New-To-Me Books

Tuesday was a good day for books. It was a good day for other things too, such as meeting our nephew for lunch, but that is by the by.

I went to Barter Books in Alnwick, one of my favourite secondhand bookshops and came away with a pile of 10 books – bartered, not bought. The way it works is that you take books in and they offer you a sum of money for them and then you ‘buy’ more. You can, of course, just buy books.

I went prepared with a list of authors to look for and found books by most of them. From  top to bottom in the photo above they are:

Wycliffe and the Four Jacks by W J Burley. This book doesn’t look as though it has been  read at all!  Wycliffe is on holiday in Cornwall and gets drawn into the investigation into the murder of bestselling novelist David Cleeve.

Agatha Christie’s Sleeping Murder: Miss Marple’s Last Case, which was published posthumously and Lord Edgewhere Dies, an early Poirot investigation.

Death at the President’s Lodging by Michael Innes, an Inspector Appleby mystery in which he investigates the bizarre death of the President of St Anthony’s College, somewhere between Oxford and Cambridge.

Bones and Silence: a Dalziel and Pascoe novel by Reginald Hill. This won the CWA Gold Dagger Award in 1990. Reginald Hill died in January this year. I’ve only read a few of his books, although I’ve watched all the Dalziel and Pascoe TV series.

Tamburlaine Must Die by Louise Welsh. Set in 1593 this novella tells the story of Christopher Marlowe’s last days, weaving together fact and fiction.

The Grey Coast by Neil M Gunn. I’d read on Katrina’s blog Pining for the West about one of Gunn’s book and made a note of his name. So, I was pleased to find this book, his first novel published in 1926, described on the back of the book as a novel about the scenes of his childhood at the turn of the century.

Two books by Beryl Bainbridge, because this week it’s Beryl Bainbridge Week on Gaskella’s blog. There were several to choose from and I picked The Birthday Boys, a fictionalised version of Scott’s 1912 Antarctic expedition, and A Quiet Life, a novel  with ‘a post-war lower-middle-class setting characterised by meanness, frustration and emotional evasion.’

And finally, a book I’ve been wondering whether to read or not – Julian Barnes’s The Sense of an Ending, the winner of the Man Booker Prize 2011. This is ‘the story of one man coming to terms with the mutable past.’  I couldn’t resist getting it as it looked brand new.

11 thoughts on “New-To-Me Books

  1. I’ve been to Barter Books but all of the books I was interested in were very expensive, they were older books though. I did love the trains running along the top of the bookshelves. I hope you enjoy the Neil Gunn, I haven’t read that one. I enjoyed the Michael Innes but it’s an early one and his writing does get better I think. I want to read a Reginald Hill as I did enjoy Dalziel and Pascoe. What a great haul and thanks for the mention.


    1. Katrina, I love the setting in the old railway station and the trains are such a surprise the first time you go. They have such a wide range of stock – some very cheap and yes, some very expensive and rare books. I like it that you can take back the ones you buy from them and they credit your account with half the price you paid, which does make them cheaper, if you don’t want to keep them, that is.


  2. What a nice stack of book, Margaret! I’ve been to bookstores that operated in that manner. At this point though, I don’t read books in that small paperback format or I try not to. Print too small for me anymore. I’ve read both the Agatha Christie books you purchased and have read another Dalziel and Pascoe book – the title was ON BEULAH’S HEIGHT or something like that. I enjoyed it and I keep meaning to read more. I also have the TV series in my Netflix queue. Is it good?


    1. Kay, I try to get the larger print if I can, but it’s not always possible and I do struggle to read them! The Dalziel and Pascoe series is very good, I think, but then I watched them before I read the books, which does make a difference to me.


  3. Lucky you to live by Barter Books. Have you ever heard of the Strand Bookstore in NYC? First place I go to when I visit my aunt in Manhattan-then off to the Met museum.


  4. Oh, what fun!
    I have the Barnes book, and look forward to it. Love the Christie’s. I’m interested in the Wycliffe series. Saw a couple on tv and didn’t care for them. I wonder if the books are better.


  5. D, it seems to be working, although the bookshelves are still full, they’re not as double shelved as they were!

    Alex, I hope you can visit Barter Books again and find the books you want.

    Lorraine, I’ve not heard of the Strand Bookstore – if I ever visit New York, I’ll be sure to go there!

    Nan, I didn’t see any of the Wycliffe TV series, so can’t compare.


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