Thursday, April 8, 2010

Recent Book Acquisitions

There was quite a bit of interest in my recent book adoption program, so I thought I would write a quick summary post.

I have come to learn that if I don't GO to the store, then I won't be able to buy (duh!).  So, I haven't necessarily put myself on a book buying ban, but I have limited myself to the number of trips that I am allowed to take to the local thrift stores until after my summer school course (and then WATCH OUT!!)

Here is the list of recent adoptions (I prefer to think of it as me giving the book a new home rather than making a purchase); most of them were purchased during the month of March.  The vast majority of them were found on the clearance shelves and cost about $2.00; others were purchased at the recent coupon sale:
  • Creating a Charmed Life by Victoria Moran (I remember that Jenners gave very favorable reviews for this book, so when I saw it on the shelf I simply could not resist)
  • French Lessons by Alice Kaplan (this book was required for a memoir course offered last summer which I did not take, but several recommended.  Since I was a French major, they thought this would be a great book for me)
  • Back When We Were Grownups by Anne Tyler
  • Breathing Lessons by Anne Tyler (I did not have a chance to finish Noah's Compass before it was due to the library, but I thoroughly enjoyed the chapters that I read.  When I saw these two books by the author I decided to take chance and hope they are as good)
  • The Intellectual Devotional by Kidder & Oppenheim (who could resist the subtitle:  Revive your Mind, Complete your Education, and Roam confidently with the Cultured Class)
  • American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld (I read favorable reviews of this book last year and even managed to enjoy the first couple of chapters while waiting at a bookstore.)
  • The Somnambulist by Jonathan  Barnes (this has been on my TBR list for years.  I remember the author was a guest on the Barnes and Noble book club website and after following the conversation, I knew that this would be a book that I would enjoy)
  • The Lumby Lines by Gail Fraser (this book is making the rounds lately - most notable Wendy and Margo mentioned it on their blogs)
  • The Likeness by Tana French (I actually purchased her first book, In the Woods, from the clearance shelf a few months ago.  Someday I will read them - I promise!)
  • The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister (I read this book and enjoyed it - but when I found this hardcover book in pristine condition for $2.00 --- I simply could not resist)
  • Writer's Guide to Character Traits by Linda Edelstein (a student of mine saw this in the local bookstore and recommended it to me.  When I saw it available at Half Price - I knew that it was meant to be.  Actually, I am planning to start a school "writing library" - so this book will serve double duty)
  • Lost by Gregory Maguire (I wasn't a fan of the book Wicked - although I love the premise and can't get enough of the musical.  I would love to try another Maguire book to see if perhaps I like it any better)
  • The Unauthorized Harry Potter Companion by Colin Duriez (I took a hiatus from my exercise plan - but I do plan to start up soon and with that will be the continuation of the Harry Potter audiobooks.  Since my mind doesn't seem to retain facts as well as it used to - I thought this book might help me keep track of all the useful information across the seven volumes)
  • The Annotated Mona Lisa by Carol Strickland (I actually read this book from the library about 3 years ago before I went to Paris.  I have never learned how to appreciate art, but it is definitely a skill I would like to hone over time.  This book is simple, condense, but informative and I look forward to re-rereading it before I head to Europe this summer)
  • Better Picture Guide to Travel Photography by Michael Busselle (not pictured - but discussed on a previous post.  I would like to learn to compose a nice picture before I leave for Oxford in the hopes of coming back with photos that others will actually want to view)
  • Travel Writing by L Peat O'Neil (not pictured - and purchased through  I actually skimmed through several books on travel writing over the past couple of weeks, but I found I kept wanting to take notes as I read this one.  I want to try to practice some writing exercises on writing about place before I attend Oxford, again with the hopes that I can document my excursions in an interesting way that others might like to read them)
  • American Writer's at Home by J. D. McClatchy (this was a total impulse buy.  It is a hardcover book with beautiful illustrations of famous American authors' homes.  Many of the authors that I am reading for this summer are featured in the book and I thought I might appreciate some of this kind of background information)
So there you have it --- 17 books purchased for the grand total of approximately $47.00!!

I haven't decided which gives me the most thrills:  reading a great book - or finding a great book bargain.  Both are high on my "things that make me happy" list.  I am pretty ecstatic right now :)


  1. Wow, you found some terrific bargains! It is so good of you to make a home for those poor unwanted books. I'm going to try that line on my husband!

  2. Those are some great finds! Like Kathy, I'm going to try to get my husband to see it as helping homeless books, rather than adding to the already sagging shelves.

    Diary of an Eccentric

  3. That is a seriously wonderful stack of books! Now I am craving a good library sale...

  4. I see some favorites on your stack! Of course, the two Anne Tyler books...Back When We Were Grownups and Breathing Lessons.

    I liked American Wife, too.


  5. I am all for book adoption. I get most of my books this way. I only buy new ones if someone gives me vouchers or money as a present.

  6. There's nothing like a new stack of books! Anne Tyler's books were wonderful and I loved the audio of School of Essential Ingredients - enjoy!

  7. Great adoptions you made there! I heard a lot of good about Tara French's books so hopefully you'll enjoy them.

  8. I like the idea of adopting books, too. Much nicer than focusing on the TBR stack. I really enjoyed American Wife when I read it a while ago - I hope you do too!

    Meghan @ Medieval Bookworm

  9. I love used bookstores/thrift stores. I am amazed that I was ever stupid enough to think I always had to pay full price. I've got The Likeness and In the Woods also. I think we are the last two book bloggers to read them!

  10. What a wonderful group of books you've adopted! Definitely lots of variety. I remember enjoying French Lessons when I first read it and I loved American Wife.

  11. OMG, I can see that new retreat of yours overflowing with new books soon :)

  12. i've read a few of the books you picked up and hope that you enjoy them all!

    i reviewed 'an american wife' last year and didn't love it (but adored the cover!).

    here's to buying books at bargain prices and having the time to enjoy them.

    nat @book, line, and sinker

  13. Wow only $47 for all those books!? LOL I don't get that good of a deal when I go book shopping. I have been limiting my book buying recently to just ebooks. I only keep a certain amount on the B&N gift card so I can manage my book buying a bit easier that way.

  14. my, that is a lot of books you bought..oh, I mean adopted. and you have some real winners in there!

  15. Wow, Molly! What a fantastic stash of books at such good prices! Creating a Charmed Life has been on my wishlist for a while - it sounds like such a fun read.

  16. Smart plan--don't go to the stores where you buy your books and you won't be tempted to buy any. :-)

    Looks like you added some good ones to your TBR pile. I need to read The Likeness now that I've read In the Woods. I hear it's even better than the first.

    I liked The Somnabulist, but thought it took a bizarre turn towards the end.

    Enjoy your new books, Molly!

  17. I use The Annotated Mona Lisa to teach my AP European History class. It is a GREAT book for a crash course in art history. I wish I had known about it before I went to Paris last summer!

  18. That is some great shopping you did there! And I hope you like "Living A Charmed Life" as much as I did!!!

  19. I love the idea of calling book purchases "adoptions!" I will feel so much better when I bring new books into the house and I can say, "Look what I adopted!"


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