Come Book Shopping With Me at Valley Wild Books

Last weekend, my boyfriend gave me $50, took me to a local used bookstore, and let me go wild! He’s the best. 💕

I absolutely love this store. They have such a wide range of things. All the major displays today were winter, blue, and white themed. I was happy to see The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey, a favorite of mine right out front. The Wolf Totem by Jiang Rong sounded intriguing, but ultimately wasn’t what I was in the mood for right now. And I was pleasantly surprised to see my grandmother’s favorite book, The Hearth and Eagle by Anya Seton. And it’s a much prettier cover than the two editions I have.

The first book I looked at was The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. I’ve heard a lot of great things about her, and a few people have recommended The Swan Thieves to me. I didn’t know what The Historian was about, and was kind of shocked to find out it’s a vampire book. Not at all what I was expecting! I do want to read it someday, but decided not to buy it right now.

Next I looked at some Margaret Atwood. I’ve never read anything by her (though I loved the Alias Grace miniseries), and I’ve always felt like I should. I debated on getting The Robber Bride for a bit but ultimately decided not to. The synopsis didn’t really pull me in.

Next I went over to the classics section. I was specifically on the lookout for books I needed for my course and independent study next semester. And I happened upon The Blithedale Romance by Nathaniel Hawthorne, which is on the list for my 19th-century American literature seminar. I kind of hate the cover, but for $3.95 I will deal with it.

I saw the title The Three Sisters and pulled it out to look since I love classics about women written by women. Imagine my surprise to see my three favorites sisters on the cover! I’ve heard of May Sinclair before, but I couldn’t place how I knew her. Turns out it was in my studies of the Brontë sisters. She wrote a biography of them and proceeded to use their situation as the basis for this novel. Even though it is not really about the Brontës, I, of course, had to buy it.

I poked around in the YA and children’s section for a bit, but I didn’t get anything from there. I was happy to see a bunch of my winter favorites in the main display. A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly, Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones, and And We Stay by Jenny Hubbard are all excellent winter reads. And for a real blast from the past, there was Samantha’s Surprise from the American Girl books! I loved those as a kid. I did take a look at Lara’s Gift by Annemarie O’Brien because there is a dog on the cover, and I love dogs. It sounds really great, and I do want to read it. Now that I’m reflecting back on the shopping trip, I wish I had bought it. Ah well. Maybe next time.

I did a second sweep through the fiction section and found something I missed the first time: House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski. I’ve heard a lot about this book over the years, and it’s always sounded excellent. A girl in one of my courses did a presentation on it last spring, and that cemented it for me: I wanted to read it. And this copy was less than $10! What a deal!

I looked through the display in front a bit more and found the last of the books I bought: History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund. I had never heard of it and knew nothing about, but the quote on the front promises as “near-gothic coming-of-age novel,” which sounds like my kind of thing. And the synopsis pulled me, so I figured why not?

There were a lot of other interesting books in the same display. I took a look at The Ice Twins by S. K. Tremayne because the title and cover intrigued me. It’s a thriller, and the synopsis compared it to the works of Gillian Flynn and Liane Moriarty, so I decided it wouldn’t be for me. I also thought about getting The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton. It’s another one I want to read someday, but I’m going to hold off for now.

By this point I was back to the front of the store for the third time, so I took one last look at things up there. I peeked at Run by Ann Patchett because I always feel I should read something by her. But none of hers ever sound that interesting to me. After that I headed to check out.

It was a successful trip overall. I got four books and spent $28, which means I still have some money left for another shopping trip some other time. Always exciting! And I can’t wait to read my new books.

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