25 October 2017

Tales and Sales

Last Friday I worked until 6 pm, dashed home, ate a few pieces of sushi (no time to fiddle with chopsticks) before hurrying out for a book talk at the art centre.  My husband enjoys Linwood Barclay's books and I was happy to tag along.  Roddy Doyle was also listed as a speaker but a family emergency kept him away.  Anyone familiar with Linwood's previous life as a columnist knows he has a keen sense of humour but I was going in blind, so to speak.  The only thing I knew about him was that we used the same car dealership.  Linwood's comedic timing and way with a story made the night so much fun that I didn't mind missing out on a chance to meet a Man Booker Prize winning author.  Sorry, Mr Doyle.

On Saturday we drove through the most glorious sunshine and winding roads sandwiched between golden trees, to see what we would find at a large book sale.  Susan, interested in my mudlarking pursuits while in London, contacted me about a detail or two so she could try her hand while on her recent trip.  Trading tips, she told me about the annual Friends of the Library book sale in Guelph, a nearby university town.  Well, it's a city, but so tranquil it feels like a town.

Inside the large building were tables and tables full of books, and quickly filling with customers.  My husband looked at me and said 'I'll find you somewhere' before heading our separate ways.  There are plenty of books on my tbr pile at home so, for me, it was more about the gems than simply loading up - which plenty of people were very successful at.  I came away quite happy with Volume Two 1912 - 1922 of Virginia Woolf's letters, Anita Brookner's A Start in Life, and The Oxford Book of English Short Stories all for seven dollars.  Proceeds from the sale go towards supporting library initiatives, and I was so impressed by the enthusiasm of the many volunteers dedicating their time.  We'll definitely be visiting this sale again!

Mary (Mrs Miniver's Daughter) recently told me about a new English Heritage book called Eight Ghosts.  Quickly placed on my wishlist I was fine with the waiting game.  Then, just over a week ago, while listening to a podcast in the middle of the night, a review of this book was featured.  The starting point for the book was that authors were allowed to spend after hours time at a particular English Heritage site, absorbing details for a story suitably spooky for this time of year.  One story, by Max Porter, is set at Eltham Palace, a beautiful location I visited just over three months ago.  Being able to navigate the setting so clearly suddenly made this book a must-have.  Other submissions by Sarah Perry, Kamila Shamsie, Jeanette Winterson, Mark Haddon, Andrew Michael Hurley, Stuart Evers and Kate Clanchy will be enjoyed over the next few days, as well.

And speaking of atmospheric reading for October...I finished Harriet by Elizabeth Jenkins, yesterday afternoon.  It is absolutely gripping, but more on that in my next post.


  1. It was so nice to meet you on Saturday, Darlene - really glad you made the trip to Guelph and found a few gems on those very full tables. We Canadian mudlarkers have to stick together!

  2. And thank you, Susan! We really enjoyed the day and made another nice discovery in Guelph...The Wooly Pub. See you again next year!

  3. Oh, yessss - great place! Maybe I won't be working for the WHOLE sale next year & could join you for a drink : )