Monday, May 05, 2008

A Bookish Weekend

This weekend, my mom and sister-in-law and I went to the annual AAUW used book sale in our area. (Well, in my sister-in-law's area.) My mom and I live for this day. We missed it last year because we inadvertently went on vacation. We won't make that mistake again. It starts on a Thursday night and goes through Saturday afternoon. There are various strategies to approach the sale. We've gone on Thursday nights before. You have to pay a cover charge, but you get first pick of all the books. I've actually seen someone run in the doors (after getting their hand stamped), rush over to the classics table, and just start randomly sweeping books off the table into a box, without even looking at them. I don't like those people.

Usually though, we go on Saturday (sometimes we've gone both Thursday and Saturday). Saturday is the day you bring your own shopping bag and fill it up--all for $5.00. When my mom and I went to pick up my sister-in-law, she said, "I just made tea, and I've got scones. Do you want to come in and eat?" Normally, that's a no-brainer for us. But...she's fairly new to the sale. We let her know that it starts promptly at 9:00. We had to be there in 7 minutes. What if someone got to our used books before we did? (She just laughs at us.)

I was very selective this year. Sometimes I just grab whatever looks good to me, but my space is getting limited and I just wanted to pick things I really wanted. I did find many of the Mitford series in hardback. I haven't really read those, but I keep hearing and reading about them, so I grabbed what I could find. I sent those home with Mom though. My greatest find was two hardback copies of the books I've lately been raving about by Stephen L. Carter. First I found "New England White." Then oddly enough, I walked past the Romance table (blech) and saw a hardback of "The Emperor of Ocean Park" just sitting there. Maybe someone had picked it up and then decided against it but left it on the Romance table. Who knows. Their loss, my gain.

We finally left with all our bags of books and went back to my sister-in-law's to reheat the tea. It was such a great day.

Lucy and I have been reading a lot too. We finished Rumer Godden's "Little Plum" and have started on the Cobble Street Cousins series by Cynthia Rylant. Ms. Rylant is a wonderful current children's author. Her books have an air of, dare I say, peace and serenity about them that has often gone missing in these days of making children face up to reality as early as possible. One reviewer described them as "Jane Austen for third graders." She writes the Henry and Mudge books, the Mr. Putter and Tabby books (Elaine really likes those), the Cobble Street Cousins, and a number of other series as well. (Her book, "The Cookie Store Cat" has some delicious cookie recipes that we've tried too.) Lucy is loving them--the illustrations are delightful too. If you haven't had a chance to check her out, you really should.

On a final book note, last night was the beginning of "Cranford" by Elizabeth Gaskell on PBS. I'm loving it already. If you didn't catch the first night, you can either watch episodes online or I'm sure they'll rerun the first installment sometime this week. My favorite lines so far are: "My sister does NOT approve of the word 'suck.'" And [with the threat of a railroad being built nearby] "It is unconscionable. To Cranford will come noise and disease and the Irish!"

I think this post broke a personal record for the number of things I've linked to. Lastly, here's what I did yesterday afternoon. These were just growing randomly in my yard. Enjoy!


Melanie said...

Those flowers are gorgeous - love the teacup touch! The book sale sounded like so much fun. I'm now adding more titles and authors to my list (I'm going to see if Cole has the same taste in books as Elaine). Hope you're having a great Monday!

Mae said...

The Mitford Series are wonderful. You will love them. You'll laugh a lot and you will also need some kleenex.

I don't know if you have ever read any of Gene Stratton Porter, but she has wonderful books. Some of the titles are Laddie, Freckles, Girl of the Limberlost. She wrote in the early 1900's.

Juliet said...

I sure wished Ann-Marie and I could have been there. You did find some great books.

There is nothing better than flowers from ones own backyard. They are beautiful.

Juliet said...

I sure wished Ann-Marie and I could have been there. You did find some great books.

There is nothing better than flowers from ones own backyard. They are beautiful.

Alice said...

Yes, I love Gene Stratton Porter! There is a copy of Girl of the Limberlost on the girls' shelf right now. I remember my mom reading it to us on a long car trip one time.

Everyone seems to love the Mitford series, so I will give them a go. Jan Karon says she got her inspiration from the Miss Read books, which I absolutely love, so that's a good recommendation too!

Ann-Marie said...

I lvoe the flowers! My favorite kind (ones I don't have to go outdoors to see!).