As anticipated, I arrived home from my travels with a stack of new books. I had only a very small suitcase to convey them home in, so I restrained myself somewhat. Still, I managed to acquire some treasures.
Paul Auster’s Hand to Mouth: A Chronicle of Early Failure: This one seemed a fine addition to my rapidly expanding Auster collection. I wanted to read it because it focuses on Auster's early years as a struggling writer and I'm interested in his writing process. I wanted to own it because of the marvellous Sam Messer painting of Auster's typewriter that appears on the cover.
Anatole Broyard’s Kafka Was All the Rage: A Greenwich Village Memoir: I bought a copy of this book a number years ago because of my fascination with the time and place it details, but I gave it to a friend before I had a chance to read it. I wasn't going to pass it up a second time.
Terry Eagleton's How to Read a Poem: Eagleton on the virtues of the close reading of poems—how could I resist?
Michael Holroyd’s Works on Paper: The Craft of Biography and Autobiography: So long as I'm on a biography bender, a few essays on the craft by an accomplished biographer struck me as excellent supplementary reading. Plus it was selling for a song on the remainder table.
Kelly Link’s Magic For Beginners: I've been hearing great things about this short story collection for some time on various blogs but I hadn't yet come upon it on the shelves of a bookstore. When I spied it, I snapped it up immediately.
Virginia Woolf’s The London Scene: Six Essays on London Life: I think this is my favourite of this round of purchases. I'm a huge fan of Virginia Woolf's essays but I had not previously encountered these ones. They were written as a series for Good Housekeeping in the early 1930s but they have only recently been collected together in a single volume. It's a small book, beautifully designed, with a vivid cover painting of Hyde Park which dates from the same period as the essays, and the very nice finishing touch of map of London endpapers.
Needless to say, I arrived home feeling very pleased with my purchases.