the Garden
Still Life

Nov 29, 2011, 10:24pm Top

Sense and Sensibility Jane Austen
Lady Chatterley's Lover DH Lawrence
The Trial of Lady Chatterley Rolph
Little Women Louisa May Alcott
The Country Girls Edna OBrien

All on Trade Me (auction site) most for $1 each (+postage)

Dec 2, 2011, 4:39pm Top

Tomorrow is..."take your child to a bookstore day"???!!!


New one to me.

Dec 10, 2011, 4:56pm Top

More thrift store plundering.

From Savers:

The Nine Tailors
The Documents in the Case
Whose Body?
Hangman's Holiday -- all by Dorothy Sayers (http://hilobrow.com/2011/06/13/dorothy-l-sayers/)

A Spy in the House of Love by Anais Nin -- a nice 1968 edition with a naked chick on the front.
Cape of Storms by Andre Brink
Mary Chestnut's Civil War -- a gift for my fiancee's mother, a Civil War re-enactor.

From the Salvation Army (ugh, what a depressing place):

The Brethren by Bob Woodward
Sanctuary by Edith Wharton
The Great Cat Massacre by Robert Darnton
City Primeval by Elmore Leonard
The Spectator Bird by Wallace Stegner
Woman at Point Zero by Nawal el Saadawi -- read it in college, absolutely amazing book.

Dec 13, 2011, 12:16pm Top

Bought myself a couple of deeply discounted books for Christmas, a little bonus for a year of hard work. Blake Bailey's much lauded bio CHEEVER: A LIFE and William T. Vollmann's EUROPE CENTRAL. Killer reads for the holiday season and beyond...

Dec 13, 2011, 8:08pm Top

58: I'm girding my loins for a Bleak Nazi Triple-header: Europe Central, the Kindly Ones by Jonathan Littell, and The Tunnel by William Gass. Throw in some Richard J. Evans and stir.

Dec 18, 2011, 12:02pm Top

Not so much a "book haul" per se, but I got 2 books from Archipelago Books:

Hyperion by Friedrich Holderin -- the poet's only novel.
Wonder by Hugo Claus -- a Dutch novel about a school teacher dealing with the consequences of collaboration with the Nazis. Should be interesting, since I know absolutely nothing about Dutch literature.

Dec 22, 2011, 7:02pm Top

Out for some shopping, stopped in at Goodwill and scored:

Art and History - Paris and Versailles.
All Passion Spent by Vita Sackville-West.
The Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiessen.
Olive Kitteridge, a Pulitzer winner by Elizabeth Strout.
The Secret Pilgrim, Le Carre in hardcover.
Great Dream of Heaven, stories by Sam Shephard.
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd - hardcover.
The Museum of Innocence by Orhan Pamuk.
The Awakening and Selected Stories by Kate Chopin.
The Thirty-Nine Steps & Greenmantle in one volume.
The Crack-Up and The Glass Menagerie, both New Directions Paperbooks.
Baldwin's Harlem, a biography of James Baldwin.
Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson.
The Egoist by George Meredith.

Onwards to the regular used bookstore:

Vanity Fair by W. M. Thackeray - illustrated hardcover.
The Tree of Life by Hugh Nissenson.
Hugging the Shore, a collection of Updike's essays.
And Quiet Flows the Don by Mikhail Sholokhov.
The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass.
Stephen Spender's Collected Poems 1928-1985.
The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner by Alan Sillitoe.
Fire From Heaven by Mary Renault - about Alexander the Great.
The Wisest Fool by Nigel Tranter - about Henry the Sixth and First.
Three Trapped Tigers by Guillermo Cabrera Infante.
Canone Inverso by Paolo Maurensig.
Selected Stories by Nadine Gordimer.
Empire Falls by Richard Russo - Pulitzer winner.
The Virgin Blue by Tracy Chevalier.
Such a Long Journey by Rohinton Mistry.
The Road to Wellville by T. C. Boyle.
The Plays of Eugene O'Neill, a collection of nine. Hardcover.
Moo by Jane Smiley.
The Tale of Murasaki by Liza Dalby.
The Rose Rent by Ellis Peters.
Looking Backward by Edward Bellamy.

This was naturally taken away in a box.

Dec 22, 2011, 7:17pm Top

Now THAT'S a haul.

Dec 23, 2011, 11:44am Top

Haven't bought anything recently but yesterday I finally pruned the bookshelves. They were chaotic. There is plenty of space now.

Dec 23, 2011, 4:58pm Top

Went to Savers again:

Oil! by Upton Sinclair -- "There Will Be Blood" tie-in edition. "I drink your milkshake!!!"
Glitz by Elmore Leonard
The Dixie Dictionary
The Assault by Harry Mulisch
A Handbook to Literature by Thrall/Hibbard/Holman
The Bullet's Song: Romantic Violence and Utopia by William Pfaff

And from Office Max: Seasons 1 & 2 of "Newsradio" for $15. "It's disnoofus!"

Dec 23, 2011, 5:12pm Top

GLITZ has one of my favorite opening lines EVER.

I used to like Pfaff's foreign affairs articles in the Toronto GLOBE & MAIL years ago.

And Mulisch is on my TBR list. Not bad...

Dec 28, 2011, 8:20pm Top

Been away a couple of days, visiting the folks-in-law. Nice people and the weather cooperated. Seven hours there, seven hours back. Sheesh, Canada is a big country.

Picked up four beauties along the way:

DIARIES (1910-1923) by Franz Kafka
JOHN ADAMS by David McCullough (one day soon I'll get his TRUMAN bio)
GONZO: THE LIFE OF HUNTER S. THOMPSON by Jann S. Wenner and Corey Seymour

Jan 8, 2012, 10:19pm Top

A nice haul from the local library:

Destinations by Jan Morris -- the copy I checked out a few months ago. This actually saddens me, since no one seems to reading her anymore.
The Works of GK Chesterton -- Apparently he wrote poems?
Lord Peter by Dorothy Sayers
Orlando by Virginia Woolf -- Loved the movie, have to check out the book.
English Hours by Henry James
Howard Finster: Man of Visions by John Turner -- Finding monographs on Finster isn't easy.

Jan 9, 2012, 9:56am Top

67: My introduction to Chesterton was in a poetry anthology, The Oxford Book of Narrative Verse. "Lepanto." I liked it a lot, found it very musical. Cervantes made a cameo at the end of it, I think.

Edited: Jan 14, 2012, 4:08am Top

More from my father's collection of Penguins (the books, not the birds):

A Propos of Lady Chatterley and Other Essays, DH Lawrence
The Woman Who Rode Away and Other Stories, DH Lawrence
Twilight in Italy, DH Lawrence
Decline of the English Murder, George Orwell
The Mortgaged Heart, Carson McCullers
Exile and the Kingdom, Albert Camus
The Fall, Albert Camus
The Onion Eaters, JP Donleavy
The Destinies of Darcy Dancer, Gentleman, JP Donleavy
A Singular Man, JP Donleavy
The Great Tradition, FR Leavis
The Common Pursuit, FR Leavis
The Fatal Englishman, Sebastian Faulks

Edited: Jan 14, 2012, 10:11am Top

When I worked at a bookstore, we should to get shipments of "hurt" Penguins, damaged books from that publisher, which we could sell at a hefty discount. I used to peruse the pile, plucking out some gems that might have a slightly bent cover or mild wear. Scooped up some beauties, I tell you. Especially with my staff discount...

Jan 14, 2012, 10:25am Top

Penguin and Taschen are the crack cocaine of literary folks like us. Just picked up Cosmic Communist Constructions Photographed from Amazon for a steal. It had a bumped edge. The book title is a bit contrived, but the photos are glorious. For those who like abandoned Soviet architecture and idiosyncratic design featured on Dark Roasted Blend, it's a must-have.

Jan 14, 2012, 10:40am Top

Good grab.

Jan 14, 2012, 1:05pm Top

#71 I picked that as one of my best books of 2011.

Jan 14, 2012, 2:02pm Top

Found an inexpensive hardcover edition of Vollmann's the Atlas.

Edited: Jan 14, 2012, 6:59pm Top

I've been in a fantasy/surrealism mood.

Perdido Street Station
The Drowned World
Memoirs Found in a Bathtub
A Game of Thrones

+ another edition of the Gormenghast novels to go with my other two sets. I've been waiting for a good time to reread them—I believe it was 8 or so years ago when I first read them, I think by now I've matured and forgotten enough of them for a retread. I never did get very far with Titus Alone, though.

Jan 14, 2012, 10:43pm Top

75: Sounds like an idea for a thread: What books do you own multiple copies of ... and why?

Jan 15, 2012, 12:40am Top

I'm afraid my reason is pretty boring, haha. The old editions my aunt bought me are falling apart and I find the omnibus pretty unwieldy, a purchase I definitely regret.

Jan 15, 2012, 10:51am Top

I have a number of different editions of Philip K. Dick's works. Dunno why, really...likely has to do with the weird covers that usually adorned his books.

Jan 15, 2012, 10:56am Top

76: Multiple copies of...

The Awakening, one a Norton Critical Edition, one a hardcover with Selected Stories.
The Metamorphosis, one a mass market filled out with critical essays, the other collected in The Sons.
Madame Bovary in an old hardcover too cheap to credit the translator, and in the Steegmuller translation.
The Count of Monte Cristo in a slightly abridged new hardcover and an unabridged old hardcover with the spine falling off.
Double Indemnity in a Vintage Crime edition, and included in a cheezy mass market compendium with Postman and Serenade.
Two On the Origins of the Second World War which are not actually by the same author.
The Complete Poems of Rupert Brooke in a 1915 edition, and a nice durable modern paperback.
Dracula and The Annotated Dracula (with art by Satty).

I think the "why" generally speaks for itself.

Jan 15, 2012, 5:36pm Top

The Glories of Mary by St. Aphonsus de Liguori
Resistance, Rebellion, and Death by Camus
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by Le Carre
Up From Liberalism by William F. Buckley -- back when "conservative intellectual" wasn't a contradiction in terms.

Edited: Jan 27, 2012, 9:31am Top

Untimely meditations by Nietzsche
The birth of tragedyby Nietzsche
The discourses by Machiavelli
The Jewish War by Josephus

All found at a library shop in the orlando area

Jan 22, 2012, 10:07pm Top

Got the Exegesis of Philip K. Dick at Barnes & Noble for 50% off.

Jan 22, 2012, 10:49pm Top

Second hand book shopping, only allowed myself two (trying to keep the number of books in the house to a reasonable level!).

Redbreast - first Harry Hole mystery by Jo Nesbo. I rather like Scandanavian crime, this could be a good ripsnorter of a read.
The Magicians by Lev Grossman. Have heard it's brilliant, have heard it's crap. I find books that divide readers very fascinating, even if there's no guarantee I'll be on the side of the people who thought it was brilliant.

Jan 23, 2012, 10:15am Top

83: Have heard it's brilliant, have heard it's crap. I find books that divide readers very fascinating, even if there's no guarantee I'll be on the side of the people who thought it was brilliant

That's the reason I'm reading The Kindly Ones by Jonathan Littell -- Critics are divided on it -- either its brilliant or a total mess -- and it won France's Prix de Goncourt. Also the reason I endured Atlas Shrugged, see what all the fuss was about. A lot of free market Maoists consider it on par with the Bible for its truths and profundity, while others consider it an overlong, poorly written piece of shit written by an insane crackpot who championed a child rapist (not Joe Paterno):


I, for one, thought "Atlas Shrugged" was a piece of crap. But I'm also of the camp of people who think everyone should read it ... the same way more people should read the Bible, so they can give counter-arguments to the fundamentalist thugs who think they own a monopoly on morality and ethics (until they get caught in airport bathrooms asking dudes to blow them).

Feb 4, 2012, 12:45am Top

The Best American Sports Writing of the Century and The Metaphysical Club. Didn't buy them when I first saw them at the thrift shop and I regretted it. They disappeared for months and today they reappeared. To be honest I bought them mostly for their covers. I also bought Chinese Myths & Legends. Not sure why. I was in a good mood I guess. The book with most sightings this time around was The Known World. I must've seen at least four copies.

Feb 4, 2012, 4:22pm Top

Christo & Jeanne-Claude, a Taschen Basic Art book. Fer a dollar!
Killer on the Road by James Ellroy
Strong Poison and Murder Must Advertise by Dorothy Sayers.

Feb 18, 2012, 12:24pm Top

That's the last of my father's Penguin paperback collection:

The Lady in the Lake, Raymond Chandler
The High Window, Raymond Chandler
Smart-Aleck Kill, Raymond Chandler
Killer in the Rain, Raymond Chandler
Playback, Raymond Chandler
Ultramarine, Malcolm Lowry
Under the Volcano, Malcolm Lowry
One, David Karp
Steppenwolf, Herman Hesse
Inside the whale and Other Essays, George Orwell
The Kindly Ones, Anthony Powell
The English Novel, Walter Allen
Literature and Western Man, JB Priestly
Alamein to Zem Zem, Keith Douglas
Darkness at Noon, Arthur Koestler
2150::The Outsider, Albert Camus

Feb 18, 2012, 1:37pm Top

'Back to the one of the cheapest library book sales on the planet. They asked for $4, I foisted $5 on 'em, all for a pile of pristine books. Loot included an early edition of The Razor's Edge, as well as Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, The Discomfort Zone, Family, Irish History, Sabbath's Theater, Water Wars, et al.

Feb 21, 2012, 9:25am Top

Alamein to Zem Zem, Ian, that's a book I'm looking for. Keith Douglas was perhaps the best of the WWII poets. Or maybe Alun Lewis.

Feb 21, 2012, 12:12pm Top

I prefer John Jarmain and Bernard Spencer, though I do have a Keith Douglas collection as well.

Edited: Feb 26, 2012, 11:54pm Top

The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, Native American Songs and Poems: An Anthology, and Underworld. Will I read Underworld? Highly unlikely. I'm just rescuing it from the street. Giving it a home.

Feb 27, 2012, 8:22am Top

UNDERWORLD. Great book. Great, GREAT book.

Feb 27, 2012, 5:16pm Top

So I hear.

Mar 1, 2012, 10:59pm Top

30 or so books for $40 at the Bismarck (ND) FOL Sale. Lovely stuff. Solace of Open Spaces, A 3 vol. Life of Graham Greene, a pristine US 1st of Travels with my Aunt by same, Out Stealing Horses, Point Omega (while we're on the DeLillio mention), and much, much more. Also scored a 2 disc album of Charlie Christian to get the turntable warmed up. A lovely day.

Mar 3, 2012, 8:20pm Top

My copy of Beckett's Trilogy arrived. It's a lovely Everyman edition, looks like it was never read, dustjacket pristine, and with a thoughtful ribbon bookmark. It's quite a tome.

Mar 10, 2012, 6:39pm Top

A bonanza from the local library bookstore:

Inside the Third Reich by Albert Speer
Gathering Evidence by Thomas Bernhard
The Works of Matthew Arnold
Hadrian the VII by Frederick Rolfe
The Model Dictionary of Wexford Slang -- apparently from the Slang.ie, a series that dedicates a little book to the slang of a specific county in Ireland. In this case, Wexford.

Mar 10, 2012, 6:43pm Top

Oooo, I'd murder you for that Bernhard, Karl...

Mar 10, 2012, 6:45pm Top

The Frederick Rolfe is great too. I'll post some choice bon mots on the Limey thread. Make sure to get the hackles up on Sir Ian. And the Wexford Slang is great. New favorite word: knobthaw, meaning: not a particularly bright individual.

Edited: Mar 10, 2012, 8:38pm Top

Please frame a sentence in Wexfordese that sums up, with appropriate venom, my withering scorn for a certain Limey who inspired TWO different threads on all things weird & Brit.

Edited: Mar 10, 2012, 6:55pm Top

"Yer man is some e-Git alright! He's about as useful as elders on a bullock."

Or ...

"Oh lort, I was mouldy drunk last night lads!!!"

Matthew Arnold is spinning in his grave. Serve's him right, the knobthaw.

PS: The Bernhard is a hardcover.

Edited: Mar 11, 2012, 1:03am Top

I got 21 old issues of Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine, and Isaac Asimov's magazine, and couple of other 70s and 80s titles I had never heard of. All for $1 each. My brother ordered some of these when we were kids, but they all got thrown out.
I went to Value Village and got a book by John Diefenbaker, Prime Minister of Canada in the early 1960s. A book by Tony Cashman, Singing Wires: The Telephone in Alberta. It has a lot of pictures in it about my home-town, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
By the same author, I saw a play about John A. Macdonald and the Trans-Canada Railroad in the Edmonton, Alberta Fringe Festival.

Mar 17, 2012, 5:04pm Top

Tales of the Mysterious and Macabre by Algernon Blackwood
Vanity Fair by Wm Makepeace Thackeray
Joseph Andrews / Shamela by Henry Fielding
Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: John Taylor
Lancelot by Walker Percy -- hardcover with dustjacket; 1st edition ... SIGNED!

I guess there's a reason I browse thrift stores thoroughly. Can't let the last one get away. Did see Man from Nazareth by Anthony Burgess, but it was in such crappy condition I left it. Let someone else find it and discover the wonderful world of Burgessiana.

Mar 17, 2012, 10:18pm Top

103. Yes. I agree. Some of the books that I thought I would never ever find, I found completely unexpectedly at the thrift store. Plus it's so much cheaper than at the used book store. I still support the used book store and I think their prices are completely fair.
There was a rare textbook published in the 1970s from High School physics that I wanted to find because I am trying to build a shelf in my library with as many textbooks as possible from my school years. This book ranged from $80 to $300 on AbeBooks. But I found it for $2.95 at Value Village. I guess the $300 was for if an academic library had had their single copy stolen, damaged or defaced, and were forced to find a replacement at any cost. Maybe even $300 is fair because the book went out of print about 40 years ago. Who knows?

Edited: Mar 20, 2012, 5:06pm Top

The university where I work had their library sale today. Loads of lonely textbooks, but I did snag a couple interesting old volumes. Two Years in the Jungle by William Temple Hornaday and Diversions of a Diplomat in Turkey by Samuel Sullivan Cox. Both editions from the late 1800s. The bindings won't win any beauty contests, but for 50¢ each it's hard to go too far wrong.

Edited: Mar 20, 2012, 9:04pm Top

I've become addicted to the value section at the Art Institute of Chicago's shop. In the last month or so I've bought:

The Unknown Matisse
Spirits Speak
Unrepentant Ego: Self-Portraits of Lucas Samaras
Red Grooms
Jess: To and From the Printed Page
The Drawing Speaks: Theophile Bra: Works
More Things Like This
The Best American Comics 2007
Dan Flavin A Retrospective

Mar 23, 2012, 12:04pm Top

Mar 23, 2012, 12:27pm Top

Barnes, I think, is another writer due for revival.

Let us know what you think of NIGHTWOOD.

Mar 24, 2012, 3:45pm Top

From the Rochester, MN Public Library:

Men and not men by Elio Vittorini
Little, Big by John Crowley
Man Crazy by Joyce Carol Oates
The Hot Rock by Donald Westlake
Basic Black with Pearls by Helen Weinzweig -- a New Press "Canadian Classic."
The Golden Age by Kenneth Grahame

From the Salvation Army thrift store:

Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
The Pickup by Nadine Gordimer
Miguel Street by VS Naipaul
The Lion of Boaz-Jachin and Jachin-Boaz by Russell Hoban

Edited: Mar 27, 2012, 5:03pm Top

A volume of Heine arrived today, translated by Louis Untermeyer. Very nice hardcover edition, 1938...but inside was a newspaper clipping on a Heine biography, a book review penned by none other than Stefan Zweig. Yellowing newsprint, THE SUNDAY TIMES, dated October 7, 1934.

Zweig penned a mean review. Very cool bonus.

Mar 27, 2012, 5:47pm Top

110: Nice!

Any idea who this Helen Weinzweig person is, my maple syrupy compadre? At least Basic Black with Pearls looks like a cut above the usual agricultural "let's stare at cows" shtick favored by Canadian publishers these days. Hey, an urban setting and adultery. I'm in!

Mar 27, 2012, 6:45pm Top

Well, the key words include "Toronto literature", which is NEVER a good sign.

Ah, but I've taken too many cheap cracks at Can-Lit over the years. It may be a perfectly serviceable book. Cripes, what do I know? Some people actually like Sinclair Ross...

Mar 27, 2012, 8:01pm Top

112: Hmm, OK, this sounds intriguing:


"As dazzlingly splintered and disorienting as a hall of mirrors, this marvelously inventive sleight-of-pen fantasy may (or may not) represent the jagged self-image of a middle-aged Canadian housewife. Afloat on an erotic quest, the woman who calls herself "Lola Montez" shuffles through postcard memories of nights with her lover "Coenraad," the international secret agent. "

Mar 27, 2012, 8:38pm Top

Sounds okay.

Mar 28, 2012, 10:44pm Top

John Weinzweig was a Canadian composer who lived in the 20th Century. I don't know if Helen was his wife or not. But he wrote some good music. I would be interested to read some books written by his wife.

Mar 30, 2012, 9:41pm Top

From the local library sale:

Leningrad by Anna Reid
Darkness at Noon
The Jaguar Smile
The Greeks

Mar 31, 2012, 11:49am Top

111: I can't think of a single book published in Canada recently that fits this "agricultural 'let's stare at cows'" stereotype that you repeatedly advance.

This is one of the worn-out cliches of Canlit criticism, which although it hasn't held true for at least 20 years still makes a convenient hobby horse for people who aren't actually familiar with Canadian writing.

Canadian publishers these days could more accurately be accused of favouring the novel as sociology, filled with immigrants adjusting to life in Toronto, homosexuals exploring their identity, and women struggling in the long shadow of historical injustice. Cows are very much out of favour.

Mar 31, 2012, 1:54pm Top

All I can say is our "national literature" is largely the product of a few superannuated and/or serially stupid cultural types with maple leaves in their eyes and shit for brains. They think a Canadian identity can be socially engineered, an attitude that goes back at least fifty years and is thoroughly discredited except in the arts and academia (the last great bastions of mediocrity and un-reality).

They have their checklists, their agendas and their biases, all of which have been deeply inscribed by a lifetime of living in a bubble and consuming a steady diet of bland, undistinguished pap.

End of today's rant.

Mar 31, 2012, 10:36pm Top

117: I blame my insularity and ignorance on my upbringing as a United States citizen.

Apr 1, 2012, 9:27am Top

The only thing I've noticed about Canadian literature is the propensity for its leading lights to be imports. Sri Lankan-born Ondaatje, Indian-born Mistry, Spanish-born Martel.... And the other leading lights are women such as Atwood and Munro. I haven't made any sort of study of this, it's just what I've noticed. A plain ordinary Canadian guy born in Toronto or Nova Scotia "staring at cows," that's what I never see.

Apr 1, 2012, 10:03am Top

We need MORE tales about about ordinary guys who make a habit of staring at cows...and less books about multi-generational immigrant families and the struggles they have to maintain their identity in a new land...and regional books representing some aspect of our "cultural fabric"...and ANYTHING to do with First Nations people (regardless of how terrible it might be, as long as it affirms their maltreatment and courage in the face of what is literally implied to be a form of genocide), etc. etc.

The state of Can Lit is truly, truly appalling. And we have bureaucrats, arts administrators and cultural nationalists who should shoulder the vast proportion of the blame.

Apr 2, 2012, 10:18am Top

120: A plain ordinary Canadian guy born in Toronto or Nova Scotia "staring at cows," that's what I never see.

So "Trailer Park Boys" doesn't count?

121: Cliff, if I didn't know any better, I'd have thought you cribbed that from some Tea Party speech. For me, it all boils down to the actual quality of the writing, regardless of the source (toiling immigrant or benighted white, whatever ... seriously, I could give less of a shit about European bloodlines and the threat posed to them by muligenerational non-white immigrants). The writing is good because it is good, not because of how many demographic chits they can tick off. But I agree, at least in an oblique way, since a writer should focus on narrative, not berating the author ... who we'll imply is a white heterosexual property owner of the vast amoebic middle class ... with a multicultural 2 x 4.

Went to La Crosse, WI and got Batman: Year One by Frank Miller at the local comic store.

At the local used bookstore:

The Faculty of Useless Knowledge by Yury Dombrovsky
The Great Port: a passage through New York and Journeys by Jan Morris
Long Ago in France by MFK Fisher
A Miscellany Revised by ee cummings
Molesworth by Geoffrey Willans & Ronald Searle

Edited: Apr 2, 2012, 10:27am Top

There are stupid people on the left of the political spectrum too, Karl. And leftie Liberal waterheads are among the worst. Granola-eating morons who think that big government and expensive bureaucracies (staffed by their pals and like-minded people) are the way to run everything.

There is a prevailing assumption among the poobahs of the Canadian literary scene that Canada's multi-cultural fabric is enhanced by giving preferential treatment to works that meet certain criteria (see #121), and the actual literary merit of these efforts is often (not always) secondary to their message or the cultural background of the messenger.

This, of course, is only my view but over a quarter century of dealing with arts functionaries and lackeys has given me a very cynical stance on the subject.

Apr 2, 2012, 11:03am Top

123: I would have to agree with you on that one. If the past years have convinced me of anything, it's that the Right doesn't have a monopoly on Stupid. Harold Bloom gives the multiculturalists and postmodernists frequent tongue-lashings in this regard. I also detest when quality takes a backseat to multiculturalist gerrymandering. The worst part isn't cultural background, orientation, what have you, but the universalist approach to the selection process. "Well, she's a paraplegic Inuit lesbian, her novel has to be good!" Not necessarily.

My other pet peeve is the simultaneous homogenizing and ghettoization in US culture. Everything moves towards the Inoffensively Bland -- to appeal to the aforementioned whitebread suburbanites -- yet there are ghettos of fiction too: Christian fiction, chick lit, speculative romance, etc. Some of it is simply savvy marketing to sell books, which I have no problem with. One has to sell with a specific audience in mind. A bit mercenary, but necessary. It's when the consumer starts falling for the marketing category and they start acting all self-important (see the "Christian voter" in the US setting), then things start getting annoying. "As a Christian, I think it's important ... (insert sanctimonious bumper sticker arguments and pompous gasbaggery)" Seriously, STFU. I don't care what specific SkyPixie you worship on your mandated sabbath day, just fix the economy, create jobs, and do your damn work! Stop using your religion as a Moral Deflector Shield when people question your quite obvious moral hypocrisy and legislative ineptitude! Rightwing, Leftwing, bah! Almost makes one yearn for a global apocalypse, simply to clean the pipes of moronic excess that's built up over the previous centuries.

Apr 2, 2012, 12:35pm Top

123: This does not originate simply from the literary establishment. I'd point at the education system as the root of the malaise.

Apr 2, 2012, 1:55pm Top

Yep. Especially university/academia: "Legless men who teach running..."

Apr 2, 2012, 7:01pm Top

125 & 126: You'll hear no disagreements from me on that front. Heck, Season 4 of the Wire.

I feel were getting a wee tad off topic. Where should redirect this bile and cynicism?

Apr 2, 2012, 7:18pm Top

Yep, time to move on.

Apr 9, 2012, 7:56pm Top

"time to move on," he says....

Day-after-Easter shopping with my mother, driving through the quiet streets, stopping in at Goodwill and making out like a bandit. First thing that I see on the shelves is a hardcover of The Savage Detectives.
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.
The Reef by Edith Wharton, hardcover with an introduction by Louis Auchincloss.
Much Obliged, Jeeves, Wodehouse in hardcover.
Wallace Stegner's West.
The Kingdom by the Sea: A Journey Around Great Britain by Paul Theroux, hardcover.
American Mountain People, a National Geographic book, hardcover.
Shame - Rushdie.
The Gathering - Anne Enright, won the Booker.
Shadow & Claw, first half of The Book of the New Sun - Gene Wolfe.
Excession - Iain Banks.
Light Years - James Salter.
The Pillars of the Earth - Ken Follett.
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle - David Wroblewski.
Out, a Japanese thriller by Natsuo Kirino.

The only thing about Goodwill is its penchant for slapping stickers on every book that comes in, no matter how old and fragile the dustjacket may be.

Onwards to the bookstore, which is still in business and where our luck continued to hold out (I figure it's because of the buildup from the months between our visits). The fellow there has gotten to know us and automatically handed over a box:

St. Petersburg by Andrei Biely.
The Poetry of Yevgeny Yevtushenko 1953 to 1965.
Holocaust Poetry.
75 Short Masterpieces: Stories from the World's Literature, including stuff by Arnold Zweig, Prosper Merimee, Shirley Jackson (not The Lottery) and August Strindberg.
The Golovlovs by M. Saltykov-Shchedrin.
The Book of Ebenezer Le Page - G.B. Edwards.
Can You Forgive Her?, an Oxford hardcover of the first Palliser novel.
The Poetry of Robert Frost, hardcover of his "eleven books complete."
Revolutionary Road - Richard Yates.
American Buffalo - David Mamet.
The Bridge of San Luis Rey - Thornton Wilder.
Laurence Sterne's A Sentimental Journey - in a Dover Thrift, but a somewhat tasteful one.
James F. Cooper's The Prairie. I now have three Leatherstocking Tales, even though Twain made sure I'll never read them...
Native Son (Restored Text).
The Member of the Wedding - McCullers.
Thomas Wolfe Short Stories in a 40s paperback with cover art by "jonas."
Thomas Wolfe: A Biography - Elizabeth Nowell, hardcover.
The Trials of Radclyffe Hall - Bio, Diana Souhami, hardcover. Home. Run.
Steppenwolf - Hesse.
Jonathan Livingstone Seagull. I passed that same edition of it up the last three times I've been in that store, so the orphan finally came home with me.
The Medium is the Massage.
The Reformation of the Sixteenth Century by Roland H. Bainton.
Palimpsest: A Memoir - Gore Vidal, hardcover.
Mansion of Smiling Masks - Daoma Winston, added to my 60s-70s romantic suspense collection.

There was also some modern fiction in this batch, most of which was picked up by my mother, bless her, since she doesn't rely on name recognition the way I do and is willing to go out on a limb:

Anathem - Neal Stephenson, hardcover. Watch it! I'm armed!
Cheating at Canasta, stories, William Trevor, hardcover.
Siberian Light - Robin White.
Sexing the Cherry - Jeanette Winterson.
Earth Abides - George R. Stewart.
Girl in Hyacinth Blue - Susan Vreeland.
The Alexandria Semaphore - Robert Sole.
The Children's Book, Angels and Insects - A.S. Byatt.
The Death of Vishnu - Manil Suri.
This Burns My Heart - Samuel Park.
Wild Animus - Rich Shapero.
And the 18th issue of some literary magazine called Tin House.

I am torn between delight and horror, since there is less space on shelves all the time and this monster load may finish us off.

Also, when am I going to read all of it? Or do only self-loathing book collectors ask that?

Apr 9, 2012, 8:08pm Top


(He says in admiration and envy.)

Apr 9, 2012, 9:42pm Top

The Children's Book won the James Tait Black and was Booker shortlisted.

Apr 10, 2012, 7:57am Top

Came away from the Eastercon with 20 books - slightly more than usual, but not as many as I used to buy back in the 1990s... They were:

Osama, Lavie Tidhar
Saving for a Sunny Day, Ian Watson
Einstein's Questions, Steve & Deja Whitehouse
The Helix and the Sword, John C McLoughlin
Justice City, DG Compton
Homecalling and Other Stories, Judith Merril
Watermind, MM Buckner
The Maquisarde, Louise Marley
The Child Goddess, Louise Marley
Extra(ordinary) People, Joanna Russ
Passing for Human, Jody Scott
Starshadows, Pamela Sargent
Islands, Marta Randall
Wildeblood's Empire, Brian Stableford
Time Future, Maxine McArthur
Star-Anchored, Star-Angered, Suzette Haden Elgin
Spacehive, Jeff Sutton
The Atom Conspiracy, Jeff Sutton
Diadem from the Stars, Jo Clayton
Lamarchos, Jo Clayton

Apr 10, 2012, 10:24am Top

Nice to see there are still book dealers at Cons. The gamer generation hasn't taken that away (yet)...

Apr 10, 2012, 11:03am Top

The Eastercon is aimed at the written side of the genre. The main GoH was George RR Martin, tho it's likely the TV series of A Game of Thrones was responsible for the con selling out several weeks beforehand.

Apr 10, 2012, 11:12am Top

I've only been to one big Con in my life, WesterCon (in Vancouver) and that was bleedin' years ago. Even then, there was that gamer/fantasy element but the book tables were absolutely amazing. One guy displayed some of his stock of used SF books and when I mentioned I was a big fan of Richard Matheson, he brought a couple of first edition Matheson paperbacks with him the next day and sold 'em to me cheap. I still covet those copies.

Apr 14, 2012, 2:36pm Top

Herzog by Saul Bellow, a nice vintage hc
A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute
Liquidation by Imre Kertesz
A Personal Matter by Kenzaburo Oe
Out of the Shelter by David Lodge

Apr 15, 2012, 2:00pm Top

Book sale running until Saturday...Best "snobby" find: Pierre Klossowski's Roberte Ce Soir & The Revocation of the Edict of Nantes.

Amazon blurb:

"Together these two novels comprise the most fascinating, obsessive, and erotic works of contemporary Frech fiction. Like the works of Georges Bataille, and those of the Marquis de Sade before him, Klossowski's fiction explores the connections between the mind and the body through a lens of sexuality. Both of these novels feature Octave, an elderly cleric; his striking young wife Roberte; and their nephew, Antoine in a series of sexual situations. But Klossowski's books are about theology as well, and this merging of the sexual with the religious makes this book one of the most painstakingly baroque and intellectual novels of our time."

Apr 15, 2012, 2:22pm Top

Tasty catch, Harry. Our library book sale is coming up as well...might even be a matter of weeks. And I'll be there when it opens, clawing at the doors and windows like the weird, glassy-eyed, book-lovin' zombie that I am.

Edited: Apr 16, 2012, 12:17pm Top

Interesting day at the thrift store. Found some books/authors that had been in my mind relatively recently:

Boxed set that includes Invisible Cities, The Baron In The Trees and If on a winter's night a traveler by Italo Calvino
A House for Mr. Biswas by VS Naipul
Kafka Was the Rage by Anatole Broyard
Dear Friends: American Photographs of Men Together 1840-1918 by David Deitcher
The Secret Historian by Justin Spring.

All in all it should've been $5.50 but the cashier only charged me $3.30. I did leave a tip though.

Left on the chopping block: Battle Cry of Freedom by McPherson, Istanbul by Orhan Pamuk and The Yiddish Policemen's Union by Michael Chabon. I feel bad for the McPherson but I've tried to read it before. No dice.

Apr 15, 2012, 7:59pm Top

I have that Calvino boxset--well done!!

Apr 15, 2012, 8:16pm Top

Thanks. I almost jumped for joy when I saw it. I had been thinking about reading some Calvino within the last month.

Edited: Apr 15, 2012, 9:30pm Top

Please paint me "jealous", I can't seem to find a "real" book hoard here in Melbourne. Even my local "Salvation Army" OP. Shop charges $3-$5 per cheap paperback.

ETA. I want a real hoard.

Apr 21, 2012, 2:04pm Top

Found @ Goodwill:

Genius and Lust by Norman Mailer
Dead Sea Scrolls: a new translation
The Moviegoer by Walker Percy
Hooray for Yiddish! by Leo Rosten
Tunes of Glory by James Kennaway
Zero History by William Gibson
Saint Leibowitz and the Wild Horse Woman by Walter Miller
The Ruba'iyat of Omar Khayyam
The Empire Strikes Back
The Return of the Jedi
Han Solo's Revenge by Brian Daley
FM 23-82 -- US Army field manual on the 106mm rifle (M40A1)

Apr 21, 2012, 4:53pm Top

New to this thread, but it looks like the right place to brag. about hidden gems in my local friends of the library used book store.

We have over 1000 books on the shelves in our home (a couple bookcases in the son's bedroom still uncatalogued), but can't resist our weekly haul.

This week (with restraint):
An Instance of the Fingerpost by Iain Pears
Looking for a Ship by John McPhee
Nasty Bits by Anthony Bourdain
What's the Matter with Kansas? by Thomas Frank

Apr 21, 2012, 5:43pm Top

Picked up a nice first edition of Helprin's A Soldier of the Great War today. Otherwise, the Goodwill store was a bust.

Apr 21, 2012, 8:50pm Top

145: I loved that book and much of Helprin's fiction but was surprised some years ago to realize that the prominent political conservative of the same name is the same person. I consider it a personal failing that this bothered me enough that I didn't pick up another of his novels for several years. I thought I was over this particular prejudice until a couple of years ago when I bought as a gift for a dog lover one of those silly, sentimental memoirs about a dog only to find out that its author (Mark Levin) is not just a conservative but a loathsome radio talk show wackadoodle. I didn't give the book to its intended recipient. Couldn't throw it away either. It is a book after all and the adorable dog on the cover is blameless. It still sits on a shelf.

Apr 21, 2012, 11:03pm Top

I tried and re-tried to read Helprin's Winter's Tale for literally years before finally giving up on it for good. Very sentimental and twee, full of charmed attractive people doing charmed, sweet things.

Apr 21, 2012, 11:30pm Top

146: A Soldier of the Great War is the only Helprin I've read, and I thought it was quite good. I choose to ignore his politics.

Apr 22, 2012, 4:09pm Top

146: Considering the consistent devolution of "conservative philosophy", at least he's not writing gleefully about Jesus incinerating the Jews (oops! I didn't mean to give the plot away to Glorious Appearing by Tim LaHaye) and simply hating on anything non-white and non-straight, it's amazing there are even conservative authors who exist beyond the niche Psycho-Christian / Homophobic Greedhead / Ayn Rand Sci Fi Writer literary ghettos.

Apr 28, 2012, 4:06pm Top

Got some good ones at Savers:

Conan the Invincible by Robert Jordan
The Hitler Myth by Ian Kershaw
The Essential Rumi
Summon's Miscellany of Saints & Sinners
The Founding Fish by John McPhee
The Revolutionist by Robert Littell

Apr 28, 2012, 10:57pm Top

A good haul, Karl.

A rare trip away from home, to visit both of Saskatchewan's major metropolises in the space of 24 hours. A brief stop at McNally Robinson in Saskatoon and came away with THE END: The Defiance and Destruction of Hitler's Germany, 1944-45 (another Kershaw) and STEEL AND OTHER STORIES, a collection of short stories by Richard Matheson, a tie-in to the upcoming movie adaptation of the title story (also made into a classic "Twilight Zone" episode, starring Lee Marvin). The tales are all old ones but I'm a huge fan of Matheson's and couldn't resist.

Edited: Apr 30, 2012, 10:26pm Top

Bild Der Jahrhunderte. Band I-XXII (Komplett) by Otto Zierer found it for free at a give-away table, 22 volumes in excellent shape. History of the World from pre-history all the way up to World War II.

Apr 29, 2012, 11:34am Top

152: Savers had a handful of Finnish and German books as well, including a translation of Tender is the Night I have no use for it, but perhaps an inventive German teacher could use them.

151: The End sounds fascinating. I'll keep an eye out for it.

Apr 29, 2012, 6:15pm Top

Two library sales this weekend...

A couple of classics..
Underworld by Don DeLillo. After resisting it for years, picked up a pristine hardcover.
Call it Sleep by Henry Roth. Hands down (IMHO) the best novel about the 20th century immigrant experience in NYC, written in the '30s. I read it in the '60s, a copy that long ago fell apart.

A crap shoot, heard some good things but not always from reliable sources. We'll see...
When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka
The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry
Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts

For the suspense fan in my house. I believe these to be reasonably well written, i.e. not of the Dan Brown school...
Stones Fall by Iain Pears
Fleshmarket Alley by Ian Rankin
In the Woods by Tana French

Apr 29, 2012, 6:43pm Top

Very nice nabs. The DeLillo...bingo.

Apr 30, 2012, 9:42pm Top

Now that peak oil has hit, BookMooching may not be a particular bargain. Regardless, I just knicked copies of Tripmaster Monkey and, When Presidents Lie.

Apr 30, 2012, 10:00pm Top

156: When Presidents Lie is an excellent book. Highly recommended. A great investigative analysis of Cold War foreign policy. It demythologizes US history.

Edited: May 4, 2012, 10:27pm Top

Thanks Karl, I'll move it up the pile a bit.

Today I resumed some low-carbon-footprint-hoarding at another local library book sale. Among the near-free nonfiction prizes were The Battle a New History of Waterloo, When Religion Becomes Evil, Early Greek Philosophy and The Great Transformation.

May 5, 2012, 11:01pm Top

Medea and other plays by Euripides
Maigret Bides His Time by Simenon

From an out of the way used bookstore in Red Wing, MN.

Edited: May 6, 2012, 8:50pm Top

Buying books in thrift stores has spoiled me. I just went to the neighborhood used bookstore and found prices outrageous. In any case:

The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
The Lost Estate aka Le Grand Meaulnes by Alan Fournier

May 7, 2012, 11:30am Top

I use different standards for thrift stores vs. used bookstores:

1. Rarity.
2. Condition.
3. Completist issues.

I usually buy more commonplace stuff at thrift stores, but still keeping my eye out for hidden gems. At used bookstores, I look for more specific and rarer volumes. I can usually find a copy of We Were the Mulvaneys at thrift stores, but I can't find ANY Iain Banks anywhere.

May 12, 2012, 9:17am Top

Box from BetterWorldBooks arrived. All hardcovers.

The Oedipus Plays of Sophocles, translated by Paul Roche.
Fathers and Sons, Konemann publication, translated by Constance Garnett.
Barchester Towers, Oxford edition.

The Troubadour's Song: The Capture and Ransom of Richard the Lionheart by David Boyle.
White Heat: The Friendship of Emily Dickinson and Thomas Wentworth Higginson by Brenda Wineapple.
Built of Books: How Reading Defined the Life of Oscar Wilde by Thomas Wright.
The Last Apocalypse: Europe at the Year 1000 A.D. by James Reston, Jr.
Cities Then and Now by Jim Antoniou.

May 12, 2012, 9:42am Top

Heavy reading. Good for you...

May 12, 2012, 2:45pm Top

Found a copy of Norman MacLean's Young Men and Fire in a little used bookstore.

May 12, 2012, 4:26pm Top

Wow! Great grabs!

Can't wait for our library book sale, at the end of this month.

May 13, 2012, 4:44am Top

I posted one of my irregular book haul posts on my blog here.

May 13, 2012, 12:04pm Top

That is a SICK amount of books, Mr. Sales.

May 13, 2012, 12:10pm Top

It's not that bad...

May 13, 2012, 12:15pm Top

I speak out of profound admiration and jealousy, believe me.

Edited: May 18, 2012, 12:30pm Top

A delightfully mixed bag from Savers and Goodwill last weekend:

Gone, Baby, Gone by Dennis Lehane
Closing Time by Joseph Heller -- It's the sequel to Catch-22.
Add a Dash of Pity by Peter Ustinov
In the Beauty of the Lilies by John Updike
The Tree of Man by Patrick White
A Good Man is Hard to Find by Flannery O'Connor
The Longest Journey by EM Forster
City Police by Jonathan Rubinstein
The New York Trilogy by Paul Auster
Summertime by Coetzee
Poems of Akhmatova
Early Poems of Yevgeny Yevtushenko
Solar Lottery by PKD -- a 70s era vintage paperback

And found a couple of books on Mormon architecture/theology:

The Gate of Heaven: Insights into the doctrines and symbols of the Temple by Matthew B. Brown
Sacred Stone: the Temple at Nauvoo by Heidi S. Swinton

May 18, 2012, 1:40pm Top

Wow, that's a nice haul.

May 18, 2012, 1:42pm Top

Fascinatin' mix o' stuff, Karl.

Enjoy THE NEW YORK TRILOGY, it's quite wonderful.

THE SOLAR LOTTERY is Dick's first novel and pretty bad. The Lehane is a fast, diverting read.

May 18, 2012, 2:46pm Top

Yeah, that really is a nice haul. And I'll back up Cliff's opinion on The New York Trilogy.

May 18, 2012, 3:28pm Top

I'm skeptical about the New York Trilogy, the second novel's premise seems awfully contrived with the colors and whatnot. But a healthy dose of skepticism always enriches the reading experience, as opposed to the drooling fatuousness of, say, fanboys.

I only picked up the PKD because of its vintage status and its trippy cover art. A "display copy" for the bookshelf beside my schlocky Han Solo's Revenge hardcover.

May 20, 2012, 12:14pm Top

The Passage to Power by Robert Caro. Volume 4 of Caro's series on LBJ is in my hands. Now I know what to read when I'm done with Citizens by Schama.

Garbage Pail Kids by the Topps Company. A nice little volume put out by Abrams. Pure nostalgia fuel, plus an introduction by former Topps employee Art Spiegelman

May 20, 2012, 1:17pm Top

I'll own all those Caro books one day, I swear...

May 22, 2012, 9:52am Top

Got a wonderful gift from my mother. Republic of Dreams: Greenwich Village: The American Bohemia, 1910-1960 - a fat hardcover sporting, among others, chapters called "Mabel Dodge's Salon," "Cook, O'Neill and the Provincetown Players," "E. E. Cummings and Dylan Thomas," and "Pollock and the Abstract Expressionists." Needless to say, she picked the right book for me.

Also got a couple others that look good - The Mays of Ventadorn, W.S. Merwin on Southern France and the troubadours, and Girl, Interrupted, a psychiatric memoir.

May 31, 2012, 7:33pm Top

Mason & Dixon, hardcover.
The Poems of Catullus, bilingual, Guy Lee translation.
The Doctor and the Devils, Dylan Thomas.

And the copy of Memories of the Future I ordered has arrived.

May 31, 2012, 8:37pm Top

Good score.

Our local library had its annual sale today--no earth-shattering finds but a decent take. I've become more discerning over the years...plus, this year I had a sore elbow and shoulder so couldn't lug as much home.

Jun 1, 2012, 4:47pm Top

A nice haul from Savers and Goodwill.

From Goodwill:

The Neon Wilderness by Nelson Algren
DK Eyewitness Guide to Chicago
Faulkner: a biography by Joseph Blotner

From Savers:

Bertie Wooster Sees it Through by PG Wodehouse
I am Curious (yellow)
Henry Fool by Hal Hartley
The Fountain Overflows by Rebecca West -- NYRB edition
The Golden Age of Advertising: the 60s by Taschen
Gotham: a history of New York City to 1898 by Edwin Burrows and Mike Wallace (not the newscaster) -- a giant hardcover brick. One could use it for hand-to-hand combat in the Bowery.

Jun 1, 2012, 10:08pm Top

Other than stock organization (a minor issue), I have come to the conclusion that Powell's or the Strand have nothing on Savers and Goodwill.

Jun 3, 2012, 6:07pm Top

Legendary afternoon at The Brown Elephant thrift store.

A Book of Luminous Things- Czelaw Milosz. Hardcover edition. One of my all time favorite anthologies.
The Counterfeiters- by Gide. Had been looking for this one for the longest time. Groovy psychedelic/art noveau cover.
The Heart of the Matter- Graham Greene. A bit of a gamble but I want to read more Greene and this is in the Penguin Great Books of the Century series. I am a sucker for nice editions.
The Poems of Wilfred Owen-Ed. Stallworthy
Survival in Auschwitz- by Primo Levi

Left on the chopping block: Seven Pillars of Wisdom, The Idiot, and Hope Dies Last. And some book on Egyptian painting, and book about the Sarah Lee collection of art.

A couple of weeks ago they were reducing their inventory and selling books for .25. Today I had to pay a full dollar each.

Jun 3, 2012, 6:31pm Top

Great haul.

Jun 5, 2012, 2:51pm Top

I now own my first piece of literary ephemera.

A recent addition to the house was The Commissariat of Enlightenment by Ken Kalfus. As I looked through it I discovered a piece of type-written paper from Thomas Berger, apparently in answer to a bit of fanmail from "Mr. Sacco." Dated 16 May 1999, he spoke briefly of The Return of Little Big Man, directing the man's attention to a recent interview in American Heritage before moving on to Sacco's question about a fifth Reinhart novel. "It would make sense to tell the rest of his story, which now remains incomplete, but at the age of 75, having produced 21 novels, I feel literarily exhausted at the moment."

He wrapped his missive with "Yours cordially" and signed his name.

Jun 5, 2012, 2:58pm Top

Wow. First, congrats on nabbing the Kalfus--he's wonderful.

But a bonus treasure on top of that. I wonder if the Kalfus book was a personal copy...

What a lucky thing you are!

Jun 8, 2012, 6:09am Top

got a haul the other weekend - mostly 1970s penguin classics (which means the glue's crap, but I have glue.)
The Vinland Sagas
Under The Volcano
Chronicles of The Crusades
King Harald's saga
Elizabethan love Stories
Njal's saga (an earlier, more robust first-series Penguin classic)
The Worst Journey in The World (pink Penguin)
Beautiful losers (a ridiculous 1960s American bantam paperback with yellow page edges.)
50p each - worth dragging myself out of my sickbed for, that was.

Edited: Jun 8, 2012, 6:25am Top

I thought I was one missing. I also got an History of The Kings of Britain

Jun 8, 2012, 8:57am Top

50p each? Lovely. Good nab, Ben.

Jun 8, 2012, 5:05pm Top

A rather eclectic collection of dirt-cheap, used book sale hauls:

The Islamist
King Harald's Saga (spoiler alert: I think he dies at the end)
French Dirt
Maus nice 80s edition
The No Asshole Rule

Jun 9, 2012, 5:26pm Top

Wow. Library book sales. Now that bookstores have gone over to the corporate enemy, libraries might be the last bastions of hope.

Jun 9, 2012, 5:36pm Top

Our local Borders closed, we have to travel 25 miles to the B&N, but our local library is the best. $1 hardcover, $.50 soft, open 3 days a week. It is hard for us to miss a Saturday. Bonus: we're helping support the library.

Jun 9, 2012, 5:50pm Top

Snagged from the jaws of the local Salvation Army shop:

The Right and the Power by Leon Jaworski
The Glimpses of the Moon and The Children by Edith Wharton
Morte D'Urban by JF Powers (NYRB Classics!) -- wasn't somebody reading this recently?
The Three Sentinels by Geoffrey Household
The Papers of Samuel Marchbanks by Robertson Davies
Conan the Warrior by Robert Howard
Peter Camenzind by Hermann Hesse
Let Me Explain by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
The Gun Seller by Hugh Laurie

Jun 9, 2012, 7:01pm Top

I touted MORTE D'URBAN. A good read, glad it was "rediscovered" by the NYRB people. God bless 'em.

Jun 10, 2012, 12:48am Top

Jun 10, 2012, 9:53am Top

That's an older DeLillo, hard to find. And the Auster is one of his best. Enjoy!

Jun 15, 2012, 4:35pm Top

A nice haul from the local library bookstore:

Prometheus and other plays by Aeschylus
A Room with a View by EM Forster
The Return of the Soldier by Rebecca West
She by H. Rider Haggard
Ruthless Rhymes for Heartless Homes by Harry Graham
Collected Lyrics by Edna St. Vincent Millay
Fall of the Roman Republic by Plutarch
Collected Poems by Kenneth Patchen
Collected Stories by Noel Coward

Jun 24, 2012, 12:57am Top

Stopped by ValuVillage (thrift store) in Saskatoon and picked up five books (purchase 4 and fifth book free):

BIRTHDAY LETTERS (Ted Hughes--a lovely Faber and Faber hardcover)
THE FALL OF BERLIN 1945 (Anthony Beevor)
NO GOD BUT GOD (Reza Aslan)

Very pleased by my take. Even if I have to eat cat food 'til payday.

Edited: Jun 24, 2012, 3:56am Top

Borges' essays on American and British literature are great. Very idiosyncratic.

Edited: Jun 24, 2012, 9:20am Top


You've probably heard this suggestion before; maybe you could swing over and pluck a few of these orphans:


Jun 24, 2012, 10:28am Top

200: I highly recommend his book review of Absalom! Absalom!

Another good haul from Saver's:

You Must Remember This by Joyce Carol Oates -- We Were the Mulvaneys were also in abundance.
Come Unto Me: Relief Society Personal Study Guide 1988 -- An LDS study guide for obedient housewives. Also has some useful tips on food storage for the imminent apocalypse.
The Sunset Limited by Cormac McCarthy
Blackadder: the Whole Damn Dynasty by Richard Curtis

Jun 24, 2012, 10:58am Top

#201 I first heard about this story some time ago--how do you unload so many books, especially when the chap who owned them was more of a hoarder than a collector? You have to search through a lot of dung to find the odd pearl.

Jun 26, 2012, 9:31pm Top

'sounds like a meta Goodwill or Savers.

Edited: Jul 2, 2012, 12:20am Top

From Value Village for 99 cents each I got
Julius Caesar Folger Edition of Shakespeare
The Tempest Pelican Shakespeare
King Lear Pelican Shakespeare
to add to my collection of single-play volumes of Shakespeare.

When I was very young I bought a couple of hardbound complete Shakespeare editions which were so heavy that the pages separated from the cover as a single clump.

Ever since then I have concentrated on the paperback 1-play-per-volume format. That is the way I have collected anywhere from 2 to 7 or 8 different editions of each play. I am impressed by how different each one looks: Signet, Pelican, Marlowe Society, Kittredge, Funk & Wagnalls, etc. Plus I love to read the different scholarly articles and introductions.

But most of all, these are a lot easier for me to take on the bus where I read the actual plays.

I also used to get the Marlowe Society recordings from our public library when they were on LP records and followed the text.

The above three are no book haul, but added to the 50 or 60 ones I already have, it's building a bigger book haul.

Jun 28, 2012, 9:28pm Top

I wish we had Value Village in the states. I had friends in B.C. who were always talking about it and the Loonie Plus, if that still exists.

Edited: Jun 29, 2012, 1:52am Top

One of my kids quoted to me from a TV sit-com or a movie where one of the characters is questionned about some out-of-the-ordinary garment that she has debuted in front of her seated friends. Because it is so unusual yet classy, they can't place it from their recollections of thumbing Vogue and Elle and other fashion magazines. Then she comes through with the punch line by revealing the name of the mystery store as Value Village, but pronounced with a distinctive french accent: Valuue (pucker lips) Veelaj.
Does anyone know if this is a real clip? Or is it a very clever urban legend that never hit the air waves? I tried to look it up on YouTube but no luck.
My fantasy is to believe that it will eventually be revealed to me as having come from Friends (the show.)

Edited: Jun 29, 2012, 10:22am Top

If it hadn't been for ValuVillage and other "thrift" shops, we would never have been able to keep our two sons clothed. Have you checked out the prices on new kids' clothes these days? It became a standing family joke--our last stop on the way out of Saskatoon was always ValuVillage, to pick up a couple pairs of jeans, etc.

Sherron wore some striking garment to work at the high school one morning and another teacher (a real fashion snob) stopped her and wanted to know where she bought her lovely, stylish blouse. Sher said the look on the woman's face when she told her the store (ValuVillage) and price ($3.99) was absolutely priceless.

Jun 29, 2012, 2:06pm Top

207 libraryhermit, my friends from B.C. were pronouncing it Valoo Villaj 20 years ago, sort of like Tarjay for Target. All must be pronunced with a French accent.

Jun 29, 2012, 3:55pm Top

209: Yeah I was going to bring up "Tar-jay" which is what we always call Target.

I like "Valoo viyage" for value village up North there.

Jun 29, 2012, 11:13pm Top

Found Home by Marilynne Robinson at B & N for $5.

Jun 30, 2012, 4:05pm Top

Selective haul from FOL used bookstore:

My Cousin, My Gastroenterologist by Mark Leyner
The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz (HC)
ABC of Reading by Ezra Pound

all for $2

Jul 1, 2012, 12:10pm Top


'Niice find for a brand new book, Karl; about the same price as used.

For example, half.com has it for 75 cents, plus $3,459.50 in fossil fuel shipping costs.

Jul 1, 2012, 1:24pm Top

213: Well, the book was made from trees that didn't die natural deaths by listening to Gordon Lightfoot and Tracy Chapman Can't make an omelet ...

Jul 1, 2012, 5:27pm Top

Box from BetterWorldBooks. Highlights:

La Bas by Joris-Karl Huysmans. THAT is gonna be awesome.
Poems by Akhmatova, an old 70s hardcover.
Bitter Lemons by the archsnob himself.

Jul 1, 2012, 9:48pm Top

215: La Bas is an awesome book. Huysmans's take on Satanism before he became the French Victorian version of Bill Donohue.

Jul 4, 2012, 5:48pm Top

Did my patriotic duty and went shopping, this time at Savers:

Slow Man by JM Coetzee
Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
The Prince by Machiavelli -- Already have a Penguin version; this is from the series Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought.
New and Selected Poems by Richard Wilbur

Jul 6, 2012, 10:29pm Top

Been visiting my aunt in the little town of Aitken, which sports a surreally good used bookstore.

Arch of Triumph - Erich Maria Remarque.
The Erl-King - Michel Tournier.
Four Plays by Eugene Ionesco.
The Major Works of Gerard Manley Hopkins, including all the poems and selected prose.
The Poor Mouth - Flann O'Brien.
Words in Commotion - Tommaso Landolfi.
A Coat of Varnish - C.P. Snow.
We Have Always Lived in the Castle - Shirley Jackson.
Solstice Wood - Patricia A. McKillip, hardcover.
Happy as a Dog's Tail - Anna Swir poems, hardcover.
Philip of Spain - Henry Kamen, hardcover.

Jul 7, 2012, 12:16am Top

I found a used copy of On Being Blue by William H. Gass

Oh and add me to the list of people who love the single volume Pelican Shakespeare editions. I just read Measure for Measure.

Jul 9, 2012, 7:10pm Top

Steampunk: the art of Victorian futurism -- for cover price @ CONvergence.
Use of Weapons by Iain Banks
Facial Justice by LP Hartley
The Mad God's Amulet by Michael Moorcock -- the last 3 were 3 for $5 at the same dealer.

And a freebie from the con's book exchange:

Invasion of the Body Snatchers by Jack Finney

Jul 14, 2012, 5:18pm Top

From the library book sale:

Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad
Wild Nights! by Joyce Carol Oates
Sybil by Benjamin Disraeli
A Roomful of Hovings and other profiles by John McPhee
Lions, Harts, Leaping Does, and other stories by JF Powers
The Poet's Manual and Rhyming Dictionary by Frances Stillman
The Golden Ass -- the Robert Graves translation.

From the Salvation Army store:

Yehuda Amichai: a Life of Poetry
Rumpole and the Golden Thread by John Mortimer
Rosshalde by Hermann Hesse
The Black Dahlia by James Ellroy -- a movie tie-in edition
ArtSpeak by Robert Atkins
I Hotel by Karen Tei Yamashita

Jul 14, 2012, 5:55pm Top

My family went from living in a county with a single, small Indie bookstore and occasional finds at antique/thrift stores to a town with two used bookstores, one Indie, and multiple antique stores with decent book selections (and these are just the ones on Main Street!). Needless to say, I'm having fun exploring the new area.

second and third Tarzan books by Edgar Rice Burroughs
The Little Lame Prince by Dinah Maria Mulock Craik
Armageddon 2419 A.D. by Philip Francis Nowlan
A Transatlantic Tunnel, Hurrah! by Harry Harrison
The House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier - free, as it's missing its front cover
Bend Sinister by Vladimir Nabokov - at $4, this was by far the most expensive book, but I've never seen it in a store before...

There seems to be an abundance of cheap SF paperbacks. I passed up Logan's Run and Stand on Zanzibar for now. Is anyone familiar with the Conan or Steel Rat books? One store had about 10 Conan paperbacks, and I've seen at least four copies of various Steel Rat titles...I'm at the point where I'm having to resist buying more books, lacking both cash and bookshelf space.

Jul 15, 2012, 8:59am Top

I just came back from one of those oft-raved about, 120,000+ volume library summer book sales. This one was was held in a large school cafeteria. And Gym. And other rooms.


But the house is pretty much full of books and so, at the sale, tremendous restraint, was displayed.

Among the few books I did grab, was a copy of that Korean War doorstop, The Coldest Winter.

Jul 15, 2012, 10:33am Top

224: I got my books at my library's periodic sales. I didn't even bother going into an adjoining room where the rest of the books were. (I also arrived 30 minutes before it ended.) Yet I still carried away a handsome haul.

Restraint is a tough one. I kept hemming and hawing over The Golden Ass, since I have a previous translation. "But it is the Robert Graves translation ... and a hardcover." Well, that settles it. Yoink!

Jul 15, 2012, 1:40pm Top

224: I think we were at the same book sale this weekend. (There's an even better one this coming weekend in Westport.)

My restraint tactic is to bring one shopping bag and vow not to exceed its capacity. Several terrific bargains on art and photography, including The Family of Man, which my home somehow managed to be without of late.

Most interesting pick: Sacred Hunger by Barry Unsworth
Also The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters, a Joseph Kanon and and a couple of other light reads.

Jul 15, 2012, 7:01pm Top


...and then Southport. Don'cha just love the leftovers of Connecticut's Gold Coast?

Wonderful book sales.

Edited: Jul 20, 2012, 10:44pm Top

The mooches keep streaming in, including The Unbearable Lightness of Being and The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love

Edited: Jul 20, 2012, 10:39pm Top

Spooner by Pete Dexter and The Secret Speech by Tom Rob Smith in hardcover at our local BigLots! for only .50 cents apiece!

Edited: Jul 21, 2012, 5:02pm Top

Went to Savers and Goodwill and got a crap-ton of books.

From Goodwill:

Closed Chambers by Edward Lazarus
Diners, Bowling Alleys, and Trailer Parks by Andrew Hurley
The Inheritors by William Golding
The Plague by Camus
The Salon by Nick Bertozzi
Return of the Ninja -- a Choose Your Adventure Book and because ninjas are rad.
Wilt in Nowhere by Tom Sharpe
The Complete Works of Saki
Tree of Smoke by Denis Johnson
Step Across this Line by Salman Rushdie

From Savers:

Berserker by Fred Saberhagen
Krull by Allan Dean Foster -- Seems ADF wrote tie-in novels to every cheesy 70s and 80s sci fi movie (from The Black Hole to Star Wars)
My Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk
Hindu Myths -- a Penguin Classics anthology
Eustace and Hilda by LP Hartley -- A NYRB Classics edition.
Little Bird of Heaven by Joyce Carol Oates
Fledgling by Octavia Butler
Across a Billion Years by Robert Silverberg
Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner
Three One-Act Plays by Woody Allen
Zone by Mathias Enard
Matter by Iain Banks

And 4 by Michael Moorcock:

The Sailor on the Seas of Fate
And The Chronicles of Castle Brass trilogy

Jul 21, 2012, 5:58pm Top

The people where you live throw out a better class of book than where I live!

Jul 22, 2012, 4:37am Top

Bought some Malcolm Lowry first editions recently, including Lunar Caustic, Selected Poems of Malcolm Lowry, Dark As The Grave Wherein My Friend is Laid, October Ferry to Gabriola and The Voyage That Never Ends. Also some good pickings from charity shops - The Weight of Numbers, The Ninth Life of Louis Drax and Bug Jack Barron. Plus, the copy of Empty Space I'd pre-ordered arrived.

Jul 22, 2012, 10:37am Top

BUG JACK BARRON is great fun. My favorite Spinrad novel. A number of people have optioned it for adaptation into a film (Harlan Ellison was involved at one time) but so far nobody's managed to take it to the finish line.

Jul 22, 2012, 11:35am Top

231: I live in a community dominated by the medical industry ... a business known for its financial efficiency, in that the make Pentagon weapons procurement seem austere and Spartan by comparison.

And who in the hell is getting rid of NYRB Classics? Even when I'm done reading their volumes, they still make one's bookshelf look damn spiffy. I guess one has to make room for the newest Jodi Picoult cancer porn. Then again, the Mayo Clinic is a teaching hospital and there's a lot of international students coming in and out of here. Over the years, I've scavenged some high quality stuff from thrift stores. But paying $3 for the Eustace and Hilda trilogy just seems wrong.

Jul 22, 2012, 10:46pm Top

I live in a town that once thrived on textiles and furniture manufacture. Folks here have their minds fixed on getting by. Reading is not high on their list of priorities - at least not Camus or Saki. That's a crass and unfair generalization, of course, but probably appropriate, when considering what books will end up at Goodwill.

Jul 23, 2012, 8:41am Top

235: I was like, "Hey! That sounds like where I live!", then checked your profile and saw you're in western NC. Yeah, that is where I live. At least there's actually bookstores here now.

Jul 23, 2012, 10:12pm Top

Hello neighbor!

Jul 23, 2012, 10:31pm Top

At the discard section of the Chicago Public Library: The Thousand Autumns of Jacob Zoet by David Mitchell.

At the value section of the Art Institute: Juan Usle: Switch On / Switch Off and Stephen Balkenhol

Jul 26, 2012, 9:12pm Top

Alpin, et al,

Tried to show restraint at Westport's sale last weekend. Drifted in during half-price Monday, 'snagged The Avengers, The Best of S.J. Perelman, The Letters of Evelyn Waugh, a nice, large-font Bulfinch's Mythology, and a pile of natural history.

But the hoarder urge kicked in. Do I really think I'm going to get around to reading Madame Bovary's Ovaries. Really.

Jul 27, 2012, 11:59am Top

Great title though.

Jul 29, 2012, 10:52am Top


Hauled away more boxes of natural history, Teaching Company lectures, SAT prep books (for the pup), and other nonfiction from the Southport (Connecticut's Gold Coast) library book sale. 'An area of the Country where some kids still call their parents "Mu-mah" and "Puh-pah".

Half price tomorrow. Let's see if I can avoid filling the car trunk.

Jul 29, 2012, 12:39pm Top

Ordered Codex Seraphinianus by Luigi Serafini via Abebooks (not the 1st edition; but the new reprint for considerably less).

Jul 29, 2012, 2:33pm Top

Got two volumes as a gift for a relative (and also to borrow back and read myself at some point!).

Confessions of an English Opium-Eater with some other works by De Quincey in an Oxford paperback.

Black Lamb and Grey Falcon, a 1943 single edition hardcover still in great condition.

Needless to say, the recipient was delighted.

Aug 1, 2012, 11:15pm Top

My box(es) from the 1/2 price Southport sale included Put Out More Flags, Journey without Maps, The First Man by Camus, Shakespeare A to Z, a nice undated (ok, not from the 1300s - maybe from the 1920s) edition of The Decameron, a ton of audiobooks.

430,000 books offered for a buck or 2 each, at 3 library sales, over a couple weeks. The orgy is over 'til next year...

Aug 2, 2012, 9:48pm Top

Missed Westport and Southport sales this year because I was in Maine. But not to worry. The Cundy's Harbor library sale and the Bailey Island Fair netted Chekhov, Cynthia Ozick, Edith Wharton, P.D.James and a few others. And a blueberry pie.

Aug 2, 2012, 9:57pm Top

Ah, quality not quantity!

mmm..blueberry pie.

Aug 3, 2012, 10:16pm Top

244: I would hope the Shakespeare wasn't from the 1300s, unless he was some kind of Time Lord.

Aug 4, 2012, 8:30am Top

>247 kswolff:

Actually, Shakespeare was a Time Lord. He put a clue in Hamlet: "I could be bounded in a nutshell, and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams."

He wrote 'infinite space' because Elizabethans would not have grokked spacetime.

Also, doesn't 'bounded in a nutshell' suggest something bigger on the inside?

Aug 4, 2012, 9:42am Top

248: True. He wasn't fooled when the Doctor showed him a fake ID with "psychic paper." And as far as "infinite space" and "bigger on the inside," look no further than the Globe Theater: only a small building made of wood and thatch, but it contains the world ... or worlds, given he wrote everything from The Tempest to Midsummer's Night Dream

Aug 4, 2012, 4:33pm Top

Because I am chairbound I am benefitting from many offers of books. Awaiting a package from an LT friend, I got a bag o' fantasies, alll TOR! none of which I have ever heard. As those who know me can state, that is great for me. I am more of a book gourmond than gourmet, reading fluff and lit with equal abandon.

Aug 4, 2012, 5:07pm Top

From Savers:

Fear and Loathing: on the campaign trail '72 by Hunter S. Thompson -- I have an original edition that, alas, is falling apart.
The True Believer by Eric Hoffer
Mr. Wilson's Cabinet of Wonder by Lawrence Weschler -- All about the Museum of Jurassic Technology.
Heaven and Earth: a cosmology by Albert Goldbarth

Aug 4, 2012, 5:54pm Top

247, 248,

Sorry for the confusing list; I was talking about Boccaccio, not Billy.

My Decameron edition is an un-dated Bibliophilist Society with a few really cheesy blue page insert illustrations, and (yeah!) fairly large type.

I just picked up a self-published WW II memoir from the 92-year-old author, himself. I've run into a couple of these types of books recently. Tech Sgts write crudely and don't tend to win literary awards, but the vignettes are interesting. 'Couldn't find it on LT (maybe the run was a hundred copies or so) but the title was "My War".

Aug 4, 2012, 5:56pm Top



Mr. Wilson's Cabinet of Wonder

I always wanted to learn so much, much more about the Cameroonian stink ant...

Aug 5, 2012, 10:28am Top

While I was on the road, my wife graciously let me use a gift certificate for a chain book store because she couldn't find anything she wanted.

So I nabbed Howard Zinn's PEOPLE'S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES and Anne Applebaum's Pulitzer Prize winning account of Soviet labor camps, GULAG.

Fantastic non-fic.

Edited: Aug 10, 2012, 11:19am Top

British Universities by S. C. Roberts
Virtual War by Michael Ignatieff
Why Read the Classics by Italo Calvino
Collapse by Jared Diamond
Dictionnaire Des Difficultés de la Langue Francaise Au Canada by Gérard Dagenais
Voluntary Madness by Norah Vincent
The University of California. A Pictorial History. by Albert G. Pickerell (Co-editor is May Dornin.)
All for $2 each except the French Dictionary which was $8.
Bought at The Bookseller, in Edmonton, AB, Canada.
His store used to be downstairs in the same building, but he moved upstairs to the ground level space. I can only imagine the back-breaking work moving a whole store. I don't know if there is an elevator since I have never been through the whole building.
Right by the front door is a discount rack about 15 feet long, double-sided, with $2 books. Probably most book-lovers in Edmonton already know about it, but in case not, I would definitely recommend going there, as I have found some other amazing volumes over the last year or so.
I am immediately hooked as soon as I see any books of essays by novelists whom I have already learned to love through their novels. Other examples have been Thomas Mann, Umberto Eco, David Foster Wallace, etc.

Aug 10, 2012, 12:53am Top

In Edmonton, you say?

I'll be making a trip to Edmonton to attend a wedding in October...

Aug 10, 2012, 10:16am Top

About 1.5 km west of The Book Seller, I would also recommend
Old Strathcona Books
8104 Gateway Boulevard NW
Alhambra Books
10115 - 81 Avenue
Edmonton, AB, Canada
T6E 1W9
There are a few more clustered all in the same area that I have not mentioned.

Aug 10, 2012, 11:09am Top

Hope I have some time to escape the festivities and do a little book huntin'.

Thanks for the tip.

Aug 10, 2012, 11:12am Top


There's a little pamphlet that lists all the book stores in the neighbourhood - 12 or 13 in total, I think. If you want, PM with an address and I'll send you a copy. That way the trip to Edmonton will actually be enjoyable. That is, of course, unless you love attending weddings.

Edited: Aug 10, 2012, 11:21am Top

Any time. Have a safe trip.
I see that you said the wedding is in October, so I assume you won't be in Edmonton in August. However, it may be worth noting that from August 16th to the 26th is the Edmonton Fringe Theatre Festival

Edited: Aug 10, 2012, 11:32am Top

We do attend Saskatoon's Fringe Fest but have found, frankly, that the shows have been deteriorating the last few years. The same recurring faces/names, more burlesque or exotic dancers, actors/actresses willing to perform naked in order to present "edgy" theater.

Whatever happened to "Mump & Smoot"?


Beardo, lad, I'll take you up on that offer--I can send you a self-addressed envelope, once you e-mail me your location. Message me on my Profile page.

Appreciate it...

Aug 10, 2012, 12:34pm Top

One of my Edmonton clients always puts me up in a hotel on Whyte. Lots of used bookstores around Whyte and Gateway Blvd, as noted above.

Some notable finds from that area include John Metcalf's The Teeth of my Father. But Vancouver has been kinder to me.

Aug 10, 2012, 1:21pm Top

I don't get to Edmonton very often. Fool that I am.

Edited: Aug 10, 2012, 3:15pm Top

I agree with you that the quality from one play to the next in fringe festivals can be uneven. And even if I try to screen out potentially poor shows, I still might end up sitting through some duds. But on the other hand, the fringe was my first and only opportunity so far to see Krapp's Last Tape by Samuel Beckett and The Diary of a Madman adapted from Nikolai Gogol. So my strategy should be to stick with playwrights whom I know are good.

Aug 10, 2012, 4:22pm Top

Spent a blissfull eternity rummaging receiving bins at a huge Goodwill Outlet Store. Extracted a heaping pile for a couple bucks, including a wartime edition of A Haunted House and Other Stories, The Years, The Greek Philosophers from Thales to Aristotle and that classic doorstop, A History of Art.

Aug 18, 2012, 4:02pm Top

From Salvation Army:

The Imperial Presidency by Arthur Schlesinger
The Assassins by Joyce Carol Oates
Salvation on Sand Mountain by Dennis Covington
Ruffles and Flourishes by Liz Carpenter -- The Press Secretary of Lady Bird Johnson
The Vantage Point by LBJ
Landscape and Memory by Simon Schama
And upgraded to a hardcover version of The Brethren by Bob Woodward

From Goodwill:

The Book of Merlyn by TH White
The Woman in the Dunes by Kobo Abe
The Fourth Turning by William Strauss and Neil Howe
Anathem by Neil Stephenson

Group: Literary Snobs

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