Last Friday I worked at my library’s book sale, which is really just an excuse to sit in a hot gym with a bunch of your favorite coworkers and shoot the breeze (really, where did that expression come from?) and alternate between tallying up people’s totals (one woman spent over Three Hundred Dollars. I’m sure she’s going to resell them, but still. At 50 cents to a dollar apiece, that’s a hell of a lot of books.) and “straightening” the tables (a euphemism for browsing). I ended up with a modest thirteen titles, which I shall list for your enjoyment. Because who doesn’t love $1 books?

In the “Silly Me, I’ve Already Read That” column, we have:

1. Animal Dreams &
2. Homeland and Other Stories by Barbara Kingsolver (“I’ve read everything…by Barbara Kingsolver.” I will read anything this woman writes. And reread it.)
3. The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood. (Worth a reread at some point.)
4. Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier. (I’ve already reread this once, and boy does he do a lovely book on tape, but it’s a gorgeous hardcover. Could not resist.)
5. The Ear, the Eye and the Arm by Nancy Farmer. (It’s fantastic. Newbery Honor. Enough said.)

In the “Um, Don’t You Already Own That?” column:

6. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (It’s nicer than the copy I already had, plus I lent that one to my sister and now she can just keep it.)
7. Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels. (This is to give away. Anyone want it? It needs a good home.)

In the “Venturing Into Untrodden Territory, Yay for Me” column:

8. Childe Harold and Prisoner of Chillon by Byron (It’s a gorgeous tiny hardcover, and Byron cracks me up to no end – “And thus they plod in sluggish misery,/ Rotting from sire to son, and age to age.” Allegedly I’ve read part of this, but not the whole thing.)
9. The Jump-Off Creek by Molly Gloss. (It was apparently an Oregonian Book Club Selection, and the previous owner was one Helen Keller. Too much to resist.)
10. Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak. (I’m not at all principal characters and begins with a funeral.)
11. One True Thing by Anna Quindlen. (Isn’t this supposed to be a bit of a tearjerker? Worth a try.)
12. Adam Bede by George Eliot. (Because I loved Silas Marner and I haven’t yet worked up the courage for Middlemarch.)
13. The Lifetime Reading Plan by Clifton Fadiman. (I once checked it out of the library and have had an eye to purchasing it ever since. It is “a stimulating and irresistible guide to one hundred books and authors which will help you, over the whole of your lifetime, to understand what the greatest writers of Western Civilization have thought and felt,” according to the front cover. Because I don’t have enough to read. And isn’t Clifton Anne Fadiman’s father?)

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