Monday, April 4, 2016

Spring book sale loot II: the sequel

I really wasn't planning to do a follow-up to my post from last Friday on the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library Big Book Sale. It was quite long and self-indulgent enough, I thought.

I forgot to post our pics from the line last time. Initially, I tried
to get by without the granny cart, carrying only a shopping 
bag. Andy had to run back to the car to bring in the cart 
within twenty minutes...

But then we decided to make a quick return trip on Saturday morning, when the crowds are far sparser and the browsing more relaxed and pleasant. We've occasionally made return visits in the past, and they very rarely pay off with any big finds, so I wasn't expecting a lot—perhaps some more recent titles that I've meant to read, maybe a handful more mysteries.

Our selfie from the book sale

Which is pretty much what I got, but with one very big exception. Who would have expected, when the books had been picked over for several days already, an American first edition of Angela Thirkell's wonderful early novel, The Brandons


But there it was, in a box under one of the tables (and I was only half-heartedly perusing the boxes, to be honest, so it's just dumb luck that the Thirkell happened to be lying almost on top).


I can't resist sharing every bit of its lovely dustjacket, of course.


Apart from that lucky find, I did some across two more Ngaio Marsh books, a beat-up old copy (but with dustjacket) of Clutch of Constables, and a recent hardcover reprint of Artists in Crime—which is just as well, since I've already finished one of the ones I picked up on Tuesday and am well into another. I seem to be a bit obsessed...


Andy also came through with another harder-to-find title from my mystery wish list—Christianna Brand's Suddenly at His Residence (1946), which is apparently set during WWII, and which I've been eager to read for some time.


It was also Andy who brought me a lovely copy of a book indirectly relevant to my blog—Frank B. Gilbreth Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey's sequel to their bestselling Cheaper by the Dozen, Belles on Their Toes


The bright, charming dustjacket caught his eye, as it did mine, and I couldn't resist it, even if it is American. 


The gratuitous jacket flaps, of course:


It also included a Book-of-the-Month Club flyer from when the book was a selection, and I'm always interested in those.


And Andy also remembered that I had previously asked him to look for Georgette Heyer books, so when he came across Jane Aiken Hodge's biography, The Private World of Georgette Heyer, he grabbed it for me. If nothing else, it contains irresistible photos throughout.


I'm not sure how I first came across a mention of a recent novel called Crooked Heart, by Lissa Evans—perhaps it was a runner-up for one or another of the numerous literary prizes given every year? At any rate, as it's set during World War II, it piqued my interest, and I picked up a copy on Saturday. After finding one of Margaret Yorke's non-mysteries on Tuesday, I couldn’t resist a nice ex-library copy of one of her mysteries, also just $1.

Two Iris Murdochs, one more Anita Brookner, and a pristine paperback of A. S. Byatt's Possession (which I read when it first came out a quarter of a century ago—can you believe it?—but have been meaning to re-read for a while now) also leapt into my shopping bag.

And that was that for our return visit. Hardly enough to fill a post, but how could I resist sharing the Thirkell find?!

17 comments:

  1. Have you read "Their Finest hour and a half" also by Lissa Evans? thank you for the info on her newer book and I am green with envy at all your lovely finds at the sale.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, Sue, this will be my first Lissa Evans book, so thanks for the recommendation!

      Delete
  2. Oh, man, DUDE! You scored! (Sorry for sounding like my nephew, but you did!) That Thirkell may be a better jacket than mine. And I LOVE Clutch of COnstables. It wouldl mae such a great film! (Alas, a quibble, the way she has the Americans talk - dear Lord!) But you did OK! Many congratulations! Tom

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I love representations of Americans in British novels. They really run the gamut! Looking forward to Clutch of Constables--I've already finished two of the other Marsh books I picked up.

      Delete
  3. Those are two of my favorite Marsh books (because both featuring Troy.) Be prepared to squirm at some racism in CoC... but you must be well used to that by now!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, sad but true racism (in various forms) sneaks in to books of this time all too often. Although I just finished Vintage Murder and was pleasantly surprised by Marsh's handling of a prominent Maori doctor, whom Alleyn befriends and finds fascinating and admirable.

      Delete
  4. Another excellent outing! I'm more than a little biased this time since so many of the books you picked up are favourites of mine. I love all things Thirkell- and Heyer-related and, when I was younger, I read Cheaper by the Dozen and Belles on Their Toes a gazillion times (conservatively). Crooked Heart is really excellent and I hope you enjoy it as much as these older finds.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Believe it or not, Claire, I've never read the Gilbreth books, so thanks for the recommendation. I'm really looking forward to them now, and to the Lissa Evans.

      Delete
  5. Our big Library sale is coming up soon. Hope I have as much luck as you did!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sending you all the best good luck vibes, Peggy Ann! Hope you find lots of great books.

      Delete
  6. I do love these book sale stories. My best find ever at a book sale was last year. A perfect copy (hardcover with dust jacket) of Margery Sharp's Four Gardens. I was so excited (only people here would understand how thrilling these finds are).

    My best "return to a book sale" find was a couple of years ago. I went back to the sale for the bag sale, thinking I'd get some books to donate to the hospital. I found five Nevil Shute titles. How on earth I missed them in the first visit I'll never know. I'm just glad I went back.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's impressive, Melissa! I've found a few of the more common Sharps in past years, but have never seen a copy of Four Gardens. I did wonder if maybe they had put more boxes of books out at my sale between Tuesday and Saturday, which might explain why I hadn't seen the Thirkell, but honestly, I suppose the answer could just be that I happened to miss one of the thousands and thousands of books I perused. But the Nevil Shutes sound like a great find!

      Delete
  7. Clutch of constables is my favorite Ngaio Marsh, maybe because it's set on a canal boat tour. I have the very same edition with the very same dust jacket.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Somehow I didn't realize that was the setting. Now I'm even more excited about it. Have you read any Emily Kimbrough? A couple of her books are about canal boating, my favorite being "And a Right Good Crew."

      Delete
    2. I do love Emily Kimbrough, although reading some of her books makes me jealous.

      I also very much enjoy Clutch of Constables, I enjoy the boat tour background, although it is a bit more of an organized boat than Emily and friends in And a Right Good Crew.

      Enjoy your lovely copy of The Brandons. It might not be a true first edition. The Brandons was published in a book club edition that is very difficult to distinguish from the true US first editions, since they used the same pretty dust jacket design, and didn't print "book club" anywhere. Look for a price in the top of the inside front dj flap and the words "first American edition" in the back of the title page.

      But, first edition or not, it is still a lovely pre-WWII book that survived the war and many decades since. And an enjoyable view of pre-WWII Thirkell Barsetshire.

      What a lovely bunch of finds from this two part book sale.

      Jerri

      Delete
    3. I had no idea that Emily Kimbrough did more writing than Our Hearts Were Young And Gay! (Our library had some other Skinner books, but no Kimbrough.) Hooray for Open Library!

      My Marsh's are all hideous paperbacks from the 80s. I recently borrowed some Marsh ebooks and was surprised that they were slightly different from my editions. Mine were Americanized, I suppose, but the changes didn't seem particularly logical (not like jumper being changed to sweater, for example.)

      Delete
    4. I was almost inspired from all of this to try to arrange for a couple of days of canal boating on our trip, but I think perhaps we have enough to do already (understatement). I hoped to find some sort of day tour on the canals, but I'm not finding anything. I did find a boat tour around Canterbury though, so who knows, my fantasizing may (again) have been productive!

      You're right, Jerri, mine is a book club edition. I was foolishly accepting the fact that a bookseller (unscrupulous or uninformed?) had written "1st ed" inside the front cover. But I don't really mind about first editions anyway--I won't be selling it any time soon!

      Interesting about the changes in the Marsh books, Willaful. There must be lots of books from this period that were revised in different editions. Ugh. But hopefully the e-book editions are complete and restored.

      Delete

NOTE: The comment function on Blogger is notoriously cranky. If you're having problems, try selecting "Name/URL" or "Anonymous" from the "Comment as" drop-down (be sure to "sign" your comment, though, so I know who dropped by). Some people also find it easier using a browser like Firefox or Chrome instead of Internet Explorer.

But it can still be a pain, and if you can't get any of that to work, please email me at furrowed.middlebrow@gmail.com. I do want to hear from you!