Finds at the library book sale

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As I pulled up to my local branch library yesterday, I realized that it was the weekend of its book sale. I don’t buy books very often – at least, my instinct is usually to borrow rather than buy. But I’m not averse to perusing inexpensive books where the proceeds benefit my most favorite of institutions, the public library.

It’s funny to observe which books have multiple copies strewn throughout the tables. Kim Edwards’ 2005 book-club favorite The Memory Keeper’s Daughter seems to have reached the donation-stage of its life-cycle, for example.

I walked away with four books:

Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer

I remarked to my co-worker the other day that I am a bad nonfiction aficionado, as I’ve never read anything by Krakauer. Hopefully, having one of his books in my home will help me correct that oversight.

A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry

I love a good epic novel but library due dates aren’t conducive to the completion of them. I’ve never read anything by Mistry before. Indeed, I have a real literary gap in terms of books by South Asian authors and the Indian diaspora. Though most of the following authors appear on my to-read list, I still have never read Salman Rushdie, Vikram Seth, Arundhati Roy, Amitav Ghosh, Jhumpa Lahiri, V.S. Naipaul (the list goes on).

Possession by A.S. Byatt

I have only read Byatt’s short story collection, The Djinn in the Nightingale’s Eye and liked it all right. But if I’m going to love Byatt at all, it seems Possession would be the best candidate. As with A Fine Balance, I figure owning the tome may make it more likely to actually pick up and finish it.

The Forsyte Saga by John Galsworthy

This family saga was published as separate novels between 1906 and 1921 and then all together in 1922. For his literary accomplishments, but particularly for writing The Forsyte Saga, Galsworthy won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1932. It’s not a classic that I hear much about. I think I heard of the miniseries adaptation before I heard of the book. I’m curious as to whether any readers out there have an opinion on it.

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10 Comments

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10 responses to “Finds at the library book sale

  1. The Forsyte Safa is amazing! FYI, the total work is actually 9 books that were published in 3 collected volumes of 3 each, so you probably have books 1-3 there.

  2. What wonderful finds!

    Haven’t read Into Thin Air but know many who love it.

    A Fine Balance – I liked, but didn’t love… read many years ago and memory is fuzzy though. I just have to add Michael Ondaatje and MG Vassanji to your list of South Asian/Indian authors because they’re both great.

    Possession – A top-five book for me. Exquisite.

    The Forsyte Saga – the mini-series is awesome. I was obsessed. Didn’t even know it was based on books. Then I read the first book – A Man of Property, I think. It blew me away! So hilarious, great satire. But the second one bored me and I abandoned the series at that point. I should really give it another try.

  3. I’m so pleased that you have a copy of ‘A Fine Balance’ – it is my all-time favourite book. I hope that you enjoy it as much as I did.

  4. JoV

    I have the first two. I hope you enjoy your haul. Look forward to hear what you think about it!

  5. Great finds! I am determined to read A Fine Balance soonish. And The Forsyte Saga is on my intended list. Loved Into Thin Air!

  6. I love a good library book sale! I also picked up a copy of A Fine Balance at one and now am just waiting for the mood to strike me to finally tackle it.

  7. Jason

    I’m surprised you haven’t read much from South Asia — you’ve mentioned a slew of good authors, to include Rushdie, Roy, and Ghosh. If you’re looking for something different, I really liked the collection of Rabindranath Tagore’s poetry I read a couple years ago.
    I’ll be curious to hear what you think of your book finds, since I haven’t read any of them (yes, I’ve missed Krakauer on my non-fiction list, too).

  8. Carin – Oh good to know! The information I included above was basically culled from the wikipedia entries on the Forsyte Saga and Galsworthy.

    Laura – Ondaatje I should have put on that list, as I did know his name. Vassanji is an author I haven’t heard of before, though, so thanks!

    Jackie – Very good to hear re: A Fine Balance! Often my favorite books tend to be chunksters, so I have a good feeling about this one.

    Ana – thanks!

    JoV – thanks! I assume you have read the first two, or are you like me, in owning but not yet read?

    Andi – heh, maybe we could do a readalong for A Fine Balance?

    Miss Bibliophile – (see above for my half-serious suggestion to Andi)

    Jason – I don’t know how I haven’t read any of them, at all. It kind of astonishes me. Thanks for the rec – I haven’t been excited to read poetry in ages, but maybe someday I’ll get back into it. Also, glad to know I’m not the only reader of nonfiction that’s not read Krakauer!

  9. I LOVE library book sales. They are the best. I haven’t read Possession yet but own it and have heard so many good things – I hope you enjoy it!

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