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February 3, 2013 • Cee • Stacking the Shelves

As a way to get this blog up and running again, this post is a book haul of all the books I acquired in Tacoma when I was visiting my sister. I find it funny that every time I left a bookstore in Tacoma, I came out with an Edith Wharton book.

   Old New York – Edith Wharton

When I went to Tacoma Book Center, I did not intend on getting this book. You can say that it sort of fell into my hands as I searched through the place for the books I really wanted. No really, with the failure of finding those books, I started looking for authors I was familiar with and that turned out to be dear Edith Wharton. I don’t know how it happened. I have a soft spot for everything Edith Wharton even though I haven’t read anything by her? (I am actually ashamed to admit this because the subject matter of her novels are a great interest of mine. I have been meaning to start her novels, but things usually got in the way.)

I picked this book up first because it was in excellent condition (practically brand new) and it contained four novellas in one, spanning four different decades (YES PLEASE!).

The Glimpse of the Moon – Edith Wharton

This book was also purchased at the Tacoma Book Center because of two reasons:

1. the cover (which has a lovely depiction of a woman lounging on a sofa with her breast out. Very edgy and 1920s-esque.)

2. the story (a couple, who has all the right connections but not enough funds, decides to marry and mooch off their wealthy friends until they find another person to help advance them into society? Another YES. The premise of this book pulls me right away. I see a lot of similarities in the stories I like writing about in this book. The characters I create could’ve been cut from the same cloth as Nick Lansing and Susy Branch – ones who don’t particularly care about others (except themselves) and uses their wealth (or their friend’s wealth) for their own means, all the while, drinking and going to lavish parties. I am a definite sucker for that type of narrative.

Ethan Frome/Summer – Edith Wharton

I wanted to get a souvenir from Seattle and why not get one from the Elliot Bay Book Company?

I remember roaming through the store with stars in my eyes like I usually do when I go to bookstores. I went directly to the young adult section, but was disappointed when I couldn’t find many of the young adult novels I wanted to purchase there, so what did I decide to do? Look for Edith Wharton in the literature section. Big mistake? Well, I say that it was meant to be. Especially since this particular book had two short novels in it. I call that a very good deal.

Besides the good deal, Ethan Frome was part of my “must read” within Edith Wharton’s book. Actually, all of her books are must-reads.

Brighton Rock – Graham Greene

This was the other “souvenir” I got from Seattle. When I picked this book up from the bargain table of Elliot Bay Boy Company, the title felt familiar to me. I didn’t know where I had first heard it, but I felt like I needed to buy it. What convinced me to buy it?

1. It was the only book I was interested in from the bargain table.

2. This book is about young British gangsters. British gangsters. Um, yes? That was all that convinced me to get it. (This really made me think of This Is England series and Guy Ritchie’s crime films.)


The Custom of the Country – Edith Wharton

My sister and I returned to the Tacoma Book Center because I wanted to purchase a book about F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald. However, due to reasons, I didn’t get it. Instead, The Custom of the Country was the lucky book. I was amused that this was the Edith Wharton book my sister wanted to read when I showed her the cover. Ha, I got to it first!

I bought it because I was inexplicably drawn to the main character, Undine Spraggs. Her character seduces and marries men because marriage is the only institution in which she, a woman, have agency. Even though she is restricted to this one institution, it is refreshing  to see a woman using it to her advantage, especially in the early 20th century.

The Buccaneers Edith WhartonthebuccaneersED

This was purchased at the Tacoma Half Price bookstore on my last day in Tacoma. After a whole day of shopping at the mall nearby, I convinced my tired sister to drive us over. 

I actively searched for an Edith Wharton book that I did not already have. Why? I wanted it to be true when I say that “Every book store that I’ve been to, I came out with an Edith Wharton novel.” Obviously, I take great pride in that.

I was seduced by the whole notion of old money versus new money in New York Society during the late 19th century and by how the five American girls responded after being rejected because their money was new. I was interested in how Wharton would write about the topic.
Voila. I’m pretty excited to sink my teeth in these books (even though I have tons of books I still need to read). As I typed up this post, I realize I have a problem. Too much book, too little time and money.

(* all the pictures are exactly the covers of the books I purchased.)