Saturday, 15 October 2011

Found Books, a special edition

I'm a fool for books and always have been. As I mentioned in a previous post, Found Books is a little feature where I highlight a book I've found second-hand somewhere, at a yard sale or rummage sale, the Goodwill or what have you. It's a book that's been published for a while, sometimes a long while, and I just want to talk about it because I like it.

Yesterday was hound dog heaven for me because it was the day of the eighth annual North Grenville Book Fair. So far I haven't missed one. They charge a buck a book, no matter what the book, and the proceeds are used to support programs at the local library and the local Community Living organization. This year they claimed to have 25,000 books, so I spent 3.5 hours there yesterday afternoon/evening and I know I didn't look at every one of them, but I sure tried.

My modus operandi is always the same. When I get through the door I head straight for the cookbooks, because competition is fierce and the really cool ones go fast. This year's finds included Mary Emmerling's American Country Cooking (Clarkson N. Potter, 1987), a beautiful table top book with stuff like creek soup from Texas, country garden chicken from Virginia, and crunchy oat and cranberry muffins from Seattle, all of which I'm likely to try. Also very nice was The Herbal Pantry by Tolley and Mead (Clarkson Potter, 1992) which had a recipe for coffee anise liqueur I'm definitely going to riff on. I just took a nice crop of anise from my herb garden, and an enormous crop of chocolate mint, so I'm going to combine those two as an infusion in the vodka this recipe mentions, then slide it into coffee. MMM mmm.

Also got a bunch of crime fiction, as always, but this time I've decided to take a shot at the Scandinavian stuff. I haven't read Stieg Larsson yet, so I picked up a copy of the Hornet's Nest one, plus a couple of Henning Mankell and an Arnaldlur Indridason (Iceland). We'll see.......

Lastly, for now, I'll mention that I found a copy of David McCullough's massive biography of Harry Truman. I was hoping I'd find his John Adams, since it's a period I'm more interested in right now, but no luck. I was also hoping I'd find Ron Chernow's new bio of Washington, but that was really stretching it. I'll settle for Truman, which should keep me busy!

With any luck, the two boxes I lugged home with me will see me through the long winter that's surely coming.


  1. I love that you go straight for the cookbooks Michael! That's the first place I would go too. Although, who would give up their cookbooks is a mystery. My friends keep harping on about the Steig Larsson series as well so it's one I am going to try soon. Would be interested in what you think of them.

  2. I agree, Lan, I don't know why people would be giving up their cookbooks. Some of them are absolutely gorgeous and cost a fortune. Some are sleepers, too. A few years ago I found a ratty spiral-bound thing called Home Cooking by Louisiana Proud. Incredible recipes from every region of that state. I taught myself how to make the most amazing cornbread you've ever tasted from that little book. You never know!