Sunday, February 5, 2023

These 28 books cost me only five bucks

1.  Unforgettable Senior Moments {For the Young and the Young-at-Heart} ~ by Tom . . . uh . . . Friedman, 2006, humor, vii + 103 pages
No, you're not losing your mind, and you're definitely not alone.  Having a senior moment puts you in the company of Einstein, Lincoln, Beethoven, Newton, and an assortment of presidents, poets, philosophers, popes, and Nobel Prize-winners.
2.  Going on Nine ~ by Catherine Underhill Fitzpatrick, 2013, fiction, 284 pages
A child swipes her mother’s engagement ring, snatches her sister’s brand-new nightgown, and runs outside to play "bride."  She soon loses the ring, rips the gown, and — when she gets caught — decides it’s time to pack her suitcase and make a run for it.  When the policeman brings her home that night, her parents' reaction isn’t what she expected.  In fact, they tell her to try living at some of her friends’ houses in their little St. Louis suburb, so she can find a better family.  We watch Grace's soul-searching quest for belonging.
3.  The Good Life ~ by Erin McGraw, 2004, stories, 208 pages
These stories feature characters battling daily demons of envy, fear, and disillusionment while somehow maintaining an abiding optimism.  They are trying to weather the confounding people of the world — the chronically successful, the lucky in love, the athletically gifted — clinging to their cynicism while admitting that real hope and passion demand a suspension of skepticism.
4.  It's Only Temporary: The Good News and the Bad News of Being Alive ~ by Evan Handler, 2008, memoir, xiii + 223 pages
A memoir by the cable television celebrity best known for his role as Harry Goldenblatt from "Sex and the City" documents his survival of a seemingly incurable form of leukemia, the life philosophy that has enabled his positive outlook, and his relationships with his friends and family.
5.  Ben and Me: An Astonishing Life of Benjamin Franklin by His Good Mouse Amos~ by Robert Lawson, 1939, 1967, juvenile fiction, x + 114 pages
Did you ever wonder where inventors get their ideas?  Benjamin Franklin, one of the most famous inventors in American history, got most of his ideas — the good ones at any rate — from a mouse!  Once you've met Amos the mouse, you'll always remember Benjamin Franklin a little differently than the history books do.
6.  Cats Are Better than Men ~ by Beverly Guhl, 1994, humor, 112 pages

Besides never leaving the seat up or requiring valuable closet space, cats don't snore and they always think you look wonderful in the morning.  They never complain about work or their boss, and they are very kissable — with no beard burn!  These cartoons celebrate a relationship that's as close to purrfect as a girl can get. 

7.  The Soloist ~ by Mark Salzman, 1994, fiction, 284 pages
As a child, Renne showed promise of becoming one of the world's greatest cellists.  Now, years later, his life suddenly is altered by two events:  he becomes a juror in a murder trial for the brutal killing of a Buddhist monk, and he takes on as a pupil a Korean boy whose brilliant musicianship reminds him of his own past.
8.  Lost in the Forest ~ by Sue Miller, 2005, fiction (California), 272 pages
Eva, a divorced and happily remarried mother of three, runs a small bookstore in a town north of San Francisco.  When her second husband, John, is killed in a car accident, her family’s fragile peace is once again overtaken by loss.  Emily, the eldest, must grapple with newfound independence and responsibility.  Theo, the youngest, can only begin to fathom his father’s death.  But for Daisy, the middle child, John’s absence opens up a world of bewilderment, exposing her at the onset of adolescence to the chaos and instability that hover just beyond the safety of parental love.  In her sorrow, Daisy embarks on a harrowing sexual odyssey, a journey that will cast her even farther out onto the harsh promontory of adulthood and lost hope.
9.  Floating in My Mother's Palm ~ by Ursula Hegi, 1990, fiction, 187 pages
This is the story of Hanna Malter, a young girl growing up in 1950's Burgdorf, the small German town Ursula Hegi brought to life in her bestselling novel Stones from the River.  Hanna's courageous voice evokes her unconventional mother, who swims during thunderstorms; the illegitimate son of an American GI, who learns from Hanna about his father; and the librarian, Trudi Montag, who lets Hanna see her hometown from a dwarf's extraordinary point of view.
10.  Einstein: A Life in Science ~ by Michael J. White and John Gribbin, 1993, biography, 279 pages
A biography of the archetypal scientist traces Einstein'sadvances in thermodynamics and physics and offers a detailed appreciation of his profound influence on the direction of all subsequent scientific inquiry.
11.  In the Image ~ by Dara Horn, 2002, fiction, 280 pages + discussion guide
Bill Landsmann, an elderly Jewish refugee in a New Jersey suburb with a passion for travel, is obsessed with building his slide collection of images from the Bible that he finds scattered throughout the world.  The novel begins when he crosses paths with his granddaughter's friend, Leora, and continues by moving forward through her life and backward through his, revealing the unexpected links between his family's past and her family's future.
12.  The Undomestic Goddess ~ by Sophie Kinsella, 2015, fiction, 371 pages
Samantha Sweeting is a high powered corporate lawyer about to make partner. She should be on top of the world but instead her nearly 100 hour work week, equally driven (some would say obsessed) family and absolutely no social life is dragging her down. So when the blessed announcement arrives that she has her dream job and moments later Sam finds out she has made a major mistake that could cost a client millions she panics. And ends up in a house in the country applying for a job as a housekeeper.  But Sam can't cook. Sam can't clean-and Sam has nowhere else to go
13.  Clover ~ by Dori Sanders, 1990, fiction (South Carolina), 184 pages
Clover is a 10-year old black girl from a small town in South Carolina.  She is forced to forge a new relationship with the white stepmother she hardly knows, when her father dies only hours after marrying the woman.
14.  The Story of My Father ~ by Sue Miller, 2003, memoir, 171 pages
In the fall of 1988, Sue Miller found herself caring for her father as he slipped into the grasp of Alzheimer's disease.  Before retirement, James Nichols had been a professor at Princeton Theological Seminary and a fourth-generation minister.  She recalls the bitter irony of watching him, a church historian, wrestle with a disease that inexorably lays waste to notions of time, history, and meaning.
15.  Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself ~ by Alan Alda, 2007, autobiography, 241 pages
The popular actor looks back to reassess the meaning of his own life and the paths he has taken, from the turbulent 1960s to the tragedy of September 11, and to answer such questions as "What do I value?" and "What, exactly, is the good life?"
16.  (George) ~ by E. L. Konigsburg, 1970, YA fiction, 152 pages
Benjamin Dickinson Carr is more than just an average sixth-grader.  He has a sky-high I.Q., a knack for all kinds of science and most of all, he has George.  George is a little being who lives inside Ben and who's always been good company — that is, until now.  When George warns Ben that his former lab partner, William, is up to no good, Ben refuses to listen, and George stops speaking to Ben.
17.  Use Your Head: How to Develop the Other 80% of Your Brain  ~ by Stuart B. Litvak, 1982, psychology, 154 pages
Examines the functioning of the brain and recommends mental exercises that are designed to improve thinking, develop intuition, and increase brain capacity.
18.  The Story Girl Earns Her Name (#2 in Road to Avonlea) ~ by Gail Hamilton, 1991, YA fiction, 117 pages
Sara inadvertently helps a conman abscond with the funds to buy books for the school library.  Sara comes up with an idea — to get Jasper Dale, the reclusive inventor, to help put up a magic lantern show in a bid to raise funds for the school library.  Sara also attempts to get a donation from a wealthy businessman who is wary of people asking him for money.
19.  A Woman in Jerusalem ~ by A. B. Yehoshua, translated from Hebrew by Hillel Halkin, 2004 (translation 2006), fiction, 256 pages
A woman in her forties is a victim of a suicide bombing at a Jerusalem market.  Her body lies unidentified in a hospital morgue.  She had apparently worked as a cleaning woman at a bakery, but there is no record of her employment.  When a Jerusalem daily accuses the bakery of "gross negligence and inhumanity toward an employee," the bakery’s owner, overwhelmed by guilt, entrusts the task of figuring out who she was, and burying her, to a human resources man.  Facts of the woman’s life take shape — she was an engineer from the former Soviet Union and a non-Jew on a religious pilgrimage to Jerusalem.
20.  New Stories from the South: The Year's Best, 1989 ~ edited by Shannon Ravenel, 1989, short stories, ix + 222 pages
Shannon Ravenel has chosen fifteen very contemporary stories, not one of which conforms to old-time standards.  No hoop shirts, no mint juleps here.
21.  They Thought for Themselves: Ten Amazing Jews ~ by Sid Roth, 2009, 237 pages
People who think for themselves, change the world.  Author Sid Roth was instructed in a dream to find and interview people who had broken through the mold of their previous experiences to achieve their destiny.  He interviewed an atheist, a holocaust survivor, a multi-millionaire, a media executive, and a Ph.D.  They all thought for themselves, and everything in their lives changed for the better.
22.  Ellen Foster ~ by Kaye Gibbons, 1987, fiction, 127 pages
"When I was little I would think of ways to kill my daddy."  With that opening sentence we enter the childhood world of one of the most appealing young heroines in contemporary fiction.  Her courage, her humor, and her wisdom are unforgettable as she tells her own story with stunning honesty and insight.

23.  The Fast and the Furriest ~ by Andy Behrens, 2010, YA fiction, 256 pages
Kevin Pugh, 12-year-old couch potato, is looking forward to spending his summer doing as little as possible.  But his dog Cromwell (part beagle, part potato chip dog) has suddenly and mysteriously developed a fascination with agility competitions:  running up seesaws, leaping over hurdles, and soaring through hoops (sometimes).  His dad wants him to go to football camp and does NOT think dog agility lessons constitutes a sport.
24.  Jacob the Baker: Gentle Wisdom for a Complicated World ~ by Noah benShea, 1989, collection of sayings, 113 pages
Jacob the Baker is a man whose humble life and profound wisdom are a source of both inspiration and reflection to those around him.   Jacob is a poor but pious figure who rises anonymously before dawn to light the ovens in the town bakery. As the ovens are warming and the first dough rising Jacob turns inward, scribbling notes to himself.  One of Jacob's carefully folded notes is accidentally baked into a loaf of bread.  When it is discovered and read, its impact is overwhelming.
25.  The Joy of a Peanuts Christmas: 50 Years of Holiday Comics! ~ by Charles Schulz, 2000, cartoons, 120 pages
The Peanuts gang gathers around the tree (and the doghouse) to celebrate the holiday season with family and friends — and you, too!
26.  A 2nd Helping of Chicken Soup for the Soul ~ by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen, 1995, stories, xix + 229 pages
Through the experiences of others, readers from all walks of life can learn the gift of love, the power of perseverance, the joy of parenting, and the vital energy of dreaming.  Share the magic that will change forever how you look at yourself and the world around you.
27.  It's Time to Call 911: What to Do in an Emergency ~ by Penton Overseas, Inc., 2002, children's board book, 16 pages
Invites young children to practice calling 911 on a telephone keypad as they react to accidents, fires, and other emergencies.  The plastic keypad moves, and it used to make a sound.
28.  Hugs & Shrugs: The Continuing Saga of a Tiny Owl Named Squib ~ by Larry Shles, 1987, children's picture book, 72 pages
This story book has important lessons about growing up and about the emotional side of life.  It includes discussion questions and activities.  Children from 5 to 12 acquire important insights and learn to cope with many of life's stressing issues.

I managed to stuff  these 28 books into a plastic bag they provided on the last day of the Jewish Community Center's used book sale on Thursday.  To clear the tables still full of donated books, shoppers can have all the books they can cram into those clear bags for a mere $5.00.  Many book lovers bought several bags full.  
Now, which book shall I read first?  That one at the top (#1) makes me laugh, and I've already finished the 16 pages of #27, a children's book.

Word of the Day (in the title of this blog post)

bucks = Deerskins were once commonly used as a form of currency.  In fact, one of the earliest known uses of the word is a trade record from 1748 that details the exchange rate for a cask of whiskey as "5 bucks" (deerskins).  So "bucks" simply means a unit of money.  If you say, "This book cost me five bucks” while you are in the United States, it means it cost you five dollars.  Basically, if you replace the word "buck" with the name of the national currency, it means the same thing.

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz
hosts The Sunday Salon.


Harvee said...

I stay away from library sales and used book stores because of the temptation to add more books to my stack. Enjoy them.

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

Wow! Twenty-eight books for only five dollars! You did well, Bonnie.

The Soloist by Mark Salzman is a book I remember reading long ago. I decided to look up Mark Salzman and I see that I'd read all his books. His latest was quite a while ago. Perhaps he is not writing anymore.

crackercrumblife said...

Ben and Me is on my list to read with my son in the next month or two!

Helen's Book Blog said...

What an awesome deal to get 28 books for $5! I have only read one Ursula Hegi novel, but it was superb.

Bonnie Jacobs said...

Me, too, Helen. I read Ursula Hegi's Stones from the River and thought it was great.

Jinjer-The Intrepid Angeleno said...

My jaw is on the floor, not only that you got 28 books for $5 but that the majority of the are books I would actually want to read!!!! Usually at our local book sales I have a hard time finding "good" (to me) books. But wow!!!! I see a ton of ones that I want stuffed into your $5 bag!

Bonnie Jacobs said...

Jinjer, they have them sorted by table into paperback fiction, hardback fiction, philosophy, children's, sociology, and lots of other categories. So I was able to scan the tables of books I might actually read, without having to wade through stuff that does NOT interest me. I could have stuffed another bag or two, except that I am trying to weed out books right now before moving into a new apartment. In that sense, it was ridiculous to bring home another 28 books.

Jinjer-The Intrepid Angeleno said...

I know EXACTLY what you mean, Bonnie! I'm planning a move from Arkansas back home to L.A. and I am not allowed to use any of my Amazon Prime gifts cards to buy books until I get home and weed out my existing bookshelves there. I just got another gift card for my birthday and it is KILLING me. But do I want to ship boxes of books home? No. I would rather have that money to buy MORE books when I get there! Hahahahahahahahaha. Only us readers understand. At least it is incentive to move faster on this end so I can hurry up and get there and start buying books again. Not that I don't have plenty to read already.

Bonnie Jacobs said...

Save those gift cards, Jinjer. We both know there are good bookstores everywhere, and book lovers can find them, right? In the meantime, you can anticipate, anticipate, anticipate! A friend who also loves books (and worked in a library before retirement) invited me to go to the sale with her. And I, of course, accepted the offer. We had both been to the JCC used-book sales before and knew the kinds of books we would be able to find. She finished first, filling only a single bag, as I did, and went out into the lobby to wait (maybe so she wouldn't be tempted to fill another bag, lol). Happy birthday, by the way!

Vicki said...

Wow! Almost every book you bought sounds good to me so I already looked up a few and plan on looking for the others. I love library sales but haven't been to one in a while.

I hope you have a great week!

Vagabonde said...

I saw your note on Goldendaze-Ginnie and came to say hi. I like the picture of your cat. You really made a great buy with all those books. I’m moving from our house in GA to one in Nashville and getting rid of books is very difficult. My late husband was a bookworm and I am one too. I already gave away about 1500 books but still have a couple thousand left to weed. It’s so hard …

Bonnie Jacobs said...

Vagabonde, there is a great bookstore in the Nashville area called McKay Books. If you go there, you'll probably once again collect too many books like the rest of us book lovers. Here's their website:

There's also a McKay's in Chattanooga, my hometown. I've been there a million times, it seems.