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A Reading Vocation

"I Must Read, Read, and Read. It is my Vocation." - Thomas Merton

This is where I chronicle my reading life.  I also blog about writing at Lacey's Late-night Editing.

 

New Book Arrivals: Library Book Sale Style

The Unicorn - Nancy Hathaway Catching Fire - Suzanne  Collins Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell The Essential Rumi - reissue: New Expanded Edition - Rumi, Coleman Barks Once Upon a Time: On the Nature of Fairy Tales - Max Luthi, Lee Chadeayne, Francis L. Utley Gray Matter: A Neurosurgeon Discovers the Power of Prayer... One Patient at a Time - David A. Levy, Joel Kilpatrick The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals - Michael Pollan Coming Home Crazy: An Alphabet of China Essays - Bill Holm, Harrison E. Salisbury Selected Poems & Letters of Emily Dickinson - Emily Dickinson, Robert N. Linscott, Thomas Wentoworth Higginson Angel Light - Andrew M. Greeley

 

I have a fairly steady trickle of books coming my way from various swapping sites and review copies. But a few times a year, my steady supply turns into a deluge. I'm talking about library book sales, those glorious places where book dust makes you sneeze and you discover all sorts of books from twenty years ago that you never realized you needed so badly RIGHT NOW. I try to practice restraint, I really do, but it's not easy with the rock-bottom prices. Every time I go, I tell myself a) I'm JUST looking for books that are already on my "to-read" list (ha ha ha ha!); and b) I'll leave as soon as the ONE canvas bag I've brought is full. Well, that trick NEVER works. Canvas bags can be brought out to the car and emptied to be refilled again. Or they can be left in a corner and covered with a coat so both hands are free to grab more books. Or, those ever-so-helpful friends of the library can offer you a second bag. Oh dear.

 

So yesterday, I responded to the siren song of a library book sale in a town an hour away, telling myself all along I should not be doing it, but totally blissed out once I arrived. After some very careful packing, I DID fit all the following books into one canvas bag:

 

The Unicorn by Nancy Hathaway - Come on, unicorns! Is any further explanation necessary? But seriously, I picked this up because I thought I might want it for research if I ever wrote a story about unicorns. And no, I'm not planning to write a story about unicorns ... but when I was a kid, ALL my stories were about unicorns, and that's bound to come back around at some point, right?

 

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins - Um, because I thought I bought The Hunger Games at another library booksale and didn't want it to be lonely. But it turns out, I didn't. So it is. Poor Catching Fire! Must find it a companion quickly ...

 

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell - My husband and I saw the movie when it came out, and I was intrigued enough to want to read the book. My library has it on audio, but it feels like the type of book that should be properly *read*. There's a good chance I'll cave and listen to it on audio anyway, though.

 

The Essential Rumi by Jalal al-Din Rumi - Because Rumi's poetry is SO beautiful, and I've only come across it in bits an snatches, and never owned any before.

 

Once Upon a Time: On the Nature of Fairy Tales by Max Luthi - Because I'm going through a phase when all I want to write are fairy tale retellings.

 

Gray Matter: A neurosurgeon discovers the power of prayer ... one patient at a time - Because I'm interested in religion, health, and brain science. I'm worried it might be a little heavy-handed, but there's only one way to find out!

 

The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan - Because a friend recommended it to me when it first came out YEARS ago, and it's been on my Paperbackswap wishlist ever since. Now I can finally free up the space (on the wishlist -- I'll have to find space on my shelf.)

 

Coming Home Crazy/an Alphabet of China Essays by Bill Holm - What I REALLY wanted was Bill Holm's book about Iceland, but it wasn't there. So I settled for this instead. Bill Holm was my poetry teacher when I was sixteen, and I had no idea at the time that he was such a big deal.

 

Selected Poems & Letters of Emily Dickinson by Emily Dickinson - I've always appreciated Emily Dickinson's poetry, but my fascination took on new life when I read Lyndall Gordan's amazing biography, Lives Like Loaded Guns.

 

Angel Light by Andrew M. Greeley - I picked it up because I'm a fan of Greeley's overall philosophy, although I wasn't impressed by the first novel I read by him. But I was sold when I found out this one is also a RETELLING of the story of Tobit from the Bible.

 

The Skystone, The Saxon Shore, and The Singing Sword by Jack Whyte - One word: Arthurian. (Unfortunately, I'm missing book 3 from the series. Now I'm afraid it was there at the booksale and I *just didn't look hard enough*!)

 

Traveler's Tales: A woman's world: True stories of life on the road, edited by Marybeth Bond - I discovered how much I love travel writing when I edited a series of travel journals for a woman backpacker. I love traveling but dislike flying, and I worry about what I can eat in other countries. Books let me travel without an airplane OR Pepto-Bismol!

 

Mother Journeys: Feminists Write about Mothering - Because I'm a feminist pondering becoming a mother.

 

Path of Least Resistance: Learning to become the creative force in your own life - Because creativity is a lifelong journey and spiritual practice for me.

 

The Classic Slave Narratives: The Life of Oulalah Equiano / The History of Mary Prince / Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas / Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, edited by Henry Louis Gates Jr. - I bought this for a friend who is a history major, and she hasn't decided for sure if she wants it yet. If she doesn't, I love reading published journals.

 

And that's it ... until the next book sale on April 10!