Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Old Books, New Books

Is there anything friendlier than a stack of books to read?

These are my Christmas books. Well, some came on Christmas and some came a bit before, but when you're my age, who's noting such things?
I'm reading The Hobbit now, as you know. This is a copy found in a thrift store because all our family copies had disappeared. More accurately, they had gone off to college with various children, I think. We used to have four. I'm keeping my hands on this one!
French Dirt by Richard Goodman, from Buckhorn Used Books. A decent book, but not nearly so good as other South-of-France-Living-in-Italy type books I've read. I'll finish it, but may not keep it.
A Circle of Quiet by Madeline L'Engle, bought new from Amazon, recommended by some blogging lady friends. (I may hereafter call such people BLFs, for short.) I glanced at the first page or two. I like L'Engle's voice. Her theological/philosophical views are sometimes pretty wacky. This appears to be more of a family memoir, which I hope I'll enjoy.
From the Journals of M.F.K. Fisher -- also from Buckhorn. I love Fisher's voice. I have so much of her work already that I'm nearly certain all the contents of this book are already on my shelves, and I've read them sometime before. Sigh -- I could not resist. This is a tome of vignettes and stories, and she is so very good at this. I'm hoping this gets me back into her writings again.
West With the Night by Beryl Markham, from Buckhorn as well. I happened upon this book and was intrigued by Hemingway's assessment of it, on the back cover. He says, "She has written so well, and marvelously well, that I was completely ashamed of myself as a writer. I felt that I was simply a carpenter with words .... but she can write rings around all of us who consider ourselves writers." Well! Who could resist a book so praised? (BTW, it's about a woman pilot in Africa in the early 20th century.)
Gift from the Sea by Anne M. Lindbergh, also from Buckhorn. I admit it. I bought this lovely little book simply because I didn't want to be without it. I already have a nicer copy. I don't need it. I don't know anyone who does need it, although I imagine I'll give it to a friend or family member when I remember to. It cost a dollar. Some people rescue dogs and cats. I rescue books. What can I say?
Clementine in the Kitchen by Samuel Chamberlain. I blush to admit I already owned this book also. But this is an older hardcover copy, from 1963, instead of my paperback Barnes and Noble copy. It looked sad there in Buckhorn, among hundreds of other cookbooks who were unaware they were in the presence of royalty. My paper copy will sit with my cookbooks, and this one will live in my bedroom shelves. One day, I'll give one of them to Anna.
And so I confess that of my Christmas books, only three have I not read before, and only two authors are new to me. Old stick-in-the-mud, that's me!  And only The Hobbit is fiction ... that is, if we concede that Middle Earth does not exist, which I'm not sure some of us will concede. I'm off to read!

1 comment:

  1. We got the Hobbit too- well. Mattman did! Jo is just playing with the Lego. I remember next to nothing of my long-ago reading of the book. So I think I'll start it tonight- am saving your book/movie comparisons for when i will have both read the book and seen the movie. Which could take some time!

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