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Carissa Green Reads

I read widely from many genres. Perhaps this blog will feature fewer ratings and reviews, but I certainly intend to write about my reading life - it's the subject I most find myself wanting to talk about.

Currently reading

D-Day: June 6, 1944: The Climactic Battle of WWII
Stephen E. Ambrose
Symphony for the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad
M.T. Anderson
The Path Between the Seas
David McCullough
Chekhov Four Plays
Anton Chekhov, David Magarshack
The Gay Science: with a Prelude in Rhymes and an Appendix of Songs
Walter Kaufmann, Friedrich Nietzsche
A Kierkegaard Anthology
Robert W. Bretall

Book Haul: Summer Turns into Fall

Contemporary American Poetry (Penguin Poets) - Various Authors, Donald Hall

I don't buy many books these days. Over the 23 years I lived in a pretty small apartment, it was clear that at the rate of reading of a little over one new book a week, storing books would be a real challenge. Also, once something acquires a memory for me - especially a good memory, as books so often do - it's really hard for me to let go of them from my life.


I try to limit my book-buying these days to just a few a year. Poetry - they're usually skinny, so you can fit a lot of them on a shelf. The catalog book, if I see a really great art exhibit or visit a new museum. If one of my friends publishes, I try to buy the book. Occasionally a book from a signing or reading. A book with a such a profound memory or reading experience attached to it that I want to be a "keeper."


However, this past September I bought a whole bag of books, unexpectedly, on the spur-of-the-moment. What the heck happened? Well, here we go:


During the summer, I spend weekends with my folks at an RV park in north-central Minnesota. Sometimes, we go around to garage sales in the area, looking for treasures. We did just that on the last weekend of my summer year. And the last sale we went to was in a yard not far from a small state university. Where, apparently, a kindred spirit was selling her collection. She was planning a move to New York, she said, and couldn't take it all with her.


A quarter per book. And books that said, "Take me home. She loved us. Now you love us." And at a quarter a book, plus 10 cents for a cute cream-and-magenta tote bag (fragrance gwp that went unwanted and unused) I did not resist. 


Here's what I got! 

  • The anthology "Contemporary American Poetry," edited by Donald Hall. That's become my first poetry read of 2019. I'll be making a separate post about it later. 
  • A hardcover anthology, "Charlotte and Emily Bronte: The Complete Novels," published by Grammercy. (Sorry, Anne, you didn't make the cut, apparently.)
  • The Oxford World Classics paperback edition of "A Memoir of Jane Austen," written years after her death by a nephew. Been on my list to read for years, that one.
  • "The Best American Poetry 2000," guest editor that year was Rita Dove.
  • "Conde Nast Traveler Book of Unforgettable Journeys: Great Writers on Great Places," which I believe was a Penguin original several years ago. 
  • "Edmund Bertram's Diary," by Amanda Grange. Yes, it's Jane Austen fan-fiction, I suppose, but I will love it at least 25 cents worth, I'm certain.


See? I found a kindred reading spirit.


Would I have gone out and purchased all of these at full price? Absolutely not. Would I have paid a dollar each for these? Perhaps, but not all at once. Will I read them all? Certainly. 


So thank you, kindred reading spirit. May your reading life be blessed in the future.