I’m so lucky to have such a wonderful family. Even though the holidays were really hard this year because of my Papa’s health, it was still wonderful to take the week with my fiance to see all my family and so many friends back in Portland. I miss them already.
For Christmas, my family does a holiday gift exchange–a “stocking” filled to the brim with goodies of various sizes. My Papa had my stocking this year, but since he wasn’t able to go shopping my Nana took it over. She and my mom and my aunt apparently all had way too much fun at Macy’s on Black Friday and I received a ton of Fiestaware (which is the china/dishware that I was going to ask people to get us for our wedding) in all different colors. And along with my many colored dishes, I was given a ton of used books. Basically the best Christmas ever.
Some of these I actually picked up for myself and then they were added into my stocking (that would be the top three). This is because when I volunteer at the Mini Monday book sale for my Friends of the Library I’m constantly around used books. I really enjoyed E. Annie Proulx when I read her last year, and I liked Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake, and the other book just caught my eye.
My mom picked up the rest of the books for me–like me she has a thing for used books. She knows I love to collect older editions of Shakespeare, and a little birdy (aka me) let her know that I wanted a copy of Anne Frank’s Diary and hadn’t read anything by D.H. Lawrence (though I own a copy of Women in Love).
She also got me some movie star biographies/autobiographies, since I love to read about Hollywood–including Cary Elwes’ book, which I was very, very excited about. I also received Wicked and Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility, which I didn’t have copies of before, and a new (to me) Margaret Atwood book. So much fun!
I’m so excited to get reading! Did you receive a book you really wanted for the holidays? Let me know in the comments!
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature brought to you by the Broke and the Bookish.
This week’s topic is books that you picked up on a whim. I’m no stranger to buying books just-because. In fact that might be the only time I buy books. I don’t usually go looking for particular books, even if it turns out I find ones I’m looking for, and I don’t usually set out to buy them. I was trying to think how to narrow this post down (books I’ve bought on a whim at Costco? B&N? a bookstore closing? used bookstores?), when I realized I hadn’t shared my latest used book haul with you.
A couple weeks ago, I dropped my fiance off to hang out with his friend. They played a day’s worth of video games and had a great time, but fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you want to look at it) for me, his friend lives basically across the street from the local library. That’s basically a dream come true for me–within walking distance of both a post office AND the library!
Anyway, the Friends of the Library (I’m not sure this is their official designation, but this is what it’s called in my hometown) were putting on a book sale. And I figured I’d be safe with a $10 limit. But I ended up walking out of there with a box of books and spending twice my budget. That’s right, 24 books for $20. I wasn’t complaining. They had a pretty great selection of classics along with some fun older books and a good choice (at least a table worth) of every other genre.
Here’s what I got:
- An anthology of Great Short Novels–just because.
- One With Others by CD Wright–She just passed away not too long ago, and I’ve been wanting to pick up another one of her books.
- Shadow of the Night by Deborah Harkness–I’ll have a post on this series up soon, but I bought the second one in the series for my mom. I bought her the first and third books as a mother’s day present.
- Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides–I’ve heard a lot of great things about this book
- Shakespeare’s Sonnets–I sort of have a weak spot for old collections of the sonnets; I buy them whenever I see them for a good price.
- Selected Poems of T.S. Eliot—you can never have too many books of poetry.
- Ethan Frome by George Eliot–I read Middlemarch and The Lifted Veil last year and really enjoyed them, so I figured more Eliot never hurt anyone.
- A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft–early feminist writing deserves a place on everyone’s bookshelf.
- The Standard Book of British and American Verse–I also collect poetry anthologies, as long as I recognize the name of at least one of the included poets.
- Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes–I loved this book when I read it in high school, and I thought it might be something I’d actually reread or force on others.
- Elements of Electricity—This one was for my fiance. I something buy him old electrical engineering textbooks for kicks. I don’t think he thinks they’re as cool as I do, but he appreciates the thought.
- Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut. Jr.–For my brother. My mom wants to get a bunch of Vonnegut books for him (I have all the old ones from my grandmother’s collection, but she’s worried they wouldn’t be returned in great shape).
- The Book of Lights by Chaim Potok–I’ve read his most famous work, so I thought I’d try another.
- Arabian Jazz by Diana Abu-Jaber—I checked this book out over a year ago when I was still living in Corvallis and I never got a chance to read it.
- Ragnarok by AS Byatt—I loved Possession, which I read last year, so I figured why not?
- The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory—This is what my book club is reading this month. I won’t make it to the meeting, but I’m still reading the book.
- Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden—I absolutely loved this book (and I really enjoyed the film), and I’ve been wanting to return to it for a while.
- Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw—I actually was surprised I didn’t already own a copy of this play (I think I had a copy of his entire works at one point). I actually wrote an essay on it in college comparing it to Ovid’s myth of the same name.
- Sorcery and Cecelia by Wrede and Stevermer—Another old love—this book reminds me of my childhood. I couldn’t wait to crack it open again (I’m actually rereading it right now)
- Emma by Jane Austen—I don’t know what happened to my old copy.
- Night by Elie Wiesel—Another book I want to own because I think it’s important and because I like to push literature on people.
- Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray—I’ve only seen the movie (which I really like).
- Silas Marner by George Eliot—more Eliot.
- Adam Bede by George Eliot—ditto.
When was the last time you bought a book or books on a whim? Let me know in the comments.