Good Book Hunting: June 14-15, 2008

Saturday: The St. Charles Book Fair

Saturday represented our third year in a row at the St. Charles Book Fair and our first attempt at a book fair with two strollers of children. This particular trip was disappointing because the combination of the crowd and keeping a grabby nigh-two-year-old from the books left me unable to effectively browse. Unless I’m in the right mood, I don’t go wild, and the factors didn’t put me in that gluttonous mood. As a result, the book purchases were far lower than I expected:

St. Charles Book Fair 2008
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I got:

  • LA Secret Police, some sort of nonfiction bit that will fit right into my paranoia.
  • The Frumionous Bandersnatch by Ed McBain, a later 87th precinct book that I might not have already.
  • Shadows over Baker Street, a collection premised on a combination of Sherlock Holmes with H.P. Lovecraft. How could that go wrong?
  • 50 Great Horror Stories, a collection, obviously, of horror, obviously.
  • Arson Detection and Investigation, a nonfiction book about police techniques regarding arson. The typeface indicates this manual might be out of date, so I expect it includes pyromancy or something.
  • K-Pax, the book that inspired the movie. Because I get those books, as you know.
  • Kim, by Rudyard Kipling. Now that I am looking for Reader’s Digest editions of these books, they’re unavailable at book sales. The only other volume they had was Twice-Told Tales by Nathaniel Hawthorne, which I almost finished at the time. Now that I have actually finished it, you’ll get the book report.
  • Homecoming by Bob Greene, which I probably already own.
  • The Choirboys by Joseph Wambaugh. First thing when I hit the first table, a volunteer asks me what I like. When I said McBain, he asked me if I’d read Wambaugh. Of course, the only Wambaugh I’d read was The New Centurions when I was in high school, and I said as much, so the volunteer pushed this book onto me. I don’t know what it was about this trip and the gabby volunteers or if a small child overcomes my normal prickly look, but I got into a lot of conversations (2) with the volunteers. The other started when I told my charge on wheels that the Romanian-English dictionary was almost tempting because I don’t own one; the volunteer stepped in to tell me about the languages her kids were taking for fun, and she not only tried to get me to buy the dictionary, but encouraged me to take on a couple of language on tape courses available with the audio goods. I declined both, but I got the Wambaugh. It was the first book I picked up, but it didn’t trigger the normal frenzy.
  • Something by John Stossel, which will be worth the read.
  • Great Books. I think I already have this one, too.

The other stack of books and the crazy number of cassettes (and 2 albums) were Mrs. Noggle’s purchases. Not depicted: the three board books I picked up to distract J1 while we browsed. One he ripped at the fair and another is one of his favorites today.

Sunday: Antiquarian inheritance from my aunt

On Sunday, I lamented about not buying many books, and my sainted mother took pity on me and gave me a stack of antiquarian books from my aunt, whose inheritance to me includes a number of titles already reviewed upon this blog.

My aunt bought these books, like so many of the others, at garage sales and was going to sell them online. Ergo, she bought them because they were old, not because of their subject matter.

Here they are:

Antiquarian donations
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They include:

  • Abridged Treasury of Prayers (unknown), which includes a postcard, a photograph, and a letter within as well as an inscription.
  • William Zorach: American Artists Group Monograph Number 15 (1945). Signed by the artist. Includes a newspaper clipping on the artist’s death in 1966.
  • The Science of Human Life or Eugenics (1920). The original textbook on it. As I said, my aunt bought this book because it is old, and I have this book because it was my aunt’s. So if you come to see it on my shelves, please understand why it’s there.
  • Gainsborough Masterpieces in Colour (unknown). A collection of works by the artist.
  • The Lilac Lady by Ruth Alberta Brown (1914).
  • We Came In Peace: The Story of Man In Space (1969).

Will I read them? Most of them, probably, maybe. They’re going on the to-read shelves anyway.

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