Monday, May 6, 2013

book fair finds

Every year my hometown has a big book fair in April, but I've missed it the past four years because I was away at school. But not this year! Last week I hit up the sale (which is so big, it's held in a mall parking lot!) and walked away with an armful of great reads.

I've read (and obviously really enjoyed) half of my finds:

1. Little Children by Tom Perrotta
2. The Secret History by Donna Tartt
3. A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
4. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

And the other half, I've just heard really good things about (and at $1-2, couldn't pass up):

5. Kafka at the Shore by Haruki Murakami 
6. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
7. Swamplandia! by Karen Russell
8. State of Wonder by Ann Patchett

By the time I was through, my arms were sore! That's either an indication of (1) a successful hour of book buying, (2) weak girly arms, or (3) the need to bring a grocery bag next time. Or in my case, all three.

I'm thrilled I was able to find so many great books, and I only paid about $10 total! 

The only frustrating part about it is that when there are so many tables of books (haphazardly split into basic sections like fiction, nonfiction, cooking, travel, etc.), it's impossible to carefully consider every book. You can walk slowly through the aisles and scan your eyes across all the spines, but you never know what you might miss in a moment of distraction. For example, I was really hoping to find some books by Kate Atkinson, but I'm not very familiar with the spines/fonts/designs of her books, so even if they were there, my eyes probably skipped right past them. 

If I had my way, the books would be organized both by section and author. So I could head on over to the A section in fiction and check it more carefully to be sure I wasn't missing Atkinson. 

Anyone else get frustrated with book fairs because of the disorganization? It's kinda like vintage shopping or going to garage sales. You never know what you're missing! But at the same time, I suppose, when you do find something, it's like you've struck gold. You get that feeling of accomplishment, like you've really worked to find that book.

Have you read any of my new books?

Which should I read first?


  1. This is such an awesome pile of books. I've read both Murakamis, and I never hesitate to recommend him to anyone. Other than that, I myself very much want to read the Patchett, Donna Tartt, The Thirteenth Tale from your pile.

    As to the spine problem, I had similar issue just a few hours ago when I was in the book shop. Yes they have the books on the shelves alphabetically, but when I'm just browsing it takes a lot of time to go through all the spines in the fiction section. Of course it cannot be compared with a mess that is likely to ensue at a proper fair, but I *kind* of get (a tiny little bit) how you must have felt. (I found a row of Atkinsons myself, though, but couldn't decide right then which one to get so I didn't buy any - bet my wallet had a sigh of relief.)

    1. I've only read "Norwegian Wood," so I'm really excited to get my hands on Murkami's other books! Especially because I've heard NW isn't even very typical of his writing.

      I'm so glad you stopped by! It looks like we've got similar reading tastes. :-)

    2. I think it's quite accurate that "Norwegian Wood" is slightly different, but it's always referred to as the best book to start with. Ut doesn't have that much of a magic touch to it as other books maybe. My first Murakami was actually a less known one, "South of the Border, West of the Sun" and I picked it up randomly in a book shop in Estonia (and it was also in Estonian so it was even weirder :D). But Murakami-love it triggered, and after that I've bought *glances at the bookshelf* six Murakami books, read them all and enjoyed ("1Q84" I had some serious beef with, but it's still good! :) )

    3. I've never even heard of "South of the Border, West of the Sun!" I'll have to look it up. And 1Q84 scares me a little. I've heard it's a bit more difficult than his other books, and it's just so long. But it's really beautiful as well (the cover and dust jacket, I mean)! I hope to get around to it someday.

  2. I love to hit those big book sales! I absolutely love Donna Tartt's books. That was a good score. :)

    I really want to read Swamplandia, I will have to check back here for your thoughts on it.

    1. I've heard Donna Tartt has a new book coming out this year too, right? Can't wait to check it out!


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