Bargain Books

Nothing improves my mood like a trip to Bargain Books, especially since I don’t often go there.  Today, I found myself in the neighborhood unexpectedly, so with an iced mocha latte from the Starbucks next door, I spent a lovely hour browsing the tables in this carvernous warehouse.  Besides myself, there was only one other customer, and it was blissfully cool and quiet.

I really had no intention of buying anything (alright, you can stop laughing now), but I simply couldn’t resist these finds, each for less than $5.00:

  • Dance of the Happy Shades, Alice Munroe: “In these stories, the deceptive calm of small town life is brought memorably to the page, revealing the countryside of Southwestern Ontario to be home to as many small sufferings and unanticipated emotions as any place”;
  • Jane Kenyon, A Literary Life, John Timmerman: The forces and influences that shaped Kenyon’s poetry and life, drawing on her unpublished journals and papers, as well as reflections from her husband, poet Donald Hall;
  • I Capture the Castle, Dodie Smith:  This is a classic novel, telling the story of Cassandra and her family, who live in “not-so-genteel proverty in a ramshackle old English castle.”  I’ve heard so many great things about this book, yet never managed to read it;
  • Sylvia and Ted, Emma Tennant: A fictional recreation of the turbulent courtship, marriage, and separation of Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes.  I’ve long been somewhat of a scholar of Plath’s life and writing, so I’m looking forward to this one;
  • Starting Out in the Evening, Brian Morton: A novel intertwining the stories of three people, a young graduate student, the elderly author who is the subject of her thesis, and his tender and vulnerable daughter. A “rare and beautiful story that is at once comic, insightful, and moving.”

I’ve been dawdling a bit on Bridge of Sighs, trying to keep it from ending…perhaps with all these lovely reads awaiting me, I won’t be quite so sad to close the cover on that story.


Now tell me, have you read any of these books?  Did you buy any books this weekend?


16 thoughts on “Bargain Books

  1. I havne’t bought any books lately, and I’m ridiculously proud of myself (as is my checking account). lol Great finds! I have I Capture the Castle as well, and I’m curious about Ted and Sylvia.

  2. There is nothing like unexpected browsing (and buying) time in a bookshop, is there?

    I’ve read and highly recommend both Dance of the happy shades and I capture the castl. To be pedantic though the later is by Dodie Smith (who also wrote 101 dalmations among other things).

    I’ve not read any Richard Russo yet but can relate to not wanting a bok to end. I’ve having a simialr experience reading A S Byatt’s Angels and Insects.

  3. The one possible downside of the increase in my travelling range is that two of my favourite secondhand book shops are gradually getting nearer and nearer and I know that once I can do the journey I am going to fall prey to all sorts of temptations. I only hope I can find a haul as good as yours.

  4. How lucky to have I Capture the Castle to read for the first time! It’s a wonderful book, probably up there in my all-time favourites. I like your purchases altogether and wish we had more bargain book stores in the UK. I did buy some books online, however, including Druscilla Modjeska’s The Orchard, which a friend recommended as a good undecidable memoir/fiction book (and a big Australian bestseller) and The Quest for Corvo by A. J. A Symonds which I saw Dorothy review and couldn’t resist. Now, I just need to be more disciplined and find myself the time to read them!

  5. I’ve not read any of the books you bought – I’m looking forward to your reviews! I actually haven’t bought any books recently (I’m doing a Buy Nothing Challenge), but I have received several review copies, so my TBR pile is still growing!

  6. hee,hee.. I see we were on the same wavelength 🙂
    I wonder about the Brian Morton book… for some reason that’s really ringing a bell with me. I hope you’ll love I Capture the Castle – it’s a lovely story.

  7. I’ve read I CAPTURE THE CASTLE. I was in the right place at the right time reading it, and resultingly, I loved it. A few years later, I saw the movie and didn’t see any resemblance at all. Which of course can’t be true, but such is the magic of a book that you “see” as you read.

    Purchased this week:
    and a few others I posted on my blog.

  8. Any list of books that begins with an Alice Munro title is by definition well spent cash. I love the short story! and she is very, very good at it! I’ve somehow missed Dance of the Happy Shades, so I’ll have to see if I can get it from the library. I’m on a bookbuying fast, so no…I didn’t buy any books this weekend. I’m trying to get through September and October (at least) with library books, bookmooch finds, and what I have on hand. Probably futile…but from time to time I give it a try. ~ I found you at A Devoted Reader. What a lovely blog you have! thanks! ~sadie

  9. You have the most impeccable taste. I haven’t Bridge. I’m going to have to. And one of my very best friends is Kate Moses, who wrote Wintering, about Sylvia. So I feel she is part of me as well.

    A great, great site. Every time I see your banner, I sigh.

  10. Bargain books have begun overtaking my apartment. I have the largest stack I have ever had, and it is not that I don’t want to read them, but there just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day!

    Yay for cheap books!

  11. Bargain books may end up bankrupting me! I love perusing those shelves trying to find something (usually multiple things) I’m pleased to see there, or a book I’d never heard of that has potential. I should have a bargain area of my apartment for all those books I bought and haven’t read.

  12. If you like Sylvia Plath, you should read Wintering: A novel of Sylvia Plath by Kate Moses. The language is precise and beautiful and the psychological insights are astute. This was definitely a book I read and thought afterward that it was a shame that it hadn’t gotten more press. Would love to hear what you think about it if/when you read it – or if you’ve read it already. My review here:

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