Library Sale Giveaway

Last weekend, Brad and I went to the Wake County library book sale. Have you ever been to a library book sale? I’ve been to a few, but the Wake County sale is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. It’s so enormous, it has to be held at the NC state fair grounds. It is all in one building, but that building is slammed. So. Many. Books.

For a person like me who loves to read, you would think this would be heaven. But I felt so overwhelmed by the number of books around me, the number of people, and the lack of any organization beyond “general fiction on the right, mystery and romance to the left,” that I wound up feeling like Rachel in that episode of Friends where they try to find Monica a wedding dress. I just wanted to curl up under a table with my hands over my head and blow my safety whistle.

I digress. I think it’s really interesting to see what’s on offer at the book sale, because the books you see the most copies of tell you something about what books were trending in the past year or so. At last year’s book sale, I must have seen at least fifty copies of The Help. Strangely, this year I saw tons of copies of The Lovely Bones – I wouldn’t have predicted that one. I also find it interesting that I hardly ever run across a copy of a Harry Potter book at these sales, but there were entire boxes full of Twilight books. I’m not trying to hate on Twilight. I read and own all four of the books. But I think it’s interesting.

Brad found some biographies and histories, and I found a few hardback copies of Mary Stewart novels that I’m really excited about. Here’s the thing, though. Brad and I already have a LOT of books. We have stacks of them, actually. People say, “Oh, do you need bookshelves?” No. We have seven. They are full, thus the stacks on the floor. Brad and I walked away from the library book sale with 25 books.

winter seaforgotten garden

Since it’s nearly Christmas, and I love to share things with you, I am going to give away two books that I bought at the library sale. I have a paperback copy of Susanna Kearsley’s The Winter Sea and Kate Morton’s The Forgotten Garden to put up for grabs. They are both previously owned, obviously, but they are in very good condition. Both books are excellent – The Winter Sea is actually one of my all-time favorites. I’m giving both books to one lucky commenter on today’s post. I’ll announce the winner on Friday.  Good luck!

Top Five Friday: Summer Reads

Wrapping up my week of excitement for Lauren Willig’s new release, That Summer, I thought I would devote today’s list to summer books! Some of these books are set in the summertime, and some of them just seem like great choices to take to the beach.

lost lake 1. Lost Lake, by Sarah Addison Allen. This is a great read about a young widow named Kate who takes her daughter Devin for a spontaneous and much-needed vacation to Lost Lake, GA. They meet a charming and eccentric cast of characters, most of whom have been spending their summers at Lost Lake for years. The cottages on the lake are owned by Kate’s aunt Eby, and when Kate realizes that Eby is planning to sell the place at the end of the season, she and the other vacationers know they’ve got a limited amount of time to change Eby’s mind.
 grown-up 2. A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty, by Joshilyn Jackson. It may be best to let Joshilyn describe this book for you herself: “Every fifteen years, trouble comes after the Slocumb women. Now, as their youngest turns fifteen, a whole new kind of commotion is chasing all three generations. Mosey’s desperate to know who used their yard as a make-shift cemetery, and why. The oldest, forty-five year old Ginny, fights to protect Mosey from the truth, a fight that could cost Ginny the love of her life. Between them is Liza, silenced by a stroke, with the answers trapped inside her. To survive Liza’s secrets and Mosey’s insistent adventures, Ginny must learn to trust the love that braids the strands of their past—and stop at nothing to defend their future.” It’s a mystery and a coming-of-age story all wrapped into one. Also, the chapters written from Liza’s perspective were fascinating. This book feels summery because, thanks to the southern setting, there are lots of descriptions of hot days and sunshine.
 south of broad  3. South of Broad, by Pat Conroy. This was my first Pat Conroy novel, and I read it with my book club a few years ago. I keep meaning to go back to it. This is the story of Leopold Bloom King, the eclectic group of friends that he gathers in high school, and the ways that they continue to impact each other’s lives (for better or worse) twenty years after they graduate. Conroy’s publisher calls this book “a love letter to Charleston.” With all the references to the beach and Charleston life, this is a great summer book (although, perhaps not for you, Laney).
 forgotten garden  4. The Forgotten Garden, by Kate Morton. This is (another) one of my favorite time-slip books. In modern England, Cassandra’s beloved grandmother Nell has passed away. Cassandra feels like she’s lost everything that matters to her, but then she finds that Nell has left her a book of strange and dark fairytales by Eliza Makepeace, a Victorian authoress who wrote this one book and then vanished. Cassandra decides that her best hope of getting her life back on track is to take her book of fairytales and revisit Nell’s past to answer the questions she’s always had about her family. A great read for any time of the year, but any book that has a garden as such a central feature feels distinctly summery.
 hundred summers 5. A Hundred Summers, by Beatriz Williams. Lily Dane decides to spend the summer of 1938 with her family in the oceanfront community of Seaview, Rhode Island. What Lily wants is rest and relaxation, but what she gets is a blast from the past: Nick and Budgie Greenwald. Budgie and Lily were best friends when they were girls, and Nick and Lily were a serious couple for a long time – until Budgie decided that she wanted him, too. Lily, Nick and Budgie stumble through a summer of awkward interactions, with Budgie trying to act like the past doesn’t exist and Nick doing his best to avoid both of them. Lily tries to understand Budgie’s betrayal and the many secrets that she’s hiding, unaware that a powerful hurricane is about to make a sudden and devastating landfall right in the heart of their town. No explanation necessary for why this one makes the list!

 

Happy Friday!