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Archive for the ‘Recently Bought Books’ Category

I know it seems like I went on a book buying splurge not that long ago but I really couldn’t resist my latest attendance at a book sale.  It was the weekend, it was pouring down with rain, I was visiting the ‘fix my car’ shop and on my way there I saw a sign by the side of the road saying ‘book sale’ and of course I just had to drive to the address supplied and have a look around.  I am very glad I did.  I didn’t know what to expect and thought if the address looked a little dodgy I would just drive on by.  No need to worry, it was in a little house (I think) behind a small church and there was a fantastic selection of books, most in great condition. I walked away with the following for $31 plus an extra $1 donation:

Just Take My Heart – Mary Higgins Clark (a long time ago I used to read all of her books so I was happy to find this one)
Chasing Harry Winston – Lauren Weisberger
South of Broad – Pat Conroy
A Year in the World – Frances Mayes
Every Day in Tuscany – Frances Mayes
Skinny Legs and All – Tom Robbins
Sex and the City – Candace Bushnell (currently watching the series – didn’t watch it when it was on TV)
Nights in Rodanthe – Nicholas Sparks (loved this movie)
Bad Dogs Have More Fun – John Grogan (loved Marley and Me)
Almost French – Sarah Turnbull (loved, LOVED the cover of this one)
Lord John and the Private Matter – Diana Gabaldon
A Breath of Snow and Ashes – Diana Gabaldon

And I bought The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown – which I already have – oops!

I really could have walked away with five times the amount of books but I had to stop myself, you know, practice some self-restraint.  One of the ladies running the sale mentioned they have a few a year and would I like to go on their mailing list – well, I wrote my email address down just as quick as I could because I definitely want to visit when the next sale happens, which should be in February which is also my birthday month – coincidence – I think not!

Now, I know I’ve been a little absent of late and I have a million (okay, I might be slightly exaggerating there!) reviews to post but I have been super busy and haven’t really had any free time.  I am hoping this dies down soon but then I also know it is the festive season so perhaps it won’t be a little more calmer until next year.  Either way, I hope to get to everything just as soon as I can.  Thanks for continuing to read my blog and for your support 🙂

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The other day I went to do my grocery shopping with my partner and walked away with more than food. As we walked into the shop we could see the set up for a secondhand book sale for a fundraiser, books on tables with cloths pulled over them. I’m thinking 9 o’clock and those cloths will be removed. Finished shopping, grabbed something to eat for breakfast, walk back over to the books and the cloths are still covering them. We sit down and wait a while, clearly someone is running late here, but there is a young girl with the money box – surely it wouldn’t hurt to ask her if we can start looking. We do and voila, before you know it six new babies are on their way home.

So the latest bookcase inhabitants are, and in no particular order:

Weep No More, My Lady – Mary Higgins Clark

Elizabeth Lange has arrived at Cypress Point Spa in Pebble Beach, California, weary of heart and soul. Still grieving for her beloved sister, a famous actress who plunged to her death from her Manhattan penthouse, Elizabeth is determined to unearth the truth about how Leila died. Dashing multimillionaire Ted Winters stands accused of her murder, but Elizabeth has doubts.

Along the windswept cliffs of the Monterey coast, in luxurious bungalows, between gourmet meals and beachfront walks, uneasiness stalks Elizabeth while she begins opening doors to the past. As glimpses of the dark truth about Leila’s life and death — and about Elizabeth herself — start to crash against her mind, an ominous wave from an unexpected source threatens to engulf her entirely.

Infidelity – Paul Ferris

Based on a true story, the cause celebre of its day, Paul Ferris’s atmospheric novel tells the coruscating story of sexual obsession, bigamy, amorality, and the sinister disappearance of a woman. It is 1917. George Shotton, a marine surveyor, has escaped active service in the war but is trapped in a loveless (for him), sexless (for her) marriage to churchy, frigid May. No wonder his eye wanders — it has before. But this time, his lust will have terrible consequences. Mamie Stuart, the object of his affections, is a girl of her time: Sunderland-born, living a louche life in London’s Notting Hill Gate, she has been ‘on the stage’ as one of a dancing troupe, showing off her legs at music-halls. George expects much more than that, but, then, so does Mamie. Why, she wonders, won’t George marry her? (She knows nothing of May.) Why, May wonders, is George away so much? Why has he stopped pestering her in bed? (She knows nothing of Mamie.) The violent outcome which is inevitable causes waves which reach the 1960s, when a detective (with much in common with George) begins to delve into an old and ghastly crime.

Man and Boy – Tony Parsons

HE HAD TO FACE THE TOUGHEST JOB OF HIS LIFE. AND HE NEVER ONCE THOUGHT HE’D BE ON HIS OWN.

Harry had it all: a beautiful wife, an adorable four-year-old son, and a high-paying media job. But on the eve of his thirtieth birthday, with one irresponsible act, he threw it all away. Suddenly he finds himself an unemployed single father trying to figure out how to wash his son’s hair the way Mommy did and whether green spaghetti is proper breakfast food. This brilliantly engaging novel will tug at your heart as Harry learns to become a father to his son and a son to his aging father, takes stabs at finding new love, and makes the hardest decision of his life.

Felony – Emma Tennant

“Felony” is the story of the literary treachery that took place at No. 43 via Romana, Florence, where Claire Clairmont, once lover of Lord Byron and mother of his daughter Allegra, lived until her death in 1879. It is also the story on Henry Jame’s brilliant novella “The Aspern Papers”, which is based on that household and the nefarious doings of the lodger there, Edward Augustus Silsbee, thief and Shelleyite. “Felony” is about the misdemeanours inherent in writing – theft, false memory, plagiarism and greed for celebrity – and it demonstrates too the embarrassment and shame suffered in their quest.

Selected Poems – William Wordsworth

Wordsworth’s place as one of the greatest English poets is assured. His Cumbrian childhood bred in him the double responses of love and awe in the face of Nature, and a deep respect for the primary emotions by which man lives his life. His own moral authority as observer was not simply assumed, but strenuously looked for in the conditions which had shaped his own life. He sought to safeguard the central human feelings against the sophisticated, the worldly, the cynical, and the merely ‘literary’. His concerns involved a revolution in taste and expression which influenced the language of poetry for over a century.

This selection is representative of the wide range of Wordsworth’s poetic achievement. As well as the best of the shorter poems, from the revolutionary Lyrical Ballads and from Poems 1807, it includes Peter Bell in full, The White Doe of Rylstone, and the major story of The Ruined Cottage from The Excursion Book I. Crucial passages from The Prelude are accompanied by the important lines ‘On Man, on Nature, and on Human Life’ from The Recluse.

Johnno, short stories, poems, essays and interview – David Malouf

David Malouf is one of the finest writers in contemporary literature. This volume offers a well-balanced, compact selection of his intricately connected work. Short stories, poems, essays, interviews and the classic novel Johnno, reproduced in full, show the range of his remarkable achievement.

Johnno, his first and most popular work of fiction, has entered the public imagination with its moving evocation of the 1940s and 50s. The novel is here counterbalanced by the wider contexts of David Malouf’s poems and short stories.

The uncollected essays highlight his brilliance as a literary commentator, and his deep interest in a variety of contemporary issues.

James Tulip’s introduction provides an indispensable overview of the work of this outstanding author.

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A couple of days ago I was doing the right thing and taking a few bits and pieces down to the Salvation Army to donate and, well, I just HAD to have a quick look at their books. I picked up four books for a great price! So there you have it, I donated some things and I bought some books – two good deeds in the one day ☺

The following is what jumped in my car and demanded to be shelved with their friends:

Straight Talking by Jane Green

This could be about your best friend. Or your girlfriend. Or it might be about you.

Are you Tasha – single and still searching?

Are you one of her three best friends? Andy, hooked on passion; Mel, stuck in a steady relationship with a bastard; or Emma, endlessly waiting for her other half to propose?

Do you know an Andrew – suave, good-looking and head over heels in love … with himself? Or a Simon – allergic to commitment and dangerously treacherous? Or an Adam – handsome, kind, humorous, but too nice to be sexy?

Follow them all in their odyssey to find fulfilment and the RIGHT kind of love in this novel that is very funny, painfully honest, sometimes sad but always on the button.

The Legacy by Stephen Frey

Bond trader Cole Egan is on the edge of financial and professional ruin when he receives a surprising inheritance. His estranged father has left him a key to a safe-deposit box. Inside the box is a videotape of the John F. Kennedy assassination – filmed from the other side of Dealey Plaza – proving beyond a doubt that there was a second gunman on the infamous “grassy knoll.”

It is a revelation that could shake the nation to its core. A prize worth millions to the person who possesses it. A secret that some will kill to keep ….

The Winner by David Baldacci

LuAnn Tyler is an unwed mother striving to escape a life of endless poverty. Then a mysterious Mr Jackson makes her an offer he thinks no one can refuse: a guarantee to be the winner of the $100 million lottery.

But LuAnn won’t do it. Less than twenty-four hours later, she is fighting for her life and running from a false murder charge. Jackson’s offer – and its condition that she leave the country forever – seems her only hope. However, ten years later, LuAnn secretly returns to the United States to being a new life with Matthew Riggs, a man whose origins are as murky as her own. But a canny reporter has picked up her trail, as have the FBI – and Jackson. Matt Riggs is the only person who can help her. But is help what Matt intends or is he too closing in for the kill?

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

A rollicking family epic like no other, Middlesex follows three generations of the Stephanides family from 1920s Greece to Detroit in the mid to late 20th century to contemporary Berlin. Brother and sister Lefty and Desdemona flee the crumbling Ottoman Empire in 1922; by the time their ship docks in New York they are husband and wife. The narrator of this funny and humane tale is their grandchild Cal, who as a result of their unusual liaison was born a girl but grows into a man.

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