Saturday, October 8, 2022

My Husband's Books from the 2022 Book Sale


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. This is my third post on books we bought at this year's book sale.

These are a few of the books my husband found at the sale. Mainly, he focuses on photography, architecture, and performing arts; books about history; then fiction (including mysteries and science fiction). 

The Herring in the Library by L.C. Tyler

This is the 3rd book in the Ethelred and Elsie Mystery series. Ethelred Tressider is a mediocre mystery writer and Elsie Thirkettle is his literary agent. It seems to be a humorous, cozy mystery series. Neither my husband nor I have read any books in the series so he gets to give it a try first. Has anyone read any in the series? Does reading in order matter?

The Twelve Lives of Alfred Hitchcock: An Anatomy of the Master of Suspense by Edward White

From the description on the dust jacket flap:

In The Twelve Lives of Alfred Hitchcock, Edward White explores the Hitchcock phenomenon—what defines it, how it was invented, what it reveals about the man at its core, and how its legacy continues to shape our cultural world.

The book’s twelve chapters illuminate different aspects of Hitchcock’s life and work: “The Boy Who Couldn’t Grow Up”; “The Murderer”; “The Auteur”; “The Womanizer”; “The Fat Man”; “The Dandy”; “The Family Man”; “The Voyeur”; “The Entertainer”; “The Pioneer”; “The Londoner”; “The Man of God.” Each of these angles reveals something fundamental about the man he was and the mythological creature he has become, presenting not just the life Hitchcock lived but also the various versions of himself that he projected, and those projected on his behalf.

My husband started reading this book shortly after he purchased it and has now finished it.

Stately Passions: The Scandals of Britain's Great Houses by Jamie Douglas-Home

From the description at Goodreads:

This historical exploration details some of the most notorious scandals to have engulfed the British royal family and aristocracy, capturing not only the events and their era but also the essence of some of the world's greatest and most beautiful private dwellings. From the Hampton Court of Henry VIII to the modern scandals that saw the present Lord Brocket jailed, center stage is given to the British stately homes that have played witness to centuries of aristocratic indiscretion. Whether examining the "Profumo Affair," the call-girl scandal at Cliveden, the affairs of the lesbian Vita Sackville-West and her bisexual husband at Sissinghurst Castle, or the goings-on at Fort Belvedere, the Surrey hideaway where the Prince of Wales conducted his affair with the American divorcee Wallis Simpson, this account provides a fascinating insight into the lives, loves—and morals, dubious though they may be—of some notorious denizens of the aristocratic world.

Metropolis by Philip Kerr

This is the last book in the Bernie Gunther series. Before World War II, Bernie was a policeman in Berlin; then he worked some as a private detective. He served in the military in both World War I and World War II. The first four novels are set  between 1936 and 1949; the fifth book is set in Argentina in 1950. The sixth book, If The Dead Rise Not, takes Bernie back to 1934 Berlin, when the city was chosen as the site for the 1936 Olympics; later, the novel hops to Cuba in 1954. That is as far as I have gotten in the series. 

Metropolis takes Bernie back to Berlin in 1928, the last days of the Weimar Republic shortly before Hitler came to power.

From the description on the dust jacket flap:

Metropolis, completed just before Philip Kerr’s untimely death, is the capstone of a fourteen-book journey through the life of Kerr’s signature character, Bernhard Gunther, a sardonic and wisecracking homicide detective caught up in an increasingly Nazified Berlin police department. In many ways, it is Bernie’s origin story and, as Kerr’s last novel, it is also, alas, his end. 


London 1945: Life in the Debris of War by Maureen Waller

From the description at Goodreads:

A new social history of London, during a crucial year in the city's history, from the acclaimed writer of 1700: Scenes from London Life. London at the outset of war in 1939 was the greatest city in the world, the heart of the British Empire. The defiant capital had always been Hitler's prime target and 1945, the last year of the war, saw the final phase of the battle of London. The Civil Defence could not have succeeded without the spirit, courage, resilience and co-operation of the people. London 1945 describes how a great city coped in crisis, how morale was sustained, shelter provided, food and clothing rationed, and work and entertainment carried on. Then, as the joy of VE Day and VJ Day passed into memory, Londoners faced severe shortages and all the problems of post-war adjustment. Women lost the independence the war had lent them, husbands and wives had to learn to live together again, and children had a lot of catching up to do. The year of victory, 1945, represents an important chapter in London's—and Britain's—long history.

Three Science Fiction Novellas by J.-H. Rosny aîné; 

Translated and Introduced by Daniele Chatelain and George Edgar Slusser

From the description on the dust jacket flap:

Along with Jules Verne and H.G. Wells, J.-H. Rosny aîné was a founding father of science fiction. He was the first writer to conceive, and attempt to narrate, the workings of aliens and alternate life forms. His fascination with evolutionary scenarios, and long historical vistas, from first man to last man, are important precursors to the myriad cosmic epics of modern science fiction. Until now, his work has been virtually unknown and unavailable in the English-speaking world, but it is crucial for our understanding of the genre. Three wonderfully imaginative novellas are included in this volume. "The Xipehuz" is a prehistoric tale in which the human species battles strange geometric alien life forms. "Another World" is the story of a mysterious being who does not live in the same acoustic and temporal world as humans. "The Death of the Earth" is a scientifically uncompromising Last Man story. The book includes an insightful critical introduction that places Rosny's work within the context of evolutionary biology.

Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded: August 27, 1883 by Simon Winchester

From the description on the dust jacket flap:

The bestselling author of The Professor and the Madman and The Map That Changed the World examines the enduring and world-changing effects of the catastrophic eruption off the coast of Java of the earth's most dangerous volcano—Krakatoa.

The legendary annihilation in 1883 of the volcano-island of Krakatoa—the name has since become a byword for a cataclysmic disaster—was followed by an immense tsunami that killed nearly forty thousand people. Beyond the purely physical horrors of an event that has only very recently been properly understood, the eruption changed the world in more ways than could possibly be imagined. Dust swirled round the planet for years, causing temperatures to plummet and sunsets to turn vivid with lurid and unsettling displays of light. The effects of the immense waves were felt as far away as France. Barometers in Bogotá and Washington, D.C., went haywire. Bodies were washed up in Zanzibar. The sound of the island's destruction was heard in Australia and India and on islands thousands of miles away. 

Cath read and enjoyed this book. She reviewed it at her blog, Read-Warbler

Shakespeare: The Illustrated and Updated Edition by Bill Bryson

From the description at Goodreads:

Shakespeare: The Illustrated Edition is an exquisitely illustrated, updated edition of Bill Bryson’s bestselling biography of William Shakespeare that takes the reader on an enthralling tour through Elizabethan England and the eccentricities of Shakespearean scholarship. With more than 100 color and black-and-white illustrations throughout, and updated to include recent discoveries, Shakespeare: The Illustrated Edition evokes the superstitions, academic discoveries, and myths surrounding the life of one of the greatest poets, and makes sense of the man behind the masterpieces.


Cath said...

Yes, Krakatoa is a really excellent non-fiction book, loads of history about that area and I learnt a lot. I have his 'Pacific' on my 'to read soon' pile. And if you ever come across 'Atlantic' grab it.

No, I haven't heard of the L.C. Tyler series at all. It does look and sound like fun though. I love the name, Ethelred Tressider, that surname is 'so' Cornish.

Glen got an excellent haul!

pattinase (abbott) said...

Nor me with the Tyler series. I have read Bryson's Shakespeare and enjoyed it. What a wide-ranging reader your husband is!

Margot Kinberg said...

Your husband made some really interesting choices, Tracy! I've always liked Bill Bryson's writing a lot, so that one looks very good. And Phillip Kerr has written some excellent novels. The book about Alfred Hitchcock interests me, too, as I really like his films. This is such a great variety of books!

TracyK said...

Cath, We both think the books Atlantic and Pacific would be interesting to read. Glen has read A Crack in the Edge of the World: America and the Great California Earthquake of 1906, by Winchester, about the San Francisco earthquake.

Glen did get a lot of good books at the book sale, mostly nonfiction, and he is just now reading The Year 1000: What Life Was Like at the Turn of the First Millennium, which he also bought at the book sale.

TracyK said...

Patti, My reaction has always been the same as yours for the L.C. Tyler books. But I am much more apt to give them a try now than I would have been in the past. Not sure I want to start with #3 though.

Glad to hear you liked Bryson's Shakespeare. From the descriptions I have read, it seems perfect for me. Although both my husband and son are both more into the Shakespeare plays (and movies based on them) than I am.

TracyK said...

Margot, I have never read anything by Bryson, but I have a few books on my shelves that I have picked up at previous book sales. I have good intentions.

I hope to finish the Philip Kerr series some day but the ones I have read most recently were really dark and violent.

Lark said...

The Herring in the Library looks like it could be a fun one; and the one on Krakatoa looks really interesting. I want to read that one!

CLM said...

Nice assortment! I haven't read Philip Kerr but for years had several of his books "ready" and fatally discarded them when I downsized (necessary but painful) before moving to Boston.

The London 1945 and the Hitchcock book look especially interesting. I took a course on Hitchcock when I lived in NYC and have kept the book although I sometimes wonder if I will ever have time to look at it again.

TracyK said...

Lark, I will let my husband try out both of those books before I try them. I do hope to read both of them eventually myself.

TracyK said...

Constance, I know how that is, discarding books you wish you could read. But moving is a great motivator to pare down a lot of belongings. My husband has not read any of the previous books but he liked the sound of this and it takes place before the others so it has been on his list to get a copy for a while.

London 1945 should be very good. It is a year that I am interested in. I plan at least try out the Hitchcock book myself.

BillS said...

The L C Tyler Herring books are great and I've read them as they came out but I don't think the order matters at all. Start at number 3!

TracyK said...

BillS, thanks for that advice. I was hoping someone would say that.