A Near Miss

To the company that deducted money from my bank account with the helpful description BILLPAYING: Thank you.  Because if it weren’t for the delay unraveling that sweet bowl of spaghetti, I wouldn’t have heard a distant bank teller ask, “What’s this book sale where you buy books for a dollar an inch?” 

Excuse me?  How did one of the High Holy Days–the opening hours of the book sale–so quickly become Passover?  When did I get so busy that I missed the first sixteen hours of the annual university book sale? 

Glumly, I considered not going.  Surely all the good stuff was gone and I would have to root around in Judy Blume and Danielle Steel looking for a morsel.  But lo! I remembered that my literary tastes are so far out of the mainstream that they are completely dry.  Perhaps there were some unplucked treasures waiting for me.

Here, my friend, are my top five finds, books I snatched up as I breathed a prayer of thanksgiving.

Ever since watching Wit, I have wanted to get this book.
No man is an island…in this book.
Prayers, meditations, expostulations…in this book.
A sermon on the verse: And unto God the Lord belong the issues of death,
said to be Donne’s own funeral oration…in this book.

The Church Hymnal (1892) Episcopal
679 hymns + 211 canticles and Amens!!
I will spend hours at the piano, mining for gold.

The New Oxford Book of Christian Verse
Withdrawn from library with
completely blank Date Due sticker in back!
Poems from William Langland to Wendell Berry.

This book looks like gangs of fun.

The subtitle explains why I couldn’t resist.
Heat: An Amateur’s Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany

Well, well, well.
I can’t wipe the grin off my face.

…happy, contented sigh…


21 thoughts on “A Near Miss

  1. Gulp, I forgot to say that I LOVE your non-mainstream literary tastes.  Half the stuff I read has been recommended by you.  I’m reading How to Cook a Wolf right now.

  2. envy…envy..I did notice your play with words and agree with hopeinbrazil about the recommendations! Remember the line from “Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society”  – reading good books ruin you from enjoying bad books? Today is a “bad book” day – beginning of autumn, rainy, eating-weather; Eish, but I’ve decided to pick up Frances Mayes’ A Year in the World. I have one day of school holiday left – and that is/was today. Enjoy your new founds!

  3. Cant wait to peruse some of your titles by also reading about them at Amazon, and I’m planning to share HEAT with DD#3 who’s hoping to study at the CIA (Culinary Institute of America).So, I take it that you finally realized that you actually *authorized* the withdrawal to BILLPAYING?? 

  4. @LimboLady – You know me too well!  They are on the kitchen counter at the moment.  Except for the Donne which is traveling with me from room to room…@hopeinbrazil – Thanks, Hope!  I hope you enjoy MFK Fisher!@sonskyn –  Ooh, you will enjoy Mayes, Sonya.  I love your words “autumn, rainy, eating-weather.”  It’s spring, rainy, eating-weather in the Northern Hemisphere!  I hope the final moments of your last holiday are wonderful.

  5. I’ve had Donne’s complete poems in English for years and I finally started reading steadily through it several months ago, at a rate of about one poem a week.  He’s wonderful.  And this week I discovered, hidden in the back of another book, a biography of him by contemporary Izaak Walton.  He really was wonderful.

  6. I just finished reading…”Hannah Coulter.”  Thank you for giving me that gift  by recommending it.  Loved it!  Sounds like you’ve come across some more treasures…..

  7. @toomanyhats – Oh, isn’t Hannah Coulter a gem?  You make me want to stop everything and re-read it.  If you ever get a chance to hear the audio version (I downloaded it from my library site) it is very well done.  I took a solo trip to Seattle and listened while I drove.  It felt like Hannah was riding shotgun telling me her story!

  8. What a happy turn of events!  Looks like God had your books waiting for you.  Believe it or not, the best obstetrician I ever had recommended The Well-Tempered Sentence to me!

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