Sunday, May 1, 2016

MacInnes, Sarton, and Classics at Olde Books in Buffalo

When I trooped out Saturday morning to visit Olde Books, about a mile from my hotel near Buffalo Harbor, I had no idea what I would find. Googling online revealed nothing about this used bookstore. But, although the shop appeared inauspicious, I ended up buying six paperbacks, three of which are on my Classics Club list.

I came across a really very old paperback of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie in excellent condition--what a find! So intact, as well. Pages as fine and white as can be--a mystery how well preserved it is. Had to snap that up. And a low price to boot.

My second Classics Club book find was Tom Jones by Henry Fielding in a mass-market paperback edition. Very old, discolored, but what's crucial is it is solidly intact and unmarked. I paid two dollars for that. I'm thinking I should read that one soon before I need to use a magnifying glass to read it. Such a long book, which I knew fully when I put it on my list. Have any of you read it?

My last classic is Beryl Markham's West with the Night, a paperback in stellar condition. It's not on my Classics Club List at the moment, but I recall thinking a few months ago that it should be.

I walked in hoping I would find a paperback by Helen MacInnes, and sure enough, success! What a surprise! I paid a $1.65 for The Snare of the Hunter. I don't believe I've read this one--the title rings no bells. I recall enjoying reading her books in the mid-late 1970s, and this title is completely unfamiliar. I'd love to find more.

And May Sarton--And yes, even though I've never read her novels, and have never read her poetry,  how I love her journals! They are treasures depicting life lived in the moment, in each day. In the past I've read and I also own Journal of a Solitude, and I borrowed The House by the Sea (about her move to Maine to a house on the coast). Both are wonderful. Sarton is very in tune with nature and even more so a garden lover and gardener. Both books are wonderful, though I must admit that Journal of a Solitude will always be very special to me. So the title of the one I purchased yesterday is At Seventy. Still gardening at seventy and hopes to garden into her eighties. The journal before At Seventy and after The House by the Sea is Recovering. In her 60s, Sarton suffered a bout of cancer. I haven't read this one, but I think I'd like to. It's one of her most popular.


  1. The books you bought were so cheap. Three pounds is the average here for a second-hand mass market paperback. I haven't read anything by Fielding.

  2. Hmmm...
    Katrina, you haven't read anything by Fielding. Am I sensing even the slightest bit of interest in giving him a try? Think of it. This writer born in the early 1700s and dying before the mid-1700s were over. Hmmm...

  3. If I find a copy of Tom Jones before you get around to reading it then maybe we could do a readalong sometime - maybe ....

    1. That would be a treat to read Tom Jones with you! I worry about my slower pace, which always bothers me. But if we were to do it in installments as we did with Ivanhoe, then it may work out. Do keep your eye out for a copy. Gosh--it's a powerfully long book! Gads.

  4. You've reminded me to read a book by May Sarton. I've read about her and I love Maine.
    My father read Tom Jones about every five years and I'd hear him downstairs late at night laughing loudly. So, enjoy!

    1. Kathy,
      I think you will relate to her books. I'd always recommend Journal of a Solitude, about her life in Vermont, before she moved to Maine. Incredible!
      But you will love House by the Sea as well, which follows time-wise, immediately upon Journal of a Solitude.