Wednesday, June 21, 2006

A Windfall of Books!

Anders, a young man who lived with us a couple of summers ago, is leaving tomorrow for grad school. He stopped by to say goodbye--and offer us a box of his old books.

"These are all books I loved, and I think your kids might like them," he said.

And what did we find in that box? Much to delight a Bantam's heart:

H.G. Wells' The Time Machine
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
The Scarlet Pimpernel
Great Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe
Danny, The Champion of the World, by Roald Dahl (not surrealistic, Anders said. It looks good--has anyone read it?)
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (gorgeous"Children's Classics" edition)
Kidnapped (il. by N.C. Wyeth; also a Children's Classics edition)
8 Redwall books
Calvin & Hobbes--There's Treasure Everywhere
The Far Side Galley 2
Five Children and It, by E. Nesbit ("You've heard of that?" he asked. "I'm surprised--no one ever knows that one." I've only heard it's good--haven't read it yet.)
The Chosen, by Chaim Potok
Till We Have Faces and Surprised by Joy by C.S. Lewis (these are duplicates but we love to have extras to lend or give away)
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry (another duplicate--I'll sell at a used curriculum sale!)
David Macaulay's The Way Things Work (ditto)
The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship: A Russian Tale (a Caldecott-winning picture book)
A Wind in the Door and A Swiftly Tilting Planet by L'Engle (more duplicates)

And what's this? The Cross and the Switchblade and In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson--Two Sonlight titles I need for next year! (Thanks, Lord....)

Blondechick 13 will be thrilled by a VHS tape of What's Up, Doc? --a funny musical with a very young Barbara Streisand that she often borrows from the library. She might even be persuaded to try reading a few of the Damon Runyon stories too, since Guys and Dolls is the theme of her week at theater camp.

The ones I'm most eager to read are:
Guys & Dolls: The Stories of Damon Runyon and The Damon Runyon Omnibus (the musical was based on these stories; Anders says he loved the language--it is so playful.)

Here's a sample:

One night Ambrose Hammer, the newspaper scribe, comes looking for me on Broadway and he insists that I partake of dinner with him at the Canary Club, stating that he wishes to talk with me. Naturally, I know that Ambrose must be in love again, and when he is in love he always wishes to have somebody around to listen to him tell about how much he is in love and about the way he is suffering, because Ambrose is such a guy as must have his suffering with his love...and the reason he suffers is because he generally falls in love with some beautiful who does not care two snaps of her fingers about him and sometimes not even one snap.

In fact, it is the consensus of opinion along Broadway that Ambrose is always very careful to pick a beautiful who does not care any snaps of her fingers whatever about him because if he finds one does care these snaps there will be no reason for him to suffer. Personally I consider Ambrose's love affairs a great bore but as the Canary Club is a very high-class gaff where is the food department is really above par, I am pleased to go with him.

What fun, eh? Thank you, Anders!


Mama Martin said...

Danny, Champion of the World is actually one of Dahl's better books. Poaching is an issue so be prepared to discuss the rights (and wrongs) of English landowners and tenants.

At A Hen's Pace said...

Thanks for the comment, Mama Martin--it's very helpful.

Islandsparrow said...

Oh yes Danny the Champion of the World is one of my favourite Dahl books.

RANDI said...

What a wonderful gift giver!

Will Duquette said...

Re: Damon Runyon -- I read all those stories aloud to my wife a few years ago. Lovely, lovely stuff to read aloud, and one of the neatest authorial voices I know.