Sunday, June 26, 2005

Recent Acquisitions

I had a productive jaunt to the used book store where I managed to walk out with only four new books. I must have Umberto Eco on my mind since I'm reading Queen Loana, that or someone just relieved themselves of a few Eco books. Either way, two of the books I brought home have his name on them: Five Moral Pieces, five essays on "the ethics involved with inhabiting this diverse and extraordinary world" (from the back cover), and Kant and the Platypus: Essays on Language and Cognition. Anytime an author can get platypus into the title of a book and get a little picture of one on the cover makes the book worth it just for that. I also brought home a novel called I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith. Smith is also the author of The Hundred and One Dalmations. Castle was first published in 1948 and went out of print. It was republished in 1999. The book is about a 17 year-old girl who wants to be a writer and who lives with her rather poor family in an old English castle. It is a book for adults but I hope she has a character in there as delightfully wicked as Cruella Deville. The fourth book I brought home has been on my wishlist for some time so when I saw a nice copy for cheap I had to have it. The Life You Save May be Your Own: An American Pilgrimage by Paul Elie is about four American writers who were also Catholic: Thomas Merton, Dorothy Day, Flannery O'Connor, and Walker Percy. The book views their writing through the lense of their faith. I have heard fabulous things about it and am looking forward to reading it one of these days. Another recent acquisition came from my Barnes and Noble store's bargain book clearance sale. For a couple of dollars I am now the owner of Dore's illustrations for Don Quixote, A Selection of 190 Illustrations by Gustave Dore. They are wonderful. I just finished the part in Don Quixote where he defeated the Knight of the Woods/Knight of the Mirrors. There is an illustration of the the squire of the Knight of the Woods with his big fake ugly nose and his hat with the big feathered plume that made me laugh. A real treat. Life is good.