I've had a gift card burning a hole in my pocket for a couple of months now and decided it was time to have a little bookstore splurge. I found a number of wonderful treats, an unexpected surprise or two and a couple of downright bargains. What more can a person ask for on a Friday afternoon since I even took a few hours off work in order to book shop.
For once I actually came with a list (only found one book) and a couple of coupons (both of which I was able to use, one being a free coffee in B&N's café). I made some very thoughtful selections, put a few books back added one or two when I thought I was done, and in the end am quite pleased with my finds. From top to bottom:
A Raisin in the Sun by Loraine Hansberry -- I have long wanted to read this and I want to read a few plays in general this year (and hopefully can find a filmed stage production to watch after reading). This was "a radically new representation of black life, resolutely authentic, fiercely unsentimental, and unflinching in its vision of what happens to people whose dreams are constantly deferred."
The 100 Best Poems of All Time edited by Leslie Pockell -- Now this is one of the surprises. When do I ever buy poetry?! Since it is National Poetry Month right now (and I think I need to do this on April 27, too!) I thought I should celebrate in some way. Faced with shelves and shelves of poetry collections and not knowing where to start (I was reaching for Robert Frost but as I already have a collection of his work on my shelves I thought it better to try and expand my horizons a little), I opted for an anthology. Of course now that I think about it--classic poetry . . . I wonder if I should have chosen a contemporary anthology. You know how it goes--classic can mean Classic and also mean challenging and I don't want to be put off by my first foray into poetry. I'll let you know how it goes!
Beauty and the Beast: Classic Tales About Animal Brides and Grooms from Around the World edited by Maria Tatar -- This is my other surprise. Right next to poetry is the section with mythology and fairy tales. My eye was caught by this title. It's essentially a collection of fairy tales from around the world--mostly short tales/short stories. Different cultural riffs on the same theme. I'm quite thrilled with this find.
The Supreme Macaroni Company by Adriana Trigiani -- This is one of my bargain books--they have a great selection of remaindered books. How can you pass up a novel that is a third the price and in pristine condition? I have read a couple of her novels and enjoyed them and I love Italian-American (or just Italian!) sagas. This story moves from the "cobblestone streets of Greenwich Village to lush New Orleans to Italy and back again."
Baker Towers by Jennifer Haigh -- My other bargain book. To be honest I am pretty sure I read this one, but it would have been a library book and I would like to revisit the story. It's the setting that draws me in--1940s . . . "Bakerton is a community of company houses and fireman's parades. Its neighborhoods include Little Italy, Swede-town, and Polish Hill." The story follows the Novak family. Haigh wrote a collection of short stories about Bakerton, and I believe I saw remaindered copies of it as well and now wish I would have bought that, too. (A reason to go back, I guess).
Light of Paris by Eleanor Brown -- I remember looking at this when it first came out in hardcover (yay, for once I waited to buy it since it now in paperback, and I bet I would not have read it yet had I bought it then). Ah, another novel with a Paris setting, so this might get a big bump and I might read it this month, too. This is a novel with two storylines--one contemporary and the other a diary about one woman's experiences in Jazz Age Paris.
The Girl from the Metropol Hotel: Growing Up in Communist Russia by Ludmilla Petrushevskaya -- The lone book from my list that I found on their shelves. It is a coming of age memoir about the author's girlhood in Stalinist Russia. She had a very bohemian upbringing and I am curiously fascinated by life behind in the Iron Curtain in general.
Loads of goodies. I want to read them all rightnowofcourse. But I will try and resist. Well, the poetry will absolutely be slipped into my reading pile. And who knows what else I will be inspired to start reading. Now I need an afternoon (or three) off in order to just read!
Did you have a bookish weekend, too?