Delenda Est Carthago

Why not delve into a twisted mind? Thoughts on the world, history, politics, entertainment, comics, and why all shall call me master!

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

I plan on being the supreme dictator of the country, if not the world. Therefore, you might want to stay on my good side. Just a hint: ABBA rules!


Book sale!

This weekend was the VNSA book sale at the Arizona State Fairgrounds, and this year Krys and I went to it after securing a babysitter for the kids. We went two years ago, but we had Mia with us and Krys was pregnant, so it wasn't quite as much fun. This time we were unfettered! It's a very cool sale, because it's a charity event, and the books are way cheap. This year the weather was much nicer than it was two years ago, and we actually had to wait in line. They were only letting a certain number of people into the building every fifteen minutes because the fire department didn't want the place to be packed, so we stood in line for 45 minutes until we reached our destination. Then it was time to shop!

We took 100 dollars in cash and tried to not spend any more than that. They take debit cards, so we could have bought more, but we try to limit ourselves. We split up and dug around for an hour. Finally, we were done, and we got back together. Here's our haul:

(Books marked with an asterisk are those picked up by Krys.)
1. * Daughter of Fortune (1999) by Isabel Allende. I actually bought a book by Allende, so I'm not adverse to her, but this story about a Chilean refugee in 1850s California doesn't sound like it's for me.

2. Eight Men Out (1963) by Eliot Asinof. The story of the 1919 Chicago White Sox who threw the World Series. I still haven't seen the movie, even though John Sayles made it. What the hell is wrong with me?

3. * Oryx and Crake (2003) by Margaret Atwood. I found this and gave it to Krys because I thought she'd like it. Later, when we compared what we had gotten, she had picked it up again, and I had to point out that I had already given it to her.

4. * Jack Maggs (1997) by Peter Carey. Carey wrote Oscar and Lucinda, if you're familiar with the movie. This looks kind of cool - a stranger roaming the streets of London in 1837 getting in all kinds of trouble.

5. * The Virgin Blue (1997) by Tracy Chevalier. After the success of Girl With a Pearl Earring, this got an American release. It was written before that book, so I guess the publisher figured it was time to capitalize on Chevalier's popularity!

6. * Killing Floor (1997) by Lee Child. People magazine called this a "page-turner," so you know it must be good!

7. * The Archivist (1998) by Martha Cooley. This novel involves a mystery about T. S. Eliot's private letters, and since Eliot is my favorite poet, I'll probably read this.

8. * The Bondwoman's Narrative (2002) by Hannah Crafts. According to the back cover, this is the only known novel written by a female slave. Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of interest in that. But I bet Krys will like it.

9. Prague in Black and Gold: Scenes from the Life of a European City (1997) by Peter Demetz. Prague is cool. I have a recent interest in Eastern European history, so this should fit in well.

10. * The Black Dahlia (1987) by James Ellroy. I'd like to read this too, so good call, Krys!

11. A Great and Noble Scheme: The Tragic Story of the Expulsion of the French Acadians from Their American Homeland (2005) by John Mack Faragher. One of the cool things about massive book sales is that you can get books you have wanted but weren't so jazzed by them that you wanted to pay full price. This book falls into that category. I was on the fence about it, but for six dollars, you can't go wrong!

12. A Treasury of Great American Scandals (2003) by Michael Farquhar. Who doesn't love political scandals?????

13. The Sound and the Fury (1929) by William Faulkner. Another thing these sales are good for: buying classic literature that, for one reason or another, you've never gotten around to reading. Yes, I am woefully remiss in the classics, including Faulkner.

14. What's the Matter With Kansas? How Conservatives Won the Heart of America (2004) by Thomas Frank. According to Republicans, there's nothing wrong with Kansas!

15. * Sophie's World (1991) by Jostein Gaarder. A novel about the history of philosophy? How can you go wrong?

16. The Arcanum (1998) by Janet Gleeson. A history about the alchemist who accidentally discovered how to make porcelain. Alchemists are awesome.

17. Pompeii (2003) by Robert Harris. Both Krys and I liked Fatherland, and we both picked this up to buy. That's why we're made for each other!

18. God Knows (1984) by Joseph Heller. I read this years ago when I got it out of the library while I was in high school and liked it a lot, so I figured I'll buy it. Why not? It's a nice book about King David looking back on his life.

19. The Mulberry Empire (2002) by Philip Hensher. This is a novel about the British excursion into Afghanistan in 1839-1842. Sounds cool.

20. * The Love of Stones (2001) by Tobias Hill. The back cover doesn't really say much about it, but the front cover has Queen Elizabeth on it. Apparently it's a story about searching for jewels. I'll have to ask Krys if it's worth it.

21. * The Dress Lodger (2000) by Sheri Holman. This is a novel about a 15-year-old girl in 1831 London. Sounds intriguing, if distinctly chick-lit-ish.

22. The Know-It-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World (2004) by A. J. Jacobs. Here's another book that intrigued me, but I never wanted to pay full price. But it was four dollars. Sold!

23. Dark Matter (2002) by Philip Kerr. Sir Isaac Newton has to solve a murder in late 17th-century London? Sounds cool to me!

24. Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling (2003) by Ross King. It's all there in the title!

25. A Conspiracy of Paper (2000) by David Liss. This is a novel about a conspiracy in the London stock market in the 18th century. Both Krys and I picked it up, so you know it has to be good!

26. * The Missing World (2000) by Margot Livesey. A woman gets amnesia after a traffic accident, and her boyfriend, whom she was about to leave, decides to reconstruct her life without that little detail. Sounds neat. I'll have to check with Krys to see if it's any good.

27. The Biograph Girl (2000) by William J. Mann. This is a novel about a very early Hollywood star who supposedly died in 1938 but may be alive decades later. It promises to be a look at old Hollywood, which is kind of neat.

28. * April Blood: Florence and the Plot Against the Medici (2003) by Lauro Martines. The Medicis were pretty darned neat, so I might have to read this as well.

29. * Song of Solomon (1977) by Toni Morrison. The only Morrison book I've ever read is Beloved, and although it's not bad, it didn't make me want to read another. Krys swears by this book, so I'll have to read it some day. She bought two copies of this, one to give to her best friend (who was in town yesterday, so Krys got to spend the morning at the book sale and the rest of the day hanging out with her, leaving me stuck with the kids!) and another to give to her sister.

30. Operatives, Spies, and Saboteurs: The Unknown Story of the Men and Women of WWII's OSS (2004) by Patrick K. O'Donnell. I've always been keen to read more about the OSS. Now I can!

31. Frankenstein (1818) by Mary Shelley. No, I've never read it. Stop looking at me like that!

32. The Notorious Life of Gyp, Right-Wing Anarchist in Fin-de-Siècle France (1995) by Willa Z. Silverman. How can you not love a right-wing anarchist????

33. * Saving Fish From Drowning (2005) by Amy Tan. I've never been interesting in Tan's books, but this one, about a tourist expedition in Burma that goes horribly wrong, sounds keen.

34. * The Devil Wears Prada (2003) by Lauren Weisberger. The girls who checked our books when we were leaving (who couldn't have been more than 18 or 19) assured Krys that the movie is the best ever. Now that's an endorsement!

We also bought four children's books for the, well, children. So all in all, we bought 39 books (two copies of Song of Solomon). All of this cost us ... $99.80. We were very impressed with ourselves, because we weren't even counting up the costs as we shopped. So it was a very good excursion.

Of course, when you consider that I have books from the sale two years ago that I haven't yet read, and when you consider I'm getting close to 300 books that I haven't read, perhaps I should slow down a little. But I don't care - I love me some books!

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Blogger Roxy said...

We cleaned up last year at that sale and I'm sorry we're not able to go this year. Sounds like you hauled in some good ones.

Sophie's World got me through Freshman philosophy. Very interesting book - simply states theories in a logical manner.

And you never read Frankenstein? Who the hell do you think you are? Certainly not an English teacher.

12/2/07 12:26 PM  
Blogger EM said...

I love book sales! What fun!

I'm showing Keith the part about the 300 unread books. He's starting to give me dirty looks about my ever-growing pile(s) of unread stuff.

19/2/07 6:34 PM  

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