Saturday, February 26, 2011

Books, Treats and Kitties, Oh My!

It's only 2:00 and already I've had the best day! Okay, so I woke up with a migraine (yup, I'm a migraine sufferer, anyone else? boy do they suck! I get about one a week) and it still hasn't gone away. And it's snowing AGAIN. And the temperature dropped AGAIN. And I have no idea when spring is actually going to arrive even though I'm trying to will it here by putting my sunglasses in my purse yesterday. IT WILL HAPPEN!

Anyway, it's still the BEST day because I just came back from the bookstore and bought a ton of books :) Now, as I'm sure most of you have heard, Borders have filed for bankruptcy, which means that tons of stores are going to be going out of business all over the place.
Well lot's of stores were already shutting their doors but now it's even more widespread. As much as it breaks my heart to see bookstores closing up (I really love them, I could spend hours upon hours in one), it is awesome because then I can get lots of books for discounted prices. Yay me!

I live basically like a retired senior citizen in that I survive on a fixed income. Thus, I have no money most of the time to buy fancy things like books. And, alas, it is one of my most loved things to do! So I survive by borrowing from the library (which in the last few months have started lending books at a snail's pace), downloaded free classics on my Kindle and stealing acquiring books from my parents' house. But store closings or special sales make my heart go pitter patter!

So today I hopped on the L and hiked over to the North and Halsted Borders(so all you folks in the Chicago area can do the same). The shelves were already pretty picked over but I found some gems.

To fulfill my love of classics I got:

My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier - I've been wanting to read this ever since I finished Rebecca last year.

Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte - It's the only Bronte sister I have yet to read, so I'm pretty excited. I also tried to find The Tenant of Wildfell Hall but they didn't seem to have it.

Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald - I've only read The Great Gatsby by him so far and I thought it was very good if not infuriating. But when I picked this up the description seemed very intriguing. Like a lot of it could have been taken from his own marriage. So I'm in!

Then I moved on to a couple history books:

The Rape of Nanking by Iris Chang - I actually found this while in the African History section (it seems the store was in a bit of disarray) because I wanted to find some more books about the Congo. But this has been on my TBR for a while so I figured I should pick it up while it was right in front of me and cheap. It's a horrible story of the rape, torture and murder of the Chinese village of Nanking by the Japanese army in 1937. I'm kind of afraid to get started to be honest.

How the Irish Saved Civilization by Thomas Cahill - I've heard mixed reviews of this one, but again, it was right in front of me so I figured why not. And I'm Irish so I need to start learning my own heritage right? But the title pretty much speaks for itself on this one I think.

Finally, I picked up a book that wasn't on my TBR, but looked really interesting. I found it while looking for the book Blindness, which wasn't there, and instead came away with something else by the same author:

All the Names by Jose Saramago - It's about a guy that basically lives a mundane life issuing birth and death certificates, things like that. Then he inexplicably becomes obsessed with the records of one anonymous young woman he happens across. He sets off to follow this thread of records to lead himself to her. Like I said, it sounded intriguing and I wanted to get ONE book that I hadn't heard of before that was totally new to me. This I decided was it. And the author is supposed to be great so I figure it will hopefully be a good enough choice.

So that was my best day! And I ended it with a trip to Starbucks to get a huge Marshmallow Dream Bar. Yummers :) Now I'm sitting here, all curled up on the couch with tons of books, my delicious treat and my kitty purring on my lap. Awesome.


Stephanie M. Hasty said...

my, my, my what delicious finds, if you like du maurier you might also like frenchman's's also a movie!!!

i, too, had a good day of buying books on the cheap at a flea market and then buying some expensive cheese...i love cheese and books! :)

llevinso said...

Ohhh, I love cheese too Stephanie! What books did you buy?

Jennifer O. said...

Great selection! I've heard so many good things about Saramago.

Christie said...

Oooh lucky you, finding things at Borders! (I can never find the more obscure classics I like there, sadly, but the coffee is so tasty.) And Fitzgerald! Always a good choice; The Beautiful and Damned & This Side of Paradise were good as well :)

llevinso said...

@Jenny, I had never heard of Saramago until a day ago. But he did win the Nobel Prize for Literature so I'm hoping he was a good choice ;)

@Christie, yeah I can see that since you like the more obscure books. Pretty much any bookstore for me will end up with me leaving with at least 4 books.

Shannon Young said...

Wow, these are some great finds. I read Tender is the Night a few years ago and enjoyed it. Agnes Gray is on my list too!

llevinso said...

Yeah, I know one of these will be my next book after my Shelfari Classics group read (we just picked Tess of the d'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy to read for March). But I don't know which one! Grrr.