Category Archives: Shopping

Book Review: Await Your Reply, by Dan Chaon

Await Your ReplyAwait Your Reply, by Dan Chaon 
Ballentine Books 
2009 
324 pages 

Narrated by Kirby Hayborne
10 hours, 31 minutes 
2009

Finalist, National Book Award

Dan Chaon is one of those authors who I’ve been meaning to read. In general, I’ve heard very good things about his writing and I own several of his books, yet I hadn’t read his work at all – until I picked up the audio of Await Your Reply at the library.

And holy hell … this guy is good.

Really good. Dan Chaon is probably one of the most talented authors you’ve never heard of.

That being said, if you were a victim of the Target credit card breach, you might want to pick a different Dan Chaon book. Await Your Reply includes several shady credit card con artists and computer hackers caught up in a very complicated, interconnected-with-other-characters-in-the-book scheme. It sounds like a techno-mystery-thriller; it has that aspect, but the human element, the emotion behind this is so deep.

From the Amazon.com book description:

Longing to get on with his life, Miles Cheshire nevertheless can’t stop searching for his troubled twin brother, Hayden, who has been missing for ten years. Hayden has covered his tracks skillfully, moving stealthily from place to place, managing along the way to hold down various jobs and seem, to the people he meets, entirely normal. But some version of the truth is always concealed.

A few days after graduating from high school, Lucy Lattimore sneaks away from the small town of Pompey, Ohio, with her charismatic former history teacher. They arrive in Nebraska, in the middle of nowhere, at a long-deserted motel next to a dried-up reservoir, to figure out the next move on their path to a new life. But soon Lucy begins to feel quietly uneasy.

My whole life is a lie, thinks Ryan Schuyler, who has recently learned some shocking news. In response, he walks off the Northwestern University campus, hops on a bus, and breaks loose from his existence, which suddenly seems abstract and tenuous. Presumed dead, Ryan decides to remake himself–through unconventional and precarious means.

All of these characters are connected, and Dan Chaon does a masterful job of keeping his reader guessing until the very end as to exactly how their stories fit together. (I thought I had it figured out … not so much.)

This is one of those reviews that is best told in the multiple quotes that I loved from the book. Everything means something more than what it seems.

“Growing up, he and Hayden had friends who were both appreciably poorer and appreciably richer than they, and their father told them that they should pay attention to the homes and families of their peers. ‘Learn what it is like in another life,’ he said. ‘Think hard about it, boys. People choose their lives; that’s what I want you to remember. And what life will you choose for yourselves?'” (pg. 79)

(I read this during the time of the Target credit card breach – not knowing, of course, that this was going on. That makes the following passage even more chilling.)

“An invader arrives in your computer and begins to glean the little diatoms of your identity.

Your name, your address, and so on: the various websites you visit as you wander the Internet, your user names and passwords, your birth date, your mother’s maiden name, favorite color, the blogs and news sites you read, the items you shop for, the credit card numbers you enter into the databases —

Which isn’t necessarily you, of course. You are still an individual human being with a soul and a history, friends and relatives and coworkers who care about you, who can vouch for you; they recognize your face and your voice and your personality, and you are aware of your life as a continuous thread, a dependable unfolding story of yourself that you are telling to yourself, you wake up and feel fairly happy – happy in that bland, daily way that doesn’t even recognize itself as happiness, moving into the empty hours that probably won’t be anything more than a series of rote actions: showering and pouring coffee into a cup and dressing and turning a key in the ignition and driving down streets that are so familiar you don’t even recall making certain turns and stops – though, yes, you are still present, your mind must have consciously carried out the procedure of braking at the corner and rolling the steering wheel beneath your palms and making a left onto the highway even though there is no memory at all of these actions. Perhaps if you were hypnotized such mundane moments could be retrieved, they are written on some file and stored, unused and useless in some neurological clerk’s back room. Does it matter? You are still you, after all, through all of these hours and days; you are still whole —

But imagine yourself in pieces.

Imagine all the people who have known you for only a year or a month or a single encounter, imagine those people in a room together trying to assemble a portrait of you, the way an archaeologist puts together the fragments of a ruined facade, or the bones of a caveman. Do you remember the fable of the seven blind men and the elephant?

It’s not that easy, after all, to know what you’re made up of.”  (pg. 88-89)

Dan Chaon begins his chapters with quotes.  This is one:

“Whatever his secret was, I have learnt one secret too, and namely: that the soul is but a manner of being – not a constant state – that any soul may be yours, if you find and follow its undulations. The hereafter may be the full ability of consciously living in any chosen soul, in any number of souls, all of them conscious of their interchangeable burden.” – Vladimar Nabokov, “The Real Life of Sebastian Knight”  (pg. 93)

In each character in the book, Chaon returns to the theme of people not being who we think they are. The foreshadowing is abundant, yet the reader doesn’t realize it until the end. I love that.

“And it was natural that a person would turn out to be a little different when you really got to know them. No one was exactly what you thought they would be.” – Lucy (pg. 103)

“‘Regrets are idle.” he said at last. ‘”Yet history is one long regret. Everything might have turned out so differently.’

He gave his reflection a small, wistful smile.

‘It’s a good quote, isn’t it?’ he said. ‘Charles Dudley Warner, a very quotable old buzzard. Friend of Mark Twain. Totally forgotten these days.'” (pg. 110)

“The life she had been traveling toward – imagining herself into – the ideas and expectations that had been so solid only a few weeks ago – this life had been erased, and the numb feeling crept up from her hand to her arm to her shoulder and the sound of the barking next door seemed to solidify in the air.

Her future was like a city she had never visited. A city on the other side of the country, and she was driving down the road, with all her possessions packed up in the backseat of the car, and the route was clearly marked on her map, and then she stopped at a rest area and saw that the place she was headed to wasn’t there any longer. The town she was driving to had vanished – perhaps had never been there – and if she stopped to ask the way, the gas station attendant would look at her blankly. He  wouldn’t even know what she was talking about.

‘I’m sorry, miss,’ he’d say gently. ‘I think you must be mistaken. I never heard of that place.’

A sense of sundering.

In one life, there was a city you were on your way to. In another, it was just a place you invented.” (pg. 119-120)

“I’m thirty-two years old, Lucy. You might not realize that yet, but you pass through a lot of different stages in that amount of time. I’ve been a lot of different people since then.’

‘A lot of different people,’ she said.

‘Dozens.’

‘Oh, really?’ she said. And she was aware of that wavering shadow passing over her once again, all the different people she herself had wanted to become, all the sadness and anxiety that she had been trying not to think about now shifting to her like an iceberg. Were they merely bantering again? Or were they in the midst of a serious conversation?

‘So–‘ she said. “So — who are you right now?’

‘I’m not sure exactly,’ George Orson said, and he looked at her for a long time, those green eyes moving in mirrow darts, scoping her face. But I think that’s OK.'” (pg. 126-127)

Await Your Reply was one of my favorite books I read in 2013, and I would highly recommend the audio version. There are some very gruesome scenes, ones that had me cringing behind the wheel as I drove to work. And, you do not want to start this one on a full stomach. Trust me on this.

 

 

 

Weekend Cooking: Produce Sale

There are two grocery stores in close proximity to me, plus a Costco. One of the grocery stores has a reputation in this area for being somewhat expensive, and as I’ve been scrutinizing our food bills lately, I’ve come to agree. (I didn’t think they were out of line compared to what I was used to paying in Delaware, but whatever.) Recently, that same supermarket ended a popular rewards program which has caused considerable PR backlash; as a result, I’ve been shopping more frequently at a cheaper store which also happens to be closer to my house.

For its second anniversary in this location, this store celebrated by having what it called a “two-day sale” on Thursday and Friday. I took a look at the circular, expecting to find a lot of processed crap that we don’t eat.

I was pleasantly surprised.

A lot of the sale items were fruits and vegetables, at ridiculously low prices. We’re talking bags of potatoes for 67 cents and almost everything else not much more than 98 cents each.

Here’s what I got:

3.5 lbs. of stem tomatoes
8 oz. white mushrooms
5 Braeburn apples
2 bags of small russet potatoes (3 lbs. each)
3 zucchini
3 lbs. of strawberries
2 bags of lettuce
2 bags of baby carrots
2 seedless cucumbers
1 lb. green beans
half of a watermelon

I paid just $22.62 for all this, which I thought was quite a bargain.

Usually with sales like this you don’t find fresh produce on sale, so as a vegetarian (and occasional vegan) I was very appreciative of this. The produce section was also the busiest, which was very encouraging. (Of course, this store also had a lot of meat on sale – this is Pittsburgh, after all – and people were equally as excited about that. But since I don’t eat meat, I can’t comment on the prices on that. They seemed reasonable, though.)

I don’t have a meal plan for all this, but I am thinking we may snack on the fruit and make simple meals like a pasta salad, green bean and chickpea salad, and pita pocket sandwiches with the rest. Regardless of what I make, it’s a nice taste of spring before the farmers’ markets start opening up.

Weekend Cooking is hosted by Beth Fish Reads and is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog’s home page. For more information, see the welcome post.

I am an Amazon.com Affiliate. Making a purchase via any of the Amazon.com links on The Betty and Boo Chronicles will result in my earning a small percentage in commission, which will be used to support the upkeep of this blog, as well as the real-life versions of Betty and Boo. Thank you!

copyright 2013, Melissa, The Betty and Boo Chronicles If you are reading this on a blog or website other than The Betty and Boo Chronicles or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.

some of our favorite (handmade in pittsburgh) things

Betty and I spent nearly four incredibly fun hours at the I Made It! Market yesterday and that still wasn’t enough time to see all the fabulous things there was to see.

That’s probably a good thing. As it was, we did more Christmas shopping for ourselves than others.

First, let me say that next to readers and writers (and bloggers), crafty people are some of the nicest people ever. (And this is Pittsburgh, where people are just amazingly downright nice to begin with.) As is my custom, I couldn’t help chatting with many of the vendors, telling them that I was a fan of their Facebook page (as if they would know who I was).

The thing is, these people make quality things and it’s just downright FUN to be in the company of fun, creative people. (None more so than Carrie Nardini, the Co-Founder and Organizer of this event, who deserves major kudos for an amazing weekend.)

It’s also important to support them, especially in this economy, which is one reason why I like to go to such events (especially this one) with my daughter. Betty’s a bit of a shopaholic, but I also know she appreciates handmade and local things.

Here are some pictures of the event and what we got (Christmas presents excluded):

Entrance to I Made It! for the Holidays at Bakery Square. 
Bakery Square is a former Nabisco plant. (Hence, the name.)
It was very busy yesterday, helped by the fact that it was an unseasonably warm day for December 1 in Pittsburgh. Close to 60 degrees!  Betty and I had lunch at Panera Bread before shopping. 
Bakery Square is also the location of Google’s headquarters in Pittsburgh. 
We had to park on the roof. Betty wasn’t happy, but I didn’t mind.
(One of the best things about this event is free parking.) 
Check out these great views of Pittsburgh!

Onto the shopping … 
Our first item purchased, for just $1.00. An envelope made from a page of an old book.
(I’m not sure of the vendor. I need to look for the business card.)
Outside of envelope.
This isn’t being given away. In fact, it might be getting framed. 
Inside of envelope, with the original text from the book.
Shea Butter soap from Soap Alchemy, LLC.
The Soap Alchemist was really nice. 
This is for me, to try and help with a pesky rash I have. 
(Ironically, caused by some cheap crappy soap I used.)

We got some fun things from Green Bubble Gorgeous. 
Krystal was wonderful with Betty, who has been very self-conscious about some (barely noticeable to us) scars on her arm. She recommended the Honey Almond Cocoa Butter Lotion Bar (pictured below in the square tin). I’m also going to try the lotion bar for the aforementioned rash. We also bought: lip butters, aromatherapy oil for headache relief, aromatherapy soaking salts, and a Cupcake Bubble Bomb

Lip butters (The Sweets Quad) and Cupcake Bubble Bomb, pictured below.
Both of these are gifts, picked out by Betty for her cousin. 
Aromatherapy Soaking Salts. The Lavender helps with migraines and can be used in the shower. Simply open the salts and let the scent mingle with the shower steam. The Aches and Pains version is for Betty, who asked for this to help for after her gymnastics classes. 

 Necklace for Betty from Bambi’s Clay Design. 
This is made out of polymer clay. The designer Melissa was so nice and shortened the necklace for Betty right there. 
And two necklaces for me. Book blogger friends, check this out! 
These are by juNxtaposition, which I first encountered at last year’s I Made It! Market and promptly fell in love. The left pendant is a necklace MADE OUT OF A WORD FROM THE DICTIONARY. Jeanne has all kinds of words – and yes, I looked for “writer” but alas, no such luck. However, I was thrilled to find reader! And the one on the right is a RECYCLED TYPEWRITER KEY! Jeanne hunts down old typewriters and then refashioned them into necklaces.
I’ve been wanting one of these since last year. 
It’s been a tough year. 
So I bought two. 
Speaking of the tough year, I need to get some thank you cards out for things people have been sending and doing since The Husband has been sick. I bought these from judith browne calligraphy. I always like to support other card-makers and calligraphers, and Judith is incredibly nice. I met her last year. 
Finally, last but certainly not least, two prints from Bonne Amy. She specializes in Alphabet Photography, in which she looks for objects that resemble letters and then she assembles them into words using photographs. I LOVE these. The first one, HOPE, has a quote underneath it by George Iles: “Hope is faith holding out its hand in the dark.” I bought this one for The Husband. 
The second one, FAMILY, says “Families are the compass that guide us. They are the inspiration to reach great heights, and our comfort when we occasionally falter.” 
And this, The ABC’s of Pittsburgh. A perfect picture for the new house! 

There were a few other things, but they are gifts. We had such a fun time and I came home in such an inspired, crafty mood. I was into cardmaking for awhile and I’ve been wanting to get back into it again.

I think I need to. Maybe, like my new city, this is part of my next renaissance, the next chapter, the next step in figuring out, what happens now?

While talking with one of the crafters about cardmaking (I meant to get back to her table to get some of her bookish cards), she commented, “We need to make things, don’t we?”

Yes, we do.  We absolutely, most certainly do.

Cyber Monday Deals from Amazon

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you can’t miss the fact that today is Cyber Monday.

Apparently, I actually do live with someone who has been under a rock for the last however many years that Cyber Monday has been in existence. While watching football last night, The Husband turned to me and – true story, swear to God – says, “What’s this Cyber Monday crap I’m hearing about? Is this a thing?”

So, yeah. It’s a thing. So much so that I am on overload right now with all the deals flooding my inbox and I need to unplug from the Internet. It’s making me depressed because I have NO MONEY this holiday season and presents will be few.

But make no mistake, there are deals to be had. Plenty of them. You all know I recently became an Amazon Affiliate (official disclaimer below) and as such, I wanted to share some of the bookish deals Amazon has available today. It’s impossible to share EVERYTHING they have on sale, but I invite you to peruse the site through the link here on The Betty and Boo Chronicles and consider doing some of your Amazon shopping through here.

In the meantime, here are some books that I wholeheartedly endorse that Amazon has at good prices today:

I bought The Third Wheel for Betty and Boo as a birthday present last week and they love it. Highly recommended. Boo finished it in three days, and you know what a reluctant reader he is.

Perfect for the mystery lover in your life.

The Husband did his masters in the American presidency and says that Team of Rivals is the go-to book for anyone interested in learning more about how Lincoln thought, the way he understood politics, and how he brought in rivals to work together. 

I’ll post more as I see them. 

I am an Amazon.com Affiliate. Making a purchase via any of the Amazon.com links on The Betty and Boo Chronicles will result in my earning a small percentage in commission, which will be used to support the upkeep of this blog, as well as the real-life versions of Betty and Boo. Thank you! copyright 2012, Melissa, The Betty and Boo Chronicles . If you are reading this on a blog or website other than The Betty and Boo Chronicles or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.

My Black Friday: Thankfully Reading

Right from the get-go, let me say this: I certainly appreciate saving a buck or two as much as the next person, but I also consider the madness of Black Friday (and now, Black Thursday and every other incarnation) to be Hell on Earth. I don’t partake, and I have no plans to do so now.

In fact, I need to go out to the supermarket (the one that felt the need to OPEN AT 3 AM today – WHY, WHY, WHY, I ask????) for the likes of milk and eggs. I am dreading even venturing outside the door.

I’d much rather be spending as much of this day Thankfully Reading. Now that dinner has been cooked and eaten (and leftovers wrapped up), birthday presents have been opened (the real-life Betty and Boo were 11 yesterday), and football has been watched (Jets fans, as an Eagles fan, you have my utmost sympathy on that game), it’s time to kick off this thing.

I look forward to this event every year. Looking back on my blog posts, I think this is the 4th Thankfully Reading Weekend and the 4th time I’ve participated. I’m definitely NOT a Black Friday (or Thursday or Saturday or Sunday) shopper and I can’t think of anything better I’d rather be doing.

I always try to use this as a chance to finish up any remaining Reading Challenges for the year – or, at least one Challenge that I’m thisclose to completing. While some Challenges are futile at this point, the A-Z Challenge hosted by Babies, Books, and Beyond remains within my reach so that’s the one I’m focusing on.  I need to read books beginning with titles starting with C, E, K, P, Q, V, and X. (I’ve pretty much eliminated X, as it has proven to be my nemesis) and the books I set aside for Thankfully Reading Weekend reflect that:

Thanksgiving, by Michael Dibdin
This looks reeeealllly dark. Never heard of this until I was browsing at the library and saw it on the shelves.)

Because You Have To: A Writing Life, by Joan Frank
I’m only on page 58, loving it, and am way overdue with my promised review. If I finish just one book, I hope this one is it.)

Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith, by Anne Lamott
I’m on an Anne Lamott binge right now. So, so bummed that I didn’t get to see her this week in Akron, OH. I was planning to go to her appearance – it’s only 1.5 hours each way and for her, I’d gladly have done that. For the A-Z Challenge (letter P)

The Council of Dads: My Daughters, My Illness, and the Men Who Could Be Me, by Bruce Feiler
I’m thinking this might hit a little close to home, but it looks really good. For the A-Z Challenge (letter C).

The English Patient, by Michael Ondaatje
I can’t believe I’ve never read this. For the A-Z Challenge (letter E).

The Value of Rain, by Brandon Shire
I’ve been wanting to read this since last Christmas, when I got this as a present. For the A-Z Challenge (letter V)

I have no expectations that I will finish all of these – far from it. The kids are off from school until Tuesday, The Husband is still recuperating, and I woke up with what seems to be a bad headache in the making (thanks to perhaps too much chocolate yesterday and some weather-related pressure changes in the works for us). The good thing is that Thankfully Reading Weekend is from November 22-25, so there is plenty of time to stuff ourselves with some good reads.

How about you … are you shopping or Thankfully Reading today?

I am an Amazon.com Affiliate. Making a purchase via any of the Amazon.com links on The Betty and Boo Chronicles will result in my earning a small percentage in commission, which will be used to support the upkeep of this blog, as well as the real-life versions of Betty and Boo. Thank you!

text copyright 2012, Melissa, The Betty and Boo Chronicles. If you are reading this on a blog or website other than The Betty and Boo Chronicles or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.

Weekend Cooking: Costco and Me = Reunited (Cue Up the Peaches and Herb)

My mom is here from Philly spending a long weekend with us, helping out around the house after The Husband’s thyroid cancer surgery. I’m beyond thrilled that she’s here; we haven’t seen her since last Christmas, which is entirely way too long. We’ve only been back to Philly once since December (and that September weekend happened to be one that my mom was away). I’ve missed her – a lot.

Anyway, since shopping is kind of what we do on this side of the family, I was thrilled when my mom said she’d brought her Costco card with her.

I used to be a Costco shopper, once upon a time. When you have newborn twins in Pampers and formula (don’t judge) and you’re shooting something ridiculous like three dozen rolls of film a week (no digital camera for me back in those days), Costco becomes your home away from home.

But we later moved to a new town that didn’t have a Costco close by, I got myself a digital camera, and  didn’t renew our membership.

My mother, on the other hand, is a Costco member for one thing and one thing only: their $4.99 rotisserie chicken. That’s all she EVER buys at any given time with her $55 annual membership. A CHICKEN. That’s IT. Nothing else.

So, 10 years later, with my mom’s membership and a Costco conveniently less than five minutes from our (once again new to us) house, we headed over yesterday for dinner comprised of food samples to stock up on some things.  (We, meaning it was Betty and Boo’s FIRST TRIP EVER to Costco. Boo especially was in heaven. Costco was made for this kid.) Since I just went grocery shopping the day before and since I’ve been known to fall into financial peril at Costco back in the day, I was careful to only purchase products that we would use regularly. Here’s what I got:

Entenmann’s Little Bites (20 pouches total = 5 blueberry muffins, 5 fudge brownie, 10 chocolate chip) $8.99
Betty and Boo eat these for breakfast. It’s something easy that they can get themselves, if they happen to wake up before we do. I’ve tried to get more in the habit of making muffins, but sometimes that doesn’t always happen – and especially not now with a post-cancer surgery patient to care for. Two boxes at the grocery store equals 10 pouches and usually costs me more than $9.00 total, which is beyond ridiculous. This was $8.99. Even I, as mathematically-challenged as I am, know that this equals a significant savings.

Kirkland Chocolate Chips, 56 ozs. for $6.99
The Husband often makes chocolate chip pancakes for Betty and Boo in the mornings. This bag is more economical than the 12 ozs. if purchased at the grocery store for an average of $2.99. The Kirkland brand is .12 per oz., while I’m paying .24 at the grocery store. Plus, if I ever do get around to making muffins again, these will come in handy.

Popcorners 24 count variety pack (White Cheddar, Kettle, and Sea Salt) $7.99
An impulse buy after sampling some of these chips. I only sampled the White Cheddar and should have purchased the large bag of just those. After trying the Kettle flavor today, I’m not too crazy about them, sad to say.

170 Dixie paper plates for $10.34
Our dishwasher has been broken for several months. Nor do we have a garbage disposal yet. I know paper plates aren’t the most environmentally-conscious thing, but with The Husband out of commission, washing dishes (especially for messy meals like Italian dishes) is one less thing to deal with now.

80 Newman’s Own Newman’s Special Blend K cups for $36.99
We are going through A LOT of coffee lately (who am I kidding with the lately?!) and the K cups are making my grocery bill go sky high. At an average of $8.99 per box of 12, that’s .74 per K cup when purchased in the grocery store.  At Costco, this was .46.  K cups were the main reason I wanted to go to Costco in the first place.

54 Starbucks Cafe Verona K-Cups for $31.99
These are never on sale in our grocery sale for less than $9.99 for a box of 12, making these .83 each. Here, they’re .59.

Chopped Vegetable and Barley Soup, 64 oz. total, 2 pks. for $8.89
Another impulse buy. I thought they would be good for these days of nursing my patient back to health and easy dinners for me and the kids.

Macaroni and Cheese, 3.3 lbs., $10.11
I often buy the Stouffer’s Macaroni and Cheese for busy nights and make that either as a main dish or as a side with some chicken (for the kids). At our store, the Family Size is usually around $8.99 (I like the Farmer’s Harvest variety). I made this tonight as a main dish for The Husband and a side dish for the kids and my mom. There were leftovers AND, everyone loved this. Winning! Next time I think I will get a tray, divide it, and freeze the second half.

24 Chocolate Chip Cookies for $6.99
Because we can’t have enough chocolate chip cookies in this house lately. (To prove this point and as if she read my mind, a big cookie basket from The Husband’s boss arrived at the house right after I came home.)

Not pictured: 24 pk. of AAA Duracell batteries, $11.99, for Boo’s videocam.

Total cost? $142.61.

I decided right then and there to purchase a Costco membership. My grocery bill has been in the range of $150-$180 every week. The last few weeks notwithstanding, I’ve been trying to use more coupons and make more things (like the muffins and macaroni and cheese) from scratch, but I’m not seeing much of a difference. With the skyrocketing prices and my unemployment benefits ending in January (talk about heading toward a fiscal cliff), going grocery shopping every week is also becoming depressing and I’d like to try and get staples such a toilet paper and paper towels at Costco once or twice a month. I think the savings with a membership will be more than worth it.

Do you shop at Costco? If so, what are your favorite foods (or anything else) to buy there?

Weekend Cooking is hosted by Beth Fish Reads and is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, beer, wine, photographs welcome.

copyright 2012, Melissa, The Betty and Boo Chronicles If you are reading this on a blog or website other than The Betty and Boo Chronicles or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.

Retail Therapy

I was in need of some retail therapy today.

Bad.

Fortunately, today was the opening day of our library’s annual book sale.

(Some people’s retail therapy consists of buying shoes. Mine involves buying used books.)

The picture above represents just the fiction haul. (List below.)

Here’s the nonfiction.

And here they are, happy together.  (Me too.)

In Zanesville, by Jo Ann Beard
The Weight of All Things, by Sandra Benitez
A Judy Blume Collection: Three Novels: Deenie, It’s Not the End of the World, and Then Again, Maybe I Won’t, by Judy Blume (this one is for Betty)
The Double Bind, by Chris Bohjalian
A Great and Terrible Beauty, by Libby Bray
Possession, by A.S. Byatt
Breaking Silence, by Linda Castillo
Life and Times of Michael K by J.M. Coetze
Bluesman, by Andre Dubus III
The Liar’s Diary, by Patry Francis
Mrs. Kimble, by Jennifer Haigh
Tabloid City, by Pete Hamill
Winter’s Tale, by Mark Helprin
Eli the Good, by Silas House
A Prayer for Owen Meany, by John Irving
The Heretic’s Daughter, by Kathleen Kent
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, by E. Lockhart
One Heart, by Jane McCafferty
Junebug, by Maureen Mccoy
Morning Sky, by Judith Miller
The Cat’s Table, by Michael Ondaatje
Outside the Ordinary World, by Dori Ostermiller
The Fates Will Find Their Way, by Hannah Pittard
Bigfoot Dreams, by Francine Prose
Icy Sparks, by Gwyn Hyman Rubio
The Help, by Kathryn Stockett
Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan
The Year We Left Home, by Jean Thompson
Affinity, by Sarah Waters
You Are Special: Words of Wisdom from America’s Most Beloved Neighbor, by Fred Rogers
Cultivating Delight:  A Natural History of My Garden, by Diane Ackerman
The Secret to True Happiness, by Joyce Meyer
The Women’s Chronology: A Year-by-Year Record, From Prehistory to the Present, by James Trager

Total cost? $19.50!

I am an Amazon.com Affiliate. Making a purchase via any of the Amazon.com links on The Betty and Boo Chronicles will result in my earning a small percentage in commission, which will be used to support the upkeep of this blog, as well as the real-life versions of Betty and Boo. Thank you! copyright 2012, Melissa, The Betty and Boo Chronicles If you are reading this on a blog or website other than The Betty and Boo Chronicles or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.