Since I’m a heavy user of the public library, if at all possible, I try not to buy books. If I do, I usually buy them used. While I’ve had terrific luck finding quality used books at neighborhood garage or yard sales, I’ve probably found my greatest literary treasures at church (and synagogue) book sales. (No wonder Muslims refer to Christians and Jews as “Peoples of the Book!) Usually held in some basement meeting space or Sunday school classroom, by working my way through the legions of mass-marketed paperbacks of yesteryear and the battered church hymnals and study guides, I almost always walk away with a decent find or two. Five years ago, in one of my earliest posts, I shared with you how happy I was with a nice assortment of trade paperbacks thanks to a local church book sale. Looking back on what I purchased that day, two of those books, Timothy Egan’s The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great America Dust Bowl and Douglas Preston and Mario Spezi’s The Monster of Florence ended up making year-end best of lists in 2011 and 2013 respectively. Yes, church book sales have been very good to me.
With the weather of late being rather nice and conducive to getting out and about, I’ve hit several church book sales over the past few weekends. In addition, I also recently bought a few fine books at a rummage sale that was held of all places at a local auto repair facility. (It was fund-raiser to benefit a scholarship for women to attend automotive school.) As a result, I now have MORE books, many of which I’ve been wanting to read for years. If you wanna take a closer look at what I bought, I used the WordPress feature “Gallery” so readers can flip through all the books like a slide show. Here are my latest acquisitions:
- Battle for God: A History of Fundamentalism by Karen Armstrong – This one has been on my to read list FOR EVER!
- Assault in Norway by Thomas Gallagher – Published in 1981, I’ll be reading this vintage paperback for the European Reading Challenge.
- Blue Latitudes: Boldly Going Where Captain Cook Has Gone Before by Tony Horwitz – A loved Horwitz’s 2008 book A Voyage Long and Strange: Rediscovering the New World. I’m hoping Blue Latitudes is just as good.
- Falling Leaves: The Memoir of an Unwanted Chinese Daughter by Adeline Yen Mah – I think one my reading challenges asks me to read something about China. If that’s the case I might as well read this well-received book.
- The 19th Wife: A Novel by David Ebershoff – I’ve heard too many good things about this novel to pass it up. Can’t wait to read it.
- The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot – Not only did I find a copy of great book, it’s been autographed by the author. Score!
- Anglomania: A European Love Affair by Ian Baruma – Another one I might read for the European Reading Challenge.
- Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001 by Steve Coll – This 720 page chunkster won the Pulitzer Prize.
- Pioneers in Israel by Shmuel Dayan – Published in 1962, this one is a bit of an antique. Translated from Hebrew, I hope to read it for the Books in Translation Reading Challenge.
- The Paris Wife by Paula McLain – Another one of those novels I’ve heard too many good things about to pass up. Might read this for the European Reading Challenge.
- What’s the Matter with Kansas? by Thomas Frank – I’ve been itching to get my hands on this book for years. Now is my chance!
- Legends of Our Time by Elie Wiesel – The edition I found was published in 1970. Since Wiesel writes in French, this will be another one for the Books in Translation Reading Challenge.