I have been very good this month about not buying books, not even Daniel Defoe’s history of piracy that is a required text for a course being taught at King’s. (I may go buy it in October.) Today, however, was the annual Nova Scotia Symphony fundraising book sale, and I’ve been looking forward to it for three weeks.
Like last year, I gave myself a budget of $25 and stuck to it. (Well, I got one more item that was more, but that is for a gift and comes out of a different budget line — Christmas.) With my $25, I purchased:
1. Blaise Pascal, Lettres et Opuscules.
2. Jenny Wood, Herm: Our Island Home. (Despite my immediate equation of ‘Herm’ with obscene statues of the god Hermes in ancient Athens that Alcibiades got into trouble for defacing, it’s apparently about some people who bought an island in the English Channel right after WWII and their efforts to build a life there.)
3. Anne Perry, The Cater Street Hangman, a mystery set in the Victorian period of which I have heard good things.
4. Al Kelly, How to Make Your Life Easier at Work — because this always seems a good idea.
5. The Pancantantra, ” the Book of India’s Folk Wisdom” according to its subtitle.
6. Stephen Leacock, My Discovery of England.
7. Leo Tolstoy, Fables and Fairy Tales.
8. J. Hall, Early Middle English (texts and notes, 2 volumes).
9. Scottish Fairy Tales.
10. Sara Stein, Noah’s Garden (about an ecologically balanced yard).
11. Jean Hersey, The Shape of a Year (about a year in the life of a small Conneticut country dweller).
12. Roger Platts, Traditional Gardens.
I’m pleased with my haul, though I must say I am going to have to try harder to read them promptly. Of the twelve I bought last year, I am ashamed to admit I have only read four of them; am halfway through a fifth; and totally forgot about one of them to the point I’m not sure where it is on my shelves! Well, it’s a rainy Saturday at the end of September, and my plan for the day is tidying and thinking and reading and making stew and suchlike things, so perhaps I’ll be able to remedy some of these things. I bought lots of short books this year so perhaps that will help.