Library Books and Book Fairs

Library Checkout: May 2017

Hosted by Charleen at It’s a Portable Magic.

Library books read:

  • The Days of Abandonment by Elena Ferrante
  • Maud by Melanie J. Fishbane (review)
  • Four-Letter Words by Chad Pelley (review)
  • Promises to Keep by Genevieve Graham
  • The Awakening by Kate Chopin (for Literary Wives)
  • Between the Cracks She Fell by Lisa de Nikolits

Currently reading:

  • My Life with Bob by Pamela Paul
  • Nobody Cries at Bingo by Dawn Dumont (loving this!)

Checked out, to be read:

  • The Hanging of Angelique by Afua Cooper (recommended by BIP)
  • Shot-Blue by Jesse Ruddock
  • Overqualified by Joey Comeau
  • The Complete Journals of L.M. Montogemry: the PEI Years

Returned, unread (I still want to read all of these!):

  • The Last Neanderthal by Claire Cameron
  • A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
  • Invisible North by Alexandra Shimo
  • Specimen by Irina Kovalyova

On hold:

  • All That is Solid Melts into Air by Carole Giangrande
  • Chorus of Mushrooms by Hiromi Goto
  • Baloney by Maxime Raymond Bock
  • Advocate by Darren Greer


Annual Book Fair

Every May we have a huge book fair here in town, in the past it was put on by the Canadian Federation of University Women. Here are the books I bought last year, and here are the ones I bought three years ago.

I decided to have a look back at previous years to see how many of them I’ve read since buying them. From 2014, I’ve read two; the first book in The Deptford Trilogy and The Dinner by Herman Koch. From book fair 2016 I’ve read… none. Not even those cute little short stories that I was so excited about. Is this going to stop me from buying books at the book fair? Never. Because the book fair isn’t just about buying books to read – it’s a treasure hunt. And there is so much joy in the hunt itself. Not to mention the fact that those books need good homes to go to.

This year’s treasure… all for a total of $9.25.

The Blythes are Quoted!

I added quite a few to my New Canadian Library collection.

What about you? Have you been reading from your library lately? Frequented any book fairs? Given any books a good home?


47 thoughts on “Library Books and Book Fairs

  1. Sarah Emsley says:

    Shot-Blue is on my list and I’m currently reading My Name is Lucy Barton (and loving it so far). Donna Morrissey’s Sylvanus Now is one of her best! Your post reminds me that I still haven’t read The Blythes are Quoted….

    • Naomi says:

      Have you read Olive Kitteridge? I loved that one, too.
      I was so excited to find a copy of The Blythes are Quoted!
      I’ve been curious about Shot-Blue since I heard of it a while ago… it’s been so long since I requested it I can’t remember what caught my attention. Can’t wait to find out!

      • Sarah Emsley says:

        I have — and I like this one a lot more and am already keen to read Anything is Possible. (Also — I’m thrilled that Donna Morrissey won the Raddall Prize last night! I just went back to read the review of The Fortunate Brother that you posted last fall. I love this line: “they knew your dead like they knew their own.”)

      • Naomi says:

        Yes, me too!! I’m so happy for her! (I looked it up as soon as we got home. And, btw, the banquet turned out to be at the park, so it was much nicer than I was expecting. My daughter and I even slipped away for a little walk in the woods.)

  2. Brian says:

    Read A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki next. It is an amazing book. You won’t be disappointed. Ozeki is an amazing writer.

  3. realthog says:

    Sheesk! It’s a good thing your book fair doesn’t happen anywhere near here. We’d be in even worse book difficulties than we already are . . .

  4. James says:

    Promises to Keep was surprisingly good. Very historical. All That is Solid is (so far) the best #CanLit I’ve read this year. A blurb from my review appears on the back cover. 😊

    • Naomi says:

      It was your review that prompted me to request the book!
      I read Tides of Honour when it came out, but I think I like Promises to Keep more. I loved the historical aspect of it. There aren’t many adult fiction books about the Acadian Expulsion.

    • Naomi says:

      Days of Abandonment was excellent! I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to write about it. I have a bit of a pile… Maybe I’ll be able to squeeze it into a mini review before it’s due back (I just renewed it for the last time).

  5. Lory @ Emerald City Book Review says:

    Ooh, you got my favorite Robertson Davies! I hope you don’t wait so long to read it. And that looks like a nice edition of the Blythes are Quoted.

    I have not been to a book fair in some time, but you are right, the treasure hunt is irresistible! Enjoy your haul.

    • Naomi says:

      I thought of you when I found “What’s Bred in the Bone”! Yes, let’s hope it doesn’t take me so long to get to it… 🙂

  6. FictionFan says:

    Haha – I steer well clear of both libraries and book fairs – I’m in severe danger of having to build an extension just to house the books that mysteriously appear on an almost daily basis! Great haul – hope you enjoy them, if and when you get a chance to read them! 😉

  7. juliae1 says:

    If you rearranged the first pile of books slightly, the titles would make quite a sinister little story!
    And it wasn’t easy in Australia but I managed to procure a copy of The Blythes Are Quoted. What struck me most is how many characters actually dislike Anne … this is probably realistic but I wouldn’t’ve expected it of LMM.

    • Naomi says:

      Even though, at times, I felt that Anne should have the chance to defend herself against her critics, I thought it was good that she wasn’t universally liked by everyone. It’s more realistic that way. Yet the reasoning behind they’re dislike was not usually very sound, which made it okay for me. 🙂
      I also have to wonder if it was a way for LMM to get her frustrations out about the fact that she had to write about Anne for so long when she didn’t really want to…

  8. Don Royster says:

    I recently read “Slip Simmer Falter Wither” and “Everybody Behaves Badly: The True Story Behind Hemingway’s Masterpiece The Sun Also Rises”, both from my library.

    • Naomi says:

      I remember that you loved SSFW! And having recently read Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald, that second book sounds good, too… What did you think of it?

      • Don Royster says:

        I liked it a lot. It’s about Hemingway in the twenties getting his start. The thing is Hemingway has always been a model for my writing but he wasn’t a nice guy. But I have separated the art from the artist over the years. His dedication to his art in those years was pretty amazing.

  9. Jenny @ Reading the End says:

    Whoa, you have LM Montgomery’s journals to read? Are they easy to find in Canada? I’d love to read her journals but I can never find them anywhere! Your book haul from the book sale looks absolutely awesome, and I am happy to report that I have not been to any book fairs lately because I CANNOT BUY ANY MORE DAMN BOOKS THIS YEAR.

    (but I will, probably)

    • Naomi says:

      I haven’t had any trouble finding her journals here – I just assumed they were widely available everywhere. I imagine you could at least find them on-line.

      But when you pay only $9 for a big pile of books, it’s like you’re not even buying any… right? 🙂

  10. Liz Dexter says:

    Oh, you need to get the Ozeki back, it’s wonderful. I love that What’s Bred in the Bone is so thick and The Song of the Lark is so thin, as I own copies that are the other way around!

  11. The Cue Card says:

    I’d love to know how you like the Pamela Paul book. I enjoy her book/author podcast every week; it’s very good. I think it’s okay to buy books at a Book Fair and not read them or get to them right away. I often do the same when I attend the book festival here every fall. I dont get to all of them, but I always enjoy purchasing them. 🙂

  12. Rebecca Foster says:

    I enjoyed seeing your stacks. How did you like that Ferrante? You also got some great bargains! I have done some shopping at thrift stores and other secondhand places here on my trip to the States. Photos will be forthcoming 🙂 If I stopped and thought realistically about how many of these books I will actually read in the next year or two, it would probably be a depressingly small proportion. But, like you say, it’s the thrill of the treasure hunt, and a few dollars here and there on books is no great indulgence.

    • Naomi says:

      Ooo… I look forward to hearing about your vacation treasures! Am I’m happy to hear I’m not the only one who’s in it for the thrill of the hunt. 🙂
      The Days of Abandonment was great! I’m even tempted to move onto her quartet at some point now that I’ve read her novellas…

  13. buriedinprint says:

    What fun! And what variety too. The fact that you’ve managed to read any of your previous hauls is impressive. Book fair treasures often seem to be confined to the bottom of our mental stacks! Of your NCL lovelies, what is that salmon-coloured one? I was pleased to see the Clara Thomas biography of Margaret Laurence; I loved that one and reread it recently and found it stood up very well. These days I am not reading from my own shelves very often, and, so, I am giving a lot of library books a nice long vacation here.

    • Naomi says:

      Do you mean They Shall Inherit the Earth by Morley Callaghan?
      I was happy with how many NCL books I found this time. And I was interested to see that there was a whole big box full of nothing but The Stone Angel and The Diviners. I figured they must have come from a school somewhere. There also seemed to be a crazy amount of The Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy. When I went back the next day, I went straight over to see how many of those Margaret Laurence books were gone, and was surprised (and happy) to see that many of them were! Yay Truro!
      It’s nice to think of giving library books vacations, and used books homes. 🙂

  14. Cecilia says:

    I am super late to the conversation but I couldn’t resist chiming in on a post about book fairs and book finds! I’m so glad I’m not the only one who loves going to fairs and then stocks up but barely reads the books purchased…I really am trying to. I volunteer for the huge annual used book sale at my son’s school and it is pure heaven for an addict, because I get to pick out books while I’m sorting them…I can’t even remember all the titles I got but one of them was a like-new hardcover of Anne Patchett’s Commonwealth. I agree that the treasure-hunt aspect is what makes it so fun. I don’t even enjoy going to regular bookstores as much. I hope you’re having a wonderful summer!

    • Naomi says:

      Oh, good find!
      I agree, I even find that our new book store can be almost boring – I already know exactly what I’m going to see in there. (Maybe that’s just an indication that I go there too much.)

      Every year I wonder about volunteering for the book fair so that I can see the books first. But then I don’t. And I should probably keep it that way, if I can. 🙂

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