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Archive for September, 2010

This weekend is the Pegasus/Pendragon Books annual warehouse sale (also know as the weekend when I refill the empty places I’ve worked so hard to create on my bookshelves), and I dragged myself out of bed early enough to be there at the opening. I set myself a budget this year, $50, no exceptions, and here’s how I did, with brief notes:

short story collections
The Palace Thief by Ethan Canin (feel like I should’ve read this already)
Tell Me by Mary Robison (haven’t read much of her but have liked what I did read)
At the Gates of the Animal Kingdom by Amy Hempel (read most of these in her collected stories, but I would like to reread and own nothing of hers)
A River Runs Through It by Norman Maclean (why not, have heard good things)
Animal Crackers by Hannah Tinti (lovely looking book, familiar name)
Passion and Affect by Laurie Colwin (great title, have only read a story or two by her before)

autobiography
My Father and Myself by J.R. Ackerley (kismet! first heard about this book half an hour before leaving for the sale on the Paris Review blog)

novels
The Story of a Marriage by Andrew Sean Greer (loved this last year, have been looking for a copy since)
The Partnership by Barry Unsworth (never read anything by him, but enticing blurb and random page read)
Farmer by Jim Harrison (since the dream I’ve repeatedly mentioned, I pick him up whenever I run across him. the first book I found at the sale)
The Year of Fog by Michelle Richmond (hey, a Twitter-based pick-up!)
Citizen Vince by Jess Walter (enjoyed his Financial Lives of the Poets)
The Everlasting Story of Nory by Nicholson Baker (love me some Nicholson Baker, haven’t read this one)
The Zero by Jess Walter (same at Citizen Vince)
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle (I admit to an initial snob recoil to the book, but I haven’t talked to anyone who disliked it and I am, after all, a dog geek)
My Happy Life by Lydia Millet (perfect! I’m reading her How the Dead Dream right now, and this book isn’t in the library system)
C by Tom McCarthy (the score of the day, by far: fifty cents)

I thought I was going to have to set some of these aside, but the guy added them up, and (gasp) TEN DOLLARS. For all of them. As I left they were opening new boxes of books and shelving them, but I forced myself to turn away. The sale continues today and tomorrow on Eighth St right off of Gilman, across from the Pyramid Brewery.

So I ran to Berkeley Bowl West and treated myself to strange and appealing produce. Black radish, Persian cucumber, asparagus shoots, round carrots, seckel pear, kaffir lime, spineless chayote, kohlrabi, a massive honeycrisp apple, and some beautiful staples (watermelon, banana, eggplant, avocado, yellow zucchini, a big mild pepper). I also picked up a bag of the expensive everything-free granola and some pineapple yogurt, and I still got back many dollars in change. All the glory of procuring things I want and all the cheapness that soothes my mean tightwad heart.

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