Breaking the Book Buying Habit

So far, I have stuck with my resolution not to buy books.  The local library is tiny but has a great fiction selection.  I could have easily walked away with three or four when I visited earlier this week.  I limited myself to just two: The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff, a tale of Mormons and polygamy set in the time of Brigham Young, and A Lesson in Secrets by Jacqueline Winspear, which is part of her Maisie Dobbs mystery series.  It was the latter that caused the most temptation I’ve faced so far.

I have read the first two books in the series–Maisie Dobbs and Birds of a Feather.  But this one is the eighth book in the series and as I read the cover blurb, I realized I wanted to continue to read them in order since besides being great mysteries, they tell the story of Maisie’s life.  All the books are available on the Kindle; there is even a bundled set of the 3rd and 4th books for a mere $15.  And Kindle books don’t take up any shelf space at all.  But a resolution is a resolution so I headed to the library website and put in my request to have it brought from another branch.  Now, I wait patiently to get the email indicating it has arrived. In the mean time, I am immersed in I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb, which came form my own collection.

I also kept my resolution at the library itself which is selling a bag of books for just $2!  Truth be told, there wasn’t much of interest on the carts but that hasn’t ever stopped me before.

NB: I made it through a visit to Books A Million where I drank a latte, surfed the web and only browsed.  But they gave me a $5 coupon for online and I ended up with the second volume of Bernard Cornwell’s Saxon Chronicles, The Pale Horseman. The first book in the series–The Last Kingdom–is already on the shelf and the sixth volume–The Death of Kings–just came out.  LOTS more reading to look forward.

And Now For Something Completely Different

I finished up the Abigail Adams mystery and enjoyed it, although the nature of the crime seemed somewhat 21st century to me despite the author’s best effort to show it in an 18th century light. I figured it out along with Abigail and, as I mentioned earlier, found the depiction of Boston and its daily life to be the most interesting.

An aside on the nature of the Internet and multitasking…I began to write this post while I was rendering video.  As I wrote the post, I thought I would check to see if there were plans for another mystery in the series.  I discovered that Barbara Hamilton is actually a pseudonym of Barbara Hambly, a mostly fantasy and science fiction writer. I spent a little bit of time trying to confirm this but Wikipedia was no help at all.  Nor the Fiction Database.  There is a brief mention in a comment on Good Reads and an online bookstore lists both names as the author.  But, she has an interview with Barbara Hamilton on her website that makes it pretty clear. I’m wondering if I should update the Wikipedia entry?  I feel like I need a definitive source.  I did find the answer to my original question: There are at least two more books in the works in the series and maybe a fourth that will involve Martha Washington.

Now, I’m back from that bit of birdwalking…I edited the video and it’s rendering some more while I write.  Yesterday, I wasn’t sure what I was going to read and spent some time in the afternoon looking at the pile of books in the bedroom that were supposed to be the ones I was reading in 2010.  I have gotten through very few of them as I’ve either read new books or books from other shelves.  (The biographies, all hard backs, cleaned off half a shelf in the office.)  I was thinking about more bios: John Adams, Marie Curie, Margaret Mead, or doing a Jasper Fforde weekend with the two new ones I have, or immersing myself in English history with Sharon Kay Penman, Alison Weir, and Antonia Fraser.  But then…at the bottom of the pile in the back, there were three library books.  (As a prof at WM, I get to keep books for a year.)  They were from Bernard Cornwell’s Civil War series, The Starbuck Chronicles. I have the first three and it turns out there are five of them.  The first one–Rebel–opens in Richmond, the day after Fort Sumter and after spending some time with it this morning, that’s what I’ll be reading for the next few days.   Aah, I am relieved that I have made that decision since I’m going to sit out in the sun this afternoon and I’ll need a book in hand.

I managed to get through most of the books I had been reading since at one point I had about four going at the same time, not something I usually do, but I still haven’t finished Bound for Glory.  It’s on the Kindle but I don’t know if that’s the problem or not.

Meanwhile, the video is rendered and it’s time to move on…