This is why my TBR list continues to grow faster than my "completed list." I stopped into a couple of local bookstores yesterday and could not resist picking up this stack of bargain-priced books. All of them are in new, never read, condition and I paid only one or two dollars each for most of them.
Suite Francaise is the only one of the lot for which I paid anything near full price. I've been hearing good things about this novel for a while and I seem to have finally reached the point at which I could no longer resist its pull.
In The Magdalen Martyrs, Ken Bruen continues the saga of Jack Taylor whom I first encountered in The Guards. I was so taken with Bruen's writing that I snapped this one up from the bargain table as soon as I spotted it.
I've always enjoyed novels set in the American Civil War period and it seems that I'm finding them on a regular basis lately. The Glory Cloak portrays Louisa May Alcott and Clara Barton working together to solve the true identity of a mystery soldier they find in a Union hospital.
John M. Del Vecchio's Darkness Falls is described this way: "Corporate mergers, downsizing, and public schools in turmoil all form the background for this novel of love, hate, violence and glory, rescue and murder...a complicated story of life in America's core - the suburbs." Considering my own recent "downsizing," it's no surprise that I had to have this one.
I have always been partial to Southern writers, probably because I can so easily identify with their subject matter, so I snapped up this biography, Carson McCullers: A Life. I was also a bit intrigued by the fact that the book was first published in France and that I found its British publication in a used books bookstore in Houston. I don't think that particular combination has ever happened for me before this one.
Paradise Salvage is one that I spotted on the shelf at least two weeks ago and didn't buy. But for some reason, it stuck in my mind and, when I saw it was still there, I decided to give it a try. I'm not familiar with its author, John Fusco, but being a fan of The Sopranos, I couldn't resist this cover blurb: "Cross The Sopranos with Catcher in the Rye and you'd probably get this suspenseful novel - and very good it is."
This is another Civil War novel that I had never heard of before yesterday. The Rope Eater tells the story of a young Union soldier who volunteered after hearing a particularly stirring recruitment speech. When confronted with the realities of warfare, he deserts the army and signs up as part of the crew of a whaling ship, something else about which he knows absolutely nothing.
I'm not entirely sure why I picked this one up other than the fact that I've enjoyed several of Sharyn McCrumb's books in the past. But I am one of those folks who just don't "get" NASCAR at all; I draw a complete blank when it comes to listing one appealing thing about that particular "sport." St. Dale is the story of a group of strangers who go on the "Dale Earnhardt Memorial Pilgrimage" and what happens along the way. We'll see.
How could anyone pass up a brand new copy of the 50th Anniversary Edition of an American classic when they find it priced at $1. Impossible, certainly for me. The Adventures of Augie March, by Saul Bellow, was first published in 1953 and was recognized as something special from the beginning. I'm a longtime admirer of Bellow, so this book will definitely find a permanent home on my bookshelves.
I'm desperately hoping that this one isn't of the "chick lit" variety but since I heard some good things about it, and because it's another Southern novel, and since the price was certainly right, I decided to give it a try. Gods in Alabama tells the story of a young woman who returns to small town Alabama, her black boyfriend in tow, to confront both her roots and the fact that she knows exactly what happened to the high school football hero who disappeared.
I bought this one based entirely on the reputation of its author, Dan Simmons. I wasn't aware that Simmons had started a private investigator series before finding this third Joe Kurtz novel. I'm a sucker for series novels for some reason and I have high hopes that Hard as Nails will start me off on another fun ride.
All in all, this was one of the most cost efficient book buys that I've ever made. Seven of the books, all new, were purchased at one bookstore for less than $10, including tax. The other four were bought at a different store for under $25, including the one for which I paid near full price, Suite Francaise. It was a good day.