Monday, September 23, 2013

Planned Parenthood Book Sale, 2013

For more years than I care to remember I have been going to the annual Planned Parenthood Book Sale in September.  The sale lasts about 10 days, so two weekends, and we always go on the first weekend. And we go twice, of course.

My son and husband are more restrained than I and they usually buy between 10 and 20 books apiece. My son looks at sci fi and fantasy and then tries a few other areas.  My husband starts first at the area with photography books, then checks out some areas of history. This year it was World War II and American history. Then new fiction (which costs more). Then over to mysteries.


I am totally unrestrained, and buy tons of books. This year I looked at sci fi and fantasy some, but of course the mystery area is my focus. There are tables and tables of hard backs, trade paperbacks, and mass market paperbacks in the mystery area. The photo above shows three of the five tables of mass market paperback mysteries. The photo below shows tables of hardback and trade paperback mysteries. (All photos courtesy of my husband.)


They always have boxes of books by the popular authors, such as Lee Childs, Sue Grafton, Connelly, Cornwell, Evanovich, Patterson. Mostly I don't pay any attention to those; I either am not interested or already have enough books by those authors but if they have boxes of books by Agatha Christie and John Le Carre, I do go through those. Many of my copies of Christie novels came from a box they had a few years ago.

This year I found a few things I really was looking for, but mostly I just filled holes, added new books that looked interesting. This group of books was from the first trip to the booksale, and has a couple of my finds in it. More about those in a later post.

Some of the books in this stack I know nothing about, and may regret buying them. Beautiful Children by Charles Bock had an interesting cover but is not a mystery. I will read a few chapters and see what I think.

Same for Borderliners by Peter Hoeg, who is the author of Smilla's Sense of Snow. The book is about a group of children in an experimental school, and may be interesting, but is not a mystery.

The Facility by Simon Lelic is another unknown.


This is a stack of paperbacks by various authors, mostly ones I have read one or two books by.

Hugh Pentecost wrote several mystery series, but the ones I am most familiar with features Hotel Manager Pierre Chambrun. I read them years ago. I found one book in that series, and I will see if I still like them.

Another author I read years ago was Donald Westlake. The one book I found by him, Trust Me on This, is a comic novel.

I got another Walter Mosley book in the Easy Rawlins series, and also a hardback copy of Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned, the first in the
Socrates Fortlow series.

You can barely see Hopjoy Was Here by Colin Watson in this stack. He is an author I want to try.

Last but not least is the stack of Penguin reprints that I got on the second day.

The Talented  Mr. Ripley is the first Ripley book by Patricia Highsmith and I have finally decided I want to try that series.

Stanley Ellin is another author I want to try. I have no idea if The Man from Nowhere is any good, but I will give it a try.

Also found several books by three authors I am interested in: Michael Gilbert, Michael Innes, and Nicholas Freeling. I have read a lot of books by Innes and know I enjoyed his books in the past. Gilbert and Freeling I am not sure about.

I don't remember all the books I bought, and I will have a post about more of them, but here are some that I got. If you have any comments on the author or the book, I would love to know what you think. 

Alfieri, Annamaria       City of Silver
Carter, Stephen L.      Jericho’s Fall 
Meredith, D. R.          Murder by Masquerade
Nabb, Magdalen        Death in Autumn
Paul, Barbara            Liars and Tyrants and People Who Turn Blue (1980)
Pentecost, Hugh        Remember to Kill Me (1988)

Matt Beynon Rees      The Collaborator of Bethlehem
Santlofer, Jonathan    The Death Artist
Taylor, Andrew           A Stain on the Silence

I go to the book sale knowing I won't find much on my list. It is a total crapshoot. This year my only real disappointment was not finding any books by Daniel Woodrell. Other than that, it was great and I could have bought another 30 or 40 books. Easily.

31 comments:

  1. Tracy, this is such a rich haul of books! I have read a couple of authors like Michael Innes and Sue Grafton. Most others I'm only familiar with or haven't heard of. How are you going to decide what to read? Last Sunday, I visited a book exhibition where they had an entire section on World War I & II and General History. Millions of books were on sale. I bought one — "The Arsenic Labyrinth" by Martin Edwards.

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    1. Prashant, you are right, I am a little overwhelmed by all my "new" books. I have heard that the Arsenic Labyrinth is very good and I want to read more Martin Edwards books.

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  2. Wow! Some nice finds here. Ellin I tried recently but not that one. Freeling - I'm dipping in and out of one at the minute. Innes and Gilbert I have heard of but never tried. I'm going to go back and read the first Easy Rawlins again soon - as it's the group read for October on my Goodreads group. I see you found a Kerrigan book as well, I have that one but haven't yet read it. Ross MacDonald is someone else I want to try, but his books can be a bit hard to find over here.
    Good luck next week!

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    1. Col, I am happy with the variety of books I got. Some books by current authors, some vintage mysteries. I was especially happy with the Kerrigan book because I love those Europa editions and they are not cheap.

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  3. Those look great (especially the Penguins) - well done!

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    1. Sergio, I did not realize I had gotten so many of the Penguin paperbacks until I got home. I was going for the authors, of course. But Penguin paperbacks are attractive no matter what the vintage.

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    2. Personal preference here - but I don't actually like the "Penguin" paperback. The covers are fine, but I find the type set of the prose unattractive and off-putting. As I get older and my eyesight gets worse (reading glasses for the past 4 years) my dislike intensifies!

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    3. Col, I don't know if I have even checked the typeset of those. But I did look closely at two Andrew Garve paperbacks I bought (not Penguins) and the type was so tiny I am not sure I will be able to read them. My eyes are much older than yours, and not good at all, especially on the yellowed paper of some older paperbacks. So I know what you mean.

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  4. Oh that looks like our kind of sale. I'm not familiar with most of those you picked up - but Murder by Masquerade sounds interesting.

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    1. Susanne, it is a great sale. Unfortunately, Murder by Masquerade is the third in a series and I thought it was the first, and I don't know anything about the author or the books. So it will be an adventure.

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  5. Tracy - Oh, you really got a terrific haul! I am most impressed! I always find that sales like that are such a wonderful way to find new books! :-) I'll look forward to seeing what you think of the ones you got.

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    1. Yes, Margot, I go with a list but I usually end up with a lot of books that I never heard of before. So a good way to discover new authors.

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  6. Great haul. I too am very interested in reading Patricia Highsmith's The Talented Mr. Ripley. I also have a Simon Lelic novel as well - A Thousand Cuts. It was recommended to me a year ago but when I started reading it and realized it was about a school shooting, I set it aside.

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    1. Keishon, I am very happy with the books I got, although I added a huge amount to my TBR piles. I had wondered about A Thousand Cuts. I agree, a book about a high school killing does not interest me. The Facility looks to be a near future thriller and may be too intense for me, but we will see.

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    2. I'll be curious to know how you like The Facility when you get around to reading it.

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  7. What a great haul, I've only read Michael Innes, Petter Hoeg, Fred Vargas and P Highsmith. I was feeling guilty about buying a load of books over the last few days - but you outdid me!

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    1. Katrina, I have bought way too many books this year, but I always buy a lot at this sale because they are such good deals. I cannot resist.

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    1. Peggy, it is a great book sale and I am lucky because it has such a large section of mysteries.

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  9. Where is this incredible event? I wish Planned Parenthood held a book sale in my city! The main U.S. city -- one would think they'd organize one!

    Such good loot. You have quite an adventure coming up.

    City of Silver is on my TBR list. The author is great, and she blogs at Murder Is Everywhere. A friend loved this book and kept telling me to read it, which I will.

    Magdalen Nabb is a good writer; her series is well-known and read by lovers
    of Italian mysteries/police procedurals.

    Donald Westlake's books are hilarious. Fred Vargas' stories are always good and quirky.

    Have a ball reading the books.

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    1. Kathy, Our event is in Santa Barbara, CA although I think it is a joint event with Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. I finally found out how long it has been going. 39 years, but we have only been going about 30 years.

      I am so glad you told me about the City of Silver author blogging at Murder is Everywhere. I knew I had seen her face before and that was where... I had just forgotten.

      Thanks, I will enjoy reading the books.

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  10. Very very jealous, Tracy. That's all I can say!

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    1. Sarah, it was very very fun. But... Now I have even more books in my TBR piles. I am out of control.

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  11. Book sales are one of the few real joys I have in life. I can never get enough of them. So glad you had such good luck in discovering treasures amid the hundreds offered.

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    1. John, you probably have more opportunities for book sales than I do (and I am envious.) It may be sad, but this is one of the big events of the year for me, and I get ready all year, keeping lists of books to look for. I really did find lots of good books.

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  12. TracyK: It is a good thing I live far from Santa Barbara. My willpower drains away when I am in a room of books for sale.

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    1. Me, too, Bill. I was actually standing in front of a table telling my husband to stop me from buying more books, and he just encouraged me to buy more.

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    2. Sounds like a book-o-rama to me, at your house after the one at Planned Parenthood's sale.

      How wonderful! Months of crime fiction reading ahead; what could be better?

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    3. Kathy, we do go through each other's books. My husband has more variety, but we both like mysteries.

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  13. I have been waiting for your report on this sale - and this is well worth waiting for! What a fascinating list of books, and absolutely love all your photos. And how nice to think we can enjoy your reviews over the coming months....

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    1. Moira, I bought way too many books and I should not buy any more for months... but I probably will. I was happy that I picked up a wide range from vintage crime to current books and in-between.

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