I set off this afternoon fully intending to go to the gym but somehow found myself at a big library book sale instead. There was significant weight lifting involved regardless when the time came to haul my purchases home. I came away with lots of fodder for future instalments in my "reading about writing" series, and enough books by Neil Gunn, Alice Munro, and Muriel Spark to elevate each of them into my more-than-four-books-by-or-about pantheon.
Here’s a list of what I bought:
Kingsley Amis, Lucky Jim;
Sherwood Anderson, Winesburg, Ohio;
Melissa Bank, The Girl’s Guide to Hunting and Fishing;
Bruno Bettelheim, The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales;
Dorthea Brande, Becoming a Writer (Foreword by John Gardner);
Sophy Burnham, For Writers Only;
John Ciardi, How Does a Poem Mean?;
Clieshbotham the Younger, The Old Scots Tongue;
E.M. Forster, Aspects of the Novel;
Neil M. Gunn, Butcher’s Broom;
Neil M. Gunn, The Well at the World’s End;
Jill Krementz, The Writer’s Desk (Introduction by John Updike);
David Lodge, The Practice of Writing;
Milton Lomask, The Biographer’s Craft;
Alice Munro, Runaway;
Theodore Roethke, On the Poet and His Craft: Selected Prose of Theodore Roethke (edited with an introduction by Ralph J. Mills Jr.);
William Sloane, The Craft of Writing;
Muriel Spark, A Far Cry from Kensington;
Muriel Spark, The Girls of Slender Means;
Muriel Spark, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie;
Stephen Spender, The Making of a Poem.
A smashing success if the goal was to acquire many excellent and interesting books at extraordinarily low prices, a stupendous failure if the goal was to resist temptation with tight budget and overflowing bookshelves firmly in mind. I’m going to go with the former.