Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Annual Book Sale 2021: My Husband's Books

In September we went to the annual Planned Parenthood Book Sale.  The sale lasts about 10 days, and we visited the sale on five of those days. 

These are a few of the books my husband found at the sale. In addition to fiction (including mysteries), he focuses on books about history (especially English history), photography, architecture, and performing arts. 


Talking Pictures: With the People Who Made Them (1994) edited by Sylvia Shorris and Marion Abbott Bundy; introduction by Robert B. Altman

Review from Publisher's Weekly:

Featuring the unvarnished recollections of producers, directors, scriptwriters, film editors, camera operators, technicians and others, these 38 interviews provide a marvelous behind-the-scenes look at the creative alchemy that fueled Hollywood's golden age. Among the interviewees are assistant director Arthur Jacobson (Miracle on 34th Street), visual effects specialist Linwood Gale Dunn (Citizen Kane), producer Jack Cummings (Kiss Me Kate), Edward Bernds, soundman for Frank Capra's movies, composer Jule Styne and lyricist Sammy Cahn. Cameraman George Folsey explains how he brought the softness of muted light to black-and-white cinematography starring Claudette Colbert, Clark Gable and Joan Crawford. Screenwriter John Bright recalls tailoring the scripts that made James Cagney a star. The reminiscences of all are spiced with shoptalk, juicy anecdotes and candid glimpses of moguls like Darryl Zanuck, Irving Thalberg, Louis B. Mayer, Harry Cohn and David Selznick–the legendary names are ever-present.



Charters & Caldicott (1985) by Stella Bingham

The first appearance of Charters and Caldicott was in Alfred Hitchcock's The Lady Vanishes (1938). The characters were played by Naunton Wayne and Basil Radford. They were comic relief in that film, playing cricket enthusiasts who wanted to get home to England in time to see the results of a Test match. They were popular and appeared in three other films as the same characters. Later there was a 1985 BBC mystery series based on those characters. This novel is based on that series.



Looking for History in British Churches (1951) by M.D. Anderson

Description from the dust jacket of this edition:

English history from a new and fascinating angle—a book for all interested in religion, history, art and architecture...

For many years, the author's chief interest and delight have been the study of the visual records left in Britain's churches by invading races and social forces as a first-hand source of information on England's past. In this book, she shares her discoveries with her readers and reconstructs an enthralling and authentic picture of how men and women of an earlier day lived and worked and played.

The dust jacket of this book has a lovely illustration and there is a detailed map of the locations of churches on the endsheets (front and back).



Cat of Many Tails (1949) by Ellery Queen

Although I read a good many Ellery Queen mysteries when I was much younger, I haven't read any of them in decades so I don't know much about individual books. 

This is what I do know about Cat of Many Tails:

  • This is book 20 of 35 books featuring Ellery Queen as the sleuth. It is set in New York and features Inspector Queen, his father, which I consider a plus.
  • An early example of a serial killer novel, although not the first. 
  • Considered by many to be one of the best books in the Ellery Queen series. 



Lord Malquist and Mr. Moon (1966) by Tom Stoppard

From the back of the Grove Press paperback:

Tom Stoppard's first novel, originally published in 1966 just before the premiere of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, is an uproarious fantasy set in modern London. The cast includes a penniless, dandified Malquist with a liveried coach; Malquist's Boswellian biographer, Moon, who frantically scribbles as a bomb ticks in his pocket; a couple of cowboys, one being named Jasper Jones; a lion who's banned from the Ritz; an Irishman on a donkey claiming to be the Risen Christ; and three irresistible women.

I believe this is his only novel.



The Silent Gondoliers (1983) by William Goldman 

From the back of the Del Rey paperback:

Once upon a time, the gondoliers of Venice possessed the finest voices in all the world. But, alas, few remember those days—and fewer still were ever blessed to hear such glorious singing. No one since has discovered the secret behind the sudden silence of the golden-voiced gondoliers. No one, it seems, but S. Morgenstern. Now Morgenstern recounts the sad and noble story of the ambitions, frustrations, and eventual triumph of Luigi, the gondolier with the gooney smile.

There are lovely drawings by Paul Giovanopoulos sprinkled throughout. Cover art by Sergio Martinez.

I borrowed this from my husband and read it for Novellas in November. I enjoyed it, although I found the middle portion to have very slow pacing. 


23 comments:

Cath said...

I don't remember the 1985 Charters and Caldicott TV series at all. So I Googled it and it still doesn't ring any bells. I know the actors and I even remember the journalist, Keith Waterhouse, who wrote the series. He had a column in a daily newspaper that I used to read in my late teens and no one had the ability to make me laugh like he did. I like the sound of the Talking Pictures book 'very' much.

TracyK said...

I had never heard of that series, either, Cath. And it is a mystery series I think.

Glen read Talking Pictures in October, and now he is reading 20th Century-Fox: The Complete History of Hollywood's Maverick Studio.

Rick Robinson said...

Hello, good afternoon from rainy, cool (41f) Portland.

Last night on TCM we watched FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS with Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman. Spectacular scenery, classic Hemingway, and Bergman was so beautiful!

Long ago, when I was first getting into reading mysteries (I read pretty much SF/F until about 1970), a friend said if I wanted to try Ellery Queen, CAT OF NINE TAILS was the best one. A year or more later, I did read and liked it. I have since read others, but remains at or near the top.

Sam Sattler said...

I love your husband's taste. Have to say that your book sales turn up the kind of unusual titles that I seldom see in book sales here. Here we seem to get just the run of the mill usual stuff that is everywhere else.

TracyK said...

Hi, Rick, I am so envious of your rain. We have had a tiny bit of rain today but it is over, and we may get rain Monday and Tuesday.

TCM is a great channel, I am glad you enjoyed watching FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS. I do like both Cary Grand and Ingrid Bergman very much. We turned TCM when CASABLANCA was showing the other night, and it was towards the end, so we watched until the end. That is my favorite Ingrid Bergman movie.

Glad to hear that you liked CAT OF NINE TAILS, I wasn't sure if I should read some other books in the series first, but it sounds like this is a good place to start rereading Ellery Queen books.

TracyK said...

Sam, I like the books my husband picked too, and I wish I could read as much nonfiction as he does. He does read mysteries, but his reading tastes in fiction are more eclectic than mine.

Our book sale does have a wide variety of books, plus of course the standard more popular books. And the prices were very good for some of the newer books (and older books) this year.

FictionFan said...

Interesting batch! I had no idea Tom Stoppard had written a novel - intriguing! And the Charters and Caldicott one sounds like fun...

TracyK said...

FictionFan, I think the Charters and Caldicott book sounds like fun too. I hope we are right.

Re Tom Stoppard's book, I did not know he had written a novel either, but I don't really know much about him at all. My husband has read some of his plays.

col2910 said...

Probably not much there that appeals to me, but hey hoh we all like different things.I'm fairly safe in assuming much of what I like doesn't grab Glen either! I'd give the Ellery Queen book a spin though.

Margot Kinberg said...

Your husband got some really interesting books, Tracy! I like the variety in his reading, too: nonfiction, crime fiction, other fiction - it's all interesting. I have to admit I'm especially glad to see the Ellery Queen there...

pattinase (abbott) said...

What Sam said. I never see such interesting books at our library sales. Just a million copies of Grisham, Patterson, et al.

Rick Robinson said...

I forgot to mention I’ve seen Stoppard’s “Jumpers” performed, and liked it a lot.

TracyK said...


Col, it is good that we all like different things. I am sure you are right about Glen and your books, but he has taken many recommendations from your reading ... the Pascal Garnier I read in November, The Front Seat Passenger; White Ginger, set in San Francisco's Chinatown; and Japantown, also set in San Francisco, which is now on my bookshelf.

I do think Cat of Nine Tails is worth reading, based on reviews I have seen.

TracyK said...

Rick, I looked up Jumpers and it sounds interesting, maybe over my head, since it is about philosophy. Glen has not read that one, he has read Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead and The Real Inspector Hound.

TracyK said...

I know what you mean, Patti, our sale has a lot of those types too. That is a good thing when I looking for backlist titles by Lee Child for instance. This year they had less of the unusual mysteries and authors but I did find some older Australian titles by Garry Disher that I have been wanting forever.

But Glen always finds very good books in the areas he is interested in.

TracyK said...

Margot, Glen has such diverse tastes in reading, you should see his book shelves. He and I are different in that he keeps most of the books he reads and likes; I mostly have lots of unread books shelved.

I am glad he got that Ellery Queen also; he found copies of some of Queen's books in that same period that I bought, although not with such nice covers. I have been meaning to try that series again, now I will start with Cat of Many Tails (I got the title wrong in my reply to Col).

NancyElin said...

Tracy, glad you like my review book about the ‘detective’
Love all the books you presented in this blog post.
The book covers are amazing.
Starting Maj Sjöwall’s “Roseanna”.
first book in the Martin Beck series.

TracyK said...

Nancy, from what I found while looking for descriptions of these books, they are all potentially good reads, and the covers are very nice.

Glad to hear you are reading Roseanna by Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö. I think you will enjoy it and I hope to hear what you think about it. I read it sometime after I started blogging and I liked it, but police procedurals are a favorite subgenre for me. It is a quieter novel, not a thriller.

Katrina said...

I would have bought all of those ones too. I'm going to track down a copy of the British churches one as I'm interested in the history and invaders, not so much the religion. The cover looks like an illustration of Durham Cathedral or Dunfermline Abbey.

TracyK said...

Katrina, I hope you are able to track down a copy of the book about British churches, it seems like it would be very good. I haven't sampled it yet. I am not that interested in the religious aspect either, but British churches are very interesting aside from that.

CLM said...

What a nice assortment! The cover of the British Churches book is gorgeous and I think I would enjoy the contents as well.

I sometimes have to be careful about going to book sales (I paused to contemplate the word "sometimes") because you don't want to go with a friend who would covet the same books. Going with a spouse is ideal because presumably one can share!

TracyK said...

I agree, Constance, that cover on the British Churches book is great and I bet the content is also. I have not checked it out yet.

That is a good point about going to a book sale with a friend who would have the same tastes. Much easier with a spouse and we sometimes find books for each other, although my husband is better at finding ones for me.

PDP said...

That is a great cover on the Ellery Queen book. Covers these days lack imagination I think. Thank you for sharing.