Sunday, May 6, 2012

Clunes Booktown 2012

I have a few public announcements to make, but I promise that this post will be as book-filled as I can make it.
First of all, I am making another journey to New Zealand to see the lovely Narelle of Boutique Narelle (helping you to be modest and gorgeous since 2008!). I will be away for a few weeks, so posting may be light during the merry month of May.

Second, for those of my readers based in Victoria, Australia, there's a little bookish event I simply must tell you about. The historic town of Clunes, just half an hour's drive north of Ballarat, comes alive for one weekend every May, and becomes Booktown--a little country village bursting with book shops, sales, stalls, and stands of every description! Thousands of books and thousands of bookworms descend upon the little town, which becomes a reader's paradise. There's something there for everyone's budget, from the 50-cent or dollar book sales to the $5 sales to that $600 first-edition Biggles book your collection so badly needs. This was the second year I attended, on a strict budget, and because one can never be too gleeful about one's finds, I catalogue them below.
Booktown finds:
  • Freckles by Gene Stratton Porter (spare/gift copy)
  • A Blessed Girl by Lady Emily Lutyens (Memoirs of a Victorian Girlhood 1887-1896)
  • Told by Peter by Mary Grant Bruce (rare find, for a very low price!)
  • A Book of Princesses selected by Sally Patrick Johnson (collection of princess stories by authors from Kipling and Dickens to Nesbit and Thurber, including all of The Light Princess by George MacDonald)
  • Banner Over Me by Margery Greenleaf (A Tale of the Norman Conquest—really like this book!)
  • The Dean's Watch by Elizabeth Goudge (for Kara!)
  • The Christian Gentleman by GC Davy (A Book of Courtesy and Social Guidance for Boys)
  • The Talisman Ring by Georgette Heyer (well, it was fifty cents...)
  • The Young Fur-Traders by RM Ballantyne
  • Quentin Durward by Sir Walter Scott (One of my favourite Scotts! Great place to start reading him, if you've never read Scott before!)
  • Martin Rattler by RM Ballantyne
  • For Love and Duty by Alfred H Miles (Historical and Other Stories—nice old vintage book)
  • The Flight of the Heron by DK Broster (I keep hearing this name, everyone loves a Jacobite uprising, and I finally gave in and bought a copy!)
  • L'Abri by Edith Schaeffer
  • Fabulous Beasts by Monika Beisner and Alison Lurie (A lovely picture book, illustrated almost like a medieval manuscript, solemnly cataloguing some famous mythical creatures)
  • The Last Chronicle of Barset by Anthony Trollope (It will wait till I've found and read the others)
  • Phineas Finn by Anthony Trollope (I already have Can You Forgive Her)
  • The Victorian Age in Literature by GK Chesterton
  • The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge (A perfectly sweet book for little girls)
  • The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco (yes, I finally gave in, I'm going to read it, though I don't know if I'll like it)
  • Augustus by John Buchan (One of his biographies)
  • Billabong Adventurers by Mary Grant Bruce (A favourite in the series—and unedited!)
  • Eldorado by Baroness Orczy
  • The Three Hostages by John Buchan (for my mother's library)
  • English Literature by HE Marshall (who wrote Our Island Story. Found this massive hardback in in a cardboard box for $2!)
  • A History of Australia Vol I by Manning Clark, 1962 edition (The legendary 1962 edition! The politically incorrect edition!)
  • Strong Poison, Murder Must Advertise, The Nine Tailors by Dorothy L Sayers (Some of the best!)
  • Piers the Ploughman by Langland (prose translation by JF Goodridge: I thought, eh, I don't want to read it in prose—but then!)
  • Piers the Plowman by Langland (unaltered and untranslated! YES! I can just read English of this date. It's got Þorns, and I can use the translation if I need it!)
  • Parzival by Wolfram von Eschenbach (the great German Arthurian poem—in a prose translation, oh well—but still!! Hooray!)
It is sad that I shall have to leave all of these books behind me on my NZ trip. However, as it turns out, I shall be in that country during the legendary Red Cross Book Fair, on the 25th-27th of May in Palmerston North. I can see I shall have to pack light.


Samalah said...

Lovely to see some Mary Grant Bruce in there! I very much enjoyed the Billabong series...never read "Told by Peter" though. If it's rare, that may be why!

Suzannah said...

Why, how delightful to see you here, Samalah! Mary Grant Bruce wrote a lot of books besides the Billabong series--I remember enjoying "Golden Fiddles" quite a lot; it's the story of a rural family who strikes it rich, moves to the big city, goes on a wonderful shopping spree, and then finds that wealth doesn't bring happiness. It was a lovely story. "Told by Peter" is apparently from a different series which I'd never heard of.

Lady Bibliophile said...

Freckles, Trollope, Scott, G.K. Chesterton. I should splurge on a plane ticket and bring an extra suitcase. ;) Maybe someday...
Excellent finds. :)

Suzannah said...

I certainly wouldn't complain ;). Although I'm sure there are booksales in the US that dwarf our little Clunes Booktown.

Caleb said...

Hello, just wanted to comment and say how I'm enjoying this blog. I found it recently from a comment left on the Eleventary blog. I enjoy book reviews and reading lists and have found some wonderful stuff here. Will be back often.

Suzannah said...

I'm so glad you're enjoying my blog! I'm taking a break at the moment, but will be back to regular posting in another couple of weeks.

Maria Elisabeth said...

I just stumbled onto your blog and have been looking around. It's lovely! Many of the books you review are my favorites already and the rest look extremely interesting. You've inspired me to start reading Sir Walter Scott again - I started Waverley but never really finished it. I think I'll be reading Quentin Durward soon.

Oh, and I have to say, after reading your review of The Scarlet Pimpernel, I'm delighted that you got Eldorado. While a little melodramatic, it's an amazing story and one of my absolute favorite books.


Suzannah said...

Hooray! I'm looking forward to reading Eldorado, but I may put it off for a day when I'm feeling like a literary confection ;).


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