Book Sale Haul

We walked to the sale which was in the Adam Smith Theatre in the pouring rain this morning. At one point I had a very long armful of books but I ended up putting more than half of them back as I reckoned that I wasn’t going to get around to reading them before we move house, hopefully in about a year’s time. We have so much ‘stuff’ to take with us that I don’t want to add too much to it. Having said that I still bought:

A Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Murakami
Close Range by Annie Proulx
Heart Songs by Annie Proulx
The Finishing School by Muriel Spark
Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner


it was thirty years ago today by Terence Spencer – ‘An extraordinary document of life inside the claustrophobic capsule of The Beatles in 1963.’

The Beatles book is a pure nostalgia trip for me. My sister Helen is 11 years older than me but we shared a bedroom and in 1963 I was only 4 years old, she was 15, the perfect age for Beatlemania. George Harrison was always our favourite and we had a framed photograph of him on the dressing-table. (Whatever happened to it?) Who was your favourite?

So that was quite good, just six books, but I wish I hadn’t put the Edna O’Brien book back.

After lunch the rain cleared up and we took ourselves off to Perth as it was absolutely yonks since we had been to look at any shops.

The recession isn’t going to be ending anytime soon if we are being relied upon to spend money and help to drag us all out of it. We only bought one book each.

I bought:

The Far Cry by Emma Smith. It’s a Persephone book and I haven’t read anything by her. It seems to be set in India, another Anglo-Indian book when I’m supposed to be reading more authentic Indian books.

My husband bought :

The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov and he got a Christopher Brookmyre book from the library sale – Country of the Blind.

The rain stayed off for most of the time that we were in Perth so we had a good stroll around the place before heading for home via Milnathort ice-cream shop. We indulged in double cones. I had chocolate and cream brulee – lovely. Husband had creme brulee and Bakewell Tart flavour. Next time I’m definitely having the Bakewell Tart ice-cream, absolutely gorgeous, and somehow I hadn’t fancied the sound of it.

18 thoughts on “Book Sale Haul

  1. I haven’t been to a good library sale for a while. The library where I work only seems to ever have an endless supply of Nora Roberts and Clive Cussler – not really my thing. I’ve always wanted to read Annie Proulx, but she scares me! And the ice cream sounds delicious – what a great day you had.

    • Anbolyn,
      A few people have commented that they don’t like her writing style. I started off reading The Wyoming stories and I didn’t find them at all disjointed. I read The Shipping News after I had seen the film, which I loved. The book is a bit different but her descriptions of the place really made me want to be there, and I hate snow and ice!

      It was a good day out!

  2. I could never decide who my favourite Beatle was between John, Paul or George – it was never Ringo. I started off liking George the best but ended up thinking it had to be John … or Paul, maybe.

    I loved Crossing to Safety, hope you like it.

    I’ve only read Annie Proulx’s The Shipping News. I disliking her writing style because it’s so disjointed in parts but I enjoyed the visual images it invoked.

    • Margaret,
      Poor old Ringo, I don’t think he would ever be a favourite, but at least he’s still alive!

      Strangely I don’t remember thinking that The Shipping News was disjointed but I think I read it shortly after reading something by Kate Atkinson – she jumps all over the place usually, so I probably thought that Proulx was not so bad.

  3. You exercised great restraint! Jack and I passed a flea market with some book stalls yesterday, but I crossed the street so I wouldn’t be tempted.

    I’ve only read Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner, but I loved it and keep meaning to read more of his.

    I stopped reading The Shipping News because Proulx’s writing style, at least in that book, annoyed me no end. Did you know that she used to write for a gardening magazine (whose name escapes me at the moment)? I bought a bunch of old gardening magazines and saw that she was a regular columnist for them. Can’t be two Annie Proulxs, right?

    And John was my favorite Beatle. I always went for the bad boys. I’m glad I grew up in the 1950s and 1960s. If I could go back in time, I’d go back to the 60s!

    • Joan,
      You were much better than me, I don’t think I could pass up on looking at a book stall!

      I haven’t read anything by Wallace Stegner, so that should be interesting.

      There certainly can’t be two Annie Proulxs. I’ve heard her on the radio but I didn’t know she was into gardening, that would be a great job – writing a gardening column. Maybe you would like some of her short stories.

      A lot of people would like to go back to the 60s I was slightly too young to get involved with it all. I liked John until he left his wife Cynthia for that ghastly Yoko. That was just too bad, and more than a wee bit mad!

  4. My favorite Beatle is George too! Though I’ve found I prefer John to Paul, but not so much the solo music. John’s stuff mostly got weird for me after that.

    I’ve also read Angle of Repose by Stegner and loved it. I think my IRL book group is going to read Crossing to Safety this year. I hope so! I did read The Shipping News and thought it was wonderful, so beautifully written. I have several Murakami on the TBR shelf including A Wild Sheep Chase but he scares me a little.

    I’ve never had Bakewell tart but it sounds delicious, so it must be a good ice cream! There’s a gelato shop nearby that has a flavor called wedding cake. Not my favorite but it’s quite popular. They also have tiramisu and once I tried violet-flavored gelato, which tasted like perfume. I’ll stick with chocolate, thanks!

    • Karen,
      Lovely, another George admirer! John got very weird after he took up with Yoko. I didn’t like Paul and Wings at all. Paul must be in need of a psychologist as I’ve heard that he’s getting married again, you’d think he’d learn!

      This will be my first read of Stegner and I’ll probably get around to him soon as people seem to really like him. I’m glad you enjoyed The Shipping News too. Murakami is pretty weird and at times shudderingly horrible things happen in his books. Norwegian Wood is my favourite I think, my son Gordon likes him and I think he’ll read it too.

      Ice-cream- I love Turkish Delight, tiramisu, tablet (Scottish soft fudge) lemon meringue pie, and just about any sorbet. Mind you my fave is probably vanilla. Bakewell Tart has an almond base, raspberry jam filling and icing on top, the ice-cream tasted exactly like it, lovely!

  5. You are moving house and leaving that garden!!!!! Will that be a little hard? Listened to The Shipping News as an audio book – loved it, will have to read one of her books – see what I feel about reading her writing style!

    • Michelle,
      Hopefully my husband will be able to take early retirement next year and then we can move to another area. The house is too big for us now and we don’t like rattling around in it so it seems sensible to sell up and then a family in need of space can move in. I’m actually looking forward to a different garden and all the designing and planting which that will involve. This year I’m going to be taking a lot of cuttings so that I can have old memories with me from this garden. I loved the film of The Shipping News first, I didn’t have a problem with her writing style, but we’re all different!

  6. I was ten years old when Beatlemania invaded the 1964, less than 3 months after the assassination of JFK. How I remember the Beatles’ first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show in February 1964. How I remember our music teacher saying, “Their music will never last.”! My much admired, older brother was 16. He brought home Beatle albums whenever he was on vacation from prep school. In between times I had to rely on the radio until I was 12 and 13 earning my own babysitting money. I have always been a manic Beatles fan, I know every song by heart (even now), and my favorite Beatle was always and only John Lennon, because he reminded me of my beloved older brother.

    • Judith,
      I hadn’t realised that The Beatles went to the US so soon after JFK’s death.
      It just shows you how much music teachers know! We still sing along to The Beatles in the car, and The Beach Boys, especially in the summer – surf’s up!
      That’s a good enough reason for having John as your favourite. Is your brother no longer with us now?

      • That’s right. Doug died in 1977 when he was 29 and I was 23. It was a shock, but fortunately I have lots and lots of fun memories. He had a sharp wit, was a poet and a high school English teacher, and was a terrible cut-up. By “cut-up” (I have a feeling this is American slang), he was irreverent and extremely funny, with a sardonic humor that always had me doubled over laughing. Thanks for asking, Katrina!


        • Judith,
          That’s really sad, what a shock it must have been for you all. He’ll be forever in your life as a youngster though. ‘Cut up’ is American slang which I don’t remember hearing before but I would have guessed right. Poor soul, but at least you have your memories, he had a good Scottish name too.

  7. I am hoping to read Crossing to Safety later this year–heard great things about it. Annie P. scares me too–I tried Shipping News, but simply couldn’t read it.

    Sounds like a great haul for a good cause!

    • Jane GS,
      I’m going to have to dig out my copy of The Shipping News to have another look at it. I don’t remember having a problem with it at all, in fact I loved it, but so many people seem to have given up on it. It’s just as well we’re all different!

  8. I’ve never heard of Emma Smith–is she akin to Rumer Godden?

    I’m in George camp too! I sometimes think all humans could be divided into 4 personality types based on the “favorite Beatle classification” system.

    • Niranjana,
      I hadn’t heard of Emma Smith either, I bought it because it is a Persephone and I thought it was about time I read one. I think Rumer Godden lived in India for quite a long time but Smith wrote The Far Cry after she spent the winter of 1946-47 with a documentary film unit in India.

      You could well be right about the Beatles classification system. There aren’t many Ringo ‘types’ around then!

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