Thursday, February 5, 2009

Thrifty Thursday

I always read your book blogs at the start of each week with great anticipation! I can't wait to hear what you have received on "Mailbox Mondays" Since I haven't bought books online for a while, I don't participate in contests and giveaways (I'm not sure why - perhaps it is because I don't want to face the rejection of not winning?) and I am not a part of the ARC reviewers (it took me a while to realize that this had nothing to do with Noah and the Great Flood), I rarely have books in my mailbox. Today, however, I decided to give myself a $20 bill and visit the local used book store. I love the alliteration aspect of Mailbox Monday - Wednesday Words - Friday Finds, I decided to call today's post "Thrifty Thursday" (it will by no means become a weekly meme, however).

Well, there is nothing like finding a book bargain to help me out of a funky mood - and I am definitely in better spirits this evening. For those who might be interested, let me share my finds. While there was no particular theme to this purchase, I did intentionally pick a few books that are outside my comfort zone for the sheer reason that I want to challenge myself. As I have posted before, Science Fiction is just NOT my genre. I am a realist (actually a pessimist, but we prefer to call ourselves realists as it sounds more positive) --- and the concept of stories taking place in other "fantastic" worlds just does not compute with me. However, after reading Susan's post last week, I have decided that I am probably missing out on a lot and I need to give this genre another valiant effort. Well, as luck would have it, the first book that I happened upon in the clearance section was the Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. I have not been in the book blogging world long, but I have read enough blogs to know that this book is a definite favorite. I think Becky (whom I greatly appreciate her literary tastes, skills and analysis) reads this book once a year. When I saw the price was only one dollar - I snatched it up without hesitation. I will probably not read this soon, but I WILL read it.

I have also seen the movie trailers and read some recent book reviews for Cornelia Funke's Inkheart. While this would be considered science fiction -- I am quite intrigued by the plot: as a father reads his child stories, the characters come to life. While this is by no means "realistic" -- I could see where this might be a dream for bibliophiles - and for that reason alone I want to read it. I have heard that some find this first book a bit slow at times. My usual reaction would be to just stop reading the book and determine that it "is just not right for me." In an effort to challenge myself, I vow to complete the book - and if that means skimming through the long parts, well, so be it (I HATE to skim novels! I know authors pour over each and every word, and I feel I owe them the courtesy of reading each and every word. I will try to work through the guilt).

A third book that I purchased in this genre is Jasper Fforde's The Eyre Affair. I was enticed to try this book once before - for the same reason as stated before. The premise of this book, as I understand it, is that characters are actually missing in the stories and the detective, Thursday Next, needs to try to find them. Fascinating idea to me. The first time I tried reading the book I experimented with the audio version. Poor choice. My mind would do its wondering thing (as it is always prone to do with anything auditory in nature) and I would only be jolted back into the story when the protagonist would be slightly irritated and shout "sh--" Now I am sure that the cussing is probably at a minimum in the book - and I can easily overlook it. But in an audio version, that seemed to be the only words that I focused on. Hopefully the written version will better suit my tastes.

Other books that I found in the bargain section included Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky and an Oxford Anthology collection of Victorian Ghost stories. I have wanted to read Suite Francaise for quite a while now, and I was thrilled to find it in my price range. The ghost story book was definitely an impulse purchase - but for only one dollar and with stories written by Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Gaskell, Wilkie Collins, Mary Elizabeth Braddon, and Henry James (just to name a few) I simply could not resist.

The remaining books have actually been on my "to buy list" for quite some time and I decided to go ahead and take the plunge. While historical fiction has never attracted my attention before (it is not that I am opposed to reading it, I have just never taken the time to do so), I did download a sample of The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory over Christmas break and found it to be rather entertaining. I succumbed to the temptation to buy it today. Again, this book will probably not be read in the near future, but I know that I will enjoy having it on my bookshelf when the mood hits me.

The final book purchase was the 3rd book in the Fitzwilliam Darcy series by Pamela Aidan - These Three Remain. I had purchased the other two volumes quite a while ago, and was thrilled to be able to complete the set in an affordable way. It is my desire to take some time this summer and read all of Jane Austen's novels - and then to read this series at the conclusion. I would not consider myself a Janeite (at least not yet), but the more I read her works, the more enthralled I am with her eloquent writing and satiric wit.

So there you have - the cure for the blahs: take a $20 dollar bill and spend two hours in the thrifty bookstore. You will exit the store in better spirits and arrive at home with a smile on your face. do I find more time in my day to read these wonderful finds? I am serious. I would really love to hear how you make/find the time to read something fun and enjoyable just for you? If you have any words of wisdom, please post and enlighten me :)


  1. Wow! You did great with $20. I can't wait to see what you think of Inkheart. You should enter contests - it's so much fun when you win.

  2. Yes, it is so much fun when you win that you won't mind that you actually lose a lot. Really! lol

    And aren't used bookstore great? So many books that just need a good home.

  3. You did really well. I don't read science fiction or fantasy myself but I read Ender's Game at my son's request and enjoyed it.
    As for time to read, don't watch television. Trust me, the news will be the same, the weather will be what it's going to be, and the people and programs will be the same (in essence) after you haven't watched in a while and go back. Read instead, it's a lot more fun.

  4. wow thats some haul of books!
    The only one I've read is Inkheart. I love that whole series of books! As enjoyable as the movie was the book, of course, is much better but now when I reread it I have some faces for the characters! (I've already read the books twice. Once over a year ago and again just before the release of the third book) I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

  5. I'd say that was $20 well spent - glad you're feeling better! I loved Suite Francaise and found The Other Boleyn Girl to be a page turner. Daughter #1 liked The Eyre Affair so much that she went on to read his others.

  6. Good job!! And you got some great books.

  7. I would love to hear how you liked the Oxford anthology of Victorian ghost stories--I ordered it from an Amazon seller before Xmas but it never arrived. I love Victorian ghost stories, and want to read more.

    You can't go wrong with Pamela Aidan's trilogy--I read it first when she was still posting it on Austen fanfic sites, so I've been a huge fan of hers for about 10 years now.

    Eyre Affair was a novelty and a fun read, but I tried the followup book and gave up after a chapter or two.

    Phillipa Gregory's Tudor novels are easy to read and compelling--she plays fast and loose with historical fact, but she tells a heck-of-a story.

    How do I find time to read when I work, write, parent three teenagers, etc. Well, there are a lot of things I don't do--I rarely shop or talk on the phone or go to movies or watch much TV. I tend to keep my hobbies to seasonal (garden in summer, quilt in winter), but I always make time to read and take books with my to dr appts, especially. I read while waiting for kids. I listen to books on CD too. Reading has always been a huge priority for me.

  8. I recently saw your post about reading Irène Némirovsky's Suite Française. I wanted to pass along some information on an exciting new exhibition about Némirovsky's life, work, and legacy at the Museum of Jewish Heritage —A Living Memorial to the Holocaust in New York City. Woman of Letters: Irène Némirovsky and Suite Française, which will run through the middle of March, will include powerful rare artifacts — the actual handwritten manuscript for Suite Française, the valise in which it was found, and many personal papers and family photos. The majority of these documents and artifacts have never been outside of France. For fans of her work, this exhibition is an opportunity to really “get to know” Irene. And for those who can’t visit, there will be a special website that will live on the Museum’s site

    The Museum will host several public programs over the course of the exhibition’s run that will put Némirovsky’s work and life into historical and literary context. Book clubs and groups are invited to the Museum for tours and discussions in the exhibition’s adjacent Salon (by appointment). It is the Museum’s hope that the exhibit will engage visitors and promote dialogue about this extraordinary writer and the complex time in which she lived and died. To book a group tour, please contact Chris Lopez at 646.437.4304 or Please visit our website at for up-to-date information about upcoming public programs or to join our e-bulletin list.

    Thanks for sharing this info with your readers. If you need any more, please do not hesitate to contact me at

  9. Wow! You did good! This is a great site--I'm glad I found it! I've read Ender's Game, Inkheart, and Suite Francaise. All very different but pretty good.


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