As many of you know, I used to do a weekly vlog about the books that found their way to me during the week. As my schedule got busier, I realized weekly vlogs were no longer feasible, and instead I’ve been posting exciting library sale finds and mailbox surprises on Tumblr. The past few weeks, though, have been far too exciting when it comes to books, and I cannot resist sharing all my new acquisitions here!

Library Sales

I’ve been to two library sales over the past few weeks. At the first, I picked up two books:

  • A Short History of Women by Kate Walbert
  • Wait for Me! by Deborah Mitford, Duchess of Devonshire

Sounds all tame and restrained, no? Don’t worry. My true book-obsessed nature came barreling through at the second sale, where…well…I picked up two stacks. This sale was my hometown’s annual event: a middle school cafeteria plus lobby brimming with amazing finds, all in excellent condition and painstakingly organized. It’s really amazing. And since my mom volunteered to work the sale this year, and I was home visiting her, I ended up going all three days! The damage (half of which is still at my parents’ house, as it would not fit into my suitcase):

Anderson Library Sale Haul

The Left Stack:

  • Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh
  • Exiled: Memoirs of a Camel by Kathleen Karr
  • Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks
  • East of the Sun by Julia Gregson
  • When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka
  • The Great Man by Kate Christensen
  • The Secret History of the Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig
  • The Stranger by Albert Camus
  • Istanbul by Orhan Pamuk
  • Small Wonder by Barbara Kingsolver
  • Mistress of the Sun by Sandra Gulland
  • Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
  • Women of the Silk by Gail Tsukiyama

The Right Stack:

  • A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations by Charles Dickens (such a pretty edition I couldn’t pass it up!)
  • Anne Frank by Francine Prose
  • Sister of My Heart by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
  • Runaway by Alice Munro
  • A Gate at the Stairs by Lorrie Moore
  • The Unnamed by Joshua Ferris
  • The Piano Tuner by Daniel Mason
  • The Irresistible Henry House by Lisa Grunwald
  • The Bells by Richard Harvell
  • Black Swan Green by David Mitchell

Whew! I’m thrilled because well over half of those were already on my TBR list. Anyone else up for reading something together? I see all kinds of Reading Buddies potential here!


A few books came my way from friends (to whom I am so grateful!):

  • The Soldier’s Wife by Margaret Leroy (coming out in July)
  • The Wild Rose by Jennifer Donnelly (coming in out in August, though I have to read the first two in the series before I start this one!)
  • The Good Muslim by Tahmima Anam (also coming out in August)
  • Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu (coming out in September)
  • Wildwood by Colin Meloy (also coming out in September)
  • Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher (which has been out for a while but which I have very much been wanting to read!)

Mailbox Goodies

I’ve also had more books than usual find their way to me through the mail recently:

  • The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Presents: Earth (The Audiobook): won via Devourer of Books during Audiobook Week!
  • Beauty Queens by Libba Bray: won via Write, Meg!
  • The Paper Garden by Molly Peacock: won via In the Next Room!
  • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (ARC): won through Shelf Awareness!

Now I just have to find the time to read all of these. Book acquisition photos will move back over to Tumblr now, at least until I get too excited about something and have to share it with a larger audience!

Your Turn!

Has anything you’re extra excited about found its way onto your shelves lately?

Join the Conversation


  1. I also came across The Wild Rose and hadn’t read the first two books. I’ve now read the first, The Tea Rose, and I loved it! I purchased The Winter Rose and am excited to finish off the series. I also really liked The Soldier’s Wife. Have fun with your new books, it looks like you hit the jackpot!

    1. Oh, excellent to hear you liked The Tea Rose! I somehow have the latter two books in the series but not the first. I’m excited for The Soldier’s Wife, too — it seems to be getting good comments!

  2. That is an amazing stack of books! I really loved A Gate At the Stairs, I hope you like it too.

    (Now I really want to go to a book sale. *swoon*)

    1. Ooh good to hear. I heard Lorrie Moore speak back when I worked for a bookstore (I was selling books) but hadn’t read anything of hers. I’ve wanted to read something ever since. As for book sales, well…I think I am addicted. Luckily (or perhaps unluckily?), so is my husband!

  3. What a great sale! I go to an annual book sale at the university i went to (a fundraiser for Save The Children) and every year it is epic. I can’t wait for it again this year 🙂

    1. Oh, I like the idea of a book sale as a fundraiser (other than for a library, that is)! Isn’t it wonderful to have these huge, “epic” (love that word!) sales to look forward to? I hope you find amazing things there!

  4. Half of a Yellow Sun and Year of Wonders are both excellent books, and everything I’ve read by Donnelly has been good. It’s also past time for me to re-read The Stranger by Camus, which I first read in the early 1970s and continue to ponder over the years.

    1. I’ve read a few of Donnelly’s YA books and really liked them, so I’m hoping the adult trilogy is just as good. I keep hearing about Half of a Yellow Sun AND Year of Wonders — I can’t believe I haven’t read either yet, but now I really have no excuse! I have not read anything by Camus yet, but I’m very happy to hear it’s stuck with you for so many years. I like books that get that deep.

    1. Ugh, that’s disappointing. I did have to travel like 250 miles to get to this one…does that make you feel better?

  5. wow! that is the most amazing stacks of books ever! I’m so jealous, I bet they were amazing prices too.

    I’m glad the Paper Garden arrived. I’m excited to see a picture of it, I had an ARC and I think the finished copy with all the colour photos is probably gorgeous.

    Also, I have the Unnamed and am definitely meaning to read it for nearly a year, and also The Bells, so definitely let me know if you decide to do reading buddies for either. They are both supposed to be fantastic.

    1. Thanks again for The Paper Garden! It’s a beautiful book; I was surprised by all the color inside. I’ll gladly do at least an informal reading buddies read for both The Unnamed and The Bells, though probably not until the fall, if that’s okay. I had to leave a lot of the books at my parents’ house, since my suitcase wouldn’t fit them all, but once I’ve retrieved them, I’d love to read them with you. I’ll let you know!

  6. Wow – It looks like you won the lottery, book lottery that is. One of my favorite books so far this year was The Paper Garden. I hope you enjoy it too.

    1. I was very excited to win The Paper Garden — it’s beautiful! I’m happy to hear you liked it so much.

    1. I’m glad — I like seeing what other people end up with, too! I definitely went a little crazy this week, and yet…no regrets 🙂

  7. What awesome loot! Way too many books in your stack for me to single out the ones I’d also like to read, but suffice it to say that I’m super jealous!

  8. Just looking at that stack I saw several great books that I own or would like to own. I know what it’s like to not be able to contain yourself at a sale, and have had my own stacks to contend with. I hope that you enjoy them all, as they are all great books.

    1. My ability to restrain myself seems to deteriorate the more books I pick up. If I’ve only found one I really really want, I’m usually content with that. But the more good things I find, the less willpower I seem to have, even for books I’d not have picked up otherwise! Bag sales are the worst…and the best!

  9. So many attractive books! I read A Gate At the Stairs a few months ago and really loved it ! Julie Otsuka’s book is waiting on my shelves.
    My stack of books to be read is so huge that I’m trying not to buy too many books. I managed to spend this week without buying or borrowing a single book (except one for my daughter!). But I envy you finding so many good books at bargain prices and in such great condition! Enjoy your reading!

    1. I’m happy you liked A Gate at the Stairs! I’ve never read anything by Lorrie Moore but have always meant to. Maybe we can read Julie Otsuka’s book together at some point! It’s much thinner than some of the reading buddies books have been lately. I always go to sales planning on not buying much, and often I’m successful, I swear! I’m impressed you went a whole week without bringing any new books home. I always at least end up at the library!

        1. Sounds good! Probably not until fall at least, but I will absolutely let you know when I get to it!

  10. Oh, you got some nice ones!!!! And “Gifts from the Sea” is one of my all-time favorite books — one that I routinely give as a gift and think all women should read at various times throughout their lives.

    1. I’ve heard from a couple of people that “Gift from the Sea” is wonderful. It seems like the sort of book you can just open up as needed, in addition to reading it straight through. Thanks for the thumbs-up!

    1. Good to hear! I’ve not read anything by Geraldine Brooks yet and figured it was about time 🙂

  11. My goodness! I wish the library sale in my city was as good as this one! It looks like ya got some awesome stuff– especially Oryx & Crake. Super fantastic!

    1. Well…I did have to travel 250 miles to get to this sale, but I think it was worth it! (And of course I didn’t go JUST for the sale…) I listened to Oryx and Crake maybe a year ago and was blown away. I’m hoping to find The Year of the Flood at a sale sometime soon!

  12. I laughed my way through Beauty Queens. I think it is meant more as a social commentary and not necessarily a book with perfectly written characters and plot. when I viewed it that way, I loved it. And if you read that book by Lauren Willig you will exactly have the flavor of Heart of Iron (my disappointing steampunk).

    1. Good to know going in! I’ve heard pretty much universal praise for Beauty Queens, and I’m very curious to read it myself. I like it when books incorporate social commentary well. Several former coworkers loved the Lauren Willig series, and I’ve always meant to try it. I think if I know about its style before I start reading it’ll be fine, but if I were to start something like Heart of Iron expecting an exciting steampunk, I’d be disappointed.

  13. Wow, fantastic loot! Aren’t library sales the best? Although yours sounds like it was a lot more organized and civil than our usual are. Last time, I swear I was being followed by a kit who kept whistling “The wheels on the bus go round and round.” JUST THAT PART. Over and over and over again. Thankfully I still managed to find some great books 🙂

    1. I love them! I have never been to a sale as well organized as this one was, though, and I’ve been to a LOT of library sales! Oh my, I would have run screaming from the kid and his whistling. It must have been hard to concentrate! At least the good books made up for it.

    1. Yours is the first feedback I’ve heard about East of the Sun. It looked very interesting to me! I hope you get a copy of Night Circus. It looks so intriguing.

  14. I have not been to a library sale – they don’t seem to take place in the city. But your stack of books is making me think I will have to ferret one out in the burbs! Your got such quality books!

    1. Check out; they list all kinds of sales, mostly library. They’re totally worth going to — so much fun!

  15. I hope I have the good luck you did at my library’s used book sale next weekend! There are several books you picked up that I also want to read — Half a Yellow Sun, When the Emperor Was Divine, Secret History of the Pink Carnation.

    I loved the first two books in Donnelly’s series, especially The Tea Rose. I wasn’t as drawn to the couple featured in The Wild Rose when they were first introduced in The Winter Rose so I’m not sure if I will read The Wild Rose.

    Thirteen Reasons Why is one of my favorite books. An absolute page turner. I hope you love it!

    1. I hope you found plenty at your sale! Maybe we can make some of our shared TBRs into Reading Buddies books. I can’t wait to read Thirteen Reasons Why — I’ve heard only good things!

    1. Ha, no, you’re definitely not alone! It’s like paradise for me, and I go as often as I can. Though usually I manage to restrain myself a little more than this 🙂

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