Wednesday, October 21st, I went to the annual McGill Book Fair with my mom and sister. A 3-day event, it is always a great opportunity to discover new books for very reasonable prices. How reasonable… I bought 12 books for 35$. Yes, you heard that right 35 CAD for 12 books!
It was a truly joyous way to spend a Wednesday afternoon and great time spent with two of the people I cherish most in this world. It always helps to share a passion with others, and reading is something that my entire family holds the greatest love for. No wonder I turned to writing as my chosen career 🙂
For those of you who are interested, here’s a small blurb about my purchasing choices:
- The Forever King by Molly Cochran and Warren Murphy. Before this book fair, I had never heard of this book. So why pick it up? Well, it probably has something to do with the fact that I am a huge sucker for a good novel about Camelot and King Arthur and the Holy Grail. Some of my favourite books include The Mists of Avalon and Mary Stewart’s Merlin series. So when the back cover for this book hinted at covering a similar mythology, I was hooked!
- The PIlgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan. This book was first published in 1678. The edition I bought is published by Puffin Classics, but I’m glad to have any copy I can. Honestly, the minute I saw it, I picked it up without a second thought. Why the excitement? Well, because I wrote a paper about it while in my undergrad studies at McGill. The essay was about the history of children’s literature and the way in which it reflected/affected the youth’s societal upbringing. It was one of my favourite essays that I wrote, because it dealt with my favourite topic: literature. I had only borrowed a copy of Bunyan’s book before, but now I own one, for $2.00!
- Women in Early Modern Ireland edited by Margaret MacCurtain & Mary O’Dowd. The first section I hit at the fair was the History one. My major in Arts was History. I love History! Any time, any where. During my penultimate semester at McGill, I took a course on British & Irish Nationalisms — definitely one of my favourites both because of the teacher and the material covered. This book drew me in first because of the title, and secondly because of the fact that it’s editors are women. I also happen to have written a paper about women who participated in the independence movement in Ireland. That sealed the deal on this buy.
- Scotland: James V – James VII by Gordon Donaldson. The choice for this purchase follows in a similar vein to the one above, with just a few digressions. First, Scottish history is one of my greatest interests, especially pre-unification with Britain. That’s part of the reason why I love historical fictions like the Outlander series and Mariana and The Winter Sea. All excellent reads by the way. So I saw an old blue hardcover book with a publication date in 1965 and a topic of great interest and … SOLD!
- The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill. This book was one of many on my must-read lists. Many people have recommended it to me in the past, and after watching Twelve Years a Slave, I’ve been especially interested in the history of slavery in America. The fact that the protagonist is female sealed the deal. An added plus: Hill is Canadian! The story too is extremely fascinating as it traces the life of Aminata from the moment of her enslavement in Africa through her pursuit for freedom and justice.
- The Thornbirds by Colleen McCullough: This is perhaps my most treasured find of the day. I have been dying to read this novel for a long time, and seeing it amidst the piles of books was a sign. The time to read it is now! A great family drama and a truly sprawling epic tale set in the Australian outback, my mother is the one who really inspired me to want to read it after telling me about her first read of it. She picked it up on Virginia Beach – a French translation – and loved it with a deep passion. She passed on that passion to me and I can not wait to delight in it myself.
- The Eagle and the Raven – Pauline Gedge: Another book on my “I really must read this” list. My interest in this is inspired by my love for history and strong females of the past. This particular novel details the tale of Boudicca, a British warrior-queen of the Iceni trible during the time of the Roman Empire in the 60s A.C.E. who mounted an uprising against the Roman empire. Yes, one heck of a kicka** lady!
- Innocence by Dean Koontz. In a recent This Week in Review, I spoke about how much I adored the penultimate novel in the Odd Thomas series. I am an avid Koontz fan and am always glad to get by hand on one of his books. A suspenseful novel about a man & woman, both living on the edge of the society, they are brought together by shared tragedies and an impending reckoning that threatens the world. That buys my interest…for $2.00, no debate needed!
- Ysabel by Guy Gavrial Kay. Do I need to say anything else? I hope not. A Canadian fantasy author, his writing is lyrical and poignant and magical. If you have never read Kay, drop everything and go get yourself a copy of your work! You’ll be better for it. Promise! 🙂
- Tragedies (Vol. I & II) by William Shakespeare. Two separate books, they really can’t be described separately. A complete collection of Shakespeare’s tragedies, it’s the binding that caught my eye. I already have too many editions of Shakespeare’s plays, but I couldn’t help myself. Not for $6.00 CAD! My favourite Shakespeare tragedy–and play– King Lear!
- See above!
- The Far Pavilions by M.M. Kaye. My last buy is yet another one that’s been on my must-read list and has only avoided my purchase thus far because of a price issue — aka too expensive! So, of course seeing it for $3.00, I couldn’t help myself. I had to buy it. A romantic epic narrative set in India has been greatly hailed as a masterpiece and is based partly on Kaye’s own childhood experiences. A historical fiction to treasure and enjoy!
So that’s my tale of book binges! It was a great one and will serve me for a few years. Because that’s the other truth: I already have a full bookcase just stuffed with books I haven’t read yet. But that’s my life. Stories. Whether my own or others, spoken or written, stories are my true passion!
May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,