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When does ‘regular reading’ end and ‘summer reading” begin?  Well this year it’s easy.  The gigantic used book sale I went to over the weekend and the loot I brought back make it official:  Let summer reading 2009 begin.

The treasures I found were trade paperbacks in like-new condition.  And because I had twenty, they cost me just one dollar each.  Right, that’s Canadian dollar, even a better bargain.  How I found them was an ordeal.  They were painstakingly selected under smoldering heat at a farmers’ market.  For two hours, I elbowed my way in to grab hold of my targets which I had to eye from a distance over heads and shoulders.  But it’s all worth it.

Here’s a picture and a list of the titles I brought back:

Used Book Sale Loot 1

  • The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
  • Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  • Simple Recipes by Madeleine Thien
  • Desperate Characters by Paula Fox
  • Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures by Vincent Lam (Giller Prize Winner)
  • The Sea by John Banville (Man Booker Prize Winner)
  • Saturday by Ian McEwan
  • Goodbye, Columbus by Philip Roth
  • Daisy Miller by Henry James
  • The Stories of Edith Wharton selected by Anita Brookner
  • The Mapmaker’s Opera by Béa Gonzalez
  • Always Now The Collected Poetry of Margaret Avison
  • Breathing Lessons by Anne Tyler (Pulitzer Author)
  • The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje (Booker Prize Winner)
  • Marginalia: A Cultural Reader by Mark Kingwell
  • Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
  • A Natural History of the Senses by Diane Ackerman
  • Lost Souls by Lisa Jackson
  • Moral Disorder by Margaret Atwood
  • Exit Music by Ian Rankin

Some of these titles I’ve long wanted to read, like Goodbye, Columbus and Rebecca.   Some are just well known titles or authors that I think I should read, like Tolstoy, Franzen and Tyler.   Some are winners of book prizes that I usually enjoy, the Booker, Giller, Pulitzer.   Some are fine Canadian authors and one of my favorite poets.   And some I’m just curious about like A Natural History of the Senses.  But one stands out.  This time, I’m literally judging a book by its cover:

Front Cover Mapmaker's Opera

Back Cover Mapmaker's Opera

The above are the front and back cover of the book.  There’s no title, only on the spine.  It’s enjoyable just looking at it.  But the title is appealing too:  The Mapmaker’s Opera.

Together with the books I’m already reading, plus my long TBR list, I think I’m topped up till next summer.

For More Great Finds, Click Here.

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