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.
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.