January 8, 2011

$24-worth of 50-cent books!

So, here it is a wintery Saturday. Snow is falling, the roads are dicey, but first thing this morning we made our way to the library for the book sale. One of my favorite things ever. It's more like a book giveaway because most of the books are only 50 cents, and a few are marked $1 or $2 or $5...but still.

Want to hear what I bought for just under $24?


The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (c. 1925) (because it is the next book to be read in the book club I am in here in Athens)
  • My Brilliant Career by Miles Franklin (1980). Have you ever seen this movie? It was on TV years ago and I loved it. "Miles Franklin's irrepressible, exuberant story of a young woman's coming of age in turn-of-the-century Australia."

  • The Family of Man (c. 1955) "The greatest photographic exhibition of all time--503 pictures from 68 countries--created by Edward Steichen for The Museum of Modern Art." This will actually be my third copy of this book. I have one in the house already, and the one that I had years ago, in high school, was lost along the way of life... But this book deeply moved me as a teenager and I have never forgotten the strength of the human spirit evident in these black-and-white photographs. I learned a lot about life outside of my small town from studying these photos.
  • The Family of Children (c. 1977) I never even knew about this book! "Childhood around the world -- the greatest photographic collection ever made." It is dedicated to Edward Steichen and the design of the book is similar to the previous one, The Family of Man.


  • Her Fork in the Road: Women Celebrate Food and Travel edited by Lisa Bach (c. 2001) "Women's relationship with food is as nuanced as our most intriguing journeys: passionate and obsessive; embracing and comforting; complex and frustrating; even surprising. This savory sampling of stories journeys across borders and cultures to the heart of this age-old relationship--from familiar kitchens to the globe's far reaches. (Yes, for only $1!)


  • Eyewitness Travel Guides: France. I love Eyewitness books and can't pass up their wonderful descriptions and photos. I'm all set now to go to France!


  • Anonymous was a Woman by Mirra Bank: (c. 1979) "A celebration in words and images of traditional American art--and the women who made it." (I do hope the library has a copy of this in their collection! I hate to think they sold their only copy of it!)


  • Thread of Life: The Smithsonian Looks at Evolution by Roger Lewin (hardcover, c. 1982). This will be helpful for me if I ever take the time to work on my novel about a fantastic world.

  • While My Sister Sleeps by Barbara Delinsky (c. 2009)

  • Klimt by Gilles Neret (c. 2000) A beautiful slim hardcover book.

  • Open House by Elizabeth Berg (c. 2000) One of my favorite writers and now I have this in hardcover.

  • Body Surfing by Anita Shreve (c. 2007)



  • Dreamers of the Day by Mary Doria Russell (c. 2008) "Maria Doria Russell illuminates the long, rich history of the Middle East with a story that brilliantly elucidates today's headlines."
  • Songs without Words by Ann Packer (c. 2007) I ran Packer's The Dive from Clausen's Pier and it was very good.

  • Here on Earth by Alice Hoffman (c. 1997) Oprah's Book Club pick

  • The Best American Nonrequired Reading edited by Dave Eggers (c. 2005) If Dave Eggers' name is on it, it's got to be good!


  • The Solitude of Prime Numbers by Paulo Giordano (c. 2010 American edition) Lots of great reviews noted on the back of this book. And only $1.00! Who didn't hold onto this baby and treasure it?

  • Fabric Gardens: An International Exhibition of Quilts at Expo '90. The first book in my library written in Japanese and English. Full of beautiful photos! I may give this one away to a quilter...


  • Terrariums & Miniature Gardens by Sunset Books/Magazines (c. 1973) This is a pretty old book, but I doubt setting up a terrarium has changed all that much. I've always loved them and would like to make a few this summer, since gardening is pretty much off-limits for me with my bee-sting allergy.

  • Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah (c. 2010). I'd seen this one in a catalog and wanted to get it, now I have for only $2! I may start reading it today!



  • The River King by Alice Hoffman (c.2000). I have never read Alice Hoffman. Can you believe it?

  • Stealing Buddha's Dinner: A Memoir by Bich Min Nguyen. (c. 2007) "Beginning with her family's harrowing migration out of Saigon in 1975, Stealing Buddha's Dinner follows Bich Nguyen as she comes of age in the pre-PC-era Midwest. Filled with a rapacious hunger for American identity, Nguyen's desire to belong transmutes into a passion for American food..." I love books that teach me about other cultures while entertaining me. This book is a slim paperback, A Penguin Book Memoir, sold for $15.00. I got it for $1.00. It looks brand new!

  • Design Essentials (c. 1992) A bit outdated for a software book, but it's in color and I need to learn more about Illustrator; I'm sure there are techniques I haven't tried yet!
  • American Sketches: Great Leaders, Creative Thinkers, and Heroes of a Hurricane by Walter Isaacson (c. 2009) I'm really looking forward to reading this.


Well, that does it. Pretty good for $24 and some change, wasn't it? I only wish you could have gone to the sale with us, and then we could have looked at each other's books at the table at the Village Bakery while eating Esmeralda Salad and drinking mango soda, then topping it all off with apricot bars.

Have a great weekend,

Janice Phelps Williams

http://www.appalachianmorning.blogspot.com/

5 comments:

Mark V. Williams said...

You stretched your dollar better than I did, but I still found some treasures all for only sixteen dollars: (1) “The Thesaurus of Slang,” Esther Lewin and Albert E. Lewin, Editors (this one alone was 10 bucks, which was still a deal); (2) “The City in Slang—New York Life and Popular Speech,” by Irving Lewis Allen; (3) “Sleuths Inc.—Studies of Problem Solvers, Doyle, Simenon, Hammett, Ambler, Chandler,” by Hugh Eames; and (4) “The Genius of John Ruskin—Selections from His Writings,” Edited by John D. Rosenberg.

Katherine Ziff said...

No way so many fabulous books for only $24!! What fun!

Melissa Kline said...

Ooohhh, I LOVE book sales & swaps! We have a few great ones throughout the year here in Denver and I've even been to some out of state. I hosted my own book swap with the RMWW this past year. Looks like you got some awesome books! Anonymous Was A Woman sounds very interesting and the Terrariums and Miniature Gardens...I'm jealous! Just got a really neat tiny terrarium for xmas and I've been thinking of making more. You'll have to let me know if the book is worth checking out.

Great idea posting these finds. You've inspired me to create a post of my own treasures the next time I go book rummaging.

Enjoy your books and the snow! :)

February Grace said...

What an incredible list of finds! You came home with quite a lot of treasure.

Makes me think of the day that they had the entire Paddington series (at the time) at my school book fair when I was in the third grade. I still remember being so happy I had enough allowance saved up to buy them that my heart was pounding with excitement as I added up the cost. I still have them and seeing them always makes me smile. Love this post!

Janice Phelps Williams said...

Thank you, all, for your comments. I have always loved used-book sales. When I was high school, maybe 9th grade, I remember my father dropped me off at a church having a big used book sale. It was huge, and my first time at such a thing. When he came back for me at the specified time, I was waiting on the sidewalk with 3 big cardboard boxes full of books. I'll never forget his surprise! I had books ranging from fiction to a big set of hardcover, embossed cover, over-size books on music (opera, voice lessons, etc.), and a big book that had fake newspaper pages in it from the Old Testament. Every used-book sale I went to from that point on was measured against that first sale.

February, I wish I could find a complete set of the tiny books in a box that included "Chicken Soup with Rice" and also a tiny book about a boy that said "I don't care!" all the time. I have one of the books still, but the other three and the box disappeared along life's way.

I'm so glad our Athens Library holds these sales. It seems they are about ever three months, and always well attended. I have a box on wheels (Staples, $17) that I keep in my car at all times, and it works well for book sales, garage sales, and carting Bryce's things in and out of his place.

Mark and I were astounded to see one woman carefully looking at all the books yesterday and leaving with nothing! How can a person do that?

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