Just got back from my local library’s semi-annual book sale with bags and arms full of new reads. The total haul for the four of us came to 35 books for…..$13.50. In the past I have really gone crazy at these types of events and ended up with more books than I had shelf, table or floor space for. Inevitably that lead to my culling out some old titles I had already read or had decided I’d probably never get to. This year I decided to restrain myself and only pick a handful of titles, and I did pretty well. Out of the 35 books now sitting on the dining room floor only five of them are mine. The majority are for the kids, and since we home school it is really more of an investment than an impulse buy.
The book that I found that I am most excited to read is The Poe Shadow, by Mathew Pearl:
Baltimore, 1849. The body of Edgar Allan Poe has been buried in an unmarked grave. The public, the press, and even Poe’s own family and friends accept the conclusion that Poe was a second-rate writer who met a disgraceful end as a drunkard. Everyone, in fact, seems to believe this except a young Baltimore lawyer named Quentin Clark, an ardent admirer who puts his own career and reputation at risk in a passionate crusade to salvage Poe’s.
As Quentin explores the puzzling circumstances of Poe’s demise, he discovers that the writer’s last days are riddled with unanswered questions the police are possibly willfully ignoring. Just when Poe’s death seems destined to remain a mystery, and forever sealing his ignominy, inspiration strikes Quentin–in the form of Poe’s own stories. The young attorney realizes that he must find the one person who can solve the strange case of Poe’s death: the real-life model for Poe’s brilliant fictional detective character, C. Auguste Dupin, the hero of ingenious tales of crime and detection. ~ From Amazon
I’ve read his earlier novel, The Dante Club and loved it, and this one looks just as good if not better. However, I did have a hard time not making a much bigger purchase. At the very back of the auditorium where the fair was being held, in a box under a table, was a 20-book complete set of Mark Twain’s works. It was one of those older order by mail hardbound classics sets that were popular in the first half of the 20th century and it was in great shape. I must have gone back to it three times, but in the end decided against it as I really do not have any more room for large sets like that. (But if no one buys it and it is still there at the end of the day, I’ll take that as a sign.)