Looking Forward to September!




Monday, August 5, 2013

Town Library Book Sale & Rethinking Reading Wolf Hall

For the first time in eight years, I didn't spend much time working on our library book sale. I admit I felt some guilt about it, but I work more than ever now, and it was the year to pass on the torch to others who have more time. Fewer books were donated this year, yet I managed to find plenty that I felt MUST be added to my collection.

I was delighted to drop a Mary Roberts Rinehart mystery, The Yellow Room, into my bag. It was originally published in 1945, although the edition I bought was a clean modern mass-market paperback from 1973. I've never read her, and because a number of you have enjoyed her books, I thought I'd try her out. 

I snatched up a very clean copy of the first volume of Bob Dylan's Chronicles. The early era of Bob Dylan's music is what interests me most, so reading about his early life seems the perfect fit.

A hardbound edition of Simon Schama's A History of Britain: At the Edge of the World? 3500 B.C.-1603 A.D. was another title I grabbed before anyone else could. Does anyone know why there's a question mark in the middle of the title? Anyway, this book is right up my alley because I'm very interested in the ancient history of Britain, probably because most of my ancestors came from the British Isles. This is the companion book to the series broadcast on BBC and later PBS years ago. Did any of you watch it?

A handsome hardcover copy of Hilary Mantel's Bringing Up The Bodies was my next pick. But you know, I haven't read her first title set in Tudor England, Wolf Hall. I chose not to read it when it was first published, based on a fallacious assumption. Since my teens, I have overdosed on Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn and all the rest, so I felt I could not bear to read another novel about the Tudor era. But a dear friend told me that she appreciated Wolf Hall because it cast Cromwell in such a different light from all the movies and books she'd read in the past. And I thought, that would be a refreshing read!  So now I've got to snatch up a copy of Wolf Hall somewhere, which shouldn't be too difficult.



10 comments:

  1. Question mark because they thought they were the edge of the world for much of that time, maybe. I think the British Isles have that feel to them, the same way the West Coast of America does, at last to some of us who live here. We know it's really not true, but it feels like the rest of the world is back over there and we're on the edge of something new.

    That's just my guess. You'll have to read the book to find out for sure. ;-)

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    1. Hi, James--
      I think you're right about the people of the British Isles feeling as though they were on the edge of the world--and rightly so, perhaps, still do.

      How interesting that people on the West Coast feel the same way! I never thought about it, and am so glad you've pointed it out. I don't see how I could have lived this long and missed that!
      Judith

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  2. Oh, I wish there would be such book sales near where I live. I'd contribute and purchase, a perfect set-up.

    Please let us know what Hilary Mantel says about Cromwell. i've always heard mixed reviews about him, including that he was an advocate of progress.

    Also, on Bob Dylan, what I'd like to read is his former partner, Suzy Rotolo's book about their relationship. She contributed a great deal to his earlier lyrics during the more political time in his life.

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    1. Hi, Kathy--
      No used book sales near you? How dreadful! New York State is full of town and city-wide library sales, though, as you point out, perhaps not in the city. Sometimes churches organize them.

      And, yes, I've been curious about Suzy Rotolo's book, though I'm not sure if libraries around here have purchased it. I think, though, I'd love to listen to it on my long commutes. If you read it, do please let me know!

      Judith

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  3. I'm tempted to read mantel's books but at the same time they are so chunky. For some reason I'm not even sure I'd like them.
    I hope you'll let us know what you think.

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    1. Caroline!
      Time this summer is racing by. I'm nowhere near through the books I decided I'd definitely read. My whims have gotten the best of me, I'm afraid. However, when I do read Wolf Hall, I will definitely be posting about it.

      Judith

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  4. Wolf Hall took me ages to read but, in then end, I'm glad I stuck with it... it's definitely historical fiction for the historian! Now if I could only find time to work Bring Up the Bodies into my schedule.

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    1. Hi, JoAnn--
      Oh, dear--Wolf Hall is a long read. I'm definitely interested, but I have so many books I hoped to read this year. I seem to be involved in a so-called "House Beautification Project," as grandiose a name if ever there was one. It's really just a massive de-cluttering. It has chomped through my reading time.

      Judith

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  5. I felt so lucky to snap up that Schama book at my library book sale too. I did enjoy watching the TV series. I think James Chester's comment about Britain and the edge of the world is correct. I enjoyed Wolf Hall when I got around to it, it took me a while to get into her way of writing though. I know what you mean about the Tudors!

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    1. Katrina,
      I'm glad you've got the Schama book, too. I like it because I can pick it up and decide to read anywhere I like, put it down, and weeks later pick it up again.

      My library has the series on VHS, which my bedroom tv can handle. Should I make the effort to view it in its entirety, do you think?

      Judith

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