Friday, July 16, 2010


Today was our local library's annual USED BOOK SALE! People come from miles around and surround the roped-off area in the town square until the clock strikes noon, and then they descend like happy vultures. For $6 I got 6 paperback novels. The first two are of particular interest to me and I plan on reading them first once I've completed my other commitments.

Anzia Yezierska's Bread Givers was first published in 1925. Yezierska (1880-1970) was born in Maly Plock, Poland and came to the United States around 1890. She is best known for writing about the difficulties faced by Jewish and Puerto Rican immigrants in New York's Lower East Side. Set in the tenements of the 1910s and '20s, Bread Givers is a semi-autobiographical novel about the daughter of a deeply traditional Torah scholar whose yearning for individuality and self-expression clashes with her father's Old World culture. The story is also deeply concerned with the divisions between Orthodox and assimilated Jews.

Snow, a 2002 novel by Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk, was translated from Turkish by Maureen Freely and named Best Book of the Year by the New York Times Book Review. Like Bread Givers it deals with the conflict between Western values and traditional religion (in this case, Islam). A Turkish poet named Ka, who has spent the past twelve years in Germany, has traveled to the small town of Kars to investigate the suicides of young women forbidden to wear the hijab. Ka encounters the various competing groups - ranging from Kurdish separatists to idealistic students - that characterize modern Turkish society and a deeply complex mystery emerges.

Other acquisitions:

Reminder: I am giving away a copy of Andreas Maier's Klausen! I didn't like but hopefully you will!


Emily said...

Ooh, seriously good haul! I've been eyeing Snow - will probably end up picking it up before too long. Name of the Rose is also definitely on my to-be-bought list for the near future.

Too bad Klausen didn't live up to its pretty cover! I'm tempted to ask for it but have sworn no new book acquisitions for a while, even if they're free. Hope it finds a good home. :-)

E. L. Fay said...

You haven't read The Name of the Rose either? I thought I was the only one!

Sandra said...

I'm intrigued by the Klausen book you offer. I read your review and my curiosity is peaked. I have read a little Bernhard (The Loser) and enjoyed it. And oddly, I have read Agape Agape by William Gaddis, mentioned by your commenter on the review. I don't think I 'got' everything but I enjoyed the experience and would be willing to give this one a try. I will email you with my address if it is still available. I am in Canada.

Sandra said...

I've emailed you and now must comment on this post. You hit the jackpot on these titles I think- and I admire your frugality too. I have enjoyed Snow****, Dust Tracks On a Road*****, and The Name of the Rose****+. I confess to not finishing To the Lighthouse yet. I will one day but health considerations interfered and I lost the mood for it. Bread Givers has been on my wishlist for two years now because my library does not have it. I'm not keen on Atwood but I do mean to try her again one of these days. You have everything from Nobel writers to Booker Prizes there-I'm almost jealous. You have great taste- enjoy your new books and I look forward to your thoughts on them.

Frances said...

All good! And The Name of the Rose is one of my favorite books (and Claire's too), but I am a fan of all things Eco. Have you read anything else by him? Email me if not. I always have a few extras hanging around and would love to share. And it makes my husband very happy when he sees book exiting our house. :)

E. L. Fay said...

Sandra: Got your email. Will respond shortly. Attention everyone else: giveaway closed!

The only Atwood I've read so far was Oryx and Crake which I loved. I've heard many good things about this one and definitely look forward to it, once I finish the two book I highlighted.

Sounds like I really should look into that Gaddis book.

Frances: Nope, have not read any Eco at all. I think I'm the last book blogger standing who hasn't read Eco! I've got a ton of stuff right now that needs reading but I may take you up on your offer once the TBR pile goes down.

Anonymous said...

It is so hard to resist a library book sale! I have wanted to read Snow for quite some time now and I have The Name of the Rose on my shelves, but I'm not sure if I'll get around to reading it in the upcoming years.

Anonymous said...

I haven't read The Name of the Rose either.

Snow looks good...I've been halfway through his Istanbul for the past 2-3 years. I was enjoying it, but I set it down and have never managed to get back into it.

claire said...

Frances is right, LOVE The Name of the Rose, I've read it twice and will reread again in the future..

I have Snow on the TBR! It sounds like a good read.. very excited..

claire said...

P.S. Love To the LIghthouse and The Blind Assassin too.. you have some great reads ahead of you. I'm interested to hear about the Hurston because Their Eyes Were Watching God was just beautiful.

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