Book Haul 2013

Here I go again, the annual Book Sale at Crossroad Market, organized by the Servants Anonymous Society. It’s a worthy cause, therefore, guilt-free looting of good condition used books, over a million of them donated by citizens like me. But I must say, I haul back more than I donate over the years, for many of them I plan to keep.

Compared to the last few years, I’m a bit more restrained this time. Here are some of my loot, all trade paperbacks for just $2 each:

saplings-book-coverSaplings by Noel Streatfeild — I picked it up right away as soon as I saw the grey, minimalist book cover. Delighted to find inside is beautifully designed. Look at the photo I shot on the left. You can see both the dust cover and the inside of the book cover. This is my first Persephone Book, publisher of neglected women writers. I’ve not heard of the title or the author, but trust the London publisher’s choice, and glad to find it in such a mint condition at a used book sale, I quickly grabbed it.

Parade's End BBC Book Cover copyParade’s End by Ford Madox Ford — Truth be told, I’d never heard of FMF until I read Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast a couple of years ago. What a name. The only one I can think of along that line is… William Carlos Williams. Anyway, BBC’s adaptation of Parade’s End as a TV mini-series has added another name to my list of favorite actors: Benedict Cumberbatch (Again, ‘what a name.’) In these dry months in between seasons of Downton Abbey, Parade’s End makes one satisfying treat.

Villette by Charlotte BronteVillette by Charlotte Bronte — Here’s another reason for buying a book because of the publisher. I’m a collector of The Modern Library Classics. So finding this in the Classics section in the book sale was a pleasant surprise. A. S. Byatt offers her views in the intro. Other than Jane Eyre, I’ve not read anything else from Charlotte Bronte. Have you read this?

matisse-stories-a-s-byatt-paperback-cover-artThe Matisse Stories by A. S. Byatt — Three stories about three art works by Matisse. A beautiful little book. This from Goodread’s description: “These three stories celebrate the eye even as they reveal its unexpected proximity to the heart… the intimate connection between seeing and feeling…” My kind of stories.

City of GodCity of God by E. L. Doctorow — Some years ago, The New York Times called the film adaptations of Doctorow’s works ‘expensive failures’. Reason: his novels are ‘too cerebral’, ‘too lyrical’, ‘too writerly’ to be transposed into cinematic images. Got it. Whenever I’ve the time and in the mood for some cerebral challenges, I know what book to pick up. After all, I’ve long wanted to read Doctorow. The subject matter of City of God just may arouse interest to help me through the thickets of Biblical proportion.

Becoming George Sand copyBecoming George Sand by Rosalind Brackenbury — George Sand I’ve heard of, Frédéric Chopin’s lover, one of those female writers who had to adopt a male pseudonym in 19th C. society. The interesting part is the modern parallel of the story of a female French professor in Edinburgh. Author Brackenbury (due to my ignorance I’ve not heard of) graduated from Cambridge University (which I’ve heard of) and now Fellow of Creative Writing at the College of William and Mary (that good name I’ve also heard of) in Williamsburg, VA. Enticing enough.

Tell It to the TreesThe Hero’s Walk and Tell It To The Trees by Anita Rau Badami — A look at the book cover of Tell It to the Trees helps me get the idea… The Indian diaspora in cold, wintry Canada, and for that I find a linkage. Not that I’m from India, but close enough. I’m sure Anita Rau Badami has a lot more to tell than adjusting to the climate. Born in India, now living in Montreal, Rau Badami has in recent years emerged as a clear voice in Canada’s literary landscape.

Movie Love Book CoverMovie Love: Complete Reviews 1988-1991 by Pauline Kael — Roger Ebert in his memoir Life Itself acknowledged Pauline Kael (1919-2001) as his mentor and major influence. While Ebert got a Pulitzer for his movie criticism, Kael got a National Book Award. She had been praised for re-inventing the form and aesthetics of the genre of film critiques. Along with a dearth of female literary voices in film criticism like Susan Sontag (1933-2004), seems like such a species had become extinct nowadays. All the more to appreciate ‘a classic’.

Wonderful TownWonderful Town: New York Stories from The New Yorker, edited by David Remnick — A Modern Library edition compiling over forty short stories published in The New Yorker before 2000, since that’s the pub. date. Reading the Table of Content is like reading the Who’s Who of 20th C. literary scene… John Cheever, Irwin Shaw, Philip Roth, Jonathan Franzen, James Thurber, John Updike, Vladimir Nabokov, Jamaica Kincaid, J. D. Salinger, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Susan Sontag, Woody Allen, Jeffrey Eugenides, Bernard Malamud, E. B. White… just to name a few. Woody Allen? You gasped. But, why are you surprised?


I’m a keeper of lists. If you’re interested, here are my loots from previous years:






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If she’s not birding by the Pond, Arti’s likely watching a movie, reading, or writing a review. Creator of Ripple Effects, bylines in Asian American Press, Vague Visages, Curator Magazine.

23 thoughts on “Book Haul 2013”

  1. I have several of the collected New Yorker volumes and they are marvellous! But you have so much fantastic book loot here, Arti. I wish we had more book sales in the UK; they seem like very good things. Great prices and such a good cause.


    1. litlove,

      This Book Sale has established itself as our summer kick-off over the years, and it’s huge. I heard they have more than a million used books there. It’s a substantial support financially for a worthy cause. I’m glad I can participate. Glad to know too that the New Yorker short stories collection is a good one. Don’t know when I’ll have time to get to it though. 😉


    1. Diane,

      As my rationale in the past years, I’m just building my personal library. So… don’t know when I’ll get to reading my collections. 😉


  2. One day, I can imagine there will be an Arti’s Book Sale as you lighten your groaning shelves 😉 But judging from your previous lists, you *have* been restrained. I’d heard of the Persephone publishing name, but hadn’t realized what their specialty was. As usual, your list has me googling!


    1. nikkipolani,

      I’m new to Persephone too, albeit have come across it while visiting book bloggers. As for the groaning shelves, no worry… most of my TBR books are in boxes. Half a dozen of them. 😉


  3. Boy, if we’d been at that sale together there would have been a FIGHT! I think I would have wanted every single one of those! None of which I’ve read, by the way, but all sound fabulous! Matisse, Sand, Bronte, Kael, Remnick, Doctorow and PARADE’s END! You scored big, my dear! Yes, I can envision standing over the piles with you and bargaining — who wants it more? Oh, it could be ugly, with ladies from the Servants Anonymous Society (that’s a book title in itself) standing by, wondering if they’ll need to open the tear gas cannisters or if a simple rap on the knuckles with a melon baller will do it…

    You are in for ONE GOOD SUMMER of reading!


    1. Jeanie,

      O but then, we’ll have double the loot! If you were with me, we could be comrades in arms and haul back treasures to share with each other! It would be quite something really to have you with me…

      You know what, I did have an encounter like you imagined. A few years back, I noticed the book of Emma Thompson’s script Sense and Sensibility (with her annotations, photos, her GG winning speech, yes, that famous Jane Austen inspired speech), I was holding it in my hands looking at it, and then this woman beside me, short of grabbing it from me, said: “I’m a screenwriter… ” well, you can guess what she wanted to say after that, but she stopped short. Too bad for her, who said only screenwriters can read scripts, and… how did she know I wasn’t one? Ha… wannabe’s should all the more get it. 😉


  4. I seem to be very susceptible to actor’s voices: Benedict Cumberbatch is a very current weakness. I saw ‘Parade’s End’ and enjoyed it, but as I was very ill at the time, I’m wondering if I should give it another chance – seeing as I am relatively healthy now.

    Talk about dry months, I’ve been waiting nearly a year for the next season of Sherlock!!


    1. aubrey,

      Do you know Benedict Cumberbatch is in a major movie now on big screens everywhere? Yes, if that could alleviate some dryness, go see Star Trek: Into Darkness. He’s the best actor and has the best voice in there. All the others are like children playing.


  5. I wait for this post every year. It’s always a delight to witness your delight in your haul! There are several here that appeal to me, but I’d best just make do with what I already have stacked up on the shelves.

    I do love the description of your encounter with the “screenwriter”. I once saw my mother refuse to give up a sweater from a sale table. Oh, her competitive juices were flowing!


    1. Linda,

      Thanks for staying tuned for this. I was telling myself I must show a bit more restraints this year. But at the last mins. just couldn’t help myself. 😉


  6. I am back catching up again after our trips. I read your past entries and enjoyed them. I was especially waiting for your review on the movie the Great Gatsby which I have not seen yet, but now will try to watch. Your book selection looks great. I am afraid of going to book sales as we have so many unread books at home but I am always tempted to buy more above all when they are in French. While in San Francisco a couple of weeks ago we went to the famous City Lights Bookstore and Green Apple Books, but we only purchased 4 books.


    1. Yes, I know. I just can’t help myself with this annual book sale in our city. It’s so big, with over a million books of all diff. topics. But I just spent my time mostly in the Soft Cover Fictions. I’ve several boxes of TBR too… but the way I see it: I’m expanding my personal library. Whoever has read all the books in a library? 😉

      I have written a review on The Great Gatsby. You’re welcome to comment and share your view. I’d be really curious to know what you think.


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