Saturday, September 24, 2011

I may have gotten carried away at the book sale today...


The only authors whose books I was specifically looking for were Louis Auchincloss (a lawyer-writer about whose work I intend to write a paper) and Charles de Lint (a fantasy writer whose novels and short stories about the fictional city of Newford I’ve recently fallen head-over-heels for), and I did well on both counts: The House of the Prophet and Fellow Passengers by the former; and Tapping the Dream Tree, Muse and Reverie, and Spirits in the Wires by the latter.




While I was searching the “A” section for Auchincloss, I stumbled upon a pair of Chinua Achebe novels of which I already own copies, Things Fall Apart and No Longer at Ease, but how could I resist a matched set of classic paperback Penguin editions?



Then I found my way to the literary criticism and biography section and I was done for. Because, the thing I enjoy most about big second hand book sales is stumbling upon obscure works of literary criticism, and difficult-to-find copies or cool editions of books by or about writers that I already love or that I’m curious to know more about. I picked up a ridiculous number of books during a lengthy browse but, after persuading myself to relinquish two-thirds of them, these are the ones that I actually bought and brought home:

Oscar Wilde, De Profundis (for my research on writers’ trials);

A.B. McKillop, The Spinster & The Prophet (another story of a literary trial, this one about a 1925 plagiarism suit brought against H.G. Wells by Canadian scholar Florence Deeks);

Hazel Holt, A Lot to Ask: A Life of Barbara Pym (Barbara Pym!);

Flannery O’Connor, The Habit of Being (her much-lauded letters);

Donald Stevens, Bliss Carman (Carman shared a U.S. publisher with L.M. Montgomery⎯the nefarious Lewis Page⎯, so I’ve been reading about him for a bit more context); and,

Surviving: The Uncollected Writings of Henry Green (it’s always exciting to come across anything by Henry Green!).



All in all, not a bad day’s work.

21 comments:

Thomas at My Porch said...

You were so right to get the Hazel Holt book on Barbara Pym. I have the same edition and thought it was a great way to learn more about Pym.

K. Robinson said...

My last blog post about the Achebe lawsuit might be of interest --I think it's more than absurd. Good bookstore haul, BTW!

jenclair said...

I LOVE The Habit of Being! Flannery O'Connor had such wonderful correspondence!

Kerry said...

I am so jealous of the Pym bio. I thought I was being so clever avoiding the extra browsing...

kc said...

Hardbounds are so beautiful, aren't they? Happy reading. I can't wait for your reviews on the Achebes...I've been wanting to read him for awhile now.

Morten said...

I know everything about being carried away in that sense. Its magical! :-)

Kailana said...

Just the Charles de Lint books are so worth it! I haven't read Tapping the Dream Tree yet, but the other two were good.

Suko said...

Kate, you made out like a bandit. You have some classics here. Happy reading!

Helen Gunnarsson said...

What a great haul--I particularly like the Achebe pair! Here's what bugs me about Auchincloss: his narrators all sound a bit stilted and the same, whether male or female. In other respects, I enjoy his books quite a bit.

Literary Kitty said...

The Achebes are beautiful! I wouldn't have been able to resist them either if I'd seen them....

I guess that's why the books are wedged so tight on my shelves these days that it's hard to get them out to read!

Krystal said...

I just came across your blog and I'm so glad because I'm always looking for something good to read! Yay.

-your newest follower
http://krystallitt.blogspot.com

Melwyk said...

A Pym bio! Also jealous here... I think you'll like The Spinster & the Prophet (though you might want Wells' time machine when you're through, just so you can go back in time and kick him in the ***)

Susan Bennett said...

I couldn't stand De Profundis. No doubt poor old Oscan was suffering but there was nothing very profound about it.

Ania Szado said...

Oh, the covers! Fabulous.

AK Alexander said...

Oh, I love Achebes books! Specially Things Fall Apart. In my english class we discussed the complete book and I thought it was so interesting and wonderful. (not the sad parts, but the symbolism and themes and looking into the deeper meaning of the books)
http://akalex.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

I know the feeling. I buy many books every week.I have come to the conclusion that I am a BOOKAHOLIC but I do not want to be cured. lol

Cozy in Texas said...

Looks like I need to add more to my TBR pile. Thanks for posting.
Ann

Green Mushroom said...

Last book sale I went was the same thing, the public library was selling books for 1 dollar each...I end up carrying a box full of books home :) I was so happy with them!

Mike said...

Thanks so much, great post yet again!

Shelley said...

And that's why bookstores/booksales are better than Amazon.

Marianne said...

I always get carried away at book sales. I think any reader can understand that kind of "problem" very well. ;-)