July’s Thrifty Book Buys

I’m a BIG fan of books and I’m an even bigger fan of used books on sale. A lot of my books come from scouring the Good Will, Fair’s Fair books, or Better World Books (I have a blurb about them at the end of this post). There are a couple in this pile that I’d almost bought for full price over the last few months, but I managed to snag all of these for under eighteen dollars! Here’s what I got:

cat and books.jpg

Hundreds and Thousands: the journals of an artist – Emily Carr

The Secret Life of Bees – Sue Monk Kidd

Amsterdam – Ian McEwan

Moloka’i – Adam Brennert

Their Eyes Were Watching God – Zora Neale Hurston

Jazz – Toni Morrison

Skin Divers – Anne Michaels

Himself – Jess Kidd

Of Bees and Mist – Erick Setiawan

One my favourite book retailers is betterworldbooks.com, a not-for-profit started by a few friends from college. The concept is that for every book you buy, one book is donated to someone in need through hundreds of different charities and organizations (talk about validating my book obsession with charity). They support of ton of local libraries around the world and they even tell you which library your purchase will be supporting. Not to mention they’ve have worldwide free shipping and almost every book on the planet. Definitely check them out!

Pictured is my cat (AKA Peanut) who loves to read almost much as I do, and usually over my shoulder.

an unconventional (and unorganized) summer of reading

jwRight now, I’m between degrees and only working in the archives part time, which means that I have more time for myself than I’ve had in years. The biggest trademark of my English degree was the way it structured my reading and not always in great ways (hello, Chaucer) but now I have full freedom to choose what I want to read and when. This is the perfect opportunity to work through my unruly TBR pile that has been steadily growing for years. Since at any given moment I’m either reading a book, looking for books or talking about books (sorry), I want to document them all in one place and keep myself accountable to keep going. I’ll be posting reviews and musings about the books I read, and I’ll also be using the public library as much as possible to save both my bank account and my poor overworked bookshelves. Please send me all of your book recommendations too! I’d love to know what you’re reading.

What I’ve read so far this summer (fun fact: 9 start with the prefix the)

  • The Taxidermist’s Daughter – Kate Mosse
  • Little Sister – Barbara Gowdy
  • Restlessness – Aritha van Herk
  • I’m the King of the Castle – Susan Hill
  • Never Let Me Go – Kazuo Ishiguro
  • The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
  • The Haunting of Hill House – Shirley Jackson
  • The Romantic – Barbara Gowdy
  • The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
  • The World According to Garp – John Irving
  • The Bear – Clare Cameron
  • The Girls – Emma Cline
  • Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? – Jeanette Winterson
  • The Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger
  • Even this page is white – Vivek Shraya

Fiction I need to read (fun fact: only 11 begin with the but 3 are about birds!)

  • The woman who gave birth to rabbits – Emma Donoghue
  • The Afterlife of Birds – Elizabeth Philips
  • The Genius of Birds – Elizabeth Philips.
  • The End of the Story -Lydia Davis
  • In Cold Blood – Truman Capote
  • Villette – Charlotte Brontë
  • Beloved – Toni Morrison
  • Ulysses – James Joyce
  • Astray – Emma Donoghue
  • The Back of the Turtle -Thomas King
  • The Waves – Virginia Woolf
  • The Studhorse man – Robert Kroetsch
  • White Teeth – Zadie Smith
  • Swing Time – Zadie Smith
  • Ophelia’s Muse – Rita Cameron
  • Agnes Gray – Anne Brontë
  • The obituary Writer – Ann Hood
  • Moonglow – Michael Chabon
  • Angela’s ashes – Frank McCourt
  • The Break – Katherena Vermette
  • The way the crow flies – Ann-Marie McDonald
  • Son of a Trickster – Eden Robinson
  • Moshi Moshi – Banana Yoshimoto
  • Yesterday, at the Hotel Clarendon – Nicole Brossard
  • Ana, Historic – Daphne Marlatt
  • Wise Blood – Flannery O’Connor
  • The Falls – Joyce Carol Oates

Poetry I need to read:

  • Nets – Jen Bervin
  • Recyclopedia – Haryette Mullen
  • Joy Kagawa – A Garden of Anchors

Non-fiction/biography I need to read:

  • Shirley Jackson, A Rather Haunted Life – Ruth Franklin
  • Virginia Woolf, A Biography – Hermione Lee
  • Charlotte Brontë – Clare Harman
  • Anais Nin, A Biography – Deirdre Bair
  • Bad Feminist – Roxanne Gay
  • How to Build a Woman – Caitlin Moran

This list is probably about one hundredth of the books I want to read, but it’s a good start! Please send me book recommendations (especially for new poetry). I’m always up for something new!

A New Start for a New Year

A goal I set for myself this year was to start a blog to get my writing onto a public, readable space.  I’m not generally a risk taker, so this was a big first step for me.  It’s time to get myself out there and take some new risks.  Next step is to start submitting to more magazines and entering more competitions.  But for now, a little Anaïs Nin to get me through the week.

And then the day came,
when the risk
to remain tight
in a bud
was more painful
than the risk
it took
to Blossom.

Anaïs Nin