One Writer’s Journey

January 2, 2019

Reading into the New Year

For Christmas, my husband got a gift card from HalfPrice Books.  This local store features a wide variety of used books and we all love going there to look for something you won’t find at Barnes and Noble.

This time around I found a copy of Lion of the Valley by James Neal Primm.  Primm was a still a professor when I was at the University of Missouri – St. Louis although I never had him.  I had been looking for a copy of this history of St. Louis for years.  It is the first history complete with bibliography and footnotes as compared to earlier anecdotal histories.

As we checked out, the cashier gave us two calendars.  Not only are there coupons (woo-hoo) but each day lists authors born on that day.  Of course, I immediately turned to my birthday which I share with Barbara Tuchman. It’s a little embarrassing that I didn’t recognize the name of this two-time Pulitzer winner.  She won for The Guns of August which tells about the events leading up to and the first month in World War I and Stillwell and the American Experience in China a biography of General Joseph Stillwell.  I actually recognize the title of the latter book because of the Chinese history classes I took but I’ve never read this particular book.

The great thing about a calendar like this is that you find prompts for authors and books you never would have discovered on your own. Me?  I suspect I’ll be looking for many of these authors on audio so that I can experience them while I row and row and row some more. Yeah.  Someone made a resolution.

An awful lot of the books that I read are written for children and young adults, including my last book of 2018 which was The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge by M. T. Anderson and Eugene Yelchin.  Personally, I like many of these books more than I do the books I read that are written for adults but this  preference has led to a debate with my walking buddy.  She’s an accountant who loves to read adult nonfiction.  She reads YA novels so that she knows what her daughter is reading but feels that many of these books are slight compared to adult novels.

I can’t disagree unless I do more reading.  Not exactly a horrible dilemma!


November 18, 2011

Used Book Sale

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 2:40 am
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One of my used book sale finds, Character Sketches of Romance Fiction and the Drama.

For those of you in St. Louis, my church is holding their annual Craft Fair and Used Book Sale Saturday, November 19 from 9 am until 3 pm.

I don’t go there for children’s books or the latest adult fiction, although I do sometimes find a gem in one of those areas.  I love it for the cook books, reference books, how-to’s, and other older volumes that members have dug out of their basements, closets and attics.

In years past, I have walked away with:

  • Kipling’s Stories for Boys (Cupples and Leon Company, 1931)
  • The Art of Interesting: Its Theory and Practice by Francis P. Donnelly, S.J. (PJ Kennedy and Sons, 1920)
  • Foundation Stones of Success, Vol III, Conversational Lessons on Social Ethics  by Estelle Avery Sharpe (The Howard-Severance Co, 1910)
  • Character Sketches of Romance Fiction and the Drama by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer (Selmar Hess Publisher 1892)

If you’re in the St. Louis area and have some free time, why not pop by on Saturday and see what treasures we have this year?  If not, look for used book sales in your area.  You never know what you might find.


November 19, 2009

Book Sale and Craft Fair

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 1:41 am
Tags: , , ,

Being able to request library books and buy books on-line has cut down on something that I truly love to do — browse through books.  What treasures will I find if I give myself the time to poke through stacks and shelves of books?

Here are two of the treasures I found at our church craft fair and book sale a few years ago.


The top image is Character Sketches of Romance Fiction and Drama, published in 1892.

The lower image is a bound series of Harper’s magazine, 1855.

They were both donated when a member had to sort through her mother’s library and estate.  The bindings are virtually non-existent so no dealer would touch them, but for a book hungry writer and historian they were a must have.



(That was for my husband just in case I come home with something new this weekend.)

If you have some free time Saturday, why not drop by Florissant Presbyterian Church sometimes between 9 am and 3 pm. You never know what we might have and there’s always  something interesting.

Unless I beat you to it!


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