Monday, June 17, 2013

Used Book Haul

A couple of days ago the library near my house was having a used book sale, so of course I had to go and check out the selection. Buying and reading used books make up the majority of my summer vacation. I'd like to think that there is no better feeling for a reader than finding a bunch of really great books at a very cheap price.

Before I get to my haul, I would love to give you readers some advice on finding great places to get used books. Now the first place I would recommend would be to do a little exploring and see if there are any used bookstores in your area. If you don't have any in your area, please join the club. I have no used bookstores in my area and the nearest Barnes and Nobles is a 45 minute drive, so I was forced to find more creative ways of getting books. I am a book lover on a budget who spends most of my saved up money on college books and I only splurge on new hardcovers maybe once or twice a month if there is a new book that I desperately have to have.

My advice would be to find a library and keep an eye out for any library news in the paper and get a library card because libraries are awesome! Rather frequently libraries have used book sales either to make a little money to offset their sadly lacking budget or to get rid of some titles to make room for more. This particular haul was the result of one of those library sales and it was a $1 a bag and you really can't beat that deal.

The next source of my used book hauls come from a very underrated and sometimes stigmatized place...the salvation army or a thrift store (whatever it is you happen to call it). So many people look down on them and insist that only poor people shop there. I love the salvo and I happen to not give a crap about judgmental people. Not to mention the fact that the money you spend there helps out those genuinely in need, so it's a win win I'd like to think. The salvation army in my area has a wonderful book selection that rotates regularly, which means the books are always different every time you shop there. The only downside is that you need to have the patience and determination to weed through the millions of harlequin romances to get to the good books.

Now on to my haul which is a little small this time, but does have some potentially good books.

Now I am not being mean to the books on the right. Quite the contrary. I've read the two of them previously and loved them enough to actually buy copies.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett: I read this book well before the release of the movie and after hearing all of the positive press about it, I picked it up at my local library and enjoyed every minute of it. The story was captivating, the writing was great, and Skeeter was a likeable narrator. It wasn't until after finishing it that I heard about all of the controversy surrounding it. Not many people liked the idea of another white person telling the tale of abused and underappreciated black maids. Many argued that the maids should have told their own stories and I can see the validity in their concerns. There was also the court case in which her brother's maid, Abilene Cooper, accused Stockett of stealing her life story. If this turns out to be true, I will be rather sad. Despite all this, it is a book that I would highly recommend.

The Witches by Roald Dahl: Oh my love for Dahl! He was my favorite authors in elementary school and he is still a favorite of mine well into my college years. The ridiculousness of his books and the incredible characters he creates are so wonderful. His imagination runs wild and I just love the abandonment. From any other author the story of a little boy who gets turned into a mouse by a witch and the antics he gets into while the witches are holding a grand meeting would be terrible, but from Dahl it is hilarious. I think this is the last Dahl book that I had yet to own. I would recommend this book and all of the others he has written. This book even has a halfway decent movie adaption staring Anjelica Huston as the Grand High Witch.

Now onto the books I haven't read. As you can tell, I wasn't lying when I said my greatest fault is in having to see whether or not popular books are really as good as people say.

The Dante Club by Matthew Pearl: I picked up this book because shockingly it reminded me of Dan Brown's new book Inferno, a book that I just finished and would highly recommend (If you would like to read my review just click the Goodreads widget to the right and it will take you to my profile where you can navigate to all of the reviews I have written). Both plots deal with Dante's Inferno and with an antagonist inspired by Dante. I hope that it will turn out to be an interesting whodunit.

Poirot Loses A Client by Agatha Christie: Another fact that you will quickly learn about me is that I am also in love with Agatha Christie's books. Her mysteries are so ingenious and I'll let the fact that she is the third bestselling author, surpassed only by Shakespeare and the Bible do the praising for me. I fell in love with her mysteries in 6th grade when I read And Then There Were None and I just couldn't figure out who the murderer was. I know this mystery will be a great read.

The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs: I've seen this book on many recommendations list and I decided to take a chance on it. Maybe it will be as great as people are saying or maybe it will suck. The fun is always in finding out:)

Girl in Blue by Ann Rinaldi: While obviously intended for a younger audience, I never quite leave a genre behind and I have a weakness for stories with a possibly powerful and interesting female protagonist. It will make for a nice afternoon read.

The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson: This book came highly recommended to me by one of my best friends and I had enough faith in her book taste that I decided to buy it the moment I saw it at the sale. Hopefully it turns out to be a good read.

 Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith: While the premise sounds a little ridiculous, I wanted to see what all of the hype is about. If it surprises me and turns out to be a great book, I might have to see the movie adaption as well.

Illuminating Angels & Demons by Simon Cox: This book attempts to examine the facts behind Dan Brown's Angels and Demons and I am always open to learning more about the books that I read. I'm a little skeptical about this book though because so many authors make these books basically leeching off of the fame of Brown. Not to mention the fact that I always keep the author's bio in mind when reading the book. I previously read one of these fact checking books about The Da Vinci Code written by a guy that was heavily religious. Needless to say there was a HUGE and annoying bias. I'm hoping that isn't the case in this book.

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini: The press about this book is legendary and I still hear about it to this day. I finally caved and bought it to see what all the hype is about. This better be as amazing as everybody is saying.

With that my first used book haul is finished. I can assure you that there will be plenty more to come and if you want to see what I thought of these books keep an eye out on my posts or on Goodreads. If you are wondering what the heck is Goodreads and you are a book lover, head on over to their website. Make an account, enter some giveaways, review some books, and if you enjoy these posts be my friend or follow my reviews.

I'm tossing around a few ideas at the moment, but I can promise you my next post will be just as novel as the past two.