Sunday, December 6, 2020

Bookshelf Traveling: More book purchases

Three weeks ago I did a Bookshelf Traveling post about newly purchased books. I did not want to do the same thing again, but this weekend we had the opportunity to go to a small Pre-Christmas sale put on by Planned Parenthood, and I could not resist featuring the books we purchased.

Planned Parenthood has held an annual book sale as a fund raiser for many years in Santa Barbara. The first sale was in 1974. We moved to Santa Barbara in 1980 and probably started going to the sale a few years later. Obviously the big sale could not be held this year, but they did hold a shorter, more limited version in October. We did not feel comfortable enough to go to that one, but when they announced this sale we decided to check it out. It was well done, not too crowded (masks required, and social distancing, and a limit on the number of people allowed in at one time). 

The selection was limited to gift-quality used books in the following categories: Cooking, Children's books, Currently Popular, and Coffee Table Books. But when we got there we found that there were books priced and available for sale outside of those areas. (No mysteries though, except for the ones in Currently Popular.)

Starting from the bottom, the books my husband bought were:

The Cecils of Hatfield House: A Portrait of an English Ruling Family by David Cecil

This sounds like an interesting history of Hatfield House and the Cecil family.

The Great Warming: Climate Change and the Rise and Fall of Civilizations by Brian Fagan

My husband has read and enjoyed two other books by this author: The Little Ice Age and The Long Summer.

Sea Room: An Island Life in the Hebrides by Adam Nicolson 

Nicolson writes about islands in the Outer Hebrides that were purchased by his father, then passed on to him. Published in 2001.

First three sentences: "For the last twenty years I have owned some islands. They are called the Shiants: one definite, softened syllable, ‘the Shant Isles’, like a sea shanty but with the ‘y’ trimmed away. The rest of the world thinks there is nothing much to them."

Sun After Dark by Pico Iyer 

Essays, book reviews, and more by the renowned travel writer. 

And then, the seven books that I purchased:

A Quiet Reckoning and Kingdom of the Blind  by Louise Penny

Books #12 and #14 in the Chief Inspector Gamache series. I have only read seven of the books in the series, but I have the next two books, so it won't be that long before I get to these books.

Agent Running in the Field by John le Carré

This is le Carré's most recent spy fiction novel. He takes on Trump and Brexit.

Uncommon Type by Tom Hanks 

Sixteen short stories by Tom Hanks. Each story features a typewriter in some way. 

The Radleys by Matt Haig

This is a vampire novel. I did not know anything about the book when I bought it but I have heard of Matt Haig. I read the first few chapters – it has very brief chapters. It reads well; I think I will like it.

Olive Kitteridge and My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout

I have been curious about these novels by Elizabeth Strout, so here is my chance to try them.

If you have thoughts on these books, or have read them, let me know.


CLM said...

The Hatfield House book is great! I don't remember how much I paid for mine but I bet you got a bargain. My mother and I pilgrimaged to Hatfield House two years ago (I love it so much it was my second time). I hope you get to visit in person one day; it's an easy day trip from London:

Just the words "book sale" make me yearn for those happier times. You got a great assortment and those Pennys look untouched. I've never read any Strout but it will be there for when you are in the mood. The Nicolson books also looks intriguing.

TracyK said...

Constance, I would very much love to visit England and Hatfield House, but both my husband and I refuse to fly (even before coronavirus) so I don't think that is going to happen. I went and checked out your post and your visit sounds absolutely wonderful. And great photos.

Yes, the Louise Penny books do look new and I got all the books at a very low price total. I would not normally spend as much per book at the sale (I save it all for old vintage books I can find cheap) but this isn't normal, and I was very happy to find what I did. I am even interested in reading all of the books that Glen got. It was a very nice sale, not overcrowded and very low key and a promise of better times to come.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Loved both of the Stout books. Never been able to get into Louise Penny. There is a denseness that puts me off, I think.

TracyK said...

I am glad you liked the books by Elizabeth Strout, Patti. The first reviews I saw when I looked the books up were negative. I think both of these authors get very divided reviews. I had to push myself to read more books by Penny before I began to really enjoy them, and even now they feel long and involved as I read them. So it must be the characters I want to keep reading about.

Margot Kinberg said...

You got some excellent books, Tracy! I'm especially happy to see the Louise Penny books there; she is so talented, and I'm a big fan of her Armand Gamache series. Hope you'll enjoy those reads!

TracyK said...

I am enjoying the Louise Penny books, Margot. Once I got hooked on them I was determined to read all of them, and I hope it won't take too long.

Katrina said...

I'm envious! We've missed some big book sales this year as they were obviously cancelled. You got great books, your husband's look interesting too. For a couple of years we lived quite neat Hatfield House, but never did get around to visiting it, I don't think we could afford it back then! I've already read the Louise Penny books. I think I must be about the only reader who didn't like Olive Kitteridge at all.

TracyK said...

We did enjoy going to the sale, Katrina. We had worried that there would be lines and we knew the area would not work well for that, but it wasn't crowded like that when we went.

I did see your review of Olive Kitteridge but I think there are many others who shared your views. Amazing the numbers of ratings and reviews it got on Goodreads. I like the idea of a book told in short stories, so I hope I like it. It was the book I paid the most for (amazingly) but it all averaged out that the books were a very good price overall.

bookertalk said...

I'm hoping to squeeze in one of Louise Penny titles before the end of this year. I'm really looking forward to meeting up again with the residents of Three Pines and drooling over the menus in the bistro. Winter seems a highly appropriate time of the year to read these books because most of the crimes just happen to take place when Three Pines is enveloped in snow.

TracyK said...

BookerTalk, I plan to read my next Louise Penny in January. Although Three Pines is not real, I love reading about that area of Canada, and the stories are so engrossing, I find the books hard to put down.

col2910 said...

I think the one that catches my eye is Le Carre's latest. I was sad when he passed the other day, but I've not really read much from him despite owning nearly all of his books.

TracyK said...

I have a lot of le Carre's books left to read, Col. I was going to wait until I finished the previous book (which was connected the Smiley series) before I bought this one, but when I saw it at the sale....