An Unexpected Book Binge

by Kim on January 16, 2013 · 45 comments

Because I live in a town without a dedicated bookstore, I can never buy just one book when I get the chance to go book shopping. I always bulk up my online orders to get free shipping, and I can’t walk out of bookstore (new or used) without bringing a pile of books home with me. And this weekend was a perfect storm of book magic: an online order arrived at home just before I took a trip to the Twin Cities that involved a wonderful book binge at a new-to-me Barnes & Noble with a fabulous used books section.

My books in/books out goal took a hit, but it was well worth it to bring these beauties home with me (apologies for no pictures, the lighting in my office is terrible!).

The book that started the binge was In Other Worlds by Margaret Atwood. I blame Rebecca (The Book Lady) for this one, after she piqued my interest in this book again after posting a bunch of great quotes on the Bookrageous Tumblr.

Then, to bump up my online order, I added two more books I’ve been waiting to read, Cinderella Ate My Daughter by Peggy Orenstein and Safe from the Sea by Peter Geye (based on a recommendation from Fizzy Jill). I can’t quite bring myself to start Safe from the Sea yet, since it’s freezing here in Minnesota, but I’m imagining settling in with that one on a cold winter weekend.

Although I don’t really need an excuse to head to a bookstore, my trip to Barnes & Noble was, ostensibly, to purchase Sally Bedell Smith’s Elizabeth the Queen, a biography of Queen Elizabeth II. I saw a special about Queen Elizabeth after Downton Abbey on Sunday, and decided I wanted to learn more about her (like I need another epic biography to add to my stacks — Team of Rivals, I’m looking at you!).

It had been awhile since I went to this particular Barnes & Noble, so I got a little lost wandering around trying to find the biography section. I just happened (wink!) to find my way to the used books section — one of the best used book collections I’ve come across at a chain store in quite some time. I found a bunch of great picks (far more than I intended to come home with):

  • Reefer Madness by Eric Schlosser, a book that looks at three major black markets in the United States: prn, pot and illegal immigrants
  • The Man Who Couldn’t Eat by Jon Reiner, a memoir about a food writers  battle with Chron’s Disease
  • Paper Trails by Pete Dexter, a collection of newspaper essays and columns about “confusion, mindless violence, and forbidden desires — a surprising number of which are not about marriage”
  • Alibis by Andre Acima, a collection of essays on time, place, and identity

I was especially excited to find Paper Trails and Alibis on the stacks because they both recently came out in paperback and I was just getting ready to order them myself anyway. Score!

Unfortunately, I have too many books in progress right now to get into any of these right away. I’m currently in the middle of Special Topics in Calamity Physics, a collection of essays by Andrew O’Hagen, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Friendfluence by Carlin Flora and The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. I really need to focus just a little bit so I can get these done!

I’m not sure how busy the blog will be this week, since I was traveling all weekend and missed my traditional blogging time, but I hope I’ll have a review up tomorrow or Friday. Yay, books!

Previous post:

Next post: