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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Books!! Goodwill Hunting...My Finds!

I spent way too much time on Youtube last night watching bookish people vlog about finding books for pennies at Goodwill around the country.  I've never done that, so I decided to give it a try today.
I took some time last night to locate my local ones online and to get some maps.  Then, I set out this morning hoping for some decent stuff.  I went to three shops.  Let me warn you not to give up if you have trouble like I did... The first two shops were purely a bust.  Old, shabby books that had been read a hundred times were all I could find there.  The prices were right:  $2 for hardbacks, but the books were just out-of-date and in horrible shape.  I forged on to the third shop.

At the third shop, which was the smallest of all of them, I hit the jackpot.  Rather than being filled with an assortment of clothing and furniture and books, it was a shop JUST for books!  Who knew?!
Nobody ever told me and I've lived in Naples for more than ten years!

This Goodwill was like walking into a small, cozy bookstore.  The books were well-kept and beautifully displayed.  The condition of the books was just excellent both in hard cover and soft cover.  I was in heaven.  Bookish people probably don't share this find with others because it's just too good!

The prices are higher than the other, ordinary Goodwill's, however.  They ranged from $3.99 to $7.99.   The more expensive being either signed by the author copies, or just recently published.  Recently published...can you imagine!?   The condition of all the books I found was just excellent.  They don't even look read...dust jackets are pristine.  I died and went to heaven!  There were many, many books there that I'd already read.

I just bought "Red Mist" by Patricia Cornwell last week in paperback, if you remember from my last Haul.  But they had it for $6.99 in hardback in pristine condition!  I couldn't resist buying it.  I'm going to have to take my unread paperback back to the store and see if they'll let me trade it for another book, now.

I discovered this small paperback  with a beautiful cover called "The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop" which is a memoir and history.  Deckled edges...double flapped inside...  Ugh!!  LOVE it!!  Here's a note on the back cover:  "When [the author] describes walking into a bookstore, feasting his eyes on the walls lined with stock, gravitating to the tables stacked with new issues and then discovering some volume so irresistibly beautiful he just has to buy it, you realize that he just doesn't love books, he's besotted." Publisher's Weekly starred review



As the Kaisar-I-Hind weighs anchor for Bombay in the autumn of 1928, its passengers ponder their fate in a distant land. They are part of the “Fishing Fleet”—the name given to the legions of English women who sail to India each year in search of husbands, heedless of the life that awaits them. The inexperienced chaperone Viva Holloway has been entrusted to watch over three unsettling charges. There’s Rose, as beautiful as she is naïve, who plans to marry a cavalry officer she has met a mere handful of times. Her bridesmaid, Victoria, is hell-bent on losing her virginity en route before finding a husband of her own. And shadowing them all is the malevolent presence of a disturbed schoolboy named Guy Glover.

And can you get over this subject matter?  I can't wait to read this one,  I don't know how the book slipped by me a couple of years ago.  Published by Touchstone/Simon & Schuster    Excellent condition


I found a book by MICHAEL KORYTA that I  hadn't read and haven't been able to find.  So exciting.

Here's what the great Dennis Lehane says about his work:
Dennis Lehane
"An icy, terrifying winner. So Cold the River puts an October chill in your blood by the end of the first chapter. It's not much longer before you've turned on all the lights and rechecked all the window locks. Few novelists warrant mention alongside Stephen King or Peter Straub. Michael Koryta, however, earns comparison to both.

So, I'm dying to get to this book.  So cool...so cold...  Published by Back Bay/Little, Brown & Co.



In Paris for a weekend visit, Elizabeth Bard sat down to lunch with a handsome Frenchman—and never went home again.

Was it love at first sight? Or was it the way her knife slid effortlessly through her pavé au poivre, the steak'spink juices puddling into the buttery pepper sauce? LUNCH IN PARIS is a memoir about a young American woman caught up in two passionate love affairs—one with her new beau, Gwendal, the other with French cuisine

Now, wait...  I found a picture of this one already saved in my files which means I may already have a copy floating around somewhere.  If so, and it's a paperback, I'll have to give that one away to a friend...  Hmmmmm  I'll have to go diggin' now.   Apologies to Little, Brown & Co.  :P

I THEN FOUND A COPY of "The Orphan Master."  Beautiful, beautiful cover on this hardbound copy that I couldn't resist for the life of me.  It was one of those $7.99 books.  I do already have a paper copy of the book.  And did a review on it recently.  Great story.  I wanted a hard copy.  Please look my review up on the left sidebar under "Search."  Published by Viking Press.

I really like her books.  Maybe because they're mostly set in Nantucket and they make me homesick for MA and the islands.  I don't know.  But I'd never read "The Island" so I decided to pick up this obviously unread copy at the Goodwill shop.  It's brand new...looks "never read."   I'm loving it.
Published by Regan Arthur/Little, Brown & Co.

NOW HERE'S A CREEPY ONE I found.  I know it's creepy because I recently read a review of it, and I've been wanting to read it since then.  It's a great winter read.    Published by Minotaur/St. Martin's Press.  You may be able to find it in paperback.  Don't know.  I'm so digging it that I found it in hardback! 


Praise for Beneath the Shadows
“Australian author Sara Foster uncovers a rich vein of atmosphere in the North Yorkshire moors in her intense psychological thriller about a woman trying to rebuild her life after her husband disappears. A touch of the supernatural and family ghost tales add to the already spooky landscape that blankets Foster's debut. But Foster's dabbling in the occult doesn't detract from the realistic fears and down-to-earth problems explored in Beneath the Shadows. Foster uses the sub-genre of the quiet, non-violent English village mystery to gracefully weave in the themes of loss, grief and abandonment….  Foster skillfully uses the village's isolation and the moors where "the raw, untouched vistas had the power to stop your mind" as a metaphor for Grace's own isolation…  The absorbing plot of Beneath the Shadows shows that a quiet, non-violent mystery can pack a lot of punch.” –South Florida Sun-Sentinel

I'm probably going to start this one asap.

THIS NEXT BOOK IS ONE I'VE HEARD OF BUT HAVEN'T READ. I love everything written about Russia, so I'm surprised I haven't read this one.  But I picked it put today.  What a stunning cover it has.  Just look at it.  That ruby dripping down her back is bringing out the red in her shining hair.  Really stunning.  Published by Harper. 

A mysterious jewel holds the key to a life-changing secret, in this breathtaking tale of love and art, betrayal and redemption.
When she decides to auction her remarkable jewelry collection, Nina Revskaya, once a great star of the Bolshoi Ballet, believes she has finally drawn a curtain on her past. Instead, the former ballerina finds herself overwhelmed by memories of her homeland and of the events, both glorious and heartbreaking...

I ALMOST DIDN'T CARE WHAT THIS BOOK WAS ABOUT I JUST LOVED THE TITLE AND THE COVER OF THE BOOK!!!   If a book title has "book" or "reading" in any form in it, I'm a sucker for it.  "Girl Reading" just captured me from the first moment.  The cover is, again, just amazing.  It actually looks like it was taken from an exotic tapestry.  Just gorgeous.  (I'm using that word too much, but it is!)


Seven portraits. Seven artists. Seven girls and women reading.

A young orphan poses nervously for a Renaissance maestro in medieval Siena. An artist's servant girl in seventeenth-century Amsterdam snatches a moment away from her work to lose herself in tales of knights and battles. An eighteenth century female painter completes a portrait of a deceased poetess for her lover. A Victorian medium poses with a book in one of the first photographic studios. A girl suffering her first heartbreak witnesses intellectual and sexual awakening during the Great War. A young woman reading in a bar catches the eye of a young man who takes her picture. And in the not-so-distant future a woman navigates the rapidly developing cyber-reality that has radically altered the way people experience art and the way they live.

This cover is much darker and richer with deep chili reds and oranges and terra cottas and deep navy... This picture doesn't do it justice.  Sounds like such a good book...

NEXT IS A BOOK I'VE BEEN WAITING A LONG TIME TO READ.  It's by Curtis Sittenfeld who has recently written "Sisterhood," which I'm promising to review in November.  I can't wait to read this one and the copy I found today is just in fantastic condition.  Looks like it was never read.  The cover jacket is spotless.  Love it!  P.S.:  The belt on this cover is raised.... so cool.  I know...I get excited over little things like special effects on jackets, etc....  :B


Curtis Sittenfeld’s debut novel, Prep, is an insightful, achingly funny coming-of-age story as well as a brilliant dissection of class, race, and gender in a hothouse of adolescent angst and ambition.
Lee Fiora is an intelligent, observant fourteen-year-old when her father drops her off in front of her dorm at the prestigious Ault School in Massachusetts. She leaves her animated, affectionate family in South Bend, Indiana, at least in part because of the boarding school’s glossy brochure, in which boys in sweaters chat in front of old brick buildings, girls in kilts hold lacrosse sticks on pristinely mown athletic fields, and everyone sings hymns in chapel.

As Lee soon learns, Ault is a cloistered world of jaded, attractive teenagers who spend summers on Nantucket and speak in their own clever shorthand. Both intimidated and fascinated by her classmates, Lee becomes a shrewd observer of–and, ultimately, a participant in–their rituals and mores. As a scholarship student, she constantly feels like an outsider and is both drawn to and repelled by other loners. By the time she’s a senior, Lee has created a hard-won place for herself at Ault. But when her behavior takes a self-destructive and highly public turn, her carefully crafted identity within the community is shattered.

Ultimately, Lee’s experiences–complicated relationships with teachers; intense friendships with other girls; an all-consuming preoccupation with a classmate who is less than a boyfriend and more than a crush; conflicts with her parents, from whom Lee feels increasingly distant, coalesce into a singular portrait of the painful and thrilling adolescence universal to us all.

I FOUND A COPY OF "THE FORGOTTEN GARDEN" by Kate Morton and Published by Atria/Simon & Schuster.  I think everyone and their mother has read this book except me.  I thought the book was beautiful, in very good condition....just a bent bottom, but not bad. Perfect dust jacket.  And, it was high time I gave Kate Morton a try.  This was published in 2008.  So, I  have some reading to do to catch up with her current books. 


From the #1 internationally bestselling author of The House at Riverton, a novel that takes the reader on an unforgettable journey through generations and across continents as two women try to uncover their family’s secret past
A tiny girl is abandoned on a ship headed for Australia in 1913. She arrives completely alone with nothing but a small suitcase containing a few clothes and a single book—a beautiful volume of fairy tales. She is taken in by the dockmaster and his wife...

VERY FUNNY LITTLE BOOK I FOUND IN THE STACKS AT GOODWILL.  A CASTAWAY LIBRARY BOOK!!  UH OH!!   IT'S A GENTLY READ COPY OF "OXYGEN," BY CAROL CASSELLA.   This book was published by Simon & Schuster in 2008.  Very simple cover, but an eerie one.  Read the blurb below.
Now in paperback, Carol Cassella’s riveting national bestseller that seamlessly melds compelling women’s fiction and medical drama to create an “involving debut that’s just what the doctor ordered” (People).

• Perennial hot subject: From ER to Grey’s Anatomy, from Complications by Atul Gawande to Stiff by mary roach, there’s a proven appetite for stories of human drama centered around medical establishments.

• Authenticity: Carol Cassella is a practicing anesthesiologist in Washington state whose work informs that of her compelling heroine, Dr. Marie Heaton, as well as the fabulous medical writing throughout the novel.

• Gripping, timely story: Oxygen opens with Marie Heaton, an anesthesiologist at the height of her medical career, facing a nightmarish operating room disaster that ends a child’s life and launches a tangled malpractice suit. As Marie twists through depositions, accusations, and a remorseful preoccupation with the dead child’s mother, she must also cope with her own aging father and confront questions of love and betrayal, family bonds, and the price of her own choices. With a final twist as heartrending as it is redeeming, Oxygen is a gripping and auspicious debut.

 I AM DYING TO READ THIS BOOK!!!  (Even if it is a hiked library book... :}



A prim, straitlaced Spanish painter living in Paris, Elvira De Poulain is shocked to hear of her profligate husband’s death and travels to Shanghai to claim his body and put his affairs in order. Overwhelmed by his still-outstanding debts and scandals—adrift in an exotic city teeming with unfamiliar sights, sounds, and smells—she discovers a treasure among her late husband’s detritus: a beautifully crafted box holding clues to the location of the remains of China’s First Emperor...and the unimaginable riches buried alongside him.

Joining forces with a colorful Irish journalist, a wily local antiquarian, and a brilliant orphaned servant boy, Elvira is immediately swept up into the adventure of a lifetime. But she and her motley partners are not alone in their quest—and those who pursue them have murdered before, and would murder again, to possess the wealth of an ancient dynasty.

THIS JUST SOUNDED LIKE AN EXOTIC AND BRILLIANT NOVEL. I don't remember hearing about it before.  Please let me know if you have or if you've read it in the comments below.  It's also a gorgeous book.  The cover is so beautiful.  Again, the book seems untouched.  I think I paid $4.99 for it...a $25.95 book.  Amazing.  The Publisher is Harper.

SO THAT ENDS MY "GOODWILL HUNTING" event.  I can't believe I really did find some wonderful books just as the other book crazy people were telling me online!!  So, I suggest if you're looking for some awesome books on a budget, go to your local shop.  I couldn't believe it. 


I got 14 books for $60.   If I had paid retail at $25.95 per book...I would have roughly come home with 2 hardbacks and a trade paperback.

What do you think about my Goodwill trip????



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