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A Bag of Books

August 9, 2010

Sat. morning, my sister and I went to the University Park Branch for the weekly book sale, sponsored by Jacksonville’s Friends of the Library org.

For $10, you can fill up a paper bag of books (or audio books, CDs and VHS tapes), and be on your way. Or, if you can’t (or won’t) sift through all the horrible books for a jem, you can buy books individually from $1 and up.

I suggest the painful route of looking through rows and boxes of bad fiction to find a classic or a renowned bestseller that you never picked up, because we ended up filling the bag with 21 books. However, it is discouraging and laborious. If you really want to find something amazing, you have to canvas the shelves, tables, and boxes carefully, because all the books are sorted by the first initial of the author’s last name. Koontz might be covering Kipling for no good reason, so it’s best just the take the time.

The book nook has many fiction books available, but nothing amazing for the Non-fiction topics. I didn’t even find a Gladwell book, but I guess the library wants to hold on to those copies as long as possible. They did have Bitch and The Bitch is Back. Classic, I tell you.

Here’s an edited list of things we found (mostly books I chose, or books Sandra chose that I’m interested in):

Life of Pi1. Life of Pi by Yann Martel- Started reading this today, and so far, so good. I’ve already read an excerpt from an AP Lit. practice test (or was it the real deal?).

2. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver- I started reading her novel, The Lacuna when I was in a friend’s room, and thought I might give this one a try.

3. Rogret’s International Thesaurus – I think I wasn’t supposed to pick this up, because I looked along the wall of the warehouse where they were sorting the books… It’s been helpful when I’m stuck on a crossword puzzle clue (even though it’s cheating).

4. Sanctuary by William Faulkner- I read As I Lay Dying in high school, and loved the shifting perspectives and voice, along with the crazy style.

5. Les Mouches (in French) by Jean-Paul Sartre- My sister wants to brush up on her French before she starts another class, and maybe when I’m not occupied by Arabic, I’ll struggle to read this gem sometime.

6. A book by or edited by Mahmud Kianush (in Arabic)- I haven’t translated the title yet, but I want to see if I could try to read a little bit at a time during the school year (and possibly get help from my professor). He’s a famous Iranian poet and writer, though I didn’t know that beforehand.

7. Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt- A book my sister chose, it’s a memoir and a winner of the Pulitzer Prize.

8. Gertrude by Hermann Hesse- I just finished reading Siddharta, and enjoyed (a majority) of it. We have other books by Hesse which I need to read as well…

9. The Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccamatios by Yann Martel- It’s a collection of his short stories.

10. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini- I have not read his other work, The Kite Runner. I know, I’m behind on contemporary fiction…

11. Orpheus Emerged by Jack Kerouac- This will also be a first dip in Keroac’s works for myself.

12. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd- This one was really for my mom, and I wanted to read something by Sue Monk Kidd that wasn’t a poem.

13. Saint Joan by Bernard Shaw- Sandra’s pick.

14. L’assommoir by Emile Zola.

15. The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James

16. Light in August by William Faulkner

17. The Duel by Giacomo Cassanova- Come on, Cassanova.

18. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott- I’ve seen the Winona Ryder film?

We were lucky enough to find a few books that were either in perfect condition, or never circulated. Some are pretty worn, and have dust jackets and the library labels on them. I plan on trying to carefully remove a few of them, and see what happens.

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