Monday, 12 May 2014

Comox Valley Rotary Club Book Sale - Last Day

Back to work tomorrow so today I planned to do some yard work. I've managed a bit, but it's not quite as nice out as was originally planned, so using any excuse, I've done part of what I'd planned to do. As the missus requested, I weed - whacked around a clump of trees we have in one corner to get rid of the vines that had crept over the edge of the stone outlining. I also raked the small path we made to try and level it out a bit and cleaned up a few more weeds. So all in all, I guess not a bad job, more to come in the following day.

On Saturday, I went to the last day of the Rotary Club Book Sale as prices for the last day are always excellent, basically $5.00 for a bag of books. They provide the bag of course, to make sure everybody gets roughly the same amount. So I bought one bag and spent yesterday updating my various book lists and then, while the missus was working on the computer, I re-organised my TBR bookshelves in the den. I must say it does look more organised. Still some books on the floor in front of the book shelf, but instead of stacks of paperbacks, they are the oversize books. The paperbacks are much better organised, nicely alphabetical and stacked properly. Gotta love it.

Basically for $5.00 I got 16 books, a nice mix of classics and mysteries. Interested in seeing what I managed to buy?

1. Blindness  by Jose Saramago - I'd seen most of the movie once before and it seemed weirdly interesting. I didn't realise it was a book until one of my goodreads friends posted it as a Challenge read this year. So I was pleasantly surprised to find this at the book fair. "A city is hit by an epidemic of "white blindness" that spares no one. Authorities confine the blind to an empty mental hospital, but there the criminal element holds everyone captive, stealing food rations and assaulting women. There is one eyewitness to this nightmare who guides her charges—among them a boy with no mother, a girl with dark glasses, a dog of tears—through the barren streets, and their procession becomes as uncanny as the surroundings are harrowing. As Blindness reclaims the age-old story of a plague, it evokes the vivid and trembling horrors of the twentieth century, leaving readers with a powerful vision of the human spirit that's bound both by weakness and exhilarating strength."

2. The Forsyte Saga by John Galsworthy. This is a series of 3 novels published originally in 1922. it chronicles the lives of the Forsytes. It's been made into movies and as well into an excellent television series by ITV in England.

3. The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford. I am currently reading and greatly enjoying Ford's Parade's End and I know that The Good Soldier was on my reading list at university for one of my courses (but I don't remember reading it). I hope this is as good as Parade's End.

4. Pascali's Island by Barry Unsworth. Like others in my TBR shelves, I already have a Barry Unsworth novel/ mystery on my bookshelves; A Morality Play, which looks interesting. This one as well had an interesting synopsis. "For twenty years, Basil Pascali has sent his reports from a shimmering Aegean island to his imperial paymasters in Constantinople.. Now the Greeks seem to have discovered that he is a spy, and the Turks to have forgotten his existence. When a tall, enigmatic Englishman purporting to be an archaeologist arrives on the island and seduces Lydia, the beautiful Viennese artist who is Basil's only friend, it seems that he may have found his means of escape. But nothing is as it seems under the Mediterranean sun. And Pascali the intriguer finds himself to be in the middle of a plot that is not his own."

5. Laughing Gas by P.G. Wodehouse. I have enjoyed Jeeves and Wooster books by Wodehouse. He is a great comic writer. He isn't limited to his Jeeves books mind you. This is a case in point. "Funny things can happen in old Hollywood. When Joey Cooley, the child star, and the third Earl of Havershot swap souls in the fang-wrenchers surgeries.. it's a gas.. in the fourth dimension."

6. The Breaker by Minette Walters. I'm hoping this is a continuation in a long line of Minette Walters' mysteries. I read Disordered Minds just this past month and enjoyed immensely. Her books are standalones and the five or six I've read so far have been excellent.

7. The Passion of Artemesia by Susan Vreeland. I will readily admit that part of the reason I bought this book was that it was in such excellent condition and had an interesting cover. We already had The Girl in Hyacinth Blue, one of the missus' books, on our bookshelf in the best lounge and this seemed to go with it perfectly. As well, it had an excellent, interesting synopsis. I hope to read at least one of them this year.

8. Legacy of the Dead, Seeing the Dark and Wings of Fire by Charles Todd. These are books 2 - 4 of the Inspector Rutledge mystery series. I already have Book 1 and I'm looking forward to delving into this series. Yes, yes, I know, I have about 25 other series to finish as well. Challenge Accepted!!

9. Brat Farrar by Josephine Tey.   I have read others of Josephine Tey's library (she lived from 1896 - 1952); she wrote 5 novels in the Inspector Grant series and as well a few standalone mysteries. Brat Farrar is one of her standalones. "If Patrick had really committed suicide, then who was the mysterious young man calling himself Brat Farrar, who had returned to claim the family inheritance?"

10. Sourdough Wars by Julie Smith. Julie Smith has written three different series; Skip Langdon, Rebecca Schwartz and Talba Wallis. Rebecca Schwartz is a feminist based in San Francisco. The other characters' stories are set in New Orleans. The books in the Rebecca Schwartz series include; Death Turns a Trick, Sourdough Wars, Tourist Trap, Dead in the Water and Other People's Skeletons.

11. Catalina by W. Somerset Maugham. One of the best books I read last year was The Razor's Edge by Maugham. I loved his writing style, his way with words and his manner of presenting his story. It's made me interested in reading others of his books, hence when I saw Catalina, I thought I should pick it up. I'll let you know what I think.

12. The Green Ripper by John D. MacDonald. Last year I finally took a chance and read the first 3 Travis McGee novels and I was hooked on them. I love Travis McGee, his outlook on life and I enjoyed the stories very much. Since then I've slowly been picking up other McGee stories when I see them. The Green Ripper is the 18th of the 21 books in the series. It centers on revenge against a secretive, terrorist cult that is responsible for the murder of McGee's girlfriend, Gretel. Sounds excellent.

The remaining books are also from favourite series; Donna Leon's Through A Glass Darkly (of the Inspectore Brunetti series set in Venice), Janet Evanovich's Lean Mean Thirteen (Stephanie Plum's 13th adventure) and Death in Disguise by Caroline Graham (the 3rd in the Inspector Barnaby Midsomer Murders series).

So all in all, it was another productive Rotary Club Book Sale. I hope they did well too as the money is used to support those in need. I'm looking forward to the next sale, whenever that might be..

Have a great week!

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