Monday, July 24, 2017

Random New Books

Over the past few months, I've added a few completely random books to my shelves. These are books that were never on my radar prior to taking them home. Quite a few of them, I'm not even sure if I want to read. I know that sounds really strange, but bear with me, I shall explain! Given this odd state of affairs, I thought I would share these random finds to see if anyone has any thoughts or opinions on them.

Used bookstore freebies!

In the fantastic kids section of our local used bookstore.
He sat like this for 20+ minutes while Mommy browsed :):)
And yes, we bought that book!

For every $20 you spend at my local used bookstore, you get to pick a free book from a specific shelf near the register. I'm not one to pass up a free book, but it's not often I spot something there I was already interested in reading. I'm often browsing this hodgepodge shelf with one eye (and hand) on my climbing toddler and making sure he pets the bookshop dog gently. Or at least that's what happened the last time we went! (And thank goodness the owner likes kids!)

Blue Willow, by Doris Gates 
I had never heard of this author or title before and this old, tattered copy definitely didn't catch my eye at first glance. But then I spotted "A Newbery Honor Book" on the cover and knew it was going to be one of my picks!

Trouble River, by Betsy Byars
Betsy Byars is a Newbery author and I heard Gretchen Rubin recommend her books on a Kidlit For Adults episode of the What Should I Read Next? podcast (FANTASTIC episode that was part of a 5-day mini-series dedicated to KidLit; episodes #49-53, FYI.)

I knew nothing about this book, but it's by Lois Lowry, so it was my freebie pick a few months ago. And it turns out it is part of a series Anne Bogel and Sarah Mackenzie talked about on their WSIRN KidLit episode that kicked off that 5-day mini-series.

They Sent Me The Wrong Book!

The Dunderhead War, by Betty Baker
This one is super random because it landed in my mailbox as the result of an ISBN mix-up when I ordered a different used kids book. The seller refunded my money and told me to keep it, but I really have no idea if I want to read it or not! I haven't even found a good description of it because the summary on Goodreads is for that other book I thought I was buying. So odd!

Community Garage Sale Finds

During the spring, I went to two different community garage sales run by local schools as fundraisers. I really wanted to pick up some clothes and things for little man (which I did), but you don't think I passed by the books without looking do you? Since they were run by schools, most of the items donated for sale were from families and sure enough there were some gems to be found. I figure this is because lots of kids (and parents) clear out books they've outgrown or books they read for class and don't want to keep. So there were lots of Newberys and classic authors which are right up my alley these days! They were all selling for $0.50 - $2 each at most, so I brought home quite a few.

Catwings, by Ursula K. LeGuin
I read The Wizard of Earthsea for a Sci-Fi and Fantasy Lit course in college, but I had no idea LeGuin also wrote a chapter book series. I was intrigued!

The Reluctant Dragon, by Kenneth Grahame & illustrated by Ernest H. Shepard
I know Grahame wrote The Wind in the Willows and Shepard illustrated the Winnie the Pooh books, but I had never heard of this collaboration before. Again, intrigued!

This is really pretty Hallmark gift book that caught my eye. I was amazed to open it and realize it was printed in 1967!

Jack and Jill, by Louisa May Alcott
Obviously, I know of Alcott, but I had never even heard of this title previously. The actual book cover (shown in the photo) is so much prettier than the dust jacket, which I thought was unusual for an older book (but correct me if I'm wrong!)

* * * * *

The rest of the books I found at the used bookstore and community garage sales recently were not so random and I will share those in another post soon. Since I want to read more from my own shelves (as always!) as I move forward with my limited choices TBR approach, I thought it would be fun to share some of the books I have to pick from. And the results of these little treasure hunts always seem more interesting to me than plunking a book in my Amazon cart (not that I don't do that too!)

Have you come across any random bookish finds lately? Please share in the comments!


  1. Hooray for all the Newberys! I have a copy of Jack and Jill, but I haven't read it yet. We'll see who gets to it first. ;)

    I love the idea of the free book shelf at the bookstore. I wish my bookstore did that. And your little guy is such a cutie! It's nice that he was so enthralled by that book. The last time I went to a bookstore, my son kept climbing the ladder for stocking the top shelves. Hard to browse when that's going on!

    1. Good to know you've at least heard of Jack and Jill, even if you haven't read it yet -- it was a completely blind pick for me, except for the author's name!

      It definitely can be tricky taking my little guy to a bookstore (or anywhere, really!), but I'm lucky with how well this particular store is set up. The owner is a retired teacher and principal and she knows her stuff! If she wants to get parents buying books for their kids (which I know she does!), she's made it very kid-friendly -- not only with that small-sized comfy chair, but a table with puzzles and toys in the kids section -- it may not work every time, but I can't ask for anything more to try to keep him occupied!

  2. He is too cute reading that book! I never turn down a free book and I love going hunting through the shelves of a used book store. :)


I'd love to hear what you think :)