What ho, Readers all!

Those of you who follow my website may have noticed that my posts have been sporadic of late. This is because a change is in order.

A change? What does that mean? Have I forsaken the world of reviewing books?

Far from it. The fact is, for the last year now, I’ve felt that Laura’s Bookshelf lacked vivacity and personality. I had big ideas for expansion and improvement. It wasn’t until the last few months that I was finally able to implement my ideas and design a new website. It is now my privilege to present to you –

I’m really excited about this site. I believe it to be superior in concept, design, and style to Laura’s Bookshelf. I’m also expanding from posting just reviews to also posting articles, polls, funny book-related quotes, and book reports from my readers. I also believe that The Blithering Bookster will be easier to navigate than Laura’s Bookshelf has ever been.

But enough of my blitherin’ on about the change – hurry on over and check it out yourself!

Bookishly yours,

Laura (from henceforth, The Blithering Bookster)

P.S. I’m also giving away three books in celebration of the launch. Be sure to enter the giveaway!

Whopping on Goodwills

This past week, my mother and I visited my grandmother, who lives in Louisiana. Along the way we stopped at four different Goodwills – one had the horridly steep prices of forty-nine cents for children’s books and ninety-nine cents for adults, but the other three were much more reasonable. 4 hardcovers / $1 and 8 softcovers / $1!

When We Were Very Young – $ .49 I love, love, love A. A. Milne’s darling British style. Thus far I have only read a few of his Winnie-the-Pooh stories, but I am eager to read this collection of his poetry.

And on the Eighth Day – $ .99
The Player on the Other Day – $ .99
I’ve read books by other authors from the Golden Age of mystery fiction – Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, & Margery Allingham – but never Ellery Queen. These two books are from later in the Ellery Queen series, but I hope are nevertheless indicative of Queen’s work.

Saturnalia – $ .49 Set in 17th century Boston, Saturnalia is the story of William, a printer’s apprentice, who is searching for his lost brother.

Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego – $ .49 This installment in the Carmen Sandiego series actually has the collectible cards intact. Yay! This will make reading the book WAY more interesting…

Maigret and the Loner – $ .99 I recently purchased Maigret and the Apparition at a book sale, and, although it contained a few indiscretions, I enjoyed it. Hopefully this volume will maintain the intriguing story-line without the romance.

Encyclopedia Brown Collection – $ .25
Encylopedia #15: Sets the Pace – $ .49
The boy detective returns. The first book, Collection, is a snazzy hardcover with four different Encyclopedia Brown books buried inside.

Peak – $ .25 This is the story of Peak, a fourteen year old who loves climbing and is given the opportunity to climb Mount Everest with his father.

The Untamed West – $ .12 ½ This book contains three stories by Louis L’Amour, Zane Grey, & Max Brand. I’ve read L’Amour before, but never Grey or Brand.

McDuff Comes Home – $ .12 ½
Sleddings – $ .12 ½
Two picture books. McDuff Comes Home, the story of a little terrier, looks especially cute.

Christmas Tidings – $ .25 Quotes by classic and other famous authors on the subject of Christmas.

The Wizard of Oz – $ .12 ½ I never watched the movie as a kid, but I know the basics of the story. This will be an interesting experience…

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH – $ .12 ½
The Golden Fleece – $ .49
Two Newbery Medalists. The rats one seems to be about an advanced race of rats. The fleece one is a collection of stories about Greek heroes.

The Tenth Man – $ .12 ½ This story, written by Graham Greene (author of numerous espionage novels), is set during World War II. It concerns a group of men who is held hostage by the Germans.              

Anne of Green Gables # 4: Anne’s House of Dreams – $ .12 ½
Anne of Green Gables # 5: Anne of Windy Poplars – $ .12 ½
I’ve read these online, but did not own copies of them myself.

The Chronicles of Brother Cadfael # 2: One Corpse Too Many – $ .12 ½ The second installment from the Brother Cadfael series. It appears to be set during a medieval war and concerns the appearance of an extra body after the public hanging of a gang of men.

The A.B.C. Murders – $ .25
Murder on the Orient Express – $ .25
These two volumes are from the beautiful Bantam black padded-hardcover set. I would love to own the complete set!

The Treasure Principle – $ .25 I’ve read Randy Alcorn’s book Why Pro-Life?, and found it entirely satisfactory. This slim volume is on the subject of joyful giving.

The Elements of Style – $ .25 A hardcover version of the classic by E. B. White and William Strunk, Jr.

Turn Homeward, Hannalee – $ .12 ½ Remember Who Comes With Cannons? Written by the same author, Turn Homeward, Hannalee is also set during the same era – the War Between the States.

Sense and Sensibility – $ .25
My Antonia – $ .25
Treasure Island – $ .25
Nice hardcover copies of books I already owned. My Antonia is a Barnes and Nobles hardcover. Sense and Sensibility is from the darling Barnes and Nobles miniature hardcovers collection.

Unsolved II: More Famous Real-Life Mysteries – $ .12 ½ CANNOT WAIT to read this book. It contains brief histories of nine ‘unsolved’ real-life mysteries. How fun!

Thunder from the Sea – $ .12 ½ Ever since reading about Seaman, I’ve had a soft spot for Newfies. In this story, thirteen year old orphan Tom Campbell feels less lonely after adopting Thunder, the Newfoundland, whom he rescued from a thunderstorm.

Hamlet – $ .12 ½
The Dialogues of Plato – $ .12 ½
Black Beauty – $ .12 ½
Robinson Crusoe – $ .12 ½
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde – $ .12 ½
The Scarlet Letter – $ .12 ½
The Hound of the Baskervilles – $ .12 ½
Pragmatism – $ .12 ½
All of these softcovers were in amazingly good condition. Among their numbers are Bantam, Puffin, Signet, and Barnes and Nobles Classics. I was super-excited to find The Hound of the Baskervilles, as I did not yet own a copy of that outside of a collection. Also, I decided that if I were to ever to pay good money for The Scarlet Letter, twelve cents was the route to go.

On the Way – $ .12 ½ Remember 26 Fairmount Avenue? Well, this is one of Tomie DePaola’s sequels to that book and contains more humorous anecdotes from his life.

Nancy Drew # 4: The Mystery at Lilac Inn – $ .25 I lived on the Boxcar Children series as a kid, but never actually read any of the Nancy Drew stories. This will be my first. :O

The Littles and the Lost Children – $ .12 ½ Remember The Littles Go to School? Same series. Hopefully this one will be more interesting.

Aircraft – $ .25 A pictorial history of aircraft from the Wright brothers’ experiments through the most up-to-date models of the 1990s.

The Attack on Pearl Harbor – $ .12 ½
The Attacks of September 11, 2001 – $ .12 ½
Two children’s history books. Pearl Harbor is from the same series as The Titanic, and is also ‘An Interactive History Adventure’.

William Carey – $ .12 ½ This biography of the great missionary is from the Heroes of the Faith series. I look forward to learning more about ‘The Father of Modern Missions’.

The Truth about Mormonism – $ .12 ½ A slim book which discusses the more bizarre beliefs of the Mormon sect. It looks really interesting.

Muggie Maggie – $ .12 ½ Written by Beverly Cleary, author of Dear Mr. Henshaw and the Ralph S. Mouse series, Muggie Maggie is about a little girl trying to learn how to read cursive.

Peter Rabbit and Eleven other Favorite Tales – $ .12 ½
The Tale of Little Pig Robinson – $ .25
A few stories by Beatrix Potter. The Tale of Little Pig Robinson the original color illustrations, while Peter Rabbit has black and white sketches based upon the original illustrations.

Paddington at Work – $ .12 ½  Paddington Bear, the precocious teddy from Peru, returns to his friends, the Browns, and gets into more mischief than ever!

Who Was Abraham Lincoln? – $ .12 ½ A children’s biography of Abraham Lincoln. I’ve recently read Who Was Ronald Reagan? from the same series and found it thorough, considering its audience.

Pride of the Green Mountains – $ .12 ½
Spirit of the West – $ .12 ½
The Island Stallion’s Fury – $ .12 ½
Unbroken – $ .12 ½
Four random horse stories.

Stephen of Philadelphia – $ .12 ½ This Abeka book is set in Philadelphia during its earliest days. It describes the lifestyle and history of that city and its inhabitants through the story of Stephen, an immigrant to America.   

How I Came to Be a Writer – $ .12 ½ Written by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, the author of Shiloh and The Fear Place, this volume outlines how she pursued her writing career.

Total Spent = $ 13.17

Total Value = $ 268.50

Next Book Sale = September 14, 2013

Half-Priced Books / Goodwill

On Tuesday, my mother and I assigned ourselves to an important mission. That mission was to replenish our stock of materials concerning the major battles of the War Between the States as a preparation for Vision Forum’s History of America Mega-Conference, which we are attending next week.

My mother was strictly disciplined in applying herself to the operation. I, alas, fell into several distracting skirmishes along the path of duty. This may best be explained when I note that of the thirteen books that I purchased, two concerned the War Between the States…

The Spy of the Rebellion – $ 3.59 I am in a state of absolute staggeration at this find. The Spy of the Rebellion is the personal memoirs of Allan Pinkerton, founder of the Pinkerton National Detective Agency, who lived in the middle of the nineteenth century. I can’t wait to read these true tales of espionage!

Gladys Aylward – $ .90 A biography of the Chinese Missionary from the Christian Heroes: Then and Now Series.

Alexander Graham Bell – $ .90 A simple, though not childish biography of Alexander Graham Bell, the great inventor. I don’t have any other resources on Bell, and have never read a serious biography of him.

Great Expectations – $ 2.99
Little Women – $ 2.99
Goodbye, Mr. Chips & Other Stories – $ 2.99
I already own copies of each of these stories, but these were the Reader’s Digest edition. I’m so happy that my Reader’s Digest collection is growing!

Poetry of the Scottish Borders – $ .90 A collection of poetry from the Scottish brilliants.

The Great American Gold Rush – $ .90 A children’s account of America’s pursuit of mineral prosperity.

The Story of the Battle of Antietam – $ .90 The battle of Antietam is called the single bloodiest day in the War Between the States. This is a simple, yet comprehensive account of that battle.

Great Detectives – $ .90 I can’t believe I found this great, big whoppin’ collection of detectives stories for only ninety cents! Christie, Sayers, Queen, and Chesterton – they’re all here!

The Nine Tailors – $ .90 Dorothy Sayers, creator of the supremely British detective, Lord Peter Wimsey (Whose Body?, Five Red Herrings), penned this work, the eleventh installment in the Lord Peter Wimsey series.

My Friend Mr. Campion – $ .90 Margery Allingham, author of this book, is rated alongside Dorothy Sayers and Agatha Christie as Queens of the Golden Age of Crime. I look forward to experiencing her detective, Mr. Campion.

The Wisdom of John and Abigail Adams – $ 1.99 This book contains excerpts from the Adams’ writings, mostly their letters.

Total Spent: $ 21.75

Total Value: $ 91.20 (four hardcovers have no original price) :[

Next Literary Acquisition: ???


Maud Marks Sale

Books, books, books!

The Scarlet Pimpernel – $ .50 I already owned a beautiful hardcover copy of this novel, but seeing as The Scarlet Pimpernel is one of my favorite stories, I could not resist a second copy.

Tess of the d’Ubervilles – $ 1.00 I probably wouldn’t have purchased this novel if it was a softcover, but since it was a beautiful Reader’s Digest edition, I decided to buy it and take my oath of denial. :)

Big Red – $ .50 Remember A Nose for Trouble, which I raved about last year? Well, Big Red is the most famous novel which Jim Kjelgaard ever wrote. Super excited!

The River – $ .50 I’m not a huge fan of Gary Paulsen – I’ve enjoyed his stories Mr. Tucket and Soldier’s Heart – but The River is a part of one of his series, of which I already own three installments. I figured I ought to complete the idea.

Just So Stories – $ .50 Kipling’s collection of explanatory animal stories.

Foal in the Fog – $ .50
Pony on the Porch – $ .50
Two stories from the Animal Ark series.

The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle – $ .50 I remember watching part of the Doctor Dolittle film at my grandmother’s house when I was little, but I only vaguely remember the storyline. One of the scenes – that of a giant snail floating on the ocean – has remained with me, though. :D

Courageous – $ 1.00 Yay! Woohoo! So glad I found this. I’ve obviously watched and enjoyed the movie Courageous several times, and now I get to read the expanded version.

The Rustlers of West Fork – $ .50 This is the first story in the Hopalong Cassidy series, who is “one of America’s favorite fictional cowboys”. L’amour never fails to present bang-up, shoot-em-up clashes of personalities.

The Private Mary Chestnut – $ 1.00
The Civil War Diary of a Southern Woman – $ 1.00
These are two memoirs written by women of the Confederacy. I look forward to experiencing the war through the eyes of two women who actually lived during that time (as opposed to fictionalized biographies which convey the “atmosphere” of the times).

Darwin on Trial – $ 1.00 Darwin on Trial is a critique of Darwinism written by Phillip Johnson, a professor of law at Berkeley. It will be interesting to see how a lawyer handles the ‘evidence’ while arguing his case against evolutionism.

Frightful’s Mountains – $ .50 The third novel in the My Side of the Mountain series. I didn’t enjoy My Side of the Mountain all that much

The Little Woman – $ .50 This is the autobiography of Gladys Aylward, missionary to China. Prior to finding it, I was not aware that she had written an autobiography. This should be interesting.

Total Spent: $ 10.00

Total Value: $ 110.83

Next Library Sale: ????

Goodwill Bundle!

Last week on the way home from a visit with my sister in San Antonio, Mom and I stopped off at a previously unvisited Goodwill. Here are the results.

Essays and Sketches of Mark Twain – $ 2.09 This thick volume includes many of Mark Twain’s humorous fictional and non-fictional shorter pieces.

Who Was Ronald Reagan? – $ .34 One of the main focuses of my in-progress childrens’ library is quality biographies. I look forward to reading this account of former actor and President, Reagan.

Complete Sonnets – $ .69 I’ve never read William Shakespeare’s sonnets (I’ve read a few of them – you know, ‘Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds’ sorta thing), and I was happy to find this non-illustrated version. :)

Talking About Detective Fiction – $ .79 For various reasons P. D. James is not amongst my chosen detective writers, but she is a good writer and I look forward to reading her evaluations of other authors’ detective pieces.

Foxe’s Book of Martyrs – $ 1.99 Yay! Delighted to have found this Christian classic in the beautiful Hendrickson Classics edition.

McGuffey’s First Reader – $ .49
McGuffey’s Second Reader – $ .49
McGuffey’s Third Reader – $ .49
McGuffey’s Fourth Reader – $ .49
McGuffey’s Fifth Reader – $ .49
McGuffey’s Sixth Reader – $ .49
Oh, my. Yes. Word, yes! You might say I’m more than partially ecstatic at this particular find. The sad part is that I am only responsible for finding one of the six books – my Mom sniffed out the other five with her infallible book nose. : ) I really appreciate the sober, instructive stories included in McGuffey’s readers.

Total Spent = $ 8.84

 Total Value = $ 76.20

 Next Literary Acquisition = ?????


Library Sale!

It had been three months since I attended the Maud Marks Library Sale. In March, the sale occurred on the same day as my sister’s studio recital. Last month, it occurred on the same day as my sister’s wedding. Both were important events that I couldn’t and didn’t want to miss.

But this month, I was delighted to return to the sale and reap all of the desirable books that had accumulated in my absence. =)

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – $ .50 Yes, I know. Strictly speaking I didn’t need this book since I already have the Adventures in four different volumes. But non-strictly speaking, I had to have it.

Life and Letters of Benjamin Franklin – $ 1.00 A pretty volume with worthwhile material. I already owned Ben Franklin’s autobiography, but this includes various of his letters as well.

Little Dorrit – $ 1.00 Yay! I finally have my own copy! I read Little Dorrit back in October 2009, and it’s been one of my favorites ever since!

Ivanhoe – $ 1.00
The Age of Fable – $ 1.00
Manhattan Transfer – $ 1.00
Three volumes in the International Collector’s Library. I have never heard of Manhattan Transfer, am slightly acquainted with The Age of Fable (Thomas Bulfinch), and am super happy to have (another copy of) Ivanhoe!

The Treasury of American Short Stories – $ 1.00 Few things excite me as much as short story collections. This one, a thick volume with a dark green dust jacket, contains pieces from all of the masters.

A Morbid Taste for Bones$ .50 This is the first volume in The Chronicles of Brother Cadfael series of which I reviewed the eighteenth volume The Summer of the Danes.

Company of Cowards – $ .50 Remember Shane? Well, Company of Cowards is written by the same author and is set immediately after the War Between the States.

Alistair MacLean’s Death Train – $ .50
Alistair MacLean – $ 1.00
Partisans – $ .50
I returned to the Maud Marks Library Sale with one goal in mind – to snatch up the dozens of Alistair MacLean soft covers that I had noticed and passed up at their last sale. What did I find? Partisans, a WWII story, Alistair MacLean’s Death Train a story which was begun by MacLean before he died and finished by a friend afterward, and a big red volume titled simply ALISTAIR MACLEAN. This volume contains Where Eagles Dare, H.M.S. Ulysses, Ice Station Zebra, When Eight Bells Toll, and The Guns of Navarone. =]

A Study in Scarlet / The Sign of Four – $ .50 Strictly speaking, I DID need this set from the Holmes canon – my only copy of The Sign of Four is buried deep within my beautiful Complete Adventures.

Heart of the West – $ 1.00 A collection of short stories by O. Henry, my favorite short story author ever! It’s a Reader’s Digest edition, to boot. : )

Classical Whodunnits – $ 1.00 A collection of mysteries set in Ancient Greece and Rome. Love the dustjacket!

The Cat Who Blew the Whistle – $ .50
The Cat Who Wasn’t There – $ .50
The Cat Who Saw Stars – $ .50
The Cat Who Smelled a Rat – $ .50
The Cat Who Knew a Cardinal – $ .50
The Cat Who Tailed a Thief – $ .50
The Cat Who Came to Breakfast – $ .50
The Cat Who Had 14 Tales – $ .50
I’ve read one book by Lilian Jackson Braun, author of The Cat Who series. It was a collection of local legends – tall tales, mostly. So I don’t know that much about her. But these whimsical mysteries looked fun, and hey – they’ve got CATS in them!

The Seven-Per-Cent Solution – $ .50 I thought long and hard about this book. I have a rule – buy anything Holmes – which I stick to with a vengeance. That encompasses imitation stories. But this story, this ‘bestseller’ outlines a collaboration between Sherlock Holmes and Sigmund Freud. Hmm. I know I’ll probably dislike it, but I bought The Seven-Per-Cent Solution anyway, because I couldn’t bear the thought of there being a Holmes story that I hadn’t read. At least once I read it, I can berate it. : D

Witnesses to War – $ .50 This is the only children’s book that I purchased at this sale. :O It tells the story of eight different children who experienced Nazi persecution during WWII, including Anne Frank.

The Postman Always Rings Twice & Double Indemnity – $ 1.00 Never heard of James M. Cain before, but this is a beautiful (and un-pass-uppable) edition of two of his mystery novels.

Total Spent = $ 18.00

Total Value = $ 93.63 (eight of the hardcovers don’t have original prices on them!)

Next Sale = ?????

Book Sale!

My dear, dear readers. I have not been entirely honest with you. I have not faithfully reported all of my Literary Acquisitions. Please forgive me.

The truth is, I have acquired 355 books since my last Literary Acquisitions post. But each of these acquisitions either came at a time when it was inconvenient to write a recap, or were insignificant in size.

Last Saturday, April 27th 2013, was a Book Sale at the Northwest Library in Houston. I enjoyed it. I enjoyed it a lot.

The Titanic – $ .50 An “interactive history adventure”, The Titanic helps you to experience the Titanic voyage in three different capacities; as a first class member, a third class member, or a crew member.

The Wheel on the School – $ .50 I’m really looking forward to this one. It’s a Newbery winner set in the Netherlands. D’aww.

Joseph Had a Little Overcoat – $ .50 I’ve come to love the Caldicott Medal winners (Prayers for a Child, Blueberries for Sal, etc.), so I was happy to find this hardcover edition of Caldicott Medalist, Joseph Had a Little Overcoat.

…If You Lived with the Cherokee – $ .50 Remember the …If You series?

Internet Spy – $ .50 This is a children’s book which deals with the intriguing topic of computer espionage. Is anything on the internet really secure?

The Imitation of Christ – $ 1.00 I already owned the Hendrickson Classics edition of this work, but the Christian Library version was too pretty to pass up.

Taken at the Flood – $ .50
The Moving Finger – $ .50
Five Little Pigs – $ .50
Sparkling Cyanide – $ .50
The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side – $ .50
Parker Pyne Investigates – $ .50
The Labours of Hercules – $ .50
Murder in the Mews – $ .50
Elephants Can Remember – $ .50
Hickory, Dickory, Dock – $ .50
The Hollow – $ .50
The Mystery of the Blue Train – $ .50
I arrived at the sale with the intense hope of finding a few Christie novels. Imagine my delight when, upon dropping to examine the boxes underneath the book tables, I found an entire stack of them! This miscellany includes cases by Poirot, Miss Marple, Mrs. Oliver, Inspector Battle, and Parker Pyne.  #happydance

Night of January 16th – $ .50 Ayn Rand is the pet darling of libertarianism. I have not read her magnum opus, Atlas Shrugged, but I have read her slimmer work, Anthem. While I did not agree with many of Rand’s philosophical conclusions, I nevertheless felt challenged and stimulated by Anthem and wanted to try another of her small works.

A Christmas Carol, The Chimes, and The Cricket on the Hearth – $ .50 I’ve got a soft spot for just about every kind of book, but the Barnes & Noble Classics go beyond soft spots. And the cover was RED! : )

Oscar Wilde and a Game Called Murder – $ .50 I love imitative fiction – so long as it’s not cheesy – and this book looks like a lot of fun. It is a murder mystery featuring Oscar Wilde and Arthur Conan Doyle as its main characters.

The Portable Mark Twain – $ 1.00 I very recently separated all of my classics from the rest of my library and placed them on one book case. Since then, I have been snatching up classics left and right!

A Night to Remember – $ .50 I’ve heard much about this book (I’ve even watched the movie A Night to Remember) and I’m looking forward to reading it. It is an account of the Titanic’s sinking.

Works of Charles Dickens – $ 1.00 When I first saw this book, I fingered it and thought to myself “Should I really ask Mom to pay a whole dollar for this book?” I then moved on and began browsing the box next to it, apathetically mulling the question over in my mind. It wasn’t until another purchaser took her place next to me and hovered over Works that I realized just how desperately I wanted it. She moved on and I snatched it up with trembling fingers. No one could take it from me now! (Okay, so maybe my fingers weren’t really trembling, but, you know. It sounds so nice.)

How to Write Killer Fiction – $ .50 While the reading of mysteries is a definite pursuit of mine, writing them has not interested me. But who knows, maybe after reading this manual, I’ll be spitting out mysteries. ; )

The Little Red Writing Book – $ 1.00 An absolutely darling volume, The Little Red Writing Book sets forth ‘20 Powerful Principles of Structure, Style, & Readability’. It has a quaint, old-fashioned style about it, and provides illustrations and exercises to demonstrate each point.

Treasury of World Masterpieces O. Henry – Free! When my mother bought a set of beautifully bound hardcovers, the library workers threw in this volume for free. Free! Knowing my general interest in short stories and my particular love of O. Henry, she generously gifted it to me. What a good Mommy she is.

Total Spent = $ 15.00

Total Value = $ 100.19 (15 out of the 27 books have no original price on them, so this really isn’t an accurate number…)

Next Library Sale = May 18, 2013

Library Book Sale!

So, on the way to Louisiana on Christmas Eve Day, I purchased 55 books for $ 8.31 at different Goodwills off of I-10. (I didn’t post about it because I was taking a vacation. ;]) Going into the North Channel Library Sale yesterday, I had to battle the feeling that spending $ .25 cents on a book was an extravagance. ; ) #whatconditioningdoes

Anyway, here are the books from yesterday.

Yes, I know the lighting’s a mess and there’s a big bright reflection in the middle of one of the books. But what’s a non-photographer to do?

The Twenty-One Balloons – $ .50 I have long wished to add this book to my library. A Newbery Medal winner, it tells the story of a Professor and his brief sojourn on the island of Krakatoa a place of fantastical inventions.

Ginger Pye – $ .50 Jerry and Rachel Pye are very proud of their dog. Not only is Ginger the most intelligent dog in their city, but he is also famous for his heroism. When Ginger is stolen, Jerry and Rachel are frantic. Can they rescue their pooch?

The Cuckoo Tree – $ .50 The Cuckoo Tree is written by Joan Aiken, author of The Wolves of Willoughby Chase which was recently recommended to me by a good friend. The Cuckoo Tree seems to be about an orphan who returns to England and lands smack dab in the middle of a mystery which involves so high a person as the king!

Harry Houdini – $ .25 A very short Scholastic biography. It includes original pictures and posters of Harry and his wife, Bess.

The Hundred Dresses – $ .25 A Newbery book written by the author of Ginger Pye. I’m not quite sure what the point of it is…

The Littles Go to School – $ .25 This book and its accompanying volumes are touted as a ‘Classic Best-Selling Series’, so I thought I’d give it a whirl. I’m pretty sure I won’t like it, but one must investigate these things. : )

The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm – $ .75 Another Newbery medal runner-up. This one is set a couple of centuries in the future and looks quite wacky.  : /

Laura Ingalls Wilder – $ .25 Laura Ingalls Wilder is a short biography written by Newbery medal winner, Patricia Reilly Giff. It is written especially for children.

Puppies, Dogs, and Blue Northers – $ .50 I’m looking forward to this book. It tells in greater detail the story of Cookie, Gary Paulsen’s lead sled dog. I read part of her story in My Life in Dog Years and was impressed by her bravery.

Spaniel in a Stocking – $ .75 Remember Badger in the Basement in the Animal Ark Series? Well, Spaniel in a Stocking is in the same series and treats a similar topic – finding a home for a misplaced animal. Hopefully it will be as happy as Badger in the Basement.

Woodsong – $ .50 Written by Gary Paulsen, Woodsong is a biographical account of his adventures in the wild. It combines tales of dogs, hunts, and races, with reflections on life.

Howie Bowles, Secret Agent – $ .50 Howie Bowles is facing the challenges of moving to a new home and attending a new school where he must make new friends. At first he is worried, but once he gets his new friends to believe that he is a real secret agent, they all become interested in him. Now, if he could only find a case to solve…

Runaway Ralph – $ .50 Runaway Ralph is in the series as the Ralph S. Mouse series and is also written by Beverly Cleary. In this story, Ralph attends summer camp with the aid of his loved motorcycle.

Strider – $ .10 Discouraged and insecure, Leigh Botts is in need of a friend. And that’s just what he finds in Strider, the stray dog who loves to run. With all of the running that Strider does, Leigh starts running, too – and he’s soon good enough to run on the school team! Strider may very well be the best thing that’s happened to Leigh!

The Borrowers – $ .10 A friend has described this series to me as being a very sweet one, so I am giving it a try. It is about miniature people who live in a quaint country house and ‘borrow’ things.

Creating Short Fiction – $ .25 Super excited about this one. Written by Damon Knight, Creating Short Fiction addresses story structure, development, form, and mechanism, as well as characters and all things story.

The Family Story of Bonnie and Clyde – $ .75 Although I’ve heard the names ‘Bonnie and Clyde’ over and over, I’ve never read anything about their lives. Apparently, this biography focuses on how their families influenced their activities.

“Who Was That Masked Man Anyway?” – $ .50 I doubt I’ll be able to recommend this book to its target reading level (the main character is a young boy who is obsessed with radio dramas), but I have no doubt that I myself will enjoy it greatly. Avi’s the best.

King Solomon’s Mines – $ .50 I’ve enjoyed several of H. Rider Haggard’s books – The Brethren, Pearl Maiden, etc. – but had never read King Solomon’s Mines. Obviously, it’s the most popular of his books, but I fear that it will have even more supernatural occurrences than his typical novel due to its setting in the heart of Africa.

The Wit and Wisdom of Jane Austen – $ 1.00 I’m really looking forward to reading this book. My mother actually found it, but she was generous enough to give it to me. It is filled with quotes from Jane Austen’s novels and personal papers.

Total Spent: $ 9.20

Total Value: $ 107.36

Next Library Sale: January 12, 2013

Maud Marks Library Sale!

For those of you who have been reading my literary acquisitions posts, you probably noticed that most of my purchases have been from the children’s section. I generally only buy one or two works of adult fiction per sale. This time, the children’s section had dwindled and I found myself snatching up adult books.

Davy Crockett/Daniel Boone – $ .25 Biographical accounts of Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone told in black-and-white comic strip form. It is not at all goofy; rather, it brings the story to life through its many illustrations.

Ballet Shoes – $ .25 I watched half of the movie version when I was little. I’ve always wondered how it ended. Now I get to find out!

Six Against the Yard – $ .50 A collection of detective stories. I can’t figure out if it is written by famous authors (Dorothy Sayers, etc.), or is about famous authors. I’ll have to read it to find out!

The Upstairs Room – $ .25 The only Newbery I found today, The Upstairs Room is set in Holland during World War II.

My Antonia – $ .50 A classic pioneer story, My Antonia tells the story of Antonia, a hardy young woman who braves the Great Plains of America in the eighteen hundreds.

The Toynbee Convector – $ .50 I’ve read Ray Bradbury’s book Dandelion Wine, but not his famous book Fahrenheit 451. Right now, I’m just collecting some of his other works.

A Holiday for Murder – $ .50
Cards on the Table – $ .50
Poirot Investigates – $ .50
After the Funeral – $ .50
Having recently drooled my way through Murder on the Orient Express, I wanted to try out a few more Agatha Christie novels. Can’t wait!

Lord of the Flies – $ .25 So, I finally broke down and bought my own copy of this novel. I’ve been resisting for a while (I can’t stand the thought of Ballantyne’s book The Coral Island being corrupted), but since it’s SUCH a classic, I ought to read it sometime.

The Custom of the Country – $ .50 Edith Wharton. I’ve only read one of her works (Ethan Frome) which I didn’t really enjoy, but I thought I’d give her another whirl. It’s a pretty thick whirl.

That Hideous Strength – $ .50 I enjoy collecting C. S. Lewis’ works for the purpose of ferreting out incriminating statements. : )

The Last Full Measure – $ .50 A sequel to The Killer Angels, The Last Full Measure continues the Shaara saga of the War Between the States.

Rise to Rebellion – $ .50 Also by Jeff Shaara, Rise to Rebellion is also a war novel but is set during the American War for Independence rather than the War Between the States.

Nicholas Nickleby – $ .50 I’ve read this book before, but did not own a copy (I’d borrowed one from the library). This is a nice, Penguin Classics edition.

The Murder Room – $ .50 I’ve never read any P. D. James, but since I’ve been experimenting in classic detective fiction, I figured I should check her out.                                                                                                   

Captain Blood Returns – Free So, Rafael Sabatini wrote ‘Captain Blood’ and ‘The Sea Hawk’, both of which became films starring Errol Flynn. (The Sea Hawk is amazing.) I’m looking forward to experiencing piratical adventures along with Sabatini. ;)

Therese Raquin – Free The only reason I picked this up is because it was free. I honestly have no idea what it’s about…

Treasure Mountain – $ .50
Where the Long Grass Blows – $ .50
The Walking Drum – $ .50
Last of the Breed – $ .50
Taggart – $ .50
Yondering – $ .50
A few more Louis L’Amour novels – these are in really nice condition. I tried to pick the ones that weren’t just ride-em, shoot-em westerns, but had more historical time settings. The Walking Drum looks especially interesting. It’s set during the third crusade.

The Turquoise Toad Mystery – $ .25 A children’s mystery about a little boy who is invited to spend Christmas with an aunt at an archaeological dig and who spends his time there capturing a gang of Indian artifact thieves. (:

The World at His Fingertips – $ .25 A third grade biography of Louis Braille.

Chataine’s Guardian – $ .50 So, this one could either be really fun and adventurous or really sappy. Obviously, I hope it’s the former, but I’m not sure I have much reason to hope. The story is about a Christian soldier and the young noblewoman that he has been chosen to guard. Interesting…

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – $ 1.00 Yeah, so I know that I already own four copies of this book, but is there such a thing as too much Holmes? :)

The Plays of Oscar Wilde Vol. 1 – $ .50 I own a copy of Wilde’s magnificent ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’, but have none of his other plays. This Wordsworth Classics edition contains his plays A Woman of No Importance and Lady Windermere’s Fan.

Total Spent = $ 13.00

Total Value = $ 154.08

Next Library Sale = January 4, 2012

Goodwill Trip!

While we were planning a trip to visit my lovely, wonderful grandmother, I requested that we stop at the Goodwill in Beaumont. While the prices there were no longer ten for a dollar, they were still pretty cheap – five for a dollar!

Test Your Bible Knowledge – $ .20 This book is filled with Bible trivia intended to test Biblical literacy. I look forward to testing myself!

Around the World in Eighty Days – $ .20 Although I read this story several years ago, I did not yet own a copy myself.

The Mouse and the Motorcycle – $ .20 This book precedes Ralph S. Mouse in the Ralph S. Mouse series. It is when Ralph first discovers the joys of riding a motorcycle.

The Canterbury Tales – $ .19 This is a thick book, but it is nevertheless only a selection of stories from The Canterbury Tales. Beautiful Penguin Classics!

The Unvanquished – $ .20 Written by William Faulkner, The Unvanquished is a story of the Reconstruction set in Mississippi and following the lives of an old Southern family.

The Tutor’s First Love – $ .20 C. S. Lewis called George MacDonald the ‘master of us all’. Therefore, I was interested in reading this book and investigating MacDonald’s theology.

Encyclopedia Brown Lends a Hand – $ .20 More Encyclopedia Brown stories!

Sheltie Races On – $ .20 Horrors! A horse story! No, actually, I read this book on the way home and it was pretty cute. It’s about little Shetland Ponies. D’aww.

How to Raise your Children for Christ – $ .20 My mother considers this book to be one of the finest ever written on the subject of child-training. You might say I let out a discreet “Yeah!” when I found it on the shelf. =)

Homer Price – $ .20 I already owned a copy of this book by Robert McCloskey, but it was very beat up. This one is in stellar condition.

Heart of Darkness and The Secret Sharer – $ .20 The Bantam Classic edition – i.e. a beautiful softcover – of Joseph Conrad’s two classics. I was not particularly fond of either of these stories, but the book is worth having in a library.

The American Short Story Vol. 2 – $ .20 This novel includes stories by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Mark Twain, Willa Cather and other famous American authors.

Andy and the Runaway Horse – $ .20 A story about a little boy and a horse written by Jane Thayer, author of The Puppy that Found a Home.

The Detective and Mr. Dickens – $ .20 Written by William J. Palmer, The Detective and Mr. Dickens is an account of Mr. Dickens interaction with a certain Inspector Field supposedly written by Wilkie Collins.

Home A Memoir of My Early Years – $ .19 This book is actually Julie Andrews’ (actress, The Sound of Music) biography. It will be interesting to read about her singing career.

The Sign of the Crooked Arrow – $ .20 I didn’t realize until I’d brought it home that this book is in the Hardy Boys series. #howdidinotnoticethat

The Saga of Erik the Viking – $ .20 An imitation Viking story.

Man From the Sky – $ .20 Yay! Another book by Avi!

An Overdose of Death – $ .20 I recently read Murder on the Orient Express (also by Agatha Christie), and was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. So, I’ll be trying out another of her stories.

Monsieur Pamplemousse #1 – $ .20
Monsieur Pamplemousse #2: The Secret Mission – $ .20
Monsieur Pamplemousse #3: On the Spot – $ .20
Monsieur Pamplemousse #5: Aloft – $ .20
Monsieur Pamplemousse #7: Rests His Case – $ .20

This is a series about a French detective who solves cases which generally involve fancy cooking. I’ve read one of the books in this series – the mystery was superb but there were several other elements which I found entirely unacceptable. Hopefully, these will have been left out of the other books.

The Ferguson Rifle – $ .19 Several trappers vie with each other to discover the lost treasure of Montezuma.

The Red Badge of Courage – $ .19 When I read this story several years ago I HATED it. I still don’t expect to really like it, but maybe my animosity will subside upon a second reading.  : )

To Be a Slave – $ .20 The only Newbery Book that I discovered on this go round. (The title tells the theme of the whole story – what was it to be a slave?)

The Rider of Lost Creek – $ .20 A standard Western story. You know. Gunslingers. That sort of thing.

The Adventures of Pricky Porky – $ .20 An installment in the adventures of Peter Rabbit and his friends in the Green Forest.

A Christmas Carol – $ .20 Can you believe that I did not own a single copy of this book – not even in an anthology? How did that happen?

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer – $ .20 I did own a copy of this book – but it is a hardcover volume which also includes The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

In His Steps – $ .20 I didn’t have a copy of this one either. Strange…..

Billy Budd and other tales – $ .19 I couldn’t pass up this Signet Classic – even though I owned all of these stories in a beautiful hardcover.

Jude the Obscure – $ .20 I’ve never read anything by Thomas Hardy (The Mayor of Casterbridge, Tess of D’Urbervilles), even though I own several of his books.

Blitz: The Story of a Horse – $ .20 A children’s story about a horse who served in a small town’s fire response brigade. He undoubtedly saves the day.  ; )

The Invincible Armada – $ .20 A short historical account of the battle between the Spanish Armada and England’s small fleet.

Total Spent = $ 7.15

Total Value = $ 122.72 (ten books were unpriced)

Next Literary Acquisition = Unknown