03102013: The weekend, in book acquisitions

03102013 - The Weekend in Book Acquisitions

I’ve begun to live for my weekends—I all but rage at myself come Friday afternoon to let go all the bad juju and go have some mad, kooky rest-fun—which could probably (partly) account for how awesome they’re being lately. The weekend that’s [boo] just passed is up there with the greats. On Saturday, P. and I paid a visit to the Vargas Museum, which is currently holding Geraldine Javier’s Curiosities, and it was such good art that we wanted to both fiddle over our own art, art that’d give Javier a run for her money—and also, go curl into a fetal position and swear never to do art again. After that internal hullballoo, we wandered around Manila amassing knick-knacks like disembodied candlewax heads, an aged and gorgeous portable bookstand, ebony chopsticks, tree roots in the shape of clawed hands. (Manila is wondrously strange, when you let it be so. Walking down the streets illumined by candles and neon strobe lights, moving out of the way of the vendors packing up the day’s work—P. and I giggling at each other and going, “This is a fucking art film right here.”) After Manila, P. and I stopped at a bookstore closer to home to get more random junk—including, haha, a very aptly titled book called The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work, by one Alain de Botton. And then after that, P. and I had tea, we read our books, we elbowed each other out of the way for some Angry Birds Star Wars, and basically strangled the weekend’s hours for all the goodness it could offer us.

This Sunday was amazingly spent as well—save one pathetic half hour that I spent locked inside the car in the middle of one mall’s parking lot, hunched over the laptop to clock in work. First thing upon waking up, P. and I headed straight to one of our favorite Booksales, and after that we went to another Booksale; in the hours in between, he hoarded more knick-knacks and I drank my tea and smoked my cigarettes. (Do a riff on this, Sasha: How it’s the best thing to wake up one Sunday to the-man-you’re-mad-for saying, “Let’s go buy books.” And later, a city or so away, the two of you mostly quiet in starkly lit stores—occasionally raising your head to find the other, to hold up a good find, to grin like the book-mad jackals that you two are.) [Yes, this weekend was a worthy variations of all the weekends I’ve had lately with P.]

Anyway. Above, my book acquisitions this glorious weekend. All of them are at remaindered-books prices, ensuring I won’t go hungry in the probable future. (I would like to commend myself for my surprising display of EQ since the year began: Book-buying is at a minimum, and 90% of what books I shove into the Fortress are priced in a way that won’t have me going into hysterics the next time I check my bank account. Seriously. I am patting myself on the noggin right now.) If anyone’s curious [or, Dear Sasha of the Future:] the price tag for everything up there is 900 bucks, which is equivalent to one brand-new hardcover at full price. Thereabouts. Yay. So:

  • The Devil’s Web by Mary Balogh, and The Shadow and the Star by Laura Kinsale – Two classics from two of my favorite romance novelists. My Balogh-binging of recent months has been well-documented; a quieter but no less intense love I have for Kinsale. I’m particularly proud of the latter acquisition, as it’s got Fabio front-and-center—there’s nothing like plunging into Monday by terrorizing hapless strangers on the train with your reading material.
  • The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy – It’s seemed to me like one of those books that unveiled the kind of secretly-swashbuckling heroes that have been running all over the historical romance subgenre. Game.
  • The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work by Alain de Botton – I’ve begun to believe that I’ll only really adore two of de Botton’s works at any given time. (A reasoning that’s admittedly influenced by how the man is on Twitter, and what a one-note mess his recent books have been.) But I couldn’t let this one go, because it’s a gorgeous, brand-new hardcover for really, really cheap. And, also, it was glaringly relevant. So. There. Stop judging me already.
  • House of Holes by Nicholson Baker – Another great find, if only because I’d been curious about the book, but not to the extent that I’d actually get a copy. (A brand of book-curiosity borne of really tight budgets, that.)
  • The Wind through the Keyhole by Stephen King – You know how in the home-shopping network, the announcer goes “But wait, there’s more!”—this novel is like that, for the Dark Tower novels. This is book 4.5, which King just totally made up. This makes me so happy, you can’t even imagine.
  • Arthur and George by Julian BarnesI don’t really know why I bought this one, except that it was a really pretty book, and it seemed quirky and clever and intelligently bromance-y, so I figured I’d give it a shot. I didn’t even know it was sort-of-about Arthur Conan Doyle. Nomnom, Sherlock-tangent.

I’m still riding the high you get when you’re certain that the weekend was amazing. [Pity Monday for that.] Here’s to another night of insomnia [oh well] and the little joys that keep us company. Confetti all around.

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4 comments

  1. ”Dave’s arm,” the most memorable character in House of Holes. It is one of two books by Baker I didn’t keep after reading (the other was Room Temperature.)

    1. Oh, Jenny, that doesn’t quite augur well for my reading, no? Hahaha, I’ve told myself to read this fully aware of its ridiculous nature.

  2. Interesting choice of books. On a Stephen King revivalist kick myself. 4.5 out of 5?

  3. I love The Scarlett Pimpernel and its sequels. Of course, I love the Blackadder version too. I haven’t read anything by Alain de Botton but am curious about this title.

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