A Lovely Book Exchange

My determination to focus on the books already on my shelves has been going very…um…medium-ly? I am making progress, but rather more slowly than I had planned, and I have made a few exceptions.
We went to a bookstore on our wedding anniversary, so that was one exception, and we bought a few books then.
But then I had a brilliant idea for another loophole (you see the problem)! I had several books on my shelves that I knew I would either not read (based on certain types of content that I know I do not prefer) or had no interest in reading again. Most of them were in very nice condition, so I thought a used bookstore would take them. And they did, in exchange for store credit!
It just so happened that I hit the mark with the books I picked out, using up the store credit almost exactly. I don’t like to get rid of books, and I do it very rarely, but if I ever need to clear a few off the shelves again, this is a very fun way to do so.
So here is what I found!
Home, by Marilynne Robinson
Robinson’s Gilead is probably my favorite read so far of the year. It was so full, rich, and lovely, and sorrowful and heart-breaking (but in a brightening, wholesome way??) that I knew I must read more of her books. This book takes place concurrently with Gilead and includes essentially all the same characters.
The Martian, by Andy Weir
I know nothing about this book other than that it’s an astronaut who accidentally gets left on Mars, but I did hear that it was funny, and I don’t read humorous things very often. I have not seen the movie. I’m just curious. Oddly enough I just finished re-reading Out of the Silent Planet, which is also about a man who gets stranded on Mars, but that is from a more religious/cosmology/philosophical perspective, and I don’t imagine the books will be anything alike.
The Last Battle, by C.S. Lewis
Okay, I love this book, but getting this one was kind of an accident. We already have it. We knew we were missing one of the Chronicles of Narnia but neither my husband nor I could remember which one. Finally we both agree it must be The Last Battle. We were wrong. The one we’re missing is Prince Caspian. Now we have two copies of one and none of the other…a lack which will have to be remedied eventually!
The Art of War, by Sun Tzu
A classic, we did not have it, and now we do! It is a short book and I’m of the notion that if a book was written around the 5th century B.C. and is still considered tactically and literarily relevant today, it really ought to be read.
Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry, by Mildred D. Taylor
We had this book on our shelves growing up, but somehow I managed to read some of the other books in Taylor’s series (about the same family) but not this one! The story centers around a black family in the south in the 1930s as they deal with family, daily life, and, of course, racism of both the casual and the violent kind. I know for sure that I read The Road to Memphis, which is set several years later, as well as a collection of short stories about the various characters in the books.
I’ve started keeping an eye out for books that I want not just for me, but for my kids. I remember those books I read of Taylor’s being very impactful and loving them, so I want to share them with my kids. I envision this making a good read-aloud for when they get older. I think it’s age bracket ranges between mid-grade and YA.
The Source, by James Michener
I often see this book referred to when I am perusing mid-east or Jewish history or historical fiction. Basically this book is a fictional account of the whole history of the Jewish people, up to the “present” (which is to say 1965, when the book was written). I have never read anything by Michener, but I was very happy to find an actual 1965 copy at the store.
Oh, and we also got two Dr. Seuss books, but I don’t suppose I need to explain those.
And, hey, I still have fifty cents store credit so…there you go : )

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